Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Attendees: Cliff Miles, Linda Spencer-Green, Louise Davis, Jerry Uhrig
Minutes from the May meeting are on the website. No changes were needed.
Jerry reported that the
current issue of The Pinchot Letter summarizes
a recent seminar on global trends and sustainable forest management. The
question addressed was phrased: "with economic values from
The report on the seminar can be found at the Pinchot Institute website www.pinchot.com.
The general impression is that
the woodlands are improving. Linda reports that the understory in
Cliff has been seeing birds that have not been particularly evident in recent years: a veery and a brown thrasher.
Cliff also reported finding a beautiful fungus growing along the ECO-Hike trail just before Station 14. He is in the process of confirming a false hellebore down in the wet part of Halsey Frederick Park. The spicebush does not appear to have been too badly browsed this year. So the woodlands do show signs of at least some resilience if not recovery. On the other hand, it is not hard to find badly browsed English yews and azaleas in yards around town.
Deer are also out and about pretty much any time of day but maybe not in the same numbers as before. Cliff reported seeing a buck reclining in the skunk cabbage down by the ECO-Hike trail. This particular deer was eating jewelweed, unperturbed by hikers passing by. So one index of how many deer we have might be how much jewelweed survives and flowers.
We reviewed our deer
management options for the coming year. One major decision is whether to
continue the "maintenance-mode" approach of last year in which the
harvest probably did not offset the birth rate, or to find another approach
that might get the population down to what we might actually need in a recovering woodland. Jerry suggested it might be a good
time for a more comprehensive approach. One possibility would be to have a
knowledgeable consultant, of the caliber of Byron Schissler or Dr. Gary Ault
(see previous Woodlands minutes), review our woodlands condition and make a
recommendation. Another possibility would be to undertake a more comprehensive
management approach along the lines of the Hemlock Farms community in
FLIR Aerial Survey Results
Management Services, Inc. in Tafton and vice president of the Pike
an informative presentation about a recent Forward Looking InfraRed
(FLIR) aerial survey and update on the
June 30. This special program with a PowerPoint
presentation will be held in the education meeting room of the Pike County
Conservation District building on Route 402 at Wildermuth will explain the results of the FLIR flight and how
it relates to the deer herd. He will also discuss deer herd reproduction,
population, and habitat condition in
Cliff reported finding more Devil's walking stick, aralia spinosa, down below the playfields in Halsey Frederick Park and across from the YMCA on Fanny Road.
Invasive Plant Conference, August 9, Frelinghuysen Arboretum
See details at www.arboretumfriends.org
Cliff also reported that the pine
shoot beetle identifications in the surrounding counties were confirmed by the
Carnegie Institute. This beetle attacks all pine trees, disfiguring but not
killing the tree. It has not yet been found in
Linda inquired about the status of gypsy moths. They do not appear to have gone beyond the nuisance level yet. As a point of interest, Cliff said that cuckoos, both yellow-billed and black-billed, do eat gypsy caterpillars. As far as we know, these are the only birds that eat them. Jerry reported that a borough resident had seen a yellow-billed cuckoo recently in his yard. The resident asked if American cuckoos shared the parasitic egg-laying habit of the European cuckoo and the American cowbirds. Cliff said that, for the most part, they do not. He added a fascinating bit of information about the European cuckoo. Apparently, this bird not only lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, but it possesses an uncanny ability to adapt the size and color of the egg to match those in whatever nest it uses.
Cliff also reported finding some more American chestnut trees: two trees, each about 4" diameter and about 30' tall, on either side of the trail around Birchwood near the well house.
Work on the tree lists for the
Shade Tree Commission is progressing. We discussed the incident in
COMTF Newsletter, GAO reports
The current issue of the California Oak Mortality Task Force Newsletter can be viewed at www.suddenoakdeath.org
It has several items of
interest. One is that Sudden Oak Death is spreading, to USDA Forest Service
"The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report, “Invasive Forest Pests: Lessons Learned from Three Recent Infestations May Aid in Managing Future Efforts,” (GAO-06-353, April 2006) has been published. The report evaluates the federal response to three invasive forest pests: Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, and P. ramorum. Recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture included: expanding efforts to monitor forest health conditions to include urban areas, regularly updating and publishing management plans for pests that include status information and funding needs, and implementing written procedures that broadly define when and how to operate science panels for specific pests.
"The report will be
discussed June 21 at a Congressional Forest Health Subcommittee meeting hearing
"To access the report, as well as highlights and the abstract, go to the GAO website at: http://searching.gao.gov/query.html?col=+&qt=+sudden+oak+death&charset=iso-8859-1&ql.
A related report, “Homeland
Security: Management and Coordination Problems Increase the Vulnerability of