Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Minutes February Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council meeting was held at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on February 19, 2015.  Present at the meeting were:  James Burnett, Mike Henshaw, Chris Erwin, John Creed, Carl Godsey, Allison Cochran, Andy Baril, Jody Tetlow, Rick Oates, Dave Casey, Johnna Franks, John Sudduth, Tony Avery, Travis McDonald, Kerry Clark, and Tripp Gaskin.  

The following subjects were discussed:
  • Chris Erwin, Director of Woodland Conservation at the American Forest Foundation, gave an overview of the Foundation's efforts to work with private landowners.  He also reviewed some of the efforts to educate landowners about the significance of shortleaf pine in the Southeast US.  Shortleaf pine has suffered a decline in it's historic range and prevalence in the Southeast and especially on the Cumberland Plateau.  To date, efforts to stem the decline include planting shortleaf on suitable sites, controlling invasive plants, restoring wildlife habitat, and streamside restoration.  Assistance to private landowners is available, and there is cooperation between the AFA, ACES, USFS, ATFA, AFC, and others.  Chris said that seven meetings to educate professional foresters have been held, including one in Cullman that had 75 foresters in attendance.  While shortleaf was historically widespread in Alabama, there will be two focus areas in Alabama for the educational efforts.  These are the Bankhead National Forest and the Skyline WMA, near Scottsboro.  These are areas where shortleaf has been planted and can serve as demonstration areas.  As part of this effort, a field day for private landowners, foresters, and loggers is tentatively planned for Monday, June 15, 2015, at Phillip and Djuna Wilson's Farm near Moreland.  This field day will be a team effort by the American Forest Foundation, the Bankhead National Forest, Alabama TREASURE Forest Association, and the Winston County Natural Resources Council.  
  • Rick Oates, ATFA, gave an update on the TREASURE Forest program.
  • Johnna said that the balance in the treasury is $6,757.22.
  • Tree Give-Away will be held on Thursday, February 26th. (note, this was postponed due to weather)
  • Dave Casey reported that the Secure Rural Schools funding was ending since it was not renewed by Congress.  These funds, which go to the Winston County Commission and Winston County Board of Education, will be cut sharply.
  • James gave an update on the severe weather forecast.
  • Tony said that Matthew Brock would present a program at the Marion County Landowners Meeting.
Mike Henshaw
Secretary WCNRC

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