Frederick County

Forest Conservancy District Board

October 11, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Those present: Tom Anderson, Vince Perrotta, Dave Barrow, Keith Schoonover, Lori Schoonover, Drake Russell, Sonia Demiray, Bruce Phillips, Dave Hunter, Mike Kay

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

  1. Treasurer’s Report: Dave indicated the following deposits: $450 – NRCC Refund, $.11 August interest, $.10 September interest, $144.21 proceeds from Second Sunday tree walk, $48.61 Second Sunday Tree Walk. There were no payments. Our ending balance was $5,450.73.

  1. Membership: Mike was happy to announce that Sonia’s commission arrived during our hiatus. Congratulations and welcome to the Board Sonia! Mike also announced that Dave Barrow had received an award for 2021 Tree Farmer of the Year for Frederick County and presented Dave with his plaque. Congratulations on the award Dave!

  1. Logging Site Exams: Mike indicated that no plans have been received prior to the meeting. Mike and Drake conducted a logging site review in September during the Board’s “time out”.

  1. Catoctin Stewardship Initiative: We held the inaugural meeting on September 30, 2021 at Mink Farm Campground. Mike thought this meeting went about as good as we could have hoped for, it was well attended, the speakers did a good job, and we received some very good feedback from the audience. Most members present agreed with Mike saying the meeting was well run and the speakers did an excellent job. Sonia said Bob Schwartz did an excellent job as emcee. Some of the takeaways from the audience input session were that the residents indicated that additional educational programs were needed, they wished to have an active role in developing the program, they thought that having an interactive website was essential, and they thought that daytime meetings would exclude those that work therefore meetings should be held in the evenings or on weekends. Mike mentioned that the Forest Service group met to discuss how to proceed and we decided to arrange a night meeting at Thorpewood to provide a program on the controlled burn on the Frederick City Watershed and to advise residents on our list of objectives for the CSI program to receive feedback and see if they have other objectives. We are also going to see if the residents wish to develop a steering committee composed of key landowners, and interested parties. Mike will set up this meeting with Sam Castleman for early November. Another training opportunity involves holding a Woods in your Backyard training at a small landowner’s lot. Finally, we discussed producing a video on the upcoming controlled burn we will be conducting on the Frederick City Watershed. This video can be placed on the CSI and Forestry Board websites. Forestry Board members who were present at the CSI meeting included, Keith, Sonia, Bruce, Dawne, and Dave Hunter.

  1. Ideas for funding: Sonia said that Bethany developed a Tree Walk series and Sonia has promoted the events across the region to bolster attendance. Dave has set up a dedicated registration and donation process. Two tree walks were cancelled due to the weather but they will resume again soon.

  1. Urban Forestry: Bethany organized a Big Tree measuring day that included, Bruce, Dave Hunter, Sonia, Mike, and Dakota. We measured a whole bunch of trees including two new County champions (Scarlet Oak, Sugar Maple) along with a Little Leaf Linden, White Oak, and Red Maple. Bruce wondered whether we should develop a paperback Big Tree Book similar to the manual the Montgomery County Forestry Board produced. A suggestion was made to find out how much this would cost and discuss it at a future meeting. Sonia mentioned that Bethany is participating in a video entitled “Forest Her”.

  1. PR Activities: Sonia briefed us on the many projects she is overseeing: In August Sonia did an article about the invasive barberry shrub that ran in the Green Section of the Frederick News Post. Sonia also drafted a flyer about barberry in both English and Spanish that were distributed to members of FALCAN, HOA’s, Green Teams, and through the city. Media alerts were sent out regionally providing some radio coverage. Sonia also featured Aaron Cook in an orchestrated 1 hour educational virtual discussion about Wildland Fires for the Sierra Club. Working with Bethany, Sonia and Dave developed the Second Sunday tree walks which have become very popular and they have added some income to the Board’s Treasury. Sonia and Bethany are working on a winter tree id program as well. Sonia plans to do an article on the CSI program and is working with Mike for a possible video on the Rx Burn on the Frederick City Watershed. Sonia also plans to do an article on the Big Tree Measuring Party we just concluded. Using recent Bobcat photos for a Nature Notes article was also discussed and dismissed.

  1. Nature Notes: Lori and Dave Barrow sent out an urgent request for some autumn themed Nature Notes and Mike responded with a few “golden oldies” from the archives. Dave mentioned that we should submit an article about bobcats and bears.

  1. Web Site: Dave started highlighting new events in the spotlight section of the home page and he created a way for people to sign up for Second Sunday tree walks with a $10 donation. The move of the website was put on hold due to personal issues.

New Business: New Business: Sonia mentioned that HB911 has set the stage for planting 5 million trees throughout Maryland in rural, urban, and all areas in between. This program will go into effect during FY 2023 i.e. at July 1, 2022.

Next meeting: The next meeting of the Board will be on Monday, November 8, 2021 at the Friends Meeting House in Frederick Mike will ask Dakota to join in on the fun.