Thursday, April 18, 2013

Minutes of the April Meeting of the WCNRC

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service in Double Springs on April 18, 2013.  Present were LaVerne Matheson, Jeremy McDonald, John Creed, Andy Baril, Matt Brock, James Burnett, Elrand Denson, Tony Wingo, and Mike Henshaw.  The council discussed the following:
  • The FFA Forestry, Tractor Driving, and Livestock Judging County Contests held in Meek on Wednesday.  The WCNRC and the County Commission helped sponsor this event.  Photos are available at this link.
  • The Winston County Shooting Sports Team recently competed in the State 4-H Shotgun Competition in Childerburg, Al.  Thanks to a grant from the Winston County Commission, the WCNRC was able to assist with a portion of their expenses.
  • James Burnett, EMA Director for Winston County, gave a report on storm damage which included two EF-1 tornadoes and possibly one more that remains to be designated.  He also gave an update on five new storm shelters that are planned for several small communities in the county including Natural Bridge, Houston, Moreland, and Nesmith.  Tony Wingo, a Regional Coordinator with the Alabama Emergency Management gave an update on his eight-county region in Northwest Alabama.
  • A new camera for monitoring illegal dumps in Winston County has been purchased by the council.  Jamey Bozeman plans to use the camera to discourage illegal dumping.  Jamey will also be doing a presentation to the WCSLAI meeting on April 19th.
  • Jeremy McDonald made a request for funds to provide bus transportation for the Junior Ranger program at the Payne Creek Demonstration Area for Double Springs Elementary and Middle School Students.  Up to $200 was allocated, pending approval by Chris and Johnna.
  • LaVerne gave an update on the public board meeting to be held on April 19th.  There will be updates on the Rock Creek Management Grant, illegal dumping in Winston County, Recreation Opportunities on the Bankhead National Forest, and the new Shoreline Management Plan on Smith Lake.  He also read correspondence that he has had with the State Health Department about the lax enforcement of health department regulations.
  • Matt Brock noted that the Youth Fishing Derby is Saturday, June 1, 2013.  Please mark this date on your calendars and promote the event with local youth.
  • Matt told the group about some upcoming changes that are likely for area hunters.  The Tennessee Valley and the Black Warrior WMA will likely change their deer harvesting rules.  Also there will probably be some new regulations concerning hunting near feeding areas.  Matt said that he would post more information when some details are finalized.
  • The Black Warrior WMA has experienced relatively low activity in turkey hunting this year for a variety of reasons.
  • Camera surveys on the Black Warrior are showing high levels of feral hog activity.  Matt said that new hog traps have been installed and the WMA is planning an aggressive trapping program when the turkey season is over.
  • Elrand said that there would be an Oil and Gas Leasing Meeting on National Forests, which will be held in Montgomery on April 25, from 5 pm. to 8 p.m.  
  • The Bankhead National Forest recently hosted a Shortleaf Tour for those interested in the shortleaf pine.  The Bankhead National Forest is a recognized leader in shortleaf pine restoration efforts. 
  • Possible tour of International Paper's Courtland Mill
  • Andy Baril mentioned he will doing a program at Winston County High School about natural resources and jobs available in natural resources.
  • There will be an Earth Day activity at Meek High School focusing on water quality.
  • John Creed gave an update on James Horsley's recent diagnosis and Al Tucker's progress in his treatments.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

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