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!

 

 

FSWCD News

Board meeting Thursday August 27th at 590 University Ave., Suite 2 at 6pm

August 16th The FSWCD hosted a booth at the Energy Fair at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Green Infrastructure handouts, weed information, worm composting brochures, soil testing brochures, and Elodea information was available for the attendees, and displays highlights the Ag in the Classroom program. Click here to watch a video of Ryan Lane teaching one of the younger attendees to make a greenhouse. Also present was FSWCD Chairman Randolf Scharfenberg, who learned about the new Swedish "Genious" generator that debuted at the fair.

August 15th AK Grown 'Cowboy Brunch' at the Tanana Valley State Fair.  FSWCD partnered with AK Flour Co and cooked up AK grown barley flour pancakes, Delta Meats sausage, Mid State Meats ham, and local Birch syrup from Sample Alaska.    

August 14th The North Pole City Hall hosted an open house to display the rain garden and flow-through planter boxes created by the Fairbanks Youth Habitat Restoration Conservation Corps. The participants of the Conservation Corps were honored with snacks and a certificate of appreciation from the City Hall and the North Pole Mayor, Bryce Ward.

August 14th FSWCD staffed an Elodea booth at the Tanana Valley State Fair just inside the entrance of the Ag Hall. The salmon habitat aquarium, trivia wheel, and fishing game entertained the younger attendees, and FSWCD spoke with many adults about efforts at Elodea eradication.

August 10th was Kids Day at the Tanana Valley State Fair. FSWCD had an interactive soil tunnel where kids crawled through to learn about how soil is made, what lives in soil, and soil layers.  

July 25th FSWCD and partners held Elodea at the Lake, an educational event to inform community members about Elodea. Read more about the event here

Want to find out what else Fairbanks Soil & Water has been up to? Check out this overview report, Alaska's Best Investment- Soil, Water, and Future Generations! and this brief on Schoolyard Habitat Projects.

 

Free Soil Testing

Free Soil Testing for lawns next to the Chena River or its sloughs and tributaries. We will give you recommendations for fertilizer and lime based on the soil analysis. To participate, call 479-1213 x107.

FSWCD on-going research

Interior Alaska Hay Field Renovation study:

This project will test the effectiveness of four different treatments to improve soil health and hay production on overly compacted, low production hay fields in Interior Alaska. The treatments include:
(1) using an overseeder to seed brome, (2) using an overseeder to seed tillage radishes, (3) overseeding tillage radishes in two consecutive summers, (4) broadcast seeding radishes, and (5) control plots. Tillage radishes are valued for their ability to break up compaction, improve nutrient availability, and improve water infiltration rates.Work has begun on this project and will continue for the next three-four years. Click here for the research poster.

For more information, contact Jessica at 479-1213 x108.

  A tillage radish (above)

 

FSWCD Past Research

 

Agricultural Trials and Demonstration Projects:
From 2010-2011, FSWCD conducted a Forage Renovation Demonstration investigating the benefits of aeration and urease inhibitor use on hay fields in interior Alaska. To view the brochure, click here. We plan to conduct more agricultural demonstrations in the future as funding allows.

FSWCD Youth Crew Research Assistance

FSWCD Youth Habitat Corps in partnership with the USFWS assisted the University of Alaska, University of Miami in Ohio, and the USFWS with several research projects including a boreal owl study, invasive weeds "brown down" and Chinook Salmon reproduction in the Chena River.

Alaska Association of Conservation Districts Research

Assessing the Vulnerability of Western Alaska Ecosystems and Subsistence Resources to Non-native Plant Invasion:

There is overwhelming evidence that invasive plants present a serious threat to Alaska's biodiversity, natural resources, and subsistence lifestyles. As climate changes and human disturbance and transport intensifies in Alaska, the likelihood of invasive plant introductions and spread has dramatically increased. In the past 60 years, the number of non native species such as white sweet clover (Melilotus alba) and reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), have spread along several rivers in Alaska, including critical fish and wildlife habitat such as the Kenai River, Deep Creek, and Resurrection River on the Kenai Peninsula.

Western Alaska is presumed to be relatively free from invasive plant species, as the majority of invasive plants have been recorded along the connected road system. However, long term invasive plant surverys in Western Alaska are sparse. Comprehensive surveys of Dillingham and the Bristol Bay region conducted in 2010 indicated relatively small populations of several high risk invasive species. Invasive plants are easiest and most cost effective to control when populations are small and isolated. A coordinated cooperative research effort between U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Association of Conservation Districts is addressing the future vulnerability of western Alaskan ecosystems to non-native plant invasions in a changing climate.

The specific research goals being addressed by our project are:

1) Increase baseline data on distributions of invasive plant species in the Bristol Bay area

2) Evaluate the current and future vulnerability of important subsistence resource habitats (such as anadromous streams) to multiple invasive plant species in a changing climate.

 

Persistence of herbicide residues in Northern soils

Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District (SDSWCD) and the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) are working in collaboration through federal USDA-NRCS funding to investigate persistence times of Aminopyralid, Clopyralid, and Metsulfuron-methyl herbicide residues in northern soils. We are developing an analytical method for quantifying residues of these three herbicides in soils in Delta Junction, AK, and using these newly-developed methods to quantify herbicide residue levels over time in treated soils.

FSWCD Goals

Our Annual Report for fiscal year '12-'13 is now available to be viewed by clicking here. This document summarizes the work we have done for each FSWCD goal, including:

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!


Green Infrastructure Information

Green infrastructure is an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.Learn how with our Free Tutorials.