May 2000 Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Northeast Center for U&CF Advisory Board Meeting
May 9, 2000
Barney Carriage House at Forest Park, Springfield MA

Fred Borman (CT)
Chris Donnelly (CT)
Steve Sinclair (VT)
Jill Mahon (VT)
Paul Dolan (RI)
Jane Calvin (MA)
Ken Gooch (MA)
A.J. Dupere (NH)
Karen Engel (NY)
Zeke Dumas (WMECO)
Dennis Ryan (UMass)
John Parry (FS)
Gail Michaels (FS)
Dave Bloniarz (FS)
Karen Doherty (ACRT)
Melissa LeVangie (ACRT)
David Damery (UMass)

Welcome and Introductions - D. Bloniarz
Meeting was called to order at 10:15 a.m., and Dave Bloniarz welcomed attendees. 
Overview of Current Center Initiatives - D. Bloniarz
Presentation of recent activities undertaken by the Center including outlines of the following projects:

  •  Guide to Developing a Street and Park Tree Management Plan for Your Community; 
  •   Informational Forum: Trees and Construction - Planning to Avoid Conflict 
  •  Computer Applications in Urban Forestry - presentation at Vermont Annual One-Day Workshop; 
  •  Hazard Tree Awareness Workshop, co-sponsored by Mass Tree Wardens, MA DEM, UMass and Center; 
  •  Community Tree Conference - Tree Health and Safety, cosponsored with UMass Extension; 
  •  "Planning for Effective U&CF Management" presented to Bristol, RI Tree Board; 
  •  National Arbor Day Foundation "Wood Waste Utilization Conference" presentation on wood waste study completed in Massachusetts; 
  •  "Urban Forest Health Monitoring - A Model for the Northeast" presented at national FS Forest Health Conference; 
  •  Beetle Buster training the trainer program scheduled for August in NYC metro area; 
  •  The Ecological Cities Project, being cosponsored by the NE Center; 
  •  NE ISA Arboricultural Quarterly, contributions by Center and Technical Editor duties; 
  •  Storm Damage Assessment Protocol article co-author; 
  •  Invasive species poster and guide; 
  •  Urban Trails Maintenance Manual.
Comments on this portion included a request by Steve Sinclair that all educational materials be distributed to state Volunteer Coordinators, in order to get items into their hands as soon as possible. This would speed up review and comment process, as well as enable distribution to larger audiences more quickly than presently done. 
It was suggested by Steve Sinclair that the list of web sites that was presented and distributed at Vermont one-day workshop be copied to all state U&CF Coordinators and Volunteer Coordinators. Dave B. agreed that it would be useful, and will also put the list on the Center's web site.
Dave B. offered details on the Ecological Cities project, and explained that it was useful to get in on the ground floor of planning for this project, which will receive national attention in upcoming months. He also offered to secure copies of the original Ecological Cities textbook that was published by Rudd Platt, Project Director.
Several comments were made regarding the Ordinance Project that is being completed by Davey Tree, with R.J. Laverne serving as project coordinator. Several states expressed concern that they have not been contacted by Davey, although discussion indicated that some states had spoken to Davey. Dave B. agreed to contact R.J. Laverne to determine project status and request a review of all materials by state U&CF Coordinator.
Overview of Ice Storm Recovery Projects - D. Bloniarz
A status report on the Ice Storm Recovery projects being coordinated by the Center was presented and included the following projects:
  • · Storm Damage Assessment Protocol, contractor training and initial training session conducted in Brunswick, Maine; 
  • · Homeowner Guide draft outlined and suggestion for additions was solicited; 
  • · Draft of FEMA Reference Manual has been distributed to state U&CF Coordinators, and comments are requested by Jerry Bond as soon as possible; 
  • · Storms Conference was overviewed by Dennis Ryan, who suggested it focus on storm proofing your community; scheduled for March 6, 2001 in Amherst, MA; 
  • · Volunteer Training Curriculum and Train the Trainer Manual and workshops were presented by Karen Doherty, ACRT. Karen distributed latest version of the manual and outlined the features of the publication. She requested comments and suggested revisions be sent to her by June 1;
Discussion on ice storm project included the fact that the states are excited about the training sessions that will be delivered to each state, but stressed that dates need to be selected soon in order to provide adequate notice for state assistance and to publicize the events. It was suggested that some sessions might be combined into 2-day workshops. Development of a list of key dates for training workshops was tasked to D. Bloniarz.
There was discussion of the location for the 2001 storm conference. Dennis Ryan suggested that it be held Amherst, Massachusetts since it is a central location and can be run at a competitive rate. Steve Sinclair and tish carr expressed need to make it convenient and affordable for travelers from long distances. A scholarship for attendees was suggested in order to bring as many participants to the conference as possible. Dave B. outlined a proposal to have a second workshop, on the day following the conference in Portsmouth, NH so those distant travelers from Maine and NH could attend. The second day would include speakers from the first day, as well as local contributors. Dennis Ryan suggested that the keynote speakers for the conference could travel to Portsmouth and fly out of Manchester, NH or Boston at little additional cost. 
D. Bloniarz requested comments on all distributed materials.
Center Web Site Revisions
Dave Bloniarz distributed the homepage of the newly revised Center website and asked that everyone visit the site and give comments, suggestions and additions on the site to him. He requested contact information from NH and CT. Several favorable comments on the layout of the site were made. Dave B. expressed hope that the site can serve as a focus of technology transfer by the Center and that he will be working to make these site as up-to-date as possible. He noted that several of the materials developed by the Center have recently been added to the site.
Discussion of the need for a list-serve or mailing list for the NE/NY area was undertaken. It was agreed that the need for a 'sub-region' communication tool is needed, and should be separate from a regional NA mailing list. Dave B. noted that the Center's web site developer is researching options for forming the list-serve or mailing list.
Streetscape Design Video 
Commitments of funding for the video were received from VT, MA, CT and NY. RI indicated that it would be unable to contribute funding to the project at this time. NH and ME stated their support for the project, but were presently unable to commit funding to the project, but will continue to research their budgets to see if any contributions could be made. Dave B. suggested that surplus ice storm recovery funds could be used to complete the video. He also discussed desire to develop a CD-ROM that will highlight the concepts presented in the video. Several members endorsed this component and its merits were discussed.
Meeting was adjourned for lunch at 12:15 p.m.

Wood Waster Utilization Presentation - David Damery, UMass, Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation
A presentation was made by Dave Damery, summarizing the results of a study that was recently completed which examined the wood waste stream in Massachusetts. The study findings were presented at the National Arbor Day Foundation's Wood Waste Utilization Workshop in Nebraska on May 4th. The Center worked on the study and the Durham Field Office contributed GIS support to the project.
Discussion on the findings was undertaken, and included contributions by several states.
PMAS Reporting - John Parry
John Parry led discussion on the desire to more effectively record technical assistance delivery to communities. He asked for volunteers to sit on a committee, which will research the most practical methods for reporting. 
NA U&CF Strategic Plan Overview - John Parry
John Parry detailed the process that was recently completed by the FS Northeastern Area Urban and Community Forestry team to develop a Strategic Plan. He noted the process for development of the plan, which included three team meetings over the past several months. He distributed draft copies of the plan and noted that discussion of the plan will take place at the upcoming meeting of State U&CF Coordinators in Lisle, IL. He requested input by the states. Several states noted that they had already made comments on earlier drafts.
NA Urban Forest Centers of Excellence - Dave Bloniarz
A report on the status of the (3) NA Centers of Excellence. He noted that the Mid-West Center has just had Jill Pokorny named as the Center Director, and that that center will focus on urban forest health issues. He also presented the latest on the Mid-Atlantic Center search, which has been narrowed to (5) locations. David expressed his appreciation of the support the NE Center has received from the New England and New York states, and noted that the Center seems to be providing useful services to the states. He noted that continued support is necessary in order to achieve the goal of three fully functioning centers that can support the information and technology transfer needs of the states' urban and community forestry programs.
FY2000 Center Budget - Dave Bloniarz
A discussion of the FY2000 budget was completed. Dave B. detailed the expenditure of the budget to date and requested proposals for funding with remaining FY 2000 funds. Funded projects that were presented included the following:

  • · Urban/rural Invasive Vegetation Poster & /Guide - $5,0000; 
  • · (5) copies of Cornell Soils, Bare Root and Pruning videos - $1,600; 
  • · Inventory Template and Instruction Guide - $10,000 
  • · Ecological Cites Initiative - $5,000; 
  • · Mill River Partnership - $5,000; 
  • · Streetscape Design Video - $5,000; 
  • · USDA Forest Service NE support and rent - $6,000
There was discussion on these projects including a request by tish carr for clarification on the Mill River Partnership project. Dave B. noted that the project will provide a good model for the development of community based initiatives for management of an urban watershed. He noted that the model has also been applied on the Little River in North Hampton, NH.
There was also discussion of the Streetscape Design video, and it was noted by Dave B. that it is intended that the project also be incorporated into a CD-ROM of distribution. Several comments were made as to the need for this type of educational materials.
It was agreed that all FY 2000 projects be funded as proposed. The remaining funds from the Center's $50,0000 budget will be spent on projects agreed by the Advisory Board.
Suggestions and proposals for projects were solicited. The following were discussed and will be further detailed in future correspondence to be prepared by the sponsors and Center. The projects discussed included:
  •  Funding for a workshop, and/or scholarships for attending, that focuses on legal aspects of hazard trees. This proposal was forwarded by tish carr, who indicated that she has been undertaking preliminary discussions with Mark Dunneman, Natural Path Forestry Consultants regarding hosting the meeting in Maine. A preliminary budget of $5,000 was suggested for the proposal. 
  •  Steve Sinclair suggested the development of a digital photo archive, which focuses on urban and community forestry, with a budget of $1,500. 
  • · Steve Sinclair suggested a summit for the New Millennium, focusing on urban and community forestry. It was suggested that this summit could be linked with the Storms conference planed for March 2001. $5,000 was proposed as an initial budget to begin the organization of the project. 
  • · Discussion of how urban forestry can be included in the national FIA inventory program. It was agreed that Dave B. will follow-up on progress of the initiative. No budget request was made.
It was also brought up, by Jane Calvin, that the Advisory Board had already prioritized a series of projects that would be brought up for funding if were made available. Jane noted that the list was prepared at the last Advisory Board meeting in September 1999. Dave B. agreed to provide the list to all Board members, and to pull together summaries of the proposals presented today. It was agreed that a telephone conference call would be used to facilitate the decision on the expenditure of remaining FY2000 funds. 
(Note: The list from the September 1999 meeting is included here for reference:)


1. Duplicate CT U&CF Conference and bring to other states and regions in New England
2. Sustainable ecosystem implementation workshop, similar to Lipkis workshop. Train the trainer workshop
3. Tree City, USA why in Northern New England it is not working. What works, what does not? Do evaluation for New England and New York.
4. No # 4
5. Compile a CD-ROM with images and photos
6. Look into purchasing copies of TreeKeeper Online for communities, $2000/20
7. Hazard Tree Workshops
8. No # 8
9. H. W. Adelgid and A. L. Beetle- Where do we go now?
10. Tree WardenÕs Education
11. Urban Fringe Issues
12. Inventory Software
13. Invasives/ urban, rural areas
14. Workshop on inventories
15. Workshop on new technologies
16. Workshop on wood waste
17. Mill River watershed
A preliminary vote was taken on which items from the list should be pursued. Each board member was allowed five choices. The following is the results of the voting
1. 1 vote (Duplicate CT U&CF Conference and bring to other states and regions in New England)
2. 6 votes (Sustainable ecosystem implementation workshop, similar to Lipkis workshop. Train the trainer workshop)
3. 8 vote (Tree City, USA why in Northern New England it is not working. What works, what does not? Do evaluation for New England and New York
4. (No # 4)
5. 2 votes (Compile a CD-ROM with images and photos)
6. 0 votes (Look into purchasing copies of TreeKeeper Online for Communities, $2000/20
7. 2 votes (Hazard Tree Workshops)
8. (No # 8)
9. 4 votes (H. W. Adelgid and A. L. Beetle- Where do we go now?
10. 2 votes (Tree WardenÕs Education)
11. 4 votes (Urban Fringe Issues)
12. 4 votes (Inventory Software)
13. 6 votes (Invasives/ urban, rural areas)
14. 1 vote (Workshop on inventories)
15. 0 votes (Workshop on new technologies)
16. 6 votes (Workshop on wood waste)
17. 4 votes (Mill River watershed)

Meeting Wrap-up
It was decided to hold the next meeting of the Advisory Board in Portsmouth, NH on Tuesday, October 3, 2000. The meeting will be held at the UF Center. Dave B. thanked everyone for attending, and the meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m. 

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