Clear Spring briefs

April 11, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

Planner seeks support for heritage proposal

CLEAR SPRING - Steve Goodrich of the Washington County Planning Department attended the Clear Spring town meeting Monday night looking for support for the Heart of the Civil War Heritage area management plan.

"Historic preservation is one of my duties," Goodrich said, assuring town officials that there is no downside to signing on to the plan. "There are no restrictions."

Goodrich said Washington County has signed on and the City of Hagerstown is working on its application for certification. Several other Washington County towns are mulling over the plan while others have expressed some hesitancy, he said.

"If your town wants access to the benefits of this program, there is an amendment necessary to your comprehensive plan," Goodrich said.


The plan, which will offer matching grants and loans to those governments that have signed on, is expected to be approved at the state level this summer, Goodrich said.

While not all municipalities must be signed up for the plan to go to the state, Goodrich is hoping most will get on board.

The thrust of the plan is to improve Washington County's ability to attract what Goodrich calls the "heritage travelers," who tend to stay longer and spend more money than regular tourists.

FFA members hold mock public hearing

CLEAR SPRING - Members of the Clear Spring High School Future Farmers of America held a mock public hearing Monday night on the pros and cons of black bear hunting in Western Maryland, with the Clear Spring mayor and council critiquing their efforts.

The five ninth-graders took on the roles of moderator (Robert Hockenbury), Department of Natural Resources spokesman (Allen Mackey), representative of the Western Maryland Sportsmen's Association (Elliott Reid) and homeowners (Karlie Hose and J.D. Repp).

Each student spoke to the assembled group with an accompanying slide presentation on whether there should be a black bear hunting season in Maryland.

Mackey explained the components of the state's 2004-2013 management program for the black bear population in Maryland.

Reid said his organization thinks a bear hunt is the way to decrease the surplus population of bears in the state, citing as his argument the increase in traffic/bear accidents. But he stressed that a humane hunt with seminars for bear hunters also was supported by his organization.

Hose spoke of damage to bird feeders, vehicles and gardens as well as danger to children and household pets. She had slides to show the damage.

Repp described ways to discourage bears from hanging around homes and gardens.

Clear Spring FFA adviser Terri Shank told the town officials that the group of five students will be presenting the mock public hearing at a number of other meetings in preparation for their state FFA public speaking competition on April 26.

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