Friends and Neighbors
We would like to thank everyone for their input on the tree harvest. Though we have attempted to answer everyone's questions, we still had a few question arise. We will try and answer every question, but there still may be a few we do not get to or cannot answer at this time. There have been numerous hours put in by the Trustees and the Tree Committee. Here is a list of questions a resident would like answered:
1) What are the Riparian Setbacks? Have you worked with the EPA?
In this case the Riparian Setbacks deal with placing a structure where a creek exists presently. It deals with how many feet the structure can be from the flood plain as not to disrupt drainage. This does not apply for harvesting trees from the property.
According to the Summit County Soil Conservation Web Site:
Are you planning on building a new structure or expanding an existing one on your property? If your land has a stream on it, you may have to take into account the riparian setback, or “no-build area,” on each side of the stream. The size of the setback corresponds to the size of the watershed area that drains into your stream. Riparian setback widths have already been established for the streams in Summit County. RIPARIAN SETBACK WIDTHS Width on each side of stream… …with watershed areas less than n… …but greater than… 300 feet* --- 300 sq.mi. 100 feet 300 sq.mi. 20 sq.mi. 75 feet 20 sq.mi. 0.5 sq.mi. 50 feet 0.5 sq.mi. 0.05 sq. mi. 30 feet 0.05 sq.mi. --- *The Cuyahoga River is the only stream that receives a 300-foot setback So… before starting any work that involves construction, filling, moving or removing dirt (even expanding an existing structure), contact your Township Zoning Inspector or Summit SWCD for information about stream protection laws.
The EPA deals with ground water and the changing of drainage of water. It also protects wet lands. We have spoken to the EPA as well as Summit Soil Conservation and the Army Corp of Engineers. Even though legally we did not have to speak with them we valued their opinion on the matter. According to EPA rules, Summit Soil Conservation, and Army Corp of Engineers, as long as the trees harvested are not harvested by heavy machinery in the wet lands, we are within guidelines. We spoke to all the tree companies and found that they are not using heavy machinery in the wet lands. We also looked at an Environmental Impact Assessment or EIS through the EPA. The EIS is done when waste water discharge or ground water is disturbed by building or rerouting. That does not apply in this case.
2) Have you discussed any of this with Councilman Bob Adaska? if so, how will this affect noise pollution, roads, future flooding?
Yes we have spoken to Mr. Adaska, who not only is our Stow City Councilman in our district but a resident of Wyoga Lake. He was personally handed a copy of the early letter and was nice enough to take time out of his schedule to talk with us. Keep in mind although we value Mr. Adaska’s opinion, this harvest is on private property. As far as noise, no trees are being removed from the hill area that runs along route 8. We also have a 300 foot set back from Hampshire RD and buffer along the houses on Commadore Rd as well. The vehicles used by the tree companies will be within the laws of the State of Ohio and the City of Stow as far as roadways. As far as flooding, we live in a flood plain next to a lake. Flooding is going to be expected. Flooding like we had last May cannot be predicted or controlled. Further ODNR advised unless any area is clear cut the trees do not play a big factor in flooding. Yes the trees absorb water but not a significant amount to stop the flooding.
3) How will this effect the Mud Brook Watershed and contamination to the lake?
The Mud Brook watershed spans much much further past our neighborhood. A watershed for a particular creek is defined as: the area of land that includes a particular river or lake and all the rivers, streams, etc., that flow into it.
When you consider what is a watershed which is a huge area, with Mud Brook Watershed starting in Northern Hudson and working down through our lake and out. Though we are removing trees we are not removing stumps that will do two things, first help soil erosion and allow other trees to grow as well as the tree cut to regenerate.
4) Will runoff from the hospital be affected by the lack of a buffering zone once the trees are removed? We have no control of businesses building off Seasons Road. With the harvest we are not adding any more waste water to Mud Brook. Also there are a small number of trees being removed by Mud Brook itself. The majority of the trees are coming from the farthest part of property towards Steels Corners Road. The runoff that we currently get from new business as well as Akron General, according to ODNR, will have little to no effect.
5) How many small trees will be destroyed in the process of removing the big trees?
There is no way to get an exact count on the number of smaller trees that will be damaged. The trees that are damaged will grow back. Trees fall every day in the woods and new ones start or the tree adapts. We made sure that the tree company spread out its choice of trees to harvest throughout the area as not to deplete one particular area around us. Also we are working with professional tree cutters, not the weekend warrior with a chainsaw. The trees selected are not only selected by quality but on how they can be cut and where the tree will fall. They plan on cutting the trees to size then removing them to not scar or damage the trees on the way out.
6) Have you considered taking less trees (are the number you decided on really necessary) ?
Yes we have actually lowered the amount of “prime trees” down from what was selected to be harvested originally. However, we did listen to the residents and increased the number of Ash trees to be removed. Also this is a small job already for the company and lowering too many does not make it profitable for them. It was actually recommended by ODNR to take more.
7) Have you set a date for the logging?
No date has been set for the harvest at this time. From speaking with the tree companies they prefer to harvest when the ground is frozen. That way their vehicles cause less damage to the ground and allow the grass and surrounding trees to start their spring blooms so they can fill out faster.
8) Have you taken a vote?
Yes. After hearing feedback at the Spring and Fall 2014 member meetings, as well as speaking to residents throughout the year, the WLHA board of trustees has voted yes unanimously on several occasions to move forward with this project.
9) Have you sent a mass mailing for residents?
Yes we have sent out an email via to all listed emails in the Turtle Times, posted information on the Web page, and used social media via Facebook. As soon as weather permits the boards will be changed directing people to go to wyogalake.com for information. Also several people have found out through word of mouth.
10) What research did you do legally in regards to the Conservation Association? What attorney compared the deed with tax regulations?
11) What research did you do regarding tax consequences? Will using money from trees have stipulations attached that could affect us down the line?
We would like to answer these two questions together. WLHA is a “Not for Profit.”
DEFINITION OF 'NOT FOR PROFIT':
A not for profit organization is a type of organization that does not earn profits for its owners. All of the money earned by or donated to a not for profit organization is used in pursuing the organization's objectives. Typically not for profit organizations are charities or other types of public service organizations. Generally, not for profit organizations can apply for a tax exempt status so that the organization is not subject to most forms of taxation. Donations made to a tax exempt not for profit organization may also be tax-deductible for the donor.
In the Conservation Association’s paperwork it states that the WLHA board has controlling interest over it. The harvest is just one part of the income of WLHA. Other income sources are membership dues, donations, Wyogapalooza, and other fundraising events that we have held over the years.
I hope that we are able to answer your questions. As more information comes in we will forward it to all of the residents. Thank you for the support given to this project
WLHA Tree Committee