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Humans have unprecedented power to change our environment. That also gives us a staggering responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. Here’s one take on what hangs in the balance. It focuses on the Tongass National Forest and features one of Alaska magazine’s regular editors and writers, Bjorn Dihle (also a bear viewing guide and book author), as well as wilderness instructor Forest Wagner. Take action! Let your voice be heard and leave a comment for USDA Forest Service Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding the Roadless Rule by completing the form at https://salmonstate.org/tongass-take-action/

By Steven Merritt Just like checking the hiking box for Flattop Mountain in Anchorage is a must for visitors or newcomers alike to southcentral Alaska, no trip to Whittier would be complete without a side trip on the Portage Pass Trail, which offers access to Portage Lake and unmatched views of Portage Glacier. While the Begich, Boggs Visitors Center in Portage Valley is a great jumping off point to catch a ride on the M/V Ptarmigan for a lake tour to the glacier, earning the view with your feet is a rewarding option. Playing at Portage Lake. Once through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel into Whittier, an access road to the small U.S. Forest Service trailhead is just to the right. The trail ascends some 800 feet in less than a mile before cresting at Portage Pass, where the glacier and lake emerge in a broad panorama. Looking back gives…

By Steven Merritt “Seventy-five fish.” The early-morning text needed no more explanation. I envisioned my friend Mike in his garage with coolers full of sockeye salmon, a pot of coffee, a fillet knife and the satisfaction of putting a winter’s worth of enjoyment in the freezer. Mike’s success dipnetting with a colleague on the Copper River dovetails nicely with my time behind the iMac these days. The crew at Alaska magazine is working on the September issue—our annual food edition—which celebrates the importance of Alaskans’ connection with the land and water. And for my family, early July means our dipnetting rite of summer on the Kenai River is close at hand. Sockeye salmon begin arriving in decent numbers there by mid-month, with the fishery’s peak usually coming a week or so later. A family dipnetting haul from the Kenai River puts wild salmon on the menu year-round. It’s a perk…