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Former Board Members

John Blake

Board member 1991-2007

In 1991, Frederick County Forestry Board member Larry Sharpe, a good friend and neighbor of the Blakes, invited John to attend a Board meeting. That invitation was the beginning of 15 dedicated years serving Frederick County in the pursuit of the Board’s primary mission: to promote the stewardship, conservation, and sustainable use of the county’s forest resources, through education and advocacy of sound forest management principles. The Blakes were currently living and practicing this mission at Hornet Hill, and in 1992 became the recipients of the Maryland Forest Association (MFA) award of Maryland Tree Farmers of the Year. 

My main recollection of John Blake was what a great writer he was.  He had the special ability to draft an article about a particular subject, which could be quite complex, and pare it down to its bare essentials so that it was easily understood.  John was also a great researcher, when he drafted an article or took a position you know that he researched the subject well, considered both sides of the issue, consulted with others, and then drafted something so special that it was hard to dispute what was written.  John would often send me a final draft for comment and what could I say but, “It’s excellent John, I wouldn’t change a thing.)  As a forestry board member I think that John preferred the advocacy and educational aspects of the board. While serving on the Forestry Board John had input in Frederick County Zoning legislation, the drafting of Articles of Association for the State Association of Forestry Boards, numerous state, local, and federal legislative matters, and he helped to provide input for the development of master plans for our State Forests. It was John who floated the idea of producing a quarterly Forestry Board newsletter and he produced this newsletter from 1992 until he was physically unable to do so in 2006.  John wrote articles, lobbied other members to write articles, edited, made copies, and mailed newsletters to hundreds of landowners, government officials, and other interested parties on a quarterly basis. 

Soon after John joined the board he was thrust into the role of Chairman; and soon thereafter the board was embroiled in the Ski College Mountain controversy and the initiation of our role in inspecting logging operations in County Zoned Conservation Areas.  This was not an easy time for the board, but under John’s leadership we were able to sort things out and come up with a workable solution.  I wonder if John thought we set him up by appointing him as the chair.  Throughout the many years that we conducted these inspections John was the board member who most often was on hand to do these inspections.  I think that John considered it his duty but he also realized that we were performing a service to landowners and I know that John did much to converse with the applicants and give them advice and apprise them of the various programs and incentives that they might be eligible for.  When ever John acted as an advocate for forestry it was always with the intent that it will help maintain the forest land base and preserve landowners rights to engage in rural enterprises because John knew that once these rights were taken away there would be more incentives to develop the land. 

 John was one of those people that seemed to have an uncommon amount of energy and drive.  One of my clearest memories of John is when he showed up at Gambrill on a very cold and snowy February day to drop off the recent edition of the newsletter on his way to a meeting in Annapolis.  

John was a very humble person for somebody as educated and intelligent as he was.  I always appreciated the sage wisdom he would dispense in a matter of fact way.  One bit of advice that John gave to Mike that he will always remember is “Mike when all else fails look at the map."

Virginia (Ginny) Brace

Board member until 2008

Ginny Brace is a Master Naturalist. She received the awarded for outstanding service and dedication as a Board member over the many years before retiring from the board in 2016.  Ginny loves nature and wanted everyone to love it as much as she does.  She started writing nature notes in 2008, a practices that still continues with over 500 written. 

Roy Culler

Board member 1998

Roy Culler was a longtime landowner in Frederick County owning a number of properties throughout the county including a 72 acre parcel in Braddock Heights near his home. Roy graduated from the Coverts program in 1994 citing this as an event that really piqued his interest in Forestry/Wildlife and the Natural Resources.  Roy was also a member of the MD Walnut Council.  In 1998 Roy started attending Forestry Board meetings and he became a full-fledged member in June, 1998. 1998 was a busy year for the Frederick Board, we hosted the Fall Forestry Board meeting; and, all members including Roy were busy planning for this meeting and assisting guests etc. during the meeting.  Regrettably Roy suddenly became ill and passed away in the fall of 1998. Although Roy did not spend much time as a member of the Frederick Board he was very active in the Forestry Community as a Stewardship Cooperator, Coverts graduate, and as a member of the Walnut Council. 

Andy Driscoll

Board member 2014-2017

Andy started attending meetings at his friend’s Heather Montgomery’s invitation.  Andy was a recent graduate of Warren Wilson College with a degree in Environmental Studies.  Upon graduation Andy specialized in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry and he was a major proponent of Urban Forestry during his tenure on the Board.  

Andy had a keen interest in the Big Tree program and he was one of the members who helped keep the program in the forefront after Lynne and George left the Board. Andy often times led numerous tree measuring excursions on the weekends with other board members who were unavailable during the week.  

Andy was also very active with the Friends of Waterford Park and assisted with a number of tree planting, weed control, and other maintenance project at this park and throughout the Frederick City Lineal Park system. 

Andy was instrumental in helping plan for and conduct the emerald ash borer workshop that the Board conducted in 2015.  

Chuck Harris

Board member 1990-1995

Chuck was a long time employee with the MD Park Service holding a number of positions including being the Park Manager at Gambrill State Park. In this capacity Chuck would sometimes sit in on Forestry Board meetings that were held at Gambrill State Park and he became a member in 1990.  

Chuck was a very active member assisting with numerous educational programs and tree planting projects. Chuck opened Gambrill up to the Board and we conducted a number of educational and environmental programs like tree identification walks in the woods and at the Tea Room.  

Chuck’s insights and contacts in the Department of Natural Resources were also invaluable to the Board. This was especially the case during the onset of our timber harvest reviews.

George Lewis

Board member 1998-2011

George was a long time member of the Frederick County Forestry Board.  George joined the Board after attending the Coverts Forestry/Wildlife (now called Maryland Woodland Stewards) program sponsored by the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service in 1998.  George was a very energetic member of the Forestry Board, he had nearly perfect meeting attendance and was an avid contributor during these meetings. 

George seemed to have a keen interest in educational programs and legislative matters.  George, John Blake, Larry Sharpe, Darrell McCartney and Ben Smart had some lengthy discussions during these meetings. George was also interested in learning more about Forestry and was a frequent member of the logging site reviews.  

George and Ginny Brace were the individuals responsible for the development of Nature Notes. George running the idea by some of his contacts with the Frederick News Post and Ginny volunteering to serve as the first editor of this very popular column.  

George, Lynne Marquess and other members revitalized the MD Big Tree program in Frederick County after the Forest Service had to step away for a while.  George worked with a local artist to put together calendars that showcased some of these large trees.  

George also assisted with numerous educational programs, helping to develop them then oftentimes doing some of the less glamorous but equally important tasks as working the registration desk or making coffee.  

Besides working with the Board, George was very active volunteer with other local Historical and Public Service organizations.  George remains very active today in many of these organizations.

Robert (Bob) Marmet

Board member 1992-1995

Mr. Robert Marmet owned an 80 acre farm near Urbana Maryland, had a Stewardship Plan and was in the Tree Farm program. Bob joined the Forestry Board in 1992 when the Board had a big push to increase membership. Bob came on board soon after the Forestry Board was tasked with inspecting logging site plans in Resource Conservation Areas. As a lawyer Bob was a very helpful in determining how the Board would conduct inspections and notify landowners and authorities. Bob was also very interested in and participated in the various legislative matters the Board was involved in. It was always very interesting to listen to the discussions Bob, John Blake, Ruth Spurrier, Darrell McCartney, Larry Sharpe and Ben Smart would have regarding legislative and other Forestry Board matters.

Lynne Marquess

Board member 1998-2012

Presentation to Lynne Marquess at NRCC 2012

  1. Served as chair from 2008 – 2010.

  2. Member of the Education Committee and has been volunteering at NRCC for nearly 10 years.

  3. Helped design and instruct a number of educational programs such as Project Learning Tree, NRCC, Forestry 101, Forestry Lecture Series, Public Tree Plantings, Arbor Day programs.

  4. Played a major role in the Big Tree Program following the Forest Service departure.

  5. Helped put together memorial services for John Blake, Darrell McCartney, and Larry Sharpe.

  6. Attended most State Association meetings throughout her tenure on the Board.

  7. Participated in many public tree plantings.

  8. Participated in many logging site reviews.

  9. Participated in Neighborhood Green workshops.


Lynne was a member of the Board and has achieved many notable accomplishments, especially in the realm of public education in which she excelled.  This is particularly noteworthy with the NRCC program which she has participated in throughout much of her service. Lynne served as part of the Education Committee and no doubt contributed to the development of this program. In addition, she also worked tirelessly to recruit potential applicants for camp.  Finally Lynne spends the week at camp helping out wherever she can.


Lynne rarely missed meetings and tried to help with most activities we conducted oftentimes arriving early and staying late to set up or help with the registration desk. Many of the tasks Lynne undertook were not glamorous but were necessary for the smooth running of the event.  Lynne is a very effective public speaker although she would say that she is nervous in this function. You could always depend on her doing a fine job.


Lynne is just a very pleasant and engaging person to be around you could always tell when she entered the room because the energy level would be ratcheted up by her presence. I think I speak for all the membership thanking Lynne for her contributions and expressing my gratitude for everything Lynne has done for me, forestry and Frederick County.

Darrell McCartney

Board member until 2006

Darrell was big in outdoor education and believed in the benefits trees provide. "I don't know an exact number but he probably planted 20,000 trees over his lifetime" Mike Kay said.

Mr. McCartney was a founding member of the Monocacy Catoctin Watershed Alliance, an organization whose goal is to protect the two waterways, the groundwater and the tributaries that feed them.

He organized three-day training sessions for teachers on environmental education and helped organize Project Learning Tree to teach schoolchildren about the importance of trees to the environment. He also helped the forestry board organize workshops for adults on forestry education.

Darrell was still on the Board when he passed away at age 73 in 2006

Jim McCrumb

Broad member 1998-2008

Jim McCrumb was a retired school principal and he had a working Christmas Tree farm. Jim provided very important advice to the Board when we were planning our educational activities especially with the Project Learning Tree Program. Project Learning Tree was designed as a grade school education program designed to teach students about the importance of trees, forestry, and the environment. The Frederick Board conducted a number of Project Learning Tree trainings to local school teachers so that they could incorporate these lessons in their classroom. Jim, Larry Sharpe Ben, Lynne, and Darrell were very involved in these programs.

Jim was also a frequent participant in logging site inspections and tree planting events. The Forestry Board visited Jim and Larry Sharpe’s properties for a program they conducted on Christmas tree culture. Jim was very active with the Board until 2008 when he became ill and passed away suddenly.

Heather Montgomery

Board member 2011-2016

Heather participated with a number of environmental groups in a professional manner, as a volunteer and at her leisure. When Heather joined the Forestry Board she was employed with Frederick County Sustainability Commission. In this role Heather was instrumental in helping to develop the Neighborhood Green Program an innovative grass roots program to promote the planting of trees on suburban landscapes. This was one of the first attempts to do this. Offering professional guidance and funding to homeowners who were interested in planting trees on their property was a fairly new concept and it caught on. The proliferation of similar programs today is testament to the effectiveness of this program. Heather’s knowledge and experience made her a real asset to the Board. Heather worked with tree planting projects, urban forestry, education, and sustainability issues on the Board. Heather was very happy to share her knowledge and love of the outdoors with people and was very active with educational programs. Heather developed and helped instruct Neighborhood Green workshops. She assisted with the Envirothon Program, Scout Merit Badge program, Forestry Short Course program, Carroll County Urban Forestry workshop and numerous tree planting projects.


Besides working on the Board Heather volunteered her time with the Maryland Urban Forestry Commission. When Heather joined the Board our funding was at a low point. She helped members identify funding opportunities which greatly helped replenish the Treasury. Heather is an avid fly fisher and she kept us updated on her progress in building her own fly rod. Heather left the Board when she moved to North Carolina.

Tony Murdock

Board member 1992-1993

Tony Murdock is a Professional Arborist working in Frederick County.  When Tony joined the Board in 1992 he was the Town Arborist for Montgomery Village. Soon there afterward Tony started his own business and a family and these commitments necessitated that he step down in 1993. In his time with the Board Tony, along with Sharon Ross helped the Board embrace Arboriculture and Urban Forestry as other worthy forestry pursuits.  Tony was also very active in tree planting activities.

Larry Noel

Board member 1992-1997

Larry Noel had a woodlot up on College Mountain near Mt. St. Mary’s College. Larry’s interest in the Ski College Mountain dispute motivated him to start attending meetings in 1991 and he became a member in 1992. Larry Noel seemed to like hiking in the woods and he was a regular for the timber harvest reviews we conducted. Larry also like to plant trees and helped with numerous public tree plantings. Larry would commute to meetings with Larry Wintermyer who also lived near Emmitsburg. The Newhart Show was a popular TV show back then with the Brothers Larry, Darrell and Darrell. On our Board we had Darrell, Larry and Larry. Often times these gentlemen would sit together at meetings.

Tyson Rose

Board Member 2008-2018

As Webmaster Tyson Rose created and maintains the original Board's Web site ever since he joined the board in 2008. He has completed the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Coverts Project training, the Forestry 101 course, the DNR sponsored Forestry GPS training, and attended Maryland State Forestry Board meetings. Now retired from IBM he lives at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain on property enrolled in the Forest Sewardship Program. He received a B.A. from Gettysburg College and a Ph.D. from Lehigh University. Tyson received the 2017 MEL from the Maryland Association of Forest Conservation District Boards for volunteering years of service as an active forestry board member. 

Sharon Ross

Board member 1992-1995

Sharon Ross was a Forester for Potomac Edison and served on the Frederick Board from 1992 until she was transferred in 1995.  As an Urban Forester, Sharon brought a new prospective to the Board focusing on arboriculture, proper tree planting around powerlines or right of ways, and energy savings from landscape plantings around the home.  Sharon was instrumental in developing an Urban Forestry workshop and Proper Tree Placement workshop that the Board conducted. Along the way Sharon drafted some articles for the Frederick Forestry Board newsletter.  Sharon was also very eager to assist in public tree plantings. Working with Potomac Edison Sharon helped develop a small tree management program under powerlines whereby smaller growing species were encouraged by removing large growing trees and retaining species like redbud, crabapple, dogwood, and spicebush.

Anita Schipper-Caplan

Board member 1997-2005

Anita was one of the first individuals to understand the environmental benefits of establishing treed buffers along streams and wetlands and she planted these riparian forest buffers on her property working with Forester Ed Callahan to do so.  It should be noted that this was done in the early 1990’s before many of today’s incentive programs were developed.  Anita took good care of her young planting and it flourished.  Anita was also gracious enough to open her property up for visits and field trips for resource managers and landowners who were interested in conducting these plantings.  

During her tenure Anita was very active with educational programs especially Project Learning Tree. Anita also participated in two workshops on her property one detailing riparian forest buffers and tree planting and the other was a program on the establishment and maintenance of warm season grass meadows.  During this program guests were able to view a controlled burn in one of Anita’s meadows.   You could also depend on Anita helping out with public tree plantings as well.

Larry Sharpe

Board member 1972-2009

Larry Sharpe was the longest serving member of the Frederick County Forest Conservancy District Board. He has selflessly offered 37 years of dedicated service to and in support of forestry, forestry issues, and forestry resources.

As a Forestry Board member Larry was very interested in education, forest fire control, Christmas tree cultivation, and gypsy moth suppression.   Larry observed a sense of duty so that as a member of the Forestry Board he accepted leadership roles, volunteered for many special assignments, and was always on hand to help out at educational programs.  

Larry, a volunteer firefighter in Wolfsville MD, spoke at a State Association meeting lobbying DNR to help purchase Nomex fire equipment for volunteer fire fighters.  Soon after that funds were made available to purchase this gear.  At a fire scene at 11:00 pm and Larry in his Fire Police uniform was directing traffic around the scene.  Not bad for an 84 year old is it?  Not bad at all Larry.  

A few years ago Larry was at a nighttime gypsy moth suppression meeting when it was evident that he wasn’t feeling too good but as usual Larry was the life of the party calling everybody “Kid” and grilling us about our program.  

The past couple years have been hard on Larry but he exercised every day no matter how bad he felt.  Larry was a tough guy, proud American, dedicated husband, father, and friend.  Larry showed us how to live a good life.

Ben Smart

Board member 1992-1997

Ben Smart was the Manager of Stronghold Inc. at Sugarloaf Mountain. In that capacity, Ben was responsible for the management of the grounds and facilities on this 3,600 acre property in Southern Frederick County.  Ben was instrumental in developing the Forestry Demonstration Area at Stronghold in 1990; and, this area is still in use 28 years later.  As a Forestry Board member Ben seemed to gravitate to outdoor education activities and he helped develop and assist with a number of education events including numerous tours of the Forestry Demonstration Area. Ben was very active in Project Learning Tree which was an educational program the Board embraced in the early 1990’s.  Ben was also a regular at logging site inspections. At our business meetings Ben was always ready, willing, and able to join in on various discussions. I believe Ben once described himself as a Contrarian so he oftentimes took a contrarian view of various matters.  It was very entertaining to be present during some of the discussions board members had.  Ben, John Blake, Larry Sharpe, Ruth Spurrier, and Darrell McCartney always kept the meetings lively.  During some of these longer discussions, sometimes I had to interject to mention that there are still multiple items on the agenda to discuss.  Ben stayed with the Board until he left his position at Stronghold.

Ruth Spurrier

Board member 1983-2000

Ruth Spurrier ran a family farm in Johnsville with her husband Paul and children.  Mrs. Spurrier was active in 4-H, the Farm Bureau, the Dairy Cattle Association, and the Extension Department serving as a volunteer member for all of these organizations.  She served as the Chair of the Board from 1986 – 1990.  Besides her leadership role on the Board Mrs. Spurrier interests lies in the farming community, outdoor education, landowner rights, land use planning, and the Tree Farm program.  Ruth helped develop a series of forestry related classes for the 4-H summer camp program. She helped put together and staff a Forestry Board exhibit at the FSK Mall for Ag-Week, and she was very active in reviewing the 1990 Frederick County Comprehensive Planning report especially as it pertained to allowable activities in Resource Conservation zones.  Mrs. Spurrier was a very active member and always leading the Board to get involved in educational and land use planning activities.

Steve Thrasher

Board member 2011-2018

Owned & manage a farm in Frederick County. Member of Frederick County Farm Bureau & a participant in CREP program. Enjoy outdoors, machinery & woodworking. Steve received the 2015 MEL award (see below) from the Maryland Association of Forest Conservation District Boards for volunteering years of service as an active forestry board member. 

  
     
Steve Thrasher and his Mel award 
(photos by Jim Arnold) 

Steve during an event where he demostrated his portable sawmill.

    

           
Click on the picture to see in high resolution

Sadly Steve passed away on June 1, 2018.  His humor and friendship will be missed at the board meetings. 

Larry Wintermyer

Board member 1992-2002

Larry Wintermyer served on the Frederick County Forestry Board from 1992 until he moved out of state for a new job in 2002.  Larry worked in the timber harvesting profession as a logger and the foreman of a logging company. Larry joined the Board right when the Ski College Mountain incident was transpiring and the Forestry Board was tasked with conducting logging plan reviews.  As a professional logger Larry lent invaluable assistance when we were developing our program. Likewise Larry assisted with many logging site reviews. Larry also assisted with tree plantings and various workshops and other outreach programs. Larry was part of the Larry, Darrell, Larry triumvirate.

Don Wolfe

Board member 1983-1992

As an Engineer and a Professional Wood Technologist, Don was the wood products professional on the board.  In his job, he would travel around the world to sample and test various wood samples. One time he was arrested at gunpoint in a Central American Airport after a customs agent found a moisture testing machine in his suitcase. Thinking it was a bomb or some kind of weapon Don was detained until his employer came down to explain what the machine did.  

Don was somebody who seemed to know everybody in Frederick County and he was very helpful to Mike Kay when he first became a Forester. 

He was very active in educational programs and oftentimes served as a speaker during some Forestry Board programs. Don assembled a very nice wood sample collection that was displayed with the Forestry Board exhibit at various functions.  

Don served as the Assistant Chair from 1988 until he retired from the Board in 1992.