Vol. III No. 14 7/15/2022
SBA — The Way Forward
Submitted by Pat Kennelly
At the July 9th Stockbridge Bowl Association's Board meeting, the Board committed to the following six initiatives:
1. The SBA will assist the Town in working with GZA to finalize the plans for the dredging process, specifically the Bullard Woods dewatering site design, in order to move to the critical steps of obtaining cost estimates and a timeline for completion of the project. When projected costs are identified, the SBA will consult with the Town to determine the availability of funding by the Town. If the Town funds combined with the monies that the SBA has already raised for the dredging project prove insufficient, the SBA will work with the Town to determine how to cover those financial gaps.
2. The SBA has agreed to help the Town obtain a more robust mechanical harvesting permit that will allow more cutting than the 10 acres currently allowed under the existing permit. The SBA will provide the resources of our lake management consultants as well as legal review to draft a new Notice of Intent for mechanical harvesting to be reviewed and filed by the Town.
3. The SBA will continue its partnership with the Town, begun this summer, to monitor and hand harvest the invasive water chestnut that has been found behind the Kwuniikwat Island and down the outlet.
4. The SBA will begin a pilot program, offering financial assistance for our member lakeside residential organizations to hand pull invasive and nuisance vegetation from their communal swimming and boating areas. The SBA will provide up to $5,000 in matching funds to each residential organization that wishes to initiate a hand harvesting program for their communal recreational areas.
5. On the issue of using the herbicide fluridone to combat invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil, the SBA has decided to not utilize the current final superseding order of condition. That order required the establishment, during a 3-year period, of two test areas and a control plot, each of which would be unavailable for harvesting and subject to a repeatable quantitative survey performed by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approved scuba divers. The SBA found the requirements extensive and expensive without guarantee that the SBA would be allowed to perform a full lake treatment to combat Eurasian Watermilfoil for which the test was designed.
Instead, the SBA has decided to pursue the use of a newer, more targeted herbicide, ProcellaCOR, that would allow for spot treatment of Eurasian Watermilfoil. This approach provides much more flexibility in terms of area of application, timing and cost and avoid the need for full lake treatment. This new approach will require approval of the use of ProcellaCOR by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and the filing of a new Notice of Intent for the project. There are certainly obstacles to surmount in this endeavor, but the SBA believes that this is a better approach to control the Eurasian Mifoil in Stockbridge Bowl.
6. And finally, the SBA will establish a program to protect our small parcel of old growth trees in Bullard Woods as well as an initiate a project to remove invasive plants from the forest.
Kripalu. Photo: Blue Moon Images/Dana Goedewaagen