Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

July 13, 2020 Meeting Minutes

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

Board members meet in the area outside the Tea Room and no we did not deploy the cone of silence. (re Get Smart) Doing that would not be good social distancing…

  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 $.21 interest. Our ending balance was $5,423.74.
  3. Logging site exams: Mike indicated that 1 plan was received this month. We also had a very lengthy discussion about the Stewart Hill logging site review that Tom and Mike completed on April 30, 2020. An abridged version of this is as follows. Permit applicant Brian Blickenstaff waited nearly 3 months to receive this permit and the conditions for the permit changed numerous times during this period. Brian hired a lawyer to assist with this and he received some guidance from MD Forest Service Staff especially Anne Hairston – Strang. The initial groundwork was laid to open discussions “again” with Frederick County regarding the issuance of logging permits and possible ways to improve site reviews, reduce waiting periods, and help ensure that the applicant be given accurate feedback in a timely manner. Mike will contact Anne Hairston Strang to see if we can schedule a meeting to discuss these items. Mike also mentioned that as part of the Stronghold Area Planning initiative there is a good chance that logging will be a hot button topic for discussion amongst the many groups and individuals represented in this process; and, the Forestry Board should have a voice in these discussions. Tom Anderson mentioned that he will monitor the meetings and provide Forestry Board prospective. Members thought that we should concentrate on educating the public about the benefits of trees, forestry, conservation, and nature in general so that individuals can make up their own mind as to the forest management issues.
  4. Tree walk: Bethany mentioned that the large hackberry on the tour had been cut down so she had to find another one which she did. Bethany also plans to install some signage on the large elm tree at Frederick High. Bethany also intends to provide Dave with some information relating to the Tree Walk for the Web page. Bethany has also heard from some individuals that would like their big trees to be measured including the owners of Jug Bridge Brewery which has a large walnut on their property. Bethany pointed out that the Genus name for walnut is Juglans which is appropriate for the new establishment. We plan to initiate tree measuring again in the fall when it will be cooler and we can differentiate individual trees better. (Numerous members volunteered for the measuring at Jug Bridge.) Bethany also made mention that she would like to talk to someone at Hood College about the many large trees that they have. Mike pointed out that he believed Hood is part of the Tree City or PLANT program and he would put Bethany in contact with Urban Forester, Becky Wilson who might have a contact.
  5. PR Activities: Sonia and Dave put together an article on Spotted Lantern Fly which they sent to the Frederick News Post. Sonia is now working on an article to publicize the “image library” that we now have on the webpage. Dave mentioned that he is always adding new people to the website list and nobody seems to be dropping off.
  6. Proposed Changes to Frederick County FRO program: We received an updated letter from Harry George and Paul Walker which we modified slightly and Mike signed and sent to the County Council that expressed our support of the FRO updates that essentially increased the ratio of replacements to removal on a 1:1 basis. Mike heard back from 4 Council members who thanked us for our letter and mentioned that they intend to support the measure.
  7. Nature Notes: Lori mentioned we have received a number of new articles recently which she intends to send to Sue. As per Dave “As of 7/1/20 the News Post has 6 nature Notes articles, three of which will be held for fall publication”
  8. Website: After receiving a note from a user of the Free Image Library, Dave updated all the records to show if the image was native, nonnative, or had invasive characteristics. Dave also switched the photos from a Google to Flickr.com format since it offers higher resolution and photos can be expanded by simply double clicking the image. Dave completed a How To section and he posted a few articles with Nature Notes. Dave intends to highlight How To articles in a timely fashion such as running tree planting articles in the spring etc. A new feature is available on the website that allows Dave to post a notice at the top of the home page or all pages. This feature was recently employed to notify people about our email meetings and a current news release. Dave asked that if we send photos to him and Lori we say where they came from. Dave mentioned that he has been researching the Creative Commons Law, and we need to have proper authority before we post any photos. Dave will help ensure that any photos that are posted are in compliance.
  9. New Business: Bruce distributed a recent newsletter from the Old Growth Network.
  10. Next Meeting: Despite the Covid 19 pandemic, we still intend to take our annual summer recess! As such the next meeting of the Forestry Board will be on Monday September 14, 2020 at the Tea Room at Gambrill State Park.