Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

September 21, 2005


Attendees: Phil Notestine, Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Linda Spencer-Green, Cliff Miles, Jerry Uhrig





Delaware Highlands Conservancy Event - Jerry


On Saturday, September 17, Jerry attended the annual gathering of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy. The Delaware Highlands consists of that area on either side of the Delaware River upstream of Port Jervis, NY. There were speakers and booths from National Park Service, PA State Parks, and the local county Conservation District. Some of the highlights were:

        The Park Service is using black plastic to control Japanese Knotweed along the river.

        The Park Service is using a beetle to control purple loosestrife at a site on the river. Results are not yet conclusive.

        Lacawac Sanctuary, near Lake Wallenpaupack, is using a beetle to control hemlock woolly adelgid. So far, it appears that the recent cold winters have been more effective than the beetles.

        Lacawac Sanctuary ran a ten-year study with deer exclosures. They found that recovery can take a long time. Of two exclosures, one in deciduous forest did show noticeable recovery at the end of the period. But the other exclosure, in hemlock forest showed far less recovery. The message is that recovery can take a very long time. We visited the sanctuary the following day to inspect the exclosures and take pictures. The contact for the study is a professor from the University of Scranton. We will follow up on the details.


Woodlands slide presentation - Linda


Linda presented her slide presentation of the Woodlands Committee of Mountain Lakes. We all agreed that this could be a very good way to introduce people to the work of the Woodlands Management Committee. We will explore the possibility of putting it up on our website and possibly making it available at the borough library.




Invasive Strategizing


We need to find a way to foster better communication and cooperation between the various Borough groups concerned with invasive species. This would include: Environmental Commission, Lakes Management Commission, Trails Committee, Shade Tree Commission, and Woodlands Management Committee. It is proposed that each group send a representative to a seminar on invasives to be given at the Boonton Township Municipal Building on October 13 at 8 pm. The speaker will be Robert Jennings, Morris County Parks Superintendent of Natural Resources Management. He plans to share his broad knowledge about invasive species management in our area. Sometime within a week or two after the seminar, it is proposed that a representative of each of the five Borough groups should meet to share insights and concerns and to begin to formulate a unified approach to the problem.


Devil's walking stick


Rob Jennings of the Morris County Park Commission has advised us to remove whatever stands of this species that we may have. There are two that we know about, one along the Boulevard near Martin's Lane and one on Laurel Hill, also near Martin's Lane. Jerry reported that about half the devil's walking stick along the Boulevard appears to have died. Cliff will investigate to determine what might have been the cause. It appears to have been a fungus of some sort.


Purple Loosestrife


We have substantial amounts of this invasive around Sunset Lake. A patch on Mountain Lake has been removed. It has been reported, but not yet confirmed, to be growing at the edge of the canal behind the Community church and possibly at the edge of Wildwood Lake near the Boulevard.


Japanese knotweed


Jerry asked if we actually had this invasive growing in town. Cliff said that there is an extensive patch of it along Pocono Road opposite the Borough Garage. It is flowering now and easy to spot.


Invasives Brochure


Laurel Durenburger of the Environmental Commission is compiling a brochure on invasives that will be distributed to Borough residents. It would be helpful for residents to know what not to plant in their yard, as well as what should be removed. Woodlands is furnishing the material for the brochure. Martha will compile a first rough cut of it.


Invasive Tree Removal


We discussed ways of dealing with the costly problem of removing invasive trees in our woodlands. Linda said that the Shade Tree Commission is well-aware of the problem but does not believe that it is a good use of the scarce funding they have for removal of problem trees. Jerry said that we will continue to seek grant money for such a purpose. We were not successful last year. But this year we have a new person at NRCS who would like to find helpful projects. Jerry has spoken with him and plans to have a meeting in the near future.


Martha suggested another possible approach. She mentioned that a friend of hers, Bob Roth of Verona, NJ, has a contact person whom he works with in Eagle Rock Reservation in South Orange. This man will remove the trees and give us back a percentage of money from the sale of them at no charge. Martha will follow up and get more details.




Deer Management Program - Phil


Phil updated us on the deer hunting in the Borough this year. There will be bow hunting by members of the UBNJ organization. Local bow hunters may also participate. The dates will be from September 10 to February, 2006 with no interruptions. They will be hunting from stands and could possibly use bait sites. The hours are from one-half hour prior to sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. They are allowed only one buck and an unlimited number of does.


There will be no hunting with firearms this year.


There will be monthly reports.


Spay-Vac failure


It has been reported in the newspapers that the sterilization experiment using Spay-Vac in Princeton has failed to produce the desired effect. Female deer injected with this substance have been producing fawns in the usual numbers.


Deer Management Signs


The new signs for this season appear to be effective and well-placed. But there might be a couple of places where we could add signs. Jerry will follow up with Gary Webb.


Deer Management Workshop


On October 1 in Hawley, PA (near Lake Wallenpaupack) there will be a seminar on deer management sponsored by Penn State Cooperative Extension and 60 other organizations. It is designed for homeowners and communities and features Dr. Gary Alt, a noted authority on the subject, as well as a speaker from PA Audubon and a consultant. Further information can be obtained by sending an email to PikeExt@psu.edu. awley,HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhwwwwwwwwwgkgkkkkkkkkkkk


Woodlands Threats


Sudden Oak Death


Jerry reported on a Sudden Oak Death risk analysis that has been published by the USDA in Raleigh, NC. It is accessible at the website www.suddenoakdeath.org. It contains a current list of species known to be susceptible. Local species on the list include, red oaks, andromeda, and false solomon's seal.


Pest Alert : Sirex woodwasp - Cliff


Cliff handed out a Pest Alert on the Sirex Woodwasp which has been found in the Carteret, New Jersey area where it probably arrived in packing crates. Native to Europe, Asia and Northern Africa it attacks pines most often in plantation locations and causes up to 80 percent mortality. They attack living pines, while native woodwasps attack only dead and dying trees. The foliage of infested trees initially wilts and then changes color from dark green to light green to yellow and finally to red during the 3-6 months following the attack. They can be managed through the use of biological control agents, especially a parasitic nematode. But early detection and response is important.


Other Topics


Long-tailed shrew


Cliff reported seeing a long-tailed shrew in the Tourne near the well house back of Birchwood Lake. It was the first he has seen one in this area.