Sunday, December 19, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Youth in Addison's After-School program got to try soy-nuts and dried cranberries prior to making their own mixture of a trail mix. Using whole-wheat oats cereal as a base, the boys and girls mixed up sunflower kernels, raisins, peanuts, almonds and chocolate and peanut-butter pieces into a healthy snack they could eat while being active outside. They were reminded that different foods provide different nutrients to our body and make it possible for us to be healthy and active.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
During the last two weeks' scheduled gun deer hunt on the Black Warrior WMA, hunters reported seeing feral swine in the Flannagin Creek, Borden Creek and Walston Ridge areas. Please share feral swine sightings and harvest reports with area biologists.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Students in the after-school programs at Meek and Addison Elementary continue learning about positive actions they can take to be stewards of the environment. During one session the students discussed rules of the outdoors -- from no littering to staying on trails. After reading the book "Trapper" they then talked about other rules that might include no collecting of natural items in the outdoors. In another session students at Meek Elementary developed puppet shows after learning about different things that can be done at home to conserve energy - from turning off the lights when you leave a room, to recycling aluminum and plastic items.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Students involved in after-school programs at Addison and Meek Elementary Schools have been involved in learning about being good stewards of the outdoors.
As participants in the USDA Forest Service sponsored program "Youth Taking Action" they have been introduced to topics as diverse as tree identification and forest management - to their role in taking care of the planet. For example, after surveying areas around their school to find litter they discussed ways they could help their school by not littering and recycling the things that they use.
An emphasis on being active outdoors instead of indoors playing video games or watching TV is emphasized because one of the goals of the program is to help reduce childhood obesity by helping youth be active outside. Jumping rope was one outdoor activity that many found challenging and fun. Future topics include energy conservation and respecting the outdoors so future generations can enjoy it too.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Allison Cochran e-mailed some information that we discussed:
- The Rush Darter has been proposed for listing on the Federal threatened and endangered species list. This species has been found in Mill Creek, Doe Branch, and Wildcat Branch, all of which are tributaries to Clear Creek. Daniel Drennen with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to meet with some local citizens ahead of the proposal. Allison has asked for suggestions on individuals or organizations that would be interested. LaVerne said that he was sure that there would be someone with WCSLAI that would like to attend. Allison noted in her e-mail that critical habitat would likely be designated at the same time. While little is known about this proposal at this time, it could have significant economic impacts in the area, so there could be some controversy surrounding this proposal. LaVerne gave examples of a dam in Tennessee that was delayed due to an endangered fish while other dam construction plans were canceled altogether. The council suggested that other organizations that might have a role are the NRCS and Alabama Water Watch.
- Allison also said that she supported the Pulling Together Initiative and supported the council funding the proposal with $1,000, if the grant funding comes through. Since Johnna, the Treasurer, and Chris, the Chairman were not present, and there is no need for immediate action, this issue will be taken up at a later meeting.
- Approved a request for $50.25 for FAWN program insurance.
- Hazard Mitigation Funding for local land owners was approved. These funds can be used for mulching and prescribed burning on private land. This funding came to the Alabama Forestry Commission through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- James Burnett brought several copies of a booklet about the Alabama Winter Weather Awareness Week from November 15 to November 19th.
- James also brought information about the Great Central U. S. ShakeOut. This is an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid earthquakes. As part of this effort, the ShakeOut will hold a drill that will be the largest earthquake preparedness event in central U. S. history. More information is available at www.ShakeOut.org/centralus
- Jim Hughes suggested Addison as the location for a 2011 Natural Resources Field Day. Jim suggested that the Burdick property might make a good site. LaVerne agreed that with the Rock Creek Watershed Project, Addison would be a good location. He also suggested looking into the Brannon Farm as a possible site.
- LaVerne gave an update on the Rock Creek Watershed Grant. While funding has been promised, the funding amounts and date funds will be received is uncertain.
- James said that the American Red Cross would be conducting a blood drive at the Double Springs Municipal Building on December 7th.
- A new invasive insect pest is making it's way into Alabama, the bean plataspid. This insect feeds on various legumes such as kudzu and soybeans, and may be a threat to peanuts, alfalfa, and clover. More information is available here.
- Stephanie Love invited everyone on the Council to the Annual Christmas Party for the Bankhead National Forest on Friday, December 10th at 6:00 p.m. at the Bernice Hilton Walker Building in Double Springs. Meat and drinks will be furnished. Please bring a covered dish or dessert to complete the meal. Please RSVP by December 3rd, at 489-5111.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary
Winston County Natural Resources Council
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Hightower served from 1944-45 in the 379th Infantry Regiment which was part of the 95th Infantry Division of the Third Army commanded by General George Patton. Hightower fought in Holland, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium before crossing the River Rhine into the French town of Sarlat. He was wounded three weeks before the war ended. After being wounded, he was sent to Germany to recover from his injuries. Hightower has served on the Winston County Soil and Water Conservation District Board for over 40 years.
|Gary White with Woodall Mountain monument.|
Gary White, a Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club member and a Highpointers Club member, recently helped dedicate a monument at Mississippi's highest point during the recent national Highpointers Convention. This highpoint is the 806 foot Woodall Mountain near Iuka. The highpoint is on private property owned by the Brown family, but permission was granted to move a 8,200 pound rock to the top of the mountain to mark the exact location. The rock has a permanently mounted bronze plaque that gives the elevation of the highpoint and some history about the mountain. Gary acquired the rock, transported it to Woodall Mountain, and helped prepare it for the dedication.
The Daily Corinthian newspaper published an article about the monument dedication and the Highpointers Club.
A video about the dedication of the monument is at this link on the Highpointers Club website.
The monument was made possible in part by the Highpointers Foundation. This foundation works with landowners to obtain access to state highpoints and to fund necessary improvements such as signage and monuments.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Students from Winston, Walker, and Fayette Counties recently attended a FFA Land Judging Competition at John and Mary Sudduth's Farm in Double Springs. At the competition, students evaluated four sites, each excavated to a depth of four feet to expose all the soil layers. Students then described the features of the land such as slope, soil texture, and rated the land capability class. Students evaluate the soil for its suitability for production agriculture, building homes, or forestland. They also estimate drainage and erosion potential. Students at the contest are tested on their knowledge of soil types, topography, proper land use practices, and related topics. Scores were based on how closely the students’ evaluations match those of the official judges.
Teams prepared for the contest by learning the information in class, studying material published by the NRCS, and practicing land evaluation. Winston County Soil and Water Conservation District awarded prize money to each team. The Natural Resources Conservation Service provided technical support.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
- Laverne Matheson spoke to the Haleyville Rotary Club and mentioned FAWN as part of his program about Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc.
- Reviewed the FAWN Program at Houston Recreation Area for Winston County sixth grade students.
- Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on October 21st at the Traders and Farmers Bank in Double Springs. Elrand gave a review of the agenda for the upcoming meeting, which includes an overview of the mission of the panel, recent thinning operations, feral hog issues on the district, and horse trails.
- The Winston County FFA Soil Judging competition is being held today.
- A Bacteria Blitz will be held on October 22 and 23. Laverne reported that the Alabama Water Watch team will be up from Auburn to assist with the Blitz and give a "State of the Lake Address" at Dodge City.
- An updated Emergency Fire and Fireworks Closure on USFS land is now in effect until December 31st.
- A Lake Clean Up is being organized by WCSLAI for October 26-27 on Rock Creek.
- Laverne noted that some of the tributary signs are now up on Smith Lake.
- Tom said that a coal strip mine near Pebble is being sued by the Tennessee River Keepers for alleged violations.
- The Pulling Together Initiative Grant has been submitted by the NW Alabama RC & D Council.
- Status of Hazard Mitigation Program through Alabama Forestry Commission.
- James said the State Troopers will be holding an Open House for the new State Trooper helicopter that will be located in a new hanger at the Cullman Airport. The helicopter may be available for search and rescue in the Bankhead National Forest.
- Elrand noted that Alabama Power is undergoing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing for the operation of Smith Lake.
- Laverne stated that there is currently a ban on installing rip rap on Smith Lake pending an evaluation of its effects on wildlife.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
The 2010 Winston County FAWN Program was held on October 13 and 14, at the Houston Recreation Area in the Bankhead National Forest. 335 sixth graders attended the outdoor field days that included eight learning stations on a variety of natural resource and safety topics. Photos for the FAWN for the Addison, Double Springs, and Lynn Schools are available here. The photos for the FAWN program for the Haleyville and Meek Schools are available here. Thanks to all the partners that work together to provide the FAWN program for all Winston County sixth graders. Here's a partial list of the sponsors:
AL Cooperative Extension System/Winston County Office
AL Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources
Alabama Forestry Commission
Cradle of Forestry
Forest Stewardship Education Committee
Gateway Foods, Double Springs
Haleyville Board of Education
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Northwest Alabama RC&D Council
Regional Paramedical Services
Soil & Water Conservation District/Winston County Office
U. S. Forest Service, Bankhead National Forest
Winston County Assign-A-Highway
Winston County Board of Education
Winston County Commission
Winston County Emergency Management
Winston County Farmers Federation
Winston County Natural Resources Council
Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
The Alabama Center for Advanced Woodworking Technology is hosting a Professional Logging Managers and Foresters Course in Haleyville on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. You can see the agenda for the program by clicking on this link.
Friday, October 1, 2010
To protect the public and natural resources from the threat of wildfires, the following public restrictions are effective September 24, 2010 and will remain in effect until October 31, 2010:
Bankhead National Forest – Sipsey Wilderness; Talladega National Forest (Talladega and Shoal Creek Districts) - Dugger Wilderness and Cheaha Wilderness
- Building, maintaining, attending, using a fire or campfire (wood or charcoal) at any wilderness area located on the Bankhead, Shoal Creek, and Talladega Ranger Districts of the National Forests in Alabama; except, the use of gas generated fire in a Coleman-type or backpacking stove will be allowed throughout the Sipsey, Dugger, and Cheaha Wilderness Areas on the Bankhead, Shoal Creek, and Talladega Ranger Districts. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
- Violating any state law concerning burning or fires which are implemented for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fires. 36 CFR 261.52(k)
- Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from the order: Any federal, state, local officer or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting team or those holding a permit specifically authorizing the use of fire.
Anyone found violating any of these prohibitions might face a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
Forest Service officials advise that if you are planning to spend a few days in the national forest, you should look for changes in restrictions, which could change according to fire weather conditions. Human-caused fires can be reduced during these very dry conditions when everyone work together to prevent wildfires.
For information concerning any public restrictions and closure orders, please contact a U.S. Forest Service district office before visiting: Bankhead District (205) 489-5111, Conecuh District (334) 222-2555, Shoal Creek District (256) 463-2272; Talladega District (256) 362-2909; Oakmulgee District (205) 926-9765; and the Tuskegee District (334) 727-2652.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Photos have been posted here from this year's Archaeofest.
The Winston County Natural Resources Council was one of the sponsors of the event, providing the food and refreshments at no cost to participants.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The drought that we are experiencing is a major factor in the severity of this problem this year. The plant is always present on Winston County farms, but the drought has driven the cattle to feed on this plant even though it is unpalatable. Other poisonous plants may also become a problem if the drought continues.
We have a publication about perilla mint that is available free of charge by calling our office at (205) 489-5376 or by visiting our office in the John Nichols Building in Double Springs.
Mr. John Sudduth, a Winston County cattleman, explains how to identify perilla mint in this video that we made in a Winston County pasture.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
|LaVerne Matheson, President of WCSLAI, presents the |
Council with a $1,000 check to support the FAWN
program for Winston County sixth graders.
- Wildfire conditions in the area are a concern with the recent dry weather. Chris and Allison reported on two recent wildfires.
- Chris said that Johnna Franks is recouperating well, and hopes to be back to work on light duty soon.
- Treasurer's Report-Current account balance is $9,725.
- T-Shirts for the FAWN program have been ordered. This will be an increased cost for the FAWN program this year.
- Discussed having a tour of the Old Log Jail for the students from Lynn and Meek this year. There are several individuals in the community that could be recruited to speak to the students.
- The FAWN program was discussed at length. Several changes were made to the program, and a tentative program for the October 13-14 dates will be sent to members soon. The walk-thru for FAWN will be held on October 12, at 9:00 a.m. at Houston Recreation Area.
- The Archaeofest 2010 will be held at Brushy Lake on Saturday, September 25th. The WCNRC approved $350 for food for the event. WCNRC members are encouraged to attend and assist with the program.
- Allison said that the Forest Service will be sponsoring a Hunter Education Class on October 18, 19, and 21. Participants must register online at outdooralabama.com
- There will be a Fire Prevention Day at Houston on October 2nd.
- Tom Counts reported on the Alabama Prescribed Fire Council Meeting in Eufaula. He noted that there were over 400 applications for the new program to promote prescribed fire.
- LaVerne reported on the recent Smith Lake Clean-Up that Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. (WCSLAI) conducted. He said that Smith Lake was free from styrofoam from Duncan Bridge north. He added that since the clean-ups had begun, over 170 tri-axle dumptruck loads of styrofoam had been removed from the lake, and over 130 abandoned boat houses had been removed. LaVerne also stated that WCSLAI had made good progress on the signage for the tributaries on Smith Lake. He said that one of their directors, Tom Grubbs, had been working very hard on that project. LaVerne added that WCSLAI would also provide coloring books to all Winston County students in K-3rd grade, which would include about 1,400 students. He gave us an update on the Rock Creek Watershed Grant and the PowerPoint Slide Presentation on Water Quality.
- LaVerne also brought a $1,000 check from WCSLAI to be used for the FAWN program.
- Charlie gave us an update on the Pulling Together Initiative Grant to control invasive alien plants like privet and kudzu. He said the final version of the grant would be submitted at the end of the month. If funded, several sites will be selected for these demonstrations.
- Charlie noted that the Winston County Assign-A-Highway program has been funded for another year.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
|Youth search for artifacts at an archaeological site|
near Brushy Lake.
The USDA Forest Service, along with several national, state and local partners, is hosting an archaeology festival called “Archaeofest” in the Bankhead National Forest. The theme for Archaeofest 2010 is “Celebrating Our Heritage.” The free, public event is focused on people of the past and the things they left behind. “Living history” demonstrations will include civil war soldiers and civilians, Southeastern Indians, pioneer skills and even a bagpiper musician. Activities and exhibits are family oriented and will include a small working archaeological excavation, pottery and arrowhead making. Their will be learning stations on “What Can We Learn From Bones,” rock art and cave archaeology, as well as information about local history and Cherokee genealogy. Kids will enjoy Smokey Bear and Indiana Jones, and a free hot dog lunch will be provided. Please bring your lawn chair or blanket. The Archaeofest will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 25, 2010. Rainout date will be Saturday, October 9, at the same time. The Archaeofest will be held at Brushy Lake Campground Day Use Area. (Directions: From Alabama Highway 33, take paved Lawrence County Road 70 to Brushy Lake Campground.) For more information, call Jean Allan at (205) 489-5111.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Johnna Franks, the WCNRC Treasurer, is recuperating well at home. The Council wishes her a speedy recovery.
The following items were discussed:
- 2009 FAWN programs were reviewed and tentative plans were made for the 2010 FAWN programs. According to James Burnett, funding should be available from the Winston County Commission for bus transportation. LaVerne Matheson, reported that WCSLAI is planning to give $500 to $1,000 for FAWN, pending board approval. There will be an increased cost associated with the T-shirts for the students this year. If possible, the duration of the learning stations will be increased slightly.
- Allison Cochran distributed a color brochure about White-Nose Syndrome on bats. She said the poorly-understood disease is having a major impact on bats. To help prevent the spread of the disease to this area, all caves in the Bankhead National Forest are closed. For more information on White-Nose Syndrome, visit http://www.fws.gov/WhiteNoseSyndrome/
- LaVerne Matheson reviewed the status of the Rock Creek Watershed Grant. Alabama Water Watch is making revisions to the draft proposal, and it will be resubmitted to ADEM in the next few days.
- Charlie Meek, Northwest Alabama RC & D Council, is working with a group of
council members on an invasive plant control demonstration grant called Pulling Together Initiative (PTI). The pre-proposal was successful, so the group is now working on the full proposal.
- LaVerne gave an update on the landslide that has occurred on Smith Lake. He is working with various agencies to mitigate the hazards and environmental damage resulting from the slide.
- The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is asking the public to take part in their Future Talk Survey that will help formulate a five year plan. Survey is available until August 31st at www.aces.edu
- Hunter Education will be available at the U. S. Forest Service Office. Allison said they will offer both the field day portion and the general hunter education course. Call (205) 489-5111 for dates and other information.
- Tentative date for the 2010 Archeofest is Saturday, September 25th.
- Alabama A & M is seeking approval for an air quality research tower on the Bankhead National Forest.
- Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Incorporated is sponsoring a three-day Smith Lake Clean-Up on September 14-16th.
|Pulling Together Initiative Committee|