Forest Conservancy District Board June 13, 2022 Meeting Minutes
Members Present: B. Phillips, V. Perrotta, K. Schoonover, S. Demiray, T. Anderson, D. Hunter, M. Kay, D. Durcho (Former: L. Schoonover, D. Howard, B. Dellagnello)– Guests: Jeremy Murphy, Matt Clemson, Brian Blickenstaff, Jeff Powell
Membership: The board put on a farewell supper, before our meeting, for Lori, Dawne, and Bethany who recently resigned from the board. Mike Kay was also welcomed to the board as the newest official member. Dave Barrow, resigned from the board, as well, just before our June meeting. The board has appreciated Dave’s hard work with managing the website and being the treasurer over the past several years. The treasurer responsibility will be taken over by Mike Kay, and Sonia Demiray will temporarily be managing the website. Lastly, after attending the past several meetings, the board plans to ask Jeremy Murphy to be an official member, which will be voted on at the next meeting.
The Board has fielded a survey amongst all members to clarify who is interested in which committees and help streamline future communications. The committees that have been formed to date are: Charter & Rules; Logging; Big Tree Measurements; Tree Walks; Media & Events; Fundraising; Website & Technology; Tree Shelters.
Treasurer’s Report: We had 3 deposits: one as interest accrued totaling $0.11, one for the past several Sunday Tree Walks totaling $39.72, and a donation of $156.00 made at a Green Fest. We had 2 payments: one as a refund of $11.15 for a canceled May tree walk, and $0.90 as a mailing fee. The current balance is $4,987.42.
Logging Site Exams: One logging site review was received since our last meeting. The job will be overseen by Brian Deeb (Forester) of Weaber Lumber. The job calls for the removal of 584 sawtimber trees and the culling of 156, totaling approximately 180,000 board feet on 38 acres. The plan is to conduct an intermediate harvest using group selection. The board will review this plan in the coming weeks.
Visitors and local loggers Jeff Powell and Brian Blickenstaff stopped by the meeting to discuss their difficulty with obtaining logging permits from Frederick County. The biggest hold up currently seems to be at the planning and zoning office. The planning and zoning office currently uses soil maps to determine if wetland soils are present within the planned logging area. In many cases wetland soils are found to be occurring; but upon reviewing the site, with boots on the ground, wetland soils are absent. This in turn holds up the permitting process, while the planning and zoning office asks for changes regarding access and harvesting method, adding additional complexity. Review time for permits has also been extreme in some instances, with several month waits, even up to several years for a permit to be finally approved.
The loggers are looking for middle ground, where they can conduct good forestry, while maintaining reasonable requests and time frames from Frederick County. They have asked the board for help with this problem.
The board has recommended the homeowner and logger write a letter to the board describing the problem, and we will attach it to our letter of recommendation to the county and possibly the state.
NRCC: Another NRCC (Isaac Cosgrove) candidate submitted an application to attend camp this summer. The board will try to set up a virtual call with the candidate before the end of this week.
County Events - The board has decided not to attend the Earth Awareness event which will take place in downtown Frederick on 6/25, due to lack of member availability.
A Second Sunday Tree Walk was put on June 12th at Baker Park; and a total of 6 people showed up. Mike also put on another tree walk for a group from Urbana, at Hood College. The next Second Sunday Tree Walk is planned for July 10th. The goal is to continue to offer these tree walks year round. The board also discussed expanding these walks to forest walks.
Bruce Phillips, and other members, have continued to complete re-measures for the MD Big Tree program throughout the county. Of the 26 needing re-measured, 22 have been completed so far. Additionally, several new Big Trees have been measured, one of which is a new county champ Tulip Poplar.
Green Section: We will publish an article about old trees prompted by a 5,400 year old Larch that has recently been found in Chile in the upcoming biweekly Green Section. The board discussed an article highlighingt wood products after that.
Nature Notes: Thanks to Mike we now have 20+ nature notes articles ready, so we are good for now.
Website: Dave published the weekly nature notes articles via email (221 recipients), Facebook, and Instagram. He is also working on moving the Forestry Board webpage off his personal page to one solely controlled by the board.
Social Media: We will plan on additional postings with regular intervals.
Tree Shelters: The tree shelter recycling/repurposing pilot program has continued. Mike, Sonia, and Jeremy have put in time to research and further expand upon the program. Jeremy has reached out to Apple Valley waste in West Virginia, who said they’d be interested in dropping off a dumpster at the cost of $750. Shelters would be collected over a two week period of time and then be picked up and dropped at a recycling center in Baltimore. If the dumpster is needed for more than two weeks additional charges will be incurred. Sonia plans to attend the 1 trillion tree conference in Washington DC, to gauge interest on a competition, from vendors in the industry, to create a degradable tree shelter. Mike and Sonia have also discussed grant opportunities through Chesapeake Bay Trust and the County.
New Business: The Frederick and Washington boards are planning a Spotted Lantern Fly outreach event. It is scheduled for September 30th at the Washington County Ag Center. The Frederick board will be handling CEUs, outreach/advertisement, and bringing a food platter to the event. Further details will follow.