Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

December 12, 2011 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Ginny Brace, Jim Arnold, Lynne Marquess, Steve Thrasher, Claude Eans, Heather Montgomery, Tom Anderson, Tyson Rose, Michelle Donahue, Mike Kay

  1. Call to order: In Keith’s absence Mike called the meeting to order.

  2. Introductions: Members introduced themselves to Michelle Donahue. Michelle became aware of the Board after reading an article about the MD Big Tree Program. Michele is interested in learning more about the board and assisting with the Big Tree Program and Nature Notes. We would like to thank Michelle for attending this meeting and her interest in the board. We are always looking for new, active members.

  3. Tree Farm Workshop: Claude indicated that despite the lower turnout he thought the program went well, the program was interesting to him, and he met some really nice local Tree Farmers. We sent out nearly 200 letters of invitation to Frederick and Washington County residents. Heather put together a fine article and took some good photos of the program so that, it lives on as a training vehicle for other folks that will see it on the Monocacy – Catoctin Watershed and web sites.

  4. Treasurer’s Report: Tom indicated that we took in $30 registration for the workshop and spent $160 on postage and refreshments.

  5. MD Big Tree Program: Lynne had some samples of a tree that she believes is a red oak that she handed to Mike for a positive identification. Mike was unsure and said that he will stop by to look at the tree in person. Lynne also made mention of the fine article that Karen Gardner put together on the program and said that this article lead to numerous residents contacting MBTP Volunteer Coordinator John Bennett with tree questions (including Michelle), and requests to measure trees. Lynne also noted that the current clinometer, that requires multiples of 66 feet (one chain) of distance from the tree makes it more difficult to measure large trees since it will require 1.5 or 2 chain distances to accurately measure tree height and makes it more difficult to calculate these heights. Lynne suggested that the Board consider purchasing a 100’ clinometer ($130 cost) and or a laser hypsometer ($350 -$400 cost) to more accurately measure heights. Lynne mentioned that the laser device would make height measurements easier to take as long as there was a clear line of sight for the laser to work and the time savings would be valuable if the board needed to take a number of measurements. After much discussion a motion was made to purchase a one hundred foot clinometer using Board funds. This motion was delayed. Another motion was made to allow volunteers to use the measuring equipment. This motion was passed by those present. Finally there was some discussion about outfitting a satchel with Big Tree measuring equipment including a GPS Unit. Mike indicated that he will check to see if there are any old clinometers or GPS units laying around that we can donate to the cause. Tyson volunteered to work as part of the big tree subgroup to use my handheld Garmin GPSmap 76CSx to determine big tree candidates location (coordinates).. Mike asked Heather if there is any way we can submit an MUCFC grant to purchase a laser hypsometer. Heather thought that this might be outside the focus of these funds but said that we could submit an application and see what happens. Lynne asked if there should be re-imbursement for volunteer’s mileage etc for doing Big Tree measurements. After some discussion it was decided to table this discussion.

  6. Forestry Lecture Series: Ginny set up a tentative date of Monday March 5, 2011 as the start of the Forestry Lecture series program. A subcommittee of Ginny, Tom, Mike, Heather, and Michelle will get together to develop the program. Following the meeting Mike spoke to Christina Huddleston of the C. Burr Artz library to discuss the program. Ms. Huddleston mentioned that she would try to schedule 6 months worth of programs for our group to assist us with developing an announcement. Ms. Huddleston mentioned that she would send all the pertinent information to Ginny and Mike once she discusses items with her supervisor.

  7. NRCC: Lynne mentioned that now that signup can be done electronically, two or three students from across the state have signed up so far. None being from Frederick County. Lynne thanked Heather for placing an article in the fall newsletter of the Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources. The next meeting of the Education Committee will be on January 5th, 2012.

  8. Monocacy Catoctin Watershed Alliance: Heather wanted to mention that the next meeting of the Alliance will be on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at the Browning Building at Pine cliff Park from 12:30 – 3:30. This meeting will be the holiday; potluck dinner and someone will be on hand to speak about Frederick’s Green Infrastructure Plan.

  9. Waterford Park: Ginny mentioned that the MD Conservation Corps crew stationed at Gambrill State Park did an excellent job elevating trees along a walkway at Waterford Park and now what is necessary if for the city to drop off a chipper that can be used to dispose of the old branches.

  10. Nature Notes we discussed ways of coming up with new ideas for columns such as soliciting questions from our readers and asking teachers to quiz their students for questions etc. Michelle mentioned that she looked forward to contributing some articles for this column.

  11. Web Site: Tyson said that it is up to date and he appreciates Heather’s article on the Tree Farm tour. Tyson mentioned that he will check Monday’s News post web site to obtain a digital copy of the column for posting on our website. Lynne thanked Tyson for adding photos of a recently measured Frederick County big trees to the Big Tree Program page.

  12. Other Business:

    • Claude asked members if they had ever been to an annual Tree Farm convention; and, nobody had been to one.

    • Larry Sharpe Memorial: Lynne indicated that Hagerstown Community College has offered to purchase, install, and maintain an American Holly and plaque in Larry Sharpe’s honor for $500. After some discussion a motion was made to agree to those terms and provide HCC with the $500 payment as long as they will allow us the opportunity to hold a memorial service in Larry’s honor. The motion was seconded and passed by those present.

A special thanks to Ginny and Jana for the holiday goodies and to Jim for the honey!

Happy Holidays Everybody!