Jul. 11, 2016 meeting

Skaneateles Conservation Area Advisory Committee meeting agenda

Monday, July 11, 2016, 7:00 PM. Skaneateles Town Hall.

  • Fishing derby (July 16):
    • Sue Murphy to discuss what we can do to help.
  • Swallow-wort control progress:
    • Pale swallow-wort is now producing seed pods.
    • Infestations are being mowed using scythe, grass-whip, and Billy Goat brush-cutter.
    • Gas-powered weed-whacker has been tried, but last-year’s stems wrap around the tool and jam it occasionally.
    • Perimeters of the infestations are being marked with pink flags, and GPS coordinates recorded.
    • Invasive trees and shrubs and fallen logs and branches are being removed from the invested areas to allow easier mowing.
    • Mowing of these areas will continue as required to prevent the swallow-wort from going to seed.
    • Up to three mowings per year may be required, depending on the amount of light that the areas get.
    • At some point in the future these areas should be chemically treated and replanted with native plants and trees.
    • A similar regimen is being used at Baltimore Woods, which has a swallow-wort problem at least as bad as ours.
    • Our four ESF interns are doing much of the swallow-wort management at the SCA, and have also helped at Baltimore Woods to assure themselves that our process is valid.
  • Tarp installation on Phragmites infestation on northeast side of former beaver pond:
    • Two 20×30-ft. black poly tarps were placed end-to-end on re-mowed phrag and taped together using tarp tape.
    • Logs were placed on the edges of the tarps to hold them down.
    • Within an hour, the tarps had shrunk in the direct sun, and separated at the tape seam, leaving about a 1-ft. gap between.
    • We added more logs so that the separated edges were held down and left the gap for now.
    • The two tarps, tape, and freight cost $193.35.
    • We have enough re-mowed phrag for about 3 more tarps of similar size.
    • A scythe has been the most effective tool for summer mowing of phrag. We tried the Billy Goat brush cutter, but it was difficult to get down to the site and not worth the work. A good scythe for use by interns and other volunteers would be a good investment at about $200.
  • Proposed tree harvest at Mabel Reynolds Preserve:
    • Jim Lanning and Dave Laxton met with ESF forester Bob Davis on Thursday, July 7 at Reynolds Preserve and discussed a potential hardwood timber harvest on the east side of Benson Rd. and a plantation-conifer harvest on the west side of the road.
    • Bob will be getting an estimate for the hardwood cut, which would likely be profitable and beneficial to the forest health if done correctly.
    • The conifer-cut on the west side of Benson would probably not be very profitable, but would serve to provide a needed thinning of the dense stands. However, the inevitable takeover by buckthorn would need to be addressed.
  • Trail maps:
    • Our trail map supply is getting low.
    • We can update our current maps with new tracks that were made for an Eagle Scout project.