Alaska’s Certified Weed-Free Gravel Program is a voluntary inspection program administered by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources/Plant Materials Center and carried out on the Kenai Peninsula by the Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District. The purpose of the program is to increase the availability of weed-free products to land managers working in sensitive areas to prevent the spread of invasive weeds and protect fish and wildlife habitat.
The demand for certified weed-free gravel is growing. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge began requiring certified weed-free gravel for all construction projects within Refuge boundaries in late 2013. The US Forest Service, US Department of Transportation and BLM have also started to include weed-free provisions in their contracts. We expect demand to continue to expand as a result of large-scale highway projects slated for the Kenai Peninsula.
Getting certified is probably easier than you think. The first thing to know is that not all weeds are on the invasive list. The second is that even when invasive weeds are found, it is possible to treat them to meet certification requirements. Keep in mind that gravel has to be inspected before being moved. Certificates are good for 1 – 6 months depending on time of year and site conditions.
Certification is affordable. The annual fee of $500 includes three to four inspections and expert guidance on weed prevention and effective control measures at one site up to 5 acres. Partial-year certification is also available for short-term projects.
Be ready to bid on projects requiring certified weed-free gravel by requesting inspection early. Inspections are scheduled on a first-come-first-serve basis.
For an inspection request form and fee schedule or request information about our Certified Weed-Free Forage program, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 283-8732 x 5. To learn more about what weeds are a problem and why, visit www.kenaiweeds.org.