Friends of Pontoosuc Lake Bulletin - Info on weed treatment

June 19, 2024

The spring herbicide treatment has been canceled.  Last year we performed a successful and needed treatment on May 23rd and we planned to do a similar treatment this year.  We have a new herbicide contractor this year (All Habitat), and we were working with them and the Lanesborough and Pittsfield Conservation Commissions to get the treatment permitted, but we failed.  The convoluted sequence of events was:

  • We performed a weed survey May 14 to define the treatment area, and submitted the results and plan to the two CC’s
  • Met with the Lanesborough CC May 20 and requested treatment permit for May 29, which would have allowed the required posting 7 days in advance.  
  • Our request was denied because the data was not finalized until the day of the meeting, not allowing sufficient time for the CC review.  A subsequent review was scheduled for June 3.
  • We reviewed the plan on that day and treatment was approved but the treatment date was not set.
  • All Habitat applied for the required permission from the MA DEP, but was denied because they did not have required written approval from the two CC’s
  • At this point the earliest date for an approved treatment would have been mid to late June.  We believe that a treatment at this late date would do more harm than good because the undesirable non-native weed was beginning its annual early summer die-back, and the desirable plant species were beginning to grow.

I’m sure that this is more detail than most of you want to hear, but the message is that we tried and failed, but hopefully learned something which will enable us to get the much needed treatments done in the future. The topic is on the agenda for the Lanesborough CC meeting July  first.  

Lee Hauge, President

Friends of Pontoosuc