Thursday, January 15, 2015

Minutes of January Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on January 15, 2015, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  The following persons were in attendance: Matthew Brock, Travis McDonald, James Burnett, John Sudduth, and Mike Henshaw.  These topics were discussed:

  • The Shortleaf Pine Workshop on January 29, 2015, in Cullman.
  • The Professional Logger Meeting on February 3, 2015, in Cullman.
  • Longleaf Pine Restoration program.
  • 4-H Shooting Sports Club is applying for National Rifle Association grant.
  • Mr. Sudduth said the Winston County Cattlemens annual meeting and steak supper is being held on January 31, at the Double Springs Municipal Building.
  • Matthew said that he now had additional responsibilities to manage the Sam Murphy Wildlife Management Area, the Lewis Smith Physically Disabled Hunting Area in Walker County, and the Fayette Physically Disabled Hunting Area.
  • Black Warrior WMA deer harvest was down this year, but hunter man-days were up.  There were only 78 deer harvested during gun hunts and 17 on archery hunts.  Matthew attributes the low harvest to low deer populations and less non-antlered deer hunting days.
  • Travis said that the Forest Service would be conducting prescribed burns soon as weather permits.  They will also be doing some shortleaf planting contracts and there is active logging contracts in progress.  The Forest Service is preparing for a bat tracking project in March where bats will be tagged and tracked by aircraft and ground equipment.  He also said that APHIS may hire a local worker to assist with feral pig management.  Finally, they are continuing to survey for golden eagles on the Bankhead.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Landowner Incentive Program for Longleaf

January Meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council

The January meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, January 15, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Planting Small Grains for Fish Habitat Improvement on Smith Lake

Alabama Power and U. S. Forest Service cooperated on fish habitat improvement project on Smith Lake.  This project involved planting small grain grass seed on soil exposed by low water levels on the lake.  If successful, the grass seed will grow and establish a stand of grass.  When water levels rise in the spring, the grass will be submerged and will provide macroinvertebrates and fish with valuable habitat.  More photos of the project are at this link.  These photos were made at the Houston Recreation Area boat ramp.

Loading pontoon with mulch, fertilizer, sticker,lime, and seed.

Mulch material.

Spraying mulch seed mix.

Joe Songer,, photographs the mulching operation.

Seed and mulch after application to bares soil.

Small grain seed embedded in the mulch.

Mike Clelland, Alabama Power, holds a photo of a successful planting that
has been flooded by rising water.  The submerged grass provides valuable
fish habitat.

Photo of successful planting before flooding.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Council Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council November meeting was held at the Alabama Forestry Commission office in Double Springs, on November 20, at 9:00 a.m.  Present were:  Johnna Franks, James Burnett, Tim Webb, Tom Grubbs, Mike Henshaw, and Chris Wright.  The balance in the treasury is $5,805.24.  The following items were discussed:
  • Kudzu bugs in Winston County.
  • Program on herbicides and invasive plants will be held on February 6, 2015, in Cullman, and it will have six hours of professional logging manager points.  Further details will be available soon.
  • 4-H Pig Squeal project for Winston County 4-H'ers.
  • $1,000 Sponsorship of FAWN program from Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association.  Thanks to Ernie Stephens for helping secure these funds for FAWN.  
  • Cogongrass program is available to landowners with small patches (less than 0.5 acre) of cogongrass.  Chris said that the backpack sprayer and herbicides were being stored at the AFC office.
  • Tom Grubbs and Tim Webb spoke about the possibility of adding a 911 learning station at FAWN.  It was agreed that a 911 station would be a good addition to the program and the council will look at the possibility of adding it when working up the 2015 FAWN schedule.
  • Chris Wright is taking a position with the Walker County Forestry Commission office and will be transferring soon.  Chris's move will be a loss for the WCNRC and will leave a vacancy in the Chairman position.  
  • A Technician position will be filled at the Winston County Forestry Commission office soon.
  • No December Council meeting.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary