Supporting Conservation by Providing Resources and Knowledge

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!


Did you miss the AFFECT Community Input Meeting on December 16th?

Do not worry! We are currently planning a second input meeting.

You can view the presentation about the AFFECT Project here:

Click to Watch the Presentation

Give us your input through our ~5 minute survey:

Please reach out with any questions or additional input: 


FSWCD Elections

We're currently accepting nominations for the Fairbanks Soil and Water Board of Supervisors. If you are a cooperator and want to nominate someone, or yourself, please download and fill out this form.

Contact Joni or Brian if you have any questions!




Indoor Gardening Ideas

If you're interested in growing food in your home this winter and spring, here are some helpful ideas and information for successful inexpensive indoor gardening projects.

Basic Indoor Gardening Info

Floating Hydroponic System Instructions

Small Grow Tower Instructions

Large Grow Tower Instructions

Video Instructions for Smaller Tower done by Silent Springs FFA

If you have any questions, feel free to email Mel Sikes at




Soil Nutrient Testing

It's time to get your soil samples into FSWCD for testing. It's best to sample in the fall to get an accurate estimate of what's in your soil for next years growing season! We can do it now though. Email or call 479-1213 Ext. 7 for more information. You can also check out our soil testing page for more information.



Elodea eradication in Interior AK - Update

The invasive elodea infestations in Chena Lake and Bathing Beauty Pond will be treated with the aquatic herbicide fluridone on August 27th - 28th, and September 20th, 2019 respectively. For more information please click on the "Elodea in Interior AK" tab or call 907-479-1213 Ext. 4.



Elodea eradication in interior Alaska

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... 


Indoor Gardening Curriculum!

Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom has developed a set of indoor gardening lessons, the 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.


Local WATER group has formed to help residents with information on issues related to environmental water health.


For more information about WATER please view their Facebook page by clicking here


Fox Springs

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:



Soil Class for Realtors

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.



Click here to view Chena Slough Fluridone test results



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. 

  1. Permit Application 
  2. DEC Decision Document 
  3. DEC Responsiveness Summary

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). Three years of treatment (2017-2019) have been successfully completed, and it is working! The dense, tangled mats of elodea are all gone. We are monitoring a few sparse, isolated patches of elodea that were detected in two locations. This year we will conduct the fourth and likely final year of herbicide treatment. Liquid fluridone will be delivered via an herbicide injection system at a concentration of 5-8 parts per billion (ppb) over a 12-16 week period starting on June 23rd, 2020. Pelleted fluridone will be applied by boat in late June and mid-September, 2020. 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 2020 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


Chena Slough Elodea treatment results:

For results of fluridone analysis of well water samples from 2017 please CLICK HERE. 

For results of fluridone analysis of well water samples from 2018 please CLICK HERE. 

Fore results of fluridone analysis of well water samples from 2019 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



1. Prevention and Eradication of Noxious & Invasive Species

2. Conservation of Plant and Soil Resources
3. Sustainable Agricultural Resources & Economy
4. Conservation/Maintenance of Water Resources
5. Conservation of Forest Resources
6. Education, and
7. Promotion of Affordable Energy

Click map for a larger image


News and Events

Calendar of Events
Now available online! Click here to see the latest meetings and events!