Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Meetings Postponed

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will not meet in May. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

WCNRC March Meeting Cancelled

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will not meet this Thursday, March 19th.  We will work with Camp McDowell to reschedule a meeting date at Camp McDowell in the future.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Field Trip to Bill and Ann Self's Property

From left, John Creed, Brad Nail, Allison Cochran, and landowner Bill Self
at a young shortleaf pine stand on the Self property.
Five members of the council, John Creed, Brad Nail, Allison Cochran, Andy Baril, and Mike Henshaw, visited the Self property as a possible site for a landowner tour.  Unfortunately, the weather was very wet and we were limited on how much of the property we could visit.  We discussed possible agenda items for the tour and will need to visit the property again, but it is obvious that it will be a very good site for a landowner tour.  Please be thinking of timely agenda topics and speakers that could address them.  We are considering topics such as shortleaf pine, privet control, timber markets, and BMP's related to water quality.  Thanks to Bill Self for braving the poor weather to show us part of the property.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

NEWS RELEASE from USDA Forest Service - Alabama Resource Advisory Committee Announces Title II Funding Available

Alabama Resource Advisory Committee Announces Title II Funding Available

MONTGOMERY, AL, February 19, 2020 ---- The Alabama Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) is accepting project proposals for review and consideration to benefit natural resources on the Bankhead and Talladega National Forests in Winston, Lawrence and Clay counties. Alabama counties, communities, fish, wildlife and watershed interest groups, partners, stakeholders and the USDA Forest Service have until June 5, 2020 to submit proposals. Project submission forms are available on the Forest Service website at www.fs.usda.gov/alabama. Applicants can download RAC Project Application (electronic version) or RAC Project Application (hardcopy) – mail to USDA Forest Service, Attn: RAC, 2946 Chestnut Street, Montgomery, AL 36107.

According to Designated Federal Official Tammy Freeman Brown, approximately $133,000 is available for projects through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act.  The June 5, 2020 deadline will give communities sufficient time to meet and discuss ideas for proposals.  Approved projects will benefit forest lands, such as road, trail and infrastructure maintenance, forest restoration, water quality, maintenance and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat.  Projects can be completed through open-bid contracting with individuals and corporations, Forest Service personnel or through partnership agreements.

A 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.  For additional information contact Sheila Holifield, Alabama RAC Coordinator at 334-241-8173 or Tammy Freeman Brown, Designated Federal Officer at 334-832-8144.                                                                          

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

USDA Forest Service, National Forests in Alabama:  National Forests are working forests where you can expect to see controlled burns, tree thinning, tree planting and other management activities throughout the year. The projects are focused on maintaining the health and resilience of national forests while at the same time providing products and services to the public. www.fs.usda.gov/alabama.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

February Council Meeting

Council members,

Our February meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be a site visit for a possible field day later this year.  We will depart the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs promptly at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 20, and arrive at Bill and Ann Self's property near Natural Bridge at 9:30 a.m.  Email me privately if you need directions to the property.Weather permitting, we'll see the shortleaf pine stand that they have established and consider a potential field day on the property. 


Mike Henshaw

Friday, January 17, 2020

January 16 Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Mark Finley, Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Zack Brannon, Maggie Johnston, Andrew Shea, and Johnna Franks
  • The February WCNRC meeting will be a site visit to Bill and Ann Self farm to determine potential for a Landowner Field Day.
  • The March meeting will be held at Camp McDowell on March 19.
  • Treasurer’s Report: Checks purchased in October for $38.33. Balance in checking is $8,629.33 
  • Camp McDowell working with Arley Schools and Women’s Club on a recycling program.
  • Camp McDowell working with Dr. Steve Jones on land use history and ownership of Camp McDowell and documenting old tree species on the property. Interest in borrowing an increment borer from someone and also finding historical aerial photos. Also working with Miss State on a study of the Johnston property as a reclaimed mine that’s been established to pine and hardwoods, including chestnut.
  • AFC is working primarily on prescribed burning this year, weather dependent.
  • Updates from the Alabama Rovers and Streams Network conference in Cullman last week. Highlight included a report by AFC on compliance with forestry BMPs. Very few complaints or issues reported from Winston County.
  • Mark Finley will attend the Treasure Forest board of directors meeting in February.
  • Byler Rd hike led by Joel Mize this Sunday, January 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Beulah Church near Mt. Hope.
  • AFA interested in working with us to host a Landowner Field day to include shortleaf pine and/or at risk aquatic species. Some members will visit Bill and Ann Self property and work on a field day.
  • Council agrees to support the Winston Co Envirothon Team, if needed, up to $500. We may also have resource specialists that could assist with team practice, if requested.
  • Mr. Heck’s FFA Forestry judging team also needs help for team practice.
  • Forest Service is actively prescribed burning, weather dependent, and has a few new seasonal employees to assist with burning and recreation. Timber Sales are on-going. Bald eagle survey on Smith Lake netted no eagles or nests. Representatives from the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative will visit in February to look at quail emphasis areas on the Bankhead.
  • Council reviewed ideas for Winston County Commission’s RAC proposal that Zack Brannon is working on. Many ideas were discussed.
  • There was discussion on mountain biking opportunities and potential development on the National Forest.
-Allison Cochran