Volunteers wanted for weekend event to protect Moose Creek Dam

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) This Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m., as part of National Public Lands Day, operators of the Chena Flood Control Project are asking the public's help in performing preventative maintenance.

This Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m., as part of National Public Lands Day, operators of the Chena Flood Control Project are asking the public's help in performing preventative maintenance. (Andrew Hawkins/KTVF)

The Chena Flood Control Project was created after the 1967 flood that tore through Fairbanks. Since its completion in 1979, the facility has been operated to prevent flooding in the local area. The Moose Creek Dam, which is part of the project, acts as a barrier, to divert water from the Chena River to the Tanana River.

Senior Park Ranger for the project, Justin Kerwin, spoke about what the volunteers will be doing to protect the dam.

"The best thing for us to work on would be to remove some of this spruce that you see behind me," said Kerwin. "These little spruce trees that grow on the downstream side of the dam, they look pretty harmless now, but if left unchecked they can cause some structural problems later for the dam itself."

Kerwin says if the trees were to continue to grow on the slope of the dam, the root system of the plants would spread, which creates pathways that water can seep through. By removing the plants, it limits the pathways for water.

"It's extremely important to maintain this facility by doing exactly what we'll be doing this Saturday, which is removing this woody vegetation that can cause problems down the road," said Kerwin.

After a briefing, volunteers will begin pulling up the saplings.

"It's pretty simple to remove them," began Kerwin. "Especially at this size. You can really just grab them and pull them up by hand."

Kerwin says volunteers will receive a free lunch and a free day use fee voucher to any of the local participating agencies. Those agencies includes National Parks Service, Bureau of Land Management, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

Ranger Kerwin says you can contact him at (907) 488-5400 to be added to the list to help. He also says you can go to the project office on Saturday morning located at 3800 Laurance Road in North Pole.

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