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When Dorothy Alder was eight months pregnant her snowmachine broke down in the backcountry of the St. Elias Mountains. She was alone and without snowshoes. The trek through deep snow was made worse by the extra weight she was carrying. "Moral of the story: you never know when you're going to be stuc...

Fri, 11/04/2011 - 9:31am

I arrived in Washington too late this year for the king salmon season on the Samish River, but it's just as well. On the fishwhatcom.com forum, anglers refer to the Samish as "The Ditch" and "Shame Channel." It's certainly no Kenai River. The lower Samish, where the salmon fishing happens, flows slu...

Fri, 11/04/2011 - 9:24am

As a fledgling biologist back in the early 1980s, I helped with the Section 1002 baseline studies on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and later flew surveys for migrating whales out of Barrow and Deadhorse. These studies aimed to assess the impacts of oil and gas development, both onshore and offshor...

Fri, 10/28/2011 - 9:43am

I wrote in this column last week that the Samish River's habitat and water quality had been degraded by sedimentation, elevated temperature, fecal contamination, and alteration and loss of riparian area. Earlier this week I saw evidence of all of that and more. Many small tributaries flow into the 3...

Fri, 10/28/2011 - 9:34am

It was better than Christmas. I was handed the much anticipated Kenai Peninsula 2008 LiDAR data. For a GIS (Geographic Information System) analyst, it is like ice cream to a baby, and we were given 500 gigabytes of the stuff. I've distributed portions of the data to geologists and engineers, only to...

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 10:33am

BELLINGHAM, WASH. — The other day, I walked — or tried to walk — along the Samish River, I place I hadn’t been in more than 50 years. The Samish starts in the hills of northwestern Washington, winds past houses and farms and ends up in Samish Bay, Puget Sound. Compared to streams on the Kena...

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 10:24am

A killer is stalking the waters of Southcentral Alaska, lurking in the shadows and ambushing our wild salmon and trout! Many Southcentral lakes and streams are already empty of everything but the killer: northern pike. Soon many of our sportfishing opportunities may be gone. This message is part of ...

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:06am

In Week One as a snowbird from Alaska wintering in Washington state, two events stand out: holding my day-old great-granddaughter, Emilynn, and fishing on the Skagit River with my grandson, Doug Palmer. A few weeks ago, when I first told Doug that I'd be in Washington for the fall and winter, I'd hi...

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:01am

On December 16, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8979 establishing the Kenai National Moose Range. The eve of its 70th anniversary presents an ideal moment to reflect on the history of the Moose Range, later to become the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. In Part I of this ...

Fri, 09/30/2011 - 10:16am

This isn't about king salmon. It's more important than that. Eating can be one of the great pleasures of life. The trouble with pleasures is that they can be taken to extremes, which was my problem. Looking around, I've noticed that I'm not alone. Two out of three people seem to have the same proble...

Fri, 09/30/2011 - 10:11am

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