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Notice of Proposed Changes on Wildland Fire Prevention in the Regulations of the Department of Natural Resources

The Department of Natural Resources proposes to change regulations on wildland fire prevention and enforcement.

The Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry proposes to adopt regulation changes in the Natural Resources chapter of the Alaska Administrative Code, dealing with wildland fire prevention and enforcement, including the following:

  • 11 AAC 95.400 - .495 are proposed to be changed as follows: The wildland fire regulations are rewritten to comply with the updated wildland fire prevention and enforcement statutes (AS 41.15) adopted in 2018. These regulation changes provide detail for a new tiered prevention and enforcement structure. Requirements for burn permits, which describe how to burn safely and when burning is allowed, are set out. Methods of public notice of burn restrictions are detailed. Descriptions of when different types of burning devices may be used and inspected during fire season are also included.
  • The Department of Natural Resources does not anticipate additional costs from these regulations changes. While the regulations set up a structure for charging fines for offenses, fines are not expected to generate a meaningful amount of additional revenue. The purpose of the new regulations is to create a more efficient fire prevention program, reducing the number of wildland fires and saving fire suppression costs.

You may comment on the proposed regulation changes, including the potential costs to private persons of complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to Alison Arians, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, at 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1450, Anchorage, AK 99501-3566. Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry will accept comments by electronic mail at alison.arians@alaska.gov The comments must be received not later than 4:30pm on February 27, 2019.

You may submit written questions relevant to the proposed action to Alison Arians, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry by email at alison.arians@alaska.govor at 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1450, Anchorage, AK 99501-3566. The questions must be received at least 10 days before the end of the public comment period. The Department of Natural Resources will aggregate its response to substantially similar questions and make the questions and responses available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and the Division of Forestry’s website, at http://forestry.alaska.gov/whatsnew.

If you are a person with a disability who needs a special accommodation in order to participate in this process, please contact Alison Arians at alison.arians@alaska.gov or (907) 269-8467 not later than February 13, 2019, to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.

A copy of the proposed regulation changes is attached below, is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System, and is available by contacting Alison Arians at alison.arians@alaska.gov or (907) 269-8467.

After the public comment period ends, the Department of Natural Resources will either adopt the proposed regulation changes or other provisions dealing with the same subject, without further notice, or decide to take no action. The language of the final regulation may be different from that of the proposed regulation. You should comment during the time allowed if your interests could be affected. Written comments received are public records and are subject to public inspection.

Statutory authority: AS 41.15; AS 41.17.020; AS 41.17.080

Statutes being implemented, interpreted, or made specific: AS 41.15.020; AS 41.15.040; AS 41.15.050; AS 41.15.060; AS 41.15.070; AS 41.15.090; AS 41.15.950

Fiscal information: The proposed regulation changes are not expected to require an increased appropriation.

The Department of Natural Resources keeps a list of individuals and organizations interested in its regulations. Those on the list will automatically be sent a copy of all of the Department notices of proposed regulation changes. To be added to or removed from the list, send a request to the DNR Commissioner's Office by email to marykay.ryckman@alaska.gov, or by mail to DNR Commissioner’s Office, 550 W. 7th Avenue, Ste 1400, Anchorage, AK 99501, giving your name, and either your e-mail address or mailing address, as you prefer for receiving notices.

 

Community orchard and food forest grant application deadline extended to Jan. 31

The State of Alaska Division of Forestry and the Community Forestry Program is extending the application deadline for Community Orchards and Food Forests grants to January 31, 2019.

Please visit our website for more information on the grant or application: http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/index. This is an exciting opportunity to promote community forests, food security, and improve our communities in many far-reaching ways. We hope to promote awareness to the benefits of community trees and forests and demonstrate selection and care of trees.

Please call if you need help with your proposal. We can help you write specifications to ensure that the trees you buy are of high quality, in excellent condition, and appropriate for your site. If you need help from an experienced fruit tree grower in your community, contact your nearest UAF Cooperative Extension Service office, the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association, a Master Gardener, or a local garden center.

Proposals may be emailed to Community Forestry Program Coordinator Jim Renkert at jim.renkert@alaska.gov or mailed/delivered to Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Community Forest Program, 550 W. Seventh Avenue, Suite 1450, Anchorage, AK 99501. For more information, call 907-269-8465.

 

Division of Forestry seeks members for Tanana Valley State Forest Citizens Advisory Committee

The Alaska Division of Forestry is seeking applications for four seats on the Tanana Valley State Forest Citizens' Advisory Committee. The terms for four members will expire on December 31, 2018. Reappointments will be considered for members with expiring terms who express an interest in serving another term on the committee.

This 12-person committee advises the Division on plans and proposals for managing the 1.8 million acre Tanana Valley State Forest and other forested lands managed by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources in the Tanana Valley. The committee is also a forum for gathering public opinion on management of state forests and helps build a regional consensus about forestry. These are unpaid, volunteer positions. Meetings are held at least one a year, in April, and at other times as needed. More information about the committee may be found at http://www.forestry.alaska.gov/tvsf_committee.htm. Descriptions of the four seats are provided below.

  • Mining Industry. Represents organizations and individuals involved in the mineral exploration, extraction, and processing industries.
  • Regional Representative - Lower Tanana Valley. Represents the public on a regional basis. This includes both commercial and non-commercial as well as consumptive and nonconsumptive uses. The representative should reside in the western Tanana Valley west of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
  • Tourism Industry. Represents the commercial operators who directly use forest lands as well as those whose customers are incidentally exposed.
  • Private Forest User. Represents the incidental forest user for both consumptive and nonconsumptive activities including subsistence and personal use.

If you are interested in one of these positions, mail a letter explaining your interests and your qualifications to: Alison Arians, Alaska Division of Forestry, 550 W. 7th Ave. Suite 1450, Anchorage, AK 99501-3566, or e-mail it to alison.arians@alaska.gov, so that it is received no later than 5:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 16, 2018. For more information, call Alison Arians at (907) 269-8467.

Spruce Beetle Website Launched

The Spruce Beetle Working Group has recently launched a website with information on spruce beetle in Alaska's trees and forests. It is designed to be used by anyone who is interested in spruce beetles, has questions about spruce beetles, or has spruce beetle issues in their trees.

This website is a collaborative effort among the US Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry, and the UAF-Cooperative Extension Service.

Forestry Social Media Sites

DOF now has Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube pages:

Individual links to Youtube content: