Annual Report: Buckthorn Project
The Cedar Lake Buckthorn Project is a volunteer effort designed to educate the public on the danger of this invasive tree in damaging our woodlots. It limits regeneration of native trees, & will ultimately restrict use of our woods for a variety of recreational purposes. It is one of many invasive species for which there continues to be no natural controls and can be found throughout many of our forests and woodlots.
Since 2012 the Cedar Lake project has served approximately 200 landowners throughout the area by providing training and resources to help identify and control buckthorn. This project has resulted in minimum costs to the township and has been maintained through grants from the Department of Natural Resources and donations from landowners using supplies. The following is a summation of activities during 2019.
With weather related issues in both spring and fall there was minimum activity during both times and it appeared it would be a slow year. However, during late fall there was a surge of interest resulting in increased activity. Two events appear to have been relevant including opening of a new (satellite) program in Cameron and a surge of buckthorn coverage in the Rice Lake Chronotype. By later fall the green leaves of buckthorn became even more evident, perhaps because we are more aware and because it is rapidly spreading.
One goal of the second DNR grant (2016) was to replicate the Cedar Lake project by establishing a second service in Cameron, which initially failed due to lack of available space. However, in August of 2019 space became available at the high school and we were in business. This new service was widely advertised in area papers, there were articles by Dave Greshner and the increased presence of buckthorn in villages and the countryside. This resulted in an unusually busy late season.
It has also been recently learned that a resident who has a local tree business and has been
receiving assistance from the Cedar Lake project on his personal property, has decided to expand his services to include working with buckthorn. He has had several requests from landowners for buckthorn assistance prompting him to become licensed and provide a new professional service. I would like to think the Cedar Lake project has been at least somewhat responsible for the increased awareness and need.
Because the buckthorn account had maintained a significant financial balance I made the decision this year to help Cedar Lake Township residents access supplies without asking for a donation. One landowner still made a donation. I do not plan to continue this practice at least in the immediate future. ·
As many already know I have recently moved from Mikana and will be a Rice Lake resident effective next April. I continue to have a strong interest in the threat buckthorn poses to our woodlots and forests & have agreed to continue as volunteer coordinator of this project until a replacement is found.
In closing I would add that Jean & I have thoroughly enjoyed being a Cedar Lake resident the past 28 years, enjoyed the fellowship of the community and the opportunity to be part of a number of events.
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.