Friday, January 16, 2009

January Council Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on January 15, 2009. The following persons were present: Wade Hill, Allison Cochran, Carl Godsey, Laverne Matheson, Barry Baird, Mike Henshaw, Crystal Till, John Creed, Bill Snoddy, Tom Counts, James Burnett, Glen Gaines, Johnna Franks, and Chris Wright.

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.

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