Forest Conservancy District Board
November 11, 2013 Meeting Minutes
Those present: Ginny Brace, Steve Thrasher, Vince Perrotta, Jim Arnold, Cecilia Arnold, Claude Eans, Tyson Rose, Tom Anderson, Mike Kay
Call to order: Mike called the meeting to order. The October minutes were approved as written.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom mentioned that he has received $5,201.25 from Heather for Neighborhood Green and he will be using these funds to pay for seedlings.
Logging site exams: Mike distributed 3 of the 4 plans that were submitted this month. Mike will send an email inquiry out to see if anybody is interested in accompanying him for these inspections.
Statewide meeting: Claude, Tom, and Mike went to this meeting. Some of the highlights included:
The Association is redoing the articles of association and there are a number of proposed changes including how we do business with the Treasury funds etc. There will be a memo coming out soon that should overview the proposed changes.
Treasury: More oversight on how we conduct business is being proposed including, documentation on how funds are obtained and how they are spent. Also there should be two signatures on the checks that of the Treasurer and Executive Secretary. (There was much discussion on this matter during the Statewide Meeting.) Tom commented at the State Association meeting that the renewed record keeping may require a spreadsheet but now realizes that he can put everything in the checkbook register if he writes small enough.
Steve Koehn overviewed Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction program and the role the Forest Service and Forestry Boards would play in the implementation of this program.
Healthy Forests Healthy Water: Gary Allen overviewed this program and there might be a project in Frederick County depending on the funding available.
An trailer of the new film Greenfire by Aldo Leopold was shown, it looks like a good movie.
NRCC: We only had 26 students at this year’s camp although the program was excellent. There will be an increase in tuition due to rising costs at Camp Hickory.
Big Tree Program: John Bennett overviewed the Big Tree Program and showed slides of some trees that were recently added to the registry.
Claude spoke about our Forestry Merit Badge training program at this meeting and he had some inquiries from other boards.
Membership: Tom mentioned that the new Association guidelines specify that each Board should have a chair and vice chair and that these assignments should be for a two year period. With that in mind Tom nominated Keith to serve as chair for another 2 year term starting January 1, 2014 and that Vince would be Vice Chair during the same time period. Vince accepted the nomination. The motion was seconded and passed by those present except for Keith who was not present.
Neighborhood Green: Here is the report that Heather submitted prior to the meeting: We currently have almost 30 acres of tree planting to complete as part of the Neighborhood Green program in spring 2014. To date, a total of 20 landowners are moving forward out of 29 cost-share applications submitted. We are hoping to get one more landowner enrolled with 4+ acres of potential buffer to be planted along a stream running through their property. We believe we can achieve the 50 acre goal between the plantings from 2013 and 2014… If we get the last landowner we’ll be at 48 acres total between both years of the program, and one other landowner will possibly using CREP funds to add acreage to their neighborhood green project (Batkins). Fingers crossed we get to 50 acres or more! Either way, our foresters submitted cost-share applications for more than 46 acres this year. To have potentially 34+ acres out of 46 acres this year is fantastic!! Tom can tell you how much landowners have contributed to date. I believe our largest landowner check received for VOLUNTARY tree planting was $1,200. Pretty cool. I went to a workshop at Stroud Research Center in Avondale, PA yesterday. I learned quite a few things:
Buffers not only help to keep pollutants from getting into streams, they also improve the ability of the stream itself to process pollutants better. This related to Steve’s earlier question about nitrogen entering the stream from falling leaves. The leaves provide food for the critters within the stream, improving ecosystem health. These bugs and bacteria increase the capacity of a stream to denitrify. Therefore- the leaves provide carbs and proteins to the bugs who then assist the stream in processing pollutants. In fact, buffered streams have 2-8x more nitrogen uptake than deforested streams (Sweeney, 2004).
Controlling surrounding vegetation is important for tree growth: Trees in shelters w/o any other treatment had a 16% survival after 4 years. In the same experiment, trees in shelters that had a 3ft ring of herbicide applied around each shelter 2x per year had a 96% survival rate and the growth rate was more than double. The Stroud Center is currently experimenting with the use of vole guards from Europe that wrap around the seedlings inside the shelter. Stroud now only uses 5’ shelters (vs 4’ shelters) due to their ability to keep deer browse down. I hope to help bring 5’ shelters to Frederick County projects soon to see what difference it makes in areas of high deer pressure.
Diversity of buffer plantings is important. In studies, macroinvertebrates were shown to prefer different leaves of species that they grow best on. (i.e.: a stone fly would eat the red maple leaf first, the sycamore leaf second, then the tulip poplar. The experiment showed that that species actually grew best on red maple, second best on sycamore, and third best on tulip poplar. The best species for one bug may be different for another bug, so species diversity does matter.)
There is an awesome seedling maintenance manual that I would like to share with Neighborhood Green participants. I will leave a copy for folks to look at.
Biomass Program: Claude and Pillar attended this conference in Annapolis and said that the information was excellent. Claude mentioned that the material covered new highly efficient, stoves and boilers, many of which utilized wood pellets as fuel. These devices emit a low amount of carbon dioxide and the burning of wood is considered to be carbon neutral since this is carbon already in the biosphere vs. mining stored carbon from the earth (gas, oil, coal). Everybody thought that this would be good information to relay and thought that a winter 2014 or fall 2014 program would be worth doing.
Nature Notes: Ginny mentioned that she received an influx of interesting articles so we now have a small backlog.
Web Site: Tyson sent an email around from John Bennett where John suggested the use of MD champion tree photos for articles that we may do about trees for Nature Notes.
FCC training: Ginny and Mike are designing an environmental course to be taught at Frederick Community College for the Institute for Retirement Learning concerning the development of natural landscapes. The college is using our compensation to purchase planting material that we will plant on the campus.
Ginny also mentioned that she is placing stone around some of the plantings at Waterford to control weeds and reduce vole predation. Ginny also mentioned that Frederick County’s bike path is going through Waterford Park.