FOREST CONSERVATION ORDINANCE DEVELOPMENT: State of Maryland Forest Conservation Act. Mr. Cook assisted in the development of the nation's first statewide conservation act designed to regulate forest losses due to development. He participated in the Maryland Governor’s Conference on Trees and Forests, provided professional technical support for the Senate Task Force on a Tree Conservation Law for Maryland, and was a technical reviewer of the MD House and Senate Bills and the proposed Model Ordinances and Technical Manuals. Cook worked closely with the MD Dept. of Natural Resources – Forest Service, the Building Industry Association, the Forest Act Task Force, and the Senate Draft Committee. Mr. Cook developed and presented testimony to the MD Administrative, Executive, & Legislative Review Committee, and provided data to interested Senate and House members, as well as industry professionals and private citizens. He continues to provide technical support for revisions to FCA rules and policies at all levels of government.
· draft regulation reviews,
· input on technical aspects of forestry language, definitions, and management,
· advice on standards for tree selection, planting, and maintenance,
· recommendations for efficient FCA compliance document preparation, approval methods, and procedures,
· co-authored and presented training in FCA compliance.
URBAN TREE INVENTORY: U S Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. JCC conducted a 2,767-tree inventory on the historic campus and cemetery to determine tree condition, recommend maintenance, and estimate costs of maintenance and/or replacement.
· surveying the trees individually to identify species and current condition,
· verify mapped locations,
· tree risk assessment and management recommendations,
· tree planting site potential analysis,
· cost estimates for tree maintenance and replacement,
· technical support for tree service contractor selection and supervision, and
· general landscape management technical and program consultation.
LAND USE/LAND COVER ASSESSMENT: Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, MD. J. Cook Consultants was the lead consultant firm and project manager for tree and forest studies and a natural resources inventory for the 100-plus miles of electric power transmission line renovation and establishment across Maryland. The firm worked in concert with the Public Service Commission, State of Maryland, the region’s electric utility consortium, and a multidisciplinary site study and permitting team to manage and conduct field studies and analyses. The linear project required JCC to design an agency-approved methodology, plan and conduct site data collection, map site elements on LIDAR aerial photos and CADD plans, prepare detailed comprehensive reports based upon analyses of field and GIS data, and facilitate agency approvals. The billion-dollar project was designed to provide additional power to the Delmarva region.
RECREATION AREA PLANNING: Carvin's Cove Watershed Natural Resource Assessment, City of Roanoke, VA. As part of a professional consulting services team, JCC provided a Natural Resources Inventory for the City-owned watershed (over 12,000 acres) that was used to develop a Master Plan that protects the quality of the City water supply while providing opportunities for recreation.
JCC responsibilities included:
· assessed and documented existing flora and fauna, water quality, wetlands, soils, T&E species and habitats, and recreational use on the undeveloped site,
· provided a water quality risk assessment for potential recreational uses, including cost estimates for implementation and water quality protection, and
· recommended means of avoiding, controlling, or mitigating threats to maintaining current water quality.
GOLF COURSE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT: Hilton Head Island, SC. Provided technical support, including design assistance and construction supervision and monitoring, for development or renovation of 21 professional (touring level) golf courses on and near the island. Recommended site clearing and tree preservation methodologies, and tree maintenance guidelines. Assisted with locating and designing paths, boardwalks, and interpretive areas and structures for over 10 miles of walking, biking, and horse trails.
Cameron vs Baltimore County (1999) Federal Court, Baltimore, MD Wongful injury due to negligence in tree risk assessment and mitigation/ maintenance.
(For Defendant; settled)
A taxi driver was injured and his cab damaged by a large limb and debris that fell from a roadside tree. The plaintiff alleged that the County was negligent in their duty to inspect, assess, and appropriately treat trees that exhibited signs and symptoms of poor condition. This case had to rely upon post-incident study and assessment of the site and remaining tree parts, debris that had been removed from the roadway onto a shoulder, and photos provided by the County and plaintiff. Based upon JCC’s assessment and technical support, the County was able to settle the case and avoid protracted litigation and potential extreme financial penalty. (Duty of care, likelihood of failure, target type and timing, consequences.)
R. Park vs M-NCPPC et al (2001) Prince George's County Court, MD Wrongful injury due to negligence in tree risk assessment and mitigation/ maintenance. (For Plaintiff; won)
The plaintiff was injured when a tree limb fell upon him as he was using a public paved trail in a local park. Post-incident investigation included measuring and taking photographs of the debris and its relationship to the path; tree condition assessment; documenting the size, general condition and location of vicinity trees; and a general site assessment. JCC’s investigation was greatly complicated because the tree had been felled and cut up for disposal, and all remains moved from the immediate site of the accident before we were brought on to the legal team. It was determined that there was inadequate and/or improper risk assessment and mitigation by the County that may have avoided the incident. (Duty of care, likelihood of failure, target type and timing, consequences.)