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

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