Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

June 6, 2008 Meeting Minutes

Gregg Stull came to the meeting to discuss forestry related concerns. Gregg is an Ag-Ed instructor teaching at Walkersville High. Among his other duties Gregg teaches a Forestry-Wildlife Curriculum as an elective course to interested students. Last year similar programs were offered at Catoctin and Middletown High schools; and, in the past a program was offered at Frederick High. Gregg distributed a sample of the curriculum which is fairly comprehensive. Due to a number of factors it appears that none of these courses will be taught next year.

The bottom line being that no school has been able to field the 15 requisite students needed to run a course. Gregg is concerned that Ag-based courses like this are being replaced with more “hand off” science curriculums; and, the school systems have lost their DNR support for Envirothon and other Natural resource outreach programs. The net result is that students are not being exposed to many facets of Agriculture education that they should understand and appreciate. After much discussion the board proposed to send a letter to the Board of Education offering our support for Forestry and Wildlife education in our schools.

Another guest at the meeting was Phil Raugh. Phil spoke about what his job as an arborist entails and he mentioned a few of the insects that are impacting or have the potential to impact our forests and landscaped trees, namely Asian long-horned beetle, emerald ash borer, hemlock adelgid, and gypsy moth.

  1. Gypsy moth suppression: Mike Kay stated that the gypsy moth suppression program has been completed with 8,800 acres being sprayed on nearly 400 properties. The rainy weather made it challenging to spray so it took a bit longer to complete the project than had been anticipated. Mike thought that the partnership between the landowners, gypsy moth task force, Forestry Board, Forest Service, Parkton Woodland Services, and Ag-Air worked well and most people seemed very satisfied with the outcome. Mike noted that with about 1-2 weeks before the risk of defoliation is over (when the larvae pupate) it looks like our spray is holding up well. One exception to this is the Etzler Road spray block where the outer perimeter of the spray block was treated for a second time. We figured that gypsy moth were migrating on the site from adjacent lands that had not been treated. Mike was under the impression that Confirm would stay active for a month after spraying but maybe the 5” of rain we received 1 day after spraying this block, and the fact that a very large population of uncontrolled gypsy moth adjacent to the site had something to do with it. The Gypsy Moth Task Force intends to meet in July and prepare a report on this program. (Note: Visit the Gypsy moth suppression page for more information and related links.)
  2. Timber harvests: Mike Kay reported that Mike stated that no plans were submitted in time for the June meeting.
  3. Natural Resources Careers Conference (NRCC): Lynne Marquess mentioned that our alternate Melany declined our offer to attend the program so we will be sending two students to the camp. The Board has submitted checks for tuition and a $500 donation to offset the general expenses of the program.
  4. Big Tree Program: Lynne Marquess met with John Bennett and they measured and photographed the three National Champion trees that are located in Frederick County. After some discussion of the pros and cons of this program the Frederick Board voted to take over the measuring of Big Trees in Frederick County. Mike will order a set of instruments for them and schedule a training session in the near tree program highlighting a particular big tree. Mike mentioned that he and Jim Arnold did a previous article for the newsletter that Mike can submit to see if this would fit that purpose.
  5. Nature Notes: Tom Anderson said that he and Ginny Brace have developed a proposed format for this weekly column. Ginny will be meeting with an Frederick News-Post editor to discuss this format and we hope to begin running articles by mid-summer. Tom estimated that they have about 20 articles ready for publication at present. (Note: this Web site will also carry a parallel version of 'Nature Notes' at the bottom of the home page.)
  6. Other Business: George Lewis mentioned that he visited Jim McCrumb in the hospital and Jim has been transferred from the ICU to the Respiratory Unit. Jim is in pretty good spirits and we all hope he recovers soon.