Forest Conservancy District Board
January 11, 2021 Meeting Minutes
Those present: Drake Russell, Dawne Howard, Tom Anderson, Vince Perrotta, Dave Barrow, Dave Hunter, Bruce Philips, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Bethany Dellagnello, Sonia Demiray, Paul Walker, Mike Kay
Call to Order: Keith called the meeting to order.
Treasurer’s Report: Dave indicated that we received $.12 in interest. We made a $59.99 payment to Flickr for one year subscription. We have a pending donation of $300.84 that will transfer into our account on January 23, 2021.
Logging Site Exams: Bruce recounted his experience conducting December’s logging site exams with Mike. Bruce mentioned that he was able to speak with a couple of the landowners; and he explained to them who the Forestry Board was and provided them with our pamphlet. Working with Dave, Bruce posted his flow chart for logging permits and Bruce attempted to revise John Blake’s letter explaining why the Board was engaged in logging site exams, and what we are looking for in the plans that are submitted and the sites we inspect. Bruce also developed a form that could be used when we evaluate a site This form was used in December during the inspections and revised with the latest edition being posted on our website. Bruce asked members if we should develop some logging and BMP guidelines that we could post on our website? Dave Barrow mentioned that many of these guidelines have already been developed and it might be easier that we include a link to them instead of trying to develop them ourselves. Mike mentioned that we received 3 new plans which he emailed to members in advance of the meeting. Mike mentioned that he will schedule our monthly visits on email. In addition to these reports we had a long discussion about what we should be looking for when we inspect logging sites. After much discussion it was suggested that we should list what we are looking for and confine our review to these items. These items can be listed on the informational sheet that Bruce is developing. Bruce also inquired what if anything the Board can do to educate people about responsible logging. Some examples given were hosting a workshop once the Covid scourge has ended. Sonia also mentioned that we should consider a press release.
Climate Change Committee: Climate Emergency Mobilization Workgroup (CEMWG): Paul Walker was on hand to outline the mission and structure of Frederick County’s CEMWG. Paul is the chair of the Ag, Forestry and Land Use (AFL) Sub-group for this initiative and Tom Anderson also serves on this committee. Paul included a Power Point presentation with his talk. (Special thanks to Dave for loading it on our Google Meets format for all to see.). Paul mentioned that the Climate Emergency resolution was adopted by Frederick City and Frederick County. The main goal of this initiative is to cut our collective carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Paul also mentioned that there are several other committees and that Sonia chairs a committee on Public Affairs and Outreach. The initial phase of this resolution is to develop and adopt a plan in a 1 year time frame. (Covid has made this challenging) Paul mentioned that a 6-month status report is being developed.
The Forestry component is evaluating the present tree canopy in forested, landscaped and urban settings throughout the county. Given the current canopy cover of 186,000 acres Paul has calculated the tons of Carbon sequestered annually. Paul thinks that with optimal forests we can sequester 20% of the carbon needed to meet the County’s goal. Some of the AFL’s initial ideas being considered include planting trees where none existed, reforesting existing areas, managing forests for carbon sequestration, optimizing forest, preserving forests with easements, fostering a Stewardship ethic with landowners, educating the public about the benefits of healthy forests, creating strong local markets for forest products, enhancing water quality by tree planting and enhancing wildlife habitat. Paul mentioned that he would like to get the Forestry Board’s thoughts on how they could achieve their goals. Paul suggested that we meet in person for some informal conversations. Another idea was to have Board members send Paul their recommendations via email.
Frederick Tree Walk: Bethany mentioned that she is working with Dave to post the trees for the Hood College walk. There are some issues with QR codes but otherwise things are going smoothly.
Arbor Day Poster contest: Mike sent two posters to members prior to the meeting. Mike mentioned that we need to select a winner from Frederick County by this coming Friday and notify Anne Gilbert. Our winning poster will then be enrolled into the State competition. There is a chance that more posters will be sent before the cut -off date. There was much discussion about these posters and Dave volunteered to send members a Survey Monkey via email which they can use to choose the winner.
PR Activities: Sonia reported that she was in negotiating with the News Post on publishing two articles about prescribed burns and forest fires. An idea was present to do a Nature note on ice crystals on winter plants. Vince will provide photos and Bethany will provide and article.