Call to Order
Committee Chair Jim Ross called the meeting to order at .
Tricia Cassady, Francis Pereira, Bill Taylor, Tim Watts, Middleboro
Lou Bosquet, Ray Brierly, Jim Ross, Raynham
Aria Brissette, Jasmine
Tanguay, Maryan Nowak,
Jack Traynor, Halifax
Joan Kimball, Riverways Program
Bill Napolitano, SRPEDD
Tim Simmons, NHESP
The minutes of April’s committee meting were approved with the following corrections:
1. On the first page, in the phrase “(roughly 12,000 to 5,000 years ago)”, the 5,000 should be changed to 500.
2. On the second page, the sentence “You don’t see paleo or early archaic artifacts in other parts of the state.” should be changed to “You don’t see a good concentration of early archaic artifacts in other parts of the state”.
Joan Kimball mentioned that we’re missing some opportunities for outreach and maybe we should consider hiring someone to do this. We should remember the tributaries are an important part of the outreach.
So far there are only 10 people signed up for
the June 21st canoe trip.
Aria mentioned that some people might not have wanted to spend the night
and didn’t realize that it was possible to only participate in 1 of the 2
Bill mentioned that people have been calling who have visited the website and are interested in canoeing the river. A graduate student even called about research opportunities, so it is proving to be a good outreach tool.
Tim Simmons spoke in place of Lynn Harper from the NHESP.
When asked to look around the state and see what’s important from a land mgmt perspective NHESP came up with the following:
1. Water quality, chemistry and hydrology
Water is a major issue here in the southeastern
2. Invasive species
3. Fire exclusion/suppression
Many species on the endangered species list require regular burning. Prescribed fire management is important. Where they can’t start fires they turn to mowing. It’s hard to maintain these disturbance dependent communities without disturbing them but it’s hard to get the permits to do it.
4. ORVs – There isn’t a management area in the state that doesn’t have ORV (off-road vehicle) problems.
The one issue that leapt out at Tim from Brian’s discussion was the % of wetlands that are covered in purple loostrife. Beekeepers love it b/c it’s the #1 cash crop for bees. Lots of people like it and don’t understand the threat it poses. In evaluating our local situation we should pick the battles we can win – in terms of purple loostrife and other invasives – the wetlands where it just started or hasn’t started yet. Herbicides like rodeo or roundup can be used. Volunteers are important so don’t underestimate the power of volunteers. A certified person is needed to apply the chemicals.
Consider how big an issue it is and the ecological consequences if we don’t act before we start considering an invasive species control plan. Then create the plan, implement it, and see how we’re doing (review). Define the problem, inventory where it’s a problem, determine when you want to act and how.
Jim Ross mentioned underwater invasives. Senator Howland is proposing powers for the state to be able to close portions of waterbodies to do restoration work in areas with invasive weed problems, as well as levy fines, etc. In VT, NH, and ME they already levy fines against people who don’t wash their boats and then transport weeds from one waterbody to another.
Adverse impact from invasives:
Aquatic scenario – in some places there has been such a rapid buildup that water has become anoxic and fish have died. Displacement of native species, changes in water chemistry (DO, etc), and blockage of passageways in waterbodies for things like turtles are all adverse impacts.
In terrestrial areas – purple loostrife isn’t a big displacer of native vegetation in most areas although it does displace wildlife. Phragmites is another story – it mats and creates conditions that favor itself and not the natives. There is a native strain of Phragmites. Both Phragmites and purple loostrife change water hydrology. They lower the water table.
For the last 3 years every plant on the “banned
Discussion proceeded regarding getting a pamphlet together to hand out to people.
Just about every priority Brian Reid had identified is at risk to invasives. Look for representativeness of these community types and the best examples of these representatives and funnel that down to areas that are currently representative but won’t be in the foreseeable future if action isn’t taken.
Kitty asked about land mgmt on state land. Whatever the problem may be – lack of fire, invasives such as Phragmites, etc. they will help out if they have the funding to do so.
We have starved basins here w/more demand than
they can handle w/regards to water withdrawal.
Wells are causing a problem. The
greatest threat to river ways and wetlands in
There is an ORV issue at the intersection of the
Kitty brought up how we need to start thinking
about how the desalinization plant will affect the
Kitty Doherty –
Kitty handed out a written update on the Town
River Tributary project. They’ve already
had 2 meetings. She expressed concern
about liability on the steering committee and wanted some clarification on who
is responsible for liability. Some folks
Jim Ross for Raynham – Forge River
Met a week or 2 ago. Set July 14th for another meeting for anyone interested in doing the survey. All the abutters of the river in the section being surveyed will be sent a registered letter asking them if they want to help and whether people can go on their property to survey the river. Raynham does have some fairly well known people who probably won’t be cooperative so those people will most likely be approached on an individual basis. There are 80 abutters. The steering committee felt they wanted to know for sure if abutters received a letter, which is why they were sent registered. The survey will tentatively be conducted b/w July 15th and August 4th.
Jamie on bridge project
We have an opportunity to comment on design so he thinks we should do so. Kitty wants to be able to see the river when you drive over it – over the concrete bridge abutments. Joan K would like to push for railings on all the bridges so you can see through it. If there’s room to put an access area for a canoe put in and take out, and parking for a couple of cars, that would be great. It’s a steep bank but people do use it for put in and take out. Apparently there is good access above and below the Route 18 Bridge already.
The next meeting date will be in August on the 13th and the topic will be recreation. Jamie would like to get out on the river at some point this summer, not on the 21st, to see how we should classify the river. Maybe do the entire length but break it up into a couple of different days.
Remember July 14th at Town Hall from 6-8 Selectman’s office for Raynham’s tributary survey mtg!
Submitted by Aria Brissette