Saturday, April 18, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT

Public Meeting - Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc.

Everyone Welcome!

When? Friday, April 24, 2015 at 7 PM

Where? Traders & Farmers Bank Building, Arley

Why? Meet new & old friends on the Lake

Learn about volunteer efforts to keep Winston County & Smith Lake beautiful

Learn about the Bankhead National Forest and opportunities for outdoor recreation in your backyard

Elect officers and board members of your Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc.

Find out how you can participate in 2015 Renew Our River Clean-ups

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Minutes of April Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council meeting was held on Thursday, April 16, 2015.  Present were Matthew Brock, Mike Henshaw, Carl Godsey, John Creed, James Burnett, John Sudduth, and Andy Baril.  Topics discussed:
  • Shortleaf Pine Field Day.  Allison has prepared a draft agenda which we reviewed.  The field day will be held on Monday, June 15, 2015, from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. at Phil and Djuna Wilson's farm.  Allison has done a lot of the work on the agenda, but will need help with drivers, guides, and lunch servers.  A walk through will be held on Wednesday, June 10, to review the tour stops with van drivers.  A big turn out is expected, so many council members will be needed to help host the event.  
  • Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, June 13, at the Black Warrior Work Center.
  • South Carolina's new rules on coyotes encourages residents to kill coyotes because they have a negative effect on the deer population.
  • Mr. Sudduth said that he will host the Farmers Federation Beef Tour at his farm on May 6, and the focus will be silvopasture.  50 to 60 people are expected to be in attendance.
  • Chris Erwin and another forester visited Mr. Godsey's forest land in Houston.  
  • Forest Certification Programs
  • Hog Trap has been returned from landowner, and is available, if needed.  Matthew Brock can provide technical assistance to landowners that want to use trapping to control feral swine.  Mr. Sudduth said that hogs have been causing problems on the McCrary Farm near Double Springs.
  • State budget cuts could close 15 of the 22 state parks in Alabama.  Matthew said that cuts could affect the Department of Conservation federal matching funds. James said that Emergency Management could lose a large number of employees and that the staff was already much smaller than just a few years ago.
Mike Henshaw
Secretary, WCNRC

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Meeting of the WCNRC

The April meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, April 16, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Kids Fishing Derby

We have scheduled the Kids Fishing Derby on Bankhead for Saturday, June 13.  I hope you can all participate, as usual!  We will be in touch soon.  Just wanted to get the date marked on your calendar.
Thanks,

Allison



Friday, March 13, 2015

Marion County Landowners Meeting

Info from Tony Avery:

The Marion County Forestry Planning Committee will host a program for hunters and land managers on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at Oh Bryan’s Restaurant on Highway 17 in Hamilton Alabama at 6:30 p.m.  This is the same program that was cancelled due to weather last month.

Matt Brock with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries will update us on recent agencies information and recent regulation changes as well as Wildlife Management Area updates.

Matt Brock graduated from Mississippi State University in 2007, with a B.S. degree in Wildlife Science. He began his career with the MS Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries, and parks as a regional wildlife biologist, managing WMA habitat activities, public hunts, and assisting landowners with management activities. In 2011 he accepted a position with the National Wild Turkey Federation as a longleaf pine restoration and management biologist assisting landowners with longleaf pine establishment and management. Later in 2011, he began employment as the wildlife biologist on Black Warrior WMA with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. He is currently the wildlife biologist on Black Warrior WMA, Sam R. Murphy WMA, Fayette Public Disability Hunting Area, and Smith Lake Public Disability Hunting area, as well as the Turkey Committee representative for District 1. He resides in Double Springs with his wife, Kerin, and sons, Luke and John.

The meal will be Dutch treat. In order to better prepare for the program, please call the Alabama Cooperative Extension System office at 205-921-3551 on or before March 17, 2015 to indicate your attendance.


Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Minutes February Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council meeting was held at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on February 19, 2015.  Present at the meeting were:  James Burnett, Mike Henshaw, Chris Erwin, John Creed, Carl Godsey, Allison Cochran, Andy Baril, Jody Tetlow, Rick Oates, Dave Casey, Johnna Franks, John Sudduth, Tony Avery, Travis McDonald, Kerry Clark, and Tripp Gaskin.  

The following subjects were discussed:
  • Chris Erwin, Director of Woodland Conservation at the American Forest Foundation, gave an overview of the Foundation's efforts to work with private landowners.  He also reviewed some of the efforts to educate landowners about the significance of shortleaf pine in the Southeast US.  Shortleaf pine has suffered a decline in it's historic range and prevalence in the Southeast and especially on the Cumberland Plateau.  To date, efforts to stem the decline include planting shortleaf on suitable sites, controlling invasive plants, restoring wildlife habitat, and streamside restoration.  Assistance to private landowners is available, and there is cooperation between the AFA, ACES, USFS, ATFA, AFC, and others.  Chris said that seven meetings to educate professional foresters have been held, including one in Cullman that had 75 foresters in attendance.  While shortleaf was historically widespread in Alabama, there will be two focus areas in Alabama for the educational efforts.  These are the Bankhead National Forest and the Skyline WMA, near Scottsboro.  These are areas where shortleaf has been planted and can serve as demonstration areas.  As part of this effort, a field day for private landowners, foresters, and loggers is tentatively planned for Monday, June 15, 2015, at Phillip and Djuna Wilson's Farm near Moreland.  This field day will be a team effort by the American Forest Foundation, the Bankhead National Forest, Alabama TREASURE Forest Association, and the Winston County Natural Resources Council.  
  • Rick Oates, ATFA, gave an update on the TREASURE Forest program.
  • Johnna said that the balance in the treasury is $6,757.22.
  • Tree Give-Away will be held on Thursday, February 26th. (note, this was postponed due to weather)
  • Dave Casey reported that the Secure Rural Schools funding was ending since it was not renewed by Congress.  These funds, which go to the Winston County Commission and Winston County Board of Education, will be cut sharply.
  • James gave an update on the severe weather forecast.
  • Tony said that Matthew Brock would present a program at the Marion County Landowners Meeting.
Mike Henshaw
Secretary WCNRC