Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

November 9, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Ginny Brace, Claude Eans, Steve Thrasher, Tom Anderson, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Heather Montgomery, Tyson Rose, Dave Hunter, Mike Kay

{We met at Ginny’s House this month. Thanks Ginny!}

  1. Keith called the meeting to order.

  2. Treasurer’s report: Tom mentioned that we received $.31 interest for the month and wrote a check to Ginny for $133.86 as reimbursement for the purchase of yellow Forestry Board vests. These vests will be distributed at the December meeting just in time for Christmas!

  3. Logging site exams: Mike mentioned he received three plans this month. Mike will send out an email to see if anybody can accompany him next week to inspect these sites. Tom and Mike conducted a site review at Stronghold in October in lieu of our early meeting that month.

  4. Office of Sustainability: Heather mentioned that two new interns were hired to oversee some tree planting projects and monitor some sites that have been previously planted. One of the main projects for these interns is to design and implement a tree planting at Pine Cliff Park. Heather also mentioned that additional funds are being appropriated for tree planting in the 2017 budget so as to maximize planting efforts. The Office of Sustainability is working with the University of Vermont to acquire imagery to ascertain the amount of forest cover throughout the county so as to evaluate our progress in meeting the forest canopy goals. Finally, the Office is in the process of acquiring the services of a planting contractor to conduct plantings during 2016.

  5. Fall Meeting: Claude, Tom and Mike attended the meeting on November 7. Claude gave a brief overview of the meeting. Of particular interest was a side meeting to discuss monitoring Healthy Forests Healthy Waters tree planting sites. As per the meeting the (three gentlemen, aka the horsemen of apocalypse, cookie meisters) gathered that the goal of this program I-Pad and allwas to document the development of the trees and shrubs that were planted with photos and to interview the landowner to get their feedback on the program. During the meeting Gary and Eric said that they would come up with a list of items that would like to see covered as per this documentation. At a previous meeting we discussed documenting the planting at the Harry George property; and, Vince volunteered to take on this project. Vince and Mike have already taken photos during the planting. Claude also reported about what was discussed during the NRCC program and Big Tree Program. During NRCC Gabriel mentioned that we had 27 students last year and even though it was an excellent group it did not provide the numbers to allow the Association to break even on expenses. Frederick County funded two students last year; and, according to Heather… Max is in the process of drafting his report so as to be reimbursed for the activity fee. Heather inquired when we should expect the report and everybody thought that we should ask to have the report before the first of the year so that we can put it on the website and use it for a recruiting tool. Heather will relay this information to Max. New pamphlets for the 2016 program were available and Claude grabbed a supply which he distributed. Claude also provided a synopsis of John Bennett’s Big Tree Report. As a result of our summer tree measuring odyssey we now have state champion trees for the Black Locust near Thurmont and the English walnut near Feageville. John Bennett mentioned that he is quickly getting to the point that he can no longer spearhead the statewide field measuring that he has been doing but would be happy to continue with the administrative portion of the program. Tom briefed everybody about the status of the American chestnut restoration program. Once again chestnut seedlings will be made available to those that want to establish a plantation. Some of these seedlings will be the new “cross” that should contain blight resistance. A discussion regarding the questionnaire that was sent to members was part of the meeting. Much of the discussion revolved around how to get more members at the Association meetings. This lead to a discussion about the timing of meetings Saturday vs. during a week night. Most people present said that traffic would be a factor if we tried to hold these meetings during the evening. An interesting lecture on global weather changes was delivered at this meeting as well. The speaker mentioned that through their work and statistical analysis they conclude that temperatures are likely to rise between the time of the study and 2050; and, rainfall will be variable and hard to predict during this period as well. At this meeting Tom defended the honor and integrity of Frederick County and Mike brightened people’s day by handing out a variety of cookies. What was not to like about this meeting!

  6. Big Tree Program: Ginny took available Nomination forms at the October meeting and developed a chart focusing on the location of these properties to help simplify travel to these properties. Ginny mentioned that most of these trees appear to be legitimate championship caliber. Ginny asked members to consider which trees is that we would like to measure, all of them or just the ones that stand out? After some discussion it was decided that due to the present volume of requests we should try to measure every tree for which we have a nomination form. Mike provided Ginny with more Nomination forms. Ginny said she will incorporate these new forms into the data base and asked Mike to mail or new forms to her as he gets them. Mike asked members to consider scheduling a tree measuring date sometime after Thanksgiving. After much debate we decided to schedule a date, during the week, and try to complete the trees listed for Frederick City and Walkersville. Mike suggested that we acquire enough instruments to measure at least two sets of trees so that if we have 4 or more people present we can measure one or two trees together as a group then split up and measure the remainder in smaller groups. Mike has the diameter tapes and clinometers but only has one 100’ tape. Various members mentioned that they have 100’ tapes that we could use. Mike will send out email to see if we can schedule a day and obtain a list of folks that would like to help measure these trees.

  7. Invasive Species Program: Heather said that she has not been able to reserve the Thurmont Library yet but she will do so at her earliest convenience. Ginny stated that she mentioned this program to Susan Trice with Master Gardener’s and Susan said she would announce this to her membership. Ginny also approached Cooperative Extension and they indicated that they no longer maintain a mailing list or do mass mailings. Scout Merit Badge program: Claude left a number of messages on the Cub Scout leader’s answering machine and none of his calls were returned. As such we consider the Cub Scout training to be defunct and we will approach the Boy Scouts for a possible program during the fall of 2016.

  8. Nature Notes: Lori mentioned that she needs some articles to establish a backlog. She has an article about fall fruits for wildlife that she will send the News Post along with an article about butternuts.

  9. Web Site: Tyson said he posted some tree measuring photos along with a photo of a spider mom that Jim Arnold sent him.

  10. New business:

  • Tree Farm meeting: Claude mentioned that Steve Thrasher was named the Tree Farmer of the Year in Frederick County and nearly won the State Competition. Dan Hedderick of Allegany County won the Tree Farm Inspector of the Year award. Finally the Tree Farm Committee would like to name a representative for the far western counties (Allegany, Garrett) along with Claude who now serves in the capacity as the Western Regional representative. Claude will stay on as the representative for Frederick and Washington Counties.

  • Help at Waterford: Ginny mentioned that Mike stopped by and assisted with the tree work.