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Having the opportunity to become a park ranger for the summer at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has been a truly unique experience. Talking one-on-one with fellow Alaskans as well as visitors hailing from Germany to Georgia, and everywhere in between, has been incredibly informative. One of the ...

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 9:25am

The dictionary that hides in my Mac says “feisty” means “having or showing exuberance and strong determination.” That’s a fitting description of the chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta), the feistiest of the five species of Pacific salmon in Alaskan waters. My first run-in with a chum came in t...

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 9:16am

“So what exactly does your job entail?” This question is followed up quickly by another fishermen’s tongue-in-cheek answer of “what a job to check licenses.” As a law enforcement officer at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, I reply with a smile, “yes, that’s part of it”, while maki...

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 9:41am

We got to San Antonio de Areca, near Buenos Aires, by nightfall and camped in a crowded park spilling over with visitors here for Carnaval.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 9:36am

(Author’s note: With humpback salmon now running in the Kenai River, this is a good time to run this story in the Clarion. It first appeared in Alaska magazine in August 2001. It has been edited for brevity.)  When someone says the fish are so thick, you can walk across the river on ...

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 9:29am

I spent last week “bear viewing” at the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary on the other side of the Cook Inlet. I put quotation marks around this activity because it was so much more than just watching brown bears do their thing in the wild. It was about  interacting with bears in a way that...

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 9:38am

My sister and I only had three days left before our plane left Buenos Aires. We’d been all the way down to the Southernmost city, Ushuaia, up through Chile to the Atacama Desert, and made it to Iguazu Falls. There was only one more place I really wanted to go: Ibera wetlands. Lonely Planet said it was the place to see wildlife.


Fri, 08/03/2012 - 9:33am


Fri, 08/03/2012 - 9:20am

You hear it at Alaska Board of Fisheries meetings. During the public testimony part of the goings on, after most everything has been said on the subject of how the board should allocate salmon, some naive soul inevitably says, “There’s enough fish for everyone.” I thought about that remark Wed...

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 9:16am

Robert Frost quotes the 17th Century proverb “good fences make good neighbors” in his Mending Wall poem. He questions why fences make good neighbors, asking what he was walling in or walling out, and to whom he may be giving offence by building a wall. He concludes his musings by asking “Why d...

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 9:49am


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