Thursday, November 18, 2010

Minutes of November Meeting

The following members were present at our regular meeting on November 18th at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs:  Mike Henshaw, LaVerne Matheson, Jim Hughes, James Burnett, and Stephanie Love.

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.
The council also discussed other business:
  • 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
  • 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.
Johnna Franks, Treasurer, emailed that the balance was $7,301.50, as of 11/17/2010.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike Henshaw, Secretary
Winston County Natural Resources Council

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