Matanuska Experiment Farm resource assessment project

Send letters of interest to

University of Alaska System
Statewide Land Management
1815 Bragaw Street, Suite 101
Anchorage, Alaska 99508-3438

Phone: 907-786-7760
Fax: 907-786-7733

Questions about the project contact

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

The Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center property spans 902 acres of land in Palmer. It consists of approximately:

  • 30 acres of pasture
  • 80 acres of freshwater lakes
  • 200 acres of tillable ground
  • 600 acres of forests, roads and developed land -- housing research and agricultural operations.​

In response to budget reductions and a request from the University of Alaska BOR that universities find ways to generate revenue from their property, UAF is evaluating options to monetize the lands and resources at the Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center (MEFEC). Options for revenue generation may include sale, lease, conservation easement options, resource extraction (gravel), or other potential partnerships. UAF is also exploring monetization strategies in other locations around the state.  Initial gravel resource assessment work occurred in the northeast corner of the farm property, and in an existing gravel pit in the farm core away from public access. The corner parcel was included in this assessment because it is a steep/hilly area that cannot be used to grow grasses, hay or crops. The specific assessment was the first step in determining the potential value of the property's resource assets, and is in line with the MEFEC long-range plan.

Letters of interest have been and will continue to be directed to UA Land Management for inclusion in the analysis of options. Interested parties are encouraged to submit letters of interest, proposals for consideration, and/or provide public comment as part of this process.

Since UAF conducted the initial property valuation assessment, there has been significant stakeholder interest in exploring a conservation or agriculture-type easement with respect to the northeast corner of the farm property. In order to more fully develop this potential option, UAF will work with an appraiser to assess potential terms and conditions of an easement that would not limit MEFEC’s mission or use for this portion of the property over time. UAF will evaluate all information from each option(s) before making a recommendation to the BOR.

University leadership and UA Land Management (UALM) Office representatives have been participating in a series of facilitated meetings hosted by the Matanuska-Susitna Health Foundation since August 2021 to consider ways to promote economic development in the region and how the MEFEC can play a role through its research, lands, and programs. As a result of these sessions, the university will be better equipped to make recommendations to the BOR with respect to options that might have mutual benefit to the university as well as the community.

If UAF decides to pursue any of these options, the project will follow established Board of Regents processes, which include opportunity for public input. As with any large-scale project or property disposal, a 30-day public comment period is part of the multi-step process.