Forest Conservancy District Board
March 8, 2010 Meeting Minutes
Those present: Tom Anderson, Tyson Rose, George Lewis, Lynne Marquess, Ginny Brace, Jim Arnold, Mike Kay
We met at Ginny’s house again due to the ice, snow, and broken heater at Gambrill. Thanks for the hospitality Ginny. The gingerbread brownies were a nice touch. Too bad I couldn’t have one.
The meeting was called to order and January’s minutes were approved after a correction was noted in item 11, the item should read that 12% of the surveys were returned not 20%.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom indicated that we have a balance of $11, 501.07 in the Treasury. This includes a check Tom sent to Jeff Grills for $72.10 to cover an expense at the arboretum. Tom explained that the Forestry Board budget contains some funds dedicated to the arboretum, and estimates that about $600 remains in that dedicated fund. Mike mentioned that Frederick City’s Arbor Day program will be at the Arboretum on Wednesday, April 7 at 1:30 pm. If you haven’t seen the arboretum in a while or would like to take a look at the ESSL building you should make plans to attend this program.
Logging Site Exams: Mike indicated that we received one plan this month. If you are interested in visiting this site please meet at Gambrill at 8:00 am on Tuesday, March, 16, 2010.
Winter Association Meeting: Lynne, Jim, and Mike attended this meeting. Jim was impressed on the amount and diversity of activities going on with the boards right now. Jim spoke a bit about the potential grant opportunities and mentioned how often the idea of partnerships was brought up during the program. Some of the speakers included Gary Allen who talked about the Forest Stewardship Initiative. Craig Highfield who spoke about the Forestry for the Bay program and it’s accompanying website. Don VanHassent spoke about the state of the Forest Service along with pertinent legislation. Jon Kays had a short blurb about Extension. And, various members of the NRCC committee (including Lynne) spoke about the status of the 2010 program. The Executive Secretary of the Boards (Terry Galloway) announced her retirement recently; and, Don VanHassent mentioned that, the Forest Service hopes to announce Terry’s replacement and have the new person on the job before Terry leaves in June. There were also programs on management plans and certain counties reviewed programs they are attempting to encourage residents to obtain forestry advice and assistance. John Bennet also gave an update on the Big Tree Program. Lynne provided Mike with letter’s signed by John Bennett that we should provide landowner’s when we measure their trees. John also spoke about the Bi-centennial Tree project and mentioned that the only bicentennial tree that was submitted for Frederick County had perished.
NRCC: Lynne explained the new fee structure for NRCC. The tuition was raised to $350 and a $100 student fee was imposed so that the total cost per student is $450. Lynne pointed out that this figure is still below the approx $500 actual cost per student. Board member discussed this fee structure and agreed that the student should be responsible for paying a portion of the tuition so that they are serious about the camp. Lynne was invited to visit Frederick High and Middletown to discuss the camp with prospective students . After some discussion members decided to visit certain schools to distribute information about the camp. Jim: Linganore, Tom: Tuscorora, Mike: Brunswick, St. John’s. Lynne will send application materials to everybody and she gave each of us disclaimer statements that we have to affix to application material.
Nature Notes: Ginny said the column is in good condition and she has a backlog of articles. It was suggested that we submit a blurb on the champion bitternut hickory for the Nature Notes column. Mike will call the landowners to see if it’s ok with them.
Neighborhood Green: Mike mentioned that the Neighborhood Green program designed to assist suburban lot owners with tree planting, forestry, and other conservation practices is in the later stages of development. There are 3 primary functions to this program education, technical assistance and financial assistance. The educational aspect is intended to demonstrate to landowners how being a responsible land steward will improve their life and society in general. We plan to hold a 3 day Neighborhood Green workshop during May 11, 18, 25 for this program. At the end of the program we are hoping that attendees will have created a management plan for their property. During the second phase a natural resource professional will meet with the landowners on site to review their plan and help them implement some sort of project. The “project coordinator” will work with the landowner, help them acquire cost share, and monitor the success of the project. The third phase involves obtaining cost share assistance; and, to those ends Frederick County Watershed Management Section included the Neighborhood Green program in a NFWF Grant proposal that was submitted in January, 2010. This grant requests $198,000 for the Neighborhood Green program. These funds would be used to provide a onetime grant to applicants to cover about 70% of the cost of this program. To be eligible the landowner must have a management plan and submit a grant application to the Neighborhood Green through a project coordinator.<br>Mike mentioned that the Forestry Board could have a substantial role in this program relating to the following items:
Training: Members could assist with the training as being instructors (Ginny) and provide financial assistance and other support (refreshments ya’all) for the program. Mike asked if the board would like to purchase a supply of textbooks (The Woods in Your Backyard) and after some discussion a motion was made to purchase 50 copies. This motion was seconded and passed by those present. Mike will look into purchasing these books. Mike also wondered if the board would mind purchasing a copy of the tree ID book for attendees. The board asked Mike to bring a copy of this book to the April meeting to review and then they will decide if they wish to do this.
Funding: Mike was wondering if the Board would be willing to deposit the $198,000 grant should we get it, in the Treasury, and distribute funds as necessary. After much discussion it was decided that Mike should speak to Frederick County to see what in the way of regulations would accompany this funds. In addition, Board members relayed that they would not feel comfortable making the decision on who would get the funds and how much they should receive. The Board thought rather that if they were to distribute funds. They would like to receive a letter from the Neighborhood Green Committee saying that they approved the practices and recommend that the landowner receive X amount of payment. Board members said that they could not be responsible for insuring that the practices were carried out to the specifications of the program. ( Mike said that he would discuss these items with Shannon Moore, (the person who submitted the grant.) In addition Mike explained how the project coordinator would be the responsible party for insuring that the management practice was sound, the grant application was accurate, that the practice was completed to program specifications, and the coordinator would make annual visits to the property for 3 years to ascertain survival/the condition of the practice.
Web Site: Tyson said that the site is going well and members should check out the Ecological Communities section since a number of recent additions have been added to this section.
Hemlock Adelgid: Mike said that the heavy snows have hampered the inventories on private lands. In all likelihood we won’t be able to conduct these inventories until after tree planting season in May.
Other Business: Board members discussed the emerald ash borer and how it is anticipated that ash will be devastated across the country.