Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

February 10, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Those Present: Tom Anderson, Dawne Howard, Dave Barrow, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Dave Hunter, Vince Perrotta, Bethany Dellagnello, Sonia Demiray, Jason Beach Mike Kay,

  1. Call to order: Keith called the meeting to order.
  2. Membership: Board members discussed Claude’s email that indicated that he intends to send a letter of resignation. We all hope Claude reconsiders. Jason Beach introduced himself to the Board. Jason is a local arborist who is interested in volunteering locally and heard about the Frederick Board from John Bennett so he decided to take in a meeting. Jason is a climbing arborist who works for Comprehensive Tree Care Company. Board members welcomed Jason to the meeting.
  3. Treasurer’s Report: Claude sent Mike an email that said that we received $.21 in interest and Claude sent a $67.13 check to Bethany to compensate her for the additional expense of the tree tags she purchased.
  4. Logging site exams: One plan was submitted. Bethany mentioned that she would like to conduct the site visit if she is being asked to speak on the Board’s behalf at the budget hearing meeting. Mike and Bethany will schedule a site visit by email.
  5. Downtown Tree Walk: Bethany displayed the new tree tags and everybody thought they looked great. Some members tried the QR codes on their smartphones and they were directed to the tree on our website. Bethany spoke to Ginny Brace about the Tree Walk and Ginny put her in touch with a contact from Friends of Baker Park. Bethany spoke to the person and they were delighted with the idea of the tree walk and offered to help Bethany install the tree signs. Bethany and Sonia brainstormed some ideas on how to promote the Tree Walk on the Website and local media.
  6. Sustainability Commission: Tom mentioned that he has received some emails about nominating individuals or groups for Sustainability awards. The Sustainability Commission is working with the Frederick County Council to draft an emergency resolution on how to ameliorate climate change.
  7. Nature Notes: Lori mentioned that we have 5 articles in the queue now with the newspaper and she will be sending more articles from Claude, Tom, and other members. Dave asked members to put the specific title of the Nature Notes article they submit so he will know how to insert them on the Website. Dave also mentioned that Sue put a NRCC notice in last week’s edition along with the Nature Notes article.
  8. Web site: Dave mentioned that he figured out how to send a short blurb of the Nature Note article to Facebook along with a link to the webpage so that a reader can read the first couple of sentences of an article and click on the web page to read the entire section. Doing this has increased our Facebook hits from about 10 – 12 hits to 300 – 350 hits per article.
  9. Sonia Demiray: Sonia distributed a couple handouts that she referenced for her discussion. The first handout had the Forestry Board mission statement taken from our pamphlet. Beneath this statement was an abridged version that had a statement about climate change. Sonia suggested that Board members discuss this vision statement so we could come up with a signature statement. Mike suggested that we incorporate something about water quality and forests role in revitalizing the Chesapeake Bay. Keith mentioned that he thought the term climate change was divisive and we should not use it. Mike suggested that instead of using this term we could have a simple statement about the cooling properties of trees which should resonate with everybody. Sonia asked the Board to revise the mission statement as they see fit and come up with one that resonates with Board members. Sonia also asked the Board to consider coming up with an official name for their organization that can be used and a website name. Sonia thought Frederick County Forest District Conservancy Board was too long and FCFDCB was not very descriptive. Sonia mentioned that she spoke with Mike McGrath from WTOP about doing some short radio spots about various nature themes and events sponsored by the Forestry Board. Sonia distributed a yearly calendrer with space for one message per month. Sonia suggested that members try to fill in each month and perhaps we can finalize these messages at future meetings. A question about who would decide which message was distributed arose, especially in this age when a lot of our communication is via email. It was suggested that we discuss these at our general business meeting or if necessary Vince as Vice Chair and Keith as Chair would make the final determination. Since January and much of February is over, we looked at March as the first month we could plan for. A suggestion was made to list how tree sap is rising now and tie that in with the Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls State Park and NRCC applications. Most members thought that was a good idea. (Following the meeting Mike spoke to Cunningham Falls personnel and floated this idea and was advised that they thought it was good but wanted to run it by the Park Manager before it was officially endorsed.) Sonia also thought it would be a good idea for the Board to create of photo archive of pictures we take when we are out and about, that can be utilized by other individuals, crediting the Forestry Board as the photographer. Another topic of discussion was to install a donate button on the website so readers can donate to the Forestry Board through Pay Pal. Dave Barrow said he can touch base with Aaron Cook to see how to set this up. Another idea that was floated was to create an online survey since many people appreciate their voice being heard by such exercises.
  10. New Business: Mike mentioned that the Forest Service is working with Maryland Department of the Environment and other organizations to lend a hand with logging site inspections. The details of this program are still being formulated but it looks like something will be adopted by July 1, 2020. The Frederick County program recommends that the Forest Service conduct 3 inspections, before, during, and after the logging job has been completed. With 50 logging jobs occurring in a given year this would be a substantial time commitment for the Forest Service.