Foreign Plants Invade Carlisle
Hello from the Shepherd
Conservation Restrictions:
A Flexible Land Planning Tool
Bartlett Farm Hosts CCF Annual Meeting
CCF's Swanson Lot on Curve Street
CCF Supports Passage of Environmental Bond Bill
2002 Financial Report

Archived Newsletters:




Any queries or comments please contact

CCF Directors

Alan Ankers
Barney Arnold
Liz Carpenter
Wayne Davis
Marjie Findlay
David Freedman
Peg Gladstone
Heidi Harring
Steve Hinton
Lori Jiménez
Jamie Klickstein
Lynn Knight
Jay Luby
Greg Peterson
Scott Simpson
Steve Spang
Sally Swift
Steve Tobin

P.O. Box 300
Carlisle, MA 01741




December 2002

 Hello from the shepherd

Hello from Sheepscapes,

Sheepscapes, a New Hampshire based vegetation management company, conducted an Intensive Grazing Project 2002 with the support of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, Concord Land Conservation Trust, the towns of Carlisle and Concord, and the Minute Man National Historical Park

The goal of the project is to restore and maintain pastures with grazing sheep. The pastures are being overgrown by unwanted woody plants such as buckthorn, multiflora rose, poison ivy, bitter sweet, and honeysuckle. Our philosophy: The best way to preserve or restore a pasture is to treat it like a pasture, i.e. graze it. By grazing the land, we are essentially exerting a selective pressure in favor of plants that thrive on grazing (grasses and legumes) and against plants that do not (woody vegetation).

At present, our system involves three grazing passes on each pasture between May and September. With each successive pass the target species are defoliated, further stressing the plant and depleting stored energy in the root system. With multiple defoliations in a growing season, we expect to see a significant mortality in the target species over a few years..

A lesson we learned is that the unusually hot, dry weather we experienced inmid and late summer can make vegetation management a bit tricky. None of the Sheepscapes shepherds have ever experienced a situation where sheep disliked poison ivy. However, with the dry weather, we believe the oils relative to the moisture content in the leaves was high enough to decrease its palatability. The sheep would eventually eat the poison ivy, but they would first crop the desirable grasses a bit too close for that time of year. Unfortunately, we did not learn to control the weather, so flexibility was our only means of managing that situation.

Overall, we feel the project is going well. The palatability of the number one target plant, buckthorn, remained high throughout the summer. Not only did the sheep defoliate the plant, they also nipped off the top 3-6 inches of each shoot. Test and control plots have been established this year near the knoll on Towle Field and demonstrate that sheep grazing to control woody plants is promising.

Thanks for giving us the chance to manage the Intensive Grazing Project 2002. We hope to see all of you next summer for another great year of sheep grazing in Carlisle. Meanwhile we will be busy in New Hampshire tossing hay bales about, building fences, and training dogs. Thank you.

Sincerely, David Nishida, Your Local Shepherd