Vol. II No. 20 10/15/2021
Notes from the Agricultural and Forestry Commission
October 4, Hybrid Meeting
- Matt Boudreau, Chair
- Lisa Bozzuto
- Shelby Marshall
- Erik Rasmussen via Zoom
- Michael Canales, Town Administrator via Zoom
- Minutes from September 13 approved.
- Minutes from joint meeting with Select Board approved
- Balance of the meeting was discussion of how to prepare suppression grant with assistance from consultant Ken Gooch.
- White suggested they highlight that Ice Glen is one of the largest old growth forests in MA not owned by the state. Gooch supported that idea.
- White suggested that the grant include that Ice Glen was inhabited by the Mahicans before the arrival of the white man, and that Herman Melville wrote about Ice Glen in Moby Dick. White suggested the words, "from the Mahicans to Moby Dick". Again, Gooch concurred; Gooch suggested including anything that would make the Stockbridge grant request stand out was advisable.
- Agreed to request $50,000 and if awarded would be added to the $70,000 voted at Town Meeting, $6000 of the $70,000 was used to treat the ash trees in Ice Glen. That would create a fund of $114,000; it is estimated that $180,000 is necessary to treat all the Ice Glen hemlocks.
- Gooch suggested that the $64,000 remaining after treating ash trees, be identified as match for the $50,000 request even though a match is NOT required. Gooch felt it made Stockbridge stand out as committed and prepared.
- In estimating the cost of the full treatment of hemlocks, Gooch offered that injection is approximately three times (3x) the cost of spraying because the solution is concentrated rather than diluted and more labor is required.
- "An Innovated Solution" — Dendrow, an alternative to pesticide — was discussed but was set aside as untested. Decision made to "gear up to treat" in spring 2022 with injection of pesticide only.
Editor's note: 1. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided $1.8 million to MA for projects that protect agriculture and natural resources. Stockbridge is competing for some of this money for treatment of trees in Ice Glen. 2. The $180,000 required to treat all hemlocks by injection — the only method allowed by state given the closeness and number of hemlocks — was based upon an estimate that injection costs three times what spraying costs.
Good year for mushrooming. Photo: Patrick White.