Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Council Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on Thursday, July 21, 2011. Present were: Allison Cochran, LaVerne Matheson, Mike Henshaw, John Creed, Johnna Franks, Chris Wright, Carl Godsey, James Burnett, and Wade Hill. Johnna reported that the balance in the treasury was $6,877.76. The following items of business were discussed:
  • James Burnett updated the council on the status of the grant proposal that is under consideration at the Winston County Commission. He said that he would check on the proposal this week, but did not foresee any problems. There may be some time left in the 45 day waiting period.
  • Johnna reviewed the Professional Logging Manager Program scheduled for Friday, August 12. There have currently been 12 registrations and approximately 50 are expected. Council members that can assist with the program should plan on arriving at 7:30 a.m. to help with meeting set up.
  • Johnna had an excellent cover photo on Alabama's Treasured Forests Magazine. In the photo, Chris Wright is operating the tractor to move storm debris.
  • Wade Hill noted that the storm relief for cattle producers in Northwest Alabama continues. The Winston County Cattlemen's Association has coordinated the delivery of approximately $20,000 worth of fencing supplies so far, and $5,000 more in donations are likely. Several WCNRC members have been involved in this effort.
  • Wade also noted that the NRCS has allocated $310,000 in special EQIP funds to help farmers in Marion County.
  • EQIP applications are needed from Winston County landowners. There are many practices such as privet control, kudzu control, water for livestock, pasture weed control, high use areas, stream crossings, prescribed fire, site preparation, etc. that are eligible. Wade said that there were relatively few applications at this point, and that the batching period for this year ends on September 30. Interested producers should apply before that date. Approximately $100,000 are expected to conduct EQIP practices in Winston County.
  • Allison Cochran said that the Forest Service was conducting a Tornado Salvage Sale of 250 acres. She encouraged any interested loggers to contact the Forest Service about the sale.
  • LaVerne Matheson told us about future lake cleanups sponsored by Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. and will provide a barge for debris removal, trash bags, and disposal sites. Individual lake homeowners, their families, and neighbors will work together to provide the labor to pickup debris. Details are posted on their blog.
  • Allison reported on efforts by the Wild Turkey Federation to work with private landowners to encourage wild turkey and quail conservation practices. She added that Jody Holdbrooks, a Haleyville resident, has been hired by the Federation as a wildlife biologist.
  • Carl Godsey inquired about the status of the Flattened Musk Turtle study that is being conducted on Smith Lake. He said that Alabama Power's permitting process for putting riprap on shorelines had been suspended.
  • FAWN Program details. Johnna will contact the Winston County School Board and Mike will contact the Haleyville Board. A date will be set as early as possible.
  • Chris Wright updated the group on the Helene Mosley TREASURE Forest Award Program scheduled for Friday, October 7th. Commercial vendors are being sought, if possible, they should agree to provide a $50 to $100 door prize for the event. Learning stations include Development of Loblolly Farm, Pond Construction, Landscaping for Wildlife, and Aesthetic Considerations when Developing Forestland. The program will also feature an award ceremony and recognition of forestland owners.
  • James Burnett mentioned that a new tick-borne disease is causing concern. The disease causes the victim to have a severe food allergy to meat.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

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