• Irrigation in Alaska's Matanuska Valley

      Michaelson, Neil; Branton, C. Ivan (University of Alaska Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1958-12-30)

      Matheke, Grant E.M.; Holloway, Patricia S.; Wagner, Patricia J. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1991-04)
      Cold soils during the short growing season in interior Alaska often limit growth and prevent the maturing of many field-grown warm season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins and sweet corn. Clear polyethylene mulch has been recommended for many years as a method of warming soil to promote crop maturity and improve marketable yields (Dinkel, 1966). One significant problem with the use of clear polyethylene mulch is enhanced weed growth beneath the mulch. Weeds compete with the crop for nutrients and water in addition to reducing the soil-warming effects of the mulch. Consequently, herbicides must be used in conjunction with the clear mulch to obtain optimum plant growth. An alternative to clear polyethylene is black polyethylene mulch which suppresses weed growth but does not have the soil-warming and yield-improvement capabilities of clear polyethylene (Matheke et al., l989).
    • Land Occupancy, Ownership and Use on Homesteads In Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, 1955.

      Johnson, Hugh A.; Coffman, Robert J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1956-11)
      The Kenai Peninsula is an Alaskan Mecca for many venturesome families newly arrived from the States. They flock there each year searching for " free" land and fresh opportunity in a new country. Business at the Anchorage Land Office continues briskly as new frontiersmen apply for the right to enter the public domain. Numerous applications for homestead entry are still filed despite a recent change in the Homestead Act requiring cultivation by all entrymen, whether veteran or not, and d~spite the fact that accessible agricultural land along the Peninsula's roads has already been culled over. Most new arrivals know little about pioneering or Alaskan conditions. They often have no experience in rural living. All too many find that Alaska is a hard bargain~r, taking their savings and their hopes and giving them in return a bit of land which they are powerless to use. Settlement continues to outpace farm development and even interest in farm development. On the other hand, interest in farm development is also definitely increasing.
    • Landscape-scale establishment and population spread of yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) at a leading northern range edge

      Krapek, John P.; Verbyla, David L.; Buma, Brian; Hennon, Paul E.; D'Amore, David V. (2016-12)
      Yellow-cedar is a long-lived conifer of the North Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest region that is thought to be undergoing a continued natural range expansion in southeast Alaska. Yellow-cedar is locally rare in northeastern portions of the Alexander Archipelago, and the fairly homogenous climate and forest conditions across the region suggest that yellow-cedar's rarity could be due to its local migrational history rather than constraints on its growth. Yellow-cedar trees in northern range edge locations appear to be healthy, with few dead trees; additionally, yellow-cedar tend to be younger than co-dominant mountain and western hemlock trees, indicating recent establishment in existing forests. To explore yellow-cedar's migration in the region, and determine if the range is expanding into unoccupied habitat, I located 11 leading edge yellow-cedar populations near Juneau, Alaska. I used the geographic context of these populations to determine the topographic, climatic, and disturbance factors associated with range edge population establishment. I used those same landscape variables to model suitable habitat for the species at the range edge. Based on habitat modeling, yellow-cedar is currently only occupying 0.8 percent of its potential landscape niche in the Juneau study area. Tree ages indicate that populations are relatively young for the species, indicating recent migration, and that most populations established during the Little Ice Age climate period (1100 -- 1850). To determine if yellow-cedar is continuing to colonize unoccupied habitat in the region, I located 29 plots at the edges of yellow-cedar stands to measure regeneration and expansion into existing forest communities. Despite abundant suitable habitat, yellow-cedar stand expansion appears stagnant in recent decades. On average, seedlings only dispersed 4.65 m beyond stand boundaries and few seedlings reached mature heights both inside and outside of existing yellow-cedar stands. Mature, 100 --200-year-old trees were often observed abruptly at stand boundaries, indicating that most standboundaries have not moved in the past ~150 years. When observed, seedlings were most common in high light understory plant communities and moderately wet portions of the soil drainage gradient, consistent with the species' autecology in the region. Despite an overall lack of regeneration via seed, yellow-cedar is reproducing via asexual layering in high densities across stands. Layering may be one strategy this species employs to slowly infill habitat and/or persist on the landscape until conditions are more favorable for sexual reproduction. This study leads to a picture of yellow-cedar migration as punctuated, and relatively slow, in southeast Alaska. Yellow-cedar's migration history and currently limited spread at the northeastern range edge should be considered when planning for the conservation and management of this high value tree under future climate scenarios.
    • Lawn Weeds in Alaska

      Klebesadel, L.J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1963-04)
      Many different kinds of plants usually grow in close association with each other in nature. Woodlands, roadsides, mountain slopes, marshlands-almost all places not closely attended by man have their own complex plant associations. A lawn comprised of only one or a few grass species is an unnatural, artificial situation. Accordingly, lawns can be kept attractive only by diligent efforts to eliminate undesirable plants and to prevent the natural invasion of turfs by unwanted plants. This battle must be renewed each year. Knowledge of the habits and weaknesses of weeds enables the lawnkeeper to vanquish these foes in every encounter, usually with little expenditure of effort.
    • Lilies for Alaska

      Ginzton, Lura M.; Dinkel, Donald H. (University of Alaska, Agricultural Experiment Station, 1978-03)
      Modern hybrid lilies are among the showiest perennials that can be grown by the interior Alaska gardener. There are several groups, or classes, of lilies available, not all of which are hardy here. Within a given group, there are many cultivars, which may or may not be hardy. We will, therefore, describe for you in this circular a number of lily cultivars which have proven to be hardy at the Agricultural Experiment Station at Fairbanks, and indicate those groups of lilies in which the adventurous gardener would be most likely to find additional hardy varieties.
    • Lime Requirement Indices of Alaskan Soils

      Loynachan, T. E. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1979)
      Perhaps the most significant single measurement of a soil's ability to adequately support plant growth is a pH determination. If soils are too acid, reduced nutrient availability of all the macronutrients will result. Conversely with several of the micronutrients, low soil pH can increase solubilities, even to the point of causing plant toxicity. Aluminum, an element regarded as nonessential for plant growth, has been shown by numerous workers to produce toxic plant effects at low soil pH (1). High soil pH likewise is undesirable for plant growth and can result in reduced availability of several micronutrients such as boron, zinc, iron, and manganese. Phosphate fixation can occur when excessive calcium is present. Therefore, the majority of agronomic plants do best when grown in neutral to slightly acid soils in the 6 to 7 pH range
    • Linked disturbance interactions in South-Central Alaska: implications for ecosystems and people

      Hansen, Winslow D. (2013-05)
      Communities and ecosystems in the Alaskan boreal forest are undergoing substantial change. People contribute to this change. They are also impacted by the consequences. For example, wildfire and spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreaks have increased in frequency and severity due to warming trends, affecting the ecosystem and services important to people. I conducted a study to explore the social and ecological implications of changing natural disturbances. I evaluated how the occurrence of spruce bark beetle outbreak has altered the probability of wildfire between 2001 and 2009 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Modeling the effects of bark beetle outbreak on the probability of large wildfire (> 500 ha) and small wildfires (<500 ha), I found that the influence of the outbreak differed as a function of wildfire size. The occurrence and length of outbreak increased large wildfire probability. Small wildfires were mediated by human influence and less so by bark beetle outbreak. I also used spatial econometric techniques to estimate how wildfires and the bark beetle outbreak affected property values on the Kenai Peninsula in 2001 and 2010. I found that wildfires> 3.3 ha and the bark-beetle outbreak increased property values. Wildfires <3.3 ha decreased property values.
    • List of Plant Species Present on Forest Permanent Sample Plots in Interior and Southcentral Alaska

      Malone, Thomas; Packee, Edmond C.; Liang, JingJing (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2012)
      In 1994 the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station began a project to establish permanent sample plots (PSP) throughout the forests of northern and southcentral Alaska. Objectives of the project are to establish and maintain a system of PSPs to monitor forest growth, yield, forest health, and ecological conditions/change (Malone et al., 2009). To date, 603 PSPs have been established on 201 sites throughout interior and southcentral Alaska. The PSPs are square and 0.1 acre in size and in clusters of three. PSPs are remeasured at a five-year interval. The number of plot remeasurements after establishment ranges from one to three times. A large amount of data is collected at each site at time of establishment and at subsequent remeasurements. Four databases contain all the data: tree measurement and characteristics, site description, regeneration, and vegetation data. Vegetation data collected on the 0.1 acre PSPs includes species (trees shrub, herb, grass, and non-vascular plants) and cover, an estimate of the amount of the plot covered by the crown of each species (cover class) (Daubenmire, 1959). The vegetation database can be used by land managers and researchers to study species diversity and forest succession in addition to long-term monitoring of forest health. The species listed in Appendix 1 and in the vegetation database are presented by categories: tree, shrub, herb, grass, rush, sedge, fern, club moss, lichen, moss, and liverwort.
    • Loose Housing for Dairy Farms As Utilized in North Dakota and Possibly Applied in Alaska

      Branton, C.I. (University of Alaska Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1962-04)
    • Malone saying goodbye to UAF job but not to Alaska forests

      Tarnai, Nancy (University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2014-04-03)
      Research Forester Tom Malone retires from UAF.

      Dofing, S.M.; Gavlak, R.G.; Knight, C.W. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1991-08)
      Barley is the cereal crop best adapted to Alaska’s cool, short-season environment. Not surprisingly, barley is the most important agronomic feed crop in many north-latitude regions which experience similar growing season limitations. Results from longterm yield trials have demonstrated the consistently high yield potential of barley in Alaska. However, the lack of available markets and other economic considerations have limited the extent of its cultivation. An alternative use for barley in Alaska would help provide additional in-state markets. One such use is the production of Alaskagrown barley for use in locally brewed beers. No research trials which investigate the malting quality of Alaska-grown barley are available. This study provides a preliminary assessment of the quality of malt barley produced in Alaska.
    • Managing Wild Bog Blueberry, Lingonberry, Cloudberry and Crowberry Stands in Alaska

      Holloway, Patricia S. (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2006-08)
      This publication summarizes some possible practices for managing wild berry stands in Alaska. The goal is to stimulate local experimentation with practices that have been useful elsewhere in the circumpolar North.
    • Mapping landscape values and forest uses on the Tongass National Forest

      Schroeder, Britta; Verbyla, David; Brinkman, Todd; Fix, Peter (2014-05)
      Throughout the world, humans are often faced with the challenge of sustaining economic development while also promoting environmental stewardship. Such is true for the management history of the Tongass National Forest, where the U.S. Forest Service is transitioning away from harvesting old-growth and moving towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable approach. To measure the preferences of local community members affected by this transition, I conducted an interdisciplinary case study on the Wrangell Ranger District in Southeast Alaska. Community members from Wrangell mapped landscape values, acceptable and unacceptable forest uses. By assessing these landscape values and forest uses with respondents' attitudes towards forest management alternatives, I identify spatial locations of conflicting timber harvest uses and recommend forest management objectives for the district. Through public participation, communities can provide spatially explicit input during the planning process, which creates opportunities for managers to incorporate community needs and better prioritize management objectives.
    • Marine associated bird and mammal habitat use at the Five Finger Lighthouse Island

      Beraha, Lori (2018-07)
      In summer 2017 I studied the abundance and distribution of marine associated birds and mammals from four observational points on the southernmost of the Five Finger Islands (FFI). My objectives were (1) to identify the areas of highest habitat use by species of conservation concern, and (2) to use this information to make recommendations for an ecosystem-based management plan at the Five Finger Lighthouse Island (FFLI). I found higher relative abundance and higher biodiversity of both birds and marine mammals on the South and West facing sectors compared to the North and East facing sectors. I attribute this to the greater habitat complexity that comprises a near-shore reef, a mixed kelp forest, and a channel between the reef and the side of the island with the highest cliff, areas used extensively for foraging, nesting, traveling, socializing, and resting by many of the documented species. I therefore recommend avoiding development and minimizing anthropogenic disturbance on the southern and western portions of the island including the adjacent reef and channel between the reef and island. As both the FFI ecosystem and the Five Finger Lighthouse (FFL) management continue to evolve in response to changing environmental conditions and human needs, this study provides a useful baseline for future comparison. Continued study and monitoring is also recommended at this site to inform future adaptive management, document changes over time, and engage community stakeholders in science and conservation.
    • Market for the Products of Cropland in Alaska

      Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1950-07
      A preliminary appraisal of the market for agricultural products grown in Alaska is set forth In this report. The publication is the result of one of several studies being conducted by Government agencies to ascertain the basis and the extent of Alaska's agricultural future. Early sections of this report describe present marketing practices and agencies. The last section discusses the characteristics and location of the market and indicates measurements of its potential size In terms of the acreages of local cropland that may be required to supply it. The extent of the future market outlets is of primary importance to both present farmers and future settlers.
    • A market survey of ecotourists in the Valdivian temperate forest ecoregion of Chile

      Harris, Scott (2004-12)
      A survey of ecotourists in the Valdivian Temperate Forests ecoregion of southern Chile is used to determine if the experience and activity preferences of the market match what is being developed at local community-based ecotourism projects. It also compares the motivations of the same market with the motivations outlined in the definition of ecotourism. Survey design was based on a literature review, and observations and key-informant interviews collected in the study area. Ecotourists show strong preferences for the types of accommodations and experiences that exist or are being developed at ecotourism project sites: hostels, camping, low-intensity nature-based activities, pristine environments, and simple marketing schemes. However, market demand for guide services may not meet expectations. Survey respondents who support ecotourism goals fall into a tightly defined cluster, the majority of whom are Chilean. Proponents of ecotourism development in this area have expectations that generally conform to the guidelines presented in the case study literature, and ecotourism can complement the improving, but currently weak, political capacity for conserving native forest biodiversity in this region.

      Anders, Richard A. (Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1954-12)
      Over 10 million pounds of milk were produced in Alaska during 1953. Almost two-thirds of this was produced in the Matanuska Valley . Milk sales were greater than sales of any other farm product. During the year 1953, dairymen in creased herd size by an average of 3 milk cows. Most of this increase came from first calf heifers which brought with them lower milk production. About half of the dairy farmers sold over 125,000 pounds of milk per farm . The average dairy farmer had 288 acres of which 104 were cropland. Dairymen had 4.6 acres per animal unit in feed crops. The trend in use of cropland was toward more hay, silage and pasture and less grain, potatoes and vegetables. Dairymen have been increasing their acre ages of grass for hay and pasture. In 1953, 41 percent of the acreage cut for hay was a grass mixture. Purchased feed was the greatest single expense. It amounted to about one-fourth of total expenses. Machinery purchases were second and labor was third. Fertilizer , the fourth largest expense, amounted to $8. 50 per acre of cropland. Milk sales made up 88 percent of the cash income. The net returns from farming ranged from a loss of over $7, 000 to a net gain of over $14,000 . The average was $4, 843. Fifteen dairymen realized over $6,000 . Fourteen farmers who realized a high net return from dairying had 7 more cows and sold 2, 200 more pounds of milk per cow than the 14 farmers who had a low net return. Furthermore, they bought more fertilizer and realized more from each dollar spent for purchased feed. Average cost of keeping one producing cow for the y e a r, except for unpaid operator and family labor and interest on family capital, was $664.11 . It cost an average of $7.97 to produce 100 pounds of milk . The range was from $4,07 to $13.97 per hundredweight per farm .
    • Matanuska Valley Memoir

      Johnson, Hugh A.; Stanton, Keith L. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1955-07)
      The Matanuska Valley was created through action of ice, water and wind. When the last glaciers retreated up the Susitna, the Knik and the Matanuska valleys, vegetation began cove ring the scars, Over several centuries a dense growth of trees and brush screened the land from Knik Arm to the mountain slopes of the Talkeetna range . Here and there a lake broke the uniform forest mantle. A salt marsh at the mouth of the Matanuska River kept the rank undergrowth from reaching tide water, A few low spots near the Little Susitna and other swampy areas supported a thick cover of moss or grass. The Valley, which really isn't a valley at all but a reworked foreland, rises from the Matanuska River in a series of benches ranging in width from a few hundred feet to more than a mile. Some areas are flat, others are rolling. Soil depth varies from eight feet in thickness for the region bordering the Matanuska River to a few inches in sections west of Wasilla. The soil mantle, of windblown loessial materials, is of relatively new geologic development, The Valley is bounded by the Chugach Mountains on the east, the Talkeetnas on the north, the Susitna Valley on the west and Knik Arm on the south. Winters are long but usually not unduly severe; summers cool and relatively moist, To this country came trappers, prospectors and traders in closing years of the nineteenth century. Hordes of insects, difficult trails, sparse population and great distance s from supply points discouraged many potential residents, Those who stayed were interested primarily in the Willow Creek gold field or the Matanuska coal deposits. Another generation, an uneasy international situation and social crises within the United States were required before the Matanuska Valley and the rest of Upper Cook Inlet were ripe for use. This history of the Valley is designed to trace the many human elements affecting the ebb and flow of agricultural development here. It brings into focus many problems that must be solved before new areas in Alaska can be settled satisfactorily.