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Future of Chena Slough to be discussed

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Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 11:55 pm | Updated: 9:52 am, Sat May 25, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District is holding an open house Tuesday in North Pole to talk about the future of Chena Slough, also known as Badger Slough.

The point of the meeting, which will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hotel North Pole, is to inform the public about the current status of the slough and what the future holds, said Darcy Etcheverry, an invasive plant specialist for the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District.

“We’re going to be talking about a lot of different aspects of the slough,” she said.

There will be a presentation panel that includes representatives from the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and U.S. Forest Service.

Among the subjects to be discussed are the history of the slough; the current state of the water quality; a decrease in arctic grayling habitat; the presence of elodea, an invasive plant that was found in the slough two years ago; options for increasing flow in the slough; and reviving the Chena Slough Neighborhood Committee.

It was the Chena Slough Neighborhood Committee, a group of landowners who live along the slough, that pushed for funding to replace the culverts in the slough about 10 years ago to improve fish habitat and flow in the slough, but that group has “kind of fallen off the radar,” Etcheverry said.

The discovery of elodea two years ago has rekindled interest in the slough, and Etcheverry said agencies want to seize on that interest to get the public more involved.

“We wanted to bring landowners up to speed and get them interested in helping out with some of these projects,” Etcheverry said. “People who live on the slough love it and are passionate about keeping it a viable resource.”

Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.

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