outdoors | KUOW News and Information

outdoors

Gracie has been training with Ally Cowan at the Wind River Bear Institute. Today they're trying to herd five sheep into a wooden corral, in a grassy valley a few hours south of Glacier National Park in Montana.

"Getting a border collie to drive, basically stay behind and push forward is a bit tougher," Cowan says. "For Gracie, we are working against that instinct a little bit, because for a wild goat, we don't want her bringing them closer to people; we want her pushing them away."

'The Legend of Bigfoot' is a store along Highway 101 in northern California.
Flickr Photo/Amit Patel (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dAdW3o

Bill Radke speaks with Leah Sottile about her article in Outside magazine profiling Bob Gimlin, one of the men behind the famous footage of Bigfoot from 1967. Sottile explains how the footage was captured and why she thinks it is important we have these types of mysteries. 

camping
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with author Dan White about the history of camping in America. White highlights how we overcame the early Puritan fear of the woods and the changing demographics of wild places. His latest book is "Under the Stars: How America Fell in Love with Camping."

Grizzly sow and cubs near Fishing Bridge, Yellowstone National Park.
Flickr Photo/Yellowstone National Park (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/sTZsC2

In 1972 a young man named Harry Walker was killed by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. The subsequent wrongful death trial focused on whether the National Park Service had done enough to prevent human interaction with bears.

The story puzzled and fascinated former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith. In it he found myriad questions of what it means to manage nature.

Mount Rainier National Park.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Bruce Barcott about the character of Mount Rainier and the place it takes in the lives of people who live around Puget Sound. Barcott is the author of "Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier." 

KUOW has profiled all three of the national parks in Washington to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. You can also hear our conversations about Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park

There will be free admission to all national parks from Thursday through Sunday to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. President Woodrow Wilson signed the law creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has officially asked President Obama to designate a remote area in southeastern Oregon as a national monument.

Blumenauer is the only member of Oregon’s Congressional delegation to openly ask Obama to create an Owyhee National Monument.

Jeremy Pots and Emily Sheil perform in the North Cascades National Park.
Courtesy of Music in the American Wild/Geoff Sheil

Bill Radke speaks with Emlyn Johnson, director of Music in the American Wild, about how nature inspires their musical performances and why they decided to celebrate the National Parks Service's 100th anniversary by touring the parks in Washington state.

Now, you can love your seafood and eat it, too. But first, you'll have to catch it. Fisherman Kirk Lombard's new book, The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast, teaches the art, science, ethics and wisdom of fishing for your next meal in the ocean. Through wit, poetry and anecdotes, Lombard makes the case that the sincerest stewards of wild sea creatures are often those who intend to have them for dinner.

Perseid meteor shower at Mount Catherine off Snoqualmie Pass near Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

The Perseids come in July, but they burn most bright this week in August. 

This sends people into the woods, into the darkness, where they can see these electric meteor showers that, according to people who have seen them, burn into your memory.  

Seven Lakes Basin in Olympic National Park.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with local poet and writer Tim McNulty about what makes Olympic National Park unique to Washington state. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. McNulty is the author of "Olympic National Park:  A Natural History."

Night owls and stargazers, get ready for something spectacular on Thursday.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, already one of the most reliably impressive celestial events, promises to be especially good this year.

The Perseid shower happens every year in August "when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet," according to NASA.

Larches are a staple of the North Cascades.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with author Ana Maria Spagna about the natural beauty of the North Cascades National Park in Washington. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. Spagna has lived and worked in the North Cascades for the past 15 years.  

National parks will offer free admission on the final weekend of August in honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Before then, the park service centennial is being celebrated with music.

Since floods closed a rail line through the Coast Range in 2007, people have looked to build a trail — spanning from Banks in Washington County to the city of Tillamook — in its place.

A board of state, county and tribal officials is tackling the costs, land ownership and other issues before the so-called Salmonberry Trail can be completed and opened.

America has more than 560 wildlife refuges. Most of them are what you’d expect: remote, untrammeled places where humans are visitors.

Susan Marie Conrad completed a solo kayak trip from Washington to Alaska in 2010.
Courtesy of Susan Marie Conrad

Ross Reynolds interviews Susan Conrad about her 1,200 mile solo kayak trip from Washington to Alaska. She recounts the 2010 trip in her new memoir, "Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage."

REI's famous flagship store in downtown Seattle.
Flickr Photo/brewbooks (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/49tVma

REI workers are demanding better schedules and higher wages.

Monday night, employees from the outdoor equipment company shared their concerns publicly in a forum at Seattle's City Hall. City Councilmember Kshama Sawant helped organize the event.

Mount Rainier, or Tahoma, Tacobet, Ti'Swaq or Pooskaus.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with executive director of Washington's National Parks Fund Laurie Ward about Mount Rainier National Park winning ninth place in an online competition for grant money. The park won $42,000 to restore a cabin to house search and rescue volunteers. 

Mount Rainier, or Tahoma, Tacobet, Ti'Swaq or Pooskaus.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Fitz Cahall about why we over think camping and how we can go camping on the fly. Cahall hosts the podcast The Dirtbag Diaries, stories about life in the outdoors. 

Flickr Photo/Steve Snodgrass (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e2A4sb

Bill Radke speaks with Jourdan Keith, founder and director of Urban Wilderness Works, about why she leads young people of color on 17-day camping trips in the North Cascades National Park.   

Water loving willows hug the edges of the shore. Lost Lake, at its peak, is around 79 acres. Right now, it is draining away.

About half way around from the lake entrance, a sharp eye might spot a footpath leading out onto the grassy, muddy lake bed. Follow that and soon the sound of rushing water is audible.

Then, there it is. The hole.

Dave Kretzing has a pretty good grasp on the mystery of Lost Lake. He's a retired hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service and he's spent years thinking about what happens here and why.

Every place has its own sound. A small group of scientists is hard at work recording the natural sounds of national parks all across the U.S. — more than 70 soundscapes so far.

For our series on the centennial of the national parks, we traveled to Colorado, to find out how they create these portraits of sound.

First Lesson: It's Very Hard To Escape The Sound Of Humans.

Colorful acrylic paintings on red and gray rock formations and profiles of people smoking cigarettes, signed with a repetitive "Creepytings," caused an uproar on Reddit more than a year ago. Now, the uproar is calming.

After spending a month drawing and painting on the rocks in seven national parks, Casey Nocket, 23, of San Diego, was banned this month from national parks and other federally administered lands, according to the National Park Service.

As the weather teeters between 1997 DJ Jazzy Jeff and 2002 Nelly, we've been spending a lot of time staring out the window, wishing to be anywhere but inside: the beach, the pool, the basketball court, Grand Teton National Park.

Mount Rainier, or Tahoma, Tacobet, Ti'Swaq or Pooskaus.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Kim Malcolm talks with Laurie Ward about why Mount Rainier National Park is participating in an online contest to win grant money. Ward is executive director of Washington's National Park Fund. The park is hoping to restore a cabin that would provide housing for search and rescue volunteers.

She sails by the memory of the stars.

Her bones are lashed together with 6 miles of rope. Her twin wooden masts are lowered and outstretched only by the power of muscled arms. And once fully extended, the red, V-shaped sails announce who she is.

She is the Hokule'a, Hawaii's famous voyaging canoe, built in the double-hulled style used by Polynesian navigators thousands of years ago to cross the Pacific.

Climbers descend Mount Everest in good weather.
Courtesy Madison Mountaineering

Death again has marked the climbing season on Mount Everest: four climbers died last week and two more are missing.

Seattle-based guide Garrett Madison’s team was hit by tragedy last year. But he told KUOW’s Emily Fox there was no doubt that he would return to the world’s tallest mountain.

An inventory by public radio of Northwest geography found more than 200 places with names some people might consider ethnically or racially offensive. For instance, there's Negro Ben Mountain in southwest Oregon, Chinamans Hat in western Idaho, Jew Valley in southern Oregon and Redman Creek in north central Washington.

Oregon’s House Interim Committee on Rural Communities, Land Use and Water held a hearing Monday on potential conservation measures for a remote high desert and canyon land area known as the Owyhee in Southeast Oregon.

Pages