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Join in celebrating Arbor Day in Alaska on May 20

Plant a tree. Take a walk in the woods. Start recycling paper products - whatever you choose to do, the Alaska Division of Forestry encourages Alaskans to take time to celebrate Arbor Day on Monday, May 20.

Governor Michael J. Dunleavy signed a proclamation denoting May 20 as Arbor Day in Alaska and invites Alaskans young and old to pay tribute to one of the state's greatest assets - its forests.

"Healthy and properly managed trees and forests provide environmental, economic and social benefits to our state, improving the quality of life for all Alaskans," the governor's proclamation said.

Established in 1872, Arbor Day is set aside to plant trees, educate children and adults about the importance of trees, and recognize the important role that trees play in our lives. In Alaska, Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Monday in May.

Communities across Alaska will be holding events to celebrate Arbor Day. If you would like to learn more about planting and caring for trees, or would like to join in an Arbor Day celebration near you, visit the Alaska Division of Forestry Community Forestry Program's website at Click on the "News and Events" page for a list of Arbor Day celebrations around the state.

CONTACT: Alaska Division of Forestry Community Forestry Program Coordinator Jim Renkert, 907-269-8465,


Comment & Response document for adopted wildland fire regulations

The document attached below includes:

  1. Public comments received on the proposed changes to the regulations in 11 AAC 95.400 - .495, pertaining to wildland fire prevention and enforcement, and
  2. The Division of Forestry's responses to the comments and changes made to the draft regulations to create the final adopted regulations.


State Forestry burn permits required starting April 1

The Alaska Division of Forestry reminds residents that general burn permits for open debris burning and the use of burn barrels are required starting April 1 in areas under state wildland fire protection.

Burn permits are required annually from April 1 through August 31 and residents must obtain a new permit at the start of each season. Burn permits are free and available at State forestry offices, most local fire departments or can be downloaded and printed at This website is a key resource for learning about safe burning practices in Alaska.

Debris burning and the use of burn barrels are the leading cause of wildland fires in Alaska. Burn permits contain instructions for safe and legal burning.

Residents are required to read and sign the permit before burning. They must also call the forestry office listed on the permit or check online each day before burning to ensure that burning is allowed. Permittees must have the burn permit in their possession when burning. Burn permits are NOT required for camping, cooking or warming fires under 3 feet in diameter.

Burn barrels and debris burning are not permitted within some municipalities. Residents should check with their local forestry office or fire authorities to determine if burning is allowed in their area.

Burn piles larger than 10 feet in diameter and 4 feet high require a large-scale burn permit, which requires a site inspection by a State Forestry Prevention Officer and a burn plan prior to a permit being issued.

Anyone who fails to obtain or adhere to the conditions of a burn permit can be held criminally liable for damage caused by an escaped fire.

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, Alaska Division of Forestry public information officer, 907-356-5512 or


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: