Woodlands Management Committee March 18, 2009
Attending: Kelli O’Connor, Superintendent of Morris County Parks Natural Resources, Jerry Uhrig, Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Cliff Miles, Bob Dewing, Phil Notestine, Chris Stitt and Doug Morrison, a member of the Environmental Commission.
Phil asked the members if anyone had comments on the February 2009 meeting, there were no additions and the minutes were approved.
Deer Management: UBNJ have signed up again for the next deer hunting season. Chief Tovo and Mr. Tempesta may come to the pizza dinner at “That’s Amore” in Denville with Phil to thank the members for their several years work in the Borough. It will be held on Wednesday April 1st at 7pm. Members are encouraged to attend; UBNJ will report their experiences, opinions on the deer herd and fauna sightings.
Phil noted to Bob that the lot on the corner of Crane and Morris is in fact boro property.
Chris presented his recommendations for the draft of the Project Sheet that will accompany future work proposed within the borough. Suggestions for this guideline are the following:
1. List the trees that will be removed with reason for removal, the process
2. Herbicides that will be used
3. Estimated number of man hours needed for this project, volunteers, Boro crew
4. Contact person with phone number
5. Invasives list of the plants and number of plants.
6. Summary/overview possible follow up actions
Jerry pointed out that at Sunset Lake when the lake was raked the buffer zone was destroyed and the replacement plants were redbud trees. In restoration projects within the woods these plantings have been eaten by the deer. In the deer exclosures, for example, the invasive plants were removed from inside, however after a few years there is a regrowth of invasives.
Bob said that the project for Morris and Crane is not yet written up but he will complete it this month.
Phil said that we need to revisit the Midvale site that was worked on last fall.
Kelli gave her presentation on Invasive Plant Mapping.
What species’ are present?
Extent of occurrence
Strategic plan development
GIS to subdivide the property
Sampling within each grid
Record invasive plants
Diversity of individual plants
Over all density of plants
Plants that were tracked
Bush honey suckle
Multi flora Rose
(Norway maple – not included – intern’s ability to identify concerns)
Density of plants
Light- scattered individuals
Heavy- very dense growth
Questions: How do you get have the resources, volunteers, to help with these projects? Phil asked if there could be more help from various groups from surrounding communities to work together.
Kelli stated that removing all invasives from areas creates a look like a clear cut and that if possible placing fencing in that area would help the replanted species to survive.
One approach to invasive plant management is to go after the LOWER LEVELS OF DENSITY first.
There are grants available through the Divisions of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program’s Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program. One of these actions includes support for invasive plant removal projects. Kelli said that she would send us the link to the grants. Kelli said that the Woodlands Management Committee is very progressive in the area. She was contacted by a concerned citizen from Denville regarding the Tourne and what can she do to help. Kelli will give us her name as a volunteer.
Processing the Results: 1) Create a grid around the data collection points; 2) Enter data collected at each sampling point into a database; 3) Link database with GIS map and color code the results based on plant density. The results for the Tourne are that there are 18 invasive plants that are within this park.
Kelli suggested that when removing large sections of bush that native wild flowers seeds be planted in the soil. Japanese Stilt grass is a serious problem and the removal of it can only be done with weed whackers in mid-August prior to the seeds development, herbicides, or hand pulling over a number of years. She suggests that when pulling invasives, if possible leaving them on site if there are no seeds and covering the piles with black plastic to speed up decomposition.
Norway maple in the fall they are the last trees to loose their leaves and the leaves are a bright yellow. The removal of trees causes opportunities for other plants to take hold. At least three times a year the site must be revisited for maintenance. If trees are girdled then there is a safety issue if close to property.
Phil showed interest in replicating this study in Mountain Lakes and wanted to know if Fauna data can be added, Kelli said that notations were done as they walked the sites.
Phil said that 4 person teams could be used to speed up the process. Kelli said that there were Interns available but that they most probably would want a salary.
Jerry asked about the GIS software support for the mapping and it was mentioned that perhaps we could use the county’s data support because we are part of the Borough.
Martha asked how the list of invasives was arrived at and Kelli explained that although the State of New Jersey has yet to finalize the listing the states surrounding New Jersey do have lists, Mass, Conn, NY, PA which were used.
Bob gave an update on the Students and the tree project and stated that he has spoken to landscapers and they have offered to give the pots to the project.
Philip Hoffman, the Eagle Scout candidate did not attend the meeting and we are not aware of the status of his project. Jerry spoke to him in May/June of 2008.
Members reported that the Spring Peepers (frogs) have been heard for the last week.
Phil reported on the fact that Judy Edwards has resigned from the committee sighting the fact that she is overextended with her other volunteer and family activities. The committee is saddened by the loss of her expertise, camaraderie and commitment to our woodlands. The committee will greatly miss her ideas and her many hours of hands-on work in the field.
Judy was the liaison to the ad-hoc invasives inter-organization group formed after the “Environmental Summit” and attended two meetings. Members of this group feel that their consensus should override our current Woodlands Management Plan and the group sought to direct this Committee’s actions. While we would like to reach consensus with the other Mountain Lakes groups, Woodlands will continue to seek Borough Council approval for major woodlands remediation/invasives projects. Phil asked for a volunteer to participate in the ad-hoc group but no one stepped forward.
Phil mentioned that Woodlands will plan a group outing to Space Farms in Sussex County, an outdoor zoo and museums this spring, and invited Ms. O’Connor. She was pleased to be invited.
Jerry mentioned that there are mountain lions (cougar) in PA. What to do if you encounter one is to look it in the eyes. Stare it down. DO NOT RUN!
By the Woodlands Tribe Scribe,