Co-Chair Joan Mahaffey started the presentation with a history of the Forest Stewardship Plan prepared for the Town by Bill Bond of Parkland Woodland Services and approved by the Town Council in December 2015.. She explained the three (3) pronged approach to achieving a healthy forest and listed the accomplishments of the Woods Committee since 2007. Joan invited all to attend the Informational Meeting on Restoring Forest Health on Tuesday, Nov. 13th which will include speakers from the Montgomery County Deer Management Program, University of Maryland Forest Extension and Maryland Native Plant Society. Mayor Compton thanked Joan for bringing everyone up-to-date and stated how fortunate the Town is to have dedicated volunteers committed to restoration of our Woods. He went on to say that it is of critical importance to have support by the Town leadership and Town Council for the necessary multi-year strategy and long-term commitment of resources. He stated the best way to achieve this is to provide opportunities for residents to express support for forest health restoration options at the scheduled Informational Meeting and at a Special Town Meeting called to address future specific plans for controlling invasive plants and reducing damage by deer over-browsing. Discussion included:
- Council reaction to Woods Committee presentation
- Effective ways to move forward
- Options residents will accept and support
- Purpose of the informational meeting on Tuesday
- Potential dates for Special Town Meeting (December 19 or early January)
Action: The Woods Committee will review town residents’ responses to a questionnaire distributed at the Informational Meeting and present the summary findings at the next TC meeting. Mayor Compton will consider whether to schedule a Special Town Meeting or wait to do so until the December 10 Town Council meeting.