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6/2020 Letter from SBA President Richard Seltzer

Welcome to Stockbridge Bowl.

Since 1946, residents living on and near Stockbridge Bowl have supported the Stockbridge Bowl Association in order to preserve one of the most beautiful and most widely seen and used lakes in Massachusetts.

Everyone, no matter where they are from, is encouraged to use our lake for sailing, sculling, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, SUPing (that’s paddling a Stand Up Paddleboard), and fishing.  We do exclude jet skis; and we do ask boaters not to make any wake before 10 a.m.

We also welcome all comers to hike our trails in the 52 acres of Bullard Woods on the north end of the lake and on our 3 acre Kwuniikwat Island.

Our current capital projects are applying a narrowly targeted herbicide to control invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil, dredging decades of accumulated sediment from the channel behind Kwuniikwat Island and down the outlet, and hydro raking dense patches of water lilies that make water access to some homes difficult.

New members are encouraged to join.  To join or donate, see the section of this website entitled Support the SBA.

Richard Seltzer
Stockbridge Bowl Association

2020-06-22T11:47:03-04:00June 16th, 2020|

Wearing Masks

Most trails through the woods are wide enough for social distancing, but a mask may be required on narrower ones.


2020-06-17T11:05:28-04:00June 15th, 2020|

12/10/19 From:  SBA President Richard Seltzer:

We have just received a ruling by the Massachusetts Superior Court holding that the decision of the Town of Stockbridge Conservation Commission to deny our application to use fluridone to control Eurasian Watermilfoil must be set aside because it is not “based on substantial evidence.”  The court dismissed the ConComm decision describing parts of it as “sophistry,” “rather misleading” and “rather disingenuous.”  Analyzing the four bases for the ConComm decision, the court held:

First, as to the ConComm finding that the use of fluridone would lead to a removal of valuable habitat for wildlife, the Court ruled that “this conclusion is not supported by the evidence . . and is in fact contradicted by the DFW [ Dept of Fisheries and Wildlife,  Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program] and Dr. Kortmann,  the Commission’s own expert.  “DFW explicitly approved an entire-lake application of fluridone,” the court found.

Second, the Commission had ruled that fluridone used in other lakes had reduced the fish populations there compared to Stockbridge Bowl. The court stated flatly that “this conclusion is sophistry.” Anecdotal reports from local fisherman cannot constitute substantial evidence “particularly in the face of the opinions of DFW and Kortmann, the Commission’s expert.”

Third, the argument that fluridone would inhibit the formation of calcite was “also not supported by substantial evidence, and is rather disingenuous.”  Even Kortmann, the proponent of the calcite hypothesis, has testified that he favored treating a large block of the Bowl with fluridone to check for any impact on calcite formation; and, “the SBA had assented to this recommendation,” the court noted.

Fourth, the Stockbridge ConComm had claimed that there was a lack of studies done on similar lakes, to which the Court stated “this finding is not supported by substantial evidence and is again rather misleading.”  Again, the court found that Kortmann had explicitly testified that it was appropriate to proceed with fluridone even in the absence of further lake studies.

The case is now remanded to the ConComm to issue a permit consistent with this decision and the recommendations of Dr. Kortmann.

Next we shall also have to convince the Massachusetts DEP that our use of fluridone will not violate the state’s Wetlands Protection Act, a finding which DEP has previously made in favor of many neighboring lakes that have been using fluridone for years.

Needless to say, we find this decision gratifying

Richard Seltzer
President, SBA
December 5, 2019
2020-06-15T15:07:19-04:00December 10th, 2019|