As I mentioned in my earlier post, the weed treatment of Flannagan Pond (as well as Sandy Pond and Pine Meadow) will not take place this week. The reality of the situation is that it is not likley going to happen at all this year. Read on for all the background information.
Becky provides a detailed overview in the following letter she sent to Town Officials and forwarded to me.
As most of you already know, I spent the afternoon out in the field yesterday with Will Stevenson of Lycott Environmental, Inc. assessing the beaver dam failure and its negative impacts to Flannagan Pond and our scheduled treatment plan. Not only have the beaver dam blowouts created ecological devastation, significant monetary strain to DPW and the Town of Ayer as a whole, etc, this has also had a negative impact to our vegetative treatment plan on the three ponds, especially Flannagan Pond. This is not only disappointing but also very frustrating!
Please see the attached letter from Will Stevenson. Unfortunately, the herbicide treatments scheduled for the today and next week must be postponed. The water level at Flannagan Pond is much too high now and the pond is draining out to Balch Pond and Sandy Pond. Pouring herbicides into the pond at this time will be ineffective because the concentrations will be quickly diluted and we cannot contain the herbicides in the pond at this time. When I was out yesterday, the water flow rate was quite high and flowing into Sandy Pond (flowing in reverse direction of its natural current!). Fortunately, this morning this was no longer the case. Will was planning to look at his supply storage this morning to see if he could provide us with a filament barrier to install at the causeway to Sandy Pond to prevent the milfoil plants from flowing into Sandy Pond and potentially increasing the weed problem there. I don’t think will be necessary now.
Pine Meadow Pond’s treatment that was scheduled to occur yesterday was also postponed. ACT is now planning to treat Pine Meadow Pond on July 27th, the same day they have scheduled to spot treat Sandy Pond. I will be in contact with the consultant to give him updates on what happened and to find out if we can proceed with treatment in those two ponds.
I called MA Environmental Law Enforcement to report the beaver dam breeches and to request an investigation. I have yet to hear back from them but am hoping that they will call me back soon. I also spoke with Patricia Huckery, the MassWildlife regional direction in Ayer. She is interested in taking a look at the situation. From her experience and expertise she believes the beaver dams failed as result of someone’s malicious activity. Beaver dams are not easily breeched, especially not well established ones like those out in the Pine Meadow Conservation Land. She strongly encourages us to record all of the damage that is occurring as a result of the breeches; ecological as well as monetary (DPW, police, fire, etc.). If someone is found accountable for this, he or she is responsible for these costs as well as up to $25,000 per day of beaver dam damage. Tampering with beaver dams without a permit is against the law.
I will continue to update everyone as soon as I have more information.
Becky also provided me with a letter from Mr. Will Stevenson from Lycott Environmental Engineering that summarizes his finding during his tour of the area on Tuesday.
I know this is not the news we all wanted to hear today. But I am pleased to see the response of Conservation and their environmental engineers in analyzing the impact of this dam breach upon our ponds.