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2009 "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 2008. 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. Until last year, control efforts focused on manual pulling, but in 2008 the group expanded the effort to include more mechanical control with weed trimmers, and subsequent cultural control (planting native grasses and forbs). This year, the goal is again to eliminate 2009 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, throughout the summer 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
bird vetch Viccia cracca
Project Status: Completed
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp                     VA_StudentConsAssoc            VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Volunteers manually pulled white sweetclover and bird vetch plants wherever possible, but also utilized weed trimmers, with the goal of completely eliminating 2009 seed production. In addition, 2 SCA interns spent the majority of the summer mapping invasives at plots located along the Dalton Highway at 5-mile intervals between the Yukon River and Coldfoot.
Total Number of Volunteers: 10
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 508
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Student Conservation Association, Bureau of Land Management, 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).
Number of Acres Treated:
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped:
Number of Acres Restored:


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ $12,500

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Continued support for this funding initiative is critical, as Kanuti Refuge has not been provided base funding to support invasive plant management. The refuge depends almost exclusively on the funding provided under this intitiative, as well as on the efforts of volunteers to control and keep non-native, invasive plants from spreading into the refuge.


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