Woodlands Management Committee October 22, 2008


Attending: Bob, Cliff, Judy, Phil, Martha, Charles Gormally (Council liaison)


Jerry will be joining this committee again as a member and Phil will now be the chairperson. Jerry was our original chair and a founding member of Woodlands. All agreed that his leadership, devotion and knowledge have been invaluable.


November 15th, 2008 will be the “Gathering” of all the town committees for a conversation amongst the Woodlands, Lake Management, Environmental Committee, Shade Tree.  This meeting will be on Saturday, MLHS Media Center, 0900 AM.  Jerry and Martha will not be able to attend.  All members are encouraged to attend.


There was a question asked to Charles regarding how new members are added to the committee and Charles stated that the committee should notify the Borough Council of the new memberships to this committee.


Phil asked that each member take over the section of our goals and take charge of its movement.


Bob offered to take on the Husbandry of the Forests.  His goals are to focus on the “Old Trees” that are falling onto neighboring tees and causing injury to otherwise healthy trees. His wants to actively fell these trees to maintain the health of the neighboring trees.


Pocket Parks need to be made a part of the neighborhoods that surround them and to educate thee citizens how to actively care for them.  Bob wands to select one or two parks and focus on cleaning, replanting (trees will be provided) and removing the invasives.  It was mentioned that Beech trees are taking over this area and that there is a need for diversity within the forests. American Chestnuts are being replanted in some area communities.  It was discussed that this needs to be funded by Council.  Charles suggested that the Town Forester should be consulted.  The Forester would be able to go over liability issues and the process he uses would be learned.  Bob mentioned to Charles that both he and Jerry took a weekend course that covered tree liabilities in town...  Bob suggested that the various tree cutting services that work in the town should be approached so that they might donate their time to help cut and remove these trees.  The wood could be split and left on site.  They would then be given free town publicity to encourage people to use them for their own property needs.


Charles spoke to the committee regarding Council thoughts about generating revenue in the town: one might be the selling off of pocket parks to the neighboring properties.  This would be done with a number of restrictions on the “parks”.


What is needed is a program that educated the citizen on the woodlands within the borough.  A discussion  of how this might be achieved and because there is a influx of new community members each year these new Mountain Lakers are unaware of the environments within the town.  Examples were that we have a number of wildlife groups that also call Mountain Lakes home such as bear, deer, coyote, wild turkey and fox, along with the need to care for the woodlands and lakes. The question is how do we inform these new residents of the unique setting that makes up this town. Martha suggested that there be a flyer that explains the overview of the town and the need to have compliance with the ordinances in town and that perhaps these could be given out a the signing of the papers at the house. Others suggested that it be done at Borough Hall when the information is given to the new residences regarding taxes and other financial responsibilities.


Judy and Martha said that they would take on the Invasive Plant work that has been the focus of the last few years.


Cliff will keep us updated on the Health, Diseases and insect pest threats of the Forest.


Phil said that his primary interests are the Fauna of the woodlands, and the overall responsibility of deer herd management has been given over to Woodlands (in addition to the Borough Manager). Phil mentioned that in the Yorke Village area there is a large natural environment of Fauna – animal and insect wildlife.  This is likely to be true throughout ML. There is a probability of an inventory of Fauna, as a new Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) for ML is being considered, and will include fauna as well as flora. The MLEC is to develop the budget and seek the new NRI.


November 15th Summit/Gathering of the various committees in town it will be good to talk about the goals and missions of the groups.  There will be speakers at the meeting and all groups need to be aware of the basic information.   There needs to be questions for these specialists with regards to the walk around in town.  The various groups who will be there are Woodlands, Lakes, EC, Garden, Shade Tree, Council and League of Women Votes.


Deer Control: Phil reported that within the first month of Bow Season there were 7 deer taken.  The hunters are using motion detection cameras.   They have seen a lot of bear and coyote in the woods.  There has been vandalism on their property in the past years: destroying of the tree stands and batteries.  Phil explained that there is zero chance of danger because the shots are downwards and within 15 yards. Car accidents are down because of the herd management success.


Bear:  Phil has had posted a notice on the website regarding bear so that the town can refer people to it. It is important for the town to be educated on bear behavior.  There is a flyer at both the Borough Hall and the library on bears that is put out by the State DEP Fish & Wildlife org.


Natural Resource Inventory to include fauna:  The EC will budget for this.  The proposal for the Fauna email from Ellen Emr from Rick Radis was reviewed.  After reading this, members of the committee mentioned that the information gathered will not be site specific to Mountain Lakes but merely a culling of data from various surveys done in the past years. 


Deer Survey with infra red will cost about $5,000 and should be considered for the next year’s budget.  Charles asked about the empty lot across from Borough Hall and it was explained that this is were the carcasses of the dead deer are placed and that the area has a very high population of deer ticks.


It was asked of Bob if he could have a one page outline of his proposal by the next meeting.


Phil suggested that we have a party for Jerry and Lynn to thank them for the work that they do for the community and Woodlands.  Martha offered her house for the party and we will be contacting Jerry and Lynn to decide on the date of the event.


Our next meeting will be Wednesday November 19th at 7:30