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Arborist Advisory Council Meeting Minutes, September 15, 2010
Tim Basham, Chuck Cotton, Brian Dugas, Tom Hoerth, Kathy Hopkins, Mark Lamberton
Members Not Present
Bob Batteese, Debbie Davis, Ann Gibbs
Introduction of Members
Ann welcomed all the new members and called the meeting to order at 9:00 am
Mark Lamberton - Vegetation manager of Bangor Hydro for the past 12 years. Has experience in the private sector doing arborist work.
Chuck Cotton - Manager of residential services and utility services in Maine for Lucas Tree. He has been with the company for 26 years.
Kathy Hopkins - Extension educator from Somerset County for the past 17 years. She is responsible for broad based programming and is the point person for the maple syrup industry.
Tom Hoerth - City forester/arborist for Bath. He is a staff of one managing the forest resources for the city. He also serves on the board for the Maine Arborist Association and teaches several courses including arboriculture at Southern Maine Community College.
Tim Basham - Self employed arborist for the past 20 years. Doesn't advertise and lately is focusing on buying land to log at his discretion. This helps him to ricochet with the economy.
Brian Dugas - City forest for Bangor for the past four years. His position is housed in the public works department where he has four arborists on staff. They are responsible for maintaining 1400 acres of open space, which includes 750 acres of publically accessible forest lands.
Review of Duties and Operation of the Council
Ann indicated that the advisory council advises the arborist program. The arborist advisory council can make recommendations, but the Department has the final say on what is done. The council operates by selecting a chair who is responsible for running the meetings and helping to put the meeting agenda together. The number of meetings per year has varied depending on the activities of teh group. When the council was first established we had seven to eight meetings per year, but recently it has been one to two per year.
Review of Previous Council Actions
Issues Discessed, but not resolved
Tom mentioned the MAA was investigating the process of keeping track of CEUs for their members.
Issues of Interest to Council Members
Mark brought up the issue of the Maine Dept. of Transportation using logging contractors in situations where there should be an arborist on site. There should probably be a bid requirement that a licensed arborist be involved. Tim mentioned he had noticed tree cutting near Sebago Lake with cutting very close to utility lines. Tom mentioned that arborists need to be OSHA compliant and EHAP certified.
Brian suggested that a newsletter geared towards licensed arborists with news regarding new trends in arborist practice or other issues to keep them current would be appreciated. The group discussed maybe trying this into existing newsletters such as "The Log" by MAA or "Trees on Main Street" by Project Canopy, Maine Forest Service.
Debbie provided some statistics regarding the arborist licensing and exam results:
First Class Landscape - 270
Total - 864
Licensed as of April, 2005 = 569
Even though we offer an option to maintain the arborist license, each year 30-40 people do not renew their license
*included a special session at SMCC and an extra session just for Lucas Tree employees
Since the exam and study guide was updated for 2006:
Licensing Spanish Speakers
Ann indicated that this year there has been an increase in Spanish speakers taking the arborist exam. This seems to be a trend that will continue and the state will need to make some allowances to meet their needs. Ann has investigated alternatives such as the ISA exam which is given in Spanish, but more costly. Also if we continue with the oral portion of the exam the Dept. will need to supply a translator for this portion. Ann asked for suggestions from the council members. Some suggested that during this bad economy there are plenty of local people looking for work. One questioned why it was the State of Maine's responsibility to offer the exam in Spanish. It was also suggested that there are several dialects of Spanish, so what would you choose? How can landowners communicate with crews who only speak Spanish? One suggested that the oral portion of the exam was important, especially for folks who have difficulty taking written tests. The goal of licensing is to promote professionalism and some standard.
Tim asked how many arborists have taken EHAP training? He thought this would be helpful to know and indicated that this training should be required for loggers.
No meeting date was set, but it was agreed to schedule the next meeting in March 2011 in Augusta.
Meeting adjourned at 11:00 am
Respectfully submitted by,
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