Friday, November 22, 2019

Alabama Water Watch Training in Double Springs


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Jan 22,2020 - Jan 23,2020    Time: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Alabama Water Watch, in partnership with the US Forest Service, is excited to announce the launch of a new water monitoring project in the National Forests of Alabama! Volunteer citizens will gather water chemistry and bacteriological monitoring data on select stream locations within the National Forests of Alabama.
This 2-day workshop will be held on January 22 & 23, 2020.
Day 1 - Double Springs Municipal Building (23415 Highway 195 S, Double Springs, AL 35553)
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Day 2 - Bankhead National Forest
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
This workshop will cover information related to the water environment, forests and watershed health, pollution, water quality standards, and data management. Workshop participants will be trained and certified in AWW Water Chemistry and Bacteriological Monitoring. During Day 2 of each workshop, participants will head outdoors to conduct monitoring practices and visit pre-selected monitoring sites on the National Forests. Participants must attend both workshop days to receive both certifications. Download or print and complete the Liability Form below and email to or mail to the AWW Program Office at 559 Devall Drive, Auburn University, AL 36849.

WCNRC November Meeting Minutes

Allison Cochran, Rollins Jolly and Mark Finley met briefly.

Zack dropped off some information and updates before running to another commitment.

Mark shared highlights from the Treasure Forest/Alabama Natural Resources Council meeting in Prattville.  They toured some interesting properties, including a longleaf straw raking operation.  He attended a session on how to have an active natural resources council at the local level.  He brought us back a guide with some great information.  It will be scanned to share with Council.  Lot of good ideas to grow and strengthen our organization and for workshop and field day planning.  Thanks to Mark for attending and sharing.    This information will be of great use for planning our 2020 Landowner Field Day, possibly at Bill Self’s and/or focusing on shortleaf pine.  Council needs to start planning that event before too long.

FAWN review – About 300 students attended FAWN and it was a success.  Zack shared thank you letters from the students.  Council can review and discuss ideas to improve FAWN in the future, if possible to meet curriculum needs if teachers give some input.  Additionally, would be good for council to discuss how to tweak the Payne Outdoor Classroom event to teach different material or target a different group of students.  There is some overlap noted between the two events.

Alabama Water Watch is hosting a training for citizens interested in conducting chemical and bacteriological water testing in the area, specifically in the Bankhead National Forest.  The training will be held at the Double Springs Municipal Building on January 22-23. Visit AWW online for more information.

Deer season is open and surveillance for Chronic Wasting Disease is on-going.  There is a freezer at the Bankhead office in Double Springs for people to place deer heads for testing.  Instructions and supplies are on site.

Zack shared several updates –

There is progress with Winston County Commission at the Mims property at Sipsey Fork and Hwy 33.  The county engineer is working on surveys and drawings at the location to improve the parking lot and emergency vehicle access and blocking the lower portion of the road to vehicular traffic to the river.  The County will include a project in their proposal to the Alabama Resources Advisory Council for funding for this project.  The County will be working with the Freshwater Landtrust and Mims family on this potential project for access to the river and for stabilizing and reducing erosion at the site.

There may be some FireWise funding available to the Cooperative Extension office for use in our county.  Council members should be thinking of ideas for FireWise projects, educational activities, materials, etc. 

We had discussion on the Rural Schools Act (in lieu of taxes) program that allows money from National Forests timber revenue to be accessed by Counties. FireWise is one title or funding mechanism of that program.  Projects funded under the other titles of that program are approved by the Alabama Resources Advisory Committee.  Council, Extension and others will work with Winston and Lawrence Counties on ideas for competitive proposals for those funds.  Project proposals are due to the Alabama Resources Advisory Committee in June this year.

We aren’t sure if the council usually meets in December.  Since there are no pressing agenda items for December, we might skip meeting that month. But, we will send an email and blog post out on whether or not there will be a December meeting.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Upcoming November Meeting

The next meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be Thursday, November 21, 9:00 am at the U.S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. We hope you will be able to join us.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Hello Landowners,

Attached is a flyer for a free Timber Tax Seminar hosted by the Marion County Forestry Planning Committee on November 7th.  The meeting will take place at Oh Bryan’s Restaurant off of Hwy 17 here in Hamilton.  Allan Cantrell, a local CPA will be conducting the training.  He is a land owner himself and is familiar with tax information that is pertinent to landowners in our County.  We will eat prior to the event but the meal will be on your own.  Please notify me if you plan to attend for planning purposes.   

Robert Clement
Forestry Management Specialist
Alabama Forestry Commission
AL R.F. 2225
164 Smokey Bear Road
Hamilton Alabama, 35570
Phone (205) 707-1009

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, October 29th

The next meeting of the Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held Tuesday, October 29, at 6:00 p.m. at the First National Bank in Double Springs, Alabama.  The meeting theme is terrestrial habitat and vegetation management with topics including prescribed burning, timber sales, and herbicide treatments.  The meeting will adjourn by 7:30 p.m.  The meeting is open to the public.  Anyone interested in the management in the Bankhead National Forest is invited.  If you have any questions, please call 205-489-5111.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

USDA Forest Service News Release - Campfire Restrictions and Fireworks Ban in Alabama's National Forests

News Release -
The Forest Service announced today that extreme drought conditions have prompted Forest Supervisor Cherie Hamilton to sign a fire closure order throughout Alabama’s Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests.   The closure order will restrict the public from using fire or building campfires on the national forests except those within developed recreation areas that are confined to receptacles designed for fires. Commercially available fuel stoves (camp stoves) and backpacking stoves are excluded from the restriction. The Forest Supervisor’s order also prohibits using fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices in national forests.

To protect the public and natural resources from the threat of wildfires, the following public restrictions are effective September 30, 2019 and will remain in effect until November 1, 2019:

  Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega, and Tuskegee National Forests

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire (including charcoal) outside of developed recreation areas.  Fires at developed recreation areas must be confined to receptacles designed for fire. 36 CFR 261.52 (a).
Exemptions to Prohibition:  Commercially available fuel stoves (camp stoves) and backpacking stoves are excluded from this restriction.

  1. Violating any state law concerning burning or fires which are implemented for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fires.   36 CFR 261.52(k)
  2. Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.  36 CFR 261.52(f)

Pursuant to the provisions of Title 36 C.F.R, Section 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from the above prohibition:
  1. Persons with a permit specially authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
  2. Any Federal, State, or Local officer or member of any organized rescue or firefighting force in the official performance of their duties.

Anyone found violating any of these prohibitions might face a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

For information concerning any public restrictions and closure orders, please contact a U.S. Forest Service district office before visiting: Bankhead District (205) 489-5111, Conecuh District (334) 222-2555, Shoal Creek District (256) 463-2272; Talladega District (256) 362-2909; Oakmulgee District (205) 926-9765; and the Tuskegee District (334) 727-2652.

Fire Alert Issued for Alabama

Fire Alert Issued for Alabama


The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has upgraded the recent Fire Danger Advisory to a statewide Fire Alert effective immediately. While under a Fire Alert, permits for outdoor burning will be restricted and issued on an individual basis at the discretion of the State Forester. Anyone who burns a field, grassland, or woodland without a burn permit may be subject to prosecution for committing a Class B misdemeanor.

This burning restriction is being issued because of the current drought situation, continued lack of precipitation, and high probability of fuel ignition. With this extremely dry weather, conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to our forests but also threatening lives and destroying property. Over the last week, AFC wildland firefighters have responded to 182 wildfires across Alabama, burning approximately 2,608 acres. These numbers include a 470-acre fire in Talladega County, one for 391 acres in DeKalb County, and several which were over 100 acres, but they do not reflect the numerous fires suppressed by volunteer fire departments (VFDs) across the state. The local VFDs are great partners to the AFC in times of high fire occurrence.

This Fire Alert will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. To report a wildfire, call the Alabama Forestry Commission at (800) 392-5679. For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state or any other forestry-related issues, contact your local AFC office or visit the agency website at The Alabama Forestry Commission is the state agency committed to protecting Alabama’s invaluable forest assets as well as its citizens.