Woodlands Committee Meeting Minutes

October 20, 2004


Attendees: Jerry Uhrig, Phil Notestine, Martha Dwyer-Bergman


The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.




Deer Management (Phil)


Phil reported that all is quiet in this area: a few deer have been taken. There was one bait site located too close to a trail near Phil’s neighborhood.  Phil and a neighbor moved it.  Phil has spoken to UBNJ about the incident.  It will not happen again.  Other than that single issue there have been no problems to report.


There will be a time in November when bow hunting will overlap with the DMS feeding.  It is understood that there is to be no bow hunting near the feeding stations.  DMS and UBNJ will coordinate.


Signs have been posted at the entrance to all trails. 


There are three residents that have requested that hunters come onto their private property and hunt.


Deer Contraceptives-  


Martha reported that she finally had a response from Jack Schrier of Mendham regarding deer sterilization and his request that the Borough Council adopt a resolution which calls on the Federal government to allocate $5MM to the Department of the Interior to develop a formula for a safe effective single-inoculation of the deer. 


Martha will contact Armen Melikian of the Environmental Commission regarding his knowledge of deer contraceptives. 


We should also follow Princeton’s experience with deer contraceptives to learn more about how they work in actual practice.


Invasives (Jerry)


Jerry handed out a flyer on the Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s Invasive plant workshop.  It will be held on Friday October 29th, 2004 9:30-3:30; the cost is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.


Jackie Burkett gave Jerry a list of websites that discuss invasive plants:




This is the website of the Alien Plant Working Group of the Plant Conservation Alliance. It is a good source of information regarding recognition and control of invasives.




This site is titled “The Source for Information and Images of Invasive & Exotic Species.” It is maintained jointly by the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service. This site also has information on Sudden Oak Death.




This is a listing of many additional sites related to invasive species. This site also has an excellent Q&A archive.


There has been some dumping of bamboo in the woods across from a house near the end of Crystal Road. Most of it has been cut and dumped. These have apparently not been taking root. These piles, while unsightly, do not appear to be causing any spread of the bamboo. Unfortunately, some of the stocks were pulled out by the roots and, consequently, have taken hold and started to grow.  Jerry pulled out what he saw, but is concerned that there might still be some growing there and/or some roots left in the ground.  Since the house is in the process of being sold, it is clear that the new homeowners should not be responsible for the clean-up. Jerry will contact Gary Webb so that he can initiate the proper remediation.


Phil mentioned that the Environmental Commission is interested in getting involved with the invasives problem.  Jerry will contact Paul Shorb.


Woodlands threats                                                                                                    


Jerry handed out information sheets on some of the currently known woodland threats. Some useful websites are the following: 


Sudden Oak Death www.suddenoakdeath.org


This website gives monthly updates on the status of the Sudden Oak Death threat. It was mentioned that the fungus has been found and hopefully isolated in Cape May.


Asian Longhorn beetle http://www.uvm.edu/albeetle/


This site is maintained by the University of Vermont. It is a good resource for information on how to identify this insect and how to report infestations.


Emerald Ash Borer http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/eab/


This site is maintained by the USDA Forest Service. It gives current information on the status of this threat. For now, the major outbreak is confined to the lower peninsula of Michigan and some surrounding areas of Canada, Indiana, and Ohio. An outbreak in Maryland and Virginia resulting from an illegal shipment of infected nursery stock seems to have been contained.


Input to Council for Budget Recommendations


Our thinking on the budget continues to evolve as we get additional information. It appears now that, contrary to our thinking in June, it might be more useful to allocate funds to monitoring for threats rather than for removing invasives. One approach would be to contact a trained forester to help us determine how to protect the Borough woodlands against the various known threats, such as those cited above. We need to determine how much professional help we would need for the inspections. Hopefully, we can learn how to do most of it ourselves and call the professional when we suspect we might have a serious problem. A reasonable starting point might be the forester used by the Shade Tree Commission.




The Woodlands Committee website can be found by going to the Mountain Lakes website www.mtnlakes.org ,clicking on the Borough Hall tab (second from left),  and then going to the bottom of the list of Borough Committees and Commissions. For now, the website is strictly factual and not especially user friendly. We simply show the following bullet list, which provides links to the material:



  Committee Members

  Meeting Schedule

  Status Report to the Borough Council -- June 2004

  Executive Overview of June 14, 2004 Status Report to the Borough Council

  Meeting Minutes


We need to work on improving the access to particular issues, such as, threats to our woodlands with links to helpful websites. We also need photos to illustrate our own local conditions.