History of the North Campus Area


Pre 1898- no know Native settlements or camps; land bisected by one road, Chena Road that led from Chena to the gold fields to the north, and one trail that led from Chena Road to Smiths Lake.

1904- citizens of Fairbanks petition the US Government to establish an experiment station in Fairbanks

Mar 22, 1906- land surveyed by C.C. Georgeson in 1905 was reserved and set apart for the use of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the purposes of an agricultural experiment station included most of, but not all (1393.97 acres), sections 6,31,1, and 36

1908- first land cleared in North campus area for agricultural experimentation (potato field)

1911- roads constructed into the north campus area for access to agricultural lands; land cleared near Smith Lake for agricultural experimentation, now the T-field; longest continuously cultivated land in Alaska

Mar 4, 1915 – Sections 6, 31, 1 and 36 were granted to the Territory of Alaska as the site of an agricultural college and school of mines except for any land in these sections previously claimed under Homestead Act or other laws, and land not abandoned by the Dept of Agriculture could continue to be used for an experiment station.

May 3, 1917 – the Legislature of the Territory of Alaska established the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines (AAC&SM)

Oct 25, 1923- contract between the Department of Agriculture and Board of Trustees, AAC&SM, that split the land grant sections allowing the experiment station to expand to the entire 2 sections (not just the portion surveyed by Georgeson) of 1 and 36; the easterly sections 6 and 31 were abandoned by the Dept of Agriculture to be used as the AAC&SM. Signed by President Coolidge

Feb 23, 1929 (Federal Register) Benefits of the Hatch Act and Smith-Lever act extended to the Territory of Alaska (this basically provided for a partnership of funding between the territory and the feds for funding of the experiment station and all other benefits of those acts. BUT it wasn’t until 1931 when money was finally appropriated and with a catch:

Feb 23, 1931- funds appropriated to extend benefits of the Hatch Act and Smith –Lever Act provided that all lands, buildings, etc. now used by the Department of Agriculture experiment stations be turned over to the AAC&SM (I think this means the Territory received the benefits of Hatch in 1929, but $$ were finally appropriated in 1931 with the proviso that everything be turned over to the AAC&SM).

1932- first major recreational trail, portion of Skarland Trail, begun

May 22, 1946 Assistant Secretary of Agriculture turned over to the University of Alaska all experiment station lands

May 25, 1950 Board of regents approved Dr. Terris Moore’s recommendation that an area of 100 yards around Smith Lake be made a park with no cutting of trees permitted (it actually doesn’t say wildlife refuge, but a park.)

1950- Ballaine Lake Research Area established by UAF Geophysical Insitute

mid 1950s through 1960s- 9-mile trail, 12-mine trail, Miller Hill trail established

1963- first Equinox marathon

1964- Exotic Tree Plantation contract between USDA Forest Service and UAF; currently maintained by SNRAS (SALRM)

1967- 47 acres fenced into the Biological Research Reserve for research by Institute of Arctic Biology

May 16-18 1968. Board of Regents approved establishment of a Boreal Arboretum

1980- Memorandum of Understanding between UAF and Fairbanks North Star Borough to preserve and protect historic trails and connections with other non-campus trails (this is from Skarland trails plan. I haven’t gotten a copy of the MOA yet)

1981- Alaska Department of Fish and Game helps establish shooting range

1994- Synthetic Aperture Radar Antenna (SARII) construction agreement between UAF and NASA

Sept 24, 1997- 20-year agreement between US Geological Survey and UAF for College International Geophysical Observatory (CIGO)


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