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!


Click on the image to find out what FSWCD is doing to conserve water resources! 


Notice of a Public Review for the Draft Environmental Assessment for Interior Alaska Elodea Eradication Project

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Agriculture has written a Public Review Draft Environmental Assessment for the use of fluridone to eradicate the invasive plant Elodea in Chena Slough, Chena Lakes, and Totchaket Slough, and some suction harvesting in the Chena River.

PROJECT NAME: Interior Alaska Elodea Eradication Project

WRITTEN COMMENTS: Comments must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Feb 3rd, 2017. To ensure that your comments are considered in relation to this Public Review Draft Environmental Assessment, please include the project name at the beginning of your comment. To be considered, comments must be submitted in writing to the DNR Invasive Plant and Agricultural Pest Coordinator at the following address:

                Heather Stewart

                Alaska Plant Materials Center

                5310 S. Bodenburg Spur

                Palmer AK 99645

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NEED: Elodea is Alaska’s first submersed freshwater aquatic invasive plant species, and must be managed to protect our natural resources. The Alaska Division of Agriculture has performed a literature review and researched the environmental and human health risks of fluridone and written a Public Review Draft Environmental Assessment to provide more information about the project, and for support of the project by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

You can access the Draft Environmental Assessment 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.


FSWCD's Annual Report of Accomplishments for July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 is now available! Click here to view the report.


Nominations are currently being accepted for 1 open seat on the FSWCD Board of Supervisors. 

This is a great opportunity to represent local landowners' interests and contribute to natural resource projects in the Interior! Board members meet about once per month in the evenings. Duties include: oversight on district projects, reviewing budgets and expenditures, signing official documents, contributing ideas for new projects, raising funds for the district, and other related duties. The time investment is about 6hrs per month but can be more if the Board Member is interested. 

Nominations are due by December 14th and must be signed by 3 district cooperators. Click here for the nomination form. 


Fox Springs

FSWCD has been asked to develop a task force to work at solutions to keep Fox Springs available to the public.  If you are interest in joining the task force please contact Joni Scharfenberg at 907-479-1713 or at  

Read the recent Newsminer article here.


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. 



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.

The project was begun in 2014 and will continue through December 2017. During the summer of 2014, the unusually rainy weather made it impossible to put in the plot treatments. This last summer of 2015 saw year 1 of the treatments being applied. Preliminary observations are that the radishes overseeded into brome hay tend to be outcompeted by the grass and remain very small (up to 6 inches in height). The treatments where the brome hay is sprayed out using Cornerstone and then radishes were broadcast seeded show much better radish growth! Radishes reached about 5 feet in height and had large roots, perfect for breaking up compacted soils. 

Click here for the research poster.

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


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

2016 Youth for Habitat Crew Research

  •  UAF research with graduate student Andrew Cyr, by dissecting Chum Salmon for chemical and pollutant analysis. 
  • Sampling for juvenile Chinook Salmon in Cripple Creek for studies on culverts as dispersal barriers. 
  • Setting data loggers and performing fish counts at the Chena counting tower. 
  • Conducting invasive Elodea surveys to monitor occurrence and spread in the Chena Slough and Chena Lakes. 

Past Research
FSWCD YouthFor Habitat  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.


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!

Southside Fairbanks Gardening

Ever wanted to plant your own garden or grow the biggest tomatoes in town?  FSWCD will be hosting FREE workshops at JP Jones throughout the whole winter.  Learn more here!