Thursday, August 21, 2014

August Winston County Natural Resources Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on August 21, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.  Present were Allison Cochran, John Creed, and Mike Henshaw.  Balance in the treasury is $8,865.40.  The following topics were discussed:
  • Dates for the FAWN program.  1st choice is Oct 9-10, 2nd choice is Oct 23-24, and a possible rain date of Oct 17.  Schools will determine the date and if they wish to attend.
  • Allison commented on the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery.  She represented the U. S. Forest Service, and she said that Andy Baril was there representing Extension and the Auburn University School of Forestry.
  • Possible Fall 2014 Landowner/Logger training or field day.  The Council is willing to assist with local logistics including food, postage, meeting rooms, and equipment.  However, at this time, the council will need additional team member resources in order to conduct a training this fall.  
  • Possible tour or educational workshop in 2015 to focus on shortleaf pine establishment and management.  Interesting work is being conducted on this species here in the Bankhead.  
  • Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) Three council members have applied to be members on the RAC.  
  • Hamner Park in Arley is being updated by the Arley Women's Club, and part of the improvements will include signs about protecting watersheds and water quality.  The signs were provided through funds from the Rock Creek Watershed Grant.
  • Allison noted that the Department of Conservation, through the Hunter Education Program is promoting Archery Parks such as the one that is located in Cullman. 
  • The Bankhead National Forest has been awarded a grant through the National Wild Turkey Foundation to control invasive plant species on the district.
  • The Bankhead National Forest is supporting efforts to control wildfires in the western U. S.  The following district employees have been involved in this work and have traveled out west:  Kerry Clark, Craig Moore, Aaron Pirkle, Mike Cook, Jody Tetlow, Randall White, Gaylon McGraw, Lorenzo Walton, Dave Casey, and Brian Henley.
Mike Henshaw

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August Council Meeting

The August meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, August July 21, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Team Places Second at State Competition

The Winston County 4-H recently competed at the State 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program.  The contest was held at the College of Forestry and Wildlife Science at Auburn University.  This was a two day event where the youth were tested on wildlife identification, wildlife foods, aerial photos, management practices, and management plans.  The team placed second in the junior division.  Pictured from left to right: Samuel Gomora, Will Gunnin, Sam Brannon.  Sarah Gomora is holding the trophy.  Not pictured is the team coach, Donna Gunnin.  

The Winston County team was sponsored in part by the Winston County Natural Resources Council.

Beavers, BMPS and Forest Products

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July Minutes of the WCNRC Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on July 17, 2014, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were: Dave Casey, LaVerne Matheson, James Burnett, John Creed, Mike Henshaw, and Allison Cochran.  The following topics were discussed:
  • The council approved $200 to support the Winston County 4-H Habitat Evaluation Team that attended the state competition in Auburn in June.  The junior team, consisting of four youth, placed second in the competition.
  • Dave Casey, District Ranger, made a presentation about the Resource Allocation Committe (RAC) that is forming to allow counties in Alabama to take advantage of Title II funds from the Forest Service.  Winston County is one of three counties that have requested title II funds, and the state must have a RAC to allocate those funds.  The council discussed several individuals that might be recruited to serve on the RAC to represent Winston County.
  • John Creed gave a history of funds that have come from the Forest Service to counties in the past. 
  • Allison said that the FAWN program could still be held at the Houston Recreation Area this year.  The restrooms and other facilities are in working order.
  • The next liaison panel meeting will probably be held in October.  A date for the meeting is still pending.
  • LaVerne said that the next Alabama Water Management Meeting would be held in August.  He also reported on efforts to monitor water quality on Smith Lake.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bankhead National Forest Houston Day Use Area Open for July Fourth

The U.S. Forest Service announced that the Houston Day Use Area on the Bankhead National Forest will be open in time for the July 4th holiday.  Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the swimming and picnic areas as well as the boat ramp beginning this holiday weekend.  According to Bankhead District Ranger Dave Casey, Bankhead National Forest employees and local contractors have been working to restore water, repair buildings and clean grounds for the upcoming holiday.  The swimming and picnic areas will be open through Labor Day weekend.  The boat ramp will remain open as long as water depths allow safe boat launching.

Camping loops at Houston Recreation Area remain closed, but campers will find recreation opportunities at numerous other sites including Clear Creek and Corinth Recreation Areas that will remain fully operational for the upcoming July 4th weekend.

The National Forests in Alabama encourage visitors to check its web site at in advance of visits or contact the Bankhead District Office at 205-489-5111.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Minutes of June Council Meeting

The WCNRC met at the U. S. Forest Service Office on June 19, 2014. Present at the meeting were Carl Godsey, LaVerne Matheson, Mike Henshaw, Chris Wright, Andy Baril, Byron Tuggle, and Jeremy McDonald.  The following items were discussed:
  • Successful Kid's Fishing Derby held on June 7th.
  • Rain Barrel Program in Haleyville
  • Junior Ranger Program at Payne Demo Area - Jeremy said 114 attended.
  • County FFA Forestry Judging held at Payne Demonstration Area
  • Invasive plant spraying program continues - Jeremy
  • Possible educational programs to provide PLM credits.  Topics such as markets, forest economics, BMP's, carbon credits, and the TREASURE Forest Program are possibilities for program topics.  Loggers have until end of December to get PLM points.  WCNRC tentatively planning a PLM program at the end of October for area loggers and landowners.
  • FAWN program possible relocation to Corinth Recreation Area.  
  • Shortleaf Initiative, NRCS
  • Signs on Smith Lake to be posted to educate about fines for littering - LaVerne.
  • Alabama Power Lake survey reveals that there is 580 miles of shoreline on Smith Lake.
  • John Ledbetter with Alabama Power has retired - LaVerne.
  • Hatchet Creek Festival - Andy
  • Failing Septic Tank Issues - LaVerne
Mike Henshaw, Secretary WCNRC