Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

May 9, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Tom Anderson, Steve Thrasher, Claude Eans, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Vince Perrotta, Tyson Rose, Dave Hunter, Dawne Howard, Don Johnson, Justin Hynicka, Mike Kay

Most members arrived at 6:30 pm to assist with the NRCC interviews. We interviewed John Stohlman at 6:30, Grace Muller at 6:45, and Spencer Becker at 7:00 pm.

  1. Keith called the meeting to order. (Around 7:15 ish.)

  2. Membership: We went around the room and introduced ourselves. We formally greeted Dawne, Don, and Justin.

  3. Forest Legacy: Justin Hynicka, (MD Forest Service) thanked the Board for allowing him time to discuss the Forest Legacy program with them. Justin gave a quick overview of this program. Forest Legacy is an easement program that purchases development rights for properties that lie in the designated Forest Legacy Areas. There is no acreage size limit, but the property must be 75% forested to qualify. The property must also have a Forest Stewardship Plan prepared by a MD Licensed Professional Forester. The program is intended to retain “working” forest lands. Easements that are being purchased are 75% of the assessed value. Members had numerous questions but it was decided to wait until the end of the meeting to address these questions. Justin provided a map of the Legacy areas which are mostly in the Catoctin, South, and Sugarloaf Mountain areas of Frederick County. Justin indicated that he will prepare a better map that he will share with Mike and Forestry Board members.

  4. Treasurer’s report: Tom mentioned that we received $.36 interest for the month. Tom reimbursed Frederick Office of Sustainability $1,373 for the tree planting at Pinecliff Park. The Treasury paid $15.46 for Ginny’s dinner at Golden Corral. Tom mentioned that $800+ was donated by a Frederick County business to the MUCFC program. Tom also led a discussion regarding the upcoming Frederick County Budget that does not contain any funding for the Forestry Board; and, our continued participation in the timber review process. Tom mentioned that Forestry Board funding fell through the cracks in the new budget once Frederick County adopted the new County Manager system and did away with the Commissioners. After much discussion it was decided to continue evaluating logging plans in Resource Conservation Zones and allow Tom and Keith time to approach the County Treasurer to see if funding for the Board can be restored in next year’s budget.

  5. Logging site exams: Mike received three plans this month. Mike also explained the history behind the Board’s involvement in logging site plan reviews. Following the meeting Mike, Claude, and Vince made plans to visit the sites on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

  6. NRCC Camp: Board members thought all three students did an excellent job and voted to send all three to camp. It was recommended that we inquire with the Education Committee to see if another county would like to sponsor our third student. After much debate a motion was made to: Recommend to Education Committee that all three NRCC candidates be sent to camp. We would send funds for two students. Inquire whether or not another county would sponsor our third student. If no outside funding is available we will fund the third student. This motion was seconded and passed by a majority of members that were present. Dawne Howard said she was very interested in the NRCC Program and wondered if she could visit the camp for a day. Mike said that the NRCC committee encourages this and he would contact Dawn Balinski to see what day is preferable for such visits.

  7. Sustainability Commission: Tom mentioned that he submitted Ginny’s Nomination for the Annual Frederick County Sustainability award and although Ginny did not win this award she did win a Merit Award. Ginny will be given this award at a public ceremony in the near future.

  8. Big Tree Program: Mike measured the large “white oak” tree at Villages or Urbana. This tree is the 6th largest white oak in Frederick County. John Bennett will be placing this tree in the database now that he has permission to do so. Mike also measured a very large Butternut tree at a landowner’s home where he was planting trees recently. Mike sent the measurements to John Bennett and it appears that the tree is the 2nd largest butternut in Maryland. We need permission slips etc. from the landowner before the tree can be formally listed.

  9. Nature Notes: Lori indicated that she has edited and sent “numerous” articles to Karen Gardner. We had a short discussion on how to flag time sensitive articles to Lori. It was decided that we would put “Time Sensitive” in the subject box.

  10. Web Site: Tyson mentioned that the Web Site is up to date. Tyson received an inquiry about how to determine if a tract of timber was merchantable for a timber sale. After some discussion the recommendation was made to refer the inquirer to the List of Consulting Foresters and detail why it is a good idea to hire a consultant forester. We also discussed whether or not anybody is willing to assume the Webmaster duties from Tyson. Tom Anderson said that if someone assumes the Treasurer’s duties he will take over administration of the web site.