Sunday, March 30, 2014

Did You Know? A “Crystal Ball” For Trees ---- Where Are Our Trees Headed?

by Jim Northrop, GSWA Volunteer

In 1982, a large glass-and-steel dome called “Biosphere 2” was constructed, intended for the human colonization of Mars. It failed for that purpose, but it has been useful for studying planet Earth because it allows researchers to control variables and play out different scenarios in a way that can’t be done in the real world.
The University of Arizona's Biosphere 2 earth systems
research facility in Oracle, AZ. Credit:
flickr.com/photos/tim846 (Tim Bailey, CC Attribution)

In 2009, according to Jim Robbins, author of the 2012 book The Man Who Planted Trees, two researchers moved twenty mature pine trees, five to six feet tall, into the dome and split them into two groups of ten. One group was placed in a chamber where conditions were equal to what they are today, and the other group was placed in conditions some seven degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is now ---- roughly equal to the high end of the temperature rise scientists predict for the next century. Once the trees established themselves, researchers deprived both populations of water.

The human-induced drought killed the trees in the warmer chamber 28% faster than the trees in the chamber with normal temperatures. The conclusion of the researchers was that forest die-offs could increase by a factor of five if the climate warms seven degrees as predicted over the next century. Because droughts can kill trees faster when temperatures are warmer, they suggested that instead of one die-off in one hundred years, the number could increase by a factor of five! This is based on temperature increase alone. However, in addition to the effect of warmer temperatures on trees, we must consider the aggravating effect of warmer temperatures on disease and insects. In concert with water stress, disease and insects kill many more trees than drought alone.

Some scientists believe the earth is on track to see 20% of its tree species become extinct or be on their way to extinction by the end of the century. These scientists see droughts, heat waves, and forest fires of unprecedented ferocity, rapidly rising sea levels, and more storms with hurricane-force winds. While there have been mass extinctions before in the earth’s history, scientists say this one is different from the others. It is brought on largely by humans through their disturbance of the natural landscape, the introduction of exotic species of plants and animals, new pathogens (such as increased carbon pollution), and unsustainable exploitation of plant and animal species.
A view of trees damaged by black mountain beetles
(Dendroctonus ponderosae) in the Black Hills National
Forest in South Dakota. Credit: flickr.com (Chris M. Morris
CC Attribution).

To be more specific, giant forest die-offs have already begun in the Rocky Mountain West. In the last half century, the two-degree temperature rise that has occurred in the West has already begun to turn ecosystems inside out, and the anomalous behavior of insects is one of those changes. With only a small increase in normal temperature, tiny black mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) now constantly fly from May until October, instead of a mere two weeks each year. They are attacking trees, burrowing in, and laying their eggs for fully half the year. There is evidence that the beetles are now attacking immature trees, and that they are switching to other tree species. In some high places where the beetles had a two-year life cycle because of cold temperatures, it has changed to a one-year cycle. This means that their populations can increase more rapidly during warm droughts when their host trees are most stressed, resulting in more beetles doing a lot more damage.

A dying forest is problem enough, but when large landscapes die they become contributors to a warming climate, a cycle called a “positive feedback loop.”  One of the most important things forests do for life on the planet is to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as plant tissue. Trees contain half of our terrestrial carbon stores, more than any other single source on land. Without forests, more carbon dioxide would remain in the atmosphere, causing more warming. When forests die or are cut down, they release their stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; in fact, such events are said to comprise 20% of annual carbon emissions.

While we cannot cure global warming, we may be able to slow it down. Understanding the causes and seeing whether we can adapt better to the effects is worth thinking about today as we face this inevitable change in nature.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Treasures In Your Backyard: Celebrating Harding Township’s Natural and Historical Riches

The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) is combining efforts with Kemmerer Library Harding Township (KLHT) throughout the month of April to highlight the Township’s natural and historical treasures.  Several programs for children and adults are planned to educate members of the public about Harding’s unique environment and its rich history. Township residents will also have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a discounted well water testing program.

April’s activities get an early start on March 30 when the Harding Township Treasure Hunt begins. Don your fedora, summon your inner gumshoe, and then head to KLHT between 4PM and 5PM to pick up your special Harding Township treasure hunter’s kit. All participants will have two weeks to scour the landscape in search of answers to several town-specific brainteasers. Budding sleuths can solve these mysteries at their own pace, but the ultimate goal of the hunt is to learn more about the environment, history, and culture of Harding Township.

“We hope this fun adventure will engage families in discovering our Township’s rich history and environmental riches,” says Lotte Newlin, Director of KLHT.

The Harding Township Treasure Hunt will conclude on Friday, April 11, with a special prize award event at KLHT starting at 4PM. All scavenger hunt participants are encouraged to attend and share results.

One week after the treasure hunt, on Saturday, April 19, KLHT and GSWA will hold two workshops about native plants and native wildlife in Harding Township. One workshop will be geared toward adult participation and the other will be for children and their parents. From 10AM to noon at KLHT, GSWA’s Director of Education and Outreach Hazel England will present Wildlife “Berried” Treasures, a program that teaches adults how to use native plants to attract beneficial wildlife into their back yards. Participants will leave the workshop armed with a trove of information about what they need to plant in order to support local bird, bee, and butterfly populations. From noon to approximately 2PM, KLHT and GSWA will offer a special hands-on bird and bee box building workshop for children and their parents. Each child/parent team will create their very own bird or bee box that they can take home and use at the end of the event.

On April 26, from 9AM to noon, local volunteers are needed to assist with a special clean-up of all the natural treasures at Harding Township’s Bayne Park. Under the direction of GSWA’s Director of Water Quality Programs Laura Kelm, participants will tend shrubs and native grasses that were planted around the perimeter Bayne Pond in 2011 in an effort to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff. Following the clean-up activities all volunteers are invited to attend a free luncheon across the street at KLHT.

As all of these special events progress, KLHT and GSWA plan to spotlight another one of Harding Township’s most important natural treasures—its precious water supply. Unlike many other New Jersey municipalities, Harding Township relies on private wells for its water. For many years, residents have taken advantage of a free well water test for E. coli bacteria offered by the local health department. This year, and only during the month of April, residents will be able purchase an expanded water test offered through GSWA at a discounted rate. The GSWA test not only detects the presence or absence of E. coli, it also measures the level of several other important indicators of water purity, including nitrates, pH (acidity), iron, arsenic, and lead. 

Harding Township homeowners who are interested in taking advantage of the new well testing program may register with KLHT or GSWA between March 30 and April 22. All participants will be required to make a $10 deposit and pick up a self-guided water sampling kit when they register. Participants must use the supplied kit to sample well water at their home on the morning of Wednesday, April 23. All samples must be returned to KLHT between 8AM and noon the same day. (Note: Water samples that do not follow specific timetable instructions may not return reliable test results.) Homeowners may customize their well test by choosing specific testing parameters from a prepared list at time of registration. The cost for a basic, multi-parameter test will not exceed $110. Test add-ons may be purchased for an additional charge.

GSWA will collect all water samples from KLHT on April 23 and send them to Garden State Laboratories, Inc. in Hillside, NJ, for testing. Following the testing period, GSWA will mail final results to individual homeowners.

“We hope this initiative will enable Harding homeowners to learn valuable insights about the quality of their drinking water,” says Hazel England, director of education and outreach at GSWA

To register for any of these programs, or to receive additional details, please contact KLHT or GSWA.

Find KLHT online at HardingLibrary.org or call (973) 267-2665KLHT is located at 19 Blue Mill Road in New Vernon, NJ.

Find GSWA online at GreatSwamp.org or call (973) 538-3500 x22.  GSWA is located at 568 Tempe Wick Road in Morristown, NJ.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Jersey’s Great Swamp, Passaic River Focus of Upcoming Talks

Dr. Lee Pollock points to a number of
macroinvertebrate animals clinging to the
underside of a river rock. May 2010. Dr.
Pollock will present findings from his 2013
macroinvertebrate analysis of Great Swamp
streams at GSWA's Breakfast Briefing event
on May 20, 2014. Credit: Great Swamp
Watershed Association.
The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) is pleased to announce the schedule of appearances and topics for its Spring 2014 Breakfast Briefing Speakers Series.

GSWA created the Breakfast Briefing Series to help area residents stay informed about important environmental issues affecting their lives. Briefings take place early in the morning in order to minimize overlap with most traditional business hours. Presentations are kept brief; and coffee, tea, and a continental breakfast are always served free of charge. Unless noted otherwise, all briefings take place between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. at GSWA’s headquarters located at 568 Tempe Wick Road in Morristown, NJ.

Support for GSWA’s Spring 2014 Breakfast Briefing Series comes from Investors Bank of Madison, located at 16 Waverly Place in Madison, NJ.

On Tuesday, March 11, Peter Coviello, of the Madison-based landscaping firm Coviello Brothers Horticultural Services, offers home owners some tips for growing a healthy and environmentally friendly lawn this spring. Drawing on his family’s 40 years of experience in the landscaping business, Peter will show how careful decision making about landscaping technique, lawn care products, and irrigation can build turf that is beautiful, easy and inexpensive to maintain, and less damaging to nearby rivers, lakes, and streams. An extensive discussion session will follow the presentation, so participants are encouraged to come prepared with their own questions about lawn care.

On Tuesday, April 8, David Kluesner, team leader for community affairs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2, will discuss his organization’s work on a plan to clean up the last eight miles of the Lower Passaic River. Sediments found along this stretch of river are contaminated with PCBs, dioxins, pesticides, mercury, and other hazardous substances that pose a serious threat to public health and wildlife populations. As EPA develops its plan, the agency will need to effectively address several important issues concerning urban water degradation, environmental justice, and legal compliance. This presentation will outline some of these issues; as well the important role community involvement will play in shaping EPA’s final decision making on cleanup activities along the Lower Passaic.

On Tuesday, May 20, Dr. Leland Pollock, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Drew University, will discuss findings from his 2013 study of bugs, worms, mollusks, and other small spineless creatures living in New Jersey’s Great Swamp Watershed region. Collectively referred to as macroinvertebrates, scientists observe changes in the populations of these aquatic creatures in order to measure the relative health and cleanliness of rivers, lakes, and streams. Dr. Pollock has studied macroinvertebrate wildlife in the streams of the Great Swamp for many years, and both the Great Swamp Watershed Association and the former Ten Towns Great Swamp Watershed Management Committee have used his data to inform short- and long-term environmental decision making. Conducted seven months following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, this year’s study conclusions may offer some interesting insights on the long-term environmental impact of that storm.

Please note that this presentation is offered free of charge to all and will take place at Kemmerer Library, located at 19 Blue Mill Road in New Vernon, New Jersey.  Kemmerer Library is in no way responsible for the content or views presented during this event.

On Tuesday, June 10, Tom Suro, an hydrologist and surface water specialist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) New Jersey Water Science Center, will discuss his work on a pilot project designed to map inland flooding along the Passaic River Basin.  This presentation will offer important information about flooding and flood dynamics for all New Jersey residents living along the western and northern reaches of the Passaic River and its tributary streams.

For driving directions and additional details about each event, please visit GSWA at GreatSwamp.org.

Voluntary donations to GSWA are sincerely appreciated. If you are not a GSWA member, please consider making a donation of $10 per adult at the time of your registration. (Suggested donation amounts for non-member children and family groups are available online.)

Seating is limited, so advanced registration is strongly recommended. To register or receive additional information, please visit GreatSwamp.org or call (973) 538-3500 x22.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Great Swamp Advocacy Update - Feb. 2014

The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) is closely monitoring new proposals for land development currently under review by the planning boards in Long Hill Township and Bernardsville Borough.

Long Hill Township

In Long Hill, Restore Meyersville LLC has submitted an application to build a new indoor volleyball facility on property located at 596 Meyersville Road near the Meyersville traffic circle. The property, which once housed a business known as Archie's Resale, stands adjacent to a portion of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  GSWA has participated in several planning board meetings, and questioned the applicant and his experts.  The site is contaminated with asbestos and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Under the proposed development plan, these pollutants will be cleaned up under the oversight of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP).  The same plan will reduce the amount of impervious surface coverage at the site by almost 10%.  In turn, this may lead to a reduction in the amount of stormwater runoff flowing away from the property which will benefit the local environment.

Bernardsville Borough

Proposed site for new TD Bank building off Morristown
Road in Bernardsville, NJ. Credit: S. Reynolds
In Bernardsville, TD Bank has filed a proposal and requested variances to construct a new bank building, drive-thru lanes, and a parking area on vacant land along Morristown Road (U.S. Route 202) between Weichert Realtors and the retail shops at Bernardsville Centre.  (The planning board has not yet determined that the application is complete.)

Nearby Penns Brook has already suffered serious damage as a result of the stormwater runoff emanating from existing building complexes in the area.  Erosion along the brook is extensive.  Water testing reveals unusually high nitrate levels.  Road salt is routinely detected at levels in excess of state water quality standards.

As proposals for new construction along this stretch of Morristown Road have proliferated, GSWA has stepped in repeatedly to represent environmental interests and protect Penns Brook from additional harm.

In 2006, the organization cited concerns over increased stormwater runoff and erosion in its opposition to Weichert Realtors’ plan to construct a new building next to its existing 62 Morristown Road location.  (This construction project was proposed for the same site now under consideration by TD Bank.)

GSWA actively participated in the application for expansion of Bernardsville Centre to ensure appropriate stormwater controls.  GSWA stepped in once again in 2012 when Chase Bank sought to build a new facility immediately south of 62 Morristown Road.  In this case, the organization successfully argued in favor of amending Chase’s original development plan to include stricter stormwater controls.
Construction is currently underway at the Chase Bank
site off of Morristown Road in Bernardsville, NJ.
Credit: S. Reynolds

Slope disturbances at the Chase Bank site have been extreme.  The precipitous embankment that has been created has exposed several soil layers to the elements (see photos).  Although a retaining wall is being constructed, this wall will not be as effective as a stabilized natural slope.

Should TD Bank’s new proposal proceed, more of the same slope is likely to disappear.  And, yet another stand of mature, soil-stabilizing vegetation will disappear along with it.  Without question, the addition of another building and another parking lot will add even more to the impervious surface cover in this already-crowded Morristown Road corridor.

We already know that erosion and stormwater pollution have taken their toll on Penns Brook.  With new construction projects proliferating in the area--first at the Chase site and now at the proposed TD site--Penns Brook’s future must be weighed carefully against the upsides of further development.  And while development may be inevitable, GSWA will vigilantly advocate for it to be appropriate in size, scope, and environmental protections.

Did You Know? Unsung Masters of Flight

by Jim Northrop, GSWA Volunteer

Geese in flight over NJ. Credit: Ann Campbell.
The other day I was walking in a local parking lot, when I heard a persistent honking in the sky. It was getting louder and louder. When I looked skyward, I saw a flight of large birds ---- perhaps 50 or 75 of them, passing overhead. What was most striking was not their quantity, but that they were arranged in a loose “V” formation. “Ah, Canada geese,” I said to myself.

Later, I was thinking about the beauty of that formation of Canada geese. I wondered why we normally see them flying in a “V” formation, so I decided to do a little research. Let me share with you what I learned.

The Canada goose (Branta canadensis) species is native to North America. It breeds in Canada and in the northern United States in a variety of habitats. Annually, the geese migrate south from Canada and the Great Lakes region, for the winter. In the spring, they return north. These annual migrations require them to be able to fly great distances.

The flight in “V” formation has been studied by various researchers. It appears that birds take turns in the lead position of the “V,” since flying in front consumes the most energy. Meanwhile, all the other birds in formation will position themselves in spots that are aerodynamically optimal ---- spots where they can take advantage of the swirls of upward moving air generated by the wing beats of the bird ahead.

Those swirls are very important. As each goose flaps to generate lift, small “whirlpools” of air rise to the right and to the left of the animal. By following one another the right way and timing their wing beats perfectly, each goose can ride the “whirlpools” created by the animal immediately in front of it. The result is a reduction in the amount of energy each bird must expend to gain lift in flight. Unfortunately, the lead bird gets no such lift advantage! And, if one bird happens to get a little too close or a little too far from the bird it is following, it instantly adjusts its wing beats to compensate. The same re-adjustment occurs when a goose chooses to change its position within the “V.”

Formation of Canada Geese.
Credit: flickr.com/donjd2 (Don DeBold)
How do the birds know to fly in these optimal spots? Researchers say that geese may have evolved “rules of thumb” for flying, or that they have “good sensors” and merely adjust to find spots that feel good. The up-wash of air that helps each bird support its own weight in flight, follows the same principles glider aircraft use to climb or maintain height indefinitely in rising air. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone. Very quickly, it returns to the formation to take advantage of the lifting power supplied by the other birds.

Anecdotally, it is said that when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, two other geese will fall out of the “V” formation, follow the injured bird to the ground, and protect it from further harm. The guardians stay put until the ailing bird is able to fly again, or until their compatriot is dead. Eventually, if the trio returns to the air, they launch out in their own formation or join another flock until they catch up with their own group. This entire scenario may be a myth, but it is a lovely thought.

Researchers apparently have not attempted to calculate the energy a bird might save by flying in a “V” formation, but estimates range from a 30% energy savings to a savings of more than 70%. On long migration flights, Canada geese typically fly at about 40 mph. These noisy groups honk their way along established paths that include designated “rest stops.” Being social birds, they remain in flocks year round, except while nesting.

Scientists do not know how geese in flight find the aerodynamic sweet spot, but they suspect that the birds align themselves either by sight or by sensing air currents through their feathers. Alternatively, they may move around until they find the location with the least resistance. Other questions wait for future research. For instance, how do the geese decide who sets the course and the pace? Can a mistake made by the lead goose ripple through the rest of the flock and cause traffic jams? Whatever future research may tell us, we know already that Canada geese are very effective, amazing birds.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Buy Gifts That Give Back!

Courtesy of the Back to Nature Fund.
Looking for a last minute gift idea that also does some good for the environment and your community? Look no further!

Help feed our feathered friends this winter and support Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA)—with Living Ornaments from Back to Nature.

Visit Back to Nature Home and Garden at 3055 Valley Road in Basking Ridge, purchase some handmade seed ornaments, and request that GSWA receive credit for your purchase.

There are four styles to choose from—snowflake, holiday tree, star, and candy caneand each one was created by a Back to Nature staff member.

100% of each $5 ornament purchase will benefit Great Swamp Watershed Association.

Stop by soon to buy several to deck your trees!

Click here to download a flyer for this promotion.

-----

Need another reason to shop at Back to Nature in Basking Ridge?

Here's a good one!

Members of the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) receive 10% off all purchases made in the store, online, or through BTN's Landscape & Construction Services.

...AND...

Every time you buy from BTN using the promo code below, GSWA receives a donation equal to 5.5% of the price of your purchase.

All you need to do to take advantage of the discount and the donation is mention the promo code GREATSWAMP10 when you are checking out or making payment. It's that easy!

So remember to visit Back To Nature Home and Garden at 3055 Valley Road in Basking Ridge today! You also can visit the online store at www.backtonature.net or call BTN at (908) 350-7506.

Let's get Back to Nature...
With our selection of locally sourced plants and organic materials, you'll find everything needed for gardening success. Our store hosts an array of artisanal gifts including pottery, woodwork, organic soaps and local honey.

This program is sponsored by CRI.

Back To Nature Fund: Back to Nature Home and Garden and Conservations Resources


Did You Know? Living With Wildlife: The Coyote

Coyote pounce. Credit flickr.com/JustinJensen
by Jim Northrop, GSWA Volunteer

YES, there are coyotes (Canis latrans) living in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge!  Members of the Refuge staff have seen and heard them a number of times.  And, you know if they live in the Refuge, you can be sure that they live throughout the rest of the Great Swamp Watershed region too.

At first glance, the coyote resembles a small German shepherd dog, yet its color can vary from animal to animal.  Shades include black, brown, gray, yellow, rust, and tan.  They have shorter, bushier tales than their dog cousins that they carry low—almost dragging on the ground.  Coyotes also have longer, narrower muzzles than dogs.

Most of us have a very negative image of this spectacular animal.  In popular culture, coyotes are portrayed as villains, dastardly outlaws, thieves, and all-around scoundrels.  Just think about the impression you have of Wile E. Coyote—you know, the creature that remains in constant pursuit of the Road Runner in Warner Brothers “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoon.  The long rap sheet of offenses we humans have pinned on the coyote could not be farther from the truth of their real lives.

Meet the Real Coyote

Canis latrans. Credit: flickr.com/~Shanth
Coyotes remain one of the world’s most successful mammals.  They have been shot at, poisoned, trapped, and otherwise besieged over generations.  Still, their cunning and intelligence have allowed them to thrive.  Coyote behavior often defies generalization, so here are a few intriguing things to carefully consider about these “adaptable predators.”

Although they are descended from wolves, coyotes demonstrate some unwolflike behavior.  They do not form highly structured packs, but prefer to live in loose confederations that vary with habitat conditions and food supply.  They also are less territorial.  And, while members of both species mate for life, coyote couples may choose to live together or live separately depending upon prevailing conditions.  This tendency toward social flexibility has earned the coyote a reputation for individuality that is uncommon in the animal kingdom.

The coyote’s flexibility also extends to its eating habits.  These opportunistic predators are true omnivores, and are as content hunting rodents, lizards, or rabbits, as they are scavenging carrion, insects, or berries.  As a result, they are just as capable of making a living in urban and suburban settings as they are in rural or wilderness areas.  This habit for ranging far and wide in search of food is often what brings coyotes into contact with humans.

Some wildlife experts estimate that the coyote has quadrupled its range throughout North America in recent decades.  And, many now speak of the animal’s “urbanization”, as more and more individuals are found hanging about office parks, housing sub-divisions, and shopping malls.  In fact, a pair of coyotes was spotted in New York City’s Central Park in 1985.  That is saying a lot when you consider the lengths to which people have gone to limit or eradicate an animal many consider a nuisance and threat to human health.

So what is the secret to the coyote’s success? Maybe it is the fact that you are more likely to hear a coyote than you are to see one.  These are animals that are shy by nature, and prefer to avoid confrontations with people.  Maybe it is the fact that coyotes reproduce more rapidly and in great numbers when under threat.  Where hunting is prevalent, coyotes are known to mate more often and have larger litters of anywhere between six and twelve pups on average.  Maybe it is the fact that coyotes are always on the move.  They can easily wander 25 miles in 24 hours.  Maybe it is the fact that the coyote’s natural predators—wolves and mountain lions—have been declining toward extinction. Or, perhaps we need to consider all of these factors together before we can attempt to construct a more accurate picture of the coyote we know today.

While many of us continue to regard coyotes as a threat to our lives and livelihoods, it is important to remember that we are the ones responsible for forcing more and more contact between our species.  Human sprawl destroys more and more coyote habitat every day.  And, our habits--particularly our methods of waste disposal--make us an easy and dependable source of food in once-wild areas where food has become scarce. 

So, if we want less contact between ourselves and coyotes, what do we do? Do we continue the failed tradition of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on eradication programs?  Or, do we follow the coyote’s example and use our own wariness and flexibility to master the art of peaceful coexistence?

If you are in favor of at least experimenting with the idea of adapting to the presence of coyotes, here are some tips and tricks you can use for maintaining a peaceful coexistence.

Some Ways To Coyote-Proof Your Environment

While coyotes are shy, they also are constantly on the lookout for food.  Here are some ways to further avoid contact:
  • Coyotes are attracted to food scraps in garbage.  Dispose of trash in a metal can.  Make sure the lid fits tightly.  Secure the lid with a bungee cord or chain.
  • Coyotes infrequently prey on domestic animals, such as cats and small dogs.  However, they may be attracted to areas where there are free-roaming pets.  To prevent potential conflicts, keep small pets indoors, especially in the hours between dusk and dawn.  Also, if you must feed your pet outdoors, pick up food and water bowls (as well as leftovers and spilled food) as soon as your pet has finished eating.
  • Do not put out feed or water for coyotes or other animals that are prey for coyotes (such as rabbits, deer, squirrels or chipmunks).  It’s really just asking for trouble.
  • Construct and position bird feeders so that coyotes and their prey (squirrels and rodents) cannot get to the feed.
  • Walk your dog on a leash and accompany your pet outside, especially at night.
  • If you must keep coyotes out of fenced land, make sure your solid wood fence is at least six feet high.
  • If you must keep coyotes out of unfenced land, reduce the number of brush piles, areas of low-growing vegetation, or other possible shelter sites.
  • Because coyotes like to eat fruit, keep fruit trees fenced, or pick up fruit that falls to the ground.
What Should I Do If I See A Coyote?

What should you do if you encounter a coyote and you want it to leave? Here are some tips:
  • Don’t run from the animal, but be as big, mean, and loud as you possibly can be.
  • Shout or yell at the animal.
  • Make other loud noises by clapping your hands, blowing a whistle, knocking two boards together or by using a car horn, air horn, or other noise-making device.
  • Wave your arms.
  • If necessary, throw rocks and sticks at the animal.