Story by A.J. Arias
The Greenwood Lake Commission met on Wed., Dec. 19 and discussed at length the benefits of a lake draw down. The Commission is currently leaning towards a proposed plan for an annual two-foot drawdown. The Commission is expected to have a final proposed plan by their January meeting, following the completion of a report covering research results and public comments done by Commissioner Eric Pain, of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
According to the Commission, the drawdown has several benefits. One in particular deals with the removal of muck and sediment in the New Jersey end of the lake.
In previous months, New Jersey Commissioners Eric Hastings and Jonathan Brett have been adamant regarding finding ways to deal with the incredibly dangerous muck issue around areas of the New Jersey end of the lake, including around Brown’s Point. At the Commission meeting in October, Hastings claimed that someone could die if the issue wasn’t solved quickly and that it was an emergency situation.
One of the toughest challenges surrounding a solution is the New Jersey Administrative Code, which prohibits the use of machinery in the lake to take out accumulated sediment and debris. At Wednesday’s meeting, Brett presented the code and its rules 7:13-7.5 and 7:13-7.6, which cover areas of permit-by-rule in regards to removing debris from the lake.
After review of the code, the Commission believes that by following a two-foot drawdown, they can go in by machine and remove all of the exposed sediment and muck. The Commission will look further into the situation before proceeding. Permit-by-rule does not exist in New York State.
Committee for Humane Geese Control Meets with Mayor Jesse Dwyer
Barbara Aarons from the Committee for Humane Geese Control met with Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer to strike a deal regarding future means of geese control on Greenwood Lake. The deal, which was presented by Aarons at the meeting, states that Mayor Dwyer will not sign off on the use of public lands in the Village of Greenwood for the purpose of killing geese under the condition that the committee maintain a membership of at least 10 members and volunteers who are dedicated to the cause of humane geese control.
At the Commission’s October meeting the Committee for Humane Geese Control made a presentation outlining effective means for humane geese control that have worked in other areas. One of the criticisms from the Commission was that in order to keep the means effective, constant attention and effort would be required by a large number of volunteers for a lake the size of Greenwood Lake.
Aarons asked the Commission if the Committee could use the Commission’s pending mailing list to reach out to property owners and businesses around the lake to try and find more volunteers. The committee for Humane Geese Control is currently focusing on finding volunteers focused on locating nests around the lake in order to addle their eggs in the spring.
Mayor Dwyer offered the Committee a space free of charge where they can hold meetings and offered them a phone line where they can reach out to residents to help with their cause.
The Commission is currently in the process of making a mailing list of residents and business owners around the lake for the purpose of spreading information and assisting with their herbicide project for the New Jersey end of the lake.
The Greenwood Lake Commission will hold their next meeting on Wed., Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the West Milford Library, located at 1470 Union Valley Rd. in West Milford, NJ.