Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

December 14, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Ginny Brace, Steve Thrasher, Tom Anderson, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Jim Arnold, Vince Perrotta. Tyson Rose, Andy Driscoll Dave Hunter, Don Johnson, Mike Kay

  1. Keith called the meeting to order.

  2. Membership: Mr. Don Johnson introduced himself to the Board. Don is an avid woodworker and a Master Gardner. Don said that now that he is retired he has been looking for some volunteer opportunities and was directed to our board. Don assisted with the tree planting project we conducted at the Arboretum at the Earth and Space Science Lab some years ago; and, Don spent a lot of time assisting Jeff Grills with maintenance of the site. Everybody thanked Don for joining us at the meeting.

  3. Treasurer’s report: Tom mentioned that we received $.32 interest for the month and $3.69 for the year.

  4. Logging site exams: Mike mentioned he received two plans this month. Mike will only be available on Thursday of this week (December 17.) Mike will send out an email to see if anybody wishes to accompany him.

  5. Office of Sustainability: Heather sent a message to members late last month indicating that she accepted a job in North Carolina and will be moving down there in early December. Heather thanked Board members for their fellowship and said she had a wonderful time on the Board, wished us well and said she will miss seeing us at the monthly meetings. Board members mentioned that they will miss Heather and thought we should try to recruit some more women to the board.

  6. Big Tree Program: Vince, Steve, Tyson, Dave, Claude and Mike met at Ginny’s house early December 8 to begin the latest round of Big Tree measuring. The first course of business was to get fitted into our shiny new lime green safety vests. (Mike had a bit of trouble with his “state issue” vest but Dave helped him out.) Today we planned to measure 5 trees in the Frederick / Walkersville area. The first tree was nestled down in Frederick and it was a bit chilly to start off the morning. We navigated the streets, alleys, fences, etc. found good vantage points and got down to business. Everybody was impressed how engaged the homeowners were, they were all present to show us the tree and talk about it. We really looked official with our vests and easily could have passed as crossing guards or SHA officials, (Especially Tyson with his measuring wheel.) {(Something to think about: How cool would it be to get a tripod for the clinometer and height measurement. I know it isn’t essential equipment but you got to admit that it would look “very cool”.)}We took some really good action photos, measured the trees, and then stopped at a local diner for lunch and a debriefing. All in all it was a very good day. That’s how it went down. Back to the meeting: Ginny indicated that we have at least two days of measuring left to do, one will take us west towards Middletown, Yellow Springs, and Myersville. The other day we will be travelling to Thurmont and Emmitsburg. We will hold off on the lone Mount Airy request and Mike will contact the owner to get more information on the sycamore before we go out. (BTW Mike needs to brush up on his Genus species knowledge.) Andy mentioned that he would like to become involved in measuring but the only times he is available would be weekends. (Perhaps Andy could lead a crew?) Board members discussed how to weed out legitimate requests from those where we measured non champion trees. After much discussion we decided that so far the requests are at a manageable level and we should be able to finish these with two more site visits. As such we tabled the discussion unless numerous requests come in. (Andy and Steve suggested that we require a minimum amount of information on the tree such as the species designation and a measurement of circumference.) Finally, it was decided that Mike will propose two dates in January and see if anybody is available. Then we ride again!

  7. Invasive Species Program: Heather was able to reserve the meeting room at the Thurmont Library for the afternoon/evening of Thursday, March, 15, 2016. Members discussed what information we wanted to convey, and how to promote the program. Mike will send around a proposed agenda for comment.

  8. Nature Notes: Lori mentioned that she needs more articles to establish a backlog. At present we have a month’s backlog of articles.

  9. Web Site: Tyson said he posted some tree measuring photos from the recent big tree measuring.

  10. New business:

  • Boughs of Holly: Steve indicated that he had holly cuttings in his car and will distribute these after the meeting.

  • Mike mentioned that the Society of American Foresters wishes to partner with the Boards with the upcoming winter meetings in Baltimore.

  • Jim mentioned that he just attended a Natural Resources/Technology Conference in Portland, Oregon that he thought was excellent. Jim wondered if the Board would like to spearhead a similar conference in Frederick County. Jim will send course information to Mike to include with the minutes.

  • Don thanked the Board for inviting him to the meeting and said that he will plan to attend the April meeting once he returns from his winter sojourn to Florida.

  • Following the conclusion of the meeting some joined Ginny in the living room to watch the model train circle the Christmas tree.