Caterpillar Issue '04
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 .
June 13, 2004
Regarding the spraying... I am very pleased with the results. The effect was very noticeable and untreated areas such as the village went through what we experienced in '03. My hopes are that the population for next year will be radically reduced because we caught the “worms” in time to interrupt their life cycle. If that is true, and we are at second or possibly third year of the invasion, then the problem has been successfully dealt with and it will be another 20 years before another occurrence.
Some defoliation did occur, but that was a result of weather and mechanics of the treatment. It is also obvious that a number of trees have fallen victim to the combination of microburst/ icestorm/ drought and caterpillar series of events. Residents should consider harvesting those trees that no longer exhibit signs of life to avoid damage if they fall and to create an opportunity for new growth. (Email message from Gale Ferguson)
June 1, 2004
I am so thrilled that I can walk on the lake road, plant my flowers, hang clothes out and sit on my deck. I think the BT really worked. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. (Email message from Jeanette Perry)
May 27, 2004
I looked over the caterpillar situation at noon and 6 p.m. today after this morning's application of BT. It appears that the worms that are on leaves are less active - it may be working! Those on metal or wood were quite mobile, but they have to eat at some point... so let's hope tonight's rain doesn't dilute the BT.
Check out the attached photo of the railroad tracks on my camp road. I'm not sure that the spraying reached this area but it was really weird. Thousand and thousands of caterpillars were traversing the rails -the really interesting part was that the majority of those on the east rail were headed in one direction and those on west rail were headed in the opposite direction! (Email message from Gale Ferguson)
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