Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

October 18, 2006


Attendees: Louise Davis, Phil Notestine, Cliff Miles, Jerry Uhrig




Minutes from the September meeting are on the website.


The next meeting, on November 15, will be held in the upstairs work room. Our usual meeting room will be needed for flu shots.




The deer harvest has been running ahead of last year, 6 does to date. It is likely that some bucks will be taken soon. Vehicle incidents are down.


The Park Lakes Tennis Club sent a letter to the membership advising of the deer culling activity in the vicinity of the tennis club. Since many of the members are from out of town, it is very helpful that the Club manages to keep them informed about the culling program.




Eagle Scout Project

Jerry reported that Kyle Bolo's bluebird house project has been reviewed and approved over the summer. We will have Kyle report to the Woodlands Committee at some convenient time in the near future.


Louise mentioned that there is one other Eagle Scout Project that we might want to know about, a bat house project being done by Francoise Vandame. Jerry said that Gary Webb had called and got our input on it a year or so ago.


            Borough Website Bird List

Several questions were raised concerning the birds listed in the Mountain Lakes bird list on the Borough website. Since we were unable to determine the source of the list, nor could the webmaster, we recommended that Cliff Miles' list for Mountain Lakes be used instead. Three good reasons: (1) Cliff's list has more birds; (2) it appears to be more accurate; (3) if questions arise, we can always ask Cliff. It is understood that such a list is inevitably dynamic. Birds that we used to have, such as the ruffed grouse, are no longer present due to loss of habitat. Likewise, birds that might reasonably be expected based on the habitat may not have been spotted yet. As time passes, they may turn up, and the list will be modified accordingly.




            Control Activities

Jerry reported that this was the second year of the Japanese knotweed control at the edge of the Birchwood parking lot. It shows definite progress. The knotweed is greatly diminished relative to last year when we started cutting it back and applying herbicide. This is the first knotweed control attempted, and it appears to work. This is definitely  positive news. However, on a negative note, Jerry discovered a very much larger patch of knotweed in the same general area but further back and closer to the homes on Arden Road. This patch will have to be cut with something other than the linoleum knife that Jerry used on the smaller patch. Cliff suggested that maybe a machete would work. They also do make heavy scythes for woody plants. Jerry's scythe is not that heavy.


Jerry reported that the weed wrenches work fine on ailanthus seedlings. He removed about six at the West Shore Road site as a test.


Jerry visited the aralia spinosa site along the Boulevard to see if the weed wrenches might work there as well. It appears that this group is too large for the weed wrench jaws so they will have to be cut. However, about half of them are dead, apparently of some type of fungus. We have yet to determine what it is exactly and whether it is something we could count on for control of this invasive. The wrenches may work on some of the other patches though.


            New Invasives

Cliff reported that the trees he found at the corner of Fanny and Morris actually are pawlonia, which is an invasive tree. Hopefully, they will not survive the construction at the site.


            Home & School Bulletin                   

The Invasives Calendar, which we have been publishing in the Home and School Bulletin, seems to have been helpful. We have been getting good feedback on it.


Noxious Weed Information Project - Weedback Handbook

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is sponsoring a Noxious Weed Information Project, which home page can be found at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/ipc/noxweedinfo/noxweedinfo_hp.htm


It appears to be a useful resource. One program of interest is the Purple Loosestrife Control Project. They give some particularly good information on control methods.


Another interesting resource is their noxious and invasive weed action plan. Far more extensive than we would need, it is nevertheless a helpful template.


Their "Encycloweedia" is an idea that would work well on the Woodlands website. Invasives are listed in various alternative categories. It would need some tailoring for our own particular invasives though.


            ML Garden Club

A good contact for Invasives Issues in the Mountain Lakes Garden Club is Lee Maute who is the Conservation Chair.






Sudden Oak Death

According to the October COMTF Newsletter, there are four new hosts positively confirmed as hosts for phytophthera ramorum: sycamore maple, horse chestnut, bay laurel, and Chinese magnolia. They also report that 56 nurseries across the country have been found to be positive for P. ramorum. There is one each in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.


The feature resource this month in the newsletter is the OakMapper http://kellylab.berkeley.edu/SODmonitoring/OakMapper.htm


OakMapper site http://www.oakmapper.org

 components include:


    * downloadable state, county, and local maps, as well as custom maps of local areas of interest, available upon request by emailing: OakMapper@nature.berkeley.edu.

    * an OakMapper webGIS application, which offers a number of functions, including data visualization. This program allows the viewer to see all OakMapper data, including: confirmed P. ramorum trees; symptomatic SOD trees submitted via an online form ("SOD sightings"); host species coverage areas; federal, state, and regional parks; highways, interstates, and local roads; SOD photo locations; a statewide SOD risk model created by Sonoma State University researchers; USGS topographic map backgrounds, and other background spatial data.

    * USDA-FS annual aerial SOD surveys, delineating boundaries of forest mortality. On the OakMapper, the data for 2001-2006 is listed under "Aerial Survey Data". The data is also online in a Google Earth interface at USDA-FS website (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/spf/fhp/fhm/aerial/2005/2005kmz.shtml).

    * search and query functions that allow the user to zoom in/out, gain additional information about something on the map by "identifying" or "finding," and search for SOD near your address. Climate data can also accessed behind each of the SOD confirmations, and exporting as well as printing custom map options are available.

    * a user survey button on the toolbar, where OakMapper feedback and suggestions can be submitted.

    * access to SOD confirmations with Google Maps interface and data as the backdrop. Click on "Map" to view the map backdrop, "Satellite" to view aerial and satellite photos as backdrops, and "Hybrid" to view both.

    * access to SOD confirmations and additional data layers over the Google Earth interface. It is necessary to install Google Earth (free) onto your computer before this particular data can be viewed. Once it is installed, click on the link on OakMapper.org and open the file in Google Earth. Zoom around and tilt the earth to see a bird's eye view of SOD. In some places, you can even see the affected dead/dying trees behind the SOD confirmation.

    * the ability to report a tree with SOD. Submissions that include an address, intersection, or GPS coordinates are then mapped on the OakMapper. This should coincide with the contacting of your county's Agricultural Commissioner's Office (Contact information is available at: County Contacts).


Also coming soon to OakMapper will be the addition of general SOD areas in California, as delineated by SOD experts. The intention of this new data layer will be to depict general boundaries of areas affected by the disease, and will not show absolute locations of individual trees affected.


We encourage you to visit the OakMapper at http://www.oakmapper.org/, submit a "SOD Sighting" if you have seen a symptomatic tree, and contribute to the "User Survey" which will help to improve the OakMapper.



Other Topics or Discussion


            Riparian Buffer Ordinance

We briefly discussed the draft Riparian Buffer Ordinance that Phil had circulated for comment. Cliff was concerned about the sentence " All stormwater would be discharged outside the RBCZ, but may flow through the Zone." He feels that we would need some clarification about how we could be assured that the stormwater would flow through without discharging into the RBCZ.


Louise offered to have the draft ordinance reviewed by an expert at North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development who does a lot of this type of work. Louise is on the board of this organization. We all thought that could be very helpful.


Bottom line is that riparian buffers are very important to woodland habitats. Based on our charter, we have a direct interest in seeing a good ordinance passed.