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.


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 2021

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 2021

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 2021

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).

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 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).

Chugach NF 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 2016 VISITOR GUIDE CAMPING page 10 WILDILFE page 12 VISITOR CENTERS page 15 Welcome Table of Contents Overview.....................................3 Eastern Kenai Peninsula........5 Prince William Sound..............7 Copper River Delta..................9 Camping and Cabins............ 10 Trail Guide................................ 11 Wildlife...................................... 12 Bears.......................................... 13 Backcountry Guide............... 14 Visitor Centers........................ 15 Chugach National Forest VISITOR GUIDE Forest Coordinators & Contributors: Nick Racine, Alicia King, Mona Spargo, Annette Heckart, and Charles Lindemuth Cover: [top] Summit Lake on the Kenai Peninsula. [bottom]: Kayakers in Chugach National Forest. Photos courtesy of Chugach National Forest. to the Chugach National Forest! The Chugach National Forest, one of two national forests in Alaska, serves as the “backyard” for over half of Alaska’s residents and is a destination for visitors. The lands that now make up the Chugach National Forest are home to the Alaska Native peoples including the Ahtna, Chugach, Dena’ina, and Eyak. The forest’s 5.4 million acres compares in size with the state of New Hampshire and comprises a landscape that includes portions of the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, and the Copper River Delta. The Chugach National Forest: • Is home to thousands of glaciers; • Contains over 3,500 miles of shoreline; • Includes the Copper River Delta, the largest contiguous wetlands complex on North America’s Pacific coast; • Includes the Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area at almost a third of the forest acreage; • Produces 66 million salmon a year (11% of Pacific salmon production) via stream and lake habitat for all five species of pacific salmon; • Incorporates more than 180 miles of the Iditarod National Historic Trail known as the Southern Trek; and • Provides world-class recreation and fishing experiences. This visitor guide provides an overview of opportunities available to residents and visitors. These opportunities involve your own planning or could incorporate one of our outfitters and guides who are permitted to provide quality experiences within the forest (i.e. rafting, fishing, hunting, hiking). We also provide U.S. Forest Service ranger-led interpretive programs at our Begich, Boggs Visitor Center and Crooked Creek Information Site as well as at other locations on and off the forest in partnership with tourism businesses such as: • The Alaska Railroad Whistle Stop (Anchorage/Portage) • Major Marine Tours and Phillips Cruises (Whittier) • Portage Glacier Cruises (Portage Lake) Get Out and Explore! Hop on a train for a drive-free option into the Chugach National Forest, plan a multiple day trip to access remote primitive campsites, attend the famous Cordova Shorebird Festival, or visit the world-class interactive exhibits at Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. There is something for everyone on the Chugach. From the Kenai Peninsula to Prince William Sound, to the eastern shores of the Copper River Delta, the forest is full of special places. People come from all over the world to experience the Chugach National Forest and Alaska’s wilderness. Not only do we welcome international visitors, but residents from across the state travel to recreate on Chugach National Forest lands. Whether you have an hour or several days there are options galore for exploring. We have listed just a few here to get you 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 • One hour south of Anchorage • World class exhibits and 20 minute film • Hike Byron Glacier Trail to view a glacier • View salmon spawning at Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform Hike the Resurrection Pass Trail • Designated a National Recreation Trail • 40 mile trail with eight rental cabins and camping spots along the route • Varied terrain from thick forest to alpine meadows Prince William Sound Go flightseeing • Experience the bounty of the sound in an afternoon • See magnificent glaciers sculpt the landscape • Breathtaking scenery Take a Kayak Trip in Prince William Sound • Practice your kayaking skills • Explore busy bird rookeries • View sea-life up close • Rent a primitive cabin Copper River Delta Copper River Delta Hike the Eyak River Trail • 2.9 mile trail begins along the Eyak River • A wonderful variety of landscapes, forest, muskeg, alder, and dense grass • Popular access site for anglers during the coho salmon runs Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival • Birder’s paradise • Millions of shorebirds • Community events, workshops, and educational opportunities Prince William Sound Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks. The Chugach National Forest Visitor Guide is published by the Alaska Geographic Association in cooperation with Chugach National Forest. Whether it’s your first tri
Begich, Boggs Visitor Center 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 an unique opportunity to learn about the Chugach National Forest, America’s second largest national forest. Award-winning exhibits, educational presentations, the film “Voices from the Ice,” information services, and an Alaska Natural History Association bookstore are available to serve the public. Points of Interest 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! 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. 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. 4. Tangle Pond Another trout fishing location in the valley. 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. 6. Williwaw Fish Viewing Platform Late July through early September you can see salmon traveling up the creek to spawn. Species normally seen are red (sockeye), chum (dog), and pink (humpy). 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. 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 bear-proof food containers. No hookups or dump station. 8. Williwaw Ponds Trout fishing opportunities exist. 9. Byron Glacier Trail An easy to moderate trail along Byron Creek to the snowfield at the foot of Byron Glacier. Avalanche danger exists throughout winter and into spring. Length: 0.8 miles (rough trail surface). Time: one hour round trip. Elevation gain: 100 ft. Trail of Blue Ice ls Portage Glacier Day Lodge BEGICH, BOGGS VISITOR CENTER HOURS Summer Winter Sunday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Tuesday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Wednesday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Thursday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Summer hours begin on Memorial Day weekend and run through the end of September. Winter hours subject to change due to weather closures. Call (907) 783-2326 (Begich, Boggs Visitor Center) or (907) 783-3242 (Glacier Ranger District) for the current hours of operation. tu e nn 10. Portage Glacier Tours 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 through midSeptember. For information on trip times, ticket prices and reservations call: (907) 783-2983. 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. Length: 1 mile. Time: One-two hours. Elevation gain: 750 feet. Tunnel schedule information is available by calling (907) 566-2244 from Anchorage or toll-free (877) 611-2586. 12. Gary Williams Nature Trail (see circular map) An easy, self-guided trail showing glacial effects upon the landscape. Length: 1/4 mile loop. Time: 20 minutes. Elevation gain: 25 ft. 13. Portage Glacier Lodge (see circular map) 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. If you plan on fishing, be sure to check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s fishing regulations before you go. Glaciers Begich, Boggs Visitor Center Glacier Ranger District PO Box 129, Girdwood, AK 99587 (907) 783-2326 or (907) 783-3242 or Chugach National Forest 3301 C Street, Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 743-9500 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 glacial activity include: U-shaped valleys Rocks embedded along the sides and bottom of the glacier create the same erosive qualities as a large piece of sandpaper, scouring the mountainside. This, along with silt and gravel deposited by the glacier, create steep-walled, flat-bottomed (or U-shaped) valleys l
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: To view or contribute to the state-wide database of exotic plants: 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 • 1 Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) Bull Th

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