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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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September 20, 2017

9/9/2017 7:27:00 AM
Newbold moves forward with invasive species grant application

Evan Verploegh
Lakeland Times Features Writer

The town of Newbold, like many communities in the Northwoods, is always looking for new techniques to help with the elimination of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. In an effort to preserve both the town's land and water resources, the town board voted Aug. 31 to file a grant application, which would assist in just that.

What the application does is seek help from Lumberjack RC&D Council, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Rhinelander that strives to protect natural resources in northeastern part of the state. The application designates that all Newbold right-of-ways and outdoor recreation areas would be under the service of the grant. The town of Newbold has about 112 miles of roads, with another 40 acres of public outdoor recreation areas.

Initially, a management plan would be created to address all potential issues as they relate to terrestrial invasives, before then developing an evaluation - to determine whether the efforts in eradication were successful. The grant to conduct this would be facilitated by Lumberjack RC&D.

Newbold will need to provide training in data analysis and potentially have the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) develop maps of areas of analysis and hire a temporary (trained) employee (500 hours) for inventory. Training will also be given to public works department employees, as well as interested town board members and volunteers.

"Basically, we want to be able to address these invasive species. We've spent a significant amount of time looking at aquatic invasives, now we should look at terrestrials," board supervisor Ed Hammer said.

Total costs of the project would come to roughly $17,000 with some of the finer details still to be worked out. The grant, which would cover $7,000 of that, would provide the town of Newbold added resources to empower it to address the issue of land invasives. The out-of-pocket costs to the town would come in hiring the employee and the potential $1,500 to have maps created for the project.

"It's important to recognize what kind of volunteers we have in this town,"Hammer said. "Look at whar has happened with Newbold Outdoor Recreation area. This is something that I know about five people right now who are interested in volunteering with this project."

The board approved the grant application, with the next step being a letter of endorsement from town chairman Dave Kroll, who said he would "have it done in the next day or two."

Newbold resident and Outdoor Recreation Area developer Pete Cody said he was encouraged by Hammer's efforts in the eradication of Spotted Knapweed, and other invasives.

"I think it's an excellent idea and it should happen," Cody said. "When I first started working at the site of the Outdoor Recreation Area about three years ago, I never saw any knapweed. Now it's really taking hold out there. This is needed and I think the town is sitting on a whole lot of volunteers. We have a lot of landowners that this issue has already affected."

The next Newbold town board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Town Hall.

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