Woodlands Management Committee April 15, 2009
Attending: Bob Dewing, Phil Notestine, Chris Stitt, Martha, Jerry Uhrig, Blair Wilson and Cliff Miles
Phil began the meeting by recounting an encounter with a man on the trail in Wilcox Park who was from Denville. The man stated that he was deeply concerned by the condition of the Denville Cedar Lake area forest due to the deer browsing in the area. He asked about deer management.
Review of the March Minutes:
Kelli had sent her corrections to us via an email attachment which Phil will insert. Jerry presented his corrections and would send the remainder to Phil for insertion. Some of the corrections were as follows; the lake was Sunset not Crystal, redbud is a tree not a bush, the lakes are raked rather than dredged, Norway Maple was not included in the invasive list due to the staff person’s inability to identify it in the woods. Jerry will review the listing of invasive and include those that were in the printed report by Kelli.
The article by Mr. Frank Lowenstein will be included in the minutes as it is relevant to the long horned beetle and the emerald ash borer. Phil suggested that perhaps photos of these bugs on the homepage of the website will help the community to watch for them.
Jerry gave an update on the freshman class project. Green ash is being planted at the fields at the high school. The students have taken out a great deal of invasive plants. There has been one new deer exclosure put up on the high side of the trail.
Phil stated that the print copy of the Star Ledger article that contained errors in Phil’s comments was to have been corrected for the website still have not been corrected as of yet.
Phil stated that Kelli had spoken of assisting the committee with setting up a data base to enable us to grid out/map out the status of the invasive plant population.
Phil reported on the meeting with a member of the Conserve Wildlife organization which is part of the State Fish and Game. Maria Grace and Mackenzie Hall were to have both come however, Mackenzie Hall was the representative. Both she and Phil walked the trails in the Birchwood Lake area. They brought 2 bat houses that were made by the Denville school children. These houses were the size of brief cases, make with thick wood and painted black. Each house will provide shelter to 200 bats during the warmer seasons, however, they will not over winter there. Phil gave the OK to install them. They will be installed off the trails in the Birchwood lake area. Pictures and plans will be sent to us via email for the OK.
As Phil and Mackenzie Hall were walking in the Birchwood area they sighted 12 deer together, also wood frogs and peepers were heard thus the amphibians are doing well this spring. However, Phil saw worm casting on the trail to the lake from the beaver ponds, thus this explains why there is often no duff. A large water snake was spotted at the lake.
Deer Management UBNJ pizza dinner: Phil reported that the event was very nice and that the six bow hunters very much appreciated the dinner. One of the bow hunters mailed a DVD from his motion detector in Mountain Lakes that showed bears and big deer. There was only one issue with a local woman and it resulted in the UBNJ man calling the MLPD, who had her leave the site. There were some early issues with equipment taken or vandalized, but the rest of the season was fine. Phil suggested that the next dinner will be before the Fall Hunt.
Bob Dewing presented his draft of the letter to the neighbors for the clean up of the pocket park on the corner of Crane and Morris. Bob will send the final draft with changes. Blair suggested that the Borough of Mountain Lakes letter head be used for the letter. Bob asked that everyone send dates to him as to when the work date will be any time between May and June.
Midvale Site: There was a tree taken down and the question is whether the tree was a borough tree or not and that it was felled onto borough property. Jerry brought an herbicide applicator that can be used safety to apply to invasive such as bushes and tree stumps that regenerate. Garlic mustard is coming up as is barberry and the question is what to do to control them, he suggested that we use products such as Round Up early in the morning when there is no wind. We will need to notify the neighbors of this and Phil will contact the neighbor to notify her of the Borough committee’s work.
High School Tree project: Jerry reported that this is a school project/community service project that he is giving guidance to the students. David Fewel is the teacher in charge and Patty McElduff is community outreach coordinator and freshman class parents are also assisting in this project. The trees are from the State and they have gotten grant money. There are 30 students to a group and they are very enthusiastic and focused. The students have between 2 and 4 sessions per day and next week weather allowing the trees will be planted. The students will be tested by the state on this project. Patty McElduff will be having the students give reports at the end of the project and Blair suggested that the Borough Council be given a report by the students also. This project will encompass the students four years at the high school and they have ownership of this project. There are 5 sites:1. High school, in the front where trees were planted last year, 2. The newest deer exclosure,3. Across from the new and old exclosures for the deer from the road to the Ailanthus tree, 4. The old reforestation project where the white cylinders are located, 5. The stream where the ball fields and park are located. Jerry has spent time with the students to educate them on identifying the invasives to be removed. The students learned that the invasive wine berry is very similar to black berries which are native. Jerry noted that near the Ailanthus tree the barberry are very thick however; above those are lots of spice bushes.
Chris stated that his Project worksheet that he has drafted will be resent to the committee tomorrow. A project plan will be used for all future work programs that Woodlands Management Committee does and it will be submitted to the Boro.
Philip Hoffman Eagle Project: Bob will contact him at the next scout meeting this coming week.
Space Farms: Phil is setting up a trip for the group to go on June 14th, Sunday afternoon. All are invited and guests are welcome.
New sightings: Possible – a Mountain Lion in Kinnelon, and bald eagles in Mountain Lakes.
We will be asking Judy Edwards to return to the committee.
Jerry mentioned that the trails in Wilcox are over run with bike riders who are destroying the trails. This issue needs to be revisited.
By Tribe Scribe Martha Dwyer-Bergman