Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

September 19, 2007


Attendees: Jerry Uhrig, Phil Notestine, Bob Dewing, Josh Bingham, and Richard Uranker




Minutes from the previous meeting are on the website.


Status Reports


1.      Deer: Two does taken so far. Bear and coyotes complicating the culling.

2.      Deer exclosures: Josh proposed two possible weekends for erecting the second exclosure, October 20-21 and October 27-28. He said that actually part could be done on each weekend if necessary. Jerry noted that October 20 is the next Invasives Control Field Work day. This work will be done out in Richard Wilcox Park quite a distance removed from the site of the next exclosure, which will be in Halsey Frederick Park. It is possible some people may be involved in both activities.

3.      Beavers: Jerry reported that the beavers are showing signs of continued activity. The new area is becoming increasingly aquatic.

4.      Trees: In addition to the invasives removed in the last field work day, two downed trees were cleared from blocking a fire road and a trail. After discussing this work further, two things became apparent. First, there are a number of places throughout the woodlands where trees are down and block trails. For example, a tree currently blocks the biker trail back of Birchwood beach. Second, it is clear that there ought to be some involvement with the Trails Committee in this work. Bob agreed to speak to them about a joint effort to complete the clearing. Another initiative that started as a result of the invasives work is that the Shade Tree Commission has agreed to have three troublesome ailanthus street trees removed. Jerry marked the trees so that they can be put on the removal list this year.


Topics for discussion:


        Invasives removal projects


The Invasives Removal Field Work has had a very positive impact on our woodlands this year. There are areas we can point to that have been effectively cleared of invasives. More important, the level of participation in the work has been gradually building through the year. The primary goal of these work sessions is education but the fact that we actually got a lot of work accomplished is definitely worth noting. Halsey Frederick Park, the sled run, and parking lot at Birchwood, and the fire road through the woodlands at the end of Yorke Road are all much improved over their state at the beginning of the season. We plan to finish the season with work on burning bush in Richard Wilcox Park in October and work on garlic mustard in November. We will take the winter months, December through February, off.


We should also mention here that Josh Bingham took a group of about 15, mainly Scouts, into Halsey Frederick Park as part of his Eagle Scout project. This was the largest group of the year, and the results of their efforts show it.


Other topics:


a)      Jerry provided Richard with two recommendations for new members of the Committee, one to fill the vacancy left by Linda Spencer-Green's departure and one a new Student Member.

b)      The High School Environmental Club plans a project on the hay-scented fern at the deer exclosure. This fern tends to dominate in an area of severe deer browse, such as at the location of our first deer exclosure. So by thinning out the fern inside and outside the exclosure and monitoring the plot we gain a useful index of recovery at the site.

c)      Jerry played a tape of a call that he has been hearing throughout the night for the past month or so. Phil suggested that it could be a night heron. Jerry will investigate further.