Thursday, March 21, 2013

Minutes March WCNRC Meeting

Allison holds law enforcement pup.
The WCNRC met on March 21, 2013, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  The following members were present:  Carl Godsey, Jeremy McDonald, Chris Wright, Jamey Bozeman, Johnna Franks, Andy Baril, Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Tim Malone, Wade Hill, James Burnett, LaVerne Matheson, David Brown, Spencer Bradley, and "Ember" the law enforcement pup.

Johnna reported that the balance in the treasury is $16,683.01.

The following items were discussed:
  • PLM Points for loggers.  Local logger needs six PLM points.
  • Payne Creek Demo Area group to host Jr. Ranger Program, council allocated up to $100 for transportation costs or portable toilets for the event.
  • Rock Creek Watershed Grant activities: LaVerne said that Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy would host a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. on April 19, 2013, at the Arley Traders and Farmers Bank.  There will be reports on the Rock Creek Watershed and about new Alabama Power regulations about placing "rip rap" on the shoreline of Smith Lake.  There will also be a program at Meek High School on Rock Creek.
  • Allison said that there Forest Service was conducting several prescribed burns on the Bankhead.  She also mentioned a partnership with International Paper to conduct longleaf pine and shortleaf pine restoration.  She also said that Sonny St. John is the newly hired Law Enforcement Office for the Bankhead National Forest.  She noted that he has a wide range of skills in law enforcement and wilderness rescue, and that he will be a valuable addition to the community.
  • Tim Malone and Wade Hill gave an update on the CRP program signup for planting pines from May 20 until June 14, 2013.  They also gave an update on the farm bill extension.
  • Andy Baril, Regional Extension Agent, introduced Spencer Bradley, Regional Extension Agent for the Northeast Alabama.
  • Chris gave a short report on the Winston County Tree Give-Away program in Haleyville.
The program for the meeting was presented by Jamey Bozeman, Forest Investigator with the Alabama Forestry Commission.  He is also the trainer and handler for the law enforcement dog.  The pup is a purebred bloodhound that will be trained to track people by scent obtained at arson fires, vandalism sites, and other crime scenes.  She could also be used to track missing children and other persons as needed.  She will not be trained in drug detection.  Her training will be conducted by expert trainers in Huntsville, and in West Virginia.  The funds to purchase and train the pup have been obtained from various groups in the 12-county area that Jamey is assigned to, including the WCNRC.

Jamey Bozeman explains camera operation.
Jamey also gave a report on the use of hidden surveillance cameras to detect illegal dumping.  He brought video footage and still photos of illegal dumping that was used to convict several violators.  The council voted to purchase a camera that can be used to monitor illegal dumps in Winston County.  The cost of the camera will be in the $800 range and will preferably include a wireless monitoring system that will minimize trips back to the camera.
Camera is easily hidden in trees or other objects.

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