Thursday, June 18, 2015

Minutes of June Council Meeting

The June WCNRC meeting was held on June 18, 2015, at the U. S. Forest Service office in Double Springs.  The following members were present:  Matt Brock, Jeremy McDonald, Mike Henshaw, James Burnett, and John Creed.  The following items were discussed:
  • Shortleaf Pine field day - several things were noted that could be changed to improve future field days, but overall, we thought it was a very good event.  The unusually hot weather was tough on the older age demographic that attended the field day.  According to Allison, the total registration number was 87 people.
  • Allison sent word via email the Youth Fishing Derby was very successful.  She reported on the derby in this blog post.  She noted that 64 kids attended the fishing derby, 350 lbs of catfish were stocked.  The kids caught lots of fish.  Total cost was $1,778.83, of that, the Forest Service spent - $750 on fish and toilet; NWTF gave a $250 donation, and the WCNRC spent $778.83.  
  • Jeremy reported on several activities.  The Payne Creek Outdoor Classroom had about 85 students that visited recently.  The council sponsored this group by covering the cost of the bus transportation.  They also had a group of University of Alabama students that visited on another date.  Jeremy has also assisted with the setup for the FFA Forestry Judging for Winston County students and offered to assist county Agriscience instructors with training the teams.
  • Davey Casey has relayed information that the Resource Allocation Committee is in the process of being established.  The council will be able to apply for Title II funds when the application process is opened.
  • Mar-Jac Poultry Prospective Grower Meeting in Russellville on June 23.  Mar-Jac is expanding its northwest Alabama operations and plans to build 100-125 new poultry houses.
  • Matt said that he used the council's hog trap put on a trapping demonstration for about 30 Fayette County landowners.  He will take the trap to an Addison landowner in a few days.  He will help the landowner set up the trap and provide technical assistance.  Andy noted that fruit-bearing blackberry patches were a good place to locate a hog trap, because the fruit are very attractive food for them.  Jeremy said that feral hogs appear to be expanding southward in the county.
  • The WMA is having an early gun season this year in response to the early breeding season of the deer there.  The dates for the hunt are November 13-14.  The limit will be one deer per day on the WMA this year.  Matt reported that he has been seeing more deer on the WMA this year, and James confirmed he had noticed higher numbers as well.
  • Discussion about deer habitat, unantlered deer harvest, and fawn depredation, on the WMA and private land.
  • Andy said Walker County would be hosting logger training at Bevill State College again this year in September.
  • Buckmasters Expo will be held in Montgomery on August 14-16. The Winston County Shotgun Team will be attending to compete in the 4-H Shotgun event.
  • James said that cutbacks are being considered for the U. S. Weather Service.  These cutbacks would include closing many state weather offices and issuing weather forecasts from six regional offices instead.  If the cuts were made, Alabama weather forecasts could come from Weather Service offices one or two states away.
  • James said that State budgets for the Emergency Management Agency have not been finalized, but deep cuts are being considered that would limit future grants to the EMA and could close many county EMA offices.  The legislature will go into special session later this summer to pass State budgets.
  • Matt Brock and his wife have a five week-old daughter, Savannah Elizabeth, and Matt said she is doing very well.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

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