Refuge Notebook

A black bear sow with two cubs leave a barbed-wire exclosure designed to snag their hair. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Where do black and brown bears occur?

Science is more than the five-step method we learn about in grade school — science is a philosophy of questions. As a budding graduate student… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: Monitoring wetland change on the Kenai

For the past year I’ve been sitting in a university office in Eastern Pennsylvania staring at maps of the Kenai Peninsula. The maps show the… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: A fun way to learn about natural resource stewardship

2019 marks the fifth year the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has hosted a Game Warden Camp for local youth. This camp offers youth the chance… Continue reading

 

A raven flies off with a couple of tortillas in Hidden Lake Campground. (Photo by Amber Kraxberger-Linson/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Ready. Set. Camp!

Summer is coming to the Kenai Peninsula. Days are getting longer, birds are returning to raise their young, and Alaskans are digging out their camping… Continue reading

A raven flies off with a couple of tortillas in Hidden Lake Campground. (Photo by Amber Kraxberger-Linson/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Alaska’s state bird is one of a kind

I saw a small flock of willow ptarmigan along the Seward Highway near Summit Pass last week. I had to take a hard look as… Continue reading

A male Golden-crowned Kinglet displays its “mohawk” on Fuller Lakes Trail on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: Little rock star of the woods

Earlier this month, I took a hike up Fuller Lakes Trail with my dog, Scout. The sun was just peaking over the tips of the… Continue reading

A male Golden-crowned Kinglet displays its “mohawk” on Fuller Lakes Trail on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury)
Underpasses to help wildlife move across the Sterling Highway is one way to resist changing conditions. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: A new way of thinking about climate adaptation

Last week I was in Madison, Wisconsin, at the National Adaptation Forum. This is an invigorating conference, powered by almost 1,000 passionate people who seek… Continue reading

Underpasses to help wildlife move across the Sterling Highway is one way to resist changing conditions. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A photo submitted to iNaturalist showing a female Lycia rachelae on April 7, 2016. This is one of only a few species of moths where the female is flightless. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS).

Refuge notebook: Connecting the dots on your next hike

As experts continue to learn more about our environment and flood the world with facts, figures, predictions and management directions, it can be a little… Continue reading

A photo submitted to iNaturalist showing a female Lycia rachelae on April 7, 2016. This is one of only a few species of moths where the female is flightless. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS).
Pilot-biologist Dom Watts flying out of Fairbanks in a Super Cub. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

The road to becoming a U.S. Fish & Wildlife pilot-biologist

I remember the first time my Uncle Larry flew down in his Cessna and picked me up at the little airport a few miles from… Continue reading

Pilot-biologist Dom Watts flying out of Fairbanks in a Super Cub. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A Columbian snowfly recently emerged from the Kenai River at Soldotna Creek Park on March 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge notebook: Winter stonefly season on the Kenai

If you spend any time near the Kenai River in Soldotna from March to May you may have noticed elongate, roughly one-third-inch long, dark stoneflies… Continue reading

A Columbian snowfly recently emerged from the Kenai River at Soldotna Creek Park on March 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our common resident bird species. (Photo provided by Kyla Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: Resident bird songs welcome spring

I am always pleasantly surprised by the influx of daylight hours and sunshine that comes to the Kenai Peninsula in the last weeks of March.… Continue reading

The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our common resident bird species. (Photo provided by Kyla Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: 2 refuges on the Pacific Flyway share similarities, differences

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island, off the coast of Florida, as the first federal refuge. This put migratory bird conservation as a… Continue reading

A game camera photo of an ocelot from the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge website.

Life on a South Texas refuge

Did you know that more than 10 percent of the international border between the United States and Mexico is shared with several National Wildlife Refuges… Continue reading

A game camera photo of an ocelot from the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge website.

Refuge Notebook: An earthworm quandary

This last September we hosted two earthworm experts from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kyungsoo Yoo and graduate student Adrian Wackett. They study how earthworms… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Wildlife translocations to and from the Kenai Peninsula

By DOM WATTS Imagine, if you will, a couple of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in a seaplane flying over the Kenai Mountains, when… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Voices of the Kenai

By JOHN MORTON I’ve had the privilege recently to hear what other residents think about changes they have witnessed in their lifetimes here on the… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: To feed or not to feed the birds

By TODD ESKELIN As the snow continues to pile up, I have had some unwanted guests at my bird feeder. A cow moose and her… 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

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

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