Posts filed under ‘Conservation Foundation (CLCF)’
This article contributed by Diana Bailey – Japanese Knotweed.
Over the past several years, I have been watching the steady encroachment of Japanese Knotweed up Rte 16 from the village to the entrance to the Grove. You may have noticed the very healthy stand of it running continuously from just north of the Riverbend driveway to the next driveway up. Also, there is a large clump outside Jim Bowditch’s house, a sizeable stand just south of the Welcome to Chocorua sign, and more recently, two smallish clumps have sprouted at the south entrance to the Grove.
As many of you may know, Japanese Knotweed is one of the most invasive non-native plants in the country (second only to Kudzu in the south). You can practically watch it growing! It is on the top of Federal and State lists of invasive species and we are losing acres of valuable land and many native species to this thug.
There is no successful way to eradicate it – yet – but there are several ways to keep it under control:
* Smother it with thick tarps
* Cut it down to the ground and squirt RoundUp (or equivalent) into the
hollow stems, then smother with tarps
* Dig it up on a regular basis, then smother with tarps
None of this will eradicate it. The roots reach down many feet and it takes a bulldozer to get them out. If a tiny piece of root is left, it will sprout right back up. It is so strong it will break through concrete – for those who thought they would pave it over and be done with it! It produces large flowers and hundreds of seeds that spread by wind and birds. Any part of the stem, leaf or flower will propogate easily, so if cuttings are dumped they will sprout a new patch the following season. Enough! You get the idea….
The only good news is that Knotweed prefers open, sunny locations and the Grove is shaded. I don’t believe there is anything we can do to stop it from spreading up and down Rte 16, however, I think we can be vigilant about the clumps at the entrance to the Grove in order to prevent it from spreading into the Grove. Members of the CLA and CLCF feel that it would be worth cutting and bagging the plants on a regular basis – say twice per year, spring and fall – for the next 5 or so years. In this way, we may be able to contain it and prevent its spread into the Grove.
We will always be glad to have volunteers for this chore.
This story appeared in The Conway Daily Sun:
By Nate Giarnese
–> TAMWORTH — The N.H. Supreme Court has sent the developer of a proposed motorsports facility back to the Tamworth Planning Board for another shot at a town wetlands permit.
The court ruled that the planning board didn’t properly explain reasons for denying the permit in 2006.
CMI Motorsports Inc. has been battling in and out of court for years to build a $28 million, 251-acre driving country club, including a 3.1-mile European-style road course on the north face of Mount Whittier. The company sued the town over the 2006 permit rejection.
Link to CMI Web site: http://www.clubmotorsports.com/
YouTube Simulation of what CMI is proposing to build in Tamworth: http://www.clubmotorsports.com/pressroom/index.cfm?ac=details&NewsID=486
Since the company formed in 2002, it has met with mixed reactions in town, where its promise of jobs has excited hard-pressed working families. But wetlands and noise worries have led to court fights with activist group, Focus: Tamworth, and raised concerns among town conservation officials.
In a 16-page opinion authored by chief justice John Broderick and released Friday, the state’s highest court found planning board members did not issue a proper written explanation of their Nov. 8, 2006 decision not to issue a special use permit under the town’s wetlands ordinance. CMI has already earned state and federal-level environmental approvals but needs the town permit, the court ruled.
“Under the circumstances of this case, we hold that casting separate votes on each of the seven Section A criteria with respect to the project as a whole, without providing reasons, explanations or findings directed to adversely affected wetland areas or buffer zones, does not constitute an adequate statement for the grounds of disapproval necessary to comply with RSA 676:4, I(h),” the ruling said.
In issuing the order, the high court upheld an earlier decision by Carroll County Superior Court judge Steven Houran.
“Because the November 8 minutes do not satisfy RSA 676:4, I(h), we hold that the record supports the trial court’s ruling to vacate and remand,” the ruling said.
The court also ruled the town wetlands ordinance is limited in its jurisdiction to wetlands and buffer zones, and is not a general zoning ordinance.
“Further, the WCO is not a zoning ordinance under which the planning board determines whether a proposed project constitutes an appropriate use of land. Rather, it sets forth a regulatory permitting scheme governing the use of and impact upon wetlands. Thus, the planning board’s task is to review the application, and identify any deficiencies it perceives regarding particular wetland impact areas,” the ruling said.
Selectman Willie Farnum Thursday said it remained uncertain when CMI will return before the planning board. And he said he doesn’t know at what point in the permitting process CMI will have to begin.
“It’s complicated,” he said.
“It’s coming back at some point,” he added. “The decision has been made.”
CMI vice president Jim Hoenschied said he could not comment until Monday, the last day either side can file for reconsideration. “CMI is pleased the Supreme Court upheld the Superior Court’s decision in favor of Club Motorsports rejecting all of Focus Tamworth’s arguments and claims,” he said. Focus spokesperson Kate Vachon declined to comment, saying the suit is between the town and CMI.
Story from the Wall Street Journal, 1/14/2010
As More Goods Are Imported From Overseas, Greater Numbers of Invasive Insects and Plants Also Arrive and Bite Business
Asian longhorned beetles have devastated certain U.S. trees.
FAYETTEVILLE, West Va.—Perched on a platform 50 feet above the ground in a big hemlock named Fern, Geoff Elliott points to an unwelcome Asian import: a little bug known as the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Small fuzzy white nymphs cling to the undersides of hemlock branches throughout the grove of trees. Both nymphs and adult adelgids can work quickly to destroy hemlocks 150 feet tall.
“This tree is believed to be somewhere between 200 and 300 years in age and can be taken out by the adelgid in as little as two to four years,” says Mr. Elliott, a tour guide for Adventure West Virginia Resort LLC, which operates zip-line tours through the treetops. The company is trying to educate visitors about the dangers of the invasive insect as it diminishes the landscape the business relies on.
“Without any action we could lose the species,” said Mark Whitmore, a forest entomologist at Cornell University. He described the hemlock as a “keystone species,” because it provides shade that cools streams so fish can survive as well shelter for birds and animals. Losing it would be like “having all your front teeth fall out,” he said.
As global trade has mounted, more goods are coming in from overseas, sometimes bringing with them the accidental cargo of destructive bugs and plants. An estimated 500 million plants are imported to the U.S. each year, and shipments through one plant inspection station doubled to 52,540 between 2004 and 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, about 30 new invasive insects are discovered annually in the U.S., up sharply over the last decade, the USDA says.
3:02Some of West Virginia’s finest hemlock forests are under assault by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid. To raise awareness about the predatory bug, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy has teamed up with an adventure tourism company doing treetop tours. WSJ’s Kris Mahar reports.
The yearly economic impact of invasive species in the U.S. is estimated at $133.6 billion, according to a study in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review in 2006. That includes the cost of control and prevention such as pesticides, inspection programs at ports and damage to crops.
An estimated 50,000 plant, animal and insect species have been introduced into the U.S. throughout history. Many plants are initially introduced as food or ornamentals, while animals are occasionally introduced to control other pests. The English sparrow was brought over to control the canker worm on crops in 1853. But by 1900, it was considered a pest because it introduced diseases.
Among the most damaging are weeds that affect crops or destroy animal habitats. The Asian purple loosestrife, for example, was introduced as an ornamental plant in the early 19th century and now invades some 284,000 acres per year in the U.S., crowding out native plant species that help support duck, geese and muskrat.
More recently, invasive species can be directly traced to increased trade. The Asian longhorned beetle hitched a ride on shipping pallets to Brooklyn, N.Y. from China, while others like the zebra mussel have arrived in the Great Lakes in the ballast water of ships from Europe, having spread there from Russia.
Once invasive species take hold in regions where they have no natural predators, it is often impossible to eradicate them. The emerald ash borer, a shiny green beetle from Asia believed to have arrived on packing material, is attacking ash trees. In the northeast, the Asian longhorned beetle has killed thousands of maple trees and other species.
Hemlock woolly adelgids
The U.S. also has exported some unwelcome organisms. The gray squirrel, native to the eastern U.S., is causing havoc in Britain and Italy, where it is larger and more aggressive than the red squirrels it is displacing. It is believed that the gray squirrel was accidentally released by the London Zoo near the turn of the 20th century. The Colorado potato beetle, which attacks crops, turned up in Bordeaux, France, during World War I and has spread throughout Europe.
There are U.S. laws to prevent the import of invasive species, but they haven’t been significantly revised since 1918. Last year, the USDA proposed new regulations that would ban imports of certain plants pending analysis ensuring they wouldn’t host pests. It cited a 20-fold increase in seed imports in the last decade.
“Inspection is approaching, or may have reached, the limits of its operational efficacy,” a USDA statement said.
The adelgid is thought to have first arrived in Richmond, Va., in the 1950s on nursery plants from Japan. It has since reproduced to a population that has devastated hemlock stands in the eastern U.S. They have destroyed an estimated 95% of the hemlocks in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.
A single insect produces 100 eggs twice a year. That means a single insect and its offspring can spawn a total of 10,000 insects within a year.
Experts say they can only prevent the death of select trees. Each of the hundreds of thousands of infested trees must be treated individually, with an insecticide that can be injected into the soil, into the tree or sprayed on the trunk. Several groups also are experimenting with releasing predator beetles.
“It’s labor intensive, but we are keeping them alive in those particular areas,” said John Perez, a biologist at the 70,000-acre national park called New River Gorge National River, near Fayetteville, West Va. In the park, 5% of trees are hemlocks.
A less direct approach is trying to educate the public who unwittingly transport invasive insects in firewood or nursery trees and can take steps to protect hemlocks on their property.
Will Blozan, an arborist in Asheville, N.C., surveyed and measured thousands of hemlocks between 2005 and 2007 throughout Southern Appalachia to document the species before it was killed off in vast areas. Some trees are 500 years old, and he identified the 15 tallest and 15 biggest in volume, all of which had become infested. In spite of their mass, only one survived, and that had been treated with an insecticide.
“I’ve gone from very, very rarely seeing adelgid in 2002 to utter destruction,” said Mr. Blozan, a former National Parks Service employee.
Hemlocks aren’t a major timber product outside of rustic fencing. But they are considered vital to tourism. And dead trees, which are hazardous, are costly to remove. Some scientists fear the loss of hemlocks could allow invasive species like the tree of heaven, native to China, to thrive. It could crowd out other species that are more vital to the state’s economy.
Forest products is second only to the coal industry in West Virginia, contributing about $4 billion to the state’s economy through taxes, revenue and roughly 30,000 jobs.
“The woolly adelgid is a flagship for a bigger problem,” said Rodney Bartgis, director of the Nature Conservancy in West Virginia.
Write to Kris Maher at email@example.com
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10: highway clean-up starts at the Grove at 8:30, rain or shine. Please help us pick up the trash. Thanks.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10: CLA Board Meeting, Becky verPlank’s House, Washington Hil.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 11: Ceremony at the Grove at 2:00 for the erosion remediation project. All the active contributors will be there to explain what has been been done and what still needs to be. Light refreshments served.
Chocorua Lake, Chocorua, New Hampshire
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Work to restore the badly overused and eroding shoreline and picnic area in the Grove on Chocorua Lake began in the fall of 2008 and was completed in the spring and summer of 2009. The Grove, known throughout the State for its tall pines and the iconic view of Mt. Chocorua, is privately owned but open to visitors for picnicking, swimming and other recreational uses. To accomplish this restoration effort, funds from the NH Moose Plate Program, the Chocorua Lake Association and the Chocorua Lake Conservation Foundation were encumbered to hire a landscape architect (Zachary Berger Associates, Inc.), an arborist (P. C. Hoag & Co) and an erosion-control firm (Certified Erosion Control – NH). They have incorporated cutting-edge techniques such as the use of Filtrexx technology to stabilize the shoreline and the extensive planting of native grasses, forbs, shrubs and woody plants.
The public is cordially invited to a workshop/celebration to see what has been accomplished. Those who did the work will be on hand to explain their work and how these techniques can be used in similarly overused/over-loved shoreline areas around New England. Light refreshments will also be served.
Directions: The Grove is located between the Big and Little Chocorua Lakes on Chocorua Lake Road just off of NH Rt. 16.
The view of Mt Chocorua from the “Grove”, a piece of private property situated between the Big and Little Chocorua Lakes, has become an icon of scenic beauty for New Hampshire and indeed the Nation. The site attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year who come to enjoy the beauty of the spot, to swim, fish, picnic, and launch non-motorized water craft. The Grove had, however, become badly worn over the years due to the heavy foot traffic it receives. Shoreline erosion, root exposure and soil compaction around the base of the tall pines was threatening the very reason why so many people to by this scenic landmark.
To address this problem, members of the Chocorua Lake Conservation Foundation (CLCF) and the Chocorua Lake Association (CLA) got together and wrote two grant proposals to the New Hampshire Moose Plate Program. One was funded in 2008 for a total of $30,000 and the second in 2009 for $23,128. This money was used to hire a landscape designer (Zachary Berger Associates), a tree and plant specialist (P. C. Hoag and Co.) and an engineering firm that specializes in shoreline stabilization (Certified Erosion Control – NH).
Work to restore the beauty of the Grove began in the fall of 2008 is now about complete. The initial work included the development of a landscape plan and the obtaining of a Wetland Permit from both the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Town of Tamworth.
Planting of new vegetation to better define walking areas began in the fall of 2008 and has continued into the spring of 2009. In addition, use of a new technology (Filtrerxx socks) has been employed to stabilize the shore. Many large boulders have also been set in place to provide sitting areas for visitors and to help direct people along pathways to the water.
It is realized, however, that this restoration effort is just the beginning of an ongoing effort to maintain the Grove’s intrinsic beauty.
Conditions in the Grove will have to be monitored regularly to include the removal of nonnative weeds from the newly planted areas, the watering of the new vegetation, the addition of mulch to reduce soil compaction and,most of all, the education of the public as to the fragile nature of site and the work that is being done to preserve it for future generations.
By Toby Page
If the CLA-CLCF does little or nothing to protect the lake from milfoil, it is only a matter of time before the lake is infested with milfoil (unless we are very lucky).
(1) As late as 1960 exotic aquatic plant species were unknown in NH lakes. By 1965 there was one NH lake infected with exotic milfoil. Now, as of 2009, there are 68 NH lakes infected with exotic milfoil. A marina on Lake Ossipee already is now infested, just 8 miles away from the boat launching areas on Lake Chocorua.
(2) There is some risk from kayaks and canoes, but the larger risks are boat trailers and the occasional motor boat that gets on the lake.
(3) A two to three inch-long fragment of healthy stem material of milfoil is enough to start a new colony.
(4) Because milfoil can grow 12 feet tall, and the Chocorua Lake is shallow, an infection could spread to most of the lake, including swimming areas.
How to Reduce the Risk for Lake Chocorua
(1) Limit the boat launch areas to just one, at the Grove. There has been good progress in limiting launch areas, but more needs to be done. Signs discouraging any launching anywhere but the Grove, may help. Signs explaining the risk of milfoil, may help. Getting a town ordinance prohibiting any launch except for the one at the Grove may help. Signs showing the how to identify milfoil may help (would it invite vandalism?)
(2) If we are successful in getting launchings only at the Grove, it makes sense to have inspectors and Lake Hosts at the Grove. Blair Folts has used Lake Hosts. The Hosts are partially subsidized by the federal government (I think), and don’t have to be local residents. The inspectors do not have be present all day every day. Having inspectors during peak times would reduce the risk. Paying the Patrol to increase his/her presence at the Grove would help. A sign at the Grove, explaining the risk would help. A sign for boat owners could explain how they can do their own inspection when none of the CLA-CLCF, Lake Hosts or Weed Watchers are not present. A mailbox like container for disposal of weeds found in these inspections would help, which of course would have to be emptied.
(3) If a milfoil fragment gets into the lake and starts a colony, we have a year, possibly two years, to find it and eliminate it. Once the infection spreads it becomes impossible to eradicate. In other lakes, about 7% of discoveries of milfoil are found by lakeside owners. More discoveries of milfoil are found by swimmers and boaters. But the largest findings are by monitors looking for new colonies. In other lakes monitors use motor boats in their searches. We of course have to use canoes and rowboats (I haven’t tried kayaks, since it seems to me that it is hard to control the kayak and search with a viewscope at the same time.)
The monitors do not have go be on call for every sunny, calm morning. In fact if a monitor monitored just one or two mornings in a summer, this would be a significant help. If there were 6-9 monitors, that might be sufficient, especially if some monitors spent three mornings monitoring in the summer. (A morning is likely to be 2 hours on the lake.) The whole lake does not need to be monitored. From the shoreline to a depth of about 6-8 feet is sufficient, as I remember Amy Smagula’s advice two years ago. Not all the monitors have to monitor in the same morning, in a group. Two people can do a lot in a canoe or rowboat by themselves in 2 hours. Amy recommends that the lake shoreline be sectioned off and one or a few monitors be responsible for a section. The trick is to make the search path efficient – not going over the same spot and not missing spots. Amy has advice about how to monitor efficiently.
It seems to me that it may be harder to make efficient paths in canoes and rowboats, than it is in motor boats, which have wakes that help mark the tracks. On the other hand we have a small lake, and quite a few barren areas that can be quickly monitored.
Mac Lloyd has converted a rowboat to have a plexi-glass bottom. In testing it out Jim Bowditch and I found the plexi-glass bottom improved visibility, especially when a cape is used to put the viewer in the dark, with light coming from the water. David Farley and I explored around the lake. Sam Page used scuba equipment to see clearly the matted density of weeds at the north end of the lake.
(4) I strongly recommend learning from Amy Smagula and Blair Folts. Both have a great deal of knowledge in preventing, discovering, and eradicating milfoil.
(5) I also believe that awareness is a key factor of a successful program. Anyone can learn how to tell milfoil from bladderwort. When there is an aware community it is more likely to do something about the milfoil threat.
The following information was released by the Mass. Office of Energy and Environment and is being shared at the request of several Chocorua Lake community members.
Date: July 13, 2009 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MA Department of Fish and Game Takes Action to Prevent Possible Spread of Invasive Zebra Mussels
Responding to local concerns, agency authorizes municipalities to restrict use of public boat ramps on water bodies susceptible to infestation; temporary, emergency measures to remain in place no longer than 45 days
BOSTON – In the wake of last week’s discovery of zebra mussels in Laurel Lake in Lee and Lenox – the first confirmed presence of the invasive species in Massachusetts – and in response to concerns from local officials in nearby communities, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today authorized municipalities to enforce limited restrictions on the use of boat ramps at other Berkshire County water bodies deemed at-risk to infestation by the highly destructive species.
The purpose of Friday’s action by DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (OFBA) is to reduce the risk that boats that have recently been on Laurel Lake will transport zebra mussels to other Berkshire County lakes, ponds and rivers. Coming on the heels of OFBA’s emergency closure of the state boat ramp at Laurel Lake on July 8, it authorizes local boat ramp managers to bar the use of boat ramps at susceptible water bodies by vessels ramp managers determine have been on Laurel Lake within the last 30 days unless boats in question have undergone specific cleaning and disinfection. These measures include thoroughly draining, flushing, cleaning and drying the boat – including the engine, bilge, ballast water, recreational equipment and anything else that has come in contact with lake water; using a bleach solution and high pressure hot water; and allowing the boat to dry for at least one week in dry weather and up to 30 days in cool, wet weather.
Under Massachusetts regulations, both today’s OFBA action and the July 8 Laurel Lake boat ramp closure cannot remain in effect longer than 45 days without public notice and opportunity for public comment.
The OFBA has authority to close state boat ramps, or authorize municipal officials to restrict access, for not more than 45 days if it finds that the immediate establishment of management measures is necessary for the public health, safety or general welfare. Zebra mussels, which significantly alter lake ecology and can harm native animals, humans, and boats, can be unknowingly transported from one lake to another by boaters.
In addition today’s emergency action, DFG and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced that they will host a public meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, at Pittsfield City Hall to present information on the status of zebra mussel infestation at Laurel Lake and boat ramp issues, provide background on zebra mussels and DCR’s ongoing public awareness program in western Massachusetts, and discuss future actions such as what citizens can do to prevent the species from spreading.
The Commonwealth is committed to maintaining public access to these bodies of water as required under existing law, and its long-term zebra mussel management plan is focused on containment through public education and enforcement of rigorous boat cleaning rules. But restricting boat access on a temporary basis provides additional safeguards while state invasive species experts determine the scope and severity of the zebra mussel infestation in Laurel Lake, the possible infestation of neighboring water bodies, the level of risk that exists regarding transport of the mussels by boats from one water body to another, and appropriate management measures going forward. Temporary boat access restrictions will reduce the chance of accidentally spreading the species while state officials make the boating public aware of preventive measures.
As part of this effort, the DCR, which confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Laurel Lake last week, has provided guidance to officials of the Laurel Lake association, urging them to contact lakefront property owners and request that they not remove their boats from the lake. The association was also asked to distribute zebra mussel educational materials and post additional signs alerting boaters and others that Laurel Lake contains zebra mussels. Volunteer boat ramp monitors trained by area lake associations in cooperation with the DCR will help to enforce the boat ramp restrictions, along with DCR ramp monitors trained by agency biologists. The DCR plans to hire two additional ramp monitors within the next two weeks to assist with this effort.
In addition, to determine the extent of the infestation, DCR will conduct surveys of Laurel Lake and downstream areas next week. Surrounding lakes in Berkshire County are being surveyed by DCR-trained volunteers and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. The DCR’s survey will target lakes with calcium concentrations and other water quality characteristics necessary to support breeding populations of zebra mussels. In addition, the OFBA’s authorization for municipalities to restrict use of other Berkshire County boat ramps is limited to water bodies determined by DCR to have the water chemistry necessary to support zebra mussel colonies.
Ramps that could have limited restrictions under this emergency measure include:
· Laurel Lake Lee
· Goose Pond Tyringham
· Shaw Pond Otis
· Big Pond Otis
· Lake Buel Monterey
· Thousand Acre Pond New Marlborough
· Windsor Pond Windsor
· Stockbridge Bowl Stockbridge
· Richmond Pond Richmond
· Onota Lake Pittsfield
· Pontoosuc Lake Pittsfield
A freshwater bivalve mollusk that looks like a small clam with a yellowish or brownish shell shaped like the letter “D,” zebra mussels have been found in numerous lakes, ponds and rivers in the United States, including the entire Great Lakes region and Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. Nationally, taxpayers spend billions of dollars a year to control zebra mussel infestations, which, once established, are usually impossible to eradicate. Considered among the country’s most significant invasive species, the mussels out-compete juvenile fish for food and cling by the thousands to virtually everything in a water body – including docks, boats, other aquatic organisms, and various water intake pipes and instruments. Microscopic juvenile zebra mussels can get into boat cooling systems and other water intakes and grow, completely clogging these systems. Found in numbers as high as 750,000 individuals per square meter, their razor-sharp shells wash up on shore, creating a safety hazard for beachgoers.
In 2005, DCR developed a Rapid Response Plan for The Zebra Mussel, which focused on public education, and preventing and/or slowing the spread of the mussels from one body of water to another. The plan directs the state to take steps to minimize the transport of the mussels when infestation is extensive. Steps may include “screening of outlets, curtaining of interbasin channels and preventing human use of the body of water.”
To view DCR’s Rapid Response Plan go to http://www.mass.gov/dcr/watersupply/lakepond/downloads/rrp/zebra%20mussel.pdf.
DCR’s Lakes and Ponds Program conducts ongoing zebra mussel education, outreach and monitoring, and has trained volunteers to collect samples to monitor the species. It was a DCR-trained volunteer who first detected zebra mussels in Laurel Lake. The DCR program includes informative boat ramp signage and an educational brochure on zebra mussels.
DCR and DFG recommend that boaters who have boated in an infested lake thoroughly drain, flush, clean and dry their boat and all recreational equipment before launching it in any other lake. This includes the boat engine, bilge, ballast water, or anything else that has come into contact with the water. Boaters should use a bleach solution along with high-pressure hot water, and dry the boat for at least one week in dry weather and up to 30 days in cool, wet environments.
For more information on zebra mussels, http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/lakepond/factsheet/Zebra%20Mussel.pdf