Thursday, August 23, 2012

Professional Logger Manager Workshop

Johnna Franks with the Alabama Forest Commission reports that over 60 participants attended a Professional Logger Manager Workshop in Double Springs on August 17.  The program was eligible for six PLM points and four CFE points, and was sponsored, in part, by the Winston County Natural Resources Council.  Participants heard from a range of experts on Forestry Laws, Timber Theft, Road and Bridge Issues, Logging Permits, Estate Planning, and Forest Pest Concerns.

Steve Larken, Investigator, Alabama Forestry Commission

Brian Cheatwood, Engineer, Winston Co.Road Department

Brian Cheatwood, Engineer, Winston Co.Road Department

Dana Stone, Forest Health Coordinator., Ala.Forestry Commission

Muscadine Workshop in Cullman

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall Armyworms Damage Area Hayfields

Landowners should be on the watch for damaging Fall Armyworm populations on hayfields, pastures, lawns, and sports turf fields.  Fall armyworms are not able to survive our winters, but they fly up from south Florida and Central America each spring.  The moths can fly and are carried on wind currents to North Alabama.  The moths lay eggs which develop into tiny caterpillars or “worms”.  These caterpillars grow rapidly, and during the last stages will voraciously eat the plant material they need for food.  After two to three weeks they caterpillars will be about one inch long, and then they burrow into the ground and pupate.   In 10 to 14 days they emerge from the soil as an adult moth.  The entire life cycle can be as short as four weeks. 

Several cattlemen in this area have reported hayfields being severely damaged by armyworms.  There has been at least one sports turf field at a school that had to be sprayed for armyworms to prevent damage.  One of the best ways to monitor for armyworm activity is to use a sweep net to check for the small worms.  However, many landowners only discover the worms when they reach the largest size.  When caterpillars discovered at this late stage, they are doing a lot of damage and are hard to kill.  Cattlemen will often cut a hayfield that is being damaged by armyworms to salvage the hay.  In other instances, spraying an insecticide is the best course of action.  If you would like more information on the life cycle, control tips, and insecticide recommendations, give us a call at (205) 489-5376. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deer and Turkey Management Program to be Held in Decatur

A Deer and Turkey Management Program will be held in Decatur on September 15, 2012.  A printable flyer is available at this link.

August Council Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council Meeting was held at 9:00 a.m. at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on August 16, 2012.  Present were Johnna Franks, Allison Cochran, LaVerne Matheson, Mike Henshaw, James Burnett, Carl Godsey, and Andy Baril.

Johnna reported that there is a balance of $6,250.51 in the treasury.

The following items were discussed:
  • Fires in the Western U. S.
  • Unusually high occurrence of lightening in the area.
  • There have been a number of building fires where lightening was suspected.
  • Problem "hang out" areas on the lake where vandalism, trespassing, and illegal dumping are a problem.
  • PLM Workshop-Johnna reported that 55 loggers are registered for the Friday, August 17, workshop.  Several council members volunteered to help with setup Thursday afternoon at 3:00.  Other members will be present on Friday to assist with registration, setup, and food serving.
  • Grants are being prepared to submit to the Winston County Commission for various council projects.  These grants will be submitted this week.
  • Reviewed three extension publications that are available free of charge: Common Birds of Prey in Alabama; Lost, Abandoned, or Orphaned Deer Fawns: and the Coosa County Creeks Trail Guide.
  • LaVerne gave a report on Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. activities.  A meeting was held recently with several local, and state level officials concerning water pollution concerns statewide.  One of the chief concerns is the lack of regulation of waste water treatment systems.  He stated that there are over 5,000 homes around Smith Lake and even a small percentage of wastewater treatment system failures would have a significant negative impact on water quality.  He said further meetings would be held to seek action on this problem.
  • Regulations on pumping water from Smith Lake.
  • Rain Barrel workshop.
  • Friends of Clear Creek group that is working to protect the Clear Creek watershed.
  • Wireless Alert System-James Burnett
  • James Burnett will host the next meeting of the WCNRC, where we will tour the new Emergency Operations Center.  That meeting will be held on Thursday, September 20. 
  • Deer and Wild Turkey Workshop to be held at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur on September 15-Andy Baril
  • PLM Workshop in Walker County September 26-Andy Baril.
  • Houston Recreation Area is closed.  Only the boat ramp at Houston is open.
  • James Burnett encouraged everyone to sign up for the Yellow Dot Program.  Each town hall in the county has a site that can produce a packet that can help first responders treat auto accident victims more effectively.
Mike Henshaw
Secretary, WCNRC

Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting - August 23

The next meeting of the Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held Thursday, August 23, 2012.  The meeting will be from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at the Moulton Senior Center in Moulton, AL.  The Moulton Senior Center is located at 14220 Court Street.  This is the old County Commission office.

The meeting topics will include:
·         Restoration Tenets & Research Projects, Justin Hart, University of Alabama
·         Forest Health & Restoration Projects, Updates & Progress
·         Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

Meetings of the Bankhead Liaison Panel are open to the public. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rain Barrel Workshop in Haleyville

Heath King, NW Ala RC&D, assists
participant with rain barrel construction.
A successful rain barrel workshop was held in Haleyville by the Northwest RC&D Council, the Winston County Extension Office, and the Alabama Center for Advanced Woodworking Technology.  The 35 spaces available in the workshop were quickly filled with participants wishing to build a rain barrel.  The class featured information on watersheds, water conservation, water barrel siting, maintenance, and construction tips.  Mona Dominguez, Alabama Water Watch, spoke about the importance of water as a natural resource in Alabama; Charles Pinkston, Regional Extension Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, reviewed setup and maintenance; and Heath King, NW RC&D Council, gave construction tips.  The cost of the workshop was only $10, quite a bargain since each completed rain barrel was a $60 value.  Special thanks to Bruce Jackson, Trudie Wilson, and Jimmy Glasgow at the Alabama Center for Advanced Woodworking Technology for the use of the center and assistance in hosting the event.  A quick review of the evaluations reveals participants were very satisfied with the quality of the workshop.  Photos from the event are posted here.

August WCNRC Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet on Thursday, August 16, at 9:00 a.m. at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Friday, August 10, 2012

House cats kill more critters than thought –

USA Today article highlights the impacts to native wildlife from house cats.  Read the article here:

House cats kill more critters than thought –

Friday, August 3, 2012

Smart Yards Fall Landscape Series to be held in Cullman

A Smart Yards Fall Landscape Series will be held later this year in Cullman.  The Smart Yards program promotes sustainable landscaping practices with an eye toward protecting our soil and water resources.  This program is sponsored in part by the Rock Creek Watershed Management Project.  A printable flyer is available here.