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Tent Caterpillar Update

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January 13, 2004

A fine turnout of Sylvia Lake folks attended the January 13, 2004, Fowler Town Board meeting. Mona Allen, John and Jeanette Perry, Peter Pistolesi, Sonny Goodison, Bill and Johanna deLorraine and Gale Ferguson came away duly impressed with the Board's smoothly run meeting and willingness to support our Tent Caterpillar efforts. The Board was informed of progress to date: Steve VanderMark of Cornell Co-operative Extension has laid the groundwork for a task force to investigate and propose action to avoid a repeat of last year's infestation.

A positive first step is the success of Professor Will Rivers of the Biology Department of St. Lawrence University in securing a grant to measure the level of caterpillar eggs, predict the population for 2004, determine the severity of damage and impact on maple syrup production in the area. Professor Rivers will select a group of SLU students, train them to survey a sugar bush (we are suggesting Wayne Tyler's which borders the Mansion Ground Road with in 200 feet of the lake!) and gather information. Possibly volunteers from our Association could be trained as well and make the survey more complete.

Mr. VanderMark would like to create a Task Force made up of woodlot owners, maple producers, horse breeders and residents to evaluate the results of the survey and determine methods of control. That group would determine if biological control is necessary based on the predicted population for 2004 and talk with Duflo Pest Spraying and the DEC about possible actions. If spraying is the recommended solution the Task Force would address the funding issue. One of the thoughts in involving as many impacted groups as possible is sharing the cost of treatment among many.

The Sylvia Lake Association asked the Fowler Town Board for a statement of support, encouraged them to have a representative on the Task Force and to be prepared to act as a qualified government agency if we become eligible for funding or matching grants. The Board was very co-operative in stating their support and two of the 4 Councilmen volunteered on the spot to be a part of the Task Force - Mike Cappellino representing Fowler and Robert Andrews in his capacity as Chair of the Board of Directors of the St. Lawrence Soil & Water Conservation District. Mr. VanderMark & Professor Rivers were meeting with the County Maple Producers Association this evening and we await their report and information about the student survey.

Volunteers are being sought from Sylvia Lake residents for Survey Training and/or participation on the Task Force. If you are interested, contact Gale Ferguson, President of the Sylvia Lake Association .

 

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