Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

November 15, 2006


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




Minutes from the October meeting are on the website.




Phil reported that there have been 11 deer culled by the bow hunters, 3 bucks and 8 does.




The beaver colony in the Tourne County Park has expanded to include the area around the Spring House Trail across the bottomland. This trail is now flooded to the extent that its usefulness is questionable. The beavers have also started taking down trees adjacent to the trail. Jerry brought photos of this area as well as the area further downstream at the County Park boundary, which has been flooded for several years. It appears that the beaver colony may have exceeded the limits that we would find tolerable within Wilcox Park. We will explore our options in reducing the beaver population in the park. Phil will take the initiative on this through his contacts at DEP and through Gary Webb.


Jerry mentioned that Rick Miles (Cliff's son), an environmental sciences major in college, is looking for a GIS project. He has proposed studying the beaver site. Jerry, Cliff, and Rick plan to visit the site over Thanksgiving, when Rick will be home from college.


Martha asked what research has been done on the effects of beavers to the environment. Jerry said that the most immediate effect would be loss of large numbers of trees and shrubs due to flooding and the beavers' need for food and shelter. This was readily apparent in the photos taken of the downstream area, which had been flooded for several years.


Phil suggested that a pilot he knows, Bill Wimmer, might be interested in flying over the site and taking photographs to delineate the extent of the flooding.





Jerry removed all the ailanthus saplings and seedlings from the West Shore Road site. The one mature ailanthus that spawned them remains. Removal of most of the smaller trees was done with a Weed Wrench, pulling them out roots and all. About six of them were too large for the Weed Wrench jaws. But because the roots are very shallow it was still possible to get them out by rocking the tree back and forth and using a pick to pry up the roots.


The small ailanthus trees at the Fliflet Bird Sanctuary were a little harder to deal with. Many of them had been cut off at ground level years before. So what appeared to be small seedlings and saplings were really root sprouts. These break off promptly under the force of the Weed Wrench leaving the stump. Since the stumps are generally too short or too thick to grasp with a Weed Wrench, there are three options: 1) keep removing the root spouts so that the roots eventually die, or 2) apply herbicide to the stumps, or 3) it may be possible in some cases to dig up the roots. The job is not finished.


Jerry went over the invasive calendar for the Home and School Bulletin.




NRCS has announced the availability of project grants for the coming year. Projects that may be eligible will address Early Successional Habitats, which includes pollinator species habitat and grassland bird habitat; Wetlands, which includes coastal mud flats and wetland forests; Disturbance Dependent Habitats, which include fire-dependent forests and scrub/shrub habitats; and Bog turtle habitats.


Jerry noted that we have applied in the past for these grants but have not gotten funding.  We agreed to explore further to determine if this is a good opportunity for us. The application deadline is December 22, 2006.


Birchwood Lake


A question was raised about the back portion of Birchwood Lake, which is now exposed since the lake has been lowered for work on a retaining wall. It seems it might be a good time to dig up some of the excess weeds growing in that part of the lake. Jerry agreed to ask about it at the annual lakes management walk to be held the following Saturday.


Newark Bight


Phil noted that a good discussion of the geology of our area can be found by "googling" Newark Bight. One good website that the search will turn up is the following.