Friday, December 20, 2013

Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia) Identification and Control

Eastern Baccharis, Karan A. Rawlins,
University of Georgia,
Nancy Loewenstein, Research Fellow,  Auburn University, recently posted this information about Eastern baccharis:

Eastern baccharis, also known as groundsel tree, groundsel bush or saltbush, may go largely unnoticed until it blooms in the fall. Native to the Coastal Plain, it typically grows on the edges of tidal fresh and brackish marshes, back dunes, and in open forests. Its occurrence in pine plantations, pastures and disturbed areas appears to be on the rise, as does it’s occurrence beyond the Coastal Plain.
For more information on how to identify and control eastern baccharis: 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wilderness First Responder Course at Camp McDowell

A Wilderness First Responder Course will be held at Camp McDowell on January 19-26, 2014.  The Wilderness First Responder Course is for anyone working in a position of leadership in an outdoor setting or for individuals who want a high level of wilderness medical training for extended personal backcountry trips or expeditions.

A full course description is available here: Course ad 2014.pdf

A registration form is available here: Registration.pdf

Friday, December 13, 2013

Whooping Cranes Migrate Into Winston County

According to the Operation Migration In The Field blog, Whooping Cranes arrived in Winston County on the 12th.  For more information check the blog:

Here's a photo from the trip on Thursday.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Digital maps for mobile devices

The US Forest Service offers new digital maps for mobile devices. Learn more about this free product at this link.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Council Meeting

The November meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, November 21, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tim Box Demonstrates Pine Straw Baler

Tim Box, of Addison, Alabama, demonstrates his pine straw baler.  He uses the bales of pine straw mulch in his lawn care business and also sells to local homeowners.  He says the demand is good for the straw and has no trouble selling it.  The pine straw is harvested from a young loblolly pine plantation that he owns.  Anyone that would like to purchase some pine straw can contact him at (205) 388-6074.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nearly 20,000 acres of Timberland Purchased in Winston County

A story from

Unidentified investor buys 73,000 acres of timberland to the north, east and west of Birmingham

The article reports that almost 19,981 of the purchased acres of land are in Winston County.  This purchase of Winston County forestland amounts to over 5% of the 614 square miles of total land area in the county.  Chris Wright, County Forester with the Alabama Forestry Commission, says that this land was formerly owned by Soterra, and while the properties are scattered across the county, much of it is in the Black Pond area.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Council Meeting

WCNRC Meeting at Emergency Operations Center
The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on October 17, 2013, at the Emergency Operations Center at the Double Springs Municipal Building.  The following persons were present: Chris Wright, Andy Baril, James Burnett, LaVerne Matheson, Mike Henshaw, Johnna Franks, and Laura Ulz.  The balance in the treasury is $10,573.

The following topics were discussed:
  • Chris reported on the Soterra sale of nearly 20,000 acres of forest land in Winston County to an unidentified buyer.  He said the property was scattered around the county, and there was a large portion of it in the Black Pond area.
  • Report on feral hog meeting.  Approximately 45 people were in attendance.
  • A feral hog trap is available for loan to landowners with feral hog problems.  Matt Brock said that the Department of Natural Resources Conservation can assist landowners in the setup of the trap as needed.  It is part of the technical assistance that they can provide to landowners.
  • Federal shutdown is over, and forest service employees are returning to work on the Bankhead National Forest.  
  • GPS Workshop in Jasper.
  • Johnna said that Alabama Forestry Commission State Forester, Linda Casey, is stepping down after seven years as head of the commission.
  • LaVerne Matheson reported on Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc.'s October Cleanup on Smith Lake.  The cleanup was successful and WCSLAI continues to encourage local residents to volunteer to work on their part of the lake, with support from WCSLAI.
  • Marion County FAWN Dates: October 24 and November 1.
  • Laura Ulz, representing the Arley Womens Club, gave an update on activities at Hamner Park in Arley.  The club has adopted walking trail portion of the park as a club project.  Several activities are in the planning stages to assist the club with the park, including a visit from Dr. Eve Brantley, a professor at Auburn University, and an Urban Tree Evaluation Training for park workers and volunteers.  The council will mostly likely assist with some of these events and possibly some tree planting for the park.
  • LaVerne said that Tom Snoddy was directing Adopt-A-Highway workers to clean litter near Smith Lake bridges.
  • Andy Baril said that Logger Training opportunities will be held in Lowdes County soon, and in Fayette and Lamar County on December 4.
  • James said that construction work on a wastewater lift station for the Addison municipal wastewater system was underway.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stocking Grass Carp

Jeff Bagwell of Honey Hole Fisheries recently delivered some grass carp to stock Bill and Jeanie Snoddy’s lake near Double Springs to control aquatic weeds.  For more information on stocking grass carp, see this publication.

A list of grass carp producers is available here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October Council Meeting - New Location

The October Council meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, October 17th, at the Emergency Operations Center in the Double Springs Municipal Building.  Note: this is a change from our usual meeting location, which is closed due to the federal government shutdown.  Thanks to James Burnett, EMA Director, for the use of this facility.

Monday, October 14, 2013

GPS Workshop in Jasper

GPS 101: Technology for Better Land Management is the title of a workshop to be held in Walker County on November 7th, 2013.  For more details, visit this link: workshop.pdf

Friday, October 11, 2013

Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. Fall Clean-up October 11-12

Dear Winston County Smith Lake Advocates and Friends of Smith Lake 
Just a reminder of our Fall Clean-up Friday Oct.11 and Sat Oct. 12th.We are meeting at Jim Kings Boat House Manufacturing facility on Rock Creek, about one mile north of Rock Creek Marina. at 8:00am . Also Mary Ann Crunk will be giving out Alabama Renew Our Rivers waste bags at the Arley Library between 8:00 and 9:00am on Friday the 11th. for those who would like to clean up their own water front/lake neighborhood. Bring your own lunch and wear proper foot wear and join us on the Lake.  If you have any questions call me, David Brown at 256-747-2109.  See You There

Monday, October 7, 2013

Feral Swine Workshop Well Attended

42 people attended the Feral Swine Workshop that was held in Double Springs on October 3, 2013.  This program was co-sponsored by a number of organizations including the Winston County Natural Resources Council, Winston County Commission, Winston County Emergency Management Agency, Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area, U. S. Forest Service, Alabama Department of Conservation of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Wildlife Services, Town of Double Springs, and Alabama Cooperative Extension System. 
Debbie Flanagan and Johnna Franks register participants.
Matt Brock points out trap design.  This guillotine gate was
built by Travis McDonald.

Setting the trigger on the trap.

"Root" style trap gate.  This one on loan from Farmers Coop.

Yet another style gate provided by USFS.

Mike Bagwell shows a trap from Hawg Stopper LLC.

Wes Gaston with Wildlife Services explains swine diseases.

Andy Baril, Extension REA, explains problems caused
by feral swine in Alabama.

Spenser Bradley, Extension REA, offers some facts about
swine biology.

Ernie Stephens, Conservation Enforcement Officer, covers
laws governing feral swine in Alabama.

FAWN Programs Canceled

Due to the federal government shutdown and the closing of the Houston Recreation Area, the FAWN Programs scheduled for October 9th, and October 11th, have been canceled.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Alabama Water Watch Chemistry and Bacteriological Certification Workshops

Alabama Water Watch will hold water chemistry and bacteriological certification workshops at Camp McDowell near Nauvoo, Alabama, on Monday, November 11, 2013.  For more details on registration visit: