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This Week in Potomac 11-16-05

ADVISORY BOARD AT POTOMAC LIBRARY

The Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board will meet Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Potomac Community Library, 10101 Glenolden Drive.

This meeting will focus on the needs and expectations of the residents of Potomac and Seven Locks area of Bethesda. The Board has invited the presidents and chairs of homeowners' associations and civic groups and encouraged them to notify their neighbors.

The meeting agenda is on-line www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgtmpl.asp?url=/Content/RSC/BCC/Agendas/112105.asp.

For more information, call Karen Thon at 240-777-8210 or e-mail her at karen.thon@montgomerycounty.gov.

MEETING ON SERPENTINE BARRENS PARK

The Montgomery County Planning Board encourages public testimony on the proposed park management plan for the new Serpentine Oaks Conservation Park, located on the north side of Piney Meeting House Road in Potomac, on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring.

Plans proposed for the park include an interpretive trail network to provide low-impact access to the park and outdoor educational opportunities.

Montgomery County’s conservation parks are reserved for environmental protection and the enjoyment of nature.

Acquired beginning in 2002 through the Legacy Open Space program, the more than 300-acre Serpentine Oaks Conservation Park harbors more than 20 threatened or endangered plants.

Its unique ecosystem is influenced by the unique rock that underlies the area and supports a rare plant community that adapted to the thin soils and high concentrations of metals. Rock outcroppings in the park expose this mottled greenish rock. Composed of a variety of oaks, the forest also includes hickory and pine trees, all of which have a short, stunted appearance even though most are mature trees.

To sign up in advance to speak, call 301-495-4600. Organizations will have five minutes to speak, and individuals have three minutes.  For more information, those interested may log on www.montgomeryparks.org.

PEAK TIME FOR DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS

The Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group reminds county residents that it is once again the peak time for deer-auto collisions in the county.

Deer-mating season runs from October to January with a peak of activity the first three weeks of November. During this time deer are more active than usual and less wary of their surroundings, posing a greater than normal danger on the roads.

During the last 15 years, auto collisions involving deer have risen as both deer and human populations have increased in the county.  Since 2000, the accidents have leveled off, but remain common. Montgomery County Police reported about 2,000 deer-auto collisions last year.

The most important thing drivers can do to reduce the chances of being in an accident with a deer is to drive the speed limit. At night reduce speeds below the limit, especially during rain or fog.

Other things to keep in mind:

• Deer are most active at dawn and dusk.

• Watch for deer where roads pass through wooded or rural areas.

• Deer crossing signs indicate where heavily used deer trails cross roadways. Slow down and watch for the eye-shine of deer near the road edges.

• Deer usually travel in groups. If you see a deer cross the road, slow down and use caution; more are likely to follow.

If a deer jumps in front of your car, maintain control brake in a controlled manner. Deer are quick and agile; it is more likely that they will leap out of your path than that you will be able to brake and steer around them. Most serious injuries occur when a driver skids out of control and leaves the road or swerves into oncoming traffic.

DEER HUNTS IN BLOCKHOUSE, MUDDY BRANCH

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced plans Monday to expand its managed deer hunt program.

New hunt locations include the Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park and Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac as well as the Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park in Poolesville, portions of the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park and North Germantown Greenway Park in Goshen.

This decision follows recommendations from an inter-agency work group commissioned to help reduce deer-related traffic accidents and other negative impacts.

Hunts in Potomac will take place at the Serpentine Barrens and Muddy Branch Parks, and Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (an existing hunt location) Tuesdays Nov. 8 and 22 and Dec. 13.

The parks will be closed from sunrise until sunset those days, and closure notices will be posted.

For more information, visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/deer/index.shtm or call the Commission’s deer information hotline at 301-495-3585.