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!



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 2017

The Elodea infestation in Chena Slough (between Plack Rd crossing and the mouth of Chena Slough) will be treated with the aquatic herbicide fluridone (SonarTM) starting in June 2017. Liquid fluridone will be delivered via an herbicide injection system at a concentration of 5-8 parts per billion (ppb) over a 12 week period starting on June 19th. Pelleted fluridone will be applied by boat on June 20th and 21st. There will be a follow up pellet treatment on August 8th -9th, 2017. 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 season. Please check HERE for updates on slough water fluridone concentration and irrigation restrictions. 

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

For a calendar of Elodea related monitoring, eradication, and outreach activities in summer 2017 click here. 




It's Fair Time! 

FSWCD is sponsoring 3 contests at the Tanana Valley State Fair. 

Farm and Garden Display

Think you have the prettiest parsnips, beautiful broccoli or the cutest carrots? Get your Farm and Garden Displays in tip top shape. 

Click the veggies below for detailed entry information. 

Giant Cabbage Contest

We're looking for monsters! Think you have a colossal cabbage? Check out the Giant Cabbage Contest information by clicking on the giant below! 

Bucks for Bales Hay Bale Competition

A panel of agricultural specialists will judge the bales and take hay samples from the top 3 bales for laboratory analysis. Cash and bragging rights will be awarded to the farmers with the best hay. Bales will be on display in the Largen Barn for the duration of the Fair.

How to Enter: Drop off your best bale (45-65 lbs.) at FSWCD mid-July. Each producer may only enter one bale in each category. Hay must have been grown in the Tanana Valley during summer 2017.Click on the 2010 winners below for entry information:


Fox Springs

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 has eliminated upkeep for Fox Spring and has scheduled a shut down on July 1, 2017 unless we raise the money needed to cover operation and maintenance. A strong grass-roots effort to honor our water and to raise money is underway, but we need you help. 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.


Free Gardening Classes!

Grow your own food from start to finish!  These FREE classes are designed for the beginner vegetable gardener, but seasoned gardeners will learn something too.  Families are welcome and activities for kids will be offered during Gardening Classes.  Check out class descriptions and schedule here!


Fairbanks Youth for Habitat

Fairbanks Youth for Habitat is a program that engages Fairbanks youth in environmental work, scientific research, and community conservation projects that aim to preserve, protect and improve local habitat for wildlife and to provide inviting outdoor space for the enhancement of the community. This popular program is hoping to expand to include more students in the future. 

Donations are greatly appreciated to support Fairbanks Youth for Habitat!

Please donate by calling 479-1213 x108 with a credit card or mail a check to FSWCD at 590 University Avenue Suite 2, Fairbanks AK 99709. 


DEC has approved the Pesticide Use Application for treating the Elodea infestations in Chena Slough, Chena Lake, and Totchaket Slough with the aquatic herbicide fluridone.

Click here to view the permit. Supporting documents include the Decision Document and Responsiveness Summary.


New Agricultural Projects for South Side Of Fairbanks

FSWCD was recently awarded a grant to provide technical assistance for gardening and agriculture in south side Fairbanks, an “urban food desert”. This grant will help FSWCD to offer agricultural workshops, promote local community gardens and markets, and offer technical expertise to gardeners.  Local partners include JP Jones Community Development Center, Calypso Farms, City of Fairbanks, Breadline Inc., No Limits, Cooperative Extension Service, and others.  This project will bring together a diverse group of citizens and organizations to produce food and learn conservation practices. The community will be greener and cleaner, storm water and erosion issues will be addressed, and agricultural assistance will be provided. 




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!

2017 Gardening Classes!

Grow your own vegetables from start to finish!  FREE classes will be held in South Fairbanks.  Click here to find class schedule and descriptions.