The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on January 21, 2016, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. Present were John Creed, Allison Cochran, Matt Brock, Mike Henshaw, James Burnett, Andy Baril, Jeremy McDonald, and Dave Casey. The following items were discussed:
- Saturday, February 27, a Wild Game Dinner will be held at the Meek Baptist Church. The Winston County Extension office will have an educational exhibit at the dinner.
- John gave an update on James Horsley's treatment and said his condition was improving.
- The Alabama Natural Resources Council will hold the annual Outreach Symposium and Awards Banquet on February 5. John and Mary Sudduth will receive the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award at this banquet.
- The Winston County Extension office and a Haleyville beekeeper are conducting two programs about the importance of insect pollinators to the Civitan Club and Rotary Club in Haleyville.
- Andy said a Private Applicators Pesticide Permit class will be held in Jasper on February 22.
- Mike gave an update about the 4-H Centennial Youth Initiative program in Winston County.
- 4-H Forestry Team and 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Team discussion. The Council hopes to assist both teams more this year as they train for state competitions.
- James gave us an update on the winter weather predicted for Friday.
- Matt Brock has been promoted to the North Alabama Private Lands Technical Assistance Biologist.
- Kevin Pugh will be the Wildlife Biologist of the Black Warrior and Sam Murphy Wildlife Management Areas.
- The Council's hog trap has been deployed on an Addison Farm. Matt assisted the landowner with the setup of the trap.
- Andy mentioned the NRCS Feral Hog Landowner Assistance Program, but Winston County was not one of the priority counties.
- Allison said that the heavy rains had damaged many Forest Service roads. Many county roads were also damaged. James said that he knew of at least six bridges that had been washed out which created hardship on many residents that have been cut off from accessing their homes. The Sipsey Picnic Area pedestrian bridge was damaged by flooding.
- Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Moulton. Key topics will be Longleaf Restoration Areas, new Forest Health program for approximately 2,000 acres, and Recreation Program Analysis.
- Andy said that pine beetle activity was on the rise across the state.
- Recent bald eagle survey sighted two eagles on Smith Lake, but no nests were found.
- Prescribed burn plans on the Bankhead. Approximately 20,000 acres are scheduled to be treated this year.