Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Planting Wildlife Food Plots Workshop

Click on image or this link to get a printable flyer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Feral Hog Siting on Winston County Road 2

I spotted three feral hogs today on County Road 2, about 3/4 of a mile west of highway 33.  This is just 4 miles from Double Springs, well within a hog's daily range.  Since this is less than two miles from my house, I expect to see damage on my property soon.  The three hogs were black and weighed about 20 pounds.  They were probably from the same litter they were so similar in size.  When I slowed down to keep from hitting one of them, they quickly scampered off the road.  No time to make a photo, but did make a note of the location.

Feral swine will be the focus of a workshop that will be held on Thursday, October 3, 2013, at the Double Springs Municipal Building, from 5 - 9 p.m.  More details soon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bankhead National Forest Hosts Herbicide Workshop

Come learn more about forestry uses of herbicide, specifically for restoration of shortleaf pine woodlands, on Bankhead National Forest on Saturday, August 10.  A printable flyer, including agenda and directions, are available at the link  below. Contact the Bankhead office at (205) 489 -5111 for more information.

Click here for more information:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Double Springs Library Hosts Raptor Trek Program

The Double Springs Library recently hosted the Raptor Trek Program for the library's summer reading program.  Jaime Harman, an instructor at the Coosa River Science School at the Alabama 4-H Center, gave the program about wildlife that digs in the dirt. 

Jaime holds a gopher tortoise named "Sandy".

Children were able to touch and hold a variety of animals.

Winston County Fall Landowner Series Flyer

A printable flyer for the Winston County Fall Landowner Series is available at this link or by clicking on the photo: Cover Sheet.pdf

Detailed agendas for each program will be posted soon, or call (205) 489-5376 to request a copy.

Minutes of the July Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on July 18, 2013, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were: LaVerne Matheson, Johnna Franks, Allison Cochran, Tripp Gaskins, Matt Brock, Travis McDonald, Jeremy McDonald, Wade Hill, and James Burnett.  The following items were discussed:
  • Johnna reported that the balance in the treasury is $13,848.74.
  • Reviewed agendas and made changes for the following programs: Bankhead Herbicide Workshop, Planting Wildlife Food Plots, Invasive Plant Control, Recreational Fish Pond Workshop, and Management of Feral Swine in Winston County. 
  • Kudzu bug found in Winston County.
  • LaVerne mentioned that there would be a Rock Creek Watershed Meeting at the Traders and Farmers Bank in Addison on Thursday, August 15, at 6 p.m. 
  • Wade said that Addison received rainfall on July 4th, that exceeded a 100 year rainfall event.  11.2 inches fell in an 18 hour period.  This extreme event caused severe erosion, and damage to many county roads.  Wade said that one newly installed stream crossing that was part of the Rock Creek project was washed out, and will need repair.  The crossing was designed for a 50 year rainfall event.
  • LaVerne will address the Alabama Water Management Commission about concerns of lack of enforcement of septic tank regulations.
  • Matt mentioned that there will be several significant changes to hunting regulations this season.  Deer limits in North Alabama will change, there will be a mandatory game check for bucks and does, feeding deer rules, etc.
  • A rare pine snake was recently killed in Winston County.  It was unfortunate that it was killed, but it did provide evidence of a possible population of the species in the county.
  • James said a lightening strike destroyed all the phones, some of the computers, and a variety of other electrical equipment at the Double Springs Municipal Building.
  • Johnna said that AFC continues to lose personnel.  Casey Nichols with AFC in Marion County recently resigned.
  • Ember, the AFC law enforcement dog, is attending training and is doing very well.
  • Allison mentioned the pollinator shortcourse in Cullman is coming up soon.
  • Forest Road 208 is closed for construction.  Planning for the Forest Road 263 bridge is underway, but funding has not been received.
  • Jeremy said that Houston Rec. Area would be getting some needed improvements and maintenance.
  • Johnna mentioned that if anyone had a problem with an illegal dump, that the new remote camera is available.
  • Matt is seeking recently roadkilled poisonous snakes that can be mounted and used for educational programs.  The snakes would preferably be large and in good condition. 
  • LaVerne said that Dr. William Deutsch, Alabama Water Watch, has retired from Auburn University.  Dr. Sam Fowler will be over the program now.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July Council Meeting to be held July 18th

The July meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, July 18, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. 

There’s always a lot of items up for discussion, and this meeting will be especially important.  We’d like to get input on the Fall Landowner Series, as well as several other upcoming events related to natural resources.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kudzu Bug Infestation Found in Addison

Kudzu Bug - immature
Kudzu Bug - adult

Kudzu bug has been found over most of the state, but Winston County was one of eleven counties that was thought to be kudzu bug-free, that is, until today.  While checking a kudzu patch with a sweep net, Charles Brannon and I found several of the adult bugs and one immature.  I sent these photos to Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an entomologist at Auburn University, and she confirmed that it is the kudzu bug, Megacopta crabraria.  

Dr. Xing Ping Hu, has some up to date information about the kudzu bug at this link.

The kudzu bug can be very damaging to soybeans.  It can also become a nuisance by invading homes to find hibernating sites, which causes problems similar to those caused by Asian lady beetles.

Three sites in Double Springs were checked and none where found at these sites.  They will almost certainly spread to every part of the state in the next few years.

Thanks to Charles Brannon of Addison for helping me sweep some of the sites for the kudzu bug.

Charles Brannon - Addison Farmer and Beekeeper

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fishing Derby Thank You Letter

Elrand Denson, Bankhead National Forest District Ranger, has sent a thank you letter to the Winston County Natural Resources Council for its support of the Youth Fishing Derby.  Click on the image for a larger view.