Minutes of 21 October 2009 Meeting
MOUNTAIN LAKES WOODLANDS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
In attendance: Cliff Miles, Bob Dewing, Jerry Uhrig, Scott Goldthwaite. Phil Notestine, Council Liaison Blair Bravo, Boro Manager Barry Lewis and Kelli O’Connor of Morris County Parks.
Barry Lewis was welcomed and introduced by Phil Notestine. Mr. Lewis had prepared by reading past minutes and reviewing related files. He offered his support and desire to learn.
Our mission and results YTD were outlined. Deer herd dramatically reduced and being managed; woodlands understory regenerating, both flora and fauna. Invasive plants are now a focus. Suggestions for periodic cutting and applications of herbicide by the Borough Crew of invasives were made. Woodlands Management would provide some training and help work a plan for 2010.
Our roles in the development and maintenance of the proposed Mountain Lakes Environmental Resources Inventory, specifically the sections on flora and fauna, were discussed. Examples of the NRI/ERI of other communities, obtained by the MLEC, were shared. Cliff Miles will manage the fauna database and Jerry Uhrig will be responsible for flora. Cory Nachshen of the MLEC has overall responsibility. Cory has previously met with us.
Kelli O’Connor, Superintendant of Natural Resources Management has provided a large map with all of Mountain Lakes public woodlands color coded, related software and guidance in our developing a database and maps of invasive flora clusters. She explained and outlined the processes and recommended a GPS device. Several of our members have or have used GPS. It was decided that members would buy their own, if they wish; Garmin was recommended. The database software recommended was Microsoft Access. Work should start when plants begin leafing in early spring; Japanese Barberry plotting can start now. Ms. O’Connor is a highly valued advisor and friend of the Woodlands Mgmnt Committee. We pledge our partnership and help to her in Tourne activities.
The project at Crane and Morris was discussed, and the next work session was planned for 14 November. Chris Stitt recommended that we acquire and plant “Swamp Oak”, a white oak species, as much of the property is wet, as times. The acorns are sweet and favored by a wide variety of mammals and birds. Herbicide will be used on garlic mustard and pachysandra, as it was on Chinese wisteria and Japanese Barberry, to good effect. Herbicide is also planned for Midvale in spring.
UBNJ have started bow hunting in mid September in Mountain Lakes and have been engaged by Denville. It is evident that deer numbers are down and forest understory regeneration is happening everywhere in ML, both flora and fauna. We target a number of less than 30 deer, steady-state in ML, which is 3 sq. miles. So, <10 per square mile, is the recommended target number for woodlands regeneration.
The 2009 Woodlands Management budget was discussed. Less than half has been spent, and little more is planned. Mr. Dave Fewell of the high school was able to acquire 300 trees at no cost – this was the major budget savings – for the freshman class to plant last May. This was a highly successful project. Mrs. Patricia McElduff advises that some of the students will attend a Woodlands meeting in the near future and make a report.
A 2010 Budget will be developed in the near future.
Submitted by Phil Notestine, Chair