Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

February 20, 2008


Attendees: Phil Notestine, Josh Bingham, Charlie Gormally, Jerry Uhrig




Minutes from the previous meeting are on the website.


Special Reports


Report on Rob Jennings' Talk to the NJ Native Plant Society, Jan 22, 2008


Rob Jennings was the Park Naturalist for the Morris County Park System until last fall when he joined the US National Park Service, serving on the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Plant Management Team (EPMT). Rob gave a talk recently at a meeting of the NJ Native Plant Society. Until his departure last fall, Rob served as president of the North Jersey Section of NJNPS.


Background on EPMTs

A general description of EPMTs and how they work can be found at http://www.npca.org/magazine/2004/spring/greenmenace.html

Our own regional EPMT for the Northeast Region is based at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Bushkill, Pa). As discussed in the Woodlands Management Committee November 2005 minutes, they have a demonstration plot near Walpack Center in the Park. There are now 17 EPMTs throughout the country.


Highlights of Rob's Talk


1.      EPMTs make extensive use of herbicides in their work. They find this to be essential. They are licensed applicators (~$70 for a license) and prefer backpack sprayers.

2.      Beech Bark Disease has been discovered in Shenandoah National Park. The disease can cause up to 95% mortality in mature beech stands and is easily transported over long distances by animals and humans. We should be informed about it and watch our beech trees. The disease is caused by a non-native sap-feeding scale insect and at least two species of fungus, one native and one non-native. Information on identification and control can be found at http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/bbd/ and http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/fidls/beechbark/fidl-beech.htm

3.      Mile-a-minute vine Polygonum perfoliatum is moving toward our area. This troublesome vine from the Far East grows rapidly, scrambling over existing plants and killing them. Jerry reported seeing masses of this vine in the Chesapeake Bay area.

4.      The good news is that the Mid-Atlantic EPMT has eliminated kudzu from the national parks in their area. They have done this by very aggressive application of herbicides from helicopters.



Status Reports




Phil organized a meeting attended by Marc Weiss of UBNJ, Joe Tempesta, Phil, Richard Uranker as Council Liaison to the Environmental Commission, Bob Tovo, and Jerry Uhrig. The purpose was to introduce Marc and Joe, to review the progress made this year, and to plan next year’s activities. It was agreed that the hunters will continue to inform the police about hunting activities as well as any problems that may arise. Joe agreed to write a letter of support to Marc and inviting UBNJ to return next season.


Woodlands Health Monitoring


Jerry reported that one of the problems with the monitoring protocol had been solved by getting a newer, more sensitive GPS unit that can easily detect satellites under tree cover. We found that it actually worked quite well indoors in the meeting room. This will enable us to locate the seedling monitoring plots and other points of interest at any time of year.


Ailanthus Street Trees


Three ailanthus trees identified for removal in the street tree removal program have been removed. We discussed how best to minimize the likelihood of root sprouts from the stumps. Charlie suggested that we might want to try drilling holes in the stumps and filling them with rock salt. He has used this method successfully in the past. Jerry agreed that it would be worth trying. We will do this in a few weeks when the weather is a little more agreeable.


Topics for discussion


Deer Exclosures


Jerry ordered materials for two additional deer exclosures at the discounted price negotiated by Josh. The discount enabled us to purchase the supplies without exceeding the funds available from Town Club grants. The materials will be shipped in Late March or early April. At that time Jerry will receive an invoice so that he can be reimbursed from Woodlands funds. Charlie advised that Joe Tempesta has instituted a new voucher process. Jerry will check with Joe to be sure that he understands the procedure.


Invasives Field Work Plans


Invasives field work for March will take place on Saturday, March 29 at the access road to the sled run part way up Tower Hill Road. We did a lot of work last year on the sled run, especially on the barberry. The access road is one area that has not been cleared yet. Phil offered the use of his shredder/chipper if it would be helpful. It could be if the volume of brush removed gets to be excessive. So we will see when we are finished.


Invasives field work for April has not been planned yet but it is likely to be a continuation of the work in Halsey Frederick Park.


Other topics


Yorke Road Woodlands Cleanup


A schedule seems to be forthcoming for removal of the three piles of junk bricks dumped in the Borough woodlands adjacent to the Yorke Road extension fire road. The responsible party seems to have been the property manager at Spruce Edge. It seems to have taken an inordinate amount of time and trouble to discover this. But we seem to be making progress toward getting the mess cleaned up.