Friday, April 20, 2018

Learn and Burn in Walker County

Chronic Wasting Disease in White-tailed Deer

The Marion County Forestry Planning Committee will host a program for land owners, land managers, hunters or anyone interested in learning about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  This disease has recently been discovered in Mississippi.  It is only a matter of time before Alabamians must deal with this dreadful disease!

Matt Brock, a wildlife biologist with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries will be speaking about the history of CWD, the state response, the importance of testing, and the potential impact to humans.

This disease could have a huge impact socially but also economically and it is very important that the public understand what they can do to minimize it’s spread and impact.  Please join us at the Backside BBQ & Catfish located at 1717 Hwy 17, Hamilton AL 35570, May 3rd starting at 6:30 p.m.

The meal will be Dutch treat.  Please call the Alabama Cooperative Extension System office at 205-921-3551 no later than April 30, 2018 if you plan to attend in order for us to have an estimate of how many people to plan for.

Hope to see you there!

Robert Clement
Alabama Forestry Commission
AL R.F. 2225
164 Smokey Bear Road
Hamilton Alabama, 35570
Phone (205) 921-3843

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 19, at the U. S. Forest Service office in Double Springs.  One item on the agenda will be the Pine Beetle Control Seminar that the council is hosting on April 26.  A printable flyer about the seminar is available at this link:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

March Council Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on March 15, at the U. S. Forest Service office in Double Springs.  Present were Andy Baril, Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, John Creed, Kerri Roberts, Andy Scott, and Blake Addison.  Agenda items included:

  • Andy Scott gave an update on the U. S. Forest Service RAC proposal from the Winston County Commission.  He said that the Coop Roads agreement has been updated and submitted to the Supervisors Office in Montgomery.  He expects the funds to be allocated soon, and the county commission will have plenty of time to complete the road maintenance under the agreement.
  • Discussed the upcoming Pine Beetle/PLM program.  Area loggers and private landowners will be invited to attend.  The program will be held at 7:30 a.m. on April 26, at the Bernice Hilton Walker Building in Double Springs.  The program will focus on the pine beetle outbreak, and measures the Forest Service is taking to address it.  Three (3.0) PLM points will be available.
  • Allison gave an update on a Forest Service team that runs a stream simulation program that is being used to improve road and bridge design.  This, in turn, improves aquatic habitats for fish and other species.
  • Andy Scott gave an account of a recent operation to rescue an incapacitated hiker from the Bee Branch area of the Sipsey Wilderness Area.  The operation was hampered by a lack of information, equipment breakdowns, difficult terrain and thick forest conditions.  Ultimately, the hiker was successfully transported to the appropriate facilities and is doing well.
    Andy Scott, left, describes hiker rescue.
  • A RENEW OUR RIVERS clean up will be held on April 11-12 and will be headquartered at Yellow Creek,
  • Kerri gave an update on the 4-H River Kids program and the Firewise Funding.
  • Andy Baril said that there will be a Wild Pig Workshop in Bibb County on April 20.  He also noted that his SET region will be changing and he will be assigned to another group of counties located around Birmingham and Winston will no longer be in his region.  Winston County will likely be covered by Spenser Bradley under the new plan. These changes will take affect on October 1.
  • Johnna texted that the balance of the treasury is $4,337.94.
  • The Council's demonstration feral hog trap has been set up at Eddie Densmore's farm near Houston.
  • The WCNRC agreed to support and participate in any "Learn and Burn" programs that may be held in nearby counties.  These educational programs involve landowners in actual prescribed burn operations on private property.  
  • A small committee will work on plans for possible Shortleaf Field Day at a private landowner's property later this year.
  • The Council approved the following slate of officers:  Allison Cochran - Chair, Mike Henshaw - Vice Chair, Johnna Franks - Treasurer, and Kerri Roberts - Secretary
  • (Note added on 3/28 due to accidental omission:  up to $200 for 4-H Shotgun Shooting Sports Team, up to $200 for transportation for 4-H Wildlife Habitat evaluation team.  Youth Fishing Derby to be held on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at Black Warrior Work Center.)
Mike Henshaw, Vice Chair