Refuge Notebook

A moose browsing on birch on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Moose and pizza: A matter of taste?

Special note from Kris Inman, refuge supervisory wildlife biologist: From time to time, we look back at previous articles, and this article stood out at… Continue reading

 

A brown bear. (Photo by Tim Bowman/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Drilling down into bear dentition — A (safe) look into the mouth of Alaska’s bears

What comes to mind when you think of bears? Smokey? Losing the playoffs? What about teeth? Whether you’re hunting, fishing, hiking or just outside taking… Continue reading

 

Pollen collects on the beak of a female rufous hummingbird and is transferred from flower to flower. (Photo by T. Eskelin, USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Only warm-blooded pollinator on peninsula has wings, will travel

This past weekend I participated in the Summer Hummingbird Days event hosted by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It was a great event focusing on… Continue reading

 

There are two photos of Mystery Creek plots burned by Swan Lake. This plot was only burned by the Swan Lake Fire and has blackened duff with variable depth of burn, low shrubs resprouting from surviving roots, and other plants seeded in since the fire. Photos were taken in 2021.

Refuge Notebook: Swan Lake Fire — A burn severity story

If you live in Southcentral Alaska, there’s a good chance you’ve driven or hiked through the 2019 Swan Lake Fire. If you’re like me, maybe… Continue reading

There are two photos of Mystery Creek plots burned by Swan Lake. This plot was only burned by the Swan Lake Fire and has blackened duff with variable depth of burn, low shrubs resprouting from surviving roots, and other plants seeded in since the fire. Photos were taken in 2021.
A Kenai River fisherman and his mother celebrate a successful catch. (Photo by Boo Kandas)

Refuge Notebook: Kenai River, the river that does it all

I did not fully appreciate the recent history of the Kenai River and surrounding watershed until I read Shana Loushbaugh’s thesis, “The history of land… Continue reading

A Kenai River fisherman and his mother celebrate a successful catch. (Photo by Boo Kandas)
Paved sidewalks are trails are maintained at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, after the partial government shutdown ended on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge Notebook: Be nice to nettles!

Editor’s note: This article first appeared May 14, 2004, and is reprinted with minor edits. Spring has arrived in full force, and it’s time to… Continue reading

Paved sidewalks are trails are maintained at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, after the partial government shutdown ended on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Installation of culverts in Kelly Lake Road. (Photo provided by FWS)

Refuge Notebook: More than fins, feathers and fur

In the fall of 2010, I found a job opening listed through USAJobs, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a location in Soldotna,… Continue reading

Installation of culverts in Kelly Lake Road. (Photo provided by FWS)
An orange-crowned warbler is one of the bird species that likes to nest in slash and wood piles. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Nesting birds can use our help

It’s that time of year when spring cleaning, yardwork and some much-needed sprucing up around our homes and properties are upon us. Likewise, there continue… Continue reading

An orange-crowned warbler is one of the bird species that likes to nest in slash and wood piles. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)
YCC Enrollees harvest beetle-killed spruce for a facility enhancement project. (Photo by Nick Longobardi/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Youth Conservation Corps: A legacy of hard work and good times

Do you know a local high school student who likes to work hard in the outdoors, doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty, and is looking… Continue reading

YCC Enrollees harvest beetle-killed spruce for a facility enhancement project. (Photo by Nick Longobardi/FWS)
A brown bear on the refuge captured on a trail camera, an example that den entrance and emergence varies and you can expect to see bears at any time of the year. (Image by Colin Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Sharing the landscape as bears wake up this spring

Snow and extreme cold were early this year. The conditions made for fantastic cross-country skiing, and the early deep snow turned icy with repeated warming… Continue reading

A brown bear on the refuge captured on a trail camera, an example that den entrance and emergence varies and you can expect to see bears at any time of the year. (Image by Colin Canterbury/FWS)
A snow bunting on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Spring equinox marks change from smallest to largest species on the Kenai

It is spring, and after my first year in Alaska, I have witnessed that spring moves to another level. As many of you know, everything… Continue reading

A snow bunting on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS)
Kris Inman speaks to a young girl, age 7, who hopes to be a veterinarian at the #IfThenSheCan-The Exhibit showcasing the Smithsonian Institute Womenճ Future Month. (Photo by Kim Spectre)

Seeing STEM: Science career ambassador in a national spotlight

What do you want to be when you grow up … Do you remember the first time you heard that question? What was your answer… Continue reading

Kris Inman speaks to a young girl, age 7, who hopes to be a veterinarian at the #IfThenSheCan-The Exhibit showcasing the Smithsonian Institute Womenճ Future Month. (Photo by Kim Spectre)
The use of birding apps and iPhones to play songs has become a popular way to locate target species. (Photo by L. Eskelin/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Play that song one more time

Imagine hearing unrecognized voices in your backyard. Immediately, your heart rate shoots up, and you begin planning on whether to call 911 or go out… Continue reading

The use of birding apps and iPhones to play songs has become a popular way to locate target species. (Photo by L. Eskelin/USFWS)
The author unloading helicopter H551 on Mt. Hoffman, Yosemite National Park. (Photo by NPS)

Learning the ropes on the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program

It’s a sunny day in May 2020 at the Crane Flat Helibase. Myself and four other “rookie” (new) rappelers have undergone days’ worth of ground… Continue reading

The author unloading helicopter H551 on Mt. Hoffman, Yosemite National Park. (Photo by NPS)
Mt. Chiginagak on Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge 30 miles southeast of Ugashik. (Photo by B. Wishnek/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Protecting Alaska from invasive species: A common goal near and far

Many regard Alaska for its wild and free landscapes and its importance to fish, wildlife, plants and people. However, while most Alaska landscapes are wild… Continue reading

Mt. Chiginagak on Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge 30 miles southeast of Ugashik. (Photo by B. Wishnek/USFWS)
A recently hatched rufous-tailed hummingbird with one more egg to hatch. (Photo by T. Eskelin/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: A mother’s work is never done

Bird nerd, bird geek and bird brain are just a few of the accolades I have acquired over the years. Of course, these labels were… Continue reading

A recently hatched rufous-tailed hummingbird with one more egg to hatch. (Photo by T. Eskelin/USFWS)
A beautiful Arctic char caught while ice fishing on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Nate Perrine)

Refuge Notebook: Winter camping and ice fishing on the refuge

When people think of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is salmon fishing or some other activity… Continue reading

A beautiful Arctic char caught while ice fishing on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Nate Perrine)
A hairy woodpecker on the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Notice the bill is as long as the head? (Photo by Laurie Sheppard, USFWS National Digital Library)

Refuge Notebook: Woodpecker doppelgangers

I was listening to the distinct sound of a woodpecker drumming a few days ago and caught a flash of a black and white bird.… Continue reading

A hairy woodpecker on the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Notice the bill is as long as the head? (Photo by Laurie Sheppard, USFWS National Digital Library)
Moose, the impetus, for David Spencerճ start on the Kenai National Moose Range. (Photo by C. Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Introduction to David Spencer, 1st manager of Kenai National Moose Range

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Kenai National Moose Range. Today this nearly 2-million-acre tract of public land is known as the Kenai… Continue reading

Moose, the impetus, for David Spencerճ start on the Kenai National Moose Range. (Photo by C. Canterbury/FWS)
The Kenai National Moose Range's three LeTourneau crushers off of Mystery Creek Road, March 14, 1978. (Photo provided by USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Forest regeneration efforts benefit moose on wildlife refuge

From time to time, we reshare past Refuge Notebook articles. We selected this article as part of our efforts to commemorate the Kenai National Wildlife… Continue reading

The Kenai National Moose Range's three LeTourneau crushers off of Mystery Creek Road, March 14, 1978. (Photo provided by USFWS)