Banks of Chena River Restoration project underway

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska A renovation project to improve the banks along of the Chena River is in motion.

A collaboration between Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, U-S Fish and Wildlife Services and the Future Farmers of America from 10 different states took action to revamp 700 feet of the local river.

The organizations were originally contacted by private land owners who were concerned about bank erosion.

Riparian specialist of the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District Katie McClellan explained how the project will help wildlife as well.

"From a conservation perspective it is really important that we maintain or improve riparian buffers so that we are providing quality habitat for salmon," McClellan said. "Planting willows, stabilizing banks reducing erosion, slowing water velocity, providing shade, all of that contributes to significantly higher quality habitat for salmon."

The Chena River is the second largest salmon run in the Yukon River watershed.

The project began last summer, but was halted due to high waters.

Planting live willows, which have established roots, will help retain soil and reduce erosion along the bank.