Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

September 13, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Steve Thrasher, Tom Anderson, Dave Barrow, Claude Eans, Tyson Rose, Jim Arnold, Keith Schoonover, Vince Perrotta, Barry Salisbury, Mike Kay

  1. Keith called the meeting to order.

  2. Treasurer’s Report: Claude noted that we earned $.23 interest. A check for $125 was submitted to the Forestry Board Foundation to pay the $125 Activity Fee for NRCC applicant Rhett Butler. Tom contacted Frederick County about possible budget allocation and learned that in 2014 Frederick County signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Forestry Board to provide a $650 per year grant in exchange for conducting logging site exams and everything else the Board does for the county. To receive these funds the Board needs to submit a formal written request. (Which we have not being doing in the past.) Tom, Claude, and Mike drafted a request for FY 2018 which we submitted. We also drafted a request for 2015, 2016, 2017. We expect to receive the $650 funding for FY 2018 and are not quite sure if the retroactive funding request will come through. Claude drafted a Thank You letter to the Darrell McCartney family for their $500 donation to the Board. .Members signed this letter during the meeting.

  3. Logging site exams: Mike received 2 plans. Mike will check his schedule and send out so emails to see if someone can accompany him.

  4. FFA Forestry Team: The Middletown Forestry Team visited our meeting and each team member spoke a little about how learning about forestry has enriched their lives with one member saying that he is seriously considering making a career out of Forestry. The Team wish to thank the Board for providing them with a training and helping design the Forestry Practicum at Stronghold on such short notice. With the abrupt cancellation of the exam at Allegany Community College the 2017 program was in jeopardy. With the help of Stronghold Staff and the Forestry Board they were able to salvage this program and Middletown is headed to the National competition. The Middletown team also asked whether or not the Board could provide them with another training to be held on a Monday afternoon sometime between the end of the Great Frederick Fair and trip to Nationals. Two ideas were floated, one is that the team accompany Board members to a logging site exam. The second idea is that the team visit the controlled burning site on the Frederick City watershed. Finally, the Middletown team made a request for assisting with funding for their trip to Nationals. (Later in the meeting a motion was made to provide $100 funding for the Team. This motion was seconded and passed by those present.) Mike will contact Mark Spurrier to see how we can deliver these funds. Board members advised the Middletown Team about applying for NRCC next spring and many seemed interested in doing so. Dave mentioned that the Sierra Club has a $1,000 educational scholarship for students engaged in environmental studies. Dave encouraged team members to research this on the Sierra Club website.

  5. Catoctin Creek Land Preservation Initiative: Mrs. Barry Salisbury is a longtime resident of the Middletown Valley; and, the Salisbury family own a farm and some woodlots in this region which have Stewardship Plans and they have reforested riparian zones utilizing the CREP program. Many of these properties have conservation easements placed on them as well. Barry visited the Board to express her interest in promoting perpetual easements in the Catoctin Creek Watershed as a way of helping to preserve the rural nature and economy of the Middletown Valley. Barry has been working with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) in this endeavor. She mentioned that this region has a number of special attributes including large blocks of forest, very productive farmland, endangered plants and animals, numerous recreational features i.e.( AT, Parkland, bike trails, etc.,) Civil War History, Native American history etc. The MET has designated the Catoctin Watershed as one of their Signature Landscapes for all these reasons. Barry also mentioned that the Community Foundation of Frederick County created a fund to purchase farms and forestland for the purpose of developing an easement on these properties then reselling the property with the easement in place. The Foundation in now searching out donors to fund this program. The goal of the Catoctin Creek Land Preservation program is to establish 12,000 – 15,000 acres of easements on farms and forestland. Barry is modeling this initiative after a similar program conducted around the Grand Cacapon River in West Virginia. The Cacapon initiative targeted 12,000 acres and to date, they have surpassed this goal establishing nearly 20,000 acres of easements. Barry fielded questions from Board members and asked the Board for their assistance with this program. Some ways the Board may provide assistance is through word of mouth with residents of this area, distributing fliers at public meetings, adding a link to this organization with the website. Another idea that should be explored is to sponsor an educational program on easements and tax reduction programs for farmers and woodland owners. We could ask easement granting officials to overview their program and field questions from the audience. We could also invite landowners who have successfully sold or donated easements on their property to relay their experiences. Finally, there could be time during the program for individual meetings between program officials and landowners. Barry thanked the Board for their time and departed the meeting mentioning that she would be interested in working with the Board on the various ideas that we discussed.

  6. Big Tree Program: Claude mentioned that he, Dave Barrow, and Steve, met last month to measure 5 trees in the Frederick and Middletown area. Of the trees measured the red oak made the listing. The sycamore that was measured had a large point value but the Big Tree Committee thought that this tree should be remeasured during the dormant season to get a more reliable height measurement; and, calipers should be used vs. diameter tape since one of the leaders may be part of a separate tree. Claude and Mike also measured two large trees near Dickerson at the landowner’s request. It looks like the tulip poplar will make the list.

  7. NRCC: We received narratives from both students, expressing appreciation for their time at camp. Elizabeth’s Activity fee was paid by the Audubon Society of Montgomery County so she did not have a monetary incentive to submit her report but she did so anyway. Claude wrote a thank you letter to Elizabeth which was signed by various members.

  8. Sustainability Commission: Tom mentioned that this week is National Drive Electric Week across the country. To celebrate, there will be a parade in Poolesville this coming Saturday, with many participating vehicles being electric.

  9. National Envirothon Training/Competition: Tom, Vince, Claude, and Mike attended the training date for the event and Claude and Mike attended the testing date. We all were impressed with the quality of students and the overall program. Tom and Vince received their “green” colored tee shirts. Both gentlemen were thankful for the green color as opposed to the “red” tee shirts earmarked for the training day.

  10. Nature Notes: There have been a number of articles written the past month helping us to maintain a significant backlog. Mike will send Lori an application for Board membership via email. Web Site: Tyson mentioned that the Web Site is up to date. Tyson wondered if we should post an application for membership on the website. Members were pro and con on this suggestion. Perhaps more discussion is necessary?

  11. New Business:

  • Vince mentioned that the pruning trees alongside walking trails was completed in his community so he did not pursue developing a program for Frederick City in general.

  • November 4, 2017: Mike mentioned that the State Association is planning their fall meeting on Saturday, November 4, 2017. In addition the City of Thurmont is planning a fall tree planting at their park the same day.

  • Hailu: Mike indicated that Forester, Hailu Sharew is planning to retire on November 1, 2017. Plans are being made to hold a luncheon in Hailu’s honor sometime in October. Mike will distribute information once it becomes available.