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Tanana Valley State Forest Citizens’ Advisory Committee to meet on April 16

The public is invited to attend the upcoming Tanana Valley State Forest Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting, at 6pm on April 16th. It will be held via teleconference on WebEx (see link, below). This committee advises the Division on plans and proposals for managing the 1.8 million acre Tanana Valley State Forest, along with other forested state-owned lands within the Tanana Valley. Public testimony will be accepted around 8:45pm during the meeting.

Topics for the CAC meeting include:

  • Update on CAC participation in a NASA-funded research project: ‘Investigating Changes in Forests Across Alaska and Canada’
  • Rosie Creek Recreation & Forestry Partnership
  • Long Trail proposal from Fairbanks to Nenana
  • Fairbanks/Delta Area Update
  • Tok Area Update, including review of Tok Five Year Schedule of Timber Sales
  • Statewide Forestry update

Please see the attached DRAFT agenda for more details.

Link to the WebEx meeting: https://stateofalaska.webex.com/stateofalaska/j.php?MTID=me10e7fbe5863d7182a1baf6628f5c003

Meeting number: 807 797 502

Password: Forestry

For special accommodations due to audio or visual impairment, please contact Alison Arians by email or phone (alison.arians@alaska.gov, or (907) 748-3712) before April 16th. If you are not able to use WebEx, or you would like to practice the connection before the meeting, please also contact Arians BEFORE the meeting day.

For additional information about the TVSF CAC, visit the committee’s webpage at http://forestry.alaska.gov/tvsf_committee.htm.

State Forestry releases 2020 Red Card and Refresher class schedules

The Alaska Division of Forestry has released its schedule of Basic Firefighter and Fireline Safety Refresher classes for the 2020 wildland fire season.

Anyone interested in working as a Division of Forestry wildland firefighter or any support roles associated with wildland firefighting must possess an Incident Qualification Card, commonly called a Red Card, in accordance with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). The NWCG sets minimum training, experience, and physical fitness standards for wildland fire positions.

Firefighters who already have a Red Card do not have to retake the Basic Firefighter class (S-130/190) but must attend a four-hour annual Fireline Safety Refresher class (RT-130) and pass a fitness test to be qualified to work as a wildland firefighter.

Red Card and Fireline Safety Refresher classes will be offered at Division of Forestry Area offices in Delta, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Palmer, Soldotna and Tok. Refresher classes will also be held in several Southwest Alaska villages (see attached schedules).

The S-130/190 Basic Firefighter class is a 40-hour, entry-level course that provides the basic knowledge and structure of the wildland firefighting system. The class includes S-130 Firefighter Training, S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior, and L-180 Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service. Students must also complete two online Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training courses – ICS-100 Introduction to ICS and IS-700 National Incident Management System, An Introduction”- prior to taking the S-130/190 class. Those courses can be found at https://training.fema.gov/is/crslist.aspx.

Students who successfully complete the course and pass a required fitness test will be issued a nationally recognized Red Card that will allow them to work as a wildland firefighter or in a support role (i.e. dispatch, administration, ground support, finance, logistics) anywhere in the country. The fitness test consists of completing a 3-mile hike on level terrain in 45 minutes or less while carrying 45 pounds. People working in dispatch, administration, finance and logistical roles are not required to take the fitness test.

Eligible students must be 18 years old as of May 1.

The Fireline Safety Refresher is designed to refresh individuals on common denominators in wildland fire fatalities, principles of fireline safety (Standard Fire Orders and Watch Out Situations), and fire shelter deployment. Additional fitness testing (push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups) is required for initial attack firefighters.

The Division of Forestry’s Red Card and Fireline Safety Refresher class schedule can be found on the State Forestry webpage at http://forestry.alaska.gov/.

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, Division of Forestry public information officer, (907) 356-5512, tim.mowry@alaska.gov.


State Forestry offers grants to support creative tree growing

The Alaska Community Forestry Program is offering grants to organizations for demonstration projects for tree plantings or orchards. Grants are for up to $15,000 and are intended to support projects that demonstrate new or innovative ways to grow trees in Alaska.

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s Community Forestry Program is accepting applications for projects showing what different types of tree species, varieties or cultivars will thrive in Alaska’s unique climates, and how to help them do so. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on March 20.

Project applications could include, but are not limited to, new technology, techniques, or approaches for street tree plantings, containerized orchards, seedling cultivation, biochar use or other pioneering ideas. Applicants are encouraged to be creative.

With funding assistance from the USDA Forest Service, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry has approximately $40,000 in total grant funds available. Applicants, which must be government entities or nonprofit organizations, may apply for up to $15,000 in grants.

Grants can be used for the purchase of A) trees, saplings, seedlings, or orchard trees; B) mulch, stakes, hoses, gloves, or other planting items and materials; C) educational materials; D) other required material and equipment; and E) limited shipping costs.

Trees must be planted on public land within a community, and grant applications must include a three-year maintenance plan. Applicants working with schools are encouraged to consider involving students in the research and design, and to be creative and thoughtful in their plan design.

These projects will help the Division of Forestry evaluate the success of different demonstration and test projects, share results, and make recommendations.

Grants available to help celebrate Arbor Day

The Alaska Community Forest Council is once again offering grants to help organizations commemorate Arbor Day in Alaska, which this year will be celebrated on May 18. Arbor Day is America’s national tree planting holiday, the day that is set aside to plant ceremonial trees, educate children about the significance of trees, and honor the crucial role that trees play in our communities and lives. In Alaska, Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. Grants are in the $200-$500 range and can be used to plant trees, shrubs or support other activities that promote Arbor Day in Alaska. The grants are aimed at local governments, schools, and nonprofit organizations. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on March 20.

The available grants are intended to fund projects that:

  • Generate awareness of and participation in Arbor Day in Alaska;
  • Increase public awareness of the benefits of trees and forests and build support for planting and caring for public trees;
  • Provide a public demonstration of the benefits of trees and/or proper tree selection, planting and care;
  • Use trees to solve community problems. Examples include reducing or treating storm water, creating wind breaks or living snow fences, restoring streams and rivers, planting fruit trees to provide healthy food, screening surfaces prone to graffiti, calming traffic, and beautifying school yards.

Grant funds were provided by contributions from the Society of American Foresters Cook Inlet and Yukon River Chapters, Matanuska Electric Association, Golden Valley Electric Association and Paul’s Tree Service. Go to http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/council for more information and application forms.

CONTACT:Nan Mundy, Alaska Community Forest Council chair, (907) 957-9018, nanmundy@gci.net.

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: