DOT&PF manages vegetation to improve safety, maintain infrastructure, and control invasive plant species. Vegetation management helps maintain roadway sight distance; reduce wildlife strikes; keep road shoulders clear of obstacles; reduce icing; slow down wear and tear on pavement, fences, signs, and guardrail; keep the views clear at scenic overlooks; and control invasive weeds.
When non-chemical methods are too expensive or ineffective, sometimes herbicides may be used. The DOT&PF IPM Plan makes sure that herbicides are used in an environmentally responsible manner that complies with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulations.
DOT&PF works closely with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Alaska Plant Materials Center and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service Agriculture Program to select herbicides that minimize potential risks to human health and the environment. All herbicide applications comply with local, state, and federal regulations. They are performed by certified applicators in accordance with EPA herbicide labels and the DOT&PF IPM Plan.
Applications at aquatic sites require a DEC Pesticide-Use Permit and an Alaska Pollution Discharge Elimination System (APDES) Pesticides General Permit.