Monday, May 23, 2016

Local Students Learn About Their National Forest at Outdoor Classroom

About 100 students and teachers from Double Springs Middle School and Curry High School got outdoors for a fun and experiential learning opportunity on May 3.  The students came to the Payne Creek Demonstration Area on Bankhead National Forest for an Outdoor Classroom event.  Partners from the Bankhead National Forest and Alabama Cooperative Extension shared lessons about forest management including wildlife management, fire management, timber and silviculture programs, archaeology and shortleaf pine restoration. 

The Payne Creek Demonstration Area is a site on Bankhead that shows visitors and students alike an active, working forest.  Shortleaf pine woodland restoration is on-going at the site, with active timber harvest, midstory removal, shortleaf reforestation and prescribed burning of the uplands.  Visitors and students can also visit the Payne Creek Canyon, a beautiful canyon and stream at the end of the Payne Creek walking trail.  In the canyon, students learn about the importance of clean water and riparian forests to animals, plants and people!

To learn more about the Payne Creek Demonstration Area, including directions or inquiries about outdoor classroom events, please call the Bankhead National Forest at (205) 489-5111.

A special thank you goes out to the local schools and the Winston County Natural Resources Council for making this great day possible.




Friday, May 20, 2016

Bankhead National Forest Youth Fishing Derby



Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting Notes

The Bankhead National Forest Liaison Panel has been meeting since 2000.  There is a webpage on the U. S. Forest Service website that gives access to all the notes from past meetings.  We have a new link in our "links" section, in case anyone would like to visit this website and review these notes.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Minutes of May Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on Thursday, May 19, 2016, at the U. S. Forest Service Office. Members present were. Matt Brock, Mike Henshaw, James Burnett, Kevin Pugh, Allison Cochran, and Jeremy McDonald.
Items discussed included:
  • The Winston County Diabetes Support Coalition is seeking a $10,000 grant for diabetes prevention and management.  Part of that funding could be used to support walking trails and other exercise opportunities which could help citizens prevent and manage diabetes.  
  • Letter from Charlie Meek leaving the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council.  The WCNRC wishes him the best in retirement and thanks him for his support of the council and the county.  The Northwest Alabama RC&D Council recently was awarded top RC&D Council in the U. S.
  • Matt Brock gave a report on the Feral Hog Conference that he attended in South Carolina.  This conference is held every two years, and he plans to attend them in the future.  He said that one of the most promising developments is the possibility of a contraceptive for female hogs.  While not available yet, it is hoped to be an effective, practical control measure.
  • 4-H Shooting Sports Shotgun team, which comprised 11 4-H'ers, attended the state shotgun competition in Childersburg.
  • Bat Blitz will be held July 24-28, at Jacksonville State.  
  • A Resource Allocation Committee (RAC), which controls the way some Forest Service funds may be spent in the county, could be formed soon.  Several people from Winston County have been nominated to serve on this committee.
  • Jeremy McDonald said that the Junior Ranger program was attended by about 100 students.  He thanked the council for the approximately $100 to cover transportation expenses for students.  He also gave a report on the FFA Forestry Judging Contests that he was involved in.  He assisted with the county contest and helped train students for the district contests as well.
  • Fishing Derby scheduled for Saturday, June 4.  Volunteers are needed.
  • Lake Slough Cleanup.  Allison said that one demolition dumpster was filled to capacity and another was partially filled.  A great deal of debris came into the lake from the winter floods. Another cleanup is scheduled for October 6, at the Houston Recreation Area.
  • Liaison Panel Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at First National Bank in Double Springs. Among the items for discussion are the stewardship proposals, the recreation working group, collaborative restoration, tick research, and the Black Warrior Wildlife Recreation Area.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary
WCNRC

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, May 19, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bankhead Liaison Panel

The Bankhead Liaison Panel will meet on Thursday, May 19 at 6 pm at the First National Bank in Double Springs.  The public is invited to attend this meeting.  Agenda items include updates on Bankhead National Forest activities, Black Warrior WMA game harvest, recreation working group, Wilderness stewardship, and a Forest Health project proposal.  For questions, please call the Bankhead office at (205) 489-5111.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Minutes April Meeting of the WCNRC

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on April 21, 2016, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were:  Johnna Franks, Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Andy Baril, John Creed, Casey Hammack, and Jeremy McDonald(not pictured).

The following items were discussed:
  • Johnna introduced Casey Hammack, a new employee with the Winston County office of the Alabama Forestry Commission.  Casey is a Winston County High School graduate, has worked with the Winston County Road Department, and is trained as a volunteer fireman.  
  • Andy said the GPS receivers that we normally have to borrow from the Auburn Biosystems Engineering Department are now in his possession.  This will make them much easier to access for FAWN and other activities.
  • Discussed funding for FAWN, Junior Ranger program, and Fishing Derby.  Funding requests will be submitted to the Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, and the Alabama Conservation  Law Enforcement Officers Association.
  • Johnna said the balance in the treasury is $2,908.92.
  • Discussed fundraising ideas for the council such as a tree sale.
  • Slough Cleanup based at Clear Creek on April 27 and 28.
  • Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, June 4.
  • Junior Ranger Program to be held on Tuesday, May 3, at Payne Creek Demonstration Area.  The council approved up to $200 for transportation and other expenses for the program.
  •  Earth Day will be held at Hamner Park on Friday, April 22, and is sponsored by the Arley Women's Club.
  • Andy reported on the Archery in the Schools competition that was held in Montgomery and over 1,200 youth competed.
  • The Winston County 4-H Shotgun Shooting Sports Team competed at the State Competition at Red Eagle in Childersburg.
  • Winston County Commission and Winston County Extension Office will receive the 4-H Centennial Youth Initiative Award on July 11th.  Council members are invited to attend the program and reception to be held at the Winston County Commission meeting at 9:00 a.m. 
  • Alabama Water Watch Living Streams Workshop to be held at Camp McDowell on July 26-28.
  • Discussed PLM point opportunities for loggers.  Walker County will have a PLM meeting in September, the WCNRC may have a PLM meeting in late summer on Stewardship Contracts with the USFS.
  • Allison reported on the Recreation Working group, which is part of the Bankhead Liaison Panel.  They are currently working to identify recreation needs and to match them with available resources.  
  • National Forests in Alabama, including the Bankhead National Forest, are making changes to have centralized dispatching from Montgomery.  
Mike Henshaw, Secretary
WCNRC