OXFORD – The Chenango Land Trust (CLT) members held their annual meeting at the Oxford Methodist Church, Oct. 21. The Land Trust president, Earl Callahan introduced guests, there was an invasive species presentation; a short business meeting; an officers election, and he presented the prestigious “CLT Land Stewardship Award” to the Chenango Greenway Conservancy. The Conservancy also made a very surprising announcement.
The basic mission of the CLT is to promote the conservation of lands, and two guests in attendance were introduced who are committed to the same goal, Peter M. Hujik, the executive director of the Otsego Land Trust and Chris Gilbert, a CLT volunteer from Binghamton who’s also a member of the Triple Cities Hiking Club.
Gilbert presented information about a growing problem - Japanese Stilt Grass. She brought a bagged sample of the non-native plant which was found on a Triple Cities hike in Hawkins Pond in Windsor (Broome County). The invasive grass, which resembles bamboo, chokes out native plants and trees and dominates the area. After proper identification by a botanist, the grass was hand pulled and bagged, thus preserving the natural habitat. Chris was commended for her finding and resolution of the environmental problem.
Fred von Mechow gave a properties report which covered conservation easements in place and some pending agreements. The current easement properties are in Pharsalia, Smithville, (2 in) Greene, Maine, Union, and Sanford. The CLT owns twenty acres of shallow water wetland in McCall’s Pond in Preston. There are three properties where easements are being discussed: one in Sherburne, one in Columbus, and one at the site of a Chenango Canal lock in Oxford that also needs protection.