Text and photos by Josh Blouin
“What I’m doing, it is all bear-related work. The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect the Kodiak Brown Bears and their habitat (Note: The Kodiak Island is on the southern coast of Alaska). Under the supervisory Wildlife Biologist, myself and two others have been flying all over the 1.9-million acre refuge via floatplane, in order to collect information on brown bear food resources, such as salmon and a variety of berries (salmonberry, blueberry, elderberry, and devil’s club).
“We collect important habitat information, such as water temperature over the years, which is important to the health and abundance of the salmon runs. We help the bear biologist set up salmon and bear cameras in order to determine salmon and bear densities. We have also worked to manage different aspects of brown bear habitat, in order to keep it as natural as possible. Invasive species are a concern in some parts of the refuge, so we spent some time managing different plants, mainly Orange Hawkweed.
“I don’t keep a journal when working in these amazing places, so I try to document my trips through photographs.”