Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This program is still in the very early stages of development however, it is being modeled after what has proven to be a very successful program in the state of Virginia. One of our goals in addition to utilizing the manpower of our probationers to clean up our area are to educate our community about litter problems. We hope to show how litter removal will contribute to the success of Winston County in many ways such as increasing tourism, enhancing industrial recruitment and reducing trash and debris that flows into our streams and lakes, thus improving water quality.
We are very excited about getting things “off the ground” to clean up our roadsides county wide.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
These events will serve as a public platform to present the Helene Mosley Memorial Award and the Outstanding County Natural Resources Council Awards.
Cullman County Natural Resource Council, along with Alabama Forestry Commission personnel from Winston County have held several meetings preparing for the one day event.
Any WCNRC members who would like to be involved in the planning of this field tour can call me for more information.
This event will be held during the month of October 2009 in Cullman County, possibly near the Jones Chapel area. Our next meeting will be Wednesday March 4th at the Jones Chapel VFD at 9:00 am
Monday, January 26, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
AUBURN, Ala., January 14, 2009 – State Conservationist Gary Kobylski with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces January 30, 2009, as the cutoff date for several resource concerns under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applying for EQIP is continuous; however, selecting applications for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates.
EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land.
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized Special Emphasis funding for two new areas: Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Kobylski said “In Alabama, we have allocated special statewide funds to these areas along with Limited Resource Farmers and Small Scale Farmers. These two new special emphasis areas along with Limited Resource Farmers are eligible for increased payment rates. The sign-up for these special emphasis areas is continuous, but the batching date for current applications is January 30, 2009.”
Kobylski also announced sign-up for the new Precision Farming Incentive. This is a continuous sign-up with a batching date of February 13, 2009. Cropland producing annually planted crops in the following counties is eligible for 2009: Baldwin, Barbour, Cherokee, Coffee, Colbert, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Mobile, Monroe, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, and Madison.
The Precision Farming Incentive is designed to encourage the adoption of variable-rate application of nutrients and pesticides and promote the use of GPS-enabled precision agricultural technology and equipment. The goals of the Precision Farming Incentive include improving water quality by targeting areas for reduced nutrient and pesticide application, reducing runoff and leaching of pesticides, enhancing soil quality through reduced erosion and soil compaction and energy conservation through accurate and efficient application of crop inputs.
Eligibility requirements on EQIP are available on the
Alabama NRCS website under “Programs” (http://www.al.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip09/index09.html).
For more information, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office, listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Crystal Till, the manager of the Winston County Assign-A-Highway program, said the new program will use court-assigned parolees to pick up litter on the county's roads and highways. She stated the program is a partnership with NACOLG, NW Ala RC & D Council, the Winston County Commission, and the court system. The program is modeled after one in Virginia. She stated that the Virginia Assign-A-Highway has served 40 counties, 8,000 parolees, and has cleaned over 10,000 miles of Virginia highways.
Laverne Matheson stated that the Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. board of directors had decided to give the FAWN program $1,000. They are also interested in conducting a water safety program in cooperation with the U. S. Coast Guard Floatilla. The Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. will present the check to the WCNRC on April 3rd at their meeting in Arley. Dr. Bill Deutsch, the Alabama Water Watch Program Director, will speak at this meeting, as well.
The council reviewed the Woody Biomass as Energy program that will be held in Jasper on February 19, 2009.
Wade Hill, District Conservationist with the NRCS, reported that the current deadline for the EQIP signup will be January 30th. He encouraged everyone to promote the program to landowners since there had not been a great deal of signup activity in Winston County. The EQIP program has funding for such practices as pasture weed control, privet and kudzu control, water troughs and spring developments for livestock, prescribed fire, tree planting, timber stand improvement, fencing for rotational grazing and water protection, silvopasture, grass planting, and poultry incinerators.
The Arbor Week Tree Sale will be held on Monday, February 23 at 9:00 a.m. at the Winston County Forestry Commission Office in Double Springs. Johnna Franks will be posting an entry on the blog about the species available this year.
Johnna stated that the treasury has a balance of $2,113.82.
Barry Baird, Wildlife Biologist for the Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area, reported on the Archery in the Schools program. He is looking for support to establish the program at Winston County High School. Mr. Byron Tuggle, Agriscience Instructor, teaches Hunter Safety Education to his students and the archery program would help in conduct the hands-on portion of the training. Barry recently graduated from the Police Academy, and was fourth in his class.
Allison Cochran said that they will be putting out fish structures in Smith Lake on February 18-19 at 9:00 a.m. at Clear Creek. They are recruiting additional volunteers to assist.
Allison noted that WildSouth will be planting 1,000 longleaf pine seedlings on February 14th and they are seeking additional volunteers for the project.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
The Bankhead Liaison Panel will meet in Moulton (not Double Springs) at 6 PM on January 22. The meeting will be held at the Moulton Rec Center (Alexander Park).
Everyone is welcome to attend this public meeting.
Tom Grubbs and Johnna Franks have some good news about FAWN funding.
Plans are falling into place for the Landowner Field Day at Bill and Jeanie Snoddy's Loblolly Farm on Friday, May 1st, but we still have a few gaps in the agenda. We'll have draft programs at the meeting.