Firm’s report on Poland forest leaves village dissatisfied
By Jessica Hardin
Poland Village Council finally got its hands on EnviroScience’s report regarding Poland Municipal Forest, and some stakeholders find it shortsighted.
The Stow-based environmental consulting firm’s report, which was funded by the Poland Forest Foundation, proposed stream restoration projects that aim to preserve forest infrastructure and improve aquatic habitat, water quality and the beauty of the forest.
EnviroScience estimates that these interventions could cost up to $1.6 million.
“In reading the report, I got a sense that a lot of what was being proposed was a treatment of the symptom we suffer rather than an attempt to deal with the cause,” said Councilwoman Martha Morgan.
The report identifies five spots in the forest that have suffered from erosion. It proposes stabilizing these areas through specific installation of rock features and riprap – a foundation or wall of stone stacked irregularly.
But because the culprit of the forest’s issues is increased flooding, the fixes may not be a permanent solution.
“The kind of solutions we need to look at are on a different scale than what was discussed in the report,” Morgan said.
Morgan suggested partnering with nearby communities to address watershed and flooding issues.
Intervention also would require removal of trees to gain access to the forest. Members of council and users of the forest voiced the opinion that intervention in the forest should be kept to a minimum.
Friends of the Forest President Lauren Shroeder suggested that a public meeting be scheduled to discuss the report.
Interventions in the forest will “affect generations to come,” Shroeder said.
The report will be the subject of discussion at next week’s forest board meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at village hall.
At Tuesday’s meeting, village council also approved Poland’s new motto.
“Proud past, promising future” was chosen by township and village residents in a poll.