Woodlands Committee Meeting Minutes
Attendees: Jerry Uhrig, Patie Graham, Phil Notestine,
Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Blair Schleicher-
The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.
Martha brought the poster that she and Linda made that gives an overview of the Woodlands Committee goals. This poster was displayed at the Garden Club’s annual Plant Sale on the 8th of May to bring additional awareness to gardeners of the damage from invasive plants. There was a hand-out that had the Woodlands’ mission statement on it and on the other side was the list of invasive plants that the League of Women Voters had included in their presentation to the Borough Council on the Woodlands. The other hand out was a sign-up sheet for volunteers to assist us in collecting inventory data (trees, birds, etc.). While Martha was there, a woman approached her and inquired about the possibility of removing pachysandra patches from the woods behind her house. Although that plant is not on the list of invasive species it was decided that it would be all right to remove it based on conversations at Woodlands meetings regarding the plant. Linda was at the Plant Sale for the entire morning and told Martha that although no one signed up for working with us, Sue Marshall said that her husband would be able to help us with the bird identification process. Martha will call her and tell her that her husband can do it at his own leisure without anyone of us with him. He can just report his findings to us.
Martha also suggested that we have a table at the Mountain Lakes Day event this coming Memorial Day Weekend. Patie said to contact Kelly Thompson who is in charge of the event to see if there is a charge for booth space. Patie said that we might also be able to share space with the League of Women Voters booth. Woodlands might want to make up a list of plants that are invasive and invite people to remove them from the woodlands, e.g., pachysandra, periwinkle, privet, Japanese honeysuckle, barberry both Japanese and European, bittersweet, English ivy, garlic mustard, tree of heaven.
two reports on recent visits to woodlands outside our immediate area, in
been investigating a particularly wet borough lot between
Martha also mentioned that she wondered about a pool near her house. For the past two years it has suddenly changed color from brown to florescent green. She doesn’t understand what would make it change after all these years. Martha and Jerry visited the pool on June 3. The green weed is duckweed, a common pondweed. It is likely that a critical limiting nutrient condition has changed. Further investigation is needed.
Culling: Phil reported that the Environmental Commission will conduct another town wide survey to gather information from the residents and also to update the residents as to the results of the deer culling. There will also be another aerial survey this coming late fall/winter. People have requested culling to take place on their private property; one such request is from 181 Boulevard. Phil also suggested that the Woodlands Committee should probably take the initiative on culling this year. Jerry agreed that this would be appropriate.
Patie mentioned that although her arborvitae appeared to look fine during the winter, they now show signs of serious deer browsing, “like lollipops now”. Martha said that she has not had the spring browsing of her daylilies this year and that there are fewer sightings of deer in the woods.
Immunocontraception: Martha shared with the committee a packet
that she received from the Humane Society of the
Jerry handed out a form that can be used for taking sample site information: very simple and easily adapted to personal use and depth of information (Attachment 3).
On May 15, Jerry and Linda went for an early Saturday morning walk at Birchwood. They discussed the limitations of various sampling strategies. It was evident that the one-meter circles suggested by The Nature Conservancy are really not appropriate for larger trees and shrubs. This approach will work best for herbs, seedlings, and saplings. The 50-meter linear sampling described at the Franklin Township Workshop (March minutes) will be more useful for inventory of the larger flora. They were surprised to hear a wood frog at the vernal pool next to Birchwood (very late in the season). Unfortunately, they also saw garlic mustard everywhere (alas, not surprising).
afternoon, Phil and Jerry walked the woods in Phil’s area of town (
Status Report for the Council
The Committee discussed a report that the Woodlands Committee is giving to the Borough Council on June 14. It will be a status report and recommendations for the remainder of the year. Jerry will make the presentation. All committee members are welcome and encouraged to attend. We should be on the agenda for sometime after . Each member of the committee was requested to give inputs based on guidelines that Jerry distributed at the meeting (Attachment 4).
Woodlands along the
3. A Simple Data Form
4. Plans for Status Report to Borough Council, June 14
Report to the
Subject: Woodlands in
Author: Jerry Uhrig
A visit to
A visit to the arboretum prompted my first question after
noticing that evidence of deer browsing was negligible. Their solution to the
deer problem was simple but not cheap. They fenced in the entire arboretum, an
area comparable to the
However, the azaleas pose another problem, which apparently has not been solved: beavers. Several azaleas had been chewed off at the ground by beavers. Beaver damage is certainly not subtle, as deer browsing can be. They just remove the entire shrub leaving a sharp-pointed stump. Arboretum staff told me that, after all, beavers are just part of the environment. I can appreciate that argument in a place like the Tourne, where there are no national native treasures involved. But my private hunch is that the arboretum beavers have been trapped and transported far away.
The next question came up as a result of a friend who lives
The next major story, actually the cover story in the same
edition of Smoky Mountain News, had the headline "Vanishing Forests, WNC's
woodlands razed to make way for development." The problem is that private
forest land that used to be logged for timber and then allowed to grow back is
now being developed, much of it for second homes. This land will not be allowed
to grow back. So they have a building boom much like the New Jersey Highlands
with a lot of the same issues at stake: forest fragmentation, pressures for
more services, etc. The stretch of the
Other obvious problems in some areas around
The caption on the front-page article in the Asheville
Citizen-Times, April 27 read "Officials scramble to contain disease that
kills oak trees." The disease, known as sudden oak death, has killed tens
of thousands of oaks in
Report to the
Subject: Woodlands along the
Author: Jerry Uhrig
On Saturday, May 8, I had the opportunity to accompany some
friends on a hike along a ten-mile stretch of the
What we found was that the woodlands along the ridge were in good shape. Hemlocks appeared healthy though not large. We found just one with traces of woolly adelgids. It could be that the cold winter up on the ridge has a much more serious effect on the adelgids than it does down in Tillman Ravine. The high ridge does not look like preferred habitat for the hemlocks, but it is apparently safer for them. The understory appeared healthy. There were lots of wildflowers in bloom. The wild columbine was especially noticeable. Unfortunately, the ticks apparently thrived in the dense understory. We removed many of them over the eight hours we spent on the trail. We stopped at two vernal pools. One, in particular, was teeming with frog tadpoles and unhatched salamander eggs. There was no evidence of deer browsing. And since there were none of the factors that give opportunities to invasive species, we saw none up on the ridge. There were small patches of garlic mustard near where we parked the cars at each end. But this was closer to civilization.
Sample Site ___________
Location (GPS Coordinates??)_________
Data Taken By_________________
Aggregate Measures (counts or where too numerous, use per cent coverage)
Depth of Duff______
Plans for Status Report to Borough Council, June 14
Structure of Report
Oral presentation with vugraphs and map
Jerry will put the report together and submit it to the committee and Blair for review as it comes together.
In the meantime, it would be helpful to have:
Inputs from each committee member
You can think primarily in terms of your specific woodland areas but feel free to comment on any issue, which pertains to the entire borough.
Your view of the current status
What have we accomplished to date?
What do we know?
What do we need to know?
What resources might we need going forward?
What actions should the council take?
Choose from any or all of the following formats
Stream of consciousness
Don't be concerned about grammar or punctuation. Content and key ideas are what matters.
But if you prefer because it helps you think more clearly, neatly structured and tightly reasoned prose is OK too.