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.