Monday, June 29, 2009

Conservation Organization of the Year

Winston County Natural Resources Council has been selected as the Alabama Wildlife Federation's Governor's Conservation Organization of the Year! This is an extraordinary achievement for the Council and quite an honor. Council members who would like to attend the Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet on August 7th should RSVP to Mike Henshaw or Johnna Franks. The Banquet will be held at the Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville.

Visit to learn more about AWF's Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards program.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Winston Hardwood Lumber Tour

Winston Hardwood Lumber hosted the Winston County Natural Resources Council for a tour of the mill. Thanks to Mac McAlpine, his son Will Romine, Chip Hughes, and all the employees at the mill that patiently answered our many questions. The mill buys oak and poplar logs, and saws them into graded hardwood lumber. The wood goes to various customers in the housing industry for molding, cabinets, furniture, and flooring. Lower grade wood is used for pallets and crates. The remaining wood, sawdust, and bark is sold for fuel. With the current housing slowdown, demand for wood products is down, which in turn affects the hardwood market. For some on the tour, it was their first look at a mill with so much computerized equipment. Thanks again to Winston Hardwood Lumber for hosting the tour. Click here for more photos from the tour.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Smith Lake Watershed Meeting

A meeting was held on June 17th by Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. (WCSLAI) about possible efforts to improve the Smith Lake watershed. Of particular concern is Rock Creek, which is on the state's 303d list as an impaired stream. At the meeting opening comments were made by LaVerne Matheson of WCSLAI. Dr. Bill Deutsch, Director of the Alabama Water Watch, and Auburn graduate student, Mona Scruggs, presented information about the lake. They also mentioned the possibility of securing grant funds to improve the Rock Creek watershed. To receive these funds a Watershed Plan would need to be developed. Dr. Sam Fowler, Director of the Alabama Water Resources Research Institute at Auburn University, also spoke to the group about the benefits of a watershed plan. He highlighted the resources at Auburn University that could be used to help implement a plan.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kids Fishing Derby

The 2009 Kids Fishing Derby was held on June 6, 2009 in conjunction with National Fishing & Boating Week. Over 80 children came out to the Bankhead National Forest's Black Warrior Work Center pond to try and snag a catfish.
Pictures of the event are posted at
This annual community event would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors including the US Forest Service, Winston County Natural Resources Council, Winston County Commission, Alabama Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources - Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, Double Springs Lions Club, Double Springs Civitans, National Wild Turkey Federation - Sipsey Strutters Chapter in Moulton, and Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Thank you everyone for supporting the event & volunteering to make it a success!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Upcoming Dates for the Council

Just a quick note about some important dates for the Winston County Natural Resources Council:
  • Watershed Meeting-Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. Dr. Bill Deutsch, Director of Alabama Water Watch, will be speaking.
  • Tour of Winston Hardwoods Sawmill-Thursday, June 25 at 9:00 a.m. Will meet at U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs then carpool to mill.
  • Joint Meeting with Cullman County-Wednesday, July 15 at 9:oo a.m. in Jones Chapel to plan Regional Forestry Field Day this fall.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LaVerne Matheson Selected for Mosley Environmental Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Allison Cochran

(Double Springs, Al) June 3, 2009 ----

Matheson Honored with Mosley Environmental Award

Winston County resident LaVerne Matheson has been selected as the recipient of the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award. The prestigious award, administered by Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, recognizes individual achievements in promoting the wiser use of renewable natural resources. Matheson was nominated for his outstanding efforts to conserve the water resources of Winston County and Smith Lake while educating residents and local leaders about our unique natural resources.

Matheson led the effort to establish Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc in 2006 and has served as President of the group since that time. The Advocacy group’s mission is to preserve and protect the environmental quality of Lewis Smith Lake and its tributaries through education of the public and promotion and implementation of sound environmental practices. “Laverne Matheson is the backbone of the group and is responsible for a number of achievements.” states Linda Atkinson, secretary/treasurer of Smith Lake Advocacy. Bankhead National Forest’s Wildlife Biologist Tom Counts commented that “Laverne is one of those unique individuals who saw a need and acted on it. He has put in many, many hours of personal time to organize the Advocacy group. By effectively enlisting the support of many hard working people the group has achieved much success.” Some of the group’s achievements include testing Smith Lake’s water at 18 sites in Winston County as a part of the Alabama Water Watch effort and working with Alabama Power Company’s Renew Our Rivers program. Through the Renew Our Rivers waterways clean-up program over 45 river miles have been cleaned-up resulting in an estimated 550 tons of debris removed from our waters. “Not only does LaVerne do the work of conserving our natural resources, he is committed to teaching others about their importance” states Winston County Extension Coordinator Mike Henshaw.

Matheson will be honored during the June Renew Our Rivers clean-up on Smith Lake. The clean-up will be held at the Clear Creek Recreation Area on Bankhead National Forest June 11-13. Volunteers, sponsors, and friends of the Lake are invited to Saturday’s picnic at the Bayleaf Pavilion at Clear Creek, where Matheson will receive the Mosley Environmental Award. The Award includes a certificate of recognition, a cash award, and a framed, limited-edition reproduction of a forestry-wildlife painting.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kid's Fishing Derby

The annual Kid's Fishing Derby is Saturday, June 6th at the Black Warrior Work Center, Bankhead National Forest. The derby is for children ages 5 - 12. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Children should bring gear and bait for catfish. The casting contest begins at 9 AM and the fishing derby kicks off at 10 AM. This is a free event for area youth! Come out to the Black Warrior Work Center, located on Hwy 33 North between Moulton & Double Springs, for a day of fishing & fun! Please help spread the word. A color flyer is available by clicking here.

The Fishing Derby is hosted by the Bankhead National Forest in cooperation with the Alabama Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources, Winston County Commission, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, Double Springs Lions Club, Double Springs Civitans, Winston County Natural Resources Council, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Sipsey Strutters - Moulton Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation & other local sponsors.