Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

January 14, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Dave Hunter, Tom Anderson, Dawne Howard, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Jim Arnold, Dave Barrow, Bruce Phillips, Drake Russell, Mike Kay

Prior to the meeting Dave Hunter, Dave Barrow, Dawne Howard, Tom Anderson, Jim Arnold, and Mike Kay to interview Emily Cook for the NRCC Program.

Drake Russell visited our meeting tonight at Dave Barrow’s invitation. Drake and Dave recently attended the Woodlands Stewards program and both gentlemen said that the program was very good and they learned a lot. Drake works for the Federal Government with the Nuclear Security Administration. The job results in much travel. Drake owns 60 acres of forest on Mar-lu-Ridge and he has been participating in the Stewardship Program for nearly 15 years. Drake wants to learn more about forestry and the Forestry Board.

  1. Membership: Dave Hunter received his commission as a new member to the Forestry Board. Welcome aboard Dave! Mike also heard that Bruce’s commission will be coming soon and will be presented to him at the next meeting.

  2. Treasurer’s Report: Claude relayed the following to Mike. We received $.23 interest and $258.46 proceeds from the Lanternfly workshop.

  3. Logging site exams: One plan was submitted in the Woodsboro area that Mike distributed. Mike made plans with Claude to visit the site this Wednesday, 1-16-19. Keith mentioned that he had a conversation with Tiffany and Eric (fairly new employees) at Frederick County Office of Environmental Compliance. Keith mentioned that he got the impression that both individuals had a lot of questions about the Boards role in the logging permit process and the logging permit process in general. After much discussion a suggestion was made to propose a meeting with these individuals to discuss our role and other items of interest.

  4. Thurmont Green Fest and Hood College event. Dave Barrow mentioned that he received invitations for both events. Dave asked if members are interested in helping staff a table and participate in the tree giveaway. In Thurmont the city purchased the giveaway trees at Hood we did. Dave suggested that if we purchase seedlings we should target lower growing varieties because they were much more popular at the Hood event because most attendees lived in Frederick City where growing spaces are somewhat limited. A suggestion was made to charge a nominal amount for seedlings at the Hood event to cover our expenses. Charging would also help ensure that the seedlings were well cared for. Dave said he would think about some of these options, communicate via email, then put together a plan of action.

  5. Following the meeting Dave looked into some of these items and reports the following:

    • I followed up with the town of Thurmont and Hood college about their respective festivals.

      1. Thurmont will be ordering 250 seedlings for the Board to hand out on Saturday April 13 from 10am to 2pm. They would be thrilled if we would be willing to attend the event and hand out the trees for them. This would be a good event to attend. We can advertise the board, put a donation jug out to collect money for the Board programs and to collect more email addresses for our nature notes emails.

      2. Hood College Green Neighbor Festival is scheduled for May 4 from 10am to 4 pm. Hood is thrilled that we are considering participating and has no problem with us selling the seedlings for a small fee like $2 per seedling or 3 seedlings for $5. Hood also like what we use the money for and they would help advertise the NRCC program in there event flyers.This too would be a good event to attend. We can advertise the board, sell seedlings, put a donation jug out to collect money for the Board programs and to collect more email addresses for our nature notes emails.

        • With that being said, If we decide to participate I would suggest we purchase 75 gray dogwoods, 75 redbuds, and 75 southern crabapples for sale. This could equate to a net benefit of between $100 and $175 dollars for the NRCC.

        • I would like to make a motion that the board approves the request to support both events and I will purchase the seedling listed above, register us at both events ($25 fee for Hood) with reimbursable funds from the Board for sale at the Hood Event.

  6. NRCC program: Everybody thought Emily did an excellent job with her application and interview. After some discussion a motion was made to accept Emily to camp covering her tuition and reimbursing the $125 Activity Fee once she delivers a write up about camp. The motion was seconded and passed by those present. Mike will contact Emily to relay the good news. Mike will also contact Dawn Belinsky with the State Association and ask Claude to submit a $450 check for Emily’s tuition. Mike will try to set up another interview for Henry and others that might submit an application, at the February meeting. It should be noted that Mike talked to Henry on the phone to inquire whether or not he could interview at the January meeting and evidentially, he was unable to do so.

  7. Lanternfly Program: Everybody indicated that this was a very interesting and well run program. We had 50 attendees with 30 – 35 paying customers. Mike suggested that in the future we try to obtain some grants to cover refreshments or handouts. Organizations like the MD Forest Service, Tree Farm, Community Foundation, might be possible donors. We discussed the possibility of offering another program dealing with human health hazards from being outdoors such as Lyme’s disease, West Nile Virus, Rabies, Snake Bite, etc. A suggestion was also made to make a positive spin on being outdoors concentrating on the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors. Aaron Cook broached this subject with the Washington Board and they thought it was a good idea and were happy to collaborate with the Frederick Board again. Aaron is developing an email stream so our collective boards can communicate. Keith summed things up well saying we have to develop the agenda, identify speakers, pick a date, determine the cost and find a venue. Drake mentioned that he has some contacts at NIH that he can contact to identify a speaker. Dave Hunter mentioned that he attended a program called Nature Rx and he could look into a speaker about the benefits of being outdoors. Others had similar ideas that we can sort through via email.

  8. Tree Farm: Dave Barrow indicated that at a recent Statewide Committee meeting he learned that the Tree Farm program lost 50,000 acres of Tree Farms in Maryland. Dave mentioned that he and Mike participated in a survey with a paid consultant to talk about the decline of Tree Farmers in Maryland last summer. Dave thought that our focus group offered some good suggestions but very little was incorporated in the final report. Dave mentioned that the Committee is developing a Woodland Stewards training program that can be offered to Tree farmers and local officials. Most thought that the Tree Farm program needs to develop outreach programs designed to strengthen the Tree Farm community and not focus solely on the Certification process leading to higher prices paid for standing pulp or timber. Partnering with the Tree Farm Program at our landowner outreach programs would be a good way to gain some exposure for Tree Farming and help build the Tree Farm community.

  9. Sustainability Commission: Tom mentioned that the Sustainability Commission is accepting nominations for their Sustainability Awards from now until February 14, 2019. The awards will be presented in March.

  10. Nature Notes: Lori indicated that she received a lot more articles and thanked folks for doing this.

  11. Web site: Dave Barrow congratulated Bruce on his impending membership to the Board and asked if he could submit a photo and bio to be placed on the website. Dave also needs Jim’s bio and a photo from Lori.

  12. New Business:

    • Keith mentioned that Ms. Jasmine Whims a senior at the University of Maryland studying Environmental Architecture would like to visit the Board at the February meeting to talk about promotional ideas for NRCC and learn more about the Board. Jasmine is working with the NRCC Committee to promote the program.

    • Mike mentioned that he will not be present for the February 11, 2019 meeting but Dakota agreed to sub for him.

    • Conference: Jim distributed some literature from a conference he attended in Portland Oregon a few years ago and said the Board should try to spearhead a 2-3 day environmental conference in Frederick County. Jim said that this would be a large project and we should be looking at 2020 for this program. After much discussion a suggestion was made for members to table this discussion for a future meeting and continue to discuss via email.

    • Dave Hunter mentioned that discussions are underway to develop a program where local Conservation Groups can pool their resources together. The name of this initiative is the Heart of Maryland Conservation Alliance. Dave will relay more at a future time.

  13. Adjourn: Following all these discussions a motion was made to adjourn and like bananas we split. Not after helping ourselves to Jim’s homemade honey and Keith and Lori’s deer bologna.