If you visited us before and what to know what's new or happening, take a look here first.
The Conservation Commission has several openings for members, and is also looking for volunteers to help with an update to our open space inventory and to conduct a trails inventory. No experience needed - we will provide training. If you are interested, please contact Chair Jean Pillo at email@example.com.
2012 STUDY OF AQUATIC VEGETATION AT ROSELAND LAKE
In 2012, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station conducted an aquatic plant survey at Roseland Lake in Woodstock. The results are found here: http://www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2799&q=514228. A map of what plants were found where is also online.
They identified 12 plant species, none of which were invasive. (Invasive Phragmites (Common reed) does grow on the shoreline in spots.) The plants they found were: Callitriche species (Water-starwort) Elodea nuttallii (St. John western waterweed), Nuphar variegata (Variegated yellow pond-lily), Nymphaea odorata (American white waterlily), Peltandra virginica (Green arrow arrum), Pontederia cordata (Pickerelweed), Potamogeton epihydrus (Ribbonleaf pondweed), Potamogeton foliosus (Leafy pondweed), Potamogeton robbinsii (Robbins' pondweed), Sagittaria sp. (Arrowhead). Spirodela polyrhiza (Common duckmeat), and Vallisneria americana (American eelgrass).
This was good news, because invasive milfoil has been seen upstream of Roseland Lake.
Jean Pillo of the Woodstock Conservation Commission noted: "The dissolved oxygen in the lake drops to lethal levels at 3 meters and the total phosphorus concentrations in the bottom of the lake were 334.9 ppb – a very high number! In freshwater systems, phosphorus is typically the limiting factor for plant growth. The measure of water transparency, or Secchi disk measurement was 1.5 meters. Low dissolved oxygen on the bottom and low light levels would both contribute to the relative lack of submerged aquatic vegetation in the lake. The date of the survey was June 19, 2012. Last year, we had an early spring so plant and algae growth got a head start."
Lake survey data is also available for Crystal Pond and Black Pond in Woodstock, CT
Wyndham Land Trust Expands Preserves In Woodstock CT
At the end of 2012, Ken Rapoport donated 49.5 acres of land in Woodstock CT to the Wyndham Land Trust. The donation contains forest and a wetland shrubby thicket. Iit also includes three active hayfields which will remain as farm land. The land is adjacent to the land trust's Linda J. Rapoport Memorial Preserve along Pulpit Rock Road in Woodstock, and also connects with their Paul and Avis Spalding Preserve.
"We're very excited to receive this property," said Andy Rzeznikiewicz, the land trust's land manager. "We now have 158 acres protected in this area of Woodstock, and it represents a large contiguous parcel that is important for supporting the movement of wildlife. That land is protected from development in perpetuity, and it's a gift to the people of Woodstock and the Quiet Corner."
"This expansion of the Linda Rapoport Memorial Preserve protects active farmland and critical watershed land in the Taylor Brook watershed," said Jean Pillo, Chairperson of the Woodstock Conservation Commission. "These are goals of the Woodstock Plan of Open Space and Conservation. We are thankful to the Wyndham Land Trust and their partners for making this happen."
"In my opinion, Ken Rapoport is a local hero. His tireless efforts to preserve this large tract of land have left a lovely legacy for all to enjoy," said Bet Zimmerman of the Woodstock Conservation Commission.
FREE WORKSHOP: UPDATE ON AGRICULTURE, Weds., November 14, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 7pm at the Woodstock Town Hall, 415 Rte 169 Woodstock CT. Speaker: Steven Reviczky, CT Commissioner of Agriculture and Joan Nichols, CT Farm Bureau. Steve and Joan will speak on:
- the climate for agriculture in Washington after the election,
- what's coming up in the 2013 legislative session in Hartford, and
- answer any questions you have concerning agricultural grants, regulations, government support, land use, farmland preservation, etc.
Come, bring your friends. Open to all interested in farming from any of our surrounding towns too. Sponsored by the Woodstock Agriculture Commission, Conservation Commission, and Open Space Land Acquisition Farmland Preservation Committee.
VERNAL POOL SURVEYS AND CERTIFICATIONS - VERNAL POOL SURVEYS AND CERTIFICATION
Woodstock Conservation Commission Vernal Pool Surveys and Certification Dear Property Owner: The Woodstock Conservation Commission in collaboration with the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret, is conducting a voluntary town wide vernal pool inventory. Protecting the integrity of our natural resources is essential to providing a healthy environment for local wildlife. Wetlands and isolated lowlands known as vernal pools are an integral component of these natural resources. Vernal pools are critical breeding grounds for many species of frogs and salamanders as well as important habitat for a diverse collection of woodland creatures. Identifying and permanently protecting vernal pools benefits our natural ecosystem and maintains forest ecology. As a property owner, you can help assure that vernal pools remain protected for years to come. There are several important facts you should know about vernal pools and limitations which they can place on your property.
1. A vernal pool is an area regulated by the Woodstock Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission based on the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act in Sec.22a-38 Definitions section number 16 “Watercourses means rivers, streams, brooks, waterways, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs and all other bodies of water, natural or artificial, vernal or intermittent.…” The vernal pool area can not be filled. Its elevation cannot be altered.
2. The location of the certified vernal pools will be mapped and placed upon state and local wetland and water course maps. As such, it will be identified as an area regulated under Connecticut Wetlands laws.
3. Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water, usually wet in the spring (Vernal), but are sometimes wet much longer. They generally need to be wet at least two months of the year to support vernal pool wildlife. While the pools are fairly easy to spot when there is standing water dried out pools can be more difficult to locate.
WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
How Clean is the Water in The Last Green Valley? You can help us find out. The Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor Water Quality Monitoring Program is offering free training and use of equipment to "citizen scientists" who are willing to collect data to help us learn more about the current condition of their local streams. The "RBV" method uses pollution sensitive insects as indicators of water quality. Join QSHC Water Quality Program Coordinator Jean Pillo on Saturday, September 13 from 9 AM at the Ashford Town Hall for a 3 hour program that will teach you all you need to know to participate. Please call Jean at the 860-928-4948 extension 605 to reserve you space for this training opportunity. Download PDF version of flyer.
Rock Snot - a New Invasive Species threatening CT waterways
See DEP press release in Word or PDF format
New Review Requirement for Projects in Public Water Supply Aquifer or Watershed Areas
As of October 2006, all applicants before a CT municipal Zoning Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals or Inland Wetlands Commission for any project located within a public water supply aquifer or watershed area are required by Public Act No. 06-53 of the CT General Statutes to notify their local Water Company and The Commissioner of Public Health of the proposed project by completing steps described here. You will need to go to the Woodstock Town Hall and look at the Public Water Supply Sources map. For more information about the program and requirements, see CT DPH Source Water Protection.
Greenways Designation: Little River and Natchaug River System
Both the Little River and the Natchaug River System were designated as a State Greenways in June 2006. The goal of these greenways is to conserve natural resources, in particular by protecting water quality, providing for wildlife habitat, and in some areas offering passive recreational opportunities such as walking or birding. On June 2, 2006, DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy presented a Municipal Achievement Award to the towns of Woodstock and Putnam for their joint support and willingness to conserve the natural resources of the Little River. For more information, see Woodstock Greenways.
Farmers, agricultural associations, and agri-business showcased the many aspects of agriculture in this region. The day included exhibits, demonstrations, music, a farm tour, animals, a parade and family fun designed to improve understanding of residents and visitors, of the presence and importance of agriculture in the Quinebaug Shetucket Heritage Corridor. The Conservation Commission's display focused on Greenways, Bluebirds and Invasive Plants. For more info, see the Celebrating Agriculture website.
INVASIVE PLANT GUIDE AVALABLE
The U.S. Forest Service State & Private Forestry Division has just published a new, weather-resistant, color illustrated, pocket-sized ?Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide: an ecological perspective of plant invaders of forests and woodlands.? To quote the introduction, ?the purpose of this particular field guide is to give a scientific synthesis of what is known about the behavior of such species in managed, disturbed, and pristine forested systems, in addition to key information for accurate identification.? The guide includes an extensive list of citations of peer-reviewed research on each species for those who wish to learn more. The pages are bound in a steel-ring loose leaf format, and the Forest Service anticipates printing additional sheets that can be added to the guide.Single copies can be obtained by contacting Tom Rawinski at the U.S. Forest Service Durham New Hampshire office: (603)868-7642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The General Assembly has adopted the Recommended Conservation and Development Policies Plan for Connecticut 2004 - 2009. The Conservation and Development Policies Plan for Connecticut 2004 - 2009 ("Recommended" is now dropped from the title) is now in effect and replaces the 1998 - 2003 Plan. Specific project reviews will now be based on the 2004 - 2009 Plan. In compliance with Governor Rowland's Executive Order #30, hardcopies of the 2004 - 2009 Plan of C&D will not be distributed by the State. Those wishing to may download a copy of the Plan from the Office of Policy and Management website at www.opm.state.ct.us (from the main page click on Reports/Publications and then scroll down to the Conservation and Development Policies Plan for Connecticut 2004 - 2009). They expect to have the Locational Guide Map available on the OPM website in both PDF and digital format by 07/15/05.
Researchers and foresters are concerned that Sudden Oak Death has the potential to have a catastrophic impact similar to that of Dutch Elm Disease or Chestnut Blight. Sudden Oak Death has never been found in the wild in the eastern United States. To date, it has been found only on nursery stock in nurseries. For more information see a DEP Forestry advisory at http://ecfla.org/sod.htm.
The American Farmland Trust has set up a new and improved Farmland Information Center (FIC) Web site at www.farmlandinfo.org. It includes statistics, laws, literature and technical resources related to farm and ranch land protection and stewardship.
Agriculture is a significant part of Connecticut's heritage and economy, yet the state loses over 8,000 acres of land in farms every year. To help curb this loss of land, American Farmland Trust has developed a new tool that will help landowners, land trusts and communities identify options available to help protect and conserve farmland. The guide, Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmland, is available free of charge on AFT's Web site at www.farmland.org or you can download it here: Conservation Options for CT Farmland (PDF file - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download)
"Many landowners, land trusts and town officials are not aware of state and federal programs available to help them conserve farmland and improve its environmental stewardship," said AFT New England Policy Director Cris Coffin. "American Farmland Trust's new guide identifies these programs and helps landowners understand the process of donating or selling their development rights." Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmland describes farmland protection tools and programs available in Connecticut and answers some frequently asked questions about agricultural conservation easements, which are deed restrictions that protect land from development. The guide also identifies state and federal incentive-based programs for conserving wetlands, wildlife habitat, soil and water and other natural resources on farmland. "The guide is a helpful tool for communities looking for ways to sustain agriculture, rural heritage and their quality of life," Coffin said. "Increasingly, communities are recognizing the value of state and federal conservation programs that keep farmland in production and help keep farmers in business." According to Coffin, farmland offers many important environmental benefits, from wildlife habitat and flood control to recreational opportunities and access to fresh, locally grown foods. "Farmland also generates a key source of tax revenue for communities-revenue that often subsidizes the cost of residential development," she said.
To obtain a free copy of the guide, visit AFT's Connecticut page or contact Cris Coffin at 413.586.9330 ext. 29.