Forest Conservancy District Board
January 14, 2013 Meeting Minutes
Those present: Ginny Brace, Steve Thrasher, Tom Anderson, Jim Arnold, Claude Eans, Vince Perrotta, Keith Schoonover, Heather Montgomery, Tyson Rose, Barry Burch, Melissa Udbinac, Mike Kay
Call to Order: Keith called the meeting to order. The Final version of December’s Minutes were approved as written.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom indicated that we have received nearly $3,500 from Neighborhood Green which will be used to pay for seedlings in the spring. Tom also mentioned that he requested an appropriation of $625 from Frederick County as part of the MOU that was drafted instead of the $325 that the County had proposed. Tom is awaiting the County’s response.
Logging site exams: Mike noted that he received one plan and he made plans to meet with Steve and possibly Jim at Gambrill on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 8:00 am to review the site.
Introduction of guests: We had two guests at tonight’s meeting to talk about potential educational projects we can collaborate with. Melissa Udbinac is affiliated with the Appalachian Trail District of the Cub and Boy Scouts. Barry Burch is an instructor at Walkersville High who is involved in the Envirothon competition and Barry now teaches a Wildlife and Forestry class at Walkerville High along with his other duties.
Educational Opportunities: Heather noted that as a result of last month’s meeting she contacted Melissa and Barry to see if they might be interested in partnering with the board on an educational program; and, if they would be able to attend a meeting to discuss these programs in more detail. Here is a synopsis of what we discussed:
Melissa spoke about her scouting group the Appalachian Trail Cub and Boy Scout section encompasses the southern half of Frederick County and has 1,200 scouts. There are 14 Cub Scout and 16 Boy Scout groups in the Appalachian Trail section. Melissa is a member of the Appalachian Trail section. There is Scouts range from 11- 18. The Cub and Boy Scouts have nearly 120 merit badges that they can acquire and the final step on the ladder is obtaining the Eagle Scout designation by completing a special community service project. Melissa mentioned that the scouts are always looking to sponsor Merit Badge day events that Scouts can attend to earn a number of badges at a central location or assist with community service events such as tree plantings etc.. Melissa distributed a handout that had the qualifications necessary to obtain a Forestry Merit badge (This information can be found on meritbadge.com) and said that the Appalachian Trail and possibly Catoctin Mountain sections would be interested in planning a Merit Badge Day or tree planting project with the Board. Melissa said that the Appalachian Trail section meets for a monthly “round table” event the second Tuesday of each month where they discuss educational proposals etc. Claude mentioned that he attended a round table discussion for the Catoctin Mountain section were the forestry board’s involvement in merit badges, tree plantings etc. was also discussed. After much discussion we decided to think about, and discuss potential programs then attend a round table. Mike mentioned that given the size of these organizations (2,400 people) we would have to be careful how many people responded. Vince thought that designating a maximum enrollment of participants would take care of this issue. Claude inquired about the possible training program we would need to attend before working with scouts and Melissa responded that this would not be a requirement unless we were working one on one with a scout with a project over time. If we are merely hosting a field day Melissa did not think that this training would be required. Melissa thanked the group for their time and said he hoped we could collaborate on some projects this summer.
Barry Burch talked about the Envirothon Program: The Envirothon is a team competition made up of representatives of local high schools that compete at the school, county, state, and national level. The teams focus of 5 curricula Forestry, Fisheries (Water Quality), Wildlife, Soils, and the fifth study changes from year to year with this year focusing on Range Management. Barry mentioned that Frederick County usually fields 15 – 18 teams. The program has a training day set aside for March 26 at Cunningham Falls State Park. The county competition will be held on April 23 at Cunningham Falls. The State competition will be held in June in Garrett County and the National Competition will be held in Bozeman, Montana during August 4-10. Barry mentioned that a number of organizations assist with Envirothon including NRCS personnel, Heritage and Wildlife, Fisheries, and Department of Agriculture employees. Barry mentioned that he and Mark Freese have taken over the Forestry section of Envirothon after the MD Forest Service exited the program. Barry mentioned that he would like to discuss Forestry Board participation with Mark Freese before advising the Board on their potential roles but thought there might be opportunities to help train, proctor the competition, or at least attend the training or competition to see what the program is all about. Barry made mention that the Catoctin and Frederick Soil Conservation Districts sponsor the Envirothon program in Frederick County along with the other organizations that donate staff time etc. Barry talked a little about his new Forestry and Wildlife course and said that a similar course was being taught at Catoctin High. Barry also noted that there will be a tree planting taking place at Walkersville High during the spring. Barry thanked the Board for their interest in Envirothon and stayed for the remainder of the meeting.
Forestry Education Class: Mike and Ginny attended the planning meeting for the upcoming Forestry course scheduled for March 4, 11, and 18 at the Extension Building on Montevue Lane in Frederick. Mike mentioned that a flyer and application will be coming out soon. Mike wondered if the Board would like to provide refreshments at the trainings and the consensus was that we would as long as we are able to set up a display and have a presence during the event. Since the Board does not have a presentable display we discussed different displays that we could acquire including a Power Point. Mike spoke to Terry Poole today who indicated that he would love to have the Board participate and set up a display.
Nature Notes: Ginny mentioned that the coffers have been restocked with articles; and, we have a small backlog of articles now.
Web Site: Tyson mentioned that he received some questions from a resident of Middletown regarding a bear raiding his bird feeder.
Keith asked if he could link the web site he was developing with the Forestry Board and Tyson said that it would be ok with him.
Heather mentioned that she visited Chris Cooley’s art gallery in Leesburg and saw some of Keith’s furniture prominently displayed in the gallery. Jim also shared photos taken at Keith’s Wedding. Congratulations Keith!
Mike mentioned that the Forest Service is undergoing reorganization in July and he will be attending a meeting next week to learn about the new organization. Mike also mentioned that Bob Webster will be attending the February meetingto present a program about the new organization to board members.