Tuesday, September 20, 2016

News Release from the National Forests in Alabama - Fees Waived at Recreation Areas in Celebration of National Public Land's Day

Fees Waived at U.S. Forest Service Recreation Sites in Alabama’s National Forests
[MONTGOMERY, AL] September 19, 2016 –The public can enjoy waived fees this Saturday for National Public Land’s Day and during other national observances at most of Alabama’s national forests’ day-use recreation sites.

The U.S. Forest Service offers five fee-free days annually.  The scheduled fee-free days observed by the Forest Service are National Public Land’s Day - September 24, Veteran’s Day - November 11, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - January 16, 2017, President’s Day – February 20, 2017 and National Get Outdoors Day on June 10, 2017. Visit the National Forest Service website for more information.

Fees will be waived at the following day-use recreation sites throughout Alabama’s national forests on the national observances dates:

Bankhead National Forest – Double Springs, AL (334) 489-5111
Brushy Lake Recreation Area, Day Use Area & Boat Launch, Houston Recreation Area, Day Use Area, Natural Bridge Day Use Area, Owl Creek Day Use, Pine Torch Trailhead, Sipsey River Day Use Area
Conecuh National Forest – Andalusia, AL (334) 222-2555
Open Pond Campground 

Talladega National Forest
Oakmulgee District – Brent, AL   (205) 926-9765
Payne Lake Campground

Shoal Creek District – Heflin, AL (256) 463-2273
Henry Creek Shooting Range and Warden Station Trail System

Talladega District – Talladega, AL (256) 362-2909
Shepherd Branch Shooting Range 

Tuskegee National Forest – Tuskegee, AL (334) 727-2652
Uchee Shooting Range

Monday, September 19, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fall Renew Our Rivers Cleanups on Smith Lake – Volunteer Opportunity!

WCSLAI Clean up at Lakeshore, October, 2014.

Information from Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Incorporated:

Thursday, October 6, 2016:
The Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy will host a cleanup at the Houston Recreation Area with volunteer sign-in at 8:30 am. We will have the Alabama Power Renew Our Rivers Boat, the WCSLA boat, and a board member’s pontoon boat. Other volunteers’ boats will also be greatly appreciated! Volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch will be served about 1:30 pm. Trash bags and water will be available prior to launch. Please bring your own life jacket (REQUIRED for boats), insect repellent, and snacks. For more information contact Jim Eason at msjgeason@yahoo.com. Any volunteers who may need proof of community service will receive an official document.

Friday and Saturday, October 7-8, 2016:
The Smith Lake Environmental Protection Committee (SLEPC) will host a 2-day cleanup at Smith Lake Park in Cullman County. Sign-in will be at 8:00 am. For more information contact Lynn Martin at lynnmartin21@hotmail.com or Jim Murphy at jmurphy137@gmail.com .

Minutes of September Meeting

John Creed, Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Kerri Roberts and Andy Baril.
The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on September 15, 2016, at the U. S. Forest Service in Double Springs.  Present were John Creed, Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Kerri Roberts, and Andy Baril.  The following topics were discussed:
  • FAWN programs on October 13-14.  Most of the learning stations have been confirmed, and we have a Skins and Skulls as a spare station.  The FAWN walk-thru will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Wednesday, October 12, at Houston Rec Area.
  • Firewise Program at Houston Recreation Area.
  • Firewise Program at the Black Warrior Work Center.
  • Firewise trailer proposal.
  • We are tentatively planning on a Camp McDowell Tour for our October council meeting. Camp McDowell has added many facilities and educational programs in the last year, so even if you have been there before you will see new improvements.
  • Landowner meeting flyer was mailed to loggers since the program was in Jasper and included 6.0 Professional Logging Manager Points.  Andy Baril said well over 110 people were in attendance.
  • Game Check programs in Moulton and Double Springs.
  • Right Bite Healthy Eating/Diabetic Cooking School in Haleyville beginning September 21.
  • Andy gave a report on the Health Action Committee in Jasper.  Some of the group's projects include Walking to School programs, Walker County Lake master plan, hiking trails, mountain bike trails, possible conference center at the lake, R. V. Park, and kayak rentals.
  • A Bankhead Liaison Panel meeting will be held on Thursday, September 29, at the First National Bank in Double Springs.  The recreation committee report and recreation will the focus of this meeting.
  • Landowner Tour in Tuscaloosa on November 3.
  • Winston County received Outstanding Council of the Year Award.
  • September 19 - 26 is Leave No Trace Week.  Allison said there would be a Leave No Trace hotspot at Delano Park in Decatur.
  • Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy will sponsor a Smith Lake Cleanup on October 6, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Houston Recreation Area.
  • Kerri Roberts, 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent, introduced herself and said that she would be starting to meet with 4-H Clubs in the schools in October.  She will also meet with special interest clubs and community clubs soon.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Renew Our Rivers - Smith Lake Clean-up - October 6th at Houston Recreation Area, Bankhead National Forest

Join the Alabama Power Company and Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc for a Renew Our Rivers lake clean-up on October 6th.  Volunteers with and without boats are encouraged to come out, clean up litter and help keep Smith Lake and Winston County clean and beautiful!  Boats will launch from Houston Recreation Area on October 6th.  Please arrive at the Houston Rec Area boat ramp by 8:30.  Bring water, sunscreen and a life vest if you have one.  Trash bags and gloves will be provided. We will not accept household trash or Styrofoam or other dock flotation.  We are only accepting litter collected from Smith Lake.  Contact the Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy at wcslainc@gmail.com to volunteer, for information, or to sponsor this or future Renew Our Rivers clean-ups.

Bankhead National Forest Liaison Panel Meeting Scheduled for Sept 29th at First National Bank in Double Springs

Bankhead National Forest Liaison Panel Meeting Scheduled

The next Bankhead National Forest Liaison Panel Meeting is set for September 29th.  The meeting will be held on the second floor of the First National Bank in Double Springs from 6:00 – 8:30 PM.  The majority of this meeting will be spent discussing the work that the Recreation Working Group has completed to date and getting feedback from Liaison Panel members and the general public so please make every effort to attend.  The public is invited to learn more about the future of recreation on the Bankhead National Forest.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September Meeting of the WCNRC

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, September 15, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

The main items for discussion will be related to the upcoming FAWN programs on October 13 and 14.


Mike Henshaw, Secretary