Friday, May 29, 2015

Smith Lake Slough Cleanup

Information from Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy:

Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 Youth Fishing Derby to be held Saturday, June 13

Minutes of May Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service office in Double Springs on May 21, 2015.  Present were John Creed, Allison Cochran, Mike Henshaw, Carl Godsey, John Sudduth, Andy Baril, and Tripp Gaskins.  The following topics were discussed:
  • The Bankhead National Forest Liaison Panel is evaluating the present membership and is looking to add new members, especially those with an interest in recreation.  If any one knows of an individual that would be interested in serving on the liaison panel, please contact Dave Casey.
  • Dr. Stone at Alabama A&M University is conducting a survey of landowners with feral swine.  If you have had feral swine on your property or know anyone that has, please get a copy of the survey from Allison, and return it to her or Dr. Stone.
  • Discussion of the TREASURE Forest program and other certification programs.  The TREASURE Forest program is promoted by the Alabama Natural Resource Council.
  • Allison discussed the upcoming Shortleaf Pine Field Day on Monday, June 15.  A walk-thru will be held on Wednesday, June 10, at 1:00 p.m. at the Wilson Farm.  Anyone guiding or driving a van will need to be at this walk thru to review the tour route.
  • Saturday, June 13, at 8:00 a.m. is the date for the 2015 Youth Fishing Derby at Black Warrior Work Center.  This event is for 5-12 year old youth, and they must be accompanied by an adult.  The WCNRC helps sponsor this event with funding each year.  
  • Mike will check on submitting Rural Schools Grants to Commission.  
  • Junior Ranger program for Double Springs 6th graders.  Allison has some good suggestions to improve the event next year.  The WCNRC sponsored the bus transportation for the youth this year.
  • A Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. Cleanup will be held at Houston Recreation Area Boat Ramp on June 17 and 18.  Contact Allison for more information.
  • Invasive Plant Discussion.  The council will assist any private landowner that has cogongrass on their property.  If they cannot obtain NRCS EQIP assistance, the council will provide technical assistance, herbicides, and herbicide application equipment, at no charge in order to slow the spread of this pest in Winston County.  
  • Andy gave an update on the Emerald Ash Borer which he feels may have already entered the state, even though it has not been detected yet.  
  • Allison said that the Northern Long Eared bat has been listed as a threatened species with the interim 4(d) rule that provides flexibility to landowners, land managers, and government agencies as they conduct activities in northern long-eared bat habitat.  This bat is found in the Bankhead National Forest.
  • White nose disease of bats is probably still spreading in the U. S. and in Alabama, according to Allison.  However, little is known about the disease's spread, since so few of Alabama's thousands of caves have been checked.  She noted that there is a promising treatment for the disease that has been discovered by a researcher.  
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May Council Meeting

The May meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, May 21, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Double Springs Students Attend Outdoor Classroom Event

Bankhead National Forest Host Double Springs Students For Outdoor Classroom

On Tuesday, May 12, about 70 Double Springs 6th graders visited the Payne Creek Shortleaf Pine Demonstration Area and Outdoor Classroom.  The students got into the woods for a day of learning and fun on the Bankhead National Forest.  Students learned about efforts to restore the shortleaf pine ecosystem in the south and how timber harvesting, silvicultural practices, and prescribed fire are used in those restoration efforts.  Students also learned about local wildlife and the benefits of forest management on native wildlife.  A learning station on archaeology enlightened students on people living in the Bankhead National Forest in the past.  The day ended with a hike to Payne Creek Canyon to view bluffs, a waterfall, rock house and unique plants growing along the stream.

Special thanks to everyone who made the day possible including the teachers and students in Winston County, the Bankhead National Forest staff, the Winston County Natural Resources Council for financial support, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Farmers Federation State Beef Tour Visits Sudduth Farm

John and Mary Sudduth recently hosted the Farmers Federation State Beef Tour on their farm.  The focus of this stop at the Sudduth farm was to see the silvopasture.  Approximately 40 people attended the tour.  After the tour, the Winston County Farmers Federation hosted a BBQ lunch for all the participants and speakers. Additional photos from the tour at at this link.

Bankhead Liaison Panel Public Meeting Scheduled, May 14 in Double Springs

The next meeting of the Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held Thursday, May, 14, 2015.  The meeting will be held from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the First National Bank in Double Springs, AL. 

Meeting topics will include:

§  Feral Swine Survey and Research Project Updates;

§  Native Understory Restoration Research Project;

§  Black Warrior Waterdog Proposal for Federal Listing and Critical Habitat Designation; and

§  A facilitated discussion on Bankhead National Forest’s Recreation Program. 


All members of the public interested in the Bankhead National Forest are invited to the Bankhead Liaison Panel meetings.  If you have any questions, please call the District Office at 205-489-5111.