Refuge Notebook

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Refuge Notebook: Elodea partnership recognized

By JOHN MORTON In August, at the 2018 Industry Appreciation Day in Kenai, the elodea partnership on the Kenai Peninsula was acknowledged for Outstanding Fish… Continue reading

Anna’s Hummingbird banded in Homer

Oct. 17, 2018, will be one for the record books. The day began like many others, dealing with an injured bald eagle that needed transport… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Alaska blackfish on the Kenai

By MATT BOWSER Recently, I stopped by a shallow, scuzzy pond by Candlelight Drive in Kenai to look for Alaska blackfish. I had heard that… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: The impermanence of permafrost

By JOHN MORTON Ohio experienced a record-high temperature of 89 degrees last week as I was driving from Cleveland to Vermont. Strangely enough, I was… Continue reading

Where two cottonwood mix

By DAWN ROBIN MAGNESS The natural landscapes of the Kenai Peninsula host about 60 percent of Alaska tree species, but when it comes to Populus,… Continue reading