Chugach

National Forest - Alaska

The Chugach National Forest is located in south central Alaska. Covering portions of Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula and the Copper River Delta, it was formed in 1907 from part of a larger forest reserve. The Chugach includes extensive shorelines, glaciers, forests and rivers, much of which is untouched by roads or trails. It hosts numerous bird, mammal and marine species, including extensive shorebird habitat and a bald eagle population larger than the contiguous 48 states combined. Human industry in the forest includes extensive tourism and some mining and oil and gas operations.

location

maps

Map 1 of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Prince William Sound in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach MVUM - Map 1 - Prince William Sound 2024

Map 1 of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Prince William Sound in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map 2 of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Eastern Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach MVUM - Map 2 - Eastern Kenai Peninsula 2024

Map 2 of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Eastern Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map 3 of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Copper River Delta in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach MVUM - Map 3 - Copper River Delta 2024

Map 3 of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Copper River Delta in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Hope West Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Hope West - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Hope West Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Hope East Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Hope East - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Hope East Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Girdwood Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Girdwood - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Girdwood Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Twentymile Glacier Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Twentymile Glacier - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Twentymile Glacier Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Resurrection Creek Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Resurrection Creek - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Resurrection Creek Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Summit Lake Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Summit Lake - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Summit Lake Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Placer River Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Placer River - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Placer River Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Whittier Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Whittier - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Whittier Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Cooper Landing Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Cooper Landing - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Cooper Landing Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Moose Pass Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Moose Pass - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Moose Pass Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Wolverine Glacier Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Wolverine Glacier - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Wolverine Glacier Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Kings Bay Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Kings Bay - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Kings Bay Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Upper Russian Lake Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Upper Russian Lake - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Upper Russian Lake Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Lost Lake Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Lost Lake - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Lost Lake Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Winter Recreation Map of the Snow River Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Kenai Peninsula - Winter Recreation - Snow River - 2021/2022

Winter Recreation Map of the Snow River Area on the Kenai Peninsula in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Southern Trek part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Iditarod - Southern Trek

Map of the Southern Trek part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Turnagain Pass part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Iditarod - Turnagain Pass

Map of the Turnagain Pass part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Seward part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Iditarod - Seward

Map of the Seward part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Portage part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Iditarod - Portage

Map of the Portage part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Girdwood part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Iditarod - Girdwood

Map of the Girdwood part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Moose Pass part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Iditarod - Moose Pass

Map of the Moose Pass part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail Southern Trek (NHT) in Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of Designated Biking Trails at Chugach State Park (SP) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State ParksChugach - Chugach Bike Map

Map of Designated Biking Trails at Chugach State Park (SP) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks

Boundary Map of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kenai NWR - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. Published by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

brochures

Visitor Guide to Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach - Visitor Guide

Visitor Guide to Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Birds at Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach - Birds

Birds at Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure and Map of the Kenai-Russian River Confluence at Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach - Kenai-Russian River Confluence

Brochure and Map of the Kenai-Russian River Confluence at Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure of Portage Valley at Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach - Portage Valley

Brochure of Portage Valley at Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

A Guide to recreational goldpanning on the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Chugach - Gold Panning in the Chugach Valley

A Guide to recreational goldpanning on the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure of Common Trees of Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).USFS Alaska - Common Trees of Alaska

Brochure of Common Trees of Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure of Lichens of Alaska's South Coast. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).USFS Alaska - Lichens of Alaska's South Coast

Brochure of Lichens of Alaska's South Coast. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure Wildflowers of the National Forests in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).USFS Alaska - Wildflowers

Brochure Wildflowers of the National Forests in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure Mushrooms of the National Forests in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).USFS Alaska - Mushrooms

Brochure Mushrooms of the National Forests in Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure about Selected Invasive Plants of Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).USFS Alaska - Selected Invasive Plants of Alaska

Brochure about Selected Invasive Plants of Alaska. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Brochure about Alaska Burn Morels. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).USFS Alaska - Alaska Burn Morels

Brochure about Alaska Burn Morels. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Chugach NF https://www.fs.usda.gov/chugach/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chugach_National_Forest The Chugach National Forest is located in south central Alaska. Covering portions of Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula and the Copper River Delta, it was formed in 1907 from part of a larger forest reserve. The Chugach includes extensive shorelines, glaciers, forests and rivers, much of which is untouched by roads or trails. It hosts numerous bird, mammal and marine species, including extensive shorebird habitat and a bald eagle population larger than the contiguous 48 states combined. Human industry in the forest includes extensive tourism and some mining and oil and gas operations.
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST VISITOR GUIDE Table of Contents OVERVIEW...................................... 3 EASTERN KENAI PENINSULA........ 5 PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND.............. 7 COPPER RIVER DELTA.................... 9 CABINS IN THE CHUGACH......... 10 CAMPING IN THE CHUGACH..... 11 TRAIL GUIDE................................. 12 WATCHABLE WILDLIFE................ 13 VIEWING SAFETY......................... 14 VISITOR CENTERS........................ 15 BACKCOUNTRY GUIDE............... 15 ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS.....BACK COVER Welcome to the Chugach National Forest A breathtaking landscape in the heart of southcentral Alaska. The Chugach is the backyard for more than half of Alaska’s residents and is a coveted destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The most northerly and westerly forest in the National Forest System, the 5.4 million-acre Chugach National Forest is composed of three distinct landscapes and compares in size to the state of New Hampshire. The Forest is home to many of Alaska’s Native peoples, including Ahtna, Chugach, Dena’ina, and Eyak. Chugach National Forest hosts more than half a million visitors each year. Visitors explore the 3,500 miles of shoreline in Prince William Sound, the glacierstudded Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area, the Kenai Peninsula’s 175-miles of the Iditarod National Historic Trail-Southern Trek, or the Copper River Delta, the largest contiguous wetlands complex on America’s Pacific coast and a spring migration stopover for millions of shorebirds. While portions of Alaska are often considered remote, the Chugach is accessible through multiple routes. More than 500 miles of trails, 40 cabins, and 16 campgrounds provide plenty of opportunities to explore, making it a popular destination for those wanting to leave the bustle of the city behind. During the summer, our two visitor facilities – Begich, Boggs Visitor Center and Crooked Creek Information Site – showcase the cultural and natural history of the Forest. When the facilities are open, Forest Service staff lead guided hikes, discuss natural history aboard the MV Ptarmigan on Portage Lake, and point out areas of interest on Alaska Railroad trips to the popular Spencer and Grandview Whistle Stops. Spectacular fishing draws Alaskans and tourists to the Forest, where all five species of Pacific salmon can be caught in its pristine waters. The Forest’s 48,000 acres of lakes and 1,800 miles of streams produce 66 million salmon a year or 11% of Pacific salmon production. The Forest issues approximately 250 permits annually for activities such as guided summer and winter recreation, fishing, hunting, flightseeing, boat charters, rafting and kayaking, bird watching, scenic tours, and wildlife viewing. We urge you to take advantage of the nearly 120 permitted outfitters and guides to further your connection and experiences on the forest. This visitor guide is an overview of opportunities and facilities available on the Chugach National Forest. Enjoy exploring your National Forest. Jeff Schramm Forest Supervisor, Chugach National Forest Alaska Region Coordinated and written by Annette Heckart and Mona Spargo Maps created by Fay Dearing & Charles Lindemuth All photos are courtesy USFS unless otherwise noted Main cover photo of Ptarmigan Lake by Jenelle Wempner Spencer Glacier & owl photos by Ralph Radford. Kenai Lake photo by Annette Heckart. Designed by Timberdoodle Studio Get Out and Explore! There’s something for everyone on the Chugach National Forest. From the Kenai Peninsula to Prince William Sound, to the eastern shores of the Copper River Delta, the Forest is full of special places. Whether you have an hour or several days there are options galore for exploring. Here are just a few to get started. IF YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF HOURS: IF YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF DAYS: KENAI PENINSULA KENAI PENINSULA Visit the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center & Portage Valley • An hour’s drive south of Anchorage • Engaging exhibits and 20 minute film • View salmon spawning at Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform • Try your hand at the Agents of Discovery Portage Valley Mission Hike the Resurrection Pass Trail • Designated a National Recreation Trail • 38 mile trail with eight rental cabins and camping spots along the route • Varied terrain from thick forest to alpine meadows PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND Take a Kayak Trip in Prince William Sound PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND • Practice your kayaking skills • Observe busy bird rookeries • View sea life up close • Experience the vast bounty of the Sound • See magnificent glaciers sculpt the landscape • Breathtaking scenery COPPER RIVER DELTA COPPER RIVER DELTA • Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival • Copper River Salmon Jam • Cordova Fungus Festival Go Flightseeing Hike the Eyak River Trail Take in a Festival • 2.9 mile trail begins along the Eyak River • A wonderful variety of forest landscapes • Popular access site for anglers during the coho salmon runs RESPONSIBLE RECRE
Chugach National Forest Bird checklist ❑ American Robin Cool Fact The American Robin is one of the most common birds in North America. The oldest recorded American Robin was 13 years and 11 months old Field Marks Medium-sized songbird • Black and white streaked throat • Rusty red breast and sides • Yellow bill (often with black tip) ❑ Black-capped Chickadee Cool Fact Chickadee calls are complex and language-like, communicating information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls. The more dee notes in a chickadee-dee-dee call, the higher the threat level. Field Marks Small songbird • Black cap and throat • White cheek and nape • Buff or orangish sides • Brownish gray back ❑ Common Redpoll Cool Fact Common Redpolls can survive temperatures of -65° Fahrenheit. Field Marks Small, compact-bodied songbird • Small, conical yellow bill • Black on face at base of bill • Red cap with rosy tinge on breast of males ❑ Northern Shoveler Cool Fact When flushed off the nest, a female Northern Shoveler often defecates on its eggs, apparently to deter predators. Field Marks Medium-sized duck • Very long bill, wider at tip than at base • Male has iridescent green head, white chest and rusty sides ❑ Common Raven Cool Fact Common Ravens can mimic the calls of other bird species. They can even imitate human words. Field Marks Very large black bird • Long, shaggy throat feathers • Long, thick beak • Long feathers covering nostrils and base of bill ❑ Black-billed Magpie Cool Fact On their expedition, Lewis and Clark reported magpies boldly entering their tents to steal food. Field Marks Long and slender-bodied • Distinctive black and white plumage • White belly contrasts with head and chest ❑ Steller’s Jay Cool Fact The Steller’s Jay can mimic birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, chickens and some mechanical objects. Field Marks Large, stocky, songbird • Black upper body transitioning to deep, iridescent blue on wings and belly • Tall, spiky crest ❑ Bald Eagle Cool Fact Bald Eagles can live a long time, with a longevity record of 38 years in the wild. Field Marks Very large raptor with long, broad wings • White head and tail • Powerful yellow bill • Powerful talons ❑ Mew Gull Cool Fact The Mew Gull is the only “white-headed” gull that regularly uses trees for nesting. Field Marks Medium-sized to small gull • Unmarked yellow bill • Head and underparts white • Back medium gray • Wingtips black with white spots • Yellow legs ❑ Willow Ptarmigan Cool Fact It was named the official state bird of Alaska in 1955. The Willow Ptarmigan changes color from light brown in summer to snow white in winter for effective camouflage from predators. Field Marks Medium to large chicken-like bird • Thick bodied • Tail moderately short, rounded and black • Completely white in winter • Streaked rusty brown in summer photo credits: Milo Burcham, Alicia F. King, and the National Digital Library of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service www.fs.usda.gov/chugach
Kenai-Russian River Confluence Whether your visit includes connecting with your culture, nature, or harvesting food, we hope you enjoy your stay, and join us in respecting the cultural and natural resources. Chiqinik (Thank you)! ANGLER INFORMATION Tips for Catch & Release • If you’re planning to release a fish, keep it underwater at all times— this increases its chance of survival and reproduction. If you want a photo, keep the fish out of the water for less than 10 seconds. • Using barbless hooks and a rubber net makes it easier to release fish. Treat Your Catch with Care Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. By taking excellent care of your fish, you can look forward to many delicious meals. • Once landed, stun the fish quickly using a rock or small club. Bleed the fish by ripping the gills. • While on the river, whole fish can be kept cool on a 12-foot stringer (see retained fish regulations). • Plastic bags and ice can help keep the fish clean and cool until you are ready to process the meat. Fish Waste Attracts Bears! Bears eat fish heads, backbones, and other parts left behind from filleting. Reducing fish waste (and all human food sources) will help reduce bear-human conflicts. • • • Remove fish whole and fillet it offsite. (Take it home or to a local commercial fish processor.) If you must fillet onsite, use the cleaning tables at the Kenai-Russian confluence, or at the ferry. After filleting, cut carcasses into many pieces and throw them into fast-moving currents. Sportman’s Landing Boat Launch • Stringers of fish must be kept within 12 feet of you. • Pets must be leashed at all times. • Discharging a firearm is prohibited except in defense of life or property. No warning shots. No hunting. ST E Recreating in proximity to wild animals including moose and bears carries an inherent risk. Your safety is your own responsibility. KENAI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE • Stay on trails and make noise to prevent surprise encounters. • Do not run from bears. Running could trigger a pursuit. • Stay in a group and keep children close. • Follow all regulations at all times. They are designed to protect you, your family, and the bears. Russian River Trail 2.4 miles to falls CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST Russian River Falls Viewing Platform Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Weir • Immediately report all bear encounters to agency staff. For Anglers • If a bear approaches while you are reeling in a fish, cut the line. Do not let a bear get a fish from your line. • Keep a clean camp. Store all attractants in bear resistant containers or your vehicle. Entrance Station 600 Yard Marker (this section of river closed to all sport fishing. Open to subsistence fishing by permit only) • Carry accessible bear spray and be prepared to use it. For Campers WAY Russian River Campground For All Visitors • Don’t let bears get an easy meal of fish waste. Carry your catch out whole, or chop your fish waste into small pieces and throw them in fast-moving water. IGH K’Beq Heritage Site BEAR SAFETY BASICS Bears in Alaska have only a short season to find enough food to survive the winter. Both black and brown bears can be seen fishing in the rivers, resting on the banks, traveling along the trails and boardwalks and meandering through the campground. GH Russian River Ferry Failure to comply with these regulations is subject to citation. 50 CFR 36.39(i) (5) & (11) and 36 CFR 261.50 (a) and 36 CFR 261.10 (d). This area is NOT managed for bear viewing. Don’t approach or follow bears, or behave in other ways that cause conflicts between people and bears. RLIN ER The Dena’ina people have lived in this region, known as Sqilantnu (Ridge Place River), for thousands of years. It remains an important site for present-day Alaskans. • On the river, all personal items such as backpacks must be within 3 feet of you (preferably on you). RIV Each year, over 150,000 people visit the Russian River Campground, Ferry Access Site, Sportsman’s Boat Launch, Russian River Falls, Russian Lakes Trail and K’Beq’ Cultural Site. • ALL attractants and equipment used to cook and store food must be stored in a bear-resistant container, enclosed in a hard-sided camper or stored in your vehicle. IAN The Kenai-Russian River Confluence lies 110 miles south of Anchorage and 40 miles east of Soldotna, surrounded by the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. This unique area combines world-class fishing opportunities, important cultural heritage sites, and spectacular scenery. SPECIAL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT! Legend and regulations shown on other side of this flyer SS to the Kenai and Russian Rivers! Overview Map RU WELCOME Chugach National Forest, Seward Ranger District (907) 288-3178 For questions or more information about the Kenai-Russian River Confluence, please contact: Anchorage NORTH SCALE 1:2300 0 0.5 1 mile 2 km Lower Russian Lake Russian River Campground
Opened to the public in 1986, and rededicated with new exhibits in 2001, the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is built upon the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier in 1914. The visitor center offers a unique opportunity to learn about the Chugach National Forest. At 5.4 million acres, the Chugach is one of the largest national forests in the United States. Award-winning exhibits, educational presentations, the film “Retreat and Renewal” and information services are available to serve the public. 3. Explorer Glacier Viewing Area This area offers a great view of Explorer Glacier. Keep a lookout for signs of beaver activity in the area. Portage Valley offers visitors a lot to see and do, from hiking and camping, to fishing, wildlife viewing and photography. Here are a few places you won’t want to miss! 4. Tangle Pond Trout fishing opportunities exist. 5. Black Bear Campground A 13-site campground designed for tent and small RV camping. Cleared sites, campfire rings, bear-proof dumpster, bear-proof food containers, water pump, picnic tables and outhouses. No hookups or dump station. 1. Moose Flats Day Use Area A great spot to stop and have a picnic, enjoy a 1/2 mile walk on the interpretive boardwalk trail, or do a little trout fishing. 2. Alder Pond Try your luck or practice your technique at this trout fishing location. (humpy) and silver (coho). Williwaw Nature Trail starts here. This easy 1/2 mile trail connects the viewing platform to Williwaw ponds. The creek near the trail is closed to salmon fishing. the maintained trail is not recommended. Avalanche debris fields and cave-like structures are not stable and serious injuries or death may occur. Length 0.9 miles. Time: one hour round trip. Elevation gain: 100. 7. Williwaw Campground A 60-site fully accessible campground designed for RV and tent camping. Paved sites with pull-through style parking pads, campfire rings, bear-proof dumpsters, hand-water pumps, outhouses, picnic tables and bearproof food containers. No hookups or dump station. 10. Portage Glacier Cruises Hour long tours of Portage Lake to Portage Glacier, operated by Holland America under a special use permit with the Forest Service. Forest Service interpreters provide narration during each trip. Cruise operates from mid-May thru mid-Sept. For information on trip times, ticket prices and reservations call: 1-800-544-2206. 8. Williwaw Ponds Trout fishing opportunities exist. 6. Williwaw Salmon Viewing Platform Early August through mid-November you can see salmon traveling up the creek to spawn. Species normally seen are red (sockeye), chum (dog), pink 9. Byron Glacier Trail An easy to moderate trail along Byron Creek. Avalanche danger exists throughout winter into spring. Travel past el tunn ittier h to W ailro a d 3 Trail of Blue Ice 10 E GLAC L D GLAC ON If you plan on fishing, be sure to check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s fishing regulations before you go. e tag r Po s Pas SHAKESPEARE GLACIER corrid o Port a ge L ak r 9 IER d R CIE R GL RE A O 5 pad dlecr aft acce ss Portage Glacier Cruises BYR 2 Begich, Boggs Visitor Center 6 7 13. Portage Glacier Day Lodge Privately owned gift shop and restaurant operated year around under special use permit from the Forest Service. For more information, please call (907) 783-3117. e 4 1 8 aw lliw ail Wi re Tr tu Na MID ka R R IE to Seward 79.5 miles Alas Portage Hig hwa y roa Rail ska Ala The center is also available for special events, meetings, educational activities and may be rented. For more information call 907-783-2326 during the summer or 907-783-3242 year round. way Sce ni gh Hi The BEGICH, BOGGS VISITOR CENTER is open daily 9am-6pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. d to Portage boat tour & Byron Glacier Trail y wa By Portage Glacier Day Lodge to Anchorage Se 50 miles wa reek r Portage C 12. Gary Williams Moraine Nature Trail An easy, self-guided trail showing glacial effects upon the landscape. Length: 1/4 mile loop. Time: 20 minutes. Elevation gain: 25 ft. 11 toll booth & staging area scenic viewpoint & paddlecraft access EXPL T Blurail e I of ce c 13 12 CHUGACH MOUNTAINS lakeshore. Length: 2 miles. Time: Three-four hours. Elevation gain: 750 feet. 11. Portage Pass Trail Trail starts on the Whittier side of the tunnel. This moderate trail leads to Portage Pass with spectacular views of Portage Lake and Glacier, and the surrounding sub-alpine terrain, and continues to Portage Lake Begich, Boggs Visitor Center Portage Hwy. Points of Interest B GL URN AC S IER Begich, Boggs Visitor Center PORTAGE GLACIER N For more information about Portage Valley please contact: Why is the Ice Blue? Watchable Wildlife Wild Weather These rivers of ice remind us of times long past. Yet, today, these icy giants continue to exert their influence on the land. Their effects can be seen throughout South-central Alaska. Some of the more common signs of glaci
Gold Panning A Guide to recreational goldpanning on the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Alaska GOLD PANNING A guide to recreational gold panning on the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Alaska Written by Carol Huber Chugach National Forest, Anchorage, Alaska & Joseph Kurtak Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage, Alaska Technical assistance by Nathan Rathbun Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage, Alaska (formerly with the U.S. Bureau of Mines) Graphic design and editing by David L. Allen & Charles Lindemuth Chugach National Forest, Anchorage, Alaska Graphic art by Kathy Sarns Chugach National Forest, Anchorage, Alaska Contents Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Gold – Significance and Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Kenai Peninsula Mining – a History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Mining Right & Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Geology of the Northern Kenai Peninsula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Equipment you will need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 For your safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Where to look for gold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 How to pan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Kenai Peninsula gold panning areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 map1: Panning sites on the Kenai Peninsula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Bertha Creek panning area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 map 2: Bertha Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Six Mile Creek panning area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 map 3: Sixmile Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Resurrection Creek panning area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 map 4: Resurrection Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Crescent Creek panning area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 map 5: Crescent Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 How much gold have you found? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 A glossary of mining terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Further Reading… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 More Information… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Welcome Striking it rich! Finding the mother lode! ‘Tis the stuff of miners’ dreams. Unlike professional gold seekers, recreational gold panners benefit mostly from the adventure. The entire family can share in the fun of prospecting and gold panning. In this booklet, we explain basic gold panning techniques, how to find gold, discuss mining rights and guidelines, and identify areas available for recreational panning on the Chugach National Forest portion of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Recreational gold panning on lands withdrawn from mineral entry is not a mining activity—it is a privilege. Be aware that panning, sluicing, and suction dredging can adversely affect water quality, thereby impacting vegetation, fish, wildlife, and ultimately people. During the process of separating soil from minerals, silt may be washed into streams, creating turbid water. Fish, fish eggs, and the aquatic insects have difficulty living in heavily silted water because of its reduced oxygen supply. Avoid washing soil and vegetation into streams, and do not dig in stream banks. This increases silt in the stream and is also dangerous. Many banks are unstable and can slide without warning. To reduce silt, dig only in active stream gravels. Return rocks or boulders moved during your efforts to their original positions. Aquatic insects, an important food source for salmon, often make their homes under these rocks. A little care will help ensure a healthy water ecosystem for both miners and anglers. Good luck and good prospecting! 2 Gold – Significance and Use The brightness and ornamental beauty of gold have fascinated humans for at
Common Trees of Alaska United States Department of Agriculture Prepared by Forest Service Alaska Region R10-XX-XXX August 2009 Mountain hemlock – Tsuga mertensiana Needles • Light- to medium-green on top, with two whitish parallel lines beneath, needles are unequal in length from 1/4 to 7/8 inch long; • Blunt-tipped, soft, shiny, and flat, generally growing from two sides of branch parallel to the ground. Cones • Brown, oval-shaped, 5/8 to 1 inch long; • Thin, papery scales. Bark • Reddish-brown when young, turning graybrown; • Scaly when young, becoming thick and furrowed with age. Size at maturity and life span • 100 to 150 feet in height and 2 to 4 feet in diameter; • 200 to 500 years. Habitat and distribution • Sea level to subalpine areas; • Along Coast Range in central California to the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Needles • Dark green, white lines on both surfaces, moreor-less equal in length, 1/2 to 1 inch long; • Soft and growing from all sides of the branch in a bottle brush pattern. Cones • Purplish when young, brown when mature; • Cylindrical, 1 to 2-1/2 inches long; • Thin, papery scales. Bark • Divided into narrow flattened ridges, becoming thick and deeply furrowed with age; • Gray when young, turning reddish brown with age. Size at maturity and life span • 50 to 100 feet in height and 10 to 30 inches in diameter, can be prostrate in alpine; • Slow-growing trees, size 18 to 20 inches in diameter at 180 – 260 years; • 400 to 500 years Habitat and distribution • Sea level to 3,500 feet elevation; • From crest of the Sierra-Nevada in California to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Mountain hemlock – Tsuga mertensiana Western hemlock – Tsuga heterophylla Western hemlock – Tsuga heterophylla Alaska yellow-cedar Cupressus nootkatensis Needles • Scalelike shiny yellow-green. 1/16 to 1/8 inch long; • Springy, fan-shaped sprays of branches, turning up at ends; • Branch sprays flat and symmetrical, bottom side with white stomate markings. Cones • Brown, oval-shaped, 1/2 inch long; • Clustered near end of branches; • Cone scales overlap, woody, and curve outward at maturity. Bark • Fibrous and stringy; • Cinnamon-red when young, becoming gray with age. Size at maturity and life span • 70 to 100 feet in height in Southeast Alaska (growing much taller in southern part of range) and 2 to 4 feet in diameter (occasionally reaching 6 feet); • 300 to 700 years (occasionally 1,000). Habitat and distribution • Coastal forests; • Sea level to 500 feet in elevation; • From northwestern California to Southeast Alaska just south of Frederick Sound. Western redcedar – Thuja pilcata Alaska yellow-cedar – Cupressus nootkatensis Needles • Scalelike, overlapping, sharp pointed, 1/16 to 1/8 inch long; • Yellow-green to deep green; • Top and bottom of branch sprays similar, without apparent white stomate markings. Cones • Spherical about 1/2 inch in diameter; • Green, maturing to brown in 2 years; • Made of 4-6 shield-shaped scales, sharp central point on each scale, scales do not overlap. Bark • Shredding, grayish brown. Size at maturity and life span • Slow-growing trees; • 40 to 100 feet tall, and 1 to 2 feet in diameter; • Shrub-sized and contorted in bogs and at tree line; • Lives up to 1,500 years. Habitat and distribution • Wetland and subalpine forests; • Sea level to tree line; • From Oregon north along coast through Prince William Sound, Alaska. Western redcedar – Thuja plicata Sitka Spruce – Picea sitchensis White spruce – Picea glauca Alaska’s state tree Needles • Dark blue-green, squarish, 5/8 to 1 inch long; • Needles sharp, growing on all sides of branches from woody pegs, a character common to spruce. Cones • Light orange-brown, 2 to 3-1/2 inches long; • Usually found in the top quarter of tree, hanging down from branches; • Papery scales. Bark • Thin and smooth when young, developing scaly plates with age; • Gray, becoming dark purplish brown with age. Size at maturity and life span • 150 to 225 feet in height and 5 to 8 feet in diameter; • Grows to larger size in southern part of its range; • 500 to 700 years. Habitat and distribution • Well-drained, upland and riparian forests; • Sea level to tree line; • From northern California, northwest along the coastline to the Alaska Peninsula. Needles • 3/4 to 1 inch long, blue-green, four-angled with whitish lines on all sides; • Rigid, pointed, but not sharp to the touch; • Usually crowded on upper side of the branch. Cones • 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long, light brown; • Narrowly oblong, nearly stalkless, hanging down; • Scales thin and flexible with smooth margins. Bark • Thin, scaly to smooth; • Gray-brown, with white inner bark. Size at maturity and life span • 40 to 70 feet tall, 6 to 18 inches in diameter; • Reaches 80 to 115 feet tall, 30 inches in diameter; • Tree crown, narrow or spire-like; • Can live an age of 250 to 300 years. Habitat and distribution • From sea level to tree line on a wide variety of habitats; • Throughout southcentral
Lichens of Alaska’s South Coast United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Alaska Region R10-RG-190 July 2011 WHAT IS A LICHEN? Lichens are specialized fungi that “farm” algae as a food source. Unlike molds, mildews, and mushrooms that parasi ze or scavenge food from other organisms, the fungus of a lichen cul vates ny algae and / or blue-green bacteria (called cyanobacteria) within the fabric of interwoven fungal threads that form the body of the lichen (or thallus). The algae and cyanobacteria produce food for themselves and for the fungus by conver ng carbon dioxide and water into sugars using the sun’s energy (photosynthesis). Thus, a lichen is a combina on of two or some mes three organisms living together. Perhaps the most important contribu on of the fungus is to provide a protec ve habitat for the algae or cyanobacteria. The green or blue-green photosynthe c layer is o en visible between two white fungal layers if a piece of lichen thallus is torn off. Most lichen-forming fungi cannot exist without the photosynthe c partner because they have become dependent on them for survival. But in all cases, a fungus looks quite different in the lichenized form compared to its free-living form. HOW DO LICHENS REPRODUCE? Figure 1. Apothecia, fruiting bodies Figure 2. Soralia, small openings on thallus surface. Figure 3. Soredia, dust-like granules. Lichens sexually reproduce with frui ng bodies of various shapes and colors that can o en look like miniature mushrooms. These are called apothecia (Fig. 1) and contain spores that germinate and grow into the fungus. Each fungus must find the right photosynthe c partner in order to become a lichen. Lichens reproduce asexually in several ways. Some lichens have openings on the thallus surface called soralia (Fig. 2). Inside, ny dust-like granules called soredia (Fig. 3) are produced. Soredia contain algae and fungal cells that escape from the parent lichen and grow into a new lichen thallus. Other lichens produce outgrowths that break off and grow into the same lichen they came from. These are called isidia ( ny, cylindrical projec ons, Fig. 4) or lobules (li le flaps of ssue, Fig. 5). These structures are o en very important to no ce for the proper iden fica on of lichens. DIVERSITY AND ECOLOGY Lichens come in many shapes, Figure 4. Isidia, tiny projections. sizes, and colors. A lichen thallus has one of three general growth forms: foliose, fru cose, or crustose. Foliose lichens are leaf-like with different upper and lower surfaces. Fru cose lichens are hair-like or bushy with no Figure 5. Lobules, flaps of tissue. obvious difference between upper and lower surfaces. Crustose lichens are so closely a ached to a surface, like paint spots, that the lower surface is not easily observable. Lichens have specialized features enabling them to survive long periods of drought. In a dehydrated, inac ve state they can resist extreme high and low temperatures and s ll func on op mally whenever condi ons become just right. Well adapted for life in marginal habitats, lichens produce more than 500 unique biochemical compounds that serve to control light exposure, repel herbivores and microbes, and discourage compe on from plants. Among these are many pigments and an bio cs that are useful to humans. Lichens are considered to be nature’s pioneers because they colonize newly exposed surfaces. Lichens containing cyanobacteria fix their own nitrogen from the air into a form usable by other plants as a form of fer lizer. This form of nitrogen is released into the environment as rain washes over the lichens or when lichens die and fall to the ground. These lichen types tend to live in nitrogen-poor habitats such as bare rock surfaces, the forest canopy, or on sandy soils. Lichens provide food for many animals including flying squirrels, black-tailed deer, and mountain goats. Many invertebrates use lichens for food or for shelter. The diverse ecosystems along the south coast of Alaska provide abundant habitats for the more than 1,000 different lichens known to occur here. Some are very rare and cryp c. Many lichens are generalists and can grow in more than one habitat. Some lichens only grow in specific habitats such as upper dal rocks, conifer forests, alpine, or sandy soils near glaciers. LICHENS AND AIR QUALITY MONITORING Lichens are not protected by bark, nor do they possess an external waxy layer to prevent water loss like plant leaves. Lacking roots and other structures to transport food and water, lichens absorb moisture into the thallus directly from the humid air or rainfall, and can become quickly saturated like a sponge. Lichens dry out by losing moisture through evapora on when windy or dry condi ons exist. As drying occurs, elements and compounds that entered with moisture from the surrounding environment become concentrated in the lichen. During high rainfall periods, mobile nutrients and pollutants are slowly leached from the lichen. In this way lichen
Wildflowers of the National Forests in Alaska United States Forest Service Department of Alaska Region Agriculture R10-RG-201 MAR 2012 Liverleaf wintergreen Pyrola asarifolia Evergreen perennial, to 16" tall. Leaves stalked, arising from plant’s base, oval, with smooth margins, leathery and shiny. Flowers pink, numerous, bellshaped, attached to upper half of leafless central stalk. In forests and thickets from Juneau to north and west. Early blueberry Vaccinium ovalifolium Deciduous shrub, average 6' tall. Leaves with smooth to slightly toothed margins. Flowers pink to bronze, urn-shaped, emerge before or with the leaves. Fruit a spherical, dull or shiny, deep-blue to blackish berry. Common in forest understory, or in forest openings from sea level to subalpine. Edible. Alaska blueberry (pink-bronze flowers & shiny berries) is included here. PINK Fool's huckleberry Menziesia ferruginea Deciduous shrub, to 10' tall. Leaves with smooth margins, bluish-green, somewhat hairy. Flowers light pink to bronze, urn-shaped. Fruit, dry capsule. Common in forest understory from sea level to subalpine. Also called rusty menziesia, or false azalea. Northern bog rosemary Andromeda polifolia var. polifolia Evergreen shrub, to 15" tall, spindly habit. Leaves alternate along stem, leathery, edges rolled under, distinct web-like vein pattern above, powdery white beneath. Flowers pink, urnshaped. Common in peat bogs. Sea level to subalpine. Poisonous. Bog laurel Kalmia microphylla Evergreen shrub, to 20" tall, spindly. Leaves opposite along stem, dark green, leathery, shiny, with 1 main vein visible on top, edges rolled under, whitish beneath. Flowers pink to lavender, saucer-shaped, about 3/4" across. Peat bogs in southeast Alaska from sea level to subalpine. Poisonous. 2 Alpine azalea Kalmia procumbens Evergreen dwarf shrub, mat forming, appressed to the soil or exposed rock faces. Heavily branched with somewhat shiny leaves ¼” long or less, narrowly oval, with under-rolled leaf margins. Tiny flowers (a little less than ¼” wide) white to magenta, open bell-shaped with 5 shallow petals, upward facing. Fruit a dry capsule. Common in the alpine. Wandering fleabane Erigeron peregrinus var. peregrinus Perennial herb with a single stem to 20" tall. Leaves few, arising from base of plant, narrow toward base, stem leaves narrowly lance-shaped to oblong. Single daisy-like flower-head with light pink to purple ray flowers. Center of flowerhead yellow. Common in meadows and muskegs, from sea level to alpine. MAGENTA Rubus arcticus Small perennial herb to 6" tall. Erect stem with solitary flower and 2-5 leaves. Leaves 3-lobed, or with 3 leaflets, somewhat toothed, finely hairy. Flower with 5 deep pink to magenta petals, about 1" across. Fruit deep red, similar to a blackberry, about 2/3" across. Beach meadows, bogs, wet meadows. Delicious fruit highly prized for pies and jams. PINK Nagoonberry Salmonberry Rubus spectabilis Deciduous shrub to 13' tall. Stems prickly. Leaves with 3 sharply-toothed leaflets. Solitary flowers with 5 deep pink petals, 1" across. Fruit similar to a raspberry, yellow to red. Plant grows rapidly, forming dense thickets. Common in disturbed areas, forest edges, subalpine meadows. Fruit edible but watery and rather insipid, good for sauces and jam. Fireweed Chamerion angustifolium Perennial herb, from 3-10' tall. Unbranched stem erect with numerous lance-shaped leaves, flowers on upper half of stem. Many showy flowers to 1.5" across, with 4 deep pink petals. Produces fluffy airborne seeds. Can form spectacular stands in disturbed or burntover areas. Spring shoots are edible. Nectar produces excellent honey. 3 Dwarf fireweed Chamerion latifolium Perennial herb from 1-3' tall. Stem variously branched, reclining to erect. Leaves oval, margins smooth, fleshy with whitish "bloom". Flowers deep pink, large (1.5" across). Common in sandy areas, river bars, recently deglaciated areas, rocky areas in subalpine and alpine. Also called river beauty. Pretty shooting star Dodecatheon pulchellum Perennial herb, to 18" tall, leaves and flowering stems arising from plant's base. Leaves lance-shaped to spoonshaped, blunt, margins smooth. Showy flowers in few-flowered clusters atop leafless stem. Deep pink petals sweep back from the white, yellow and dark purple "center" or point of the flower. Abundant in coast­al and forest meadows, to alpine. MAGENTA Tall mountain shooting star Dodecatheon jeffreyi Perennial herb, to 18" tall, leaves and flowering stems arising from plant's base. Leaves lance-shaped to spoonshaped, blunt, margins smooth. Showy flowers in few-flowered clusters atop leafless stem. Deep pink petals sweep back from the white and dark purple "center" or point of the flower. Common in bogs. Mountain Indian paintbrush Castilleja parviflora var. parviflora Perennial herb, stems clustered, erect, to 18" tall. Leaves 3-5 lobed, hairy. "Flowers", deep pink to magenta, clustered on upp
Mushrooms of the National Forests in Alaska United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Alaska Region R10 - RG -209 FEB 2013 Introduction The coastal temperate rainforests of the Tongass and Chugach national forests often produce prolific fruitings of mushrooms in late summer and fall. For many Alaskans, mushrooms are a source of food. For others, they are a source of pigments for dyeing wool and other natural fibers. Still others merely enjoy their beauty. However, all Alaskans should appreciate these fungi for, without them, there would be no forests here. This brochure presents an introduction to mushrooms and illustrates a number of the more common and interesting of our local species to help Alaskans and visitors to better understand and enjoy our magnificent national forests. Unlike most plants, birds, and mammals, very few mushrooms have common names. Thus, while we have used common names where they exist, many of the species in this brochure can be referred to only by their scientific names. But, never fear. If you can talk with your kids about Tyrannosaurus rex, you can handle mushroom names! What is a mushroom? Mushrooms are produced by some fungi (singular: fungus), and their primary purpose is to make and spread tiny reproductive propagules called spores, which function much like plant seeds. After long being considered primitive plants, fungi now are accepted as their own kingdom. Unlike plants, fungi cannot make their own food, and their cell walls contain chitin rather than cellulose. Interestingly, chitin also is found in insect exoskeletons, providing evidence that the fungi are more closely related to animals (including us!) than they are to plants. Mushrooms arise from a mycelium (plural: mycelia), which is the actual “body” of the fungus and is comprised of a network of many tube-like microscopic filaments called hyphae (singular: hypha). Hyphae grow at their tips and are able to infiltrate a wide variety of substrates such as wood, leaf litter, soil, and even left-over pizza. Mushrooms to most people are umbrella-shaped structures with plate-like gills on the underside of their caps. However, besides the gilled mushrooms, there are others in many shapes and sizes, and they produce their spores in a variety of ways. Other major groups include chanterelles, boletes, polypores, spine-fungi, club- and coral-fungi, puffballs, jelly-fungi, cup-fungi, morels, false morels, and elfin saddles. Figure 1 shows the parts of a gilled mushroom. Learning the terminology will make it much easier for you to communicate with others about mushrooms and to make use of tools for identifying them. 2 U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Region Patch (remnant of universal veil) Cap (pileus) Cap margin Gills (lamellae) Ring (remnant of partial veil) Stalk (stipe) Volva (remnant of universal veil) Figure 1. Parts of a gilled mushroom. How do fungi reproduce? The primary purpose of a mushroom is to disperse spores into the environment in hopes that they will land in a location with suitable moisture, temperature, and nutrient conditions to germinate and grow into a new mycelium. Each mushroom is capable of producing anywhere from thousands to billions of spores, but only an incredibly tiny fraction of them are successful. Reproduction cannot occur unless the mycelium of one mating type merges with the mycelium of a compatible type. Once this has happened, sexual reproduction, including the formation of mushrooms and production of spores, can occur, completing the life cycle (Figure 2). Ecological Roles of Fungi While fungi are found in almost every environment, mushroom-forming species are especially prevalent in forests. There they play critical roles in nutrient cycling, soil aggregation, and water retention, as well as provide a food source for animals large and small. In general, the three main lifestyles of mushroom-producing fungi in forests are decomposer, mycorrhizal partner, and parasite. Mushrooms of the National Forests in Alaska 3 Figure 2. Life cycle of a typical mushroom fungus. Along with bacteria and other organisms, fungi break down all of the forest’s plant, animal, and microbial matter and make its components available for new generations of life. Fungi are particularly important in breaking down tough plant debris, as they are the only organisms capable of decomposing lignin, a major component of wood and other plant tissues. Many fungi form mycorrhizal (“fungus root”) associations with plants (Figure 3). This is mutually beneficial for both fungi and plants, as the plants receive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as water and protection from soil pathogens, and the fungi get sugars produced by the plants. All of Alaska’s trees require mycorrhizal fungi for survival and growth, as do nearly all other plants. Relatively few parasitic fungi produce mushrooms. Most of them, such as honey mushrooms (genus Armillaria) and some polypores (such as Phaeolus schweini
Selected Invasive Plants of Alaska 2004 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Alaska Region R10-TP-130B Produced by State & Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection When trying to identify an unknown plant, color photos often help. This pocket guide provides a selection of invasive plants found across Alaska today. This booklet is not intended to take the place of more comprehensive reference guides, but to help those unfamiliar with these species to begin to recognize them, as the first step towards taking action. Non-native invasive plants displace native vegetation, degrade wildlife habitat, and negatively affect human health, the economy, and the environment. Factors such as geographic isolation and harsh winters have protected Alaska from large-scale invasive plant infestations in the past. Recently, however, some of the most harmful noxious weeds of the lower 48 states have begun to grow and spread in Alaska. Many of the invasive plants featured in this booklet have been responsible for significant economic losses and environmental damage across North America over the past two centuries. Other species featured here (Siberian peashrub and European bird cherry) have been dependable components of Alaska’s urban landscape, but were included because they have recently been observed spreading aggressively into Alaskan wildlands and natural areas. There are many ways invasive plants are introduced to Alaska. Seeds and plant parts can travel in the root balls of nursery stock, in animal feed, tires, recreational equipment, or as components of wildflower seed mixes. Movement of people and equipment within natural areas and site-disturbing projects, such as road-building and construction, can create inroads for invasive plants. Alaskans have the chance to prevent invasive plant infestations before they become so widespread that control is costly and eradication impossible. This invasive plant booklet is designed to assist with identifying some of the most problematic species that are now moving along the roads, streams and beaches of Alaska. Thank you for doing your part to insure that these invasive plant species, and others like them, do not spread into Alaska's wildlands. Photos provided by the Forest Service or the UAF Cooperative Extension Service unless noted. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS Department of the Interior College of Rural Alaska Cooperative Extension Service Spotted Knapweed on Turnagain Arm In Alaska we are concentrating on prevention, early detection, and rapid response. Prevention: Keeping these invasive plant species from becoming established in Alaska is the highest priority. This booklet is a tool to help identify some of the species of greatest concern in Alaska. Early Detection & Rapid Response: Not only is it important to recognize these plants, but it is imperative that we find small infestations before they become too difficult to control. For example, spotted knapweed has been found five times within Alaska, but luckily these sites were discovered when the populations were less than 100 plants each. The Alaska Soil and Water Conservation Districts are in the process of forming “Cooperative Weed Management Areas” (CWMAs) across the state. The CWMAs will be actively involved in the detection, monitoring, and treatment of problematic invasive plant populations. For additional information about invasive plants in Alaska: Contact your local UAF Cooperative Extension Service office or appropriate local land management agency. Or visit: http://www.uaf.edu/coop-ext http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/spf/fhp/ http://www.cnipm.org/index.html To view or contribute to the state-wide database of exotic plants: http://akweeds.uaa.alaska.edu/akweeds2.html This document was produced by: Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry Tom Huette, USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry Jamie M. Snyder, UAF Cooperative Extension Service (see back pages for index) Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Sunflower Family • A perennial that grows to five feet tall with erect, ridged, branching stems. Leaves curled, wavy, oblong, alternate on stem with woolly hairs on underside. Leaves arise directly from the stem without a distinct leaf stalk. Flowers are purple-pink in clusters at the ends of branches. • Forms colonies via an extensive horizontal and vertical root system; can eventually cover acres. Also spreads by windblown seeds. Young plants appear as basal rosettes that bolt in late summer. Grows in fields, pastures, forests, and along roadsides, ditches, and river banks. • Restricts recreational land use, scratches and infects animal skin, and produces allelopathic chemicals to suppress surrounding vegetation. Very difficult to eradicate once established. Sunflower Family Forest Service • Alaska Region, September 2004 • www.fs.fed.us/r10/spf/fhp/ 1 Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) Bull Th
United States Department of Agriculture Alaska Burn Morels Most morels in Alaska grow in recently burned areas, with the greatest abundance typically found in the springtime, 1-3 years after a fire. Harvesting morels in recently burned areas can be hazardous. Be aware of unstable trees, ash pits with active embers, and slippery soils. It’s easy to get lost in burn areas, so carry a GPS or compass. Bears are active and hungry in the spring: make noise and carry deterrents. Be Bear Aware. Morels resemble other closely related species frequently found in similar habitats. These run the True Morels gamut from choice to deadly poisonous, so learning to identify true morels from “false” morels is critical. Any edible in this group should always be well-cooked. Raw and undercooked specimens are responsible for a large number of poisonings each year. ! True Morels (Morchella spp.) can vary in color. Typically those found in burn areas are dark brown, gray, or black. They have conic to rounded caps with a network of ridges and pits, are completely hollow, and a cap that is attached along its entire length to the stem. Morels are considered choice edibles Some people cannot tolerate morels even when well-cooked. Early False Morel (Verpa bohemica) can be very common in the spring, especially among alder and cottonwood. Its cap is bell-shaped, brown and wrinkled, and is only attached at the top of the stem. The stem is thick and white, and stuffed with fine cottony threads. Although commonly collected, this mushroom can cause gastric upset. ! Early False Morel Spring False Morels (Gyromitra esculenta) are frequently found in burn and natural areas when true morels are also out. The caps of this false morel are irregular to slightly lobed or saddle shaped with a brain like surface that varies from dull red to reddish brown or darker brown. The interior is folded, with one or more chambers. This mushroom can cause serious illness and death. Find out more about harvesting morels Spring False Morels The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (fire.ak.blm.gov) has updated fire information including fire history maps. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service (cespubs.uaf. edu) has a useful publication about morels. Be aware of land ownership as rules with regards to personal or commercial morel harvesting varies by land owner or land management agency. all photos ©Noah Siegel Forest Service Alaska Region Chugach National Forest fs.usda.gov/chugach May 2020

also available

National Parks
USFS NW
Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Minnesota
Montana
Nevada
New Mexico
North Carolina
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
Wyoming
Lake Tahoe - COMING SOON! 🎈
Yellowstone
Yosemite