Tuesday, June 25, 2019

WCNRC June Meeting Minutes

WCNRC Meeting 6/20/19
Zack Brannon, Andy Baril, Andy Scott, John Creed and Allison Cochran

* Andy Baril is working on landowner pond visits.
Walker County will be hosting a forestry workshop at Bevill on 9/11; flyer forthcoming.
The ACNRC N Region Landowner Tour will be in Fayette, but no date is set yet.
Fishing Derby was a success, thanks to all that participated and made it happen.  NWTF donated $550.  $579 dollars of WCNRC funds from Winston Co Commission Firewise Ed Fund were used.  NWTF’s check for $500 wouldn’t work, so Allison paid with WCNRC fund and NWTF will pay WCNRC $500.  Allison used NWTF’s $50 cash on prizes at Wal-mart.  All receipts are sent to Johnna and NWTF chapters for purchases of food and prizes and supplies.  Forest Service spent about $1100 on fish and portable toilet.  Gateway donated some drinks which help offset costs.  We have a few leftover prizes that will be used for next year.

* Keep eyes out for cogongrass and report to AFC and ALDOT.  Bankhead found a big spot on the Forest in Black Pond and will treat this summer. Andy B is using EDmaps to report spots he is seeing which goes to Auburn.
Alabama Bat Working Group will hold a Bats and Forests workshop for natural resource professionals in Heflin on 9/10.  More info to come.
Ala Bat Working Group also held their Annual Bat Blitz in June in Hamilton and we worked closely with Marion County AFC.
Zack is already thinking about FAWN and talked to School Board, although we won’t set a date with them until school is back in session.

* Andy Scott is taking a 2 month detail to Mississippi’s National Forests and Blake Addison will be the Bankhead Acting District Ranger in that time.
Bankhead has been working in Southern Pine Beetle Mitigation/Prevention mode for the last few years. In the next few years, we will be moving into more longleaf restoration work to respond to America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative and an increased Forest Service regional challenge for more acres of longleaf pine woodlands.
Roads on the Bankhead are in the shape they are in due to weather and a number of other factors. We are hoping road maintenance will begin this summer.
Andy shared that in last year’s herbicide site preparation and non-native invasive species contract, we lost the hardwood reserve trees on about 300 or so acres due to a combination of factors.  For this year, we are making contract changes to take corrective action.
The Slick Ford timber sale is completed and in our longleaf restoration area.  He encouraged folks to visit the area and see the quality work going on down there in Black Pond.

* Zack shared that Mike Henshaw attended the Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee meeting and funding won’t be awarded this year, but will be awarded in October 2020.  The application deadline is June 2020.  The council discussed several ideas, including trails and recreational access with partners and that we would work together in advance of the deadline to pull partners and ideas together.

* Andy Baril asked about the Recreation Working group and decisions on future direction for recreation on Bankhead with input from the stakeholders.  Andy Scott responded that essentially Bankhead will start a “Trails” NEPA project to address issues and will need partnerships to help manage.  At Caney Creek waterfall, he is expecting a full recreation site type trail and will look at other areas like Soughahogdee, Payne Creek and Sipsey Trail to designate as trails and manage.  The Houston renovation to tent camping is on the slow burner.  We have put in proposals to remove infrastructure, like bath houses, at Brushy Lake and Houston. 
There was discussion on the Alabama Trail, an effort led by the Alabama Hiking Trail Society and how it might connect with Bankhead and take pressure off of the Sipsey Wilderness.

Forest Service Shield

Meeting Adjourned. Next meeting Thursday, July 18

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Forest Service Accepting Applications for New Campground Concessionaire in Bankhead National Forest

Forest Service Accepting Applications for New Campground Concessionaire in

Bankhead National Forest


The National Forests in Alabama, Bankhead Ranger District is soliciting applications for a concession special use permit for the operation of two developed recreation sites, Clear Creek Recreation Area and Corinth Recreation Area. The Bankhead Ranger District provides a broad range of quality recreational opportunities and experiences for visitors.  Sites being offered in this prospectus are Clear Creek Recreation Area and Corinth Recreation Area, located on the 21,200-acre Lake Lewis Smith Reservoir. The prospectus can be found at https://go.usa.gov/xy3t6.  Proponents will have until Friday, August 9, 2019, to submit the application package. Applications must be received at the Forest Supervisor’s office no later than 4:30 pm CST on Friday, August 9, 2019.


A Granger/Thye (GT) permit will be issued to provide high-quality public service with the operation of government-owned recreation facilities located on the Bankhead Ranger District.  Operations under the new permit will begin on January 1, 2020, with recreation areas opening on March 14, 2020.  The base term of the permit will be for five (5) years, with another five (5) years to be non-competitively awarded at the discretion of the Forest Service upon satisfactory completion of the original permit.

Detailed information about this business opportunity, Forest Service concession program and policies, special use permits, application and post selection requirements are available in the prospectus.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

WCNRC May Meeting Minutes

Members present: Allison Cochran, Chair, Mike Henshaw, Vice Chair, Kerri Roberts, Secretary, Jeremy McDonald, Andy Scott, and guest Felicia Humphries

Allison opened the meeting reporting that the Bankhead Liason Panel had just met. Everything went well. They meet quarterly.

Mike stated he will be at the RAC meeting in Montgomery on June 7.  Andy Scott added that he may also send Shane Haskins to that meeting. Shane is Mike Cook's replacement at the Forest Service.

Jeremy reported on the Junior Ranger program at Payne Demo on May 7.  There were about 100 people including 7th graders, FFA members, and the workers.  Allison asked if next year the stations could be more challenging since these kids had been to FAWN and also came last year to Jr. Ranger. They came 2 years in a row, because teacher Kevin England requested it.

Jeremy also reported his Forestry FFA team got 2nd place at district and individually placed 5th, 8th and 12th.  He asked about paying them award money from the $400 the WCNRC approved for the team. The only expense they had used the money for was the compasses.

Allison reminded us the Fishing Derby is Saturday, June 1. All hands on deck!

Andy Baril discussed the possibility of WCNRC doing a Landowner Field Day or not. He volunteered to head up the field day. It was decided to do one, but wait until possibly next spring.

Meeting adjourned. Next meeting June 20.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Upcoming May WCNRC Meeting Reminder

We hope you can join us for our May meeting this Thursday, May 16, at the U.S. Forest Service Office at 9:00 a.m. We will be discussing highlights of last week's Junior Ranger program, and the upcoming Fishing Derby, which is June 1.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Forest Service Hosts Alabama Resource Advisory Committee Meeting

On June 7, 2019, the USDA Forest Service will host a meeting of the federally designated Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The advisory committee intent is to enhance community collaboration with federal officials who manage the National Forests in Alabama. The meeting will be held at the Forest Service office located at 2946 Chestnut Street, Montgomery, AL 36107 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The Secure Rural Schools RAC provides advice and recommendations to the Forest Service on the development and implementation of special projects as authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, Public Law 110-343.  Special projects can maintain infrastructure, improve the health of watersheds and ecosystems, protect communities and strengthen local economies. Alabama’s RAC consists of 15 people selected to serve on the committee by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss mission and operating guidelines, chairman responsibilities, discuss the status of current approved projects, and current Title II funding amounts and processes for project recommendation. RAC information, including the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/​main/​alabama/​workingtogether/​advisorycommittees.

The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by May 31, 2019, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Lisa Kamnikar, Alabama RAC Coordinator, 2946 Chestnut Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36107; by email to lisa.kamnikar@usda.gov, or via facsimile to 334–241–8113. For more information contact Tammy Freeman Brown, Public Affairs Staff Officer, at 334-241-8144 or email tammy.freemanbrown@usda.gov.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting Announcement

(Double Springs, AL)  May 8, 2019 ---- The next meeting of the Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held Tuesday, May 14th, at 6:00 p.m. at the Moulton Recreation Center, HA Alexander Park, 13550 Court Street, Moulton, Alabama.  Meeting topics will include an update on the proposed 2019 Southern Pine Beetle Mitigation and Restoration project, Recreation and Roads program updates, Eastern Spotted Skunk project and Wildlife Monitoring program updates, and America’s Longleaf Million Acre Challenge.   The meeting will adjourn by 8:00 p.m.  The meeting is open to the public.  Anyone interested in the management of the Bankhead National Forest is invited.  If you have any questions, please call 205-489-5111.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.