Posts filed under ‘Environmental Conservation’
This report summarizes the water quality of Chocorua Lake for 2012.
For more information, please contact Dwight Baldwin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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
The following video was taken by a kayaker on Chocorua Lake (from the view it looks like Little Lake below the bridge) of our resident snapping turtle, or are there more than one? Feeding the turtle is actually not advisable.
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.