Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District promotes sustainable land development and works with private landowners to address their natural resource concerns. By partnering with local, state and federal organizations, the FSWCD provides education and technical assistance to private landowners with issues related to soil, agriculture, water, invasive species, forestry, land development, and other related natural resource issues. Please contact your local legislators to encourage them to support soil & water districts statewide!
We focus on providing small, bare-root, local trees and shrubs that do well in our cold Alaskan soils. We also emphasize plants that support wildlife habitat, landscape improvements, revegetation projects, soil and water conservation, and our local economy and community. Our new 2019 selection includes ornamental flowering trees, trees native to Alaska, improved berry producing plants, flowering perennials and landscape plants.
Online pre-ordering and information on all plants available can we found on our tree sale website: https://www.fswcdtrees.com/
There was some impressive energy and community building at the Alaska Food Conference in Homer (March 8-10th)! We heard from Rep. Geran Tarr, a strong advocate for Alaska agriculture and food security, that the House Finance Sub-Committee on Natural Resources will take up the budget for the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources THIS WEEK (March 11th). Please take a minute TODAY to email a short message of support to committee Chair, Gary Knopp, and committee member Rep. Tarr to help her make the case that the Division of Agriculture should be fully funded.
The Division of Ag accounts for a tiny sliver of DNR's current budget. The Governor's proposed budget calls for a slight 2.5% reduction to DNR's overall budget, which would be achieved in large part by gutting the Division of Agriculture (64% cut) and eliminating key programs that support farm business development and increase Alaska's food security, including Alaska Grown, Farm to Institution, the Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund and crop research at the Plant Materials Center.
Share with friends, family and colleagues who care about local food and Alaskan agriculture. Many voices in unison get heard.
Subject: full funding for the Division of Agriculture
To: Rep.Gary.Knopp@akleg.gov; Rep.Geran.Tarr@akleg.gov;
Dear Rep. Knopp and Rep. Tarr,
I am a (voter, farmer, small business owner, concerned citizen...) from (town where you live).
I urge you and your colleagues in the Legislature to maintain funding for the Alaska Division of Agriculture at FY19 levels.
With just a tiny sliver of DNR's budget, the Division of Agriculture provides essential support for a growing industry that is diversifying Alaska's economy and increasing food security for Alaskans.
Please fully fund the Division of Agriculture including the Alaska Plant Materials Center, the Alaska Grown program, the Farm to Institution program and the Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund.
Sen.Click.Bishop@akleg.gov (Senate Finance Resources Sub-Committee Chair)
Sen.Cathy.Giessel@akleg.gov (Senate President, Senate Natural Resources Committee)
Sen.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov (Senate Finance and Natural Resources Committees)
Sen.Jesse.Kiehl@akleg.gov (Senate Natural Resources Committee)
The second season of herbicide treatment in Chena Slough will begin the week of June 25th. The aquatic herbicide fluridone is being used to eradicate the invasive aquatic plant elodea from the waters of Chena Slough. For more details click on the "Elodea in interior Alaska" tab.
Herbicide treatment of the invasive elodea infestation in Totchaket Slough will begin this summer! Totchaket Slough is a remote clearwater slough off the Tanana River about 12 miles downstream on Nenana. A dense 230-acre elodea infestation was discovered there in 2015. Stay tuned for more details of our progress on eradicating elodea in the area...
Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom is pleased to announce the release of our newest set of lessons on our website, our Alaska Indoor Gardening Curriculum. In the spring of 2017, AK AITC was awarded a grant from the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization to develop this resource. This work is supported in part by the Agriculture in the Classroom Grant no. 2017-38858 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It was also supported by a grant from the Alaska Farm Bureau.
This curriculum is a compilation of lessons developed by the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program, the National Agriculture in the Classroom (NAITC) organization, and educators throughout Alaska who have developed, reviewed, and piloted many these activities. Please be patient with us. This is a work in progress, some links are currently in development and will be available soon.
Click HERE to go to the page.
FSWCD has put together a short resource to help producers assess where they stand under the Produce Safety Rule, a portion of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This resource shows how to identify a producer’s current exemption status, and then gives an overview of the compliance requirements associated with each exemption status (fully exempt, qualified exempt, and non-exempt).
If you are curious about how a producer’s exemption status is determined and what could cause it to change, or if you would like an idea of the farm safety practices the Produce Safety rule advocates for, then please check out this resource here
Click HERE for a PDF of the FSMA procedures and exemption help guide.
For more information about WATER please view their Facebook page by clicking here.
Despite the news report recently, Fox Springs is open and functioning. Please help us to fund the repairs needed to keep it functioning.
Please help us keep the water flowing. Fox Spring near Fairbanks, Alaska has been a vital source of clean water for people from near and far for over 100 years. The Alaska Dept. of Transportation- Public Facilities budget had eliminated upkeep for Fox Spring and had scheduled a shut down on July 1, 2017. A strong grass-roots effort to honor our water and to raise money was started.The group, Friends of Fox Spring was successful in raising enough money needed to cover operation and maintenance for a little while, but still needs support to keep it going. To learn more, and contribute to the fund, please go to:
The CE Shop is now hosting an online Continuing Education course called Alaskan Soils and Environmental Concerns for Realty. This course was created by staff at FSWCD with the goal of providing Alaskan real estate agents with the tools and knowledge to deal with permafrost and other issues presented by our unique climate. The course is informative for any landowner or prospective land buyer/house builder in Alaska. The following discount code will get you 25% off the cost of the course (full price is $35): ALASKA25.
ELODEA - ALASKA'S FIRST NON-NATIVE INVASIVE AQUATIC PLANT
Elodea is the first non-native invasive aquatic plant to become established in Alaskan water bodies. It has been found in waterbodies in Anchorage, Cordova, the Kenai Peninsula, the Matanuska-Susitna area, and the Fairbanks area. It was first detected in the Chena River system in 2009. Surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012 revealed that the lower 10 miles of Chena Slough which runs through North Pole is heavily infested with Elodea. In addition, Chena Lake, at Chena Lakes Recreation Area was found to be infested with Elodea, and a few isolated patches of Elodea were found in the Chena River. In 2015, Totchaket Slough, a slackwater slough located about 60 miles downriver of Fairbanks, was found to be heavily infested as well.
In Alaska, Elodea infestations in water bodies can be expected to increase sedimentation, displace native vegetation, reduce biodiversity, degrade sensitive fish habitat, and interfere with safe river travel and floatplane operation. Elodea can be spread readily via boats and floatplanes, and because it reproduces vegetatively, a single fragment is all that is needed to start a new infestation. The Fairbanks Elodea Steering Committee propose to use diver-assisted suction dredging in the Chena River, and aquatic herbicide treatments in Chena Slough, Chena Lake, and Totchaket Slough. For more details please follow the links below.
Chena Slough Elodea Treatment
The Elodea infestation in Chena Slough (between Plack Rd crossing and the mouth of Chena Slough) is being treated with the aquatic herbicide fluridone (SonarTM). The first treatment was conducted in 2017, and a second treatment is currently ongoing in 2018. Liquid fluridone is being delivered via an herbicide injection system at a concentration of 5-8 parts per billion (ppb) over a 12-16 week period that started on June 25th, 2018. Pelleted fluridone was applied by boat on June 26th. There will be a follow up pellet treatment in mid-August, 2018. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Chena Slough Elodea Eradication Project click here.
At the target application rates, there are no restrictions on drinking, swimming, fishing, or livestock/ pet consumption of slough water.
If you use water directly from the slough for irrigation, there are some restrictions that may apply during the treatment period. For plants within the Solanaceae Family such as tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, and potatoes, do not use slough water if the measured fluridone concentration is greater than 5ppb. We recommend that you switch to an alternate irrigation source (e.g. well water) for these crops.
Water sampling to test the concentration of fluridone in slough water will be carried out weekly over the course of the 2018 season. Please check HERE for updates on slough water fluridone concentration and irrigation restrictions.
For results of fluridone analysis of well water samples that are being collected this season please click HERE.
Summer 2017 Chena Slough Elodea treatment results:
For results of fluridone analysis of well water samples from 2017 please CLICK HERE.
To see the results from summer 2017 at a glance CLICK HERE.
Photos from summer 2017 elodea treatments:
FSWCD employees conducting the second herbicide application in Chena Slough on August 8th, 2017
The pink tips are indication of post-treatment damage to elodea (July 27th, 2017)
Divers from Test the Waters Dive Shop are conducting mechanical
control of a small patch of elodea in the Chena River
Calendar of Events
Now available online! Click here to see the latest meetings and events!