Forest & Grassland Health

 

Strategic Plan Map

The Alaska Forest Health Protection (FHP) Program works to protect Alaska forest and tree resources from damaging outbreaks of insects, diseases, and invasive plants. FHP does this by providing timely survey and monitoring information, and technical and financial assistance, to Federal, State, and private land managers so they can prevent, suppress, and control outbreaks of forest pests. FHP also helps to maintain, enhance, or restore healthy forest conditions and works in partnership with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and State agencies to detect and eradicate newly introduced exotic organisms.

What's New...

Request for Proposals:

Bark Beetle Prevention, Suppression,

and/or Restoration Projections

August 7, 2014

To Alaska Forest Landowners and Managers:

The US Forest Service and Alaska Division of Forestry are requesting grant proposals to treat forested areas damaged or threatened by bark beetles for prevention, suppression, and/or restoration.  This cost-sharing program has been widely used in previous years to manage for spruce beetle and northern engraver beetles in Alaska.  We encourage your participation.

These Western Bark Beetle Initiative (WBBI) federal funds are administered under the authority of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Section 8, Forest Health Protection.  We are anticipating about $300,000 to be available for projects on Alaska’s state and private lands.  Priority uses would involve: more information ....

2013 FHP Conditions Report

Image of the report cover

The 2013 Forest Health Conditions Report is available! This report reviews our current knowledge of forest health in Alaska. Its purpose is to help resource professionals, land managers, and other decision makers identify and monitor existing and potential forest health risks and hazards. The report is based on data collected in annual aerial detection surveys, ground surveys, permanent plot monitoring efforts, follow-ups to public requests, and input, and early detection work. Emphasis is given to damaging agents observed in 2013. Readers need to be mindful that this is not a complete survey of the 127 million forested acres in Alaska.   The report is organized around the status of four categories of damaging agents: insect pests, diseases, noninfectious disorders, and invasive plants. 

 

Protecting Southwestern Alaska from Invasive Species – A Guide in the English and Yup’ik Languages
Cover of Yupik translated publication.

This new Yup'ik-English guide to invasive species is a first for the Forest Service and a practical identification and prevention tool for Bush Alaska.

Southwestern Alaska is comprised of vast stretches of forests,wetlands and mountains, much of which is remote wilderness. Scattered across this landscape are roughly 120 communities many of whose residents live subsistence lifestyles and observe traditional cultures closely tied to the natural environment. The Yup’ik people of southwestern Alaska represent over 25,000 individuals, about half of this area’s population, and are the largest group of Native Alaskans fluent in their traditional language.  The logistical difficulty of reaching many parts of Southwestern Alaska has helped to protect its ecosystems, and maintains them in a relatively pristine condition. For this reason invasive species and the problems they create have been relatively unheard of in these communities. However, those individuals, families and communities dependent on subsistence resources are likely to be the ones most severely impacted by the introduction of an invasive species.

The people’s strong sense of stewardship, wealth of traditional knowledge, and limited routes of transportation are key components of preventing invasive species from disrupting the ecosystems of Southwest Alaska.  Learning how invasive plants, insects and animals spread and interact with their environment, how other communities have worked to prevent or eradicate them, and what resources exist to help control the spread of exotic organisms may be critical to preserving the landscape and culture for future generations.

The Alaska Region of the USDA Forest Service and the Center for Alaskan Coastal  Studies, with the help and contributions of many individuals and organizations from around the State, have produced the booklet “Kellutellra Alaskam Ungalaqlirnera Eniaritulinun Itrallerkaaneng - Maaryartekaq Kassat Yup’iit-llu Qaneryaraigtun –Protecting Southwestern Alaska from Invasive Species – A Guide in the English and Yup’ik Languages”.  This booklet contains information in both languages, side-by-side, on how invasive species spread and affect ecosystems; stories of from across the State on how invasive species are impacting Alaska, and how local communities and organizations are responding; a selection of invasive species of concern to Southwestern Alaska; and a summary of resources that are available for those concerned about invasive species moving into their communities.

Quick Finds...

Hazard Trees

Hazard Tree Icon

See our recently published book: "Hazard Trees in Alaska: A Guide to the Identification and Management of Hazard Trees in Alaska" by Lori Trummer and Paul Hennon.

This book was designed to provide managers with basic information about hazard trees. We present the information with a logical flow from hazard tree concepts to recognition, evaluation, and lastly prevention. Hazard profiles of Alaskan trees are included that describe the common defects and a general failure potential for the various tree species. A chapter is included on safe backcountry travel principles around hazard trees. References are included for further information on this topic.

 

A leaflet designed to bring awareness of hazard trees to the backcountry traveler is available here for download or hardcopies can be obtained from one of our offices.

Insects and Diseases of Alaskan Forests: Book

Insects and Diseases of Alaskan Forests: Book

A discussion of the forests of Alaska and invasive pests follows the introduction. A short description of insects and diseases affecting general parts of a plant follows next and directs the reader to the appropriate insect or disease section. For each insect or disease, a summary of its hosts, distribution, identification, damage, remarks, and references are provided. A specific index of insect or disease by host plant follows each respective section. The handbook concludes with a glossary, bibliography, appendix for submitting insects or diseases for identification, photography and illustration credits, and finally a general index.

 

Not every insect or disease in Alaska is covered in this handbook. Some are omitted because of limited distribution or minor importance, and others are awaiting more comprehensive surveys and information on their economic or ecological importance. Few chemical suppression measures are included for the organisms covered in this manual because many new control measures are quickly outdated or discarded with new advances, recognition of environmental hazards, or lack of benefit/cost effectiveness. Please refer to the nearest office of the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service or State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service for information concerning specific control measures.

Strategic Plan

The strategic plan reflects the considered opinion of both our internal staff and external stakeholders developed over a one-year period.  We began with a very broad strategic assessment and finished with a very detailed specific set of action plans to accomplish three strategic goal areas – detection, climate change, and communication." - Steve Patterson (S&PF Assistant Director)