Kenai National Wildlife Refuge interns Angel Smith and Laura Bashor help Hilcorp Alaska restore a retired gas pad east of the Swanson River Oil Field. (Photo by Lorene Lynn)

Restoring nature 1 gravel pad at a time

By AMBER ROBBINS What happens to old oil and gas pads when they are no longer useful? This June, I was given the opportunity to… Continue reading

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge interns Angel Smith and Laura Bashor help Hilcorp Alaska restore a retired gas pad east of the Swanson River Oil Field. (Photo by Lorene Lynn)
Bright orange spores are released from rupturing needles of a spruce tip infected with spruce tip rust on the Skyline Trail on July 5, 2018. (Photo provided by Matt Bowser of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

A big year for spruce tip rust

By MATT BOWSER “What is that?” asked my co-worker, pointing down to where it looked like someone had marked the ground beside the Skyline Trail… Continue reading

Bright orange spores are released from rupturing needles of a spruce tip infected with spruce tip rust on the Skyline Trail on July 5, 2018. (Photo provided by Matt Bowser of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Our national bird more than meets the eye

By TODD AND LEAH ESKELIN If you have not checked out the city of Kenai Eagle Cam you are missing out. This is among the… Continue reading

The summit of Vista Trail on Skilak Loop Road, seen Nov. 23, 2018, while waiting for skiing to come to the central Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Power of the Culture of the North

First, a few confessions. On Nov. 10, 2018, I marked the first snowfall of the season by getting off work and immediately bolting to the… Continue reading

The summit of Vista Trail on Skilak Loop Road, seen Nov. 23, 2018, while waiting for skiing to come to the central Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in blue: Squeaky boards

By KAT SORENSEN There are a few squeaky floorboards in Resurrect Art Coffee House. The old church was built in 1916, though, so it’s to… Continue reading

My snowy driveway one winter morning, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Get outside 2019

Last New Year’s Eve I was at the same event I was for the two previous New Year’s. I rang in 2018 in a duplex… Continue reading

My snowy driveway one winter morning, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: At the edge of the world

Anniversaries are strange things — in many ways they are arbitrary, days we mark on a calendar to keep us from forgetting that we have… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Building new trail builds community

By ERIN McKITTRICK From Lunch Mountain, on Kachemak Bay State Park’s Tutka Backdoor Trail, Mount Iliamna appears perfectly framed between the fjord’s forested slopes. We… Continue reading

Catriona Reynolds finishes off a victory in the 10-mile bike at the Mouth to Mouth Wild Run and Ride on Monday, May 28, 2018, at the Kenai beach. On Reynolds’ tail is Sky Carver. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai, Soldotna biking community awarded

Kenai and Soldotna were both recently awarded bronze-level status by the League of American Bicyclists for meeting standards set by its Bicycle Friendly Community Program.… Continue reading

Catriona Reynolds finishes off a victory in the 10-mile bike at the Mouth to Mouth Wild Run and Ride on Monday, May 28, 2018, at the Kenai beach. On Reynolds’ tail is Sky Carver. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Up in smoke!

My wood stove stole my freedom. The independence I cultivated through years of working late nights in return for long afternoons when I want them… Continue reading

77 years of conservation in our neighborhood

By LEAH ESKELIN What happened in 1941? So many events are tied to that year, some small and others enormous in their lasting impacts. The… Continue reading

Skiers climb a hill near the start of the Kachemak Bay Marathon Ski Tour in March of 2007 near Homer, Alaska, in winter where Homer actually had snow. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Don’t wait for snow or ice — just get outside

Now would be the time when an enterprising outdoors columnist writes about all the wonderful winter sports to be experienced. Fresh snow has fallen and… Continue reading

Skiers climb a hill near the start of the Kachemak Bay Marathon Ski Tour in March of 2007 near Homer, Alaska, in winter where Homer actually had snow. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Machines are learning about wildlife

By DAWN ROBIN MAGNESS Over the weekend, I was curious about where Golden-crowned Kinglets spend winters. I pulled out my cellphone and instantly found range… Continue reading

Tangled up in Blue: Old Tom Bombadil

I’ve been running into Tom Bombadil everywhere lately. The bright blue-eyed, enigmatically mysterious being (man isn’t the right word, but neither is creature) of J.R.R.… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: Kenai blackfish came from Bethel

By MATT BOWSER Since learning that Alaska blackfish had been found in two small streams in the city of Kenai, I have wondered how they… Continue reading

Out of the Office: What are men to rocks and mountains?

I’ve met a lot of addicts since moving to Alaska. Not the kind you think, though. My friends are constantly searching for their next fix… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Species-packing into Biosphere 2

By TONY BURGESS In 1991, Biosphere 2 was launched in Oracle, Arizona. It is a 3-acre structure built to enclose seven biomes or habitats: rain… Continue reading

Freezer Food Series trades darkness for daylight

The Freezer Food Series has come out of the darkness and into the light. Last year’s maiden voyage of the running, biking and skiing races… Continue reading

Tangled up in Blue: Hectic serenity of winter

It’s been a hectic winter for me so far, which is something for which I wasn’t prepared. In fact, I’m writing this column a full… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: Wildfire apprentice catches the fire bug

By ALLIE CUNNINGHAM Let’s go back to the beginning. On a day in late August 2016, I found myself on a steep slope in Lolo… Continue reading

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