Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Minutes of June Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on June 20, 2013, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were:

Matt Brock, James Burnett, Andy Baril, Mike Henshaw, John Creed, Tripp Gaskins, Jeremy McDonald, Byron Tuggle, Wade Hill, Tim Malone, and Elrand Denson.

The following items were discussed:
  • James mentioned that NOAA is predicting a large dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico due to low oxygen levels in the water.  This problem is worse this year because large quantities of nutrients from the Midwest row crop fields are being flushed in to the Gulf by spring flooding.  
  • Matt gave a report on the 21st Annual Youth Fishing Derby that was held at the Black Warrior Work Center on June 1st.  He said that 63 youth were present and over 200 counting parents and volunteers.  The "Jakes Take Aim" exhibit was set up by the Wild Turkey Federation.  The WCNRC and the Winston County Commission help sponsor this event.
  • Matt gave a report on the Black Warrior WMA activities.
  • Byron Tuggle said that the Winston County High School FFA chapter attended the state FFA competition in Forestry Judging.  The team placed 4th at the district competition, and 8th at the state competition.  
  • Jeremy McDonald said that the Jr. Ranger Program had gone well at the Payne Creek Demonstration Area with over 200 people in attendance.  The WCNRC provided transportation for the students to attend the event.
  • Tripp mentioned the Herbicide Workshop that is planned for Saturday, August 10, 2013.  The focus of this workshop will be herbicide use on the Bankhead National Forest, but the workshop may be of interest to local forestland owners as well.
  • A discussion about a four-part series of workshops for landowners planned for this fall.  Topics for the workshops are pond management, feral hog management, invasives, and planting wildlife food plots.
  • Sunhemp as a wildlife food plot species.  
  • Farm Bill update - Tim Malone and Wade Hill.  The farm bill legislation is pending and until it is passed all FSA programs are uncertain.  Direct Payments will almost certainly be cut out of the new farm bill.
  • Matt Brock said that U. S. Fish and Wildlife Services wildlife biologists have recently tested five feral hogs from the Bankhead National Forest for the pseudorabies virus.  Four of the five tested positive for the virus.  The virus causes mild symptoms in swine, but is often fatal to other species such as cats, dogs, raccoons, whitetail deer, and other species.  There is concern that the virus may be having an effect on native wildlife populations.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

1 comment:

Mark Kolinski said...

4 out of 5 feral hogs positive for pseudo rabies. Another good reason to keep your dog leashed in the Sipsey Wilderness, which is overrun with feral hogs.