Boat loading ambi
Discussion about Landmark trees; Landmark trees; Beverly Skaggs
Discussion about the local area and Landmark trees; Landmark trees; Sam Skaggs
Landmark trees; Sam Skaggs
Landmark trees; Richard Carstensen
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
20 Jul 1998
AlaskaKenai Peninsula County
- Auk Bay
- 60.02611 -148.44139
Stereo=2: 1=L, 2=R; Decoded MS stereo
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Alaska - 7/20/98
reporter: Chris Joyce
recorded in MS
AUK BAY - getting prepared to get on boat
name of boat is Magister - means crab also teacher
2:00 - 2:10 ambi - walking to boat on noisy ramp
walking and talking as we go to boat - NG
7:29 SS - ok , the mighty Magister - we have arrived.
Ambi on boat through 7:47
sam talking to Bev - NG
8:01 CJ - aluminum boat
8:11 - 8:14 SS - light, fast, sea-worthy (off mike - NG)
8:15 - packing the boat -
SS - I am going to pack here - you guys hand me things and I will pack - what you could do is repack the cooler¿..
9:08 - CJ - I see you like bagels -
SS - well, we have to support those guys I guess¿
9:45 - rustling as the boat is packed - plane flies by - SS - packing with lots of talking THROUGH 11:13
11:33 on dock by boat - sound of area - plane flies by - some rustling in bg
12:52 SS - ok¿(some talking ) - that¿s our portable ballast -
G 14:52 SS - ok, check out our radio - a lot of movt - G - though 16:11
16:46 Bev Skaggs - I have not been out on LMT trip - I would love to go
CJ - how often has he been doing it?
BS - 4 years I think¿.he comes home and says - I got to bring you guys out to this wonderful spot - I think when the kids are older I think it will happen. This is a regular occurrence. Every time he goes out he comes back and says - you have to see this place
CJ - how does this project compare to the other projects that have taken over his life
BS - I think he is more willing to do this for less financial remuneration I think his heart is really in it - I think I can say that about most things he does, but I think this one is definitely taken over in a big way - it is pretty important to him.
CJ - so do your kids go tell their friends what does my daddy do when he is out in the woods?
17:53 BS - I don¿t know if they really have a concept, bc you know they have grown up seeing the old growth out where we hang out during the summer and they have an idea what it is, but I don¿t think they really have a concept of what the project is yet
18:08 CJ seems like it is a whole family deal for you guys
BS - it definitely is - it is very important for our kids to have that time in the woods - it is how they have grown up - they expect those trees to be there
CJ - so he goes off what a week at a time to do this? -
BS - yeah - a week at a time
CJ - is that a pain?
BS - it is alright -we do alright w/o him¿.haven¿t gone out on a charter on the arcturus - I usually do what I am doing right now - push him off from dock and say good bye¿.
CJ - what about friends in juneau
BC - actually a lot of my friends have gotten involved in this project bc it is so captivating - a lot of people that didn¿t know anything about it and just knew him came and heard the talk that these guys did a while back and it really lights a lot of sparks once people start realizing what is happening.
19:33 - my name is Bev Skaggs - I live in Juneau
19:46-20:19 ambi of place where Cj spoke with BS
20:54 SS - safety first - the boat is aluminum - obviously you don¿t want to get too close to the side bc you could fall over - you are welcome to walk around on the deck however when we first take off I need all the weight forward¿.there are life jackets - the Mae West type way up in the bow¿22:25 - this is a 30 foot boat, 296 an 8 foot beam, roughly 3 ½ feet of free board. It is made out of aluminum¿¿extremely sea-worthy boat¿.this is my car and I hand troll off this boat with my family, off of Jacobi Island onthe outer coast
CJ - so show me where we are going -
23:12 SS - ¿I can go grab the chart¿.here is a nautical chart, pretty large scale so it shows pretty much - here is where we are - we are in Auk Bay right here, we are going to leave Auk Bay here and we are going to go over to - Portland island to the port and we will go around Port Retreat -
CJ - that is going Northwest
SS - yeah, we will be heading NW in an almost due west coming down through what we call Lynn Canal - the lower part of Lynn Canal. We will pass Point Cougardem (?) - actually we will be on this side so we will pass Funter bay then we are going to head down into Chatam Straight and then we are going to take a right and go into Tenakee Inlet. From Tenakee inlet (sound of chart being moved about) then - we are on this forest chart - and we will be coming in right here - this is Chichagof Island 24:25 - of the ABC islands - Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof - Chichagof is the second largest island in the southeast -
24:37 RC - it is so penetrated by these fijords that if you raise the sea level a hundred feet or to it - it would divide into quite a few islands - there are some really some narrow shallow passes that what Richard is saying is that if you raise this area a hundred feet this would probably flood here. But we are going all the way up to the head of Tenakee inlet to a place called Goose Flats and there we are going to be measuring what we think is a pretty large stand of trees. We will have to ford a little river to get over there but we will be spending 2 nights and roughly right there is the stand of trees - that large dark green - portion on the map there. So we got the tide coming in just right and we will be traveling about - I think about - roughly about 85 miles - 85 nautical miles. So we should be there in about 4 hours - 4 or 5 hours
25:30 CJ - Richard, can you tell me why you have chosen this particular place - to go to - what is it about that particular spot that makes it a good place to look for LMT
25:41 RC - well, I have 2 indications that it is worth looking at - one is from air photos - we can look at close up air photos in 3-D in a little viewer we are carrying and it makes the big trees pop up above the medium size ones. Also I was in there last spring with a dozen high school students and a friend of mine who teaches oceanography here - and we tried to get to this forest and assumed we would be able to ford and couldn¿t make it. We measured some pretty good sized trees on our side of the creek, but what looks really promising on the air photos is on the other side. so we will have to pack a raft today I think. 26;23
26:25 SS - the GIS shows as being very high volume.
CJ - GIS being -
SS ¿ GIS - the Geographic Information System - using computer generated map using digital information - a combination of both air photos and satellite and so we are - by going in there we will also determine if this map is will be ground truthing as the GIS map that has been produced by Interrain Pacific. 26:51
CJ - ground truthing means -
26:53 SS - seeing what is on the ground is the same as what they say should be there from the map. So most of the tongass has been analyzed using GIS and a lot of policy is determined by GIS and the forest service does get out - they have done some ground truthing bands - don¿t they Richard - like a mile long swath that they go in and they make sure if it working well, but really it is a big area - 17 million acres - 17 million acres of rock, ice and snow and you actually get on the ground and you really don¿t know what you are going to get until you get up and go. 27:36
CJ - now when you look at this map and you see these bands of green they seem to follow - that they follow the stream, the creeks - and that represents old growth or different kinds of growth? How do you read this map in terms of what is forest
27:57 RC - the green represents commercial size timber - forests that are harvestable - and there are several different kinds of green. The darker the green the larger they figure the trees are. But there are some problems with that - some of this comes from looking at air photos and looking at structural characteristics like how rough is the canopy appearing from the air and that may not tell us how big a - how much wood is in the forest. You can have a forest with a smooth textured canopy that might be just as high volumed - just as many board feet of wood in it.
28:37 - CJ - you can see looking at the map - it is a great way to see that most of this is not forest -
28:43 SS - that is correct - a lot of it is high elevation, muskeg where it is poorly drained soils and water will stand on the surface and therefore a lot of vegetation can¿t grow. It is interested to note that Chichagof island - a major part of it is the west Chichagof Yacobi wilderness area out here in the whole west side of it. We are kind of more in the heart of yacobi - whenyou look at it we are going right to the center of the island in a way here- I just realized that - that¿s pretty exciting to go to the heart of Chichagof Island and see what is there.
29:21 RC - if you compare Chichagoff to the others in its group - we call them the ABC¿s - Admiralty, Baranoff and Chichagof, it is probably the most typical of the 3 as far as the amount of commercial size timber on it. Admiralty has a little more, Baranoff has almost all mountains and ice fields, straight up and down dramatic country. Chichagof is kind of the medium. 29:46
CJ - maybe we should talk about what you want to accomplish by all of this - it is more than just fun
29:54 SS - ¿I think the project is - the LMT project has 3 goals - one is besides being fun I think what we are trying to do is say these - there are 3 icons in southeast Alaska that people come and visit: bears, glaciers and whales. I think a landmark tree forest is deserving of the same status as a destination to come and see some of these incredible cathedral-like stands of trees that are left in the tongass. So part of the project is to identify stands that could be used and visited by both locals and eco-tourists is you will to help add a little more to the local economy. Our job is to find these sites, help identify them, probably help the forest service establish a management plan for these - that is a goal that we have - so it is a combination of trying to put some reality to the words sustainable economy. Richard and I both call these trees standing capital. They maybe worth more left standing and be visited. Not all of them of course, but certainly the best of the best -
31:20 CJ - do you think that is an easy job - to get people to really appreciate trees to the point where they will change the way they treat the forest?
31:26 SS - I think it is worth making that effort - you bet. Cause they certainly down south have places that have been heavily logged, and the places that are not logged now have a lot of visitors go to them. So it is just a matter of time that those places are I guess filled up - or whatever - or they want to see a unique northern forest. Cause I am hoping that the stands that you visit you will get the same feeling that a lot of people have - you walk into them and it is a transforming type of experience. These are old souls - 400, 500 year old living statues if you will - and also I think in our part of the project - that is the one part that maybe is developing a back filling of our effort - a small scale, ecotourism operations - that operators can take people to these trees. They will be easier for them any way bc a whale and a bear and even a calving glacier is tough to coordinate, so I would think a lot of people would rather go look at trees bc you are going to go see them. They aren¿t going to move around on you. another part of it I guess is that we are interested in moving some of the discussion - both public policy and scientifically to look at these diff LMT stands in terms of their ecological value. That¿s a really hard thing to do - I am not sure we have the answers to that but we would like to add that to the debate to maybe move beyond classifying to forest just as board feet per volume 33:05
33:06 CJ - and how would you change that - if not board feet than what? What is it?
33:12 - SS - value of ecosystem perhaps - some kind of variable you use there -
33:28 - Cj - Richard, how would you describe the kind of scientific value you can get out of doing LMT projects
33:34 RC - well, we began this by assigning scores to these forests which is kind of a simplistic system. The scores based on the dimensions of the single biggest tree and - RADIO COMES ON - NO GOOD -
ASKS QUESTION OVER AGAIN -
34:55 SS - I think - we want to cooperate with the forest service (radio in bg) - I feel like we are adding to their research. This is good science that is going on that we are doing. We are trying to do it w/approved scientific method that a lot of people have signed off on - so it is not just a bunch of hack citizens doing tree hugging. We are trying to base this from science and I think we are helping the forest service to understand what is really out there. Bc their budgets are cut and wacked - I mean they are a tough agency - they are getting creamed all the time by the alaska delegation. So just to say that their mandate is just to put out trees is probably unfair. I think what we are trying to do is hey - of the best of the best that is out there- what is left, where is it, how is it different from each other - that is what richard is getting to with the scores - allow us to say the representatives of say these 30 landmark tree stands so far what are their distinguishing characteristics. If we have 50 sites - and even maybe 100 sites - I think maybe we are going to have a real interesting data base of the structure of these highest volume, highest growth ancient cathedral trees. We originally called them temple trees. But LMT serves the purpose really well, so we changed the name 36:26 I think that alone with provide a spring board for discussion and debate on policy. I guess out intent is not to go out and change policy - our intent is to go out and say hey - where are these stands - just collecting this data and going out and doing the work is opening up all sorts of avenues that we never thought existed - and collaborations with non profits and citizens, conservation organizations. It is one of those things where you kind of know that there is something here and it is greater than all of us but you don¿t know quite what it is yet. I think that is what we are on to - people get excited about this. And it cuts across all political lines here. The forest is our home. We are out there finding out what is in our backyard. 37:17
37:19 CJ - you say people get excited - what do they say?
RC - they usually quite down a little bit - we will be almost always in bear country so we are trying to make a lot of noise - let them know that we are here. Sometimes it is hard to remember to make noise when you walk into a LMT stand it feels like being rude to be hooting and hollering and 37:53
37;54 SS - I guess the excitement that I meant - people are excited to go look for trees. We gave a talk at centennial hall downtown Juneau in January and we had 100 people show up - this was sponsored by the forest service and people came up afterwards and they were just really - WOW - they were really excited - they wanted to know more they wanted to be put on a mailing list and they wanted to go to some of these places and inevitably someone will say ¿well I know were a big tree is¿ - so it is kind of like hey - have you checked out this stand of trees it is like to create a funnel here so information can fall down and end up as maybe a potential LMT site. People are more than willing to say you know back 30 years ago I took my 2 sons and we hiked this divide here and here is what we saw¿.so it is kind of tapped a ¿. Part in all of us that wants to learn more about our back yards and our trees. 39:15
39:17 CJ - a lot of things have changed in terms of timber in this area - the 2 pulp mills have closed down recently, there is a new forest management plan (radio in bg) that has come out of the forest service - the Tongass Land management plan ¿t-lump¿ - it does sort of look like timber, the way it was cut before, is over, for this area. And even though the new plan is going to have quite a bit of timber that is going to be commercially cut and that means a loss of jobs and a loss of income how would you tie this in with changing the way people make a living in this part of the world?
39:59 SS - well, in our small way I thing people will benefit. Small operators can benefit by taking people to see these trees. So that is not going to replace a pulp mill job. But you are right I think those days are pretty much over. There is not going to be a new pulp mill based on the timber that is left. Bc when you start looking at the GIS maps for the entire Tongass there¿s - a lot of it has been cut. I see an increase in some of the outer-type of tourism. I also see some truly value added timber products coming out of se alsaka - evenutally - it is going to take a while. But I think that is coming - these beautiful sitka spruce which can be made into music - they call it music wood sometimes you can make violins out of it or pianos - to cut up a big tree for pulp or even - I think we will see some small scale operators. And I think what we are saying is here are the areas that would be best to be left for looking at them (radio loud in bg). And I am hoping that eventually we will come through with a site and say - yeah, now that we know what is out there we are ok with that sale. I would like to be able to say that. Bc I don¿t think any of us are anti-logging we just don¿t want the best of the best and the last of the best cut out, especially if it is effecting overall ecosystem health, and I think that is where the big debate is - and I am no expert on that. 41:58
ambi of place of interview - 42:00 - 42:50
42:58 SS - the 3rd goal of this project I think - major goal - is coming out of the work that richard is doing and that is helping people in their local communities feel like they can go out and find these trees, measure these trees using the LMT methodology that we have developed, adding that to the local data base of knowledge so that each community has it¿s own LMT information and they can use it however they want. That I think is a very important part of this work here. Richard has done workshops ¿. It is a project that has gone beyond just a handful of people going out and looking at trees. It has now becoming a community project w/in each community.
CJ - 9asking richard) what is it that you can tell by going out here and just walking the ground and looking for the trees and trying to determine how old growth differs form one grove to another and how it differs from secondary growth.
44:29 RC - well we measure tree height, tree diameter, we measure how much wood is in the acre surrounding individual, very large tree, and we assign it a score and that helps just to ranks these stands in - I don¿t know - spectacularity or the effect it has on a person just walking in to them. But the score is kind of arbitrary and you kind of have to laugh at the competitive aspects of it but it gets us out there - trying to do better than the last time. From the info we gather we can describe stand structure, quantitatively, in ways that we can compare stand to stand. We can say what is the oercent of spruce to hemlock, how many trees over 200 feet tall int his stand. Is it a single story stand with all the dominant trees at about the same height or is it multi-leveled? Is there a lot of down wood on the forest floor? Is it lined up in a certain direction indicating maybe this all happened after an event 100 or 200 yrs ago. We take notes on the understory. We are starting to adapt scoring systems developed for deer habitat and we are creating one for bear habitat that will allow us to also rank these stands in terms of their value to 2 of the better known wildlife species in SE alaska. 46:05
46:06 CJ - tell me what sort of things determine whether a stand is a good habitat for deer and a good habitat for bear.
46:13 RS - well for deer they are prob the best know mammal in SE alaksa. Researcher has gone on here for about 20 years now that¿s documented the importance of forests to deer in the winter here. It is kind of an exceptional situation for north america. We get a lot of snow here, and the first thing a habitat has to do for a deer in the winter time is intercept snow. It has got to have enough foliage in the canopy to keep the snow off the ground. So the scoring system for deer that matt kirchoff developed - he is also the person that helped us with our LMT scoring system - it has 2 basic categories. One is availability of food to deer in the winter, so it has to be the plants that are evergreen that are there all through the Jan, Feb, march, and then it also has to have characteristics that keep the snow to a minimum. If it has got a lot of cover in the crown that is good in the sense of intercepting snow but it has to get enough light through it for these plants to grow so it will be there int he winter for the deer. So it is a pretty delicate balance of features. A very high scoring deer winter habitat would be south or south west facing slope - quite steep bc it is angled into the winter sun. there shouldn¿t be any big mtn to the south bc our sun is really low in the winter here, and it should have plants that deer can get to - bunch berry, foam flower, ?? gold thread, five leaf bramble - those are all plants that are there in the winter. And when the snow gets up to a deer¿s belly which is not very deep - our deer are very small - 18 inches of snow is going to berry those plants then they need to eat the winter stems of the blueberry bushes. The leaves are gone. They are just nibbling that year¿s growth of blueberry. So we do things like look at percent cover of those plants to see what is available to deer 48:22
ambi 48:35 - 49:36 richard¿s ambi
ambi 49:49 - 50:45 sam¿s ambi - jet in bg -
51:26 SS - if we see something out there we will stop!
VG Boat taking off - 51:43-56:55 ¿some talk¿..some clicks of the camera¿..55:42 SS we are off like dirty shirts my grandmother would say - what a pretty day to go!
NG 58:05 - stopping to see whales¿water hitting side of boat - fish bell ringing
1:0010 waiting for whale to come up and breech
1:00:30 - whale breeches
end of ambi bed 1:00:40
1:01:34 boat starts up - NG
1:02:08 boat increases speed - through (some talking faint in bg)
1:04:54 SS we are in lower lynn canal right now, we are heading roughly south, southeast about 26 miles an hour. We are coming up on a bay called hunder bay¿we are getting down to were icy straights becomes lynn canal - it will be coming in off to the west and looking at our GPS unit here we have about 40 miles to go before we go into the tenakee inlet - so we are making this kind of speed we will be there in about an hour and half. We have a nice northerly blowing behind us, so we get a little push from the wind. All and all a great day here - 1:05:56
Sam talking about the islands - the kitten islands - that we are passing¿.
1:07:04 - slowing down boat motor - 1:07:45 ¿
1:08:27 - SS - well we are at Tenakee inlet¿.
1:08:47 SS - we are at tenakee inlet, latitude 57 46, long 13501
CJ - and how far to have to go from here to get where we want to go?
SS - about another hour, so we can prob just shut the engine off for a little while and drift for a little and have some lunch
1:09:06 CJ- seems to be a lot of clear cut around here - a fair amount -
RC - there is a lot that has been pulled out of here
CJ - and this is land that is owned by whom?
1:09:17 SS - well this is national forest -so you and me and everyone else in the us
CJ - so none of this is native land?
SS - that is a good question - let¿s look at the maps
RC - that is a good question - there are a few little -
getting map out
1:09:38 CJ - so where are we on this map?
SS - I am trying to think - any purple would be native corporation land and ¿¿at head of tenakee inlet that shows purple so there is some native corp land here 1:10:03 - we have come in the inlet about right here - so we are just a fifth of the way into the inlet
CJ - tenakee is what - a small town?
SS - yeah there is a springs up here - a hot water, geothermal springs and community - how big is it? About 200 hundred people - (CJ - pretty remote) general store it is a good base for fishing
CJ - the only way to get here is either by boat or by plane?
SS - that¿s right
CJ - they have a little airport - air strip
SS - no, they just have float planes
setting up for lunch -- through 1:13:25
1:13:35 SS -we are coming in now, we are just about at the head of tenakee inlet here were we are going to anchor up for the night to get to our LMT site - it is 14:25 - that is 2:25 in the afternoon. We had a nice run down here - flat calm and lots of crab pots down here - we are going to throtle back here and pick our way in so that we can - nice place to camp for the night - my depth sounder seems to be working again¿MOTOR slows down - confer with richard here - according to the slide
1:15:46 CJ - so you are verifying were we are going to land through the steroscopic slide -
SS - yeah - with the steroscopic slide I can actually see the sand bars under the water from the height it was taken at - the chart of this area is really pretty lousy - it is a big scale - so using the stereoscopic slides here I can actually see the sand bar- like over here there is a really pretty shallow sand bar coming up so we can pick the channel that we are going to anchorage - it is kind of nice having these slides to be able to do this
CJ - and that is an aerial photograph and you can actually see sand bars
1:16:32 - SS - yeah - see them?
CJ - yeah, that is amazing - so down bellow that is what looks like a river
CJ - that is a river delta?
1:16:48 SS - yeah - alluvial fan up in the right hand corner there - let me see it again - oh yeah right in the middle is a small - that is this beach over here - and you can see up in the left hand side of this slide - so the upper right hand I guess - see how it is nice and deep over here¿
CJ - yeah - so it is that top little inlet that we are going into
SS - ¿that¿s where we are going to anchor¿so we can be protected from every angle but I guess if we get a south west wind¿..let¿s think what we want to do - ¿.it is 103
RC - it would be convenient if it was close enough to the beach we wouldn¿t even have to haul food up
SS - oh yeah - we can kayak right up - this is no problem¿..you want to camp over on that beach - right? That isn¿t too far - we can kayak it out - we can leave the food in the boat¿..
1:19:23 - bringing the boat in - some talking in bg -
1:20:01 - SS - so let¿s see - our tide is falling at this point - so that is ok¿crab pots (CJ - yeah, a lot of them)¿
¿..talk about water¿.
1:21:09 SS - so I am just going to park it right here while we get gear¿..
1:22:03- unpacking the boat¿with some talking¿RC - talking about the harbor seal that just popped up (not on mike - not great)
unpacking through 1:27:59
1:28:00 - SS - bringing the boat in 1:29:56 good
1:30:00 - motor stopped - unloading boat through 1:33:48
MARCIA - no wind, 55 - 60 degrees, overcast - on gravel beach where we are setting up camp
1:34:58 RC - let¿s go down the beach a little bit and check to see if the stream is still here - it was here in may 2 years ago
1:35:02 - walking on gravel - some mike handling noise NG
1:36:07 RC - one of the things that will help before we track up this beach with our own foot prints is to look and see if there is big wide imprints in the gravel
CJ - meaning - bear
RC - yeah - there will undoubtedly be sharp little small - we don¿t get much foot print definition in this stuff, but you can tell if it is deer or bear here just by the size¿it will look a lot like our foot print - and I am curious if this is a major through route and if they walk this beach a lot - my impression so far is no - there is a salt marsh on each side of us and that this little rocky point is not much used, which will make sleeping tonight much more comfortable 1:37:05¿and I think right over here there was a creek in may - I think I just hear ocean lapping ¿.
1:37:58 CJ also I suppose you want to look for scat -
RC - yeah - that will also tell us what they are feeding on here - I am not sure if fish are running up the stream we are going to be going up tomorrow
1:38:15 - good walking on gravel -
1:38:43 RC - here is the other major edible that we use on the beach here - it is called goose tounge - you can eat this raw but mostly what we do with it is stir fry-
CJ - really -
eating - crunching
RC - this is the one that has a toxic look alike - that looks a little bit like cilantro
1:39:00 CJ - this is pretty tart - juicy though -
RC - when you cook it it will be milder - it is one of those plants that you can use right into sept
CJ - and what is the other one that tastes a little bit like lettuce?
1:39:16 RC - the spinachy one is atroplex
CJ - does is have a common name?
RC - it does but I find it harder to remember than the genus name - orach, it think - not sure if I am pronouncing it right
CJ - is it something that the native people ate?
RC - yes. I guess a lot of people here just call it beach spinach - there are so many wild members of the spinach family that it gets confusing 1:39:41
CJ - then these trees here that are right along the beach - are these alder?
1:39:47 RC - that is sitka alder - the one that has a lot of stems coming out of one base, and tomorrow we will probably be seeing red alder which is more of a tree - that is the one that is colonizing a lot of the clear cuts that we have been looking at 1:40:06
1:40:17 salmon jumping - but from a distance
1:40:22 - walking in gravel - good but some talking -
1:40:54 - CJ - another edible?
RS - same one - this is as big as it gets - this is perfect - atroplex - like commercial spinach this really cooks down when you steam it so in order for us to get a serving each we would have to pick this whole patch 1:41:14 - but I thin kwe will - this is going to go great in wontons tonight -
CJ - what about these flowers?
RS - maybe a solidago - this one is cleavers or bed straw and it got the name bed straw from the pricklies on the stems - I guess it holds up as bedding material - the use we make of it is to mix it with yarrow in tea on kayak trips -
CJ - for flavor or does it have caffeine in it?
RC - it actually is in the mater family - yeah - it is a relative of coffee and supposedly these little round beans are a coffee substitute
talk about the plant -
1:42:50 CJ - and the plants with the very red berries?
RC - oh - Baine berries - those are our most poisonious berry
CJ - what is this right here?
1:43:03 RC - oh! We are standing right on it - that is our big brown friend - well, we were wondering what they were eating now we know - (pokes through it) - sedges - obviously not fish, vegetation, long and stringing - these tidal sedges - and this could be quite old - it is kind of hard to tell how old something is around here - rain can make things look pretty fresh - wow - let¿s check and see if it is trhoughout -
CJ - there is some here -
1:44:21 RC - uh-oh - I don¿t like to see this! Been chewed on - (he is looking at a buoy) -
1;44:37 CJ - see a couple of teeth mark there -
RC - yeah¿been chewing on a float that washed up on the beach here - possibility that this is a bear that has developed an interest in people¿s stuff - we are in an place that is hunted - there isn¿t a whole lot of camping in this part of Chichagof island - so they are not in the habit of associating human encampments with a possible food source - but just the fact that this bear is curious in human¿s stuff and chewing on this beach float is - not necessarily meaning it is going to pay attention to us -
1:46:29 - walking in gravel - some mike handling noise -
1:46:49 CJ - so, should we go up here to look for more bear sign?
1:46:53 RC - yeah - we should walk this rye grass edge and look for more bear sign and still I want to find that little stream (some mike handling noise here )
1:47:15 - good walking in gravel -
1:47:25 - RC - the only other animal that would leave a foot print in this gravel that maybe has a foot this size would be maybe a river otter, but it wouldn¿t press in that deeply¿
walking in gravel
1:48;15 - looking at the scat - I have a clam shell - look berries - blueberries
1:49:00 - can tell diff in footprints (btwn brown and black bears - only brown bears on this island)
1:50:30 RC - it is more than we expected (in re to the bear scat)¿..1:50:59 - right around the corner here is a tide flat which is a good grazing area and this is where - this wraps around us behind us and it connects with the flat that we were chased out of last year¿so that is what I think is the through fare btwn tide flat grazing systems is I think in back of us - and I am guessing that this beach isn¿t too impt to bears moving from one system to the other 1:51:33 - it doesn¿t hold much forage in it so the site itself isn¿t much of an attraction - that little patch of yellow green down bellow the blue green rye grass - but I think that is ling-bean (?) sedge which is what I found in the scat -
1:52:12 - walking in gravel - ok - through 1:53:21
1:53:22 RC - yeah , this is lingbe sedge - so this is the most impt plant to bears and also to deer and geese that prob migrate through here in the fall - some of it has been eaten - like the grass in your yard - if you clip it it just grows up from the base - it is adapted to mowing - bear mowing in this case - so this was cut quite a long time ago it has come up a foot since it was bitten - this plant is mostly impt to bears in april, may, early june when they come out of the dens and there is still a lot of snow in the high country - at the time that we came through here on a kayak trip in may 2 years ago btwn here and there were we hope to go tomorrow we saw 3 bears - I think there is a lot less bear activity on the beach in mid-july - and this is not terribly nutritious¿(about bear eating habits) 1:55:15 now this little patch of sedges is not enough to bring bears in here consistently what they are looking at is vast expanses of it like around the corner . 1:55:30
CJ - quite spot¿and this is all sitka spruce behind us?
RC - well we can tell sitka spruce from hemlock by¿.(talking about needles and top of trees)
1:57:17 - RC - these trees behind us are I would guess a hundred feet tall - (nice bg ambi) - 60 to 100 feet tall - pretty typical old growth forest in this area on a upland bedrock slope -
1:57:38 RC - eagle -
1:57:39 - 1:58:10 eagle - faint but nice - good for bg ambi -
CJ - so, shall we sent up camp?
1:58:30 - nice lapping by the beach - some rain hitting water - salmon jumping - some mike handling noise
2:01:30 - closer to water - 2:02:30
2:02:51 ambi - sam coming into beach on kayak
2:04:36 - dragging kayak on gravel onto beach
2:06:48 - dragging kayak on gravel