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2008 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Preventing river drainage colonization by Dalton Highway white sweetclover
Region: 7
Station: Kanuti NWR
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Joanna Fox
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
At its nearest point, the Kanuti Refuge lies just eight miles west of the Dalton Highway, the road that leads from Fairbanks north to Prudhoe Bay. At least six Koyukuk River tributaries cross the highway and later enter the Refuge. Kanuti Refuge staff, the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges (Friends) and others are increasingly concerned that these waterways (especially Jim Creek, Fish Creek, Prospect Creek, and Bonanza Creek) could become routes for dispersal of invasive white sweetclover (Melilotus alba) into the Refuge. This non-native plant readily invades open and disturbed areas and has established extensive areas along early successional, gravel river bars in interior, south-central and southeast Alaska. White sweetclover has rapidly colonized the Dalton Highway corridor near the Refuge, moving 120 miles northward between 2000 and 2007. Since 2006, The Friends have cooperated annually with Kanuti Refuge, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS), Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and others to control white sweetclover at key sites where it could easily disperse into the Refuge, where currently no invasive, non-native plants are known to exist. To date, control efforts have focused on manual pulling. This year the group plans to continue removing plants manually, but hopes to expand the effort to include more mechanical control with weed trimmers, and subsequent cultural control (planting native grasses and forbs). The goal is to eliminate 2008 seed production, which will require infested areas to be visited at least twice by 8-10 Friends during the growing season in June and July. In addition, staff will conduct early detection/rapid response surveys along rivers downstream of the Dalton Highway and within the Refuge so that newly established sweetclover can be controlled and eliminated quickly.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  white sweetclover Melilotus officinalis
Project Status: Completed
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Volunteers manually pulled white sweetclover plants plants where ever possible, but also utilized weed trimmers, with the goal of completely eliminating 2008 seed production. This effort required that infested areas be visited twice during the growing season in June and July.
Total Number of Volunteers: 8
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 380
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company


Project Results:
Give an overview of the results of the project. Include quantifiable measure of success, such as maps produced, efficacy of control measures, number of sites where invasions were detected early and responded to, number of community contacts, etc. (Up to 250 words).
By late July, two crews comprised of Friends members and agency staff successfully achieved their goal – removing all outlying flowering plants at river crossings between 1/4 mile south of the Kanuti River and Coldfoot, virtually eliminating seed production for the year. Approximately 1,700 pounds of mostly white sweetclover was removed and incinerated.
Number of Acres Treated: 20
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 100
Number of Acres Restored:


Budget: Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.

Total Grant Amount:

$ $10,000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies $2,570.54 26%
Biocontrol Agents
Travel $4,399.60 44%
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL $7,231.14 73%

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Continue support for this funding initiative. Since Kanuti Refuge has not been provided base funding to support invasive plant management; it depends almost entirely on the funding support provided under this initiative, as well as the efforts of volunteers. This support is critical in preventing the spread of invasive, non-native plants into the refuge.


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