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TETLIN: Volunteers Forsake Their Gardens to Pull Weeds that Threaten Wildlife
10 Region, June 17, 2006
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Weed pull volunteers are, from left: Phil Kaspari, Sharon Clause, Steve Clause, Michelle Ferreira, Sharon Baur, Betty Siegel, Joe Cannon, Carla Stanley, Wendy Cnossen, and Cathy Turner. Photo taken by Merben R. Cebrian on 17June2006 at Lakeview Campground, Alaska.
Weed pull volunteers are, from left: Phil Kaspari, Sharon Clause, Steve Clause, Michelle Ferreira, Sharon Baur, Betty Siegel, Joe Cannon, Carla Stanley, Wendy Cnossen, and Cathy Turner. Photo taken by Merben R. Cebrian on 17June2006 at Lakeview Campground, Alaska. - Photo Credit: n/a

Why would volunteers drive hundreds of miles to pull weeds when they could do it in their own gardens?  On June 17, 26 volunteers contributed over 300 hours to reach Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge and pull invasive weeds.  Volunteers from as far as Fairbanks (206 miles), Delta Junction (304 miles), Anchorage (328 miles), and Homer (554 miles!) worked to remove a particularly threatening plant, white sweetclover, from a popular Refuge campground for visitors traveling between Alaska and Canada.  Before setting loose on their invasive enemies, volunteers were trained by staff from the Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, Alaska Department of Agriculture, Alaska Department of Transportation, and British Petroleum.  Volunteers came from Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Tok Boys and Girls Club, Tok Volunteer Fire Department, and the local community of Tok.

Tetlin Refuge’s Lakeview Campground is 57 miles from the US-Canada border and is one of many popular areas with increased invasive plants that could eventually spread to more wild Alaskan locations.  The new Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges is working with Tetlin and other refuges to organize community invasive weed pulls which feature training sessions followed by field work.  In addition to Tetlin Refuge, Alaska Friends will conduct weed pulls this summer at Kanuti, Kenai, Kodiak, Izembek, and Alaska Maritime Refuges.

The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation of the natural resources of all 16 of Alaska’s national wildlife refuges.  The Friends are seeking members as well as volunteers for this summer’s weed pulls.  If you would like to become a Friends member or would like to volunteer please email akrefugefriends@gmail.com or call the number below.


Contact Info: Kevin Painter, , kevin_painter@fws.gov



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