Minutes: March 16, 2015

Foster's Pond Corporation
March 16, 2015
Memorial Hall Library
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

About 92 people attended the 2015 Annual Meeting at the Memorial Hall Library.  Steve Cotton opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. with an overview of the FPC noting this is our 76th year. [To view a slideshow of the business meeting, click here.]

Minutes.  Secretary Janet Kenney moved approval of the minutes of the April 29, 2014 Annual Meeting and the September 6, 2014 Summer Meeting, as posted on the web site.  The Minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report. As David Brown was unable to attend, Janet Kenney moved approval of the Treasurer’s Report as posted on the web site.  The Treasurer’s Report was approved.

Election of Officers.  A motion was made, seconded and approved to elect the following officers:  Steve Cotton (President), Marty Rabinowitz (Vice-President), Dave Brown (Treasurer), and Janet Kenney (secretary) for a 1-year term ending December 31, 2015.   A motion was made, seconded and approved to re-elect the following Directors for a 2-year term ending December 31, 2016: David Adilman and Steve Ellis.    A motion was made, seconded and approved to elect Dot Tyler for a 2-year term ending December 31, 2016.

Program:  Deer Management in Massachusetts.  Steve introduced, David Stainbrook, Deer and Moose Management Project Leader for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. He is the Commonwealth’s top deer management official.  A wildlife biologist, he has been at the DFW for 3 years.  He majored in Biology at Allegheny College in Western Pennsylvania and did graduate work on wildlife population monitoring at Penn State University, focusing on the white-tailed deer.


Photo by Jim Cyrier

David introduced Sue Ingalls, a colleague at DFW, and the two presented a program on Deer Management in Massachusetts.  Sue said that the deer population in parts of Eastern Massachusetts is getting too big.  Andover has 15-30 deer per square mile with some areas having more than 30 per square mile, which is far more than is healthy to sustain a balance forest ecosystem. You can tell if a forest is over-browsed by deer if there is relatively little low-growing plant life.  Statewide, 8,000 deer are struck by cars.  Deer live for 20 years, so it is not feasible to control the deer population through contraception; even if the birth rate could be slowed, the population numbers would remain very high for years.  We need to manage the deer numbers by regulated deer hunting.  Hunting has a very good safety record in Massachusetts.  Bow hunting is allowed on some conservation land and some AVIS reservations in Andover.  About 50 deer were taken by bow hunters in Andover in 2014. No hunting is allowed on the Goldsmith Woodlands, the FPC’s portion of the Foster’s Pond Reservation, or the Wilmington Town Forest.

Dam Report.  Steve reported that a sinkhole at opened up again in April, 2014.  Volunteers dug out the hole and backfilled with concrete and nonporous material, but that did not plug the leak which had caused the sinkhole.  He said that further work would be performed before the water level of the Pond is raised for the summer.

Weed Report . Steve reported that, for the first time since 2011, we will be treating the entire Pond, including Dug Pond, for fanwort.  He noted that before we started managing the Pond in 2005, fanwort had become the dominant plant, covering more than half the open water.  He said that the Conservation Commission had approved this year’s treatment plan, which will cost $41,765 (less than we paid in 2011).  He said that volunteers would also monitor the Pond for blue-green algae, and that the FPC would treat the Pond if an algae bloom appears.  Finally, he said that shoreline owners would be notified of the opportunity to sign up for hydro-raking later in the Summer.

New Business.  Steve reported that the Board of Directors would be considering whether to oppose a proposed warrant article in Wilmington to rezone the former Chisholm “Tree Farm” to allow more intensive residential development than allowed under current zoning.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and approved.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Janet Kenney