Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tour of Unique Wood in Houston

The Winston County Natural Resources Council toured Unique Wood in Houston at part of the regular meeting held on Thursday, November 16.  Mr. Ellis Wade, Jr., owner of the family business, hosted the tour of this woodworking business.  Their specialty is treating wood using a proprietary process that creates a rustic look.  After processing, it is used to create furniture and panels, much of which is used in the manufactured housing industry.  Members attending the tour included Rick Moody, Lauranne James, Mike Henshaw, Johnna Franks, Jimmy Madison, John Creed, Carl Godsey, Bob Wilder, Casey Hammack, Kerri Roberts, and Jim Hughes.

After the tour, the council had a brief meeting.  We discussed a possible landowner tour of a shortleaf planting on a privately owned forestland.  Potential officers for vacant positions were discussed, but no action taken at this time.

After lunch at Talk of the Town, several members toured the Houston log jail.

Mr. Wade, left, points out rustic finish on their products.

Treated boards drying after coating has been applied.

Example of some of the products treated using special process.

Mr. Ellis Wade, Jr., center, explains future plans for Unique Wood.

Jimmy Madison, EMA Director and former firefighter, points out purpose
of various equipment found on the Houston Fire Engine #2.

Touring the Houston Log Jail.

Houston Log Jail interior.

Casey checks out one of the two rooms in the jail.

Window detail of the Houston Log Jail.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tour of Houston Wood

Save the Date! The Winston County Natural Resources Council will tour Houston Wood in Houston at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 16.  Ellis Wade, Jr. is the owner and will guide the tour of this fast growing woodworking business.  After the tour, Mr. Rick Moody will give us an overview of the Central Volunteer Fire Department and has offered to give us a short ride on Central Fire Engine No. 2.  We will have lunch at Talk of the Town Restaurant and finish with a short business meeting.
Boot Bench manufactured by Houston Wood
Houston Wood
Raw materials for Houston Wood

Engine No. 2 at Central Fire and Rescue

Log Jail at Houston

Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Board Meeting

Message from WCSLA:

To Members and Friends of WCSLA:

The Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Board of Directors will hold our next board meeting on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in the meeting room of Traders & Farmers Bank in Arley, Alabama. All who are interested are welcome to attend.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pesticide Clean Day 2017

A Clean Sweep Program for pesticides is planned for this area.  This free program will allow farmers, pesticide applicators, pesticide dealers, pest control operators, and nurserymen, to bring unwanted pesticides for safe and environmentally sound disposal.  Products that will be disposed of include pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and rodenticides.  Producers that have products that have lost registration, have illegible labels, are out of date, or any of the mentioned products that cannot used, are encouraged to take advantage of this program.  This will allow producers to protect their health and the health of employees as well as protect the environment.

Remember, producers will not be charged for disposal, and there will be no questions asked as to why the producer has the product.  The drop off location will be in North Alabama in mid November.

This program is conducted as a service to farmers and is a joint effort of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

A Pesticide Registration Form is required in order to participate in Clean Day.  Please call  our office at (205) 489-5376 to request a form and return it to the Winston County Extension Office or fax it to Daniel Sheffield at (334) 240-7168.  If the containers are not damaged or leaking and do not require overpack materials, the deadline to register is November 13.  If overpack materials for leaking/damaged containers are needed to prevent leakage, it will be provided at no cost.  In order to allow time to provide the overpack material, the registration form for leaking/damaged containers must be received by November 7.

After registering, participants will be contacted and provided a specific time and location for the drop off, so it is very important that the form is completely filled out and accurate contact information is provided.  Should you have any questions, please contact the Winston County Extension Office at (205) 489-5376 or Daniel at (334) 240-7236.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

FAWN Thank You Letters

Minutes of October Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on Thursday, October 19, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were J. D. Snoddy, Lauranne James, Jimmy Madison, Mike Henshaw, Kerri Roberts, Andy Scott, and Jeremy McDonald.  The following items were discussed:
  • Mike and Lauranne mentioned projects related to Food Pantries, Mobile Grocery Stores, and the Eco-Cold Storage Trailer.
  • Lauranne highlighted a new program that will retrofit older tractors not equipped with Rollover Protection Structures to be updated with this lifesaving equipment.  Jeff McKinney, Agri-Science Instructor at Colbert County High School, will be leading this effort.
  • Reviewed 2017 FAWN programs.  The program went smoothly this year with positive comments from teachers.  A stack of thank you letters from Lynn students was reviewed by the council.
  • A possible field trip to Houston Wood was discussed.  Details of the trip will be finalized later.
  • A draft mission statement was circulated for comments and discussion.  Several ideas for a logo have been suggested.
  • Andy Scott gave an update on the pine beetle situation on the Bankhead.  He stated that aerial surveys located between 300 and 370 beetle spots, and 72% of these have been checked out on the ground.  A "Good Neighbor" agreement with the Alabama Forestry Commission allowed special surveillance flights to be flown.  The priority in treating beetle spots will be highest if the spot is threatening private land, current timber sales, and areas with active management.  Treatments will be "cut and remove", "cut and leave", and monitor, depending on the situation.  The current market conditions, number of loggers, and number of lumber mills makes it difficult to market pine timber at this time.
  • Andy said that the district is looking to temporarily fill the recreation position that is vacant since Mike Cook retired.
  • Kerri mentioned the 4-H River Kids learning station at FAWN, and possible funding for the program next year.  Firewise and the Northwest Ala RC&D Council may be possibilities for assistance.
  • A Sheep and Goats program will be held in Double Springs on October 26.
  • Lauranne encouraged everyone with an interest in internet availability to attend a meeting about Freedom Fiber at Phil Campbell High at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 26.  
  • The Northwest Ala RC&D Council will meet at 10 a.m. on November 15, at the old theater in Winfield.  The meeting will feature a program on "Strategic Doing", and will look at opportunities to take advantage of federal grant funds for distressed coal mining areas. 
  • Jeremy and Kerri discussed the possibility of the WCHS FFA Forestry Team taking part in the 4-H Forestry Judging Program.
Mike Henshaw
Secretary, WCNRC

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Forestry Works Video Featuring Allison Cochran

Forestry Works is a collection of videos that have been produced by the Alabama Forestry Commission about workforce development and careers in Forestry.  Allison Cochran, Wildlife Biologist for the Bankhead National Forest, is featured in one of these videos.

To see the entire collection of Forestry Works videos, follow this link:


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October Council Meeting

Firewise learning station at FAWN. Photo by Allison.
The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 19, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Agenda items include review of the FAWN program, possible tour of a wood working business in Houston, and draft Firewise grant proposals for
the Winston County Commission. 

Look forward to seeing you there.

Mike Henshaw
Secretary, WCNRC

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

USDA Forest Service Announces a New District Ranger for Bankhead National Forest

Andy Scott, Bankhead District Ranger
(Double Springs, AL) October 6, 2017 – The USDA Forest Service recently announced Andy Scott as the new district ranger responsible for the administration of approximately 181,000 acres of the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama.
According to Carl Petrick, forest supervisor for the Conecuh, Talladega, Bankhead, and Tuskegee National Forests, Scott brings a wealth of leadership and scientific skills to the National Forests in Alabama.  For 15 years, Scott worked with the Forest Service providing extensive collaboration with community stakeholders, partners and Forest Service employees.  He served as a research soil scientist for the Forest Service Southern Research Station in Pineville, LA and Huntsville, AL.
 “I’m very excited to join the great group of employees, partners and volunteers that work hard every day to manage the beautiful Bankhead Ranger District,” said Andy Scott. “Together we will provide for a productive, safe and enjoyable work environment to accomplish the best outcomes for the land to benefit its natural resources and the public.”
Scott earned a Ph.D. in forestry and forest products from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  He also holds a Bachelor of Science in forest management from Purdue University and a Master of Science in forestry from Texas A&M University.
A native of Shoals, IN, Scott is a member of the Society of American Foresters, Soil Science Society of America and the Alabama Forestry Council.   He is married to Debbie Scott and has three children.

Friday, September 29, 2017

FAWN Walk Thru

The FAWN Walk-Thru will be held on Monday, October 2, at 9:00 a.m., at Houston Recreation Area.  Signs will be put up for each station as well as final preparations and cleanup.  Any speakers or guides that would like to check out their site are welcome to attend.  The FAWN programs will be held on the following two days, October 3rd and 4th, starting at 9:00 a.m. on both days.  Thanks to all that help make FAWN a success!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall Smith Lake Cleanup

(From Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc.)

To Our Members and Friends:

Our Fall Slough Cleanup will be Thursday, October 5, at Jim King's boat ramp (behind King's Boat Docks shop), with volunteer sign-in at 8:30 am.  Volunteers can work on a WCSL Advocacy boat or a Renew Our Rivers boat. You could use your own boat if you'd like, and pick your cleanup spots; just remember to sign in or call so we can count you for lunch!

PLEASE remember to bring your own life jacket, insect repellent, and possibly a folding chair! Water will be available at the ramp and on the boats.

Free lunch and t-shirts will be provided to volunteers, courtesy of  Renew Our Rivers and the Curry office of Alabama Power.

Jim King's is located at 202 Co. Rd. 4007 (GPS approximately 34 degrees 02'11"N, 87 degrees 07'43"W).  By water, it's about a mile north of Rock Creek Marina. By land: From Arley take CR 77, turn right at the big black tire onto CR 22, cross Bailey Bridge to the 3-way stop. Turn right onto CR 4006, follow it around then right onto CR 4007, then right to go behind the shop to the boat ramp. (From Crane Hill/Trimble, take Cullman CR 933 past Falls Creek Church to the 3-way stop then straight onto CR 4006.)

Hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please call our president Jim Eason (256-590-2388) or email wcslainc@gmail.com

Monday, September 25, 2017

Shortleaf Field Tour in Waterloo, Alabama

Click Here To Register

September Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Members present were:  Jeremy McDonald, Carl Godsey, Jimmy Madison, John Creed, Johnna Franks, Allison Cochran, and Kerri Roberts

Topics discussed were:
FAWN program. Members looked over programs and gave suggestions for spare people/stations.  Carl offered to volunteer on one day of FAWN. John said he was able to assist both days. Allison said Houston Rec Center will be cleaned and prepped on Monday, October 2.  A program walk thru will be held the same day at 9:00 am. Johnna said t-shirts were finished. Jeremy said he would pick up the shirts and distribute to the schools.
Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers donation for FAWN was discussed.  Allison said they need a letter of request submitted before they can consider a donation.
Kerri noted bed bugs had been confirmed in Winston County. The sample was identified by the Auburn lab after a homeowner found them in a recliner.
Allison reminded everyone the Bankhead Liaison Panel will meet on Thursday, September 28th at the First National Bank in Double Springs. The only topic to be discussed will be the Southern Pine Beetle infestation as this is a major concern right now. Almost 200 sites of beetle infestation have been discovered by fly overs of the Bankhead National Forest.  All Bankhead personnel are working on this issue. The Forest Health Division is very concerned. Mississippi’s infestation has affected more than 20,000 trees.  Johnna says the Alabama Forest Service is also working on this problem. They are notifying any private landowners of known infestations.
Kerri mentioned the “Day on the Farm” at Moody Hill Farm on Saturday, September 23. Mike and Kerri will be presenting a sun safety program. Carl noted he may be assisting with a forestry station.
Kerri brought up the topic of nominating officers for the WCNRC. Currently there are two officers, Johnna Franks- Treasurer, and Mike Henshaw- Secretary. Positions of Chairman and Vice Chairman are currently vacant. Kerri noted anyone wanting to make a nomination for an officer position needs to speak with the current officers so a ballot can be developed. Allison suggested that once new officers are in place the WCNRC could reevaluate their mission statement.  She noted that a well defined mission might encourage diversity of members.
There was brief discussion about Houston Wood, a local business owned by Ellis Wade Junior. The members present were intrigued and want to set up a tour of the facility to learn more.

Minutes recorded by 
Kerri Roberts

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet on Thursday, September 21, at 9:00 a.m., at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Some agenda items include FAWN preparation and draft agendas, Liaison Panel Meeting, and pine beetle situation.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Forest Service Waives Campground Fees on National Forests

Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service Waives Campground Fees on National Forests
ATLANTA (September 7, 2017) – The Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service is immediately waiving fees and making all campgrounds available for individuals displaced by the recent and forthcoming hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma.

Many National Forests were impacted by the recent storm and as a result, some of the region’s campgrounds are closed.

Please call ahead or check websites to determine what is open and available. Also, individuals requesting campsites need to check in with campground hosts at each site.

For more information on campgrounds in the Southern Region, please visit the respective forest’s website:

National Forests and Grasslands in Texas – (936) 639-8501
Kisatchie National Forest – (318) 473-7160
National Forests in Mississippi – (601) 965-1600
National Forests in Alabama – (334) 832-4470
National Forests in Florida – (850) 523-8500
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest – (770) 297-3000
Ouachita National Forest – (501) 321-5202
Ozark-St. Francis National Forests – (479) 964-7200
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – (800) 525-7077
Daniel Boone National Forest – (859) 745-3100
Cherokee National Forest – (423) 476-9700
National Forests in North Carolina – (828) 257-4200
Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests – (803) 561-4000
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests – (540) 265-5100
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Takela Underwood
Visitor Services Information Assistant
Forest Service
National Forests in Alabama, Supervisor's Office
p: 334-832-4470
f: 334-241-8177

2946 Chestnut Street
Montgomery, AL 36107

Caring for the land and serving people

Alabama Trapper Education Workshops

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Bankhead Liaison Panel meeting scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 28 to discuss Southern Pine Beetle Outbreak

The next meeting of the Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held Thursday, September 28, at 6:00 p.m. at the First National Bank in Double Springs, Alabama.  The First National Bank is located at 15305 Highway 278 across from Jack’s in Double Springs.  The meeting topic is the assessment and suppression of the Southern Pine Beetle outbreak on Bankhead National Forest.  The meeting will adjourn by 8:30 p.m.  The meeting is open to the public.  Anyone interested in the management in the Bankhead National Forest is invited.  If you have any questions, please call Allison Cochran or Blake Addison at 205-489-5111.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Forest Service Waives Campground Fees for those Displaced by Hurricane Flooding

Addition information from Allison Cochran, Acting Ranger - Bankhead National Forest:
Please be aware that the Forest Service is waiving camping fees for individuals displaced by recent flooding.  While Owl Creek Horse camp isn’t listed, we would include it in the fee waiver for displaced individuals.
Thank you,

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tony Avery Recognized for 37 years of Service to Alabama Forestry Commission

Robert Clement, on left, presents Tony Avery with a drip torch at
his retirement reception honoring 37 + years of service to AFC.
Photo by Johnna Franks.

Pine Beetle Infestation Report on WSFA

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Source:  WSFA 12 News

Johnna Franks shared this story that aired on WSFA in Montgomery.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Minutes of August Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on August 17, at the U. S. Forest Service in Double Springs.  The following members were present:  Jeremy McDonald, J. D. Snoddy, Johnna Franks, Kerry Clark, Travis McDonald, Mike Henshaw, Kerri Roberts, Andy Baril, Casey Hammack, and Allison Cochran.

The following items were discussed:

  • FAWN program.  Ideas for t-shirt designs were discussed.  Jeremy had some examples of designs.  Johnna will check vendors for prices and select the art work.
  • Cogongrass spot are still being found across the county.  About 20 new spots have shown up this season, most of them on road right-of-ways.  We ask that all agencies, road departments, and private landowners work together to treat every spot that is found.  
  • Allison said that over 100 pine beetle infestations have been identified, and that they are active spots.  The Forest Service is looking to treat these active outbreaks.  There have also been serious outbreaks on Mississippi National Forests.
  • The Winston County Soil and Water Conservation District contributed $600 to the council, part of which will be used for the FAWN Program.
  • J. D. offered to contact the Mountain Lakes Tourism Association about sponsoring FAWN.
  • The Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association will be approached about sponsoring the FAWN program again this year.
  • The council needs a logo to be used on t-shirts and other promotional materials.
  • We have vacant officer positions at the Chairman and Vice Chairman positions.  Members are encouraged to volunteer for these positions.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 17 Meeting of the WCNRC

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 17, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Agenda topics include:

FAWN Program planned for October 3-4
T-shirts for FAWN-possible designs and sponsor logos
Resource Advisory Committee proposal from Winston County
Possible election of vacant council officer positions

Look forward to seeing you there!

Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Friday, August 11, 2017

2017 FAWN Dates

After consulting with the various schools, we have dates for the 2017 FAWN Program for Winston County Schools:

Double Springs, Addison, and Meek Schools Tuesday, October 3

Haleyville and Lynn Schools Wednesday, October 4

We’ll be sending out detailed program agendas soon, but please mark down these dates.


Mike Henshaw
Secretary, WCNRC

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Forever Wild Board Meets in Tuscaloosa on August 10

Monday, July 24, 2017 - 11:45am
The Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust will hold its third quarterly meeting on August 10, 2017, in the Birmingham Room of the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul W. Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, Ala., 35487. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.

At this meeting, updates on Forever Wild program activities and tract assessments will be presented. This meeting will also provide an opportunity for any individual who would like to make comments concerning the program to address the board.

The public is invited to attend this meeting and is encouraged to submit nominations of tracts of land for possible Forever Wild Program purchase. Written nominations may be submitted by email to Forever.Wild@dcnr.alabama.gov or by letter to the State Lands Division, Room 464, 64 N. Union St., Montgomery, Ala., 36130. Nominations can also be made online at www.alabamaforeverwild.com/contact/nominate_land_tracts.

Quarterly meetings of the Forever Wild Board are held to maximize public input into the program. Only through active public participation can the best places in Alabama be identified and conserved in order to remain forever wild.

If Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations are needed, please contact Jo Lewis at 334-242-3051 or Jo.Lewis@dcnr.alabama.gov. Requests should be made as soon as possible, but at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.



Friday, July 21, 2017

July Council Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on July 20, 2017, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were Mike Henshaw, Byron Tuggle, Jimmy Madison, Kerry Clark, Jeremy McDonald, Walker Shortnacy, J. D. Snoddy, Allison Cochran, and Johnna Franks.  The following topics were discussed:

  • T-shirts for FAWN program.  The Winston County Soil and Water Conservation District has agreed to sponsor the FAWN program by giving $600 for this year's program.  Johnna is researching FAWN t-shirt options and other items with the WCSWCD new logo.  Jeremy shared examples of t-shirts from the Payne Creek Demo Area programs.
  • Mike shared information about the Resource Advisory Committee funds available from the Forest Service.  The Winston County Commission has submitted a proposal requesting over $71,000 for road maintenance and educational activities in the county.  
  • Jeremy, Kerry, and Johnna stressed the importance of treating the numerous cogongrass spots that have occurred in the county.  Most of them have been on state highways, and the indication is that it is being spread by road maintenance activities.  The council will prepare a letter to send to both the ALDOT and the Winston County Road Department on the importance of treating cogongrass infestations and cleaning equipment to prevent the spread.
  • The Winston County 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Teams placed second and fourth at the recent state competition in Auburn.  The council voted to provide $200 to help cover the team's expenses.
  • Jimmy Madison, the new Emergency Management Director for Winston County, introduced himself and gave a brief background on his previous experience in the fire service and law enforcement.
  • Byron said he has been attending in-service training and conducting home visits with students that have Agri-science projects at home.
  • J. D. said the Winston County Arts Council has an exhibit at the Bankhead House in Jasper that will run from June until September.  Much of the art is related to the natural resources in Winston County.
  • Walker Shortnacy, an Auburn University Wildlife Sciences student, attended the Bat Blitz in Birmingham and gave a report on that event.  He has also been assisting with non-native invasive plant control on the Bankhead.
  • Allison is Acting Ranger on the Bankhead District.  The District Ranger position opening has just been announced and normally takes about 90 days to fill.
  • Johnna gave an update on the Alabama Forestry Commission.  The commission is in the process of reorganizing from five regions in the state to three regions.  Retirements are causing staffing shortages statewide.  Tony Avery is planning to retire on September 1st.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July Meeting

The July meeting of the WCNRC is at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 20, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Agenda items include a review of the Winston County Commission’s Resource Allocation Committee application and the Winston County 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Team competition.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Kids “Get Hooked” at Fishing Derby and Parents Learn About Firewise Communities

The Bankhead National Forest held the 25th annual “Kids Fishing Derby” on Saturday, June 10 in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, National Fishing and Boating Week, and Alabama Free Fishing Day. The Forest Service, which hosts the yearly event to help interest young people in wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation, stocked a pond with about 400 catfish and invited area youngsters to try their luck.  This year’s event included a number of new educational programs.  The theme of this year’s Derby was “Firewise”.  Children were reminded to prevent wildfires by a visit from Smokey Bear.  Adults learned about the Firewise program which included an exhibit and flyers on how to improve your home and community in case of wildfire.  Additionally this year, participants learned about tick-borne illness and ongoing research in Bankhead National Forest.  They also learned outdoor ethics including the “Leave No Trace” concept and about ethical and safe fishing and boating.  This year children tried their hands at new outdoor skills including archery and shooting.  The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries set up an Archery Range and the National Wild Turkey Federation  staffed the “Jakes Take Aim” Shooting Booth.  All children received a free membership to the NWTF’s Jakes club and a fishing derby t-shirt complements of the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association.

Fifty-nine children (with accompanying adults) from surrounding counties came to the Black Warrior Work Center on the Bankhead National Forest to compete for trophies in three age categories. Contestants fished for approximately 1 ½ hours and the winners in each age group were decided by measuring the longest fish caught by each individual.

The largest fish overall was caught by Kane Hood of Double Springs.

In the 5-6 year old age group, Landon McDonald of Double Springs took the first place trophy.  Jack Culberson of Florence, AL captured second place.

DJ Melson of Moulton won the first place trophy in the 7 - 9 year old group.  Lily Kate Clark of Jasper won second place.

In the 10 – 12 year old category, Tanner Garcia of Double Springs took the first place trophy.  Brilyn Dover of Addison took second place.

In addition to the fishing competition, a casting contest was held in which Morgan Shamblin of Cleveland, TN won in the 5 – 6 year old division; DJ Melson of Moulton won in the 7 – 9 year old division; and Nena Garrison of Double Springs won the 10 – 12 year old division.  All three received a new rod and reel and tackle box as their prize.

The Derby concluded with drawing for door prizes, awarding of trophies to contest winners and a hotdog lunch.  This year’s event was funded by a grant to the Winston County Natural Resources Council from the Winston County Commission, a grant from the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the US Forest Service.  Sponsors of the 2017 Kids Fishing Derby include the Double Springs Lions Club, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Sipsey Strutters Moulton Chapter and Bankhead Beards and Spurs Winston County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, Winston County Natural Resource Council, Moulton Walmart, and the Bankhead National Forest.

A big “THANK YOU” from Smokey Bear to everyone who continue to help make the Kids Fishing Derby a great success.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May Council Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs on May 18.  Present were Jeremy McDonald, James Burnett, Kevin Pugh, Andy Baril, J. D. Snoddy, Mike Henshaw, Casey Hammack, and Lauranne James.  The following items were discussed at the meeting:

  • Jeremy gave a report on the Payne Creek Demonstration program.  There were 135 participants from Double Springs Middle School, FFA group from Winston County High School, FFA Group from Curry High School, and University of Alabama students.  There were 5 learning stations and a hike down to the Payne Creek canyon.  WCNRC provided $150 for the portable toilets.
  • Lauranne gave a report on the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council's EcoCold Storage unit that is housed in Winston County.  While the unit was only received in March, it has been in use almost every day at either a farm or the Main Street Ministries Food Bank.
  • A Resource Allocation Committee proposal will be submitted by the Winston County Commission.  It will include badly needed road maintenance for Winston County roads that service Forest Service lands, and some educational projects to benefit recreation on the Forest and to monitor water quality.  The WCNRC agreed to send a letter of support for the Winston County Commission's proposal to the Forest Service.  J. D. said that the Arts Council may be able to provide a letter of support.
  • Casey suggested that the Alabama Forestry Commission might be able to use their transport to haul free potting soil that will be available in June.  This soil will be used in school and community raised bed gardens.
  • Andy suggested that the WCNRC look at offering programs featuring private landowners, and support the TREASURE forest program.  He said we should recruit landowners that have done a good job managing their private forestland in Winston County.
  • Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, June 10, at the Black Warrior Work Center.  All council members are invited to attend and help host the event.  A Firewise learning station will be set up at the Derby.  The WCNRC helps sponsor this annual event.
  • Kevin said the staff on the Black Warrior has been busy planting warm season wildlife plots and breaking up large, single-crop plantings with multiple plant species plantings.  This should provide better edge habitat, and more variety in the openings.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 18, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Agenda items include a review of recent council-sponsored events – the Payne Creek Demo Program, and the Winston County 4-H Round Up.  We’ll also discuss the upcoming Youth Fishing Derby scheduled for Saturday, June 10.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sustainable Forest and Wildlife Management Workshop

Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc. Annual Public Meeting

To Members and Friends of WCSLA:

You are invited to attend our Annual Public Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017, at Traders & Farmers Bank meeting room in Arley.

A special guest speaker will be telling us about certain services available in Winston County.  Refreshments will be served.  Door prizes will be available.  To raise funds for the Advocacy's educational and cleanup efforts, we might even auction a few highly desirable objets d'art created by some of our talented members!

More info to come.  Please plan to be there!

Lu Cruce, Secretary

Monday, April 24, 2017

Winston County FFA Forestry Judging

The Winston County FFA Forestry Judging was held recently by the Winston County AgriScience Departments.  Jeremy McDonald, USFS, helped set up and conduct the forestry judging contest.  AgriScience instructors Mr. Caleb Beason, Mr. Byron Tuggle, and Mr. Frank Graham coached their students for the competition.  Segments of the competition include forest measurements and tree identification.  The WCNRC provided $130 in awards to the winners of the competition.  Winston County High School won first place, Haleyville High won 2nd, and Addison High placed 3rd.

Minutes of April Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on April 20, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  In attendance were Mike Henshaw, Jeremy McDonald, John Creed, James Burnett, J. D. Snoddy, Johnna Franks, and Andy Baril.  The following topics were discussed:

  • Payne Creek Demo event will be held on May 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Several educational stations will be set up and there will be a hike into the canyon.  The Natural Resources Council previously set aside up to $150 dollars to help with expenses for transportation or portable toilets.  Firewise information for the adults and children will be covered at one of the stations.
  • A banner for the Winston County Natural Resources Council and a banner for Firewise has been ordered from the Sign Shop in Moulton at a cost of $90 each.  The group approved the cost of these banners.
  • Photos of the Winston County 4-H Shooting Sports Team was shared with the group.  The Council provided $200 to help cover the sponsored groups trip to the State Shotgun Competition.
  • The FFA Forestry program requested $130 for the Forestry Judging Award winners, and this amount was approved by the Council.  Jeremy gave a report on the event, which he helped set up and conduct.
  • J. D. Snoddy gave a report on the Northwest Alabama RC and D Council's Eco-cold storage unit that is being used by area vegetable and fruit growers and Main Street Ministries.  The unit provides low-cost temporary cold storage for farmers and others needing short term cooling for perishable items.
  • The 4-H Round Up will be held on May 9, at the Double Springs Municipal Building.  Several council members will be assisting with this event for Winston County 4-H'ers.
  • Discussed Resource Allocation Committee funds available from U. S. Forest Service.  The Winston County Commission will be submitting a proposal to use the $71,000 of funds allocated to Winston County.
  • Andy invited all to the Walker County Landowner tour near Eldridge, on May 6.  Click here for a printable flyer.
  • Johnna said that AFC was working on fire breaks for landowners.  She also said they had a new State Forester, Rick Oates.
  • Andy, John, and Johnna reported on the pine beetle situation in the state at the present.  There are major concerns about weak markets for pine if serious beetle problems were to occur.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Winston County 4-H Shotgun Team Attends State Competition in Childersburg

The Winston County Natural Resources Council helped support the Winston County 4-H Shooting Sports Club trip to the State 4-H Shotgun Championship in Childersburg.  Here the team poses for a group photo with towels made in memory of Will Gunnin, former member of the team.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Renew Our Rivers Scheduled for April 26 and 27, Corinth Recreation Area

RENEW OUR RIVERS Smith Lake Cleanup

Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc., Bankhead National Forest and Alabama Power Company need your help for a RENEW OUR RIVERS Lake Cleanup on Smith Lake April 26 & 27, 2017 ( Wed. &; Thurs.) 8:30 sign-in; Cleanup begins at 9:00.
The Renew Our Rivers cleanup will be held at the Corinth Recreation Area Boat Ramp, Bankhead National Forest.

Volunteers with boats are needed to remove loose trash from Smith Lake sloughs and shoreline! Other volunteers not using their own boats may crew on the Alabama Power Company Renew Our Rivers boats and the Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy boat. These boats depart at 9 am.

Trash bags will be provided at the Corinth Recreation Area boat ramp at 9 am on 4/26. Styrofoam, other large trash such as boat house parts, and household garbage will NOT be accepted. This cleanup is only for small debris and loose trash that will fit into the collection bags.

Lunch will be provided. Bring drinking water, life jacket, gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent and a chair for lunch. Contact Jim Eason 256-590-2388 or Allison Cochran 205-489-5111 for more information. To learn more about Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, email wcslainc@gmail.com

Directions to Corinth – From Double Springs, travel 8 miles east on Hwy 278; turn right at Corinth Rec Area sign on Co Rd 57. From Addison, travel 11 miles west on Hwy 278; turn left at Co Rd 57/Corinth Rec Area sign. Inside the Rec Area, follow the signs to the boat ramp.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pine Bark Beetles

March Council Meeting Minutes

The March meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council was held at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Present were Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Kerri Roberts, Andy Scott, and Andy Baril.  The following topics were discussed:

  • Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) - Mike explained about the upcoming RAC proposals that will be submitted to the committee in Montgomery.  Winston County has approximately $71,000 allocated to projects that will take place in the county.  At least half of those projects are to be used for maintenance of existing roads and trails, and all of the projects should be of some benefit to the U. S. Forest Service lands.  In order to coordinate the proposals that will be submitted from the county, the Winston County Commission (including the road department), and the U. S. Forest Service have a joint meeting planned for April 10, after the regular county commission meeting to discuss proposal priorities.  It is expected that there will be a great deal more projects than there will be RAC funds to complete them, 
  • The council agreed to support the Winston County 4-H Shotgun Team up to $200 for expenses to attend the State 4-H Shotgun Competition in Childersburg.
  • The Alabama Invasive Plant Conference will be held on May 3, in Alexander City.
  • Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy will have a meeting at 6:00 p.m., on May 5, at the Traders and Farmers Bank Building in Arley.
  • The council agreed to provide up to $150 for transportation of Double Springs youth to the Payne Creek Demonstration Area for the Junior Ranger program.
  • A WCSLAI Lake Clean Up will be held on April 26 and 27, at Corinth Boat Ramp.
  • Council discussed construction at Lakeshore.
  • Andy mentioned the on-going project with the State Lands that will be transferred to the Winston County Board of Education.  He has visited the property with the Agriscience instructors to get ideas for possible opportunities to use the property in the Agriscience programs.
  • The Firewise Youth Fishing Derby will be held on June 10, at the Black Warrior Work Center.
  • Pine beetles continue to be a cause for concern across Alabama, according to Andy Baril.  A rapid increase in damage due to pine beetles is a possibility.  
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Walker County Landowner Tour

Monday, March 13, 2017

March Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, March 16, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.


Mike Henshaw,

Pine Beetle Article

Article on AL.com featuring experts from Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Alabama Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and private forest industry experts.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Minutes of February Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on February 16, 2017, at the U. S. Forest Service Office.  Present were Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Andy Scott, James Burnett, Andy Baril, and Kerri Roberts.  The following items were discussed:

  • Tree Sale to be held on Wednesday, February 22
  • Balance according to Johnna is $7,576.89
  • Travel plans to attend the Alabama Natural Resources Landowner Symposium and Awards Banquet.
  • Approved purchase of Firewise Banner for events.
  • Approved $200 to support a Firewise Event at the 4-H County Round-Up at the Municipal Building in May.
  • Pruning Workshop on February 23
  • Possible boat ramp projects in the county.
  • Discussion of State Lands near Houston to be transferred to the Winston County Board of Education.
  • Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting in Moulton on Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m., at Recreation Center.
  • Andy Scott is serving as interim District Ranger until March 3, possibly longer.
  • 15,000 acres of prescribed burning planned on Bankhead National Forest.
  • Safety issues and rules of the road concerning bicycles on Forest Service Roads.
Mike Henshaw,
Secretary, WCNRC

Bankhead Liaison Panel Meeting Scheduled for March 2

The next meeting of the Bankhead Liaison Panel will be held Thursday, March 2, 2017. The meeting will begin at 6:00 PM at the Moulton Recreation Center. The Moulton Recreation Center at Alexander Park is located at 13550 Court Street. The meeting will adjourn by 8:00 PM. The meeting topics include Bankhead National Forest Health and Restoration updates, Summary of the Recreation Working Group progress, feral swine program updates; and Liaison Panel business. 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.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Winston County Receives Natural Resource Council of the Year Award

Pictured from left, Chuck Sykes, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Director,
Mike Henshaw, Allison Cochran, Jeremy McDonald, and Andy Baril. (photo by Kelvin Daniels, AFC)
The Winston County Natural Resources Council received the North Region Natural Resources Council of the Year Award in Tuscaloosa on February 17, at the Landowner Outreach Symposium and Awards Banquet.  This award comes with a $1,000 award from the Alabama Natural Resources Council to support future council activities.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Arbor Week Tree Give-Away

Tree Species- River Birch, Bald Cypress, Redbud, Shumard Oak, Crepe Mrytle, and Pecan.
All will be in limited quantities.
Tree give away will be held on Wednesday, February 22, at 9:00 a.m., at the Winston County Forestry Commission office at 225 Coats Street, in Double Springs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Minutes of January Council Meeting

Photo by Allison Cochran

The Winston County met on January 19, at the U. S. Forest Service Office.  Present were Kerri Roberts, Jeremy McDonald, John Creed, Mike Henshaw, Travis McDonald, Andy Baril, Matt Brock, and Allison Cochran.  The following topics were discussed:
  • Kerri mentioned the 4-H Round up in May, and possibility of having a Firewise segment for the parents and volunteers present.
  • Jeremy brought up the Payne Demo area and the Junior Ranger program and a Firewise program for that event.
  • After the passage of a constitutional amendment, State Lands property in Winston County will be transferred to the Winston County Board of  Education.  Andy, Mike, and Kerri have a meeting scheduled to learn about the board's plans for the property, and to offer any assistance that may be beneficial.
  • Andy gave an update on the Outreach Symposium and Awards Banquet in Tuscaloosa on February 17.  Several members are planning on attending including Andy, Mike, Mr. Godsey, Allison, Jeremy, and Jason Harris (the newly hired F. S. Silviculturist).
  • Jessica Blackwell is finishing up a stint as Acting Ranger on the Bankhead, and Andy Scott will be the next Acting Ranger.
  • Reviewed 2016 rainfall data, which showed only approximately 44 inches vs a normal total of about 55 inches.
  • Jeremy reported on current fire conditions.
  • Matt said that he would soon be receiving a new $7,000 hog trap that would demonstrate a wireless camera that can monitor the trap via a cell signal.  He can also remotely activate the trap at the moment when the entire sounder can be captured.  The trap can be used to assist private landowners with feral hog damage.
  • Matt added that NRCS funds are only available to adjacent landowners that agree to work together to control hogs.  
  • A Shortleaf Pine Workshop will be held on January 27, at Monte Sano, from 9-12.  More info at this link.
  • There was tornado damage to timber in several areas in Winston County due to the November 29 storms.  Several landowners are working to salvage damaged timber stands.
  • Pine beetle activity seems to be on the increase in Winston County.  Jeremy reported on some higher beetle trap counts.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary