Buckthorn Information

Cedar Lake Buckthorn Project  - 2018 Annual Report

This volunteer program continues to roll along from mid -April through late October with a variety of activities from requests for supplies, loan of equipment, individual consultations and group trainings. Most of the individual meetings are at the Town Shop but I also go to individual properties to identify buckthorn and advise landowners on suggested treatment/removal plans. We occasionally get a new landowner(s) from Cedar Lake, such as 3-4 homeowners in the tagalong area, though most of the requests are from neighboring townships. We continue to be the only such volunteer service of this nature throughout the area if not the state.

In October I submitted the final claim from the second grant from DNR and surprisingly a check was received in November, giving the project a significant financial balance.  In addition there is probably another $1,000 in inventory at the shop. My purpose has been to have a sufficient balance to cover unanticipated expenses including being able to take on larger projects.

The purpose of this project has been to assist local landowners but also to educate them of the threat that buckthorn represents. A woodlot overrun with buckthorn will soon leave the land of little value for logging, hunting or other recreational use. The general public including landowners, lawmakers at all levels and sportsman, as a whole, remain ignorant of the threat. Buckthorn destroys use of land just as aquatic invasive plants destroy water quality.

The Cedar Lake Project has also become part of a 5 county effort in cooperation with DNR offices, Forestry, Soil and Water specialists. With our grant we have assisted those agencies with supplies and in providing local trainings. This was money we had planned for developing a second training video. Unfortunately those folks, who are the experts, do not have sufficient funding to remove buckthorn on public land or truly help the private landowner beyond education and technical assistance. It is the primary reason our project has served over 200 landowners since opening up in 2012.

All fiscal transactions go through the town books, which creates some work for Mary Helen and an occasional inconvenience for Scott at the Shop but otherwise no cost to Cedar Lake. I did transfer $100 to the Shop last year to cover copy costs etc.

Dick Ballou