ADAMS -- Thursday night saw the Conservation Commission hash out a proposed invasive plant species management plan tied to the Greylock Glen project at a public hearing.
The plan, drafted by Politan Ecological Services LLC, aims to allow the company to contain and control several of the Glen's pesky plant concentrations over a three-year period. After that period, maintenance responsibilities reverts to the town.
Chris Politan of Politan Ecological Services des cribed his plan as a multipronged attack, cutting, hand-pulling, applying herbicides and burning -- using a variety of tools crafted to the purpose.
Asked by Commission Chairman Jason Krzanowski to explain the risk of invasive species, Politan replied:
"They don't stay in place. ... They tend to dominate and spread through ecosystems and areas we don't want them, out-competing the native species that we want. ... They're opportunists."
Invasive species present on the 1,063-acre swath include garlic mustard, Japanese barberry, Asiatic bittersweet, Autumn olive, purple loosestrife, buckthorn, black locust, multifloral rose and phragmites. Concentrations are located around the ponds, north and east of the Bellows Pipe Trail, in some fields and near the kiosk.
Krzanowski took to the proposal with a fine-toothed comb, concluding a lengthy list of concerns by turning to fellow members, saying, "I think the horse is dead."
"I'm trying to simplify the process
Krzanowski requested more accuracy from the group in its maps and plans regarding wetlands, vernal pools and additional natural features at the site.
Krzanowski said effective management of invasive species would clear the way for additional developments at the site and for residents who use it recreationally. He advocated significant signage and road warnings be placed during herbicide applications.
The hearing concluded with an agreement between the Commission and the two entities heading up the plan -- the Department of Conservation and Recre ation and consultant Politan -- to reconvene Sept. 13 for an update on the proposal's development.
During the hearing, commission member Joseph Nowak expressed concern that cost could get out of control.
"I worry that our town won't be able to afford [the work]," Nowak said. "We have to recoup some benefit from it and I'm not yet sure what's in it for Adams other than bills. [The Glen project has] never been an easy sell, and it remains that way."
DCR official Cathy Garnett reassured Nowak that the proposal was manageable.
"It's not the entire 1,063 acres, fortunately," she said. "It's only in areas vulnerable to spreading, and within the footprint of where the [planned] development is going."
Steve Johnson, of ecological consulting group Biodraw versity, will be reporting results to the state's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, who's overseeing the project.
At the close of the meeting, Krzanowski said, "As this develops [the commission] will continue to be as comprehensive as possible."
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