Nexus!

The Herbert and Eagle Rivers meet below Glacier Highway, 28 miles north of Juneau. It is an astoundingly productive and beautiful confluence.

LiDAR topography at mouth of Asx'ee, twisted tree (Eagle River). Colored for elevation. Upper edge of bright green is limit of high tide at peak of Little Ice Age.

LiDAR topography at mouth of Asx’ee, twisted tree (Eagle River). Colored for elevation. Upper edge of bright green is limit of high tide at peak of Little Ice Age.

 

On a rare clear day in late October, 2015, with my 3DR Solo quadcopter, I ‘flew’ the flats just west of their confluence.  Toward the end of this 1-minute video, you’ll see an anomalous-looking mowed-grass mound that also clearly shows on the preceding bare-earth map—remnant from the days when it was okay to mine gravel from the banks of our finest salmon streams. Bob Armstrong says at salmon time many bears fish here, apparently mostly at night. They also dig for roots—of which species we haven’t determined.

EagleRiver-bear-flats from Richard Carstensen on Vimeo.

herbert-eagle-confluence from Richard Carstensen on Vimeo.

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Eagle Beach Maps & Historical Series

This compilation of maps, recollections, and natural history was created by Carstensen to serve as a general guide for the area around the Eagle River Scout Camp.

Download Here (7MB): PDF_Download

 

 

Herbert Glacier Trail

The Herbert and neighboring Eagle Glaciers advanced and receded synchronously with the much better known Mendenhall. They’ve always been strenuous hikes, but recession off their floodplains up into rugged hills makes them annually more challenging destinations. Fortunately for those of us with ever gimpier knees, you can now ride much of the way to Herbert Glacier on a bicycle.

Trail to Herbert Glacier, with dated recessional moraines from the work of Donald Lawrence. Yellow circles show successional stages where we collected fungi in 1984.

Trail to Herbert Glacier, with dated recessional moraines from the work of Donald Lawrence. Yellow circles show successional stages where we collected fungi in 1984.

Methodist Camp

Methodist Camp

From Richard Carstensen:
Discovery Southeast has deep roots at this wonderful facility. In the mid-1980s, when I was caretaker of the Scout camp just across the river, 4 master-teachers at Harborview Elementary School bused their classes to Methodist Camp for winter skiing-tracking overnights, and week-long camps in May. I began assisting with these programs, and pretty soon the idea of Discovery was hatched.

Of course Discovery’s history here only goes back 30 years or so. Folks like Judy Maier and Mary Lou King have welcomed students to Eagle River since the 1950s, before there was even a bridge across the river. For a history of the camp, see Mary Lou’s 90 short walks around Juneau.

Methodist Camp. Above: bare earth and tree heights from LiDAR digital elevation model. Below: May 2013 color infrared.

Methodist Camp. Above: bare earth and tree heights from LiDAR digital elevation model. Below: May 2013 color infrared.

 

From boardwalk at west end of Methodist Camp, a 34-second experiment with cable-cam mode for smoother panning. View rotates northward over the 160-foot spruces on alluvial fan of Mayfly Creek

6 mayfly cablecam from Richard Carstensen on Vimeo.

Natural History of Juneau Trails: A Watershed Approach

$24.00

If you or someone on your gift list enjoys Juneau’s outdoors, this book is for you.  It is packed with information for the hiker, hunter, or any student of the outdoors.  Richard’s insightful text, full color maps, and dozens of recent and historic photographs explain the landforms, water features, and natural environments Juneau residents navigate every day.  Dive in for a whole new understanding of the areas you love to explore, with one of Southeast Alaska’s foremost naturalists.

Summer 2003 Newsletter, Risen Valleys: Wildlands ‘out the road.’

In our Summer 2003 newsletter you’ll find an article by Katy Hocker on the “risen valleys” area between Amalga Harbor and Eagle River.  Hocker discusses wildlife in the area, and offers suggestions for human use.  Hocker also looks at the impact of dogs on wild area in her article “Dog day thoughts.”  You will also find a tracking “puzzle” and a page from Hocker’s field notebook.

Download Here (2.9MB): PDF_Download

 

Wildlife “Out the Road”

This is a report from Richard Carstensen  to the Southeast Alaska Land Trust on habitats and wildlife use of glacially-rebounding valleys from 25 to 28-mile Glacier Highway in Juneau. They call this area “risen valleys,” and in the report you can trace animal use and habitat descriptions for this remarkable portion of Southeast Alaska. This report contains extensive habitat descriptions, photographs, and animal descriptions.

Download Here (4.2MB): PDF_Download