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Make preparations now for wonderful, safe, springtime walks

"Hurumph!" This is a sound you never want to hear from the woods when you are walking along a trail.
Refuge Notebook: Thousands of feet on the ground are a challenge in Changbai Mountain, China

I had the honor of serving as one of six delegates representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region, at the second annual Changbai Mountain International Ecological Forum last month in Jilin Province, northeast China.
Funny River wildfire crews work on rehabilitation

Rehabilitation for the 195,858 acres Funny River Horse Trail wildfire firebreaks are complete, almost exactly a month after the blaze was first reported on May 19.
Refuge Notebook: Gary Titus honored with Sense of Wonder Award

Gary Titus, a ranger at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, was honored as the 2013 winner of the Alaska Region U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Sense of Wonder Award.
Refuge Notebook: Integrated technology brings nature into focus

"Check it out!" An excited voice echoes up the trail, mixing with the fluttering whisper of aspen leaves and the raucous call of a distant raven.
Refuge Notebook: New Visitor Center Becoming Reality

Up from the icy ground adjacent to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Soldotna, a building has grown.
Girl Scouts take on science

A handful of Girl Scouts of Alaska stood scooping mouthfuls of handmade ice cream in plastic bags in what would have been a presumably empty classroom on a Saturday afternoon at Kenai Peninsula College.
Refuge Notebook: Season's change sends some animals packing

It's the time of year when we are pulling out the warm winter blankets and changing over to studded tires on our vehicles. The chill in the air and leaves on the ground are easy reminders that we should be preparing for winter. Today as I was driving to work, a black figure above a lamp post caught my eye. A common raven, noticeable against the gray sky, took off from the post and flapped into the brisk wind, gaining altitude, and then glided down towards the trees. Then, like an acrobatic pilot during an air show, this talented bird flipped upside down in flight, wings outstretched, until flipping back upright. He did this several more times while I was stopped at the Bridge Access traffic light, and I became an unintended audience to a much practiced aeronautical feat. Have you ever been treated to a raven's in-flight gymnastics? It can be quite a show!
Refuge notebook: Dark skies, new telescope cause for celebration

On a recent winter's night one of our Refuge biologists out doing owl surveys in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area witnessed a convoy of cars heading down the icy road. These visitors weren't headed to a special ice fishing trip or campout.
Refuge notebook: Time for Refuge Clean Up Green Up

Spring has finally sprung here on the Kenai Peninsula. Even though we saw snowfall as recently as last week, the sun's warmth has melted the tall berms into jagged shards then into deep muddy puddles.


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