Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

June 8, 2020 Meeting Minutes

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

This was the Board’s first “live” meeting since the March meeting, so take that Covid 19!

  1. Call to order: Keith called the meeting to order.

  2. Treasurer’s Report: The beginning balance was $5,273.16. Dave mentioned that we received donations of $50.42 and $100.83 as a result of donating some trees we purchased for cancelled Green Events to private individuals. There was a $.90 banking fee and we received $.11 interest. Our ending balance was $5,423.16.

  3. Logging site exams: Mike indicated that no plans were received this month. However, Mike mentioned that there was some controversy surrounding the proposed logging site that Tom and Mike looked at on Stewart Hill Road in southern Frederick County. Tom and Mike reviewed the site on April 30. We thought that the marking corresponded to the landowner’s objectives and approved the plan suggesting that the owner look into some spicebush control. Following the review the logging contractor, Brian Blickerstaff witnessed some resistance in obtaining the permit. Frederick County upgraded the permit requirements to a major grading permit and stated that the property needs to have a Stewardship Plan prepared by a professional forester. Brian stated that there is no Forest Retention Area on the property and the owner is not conducting this in anticipation of development. (The owner signed a Declaration of Intent to this effect.) It should be noted that some neighbors are complaining about logging in this general area stating that it is affecting water quality, wildlife resources, aesthetics, and could harm Bear Branch waterway. Mr. Blickenstaff feels that he is being treated unfairly and hired a lawyer on his behalf. Given these circumstances Mike mentioned that the Board may become involved in this dispute due to our role in the timber permit process.

  4. PR Activities: Sonia and Dave Barrow have been discussing a number of press releases including one on spotted lantern fly and the free image library that has been developed on the website. Dave indicated that we have received 19 new signups to receive our webpage and we routinely reach 500 people per week on Facebook. Dave is sending out the email version of Nature Notes to 150 people per week. Dave also reinterred that we are now receiving some donations as per the web page. Dave mentioned that the web page has an image of the week feature that people can view by clicking on it. We are receiving about 70 clicks per week on this image. Dave also talked about the image library and how people can view this feature on contribute nature photos to the library.

  5. Proposed Changes to Frederick County FRO program: Much time has passed since the original proposition was made so it became moot. After speaking to his contact with the Sierra Club Dave mentioned that a new proposition is being drafted that the Forestry Board can review and provide comments.

  6. Nature Notes: Lori mentioned we have received a number of new articles recently and she sent many of them to Dave for FNP to publish. FNP has a backlog of 10 articles now.

  7. Web site: Dave has developed a free image library that has hi-resolution nature photos. Dave mentioned that he continues to accept photos as long as they involve nature and that there is a theme to them so he knows how to categorize them.

  8. New Business: No new business items were discussed