Documenting habitat

Beginning in 2005, Bob Christensen and I [Richard Carstensen] developed a protocol for rapid field assessment—new-age ground-truthing—that builds on timeless naturalists’ skills and adds cutting edge technologies as these emerge.

Office tent at Emerald Bay, June, 2005. Distant generator on long extension cord is powering 2 laptops and recharging batteries from cameras, GPS units and radios. Kenyon Fields photo.

Office tent at Emerald Bay, June, 2005. Distant generator on long extension cord is powering 2 laptops and recharging batteries from cameras, GPS units and radios. Kenyon Fields photo.

 

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Ground-truthing technology

Ground-truthing technology for field & office

This three-pager lists some of the tricks Bob Christensen and Richard Carstensen learned beginning in 2005 while developing a protocol for rapid field assessment.  New-age ground-truthing builds on timeless naturalists’ skills and adds cutting edge technologies.

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amphibcover

Habitat Use of Amphibians in Northern Southeast Alaska

This is a study of six amphibian species in Southeast Alaska.  In this study you will find detailed information on population numbers and habitats.  You will also find analyses of pond origin types, and amphibian natural history observations.  Amphibian populations are in danger across North America, and this study lays an important foundation for future studies on toads, frogs, salamanders, and newts in Southeast.

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Landmark Tree stand on Peterson Creek, Douglas Island. At 200 feet, this is one of the tallest known trees in the CBJ.

Juneau-Area Landmark Trees

Landmark Tree stand on Peterson Creek, Douglas Island. At 200 feet, this is one of the tallest known trees in the CBJ.

Landmark Tree stand on Peterson Creek, Douglas Island. At 200 feet, this is one of the tallest known trees in the CBJ.

 

As you might expect, our highest-scoring Landmark Tree stands are on the central and southern Tongass. But we’ve measured 10 sites within the City and Borough of Juneau. One, on Cowee Creek, ranks 31st of 71 Tongass stands; others rank 52 through 71, in the bottom quarter of the pool. Northeast of the blue line on the map below, most alluvial Landmark Tree forests have tall but relatively young trees. Stands are almost pure spruce, with dominants roughly the same age. Where the Little Ice Age was most pronounced, increased flood frequency and severity apparently removed the all-aged alluvial stands with stronger hemlock/blueberry component that we find more commonly to the south.

 

71 Landmark Tree sites color-coded for substrate type. Dot sizes are scaled to overall stand score. CBJ’s largest trees are smaller than those of the central and southern Tongass.

71 Landmark Tree sites color-coded for substrate type. Dot sizes are scaled to overall stand score. CBJ’s largest trees are smaller than those of the central and southern Tongass.

 

The Landmark Trees stand score is an ‘index of majesty’ that may have little to do with ecological value. What most alluvial spruce forests share—regardless of tree size—are berries and salmon who attract bears and myriad other visitors. Forested salmon streams export annual surplus to neighboring terrestrial and marine habitats. We call this streamside forest the heart of the Tongass.

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Landmark Trees Project – Kake

This is an interpretive guide for the Hamilton Forest, a landmark tree area near Kake.  You will find descriptions of individual trees, a list of plant species, a brief natural history of the region, maps, diagrams, and more.

Download Here (3.2MB): PDF_Download

 

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Landmark Trees Project – Ketchikan

This is a comprehensive guide to the Ward Forest, a Landmark Trees Forest near Ketchikan.  Part one focuses on individual trees and the natural history of the forest, and part two offers context for large tree forests in the region.

Download Here (3.2MB): PDF_Download

 

 

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Landmark Trees Project – Petersburg

This is a guide to Ohmer Creek Forest, a Landmark Trees area near Petersburg.  In part one you will find information on individual trees and on the area’s natural history.  In part two you will find context for the large tree forest areas in the region.

Download Here (3.3MB): PDF_Download

 

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Landmark Trees Project – Sitka

This Landmark Trees project report from Sitka, AK covers the Gavan Forest.  Part one of the report is a tree-by-tree description of the forest, and part two gives context for big tree forests across the region.

Download Here (3.2MB): PDF_Download

 

mend-IBA

The Mendenhall Wetlands: a globally recognized Important Bird Area

The Mendenhall Wetlands have long been recognized as an important habitat for a large variety of birds.  This book provides an exhaustive picture of this federally recognized “Important Bird Area.”  It begins with a brief history of how the wetlands came to fall under environmental protection, and goes on to describe the birds that call the area home. You’ll also find information on vegetation, mammals, invertebrates, and ecological interactions in the wetlands.  The pages are complimented by wonderful color photographs of birds.

Download Here (6MB): PDF_Download