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The Woods Committee met on March 4, 2019. There was a brief review of the current fiscal year budget expenses and remaining funds to continue to address ongoing invasive plant control, mitigation for downed or other trees on/near trails in the woods that pose public safety concerns, and various community outreach activities to include clean-up activities in the woods. The proposed FY2020 committee budget for a total of $47 K was submitted to the Town Treasurer. This is $6 K less than FY2019 and reflects adjustments in an anticipated decrease in projected funding for invasive plant control.

The majority of the meeting was focused on deer population management plans. Several committee members participated in introductory meetings with State DNR/MC Parks Deer Program qualified volunteer archery teams that are available to assist the Town in deer population control. One of the teams exceeds the State/MC Parks qualifications in credentials and experience, and are locally based firefighters. The committee prepared a draft amendment to the current Town ordinance prohibiting hunting and requested the Mayor to send to our town attorney for review. The Town attorney is in the process of reviewing and will advise accordingly.

It is anticipated that the amended ordinance could be introduced at the March TC meeting. Several committee members are preparing a proposal for erecting a deer exclosure in the East Woods to protect a selected sensitive area to promote recovery of understory and canopy damaged by deer over-browsing. Several potential sites have been visited pending further committee discussions. The committee emphasized the importance of developing certain metrics to document outcomes and success of all deer management activities.

The WC will coordinate with the Lake Committee to hold a joint Spring Clean-up in the West Woods. Tentative date is Saturday, April 27, 2019.

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