Traversing the 2014 wetlands conservation parcel
On July 16th, about 25 bushwackers assembled in the parking area at end of River Road. We headed south, immediately veering westward off the Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei (confusingly-named bike trail that actually parallels Woosh eel’óox’u héen—Mendenhall River, not the clearwater stream it’s named for) to explore a 128-acre wetland, owned since 2014 by Southeast Alaska Land Trust. This narrated slideshow uses ground video by SEALT’s Jorday Tanguay, in combination with drone aerials, GIS resources, and pics and discoveries from a host of sharp eyes and ears, to tell the story of a new conservation centerpiece for Áak’w Táak, inland from little lake (M-word Valley)
Discovery Southeast thanks and honors Áak’w Kwáan, stewards of this valley for many generations
What is SEALT?! Many may be unfamiliar with this new preferred abbreviation for Southeast Alaska Land Trust. It came about because the one you might remember—SEAL Trust—caused many to assume it was a seal conservation group. Nothing against pinnipeds mind you; just a clarification about mission.
With so many senior naturalists sharing observations throughout this walk, it was hard to know where to stop, in assembling the slideshow. One thing I didn’t include was needle death. While not as dramatic as many areas in Áak’w & T’aakú Aaní, it was noticed and discussed. Dying needles were especially visible in aerials like this one, from our Merli-Pohl-Carstensen July 14th scouting walk.
But budworm and sawfly weren’t the only needle-browners we encountered on this walk. Over the nearly half century I’ve been visiting the eastern portions of these wetlands, spruce needle rust, Chrysomyxa, has been prevalent, due to abundance of the rust’s co-host, bog tea. The rust causes comb-like structures on needles, that shows well in my enlargement from this close up by Koren Bosworth:
For an earlier iteration of this SEALT-Discovery collaboration, check out last year’s slide show from joint members’ exploration in the same, River Road neighborhood.
Both of our joint members-walks have been just down-valley from the Little Ice Age terminal moraine. For post-glacial succession and landforms up-valley from the terminal moraine, JuneauNature has a pair of complementary slideshows: