Forest Conservancy District Board
May 13, 2013 Meeting Minutes
Those present: Jim Arnold, Claude Eans, Steve Thrasher, Vince Perrotta, Ginny Brace, Heather Montgomery, Tom Anderson, Keith Schoonover, Mike Kay
Call to order: Keith called the meeting to order.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom received about $200 in application fees from Heather for the upcoming Neighborhood Green workshop. These checks will be deposited in our account. Tom estimates that there is approximately $1,500 in the Treasury now earmarked for Neighborhood Green expenses. We received $1.41 in interest in our account.
Logging Site Exams: One plan came in for Catoctin Quaker Camp. Since Mike inspected this property and looked at the marked trees as part of an FCMA inspection and it was acceptable to him. The board gave Mike permission to send an approval letter. Mike also mentioned that a landowner who submitted a plan had a bad experience with a logging contractor out of West Virginia. Mike and Steve visited this property and talked to the landowner about the marking which looked acceptable to them. The problem that arose came from the loggers not cutting all the marked trees, cutting unmarked trees, not paying the landowner in full, leaving the property without fixing the roads and trails, and leaving logging debris in the road such that the homeowner had to pay someone to open up the road and repair it so she could use it. Given these results the Board discussed at length what we could have done to prevent this; and, the result was there was probably nothing we can do. Some suggestions that were made included having a handout ready to provide the landowner to detail important items like having a contract for the sale, receiving payment up front, performance bond etc. (The Forest Service has a Handout entitled “Selling Your Timber, First See a Forester” which details all of these concerns. Perhaps we can make copies and hand them out to landowners that we meet with, as a result of these inspections.
Mr. Eans goes to Washington: As Claude explained… Every year the Association of State Foresters and American Tree Farm program meet in Washington D.C. at roughly the same time to talk to their Congressional representatives about forestry matters of concern. This year both groups joined together to conduct joint visits to discuss matters of importance. Claude and State Forester Steve Koehn met with Staff members from Senator Mikulski, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Steny Hoyer. Some of the points that were discussed include a discussion of invasive plants, insects, and dieses that impact our forest, especially the emerald ash borer. The effects Sequestration would have on sequential budget cuts, and the impact on state forestry organizations. And, making sure that Forest Stewardship be properly funded in future Farm Bills. Regarding the Farm Bill a point was made to get rid of the sunset clause in the Stewardship Program because the suite of forestry programs in this bill have a long history of being an effective use of government funds. Claude said the meetings were a good learning experience and he would do it again if invited. The 0 Dark: 30 wake up call was a bit early though.
Neighborhood Green: Heather noted that she recently attended a training intended to effectively reach people with your message which she said was eye opening for her, especially as it relates to drumming up interest in Neighborhood Green. Following the program Heather redid all of the promotional material for the program and credits these revisions with the increased interest. So far we have 68 people signed up for this Saturday’s program. Heather also credits Karen Gardner’s article and word of mouth for drumming up interest in the program. Saturday’s program will run from 9:00 am till noon and set up will begin at 7:45. We will be meeting in the Auditorium at Linganore High. Heather sent out a separate email that details the help she could use setting up refreshments, registering people, distributing handouts etc. Please arrive early if you would like to assist. Heather also mentioned that 14 acres were planted through Neighborhood Green and 70 acres through other programs this spring.
Envirothon: Heather assisted with the Envirothon program and said it was a very worthwhile program for her. The Forestry Board was named as one of the sponsors of this program so this is another training we can take credit for helping with.
Boy Scout Training Program: Ginny developed a proposed agenda and training material for the Forestry Merit Badge program; and led a lively brain storming session to discuss this training. Following a lengthy discussion certain points were made relating to this program:
We can not conduct a full walk of the tree identification trail in the time allotted to us.
We should think instead of setting up stations that the scouts can cycle to, in order to receive instruction on tree id, examination of wood cross section (tree cookie), ecology, duties of forester etc.
We should think about providing scouts with samples of leaves tree cookies etc instead of them rooting around on the ground or tearing leaves of trees etc.
We should read through Ginny’s guide then communicate via email on ways we can use it for the training.
We should acknowledge that we can only present the pertinent information. The individual scouts will have to take this information and complete the required coursework as part of a homework assignment.
We should send Ginny’s guide to our Scout contacts for comment.
Once we develop a program we should do a dry run with the Scout leaders.
We should put the tree id trail signs on the web site so they can be used by the scouts as a resource.
Nature Notes: Ginny mentioned that she has a modest backlog of material but she is always looking for more articles.
Website: Everybody thought the site looks good and is being well maintained by Tyson. Tyson reports that the site is up to date.
Other Business: Tom wearing his Sustainability Commission hat mentions that there might not be a better time for Frederick County residents to purchase or rent solar panels. The Sustainability commission has vetted manufacturers and has a list of some high quality businesses and there is some funding available for landowners who wish to install these devices. Please talk to Tom for more information on solar panels.