The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on February 15, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs. Present were Lauranne James, Mike Henshaw, Kerri Roberts, Andy Scott, Jimmy Madison, Andy Baril, Carl Godsey, Jeremy McDonald, John Creed, and State Natural Resources Council Representative - Greg Pate. Photo by Blake Addison.
The following items were discussed:
- Carl Godsey mentioned Smith Lake water levels have increased greatly after the recent rainfall. Jimmy Madison mentioned that there is often confusion about flood zones near the lake that leads to extra expense for landowners.
- Greg Pate brought the council information from the Alabama Natural Resources Council for an opportunity to partner with them on offering landowner outreach. They are especially interested in reaching new landowners about Farm Bill programs, and encouraging multiple use management. They have allocated $380 for each council that holds such outreach meetings. The council is interested in this partnership later in the year, but felt that a more urgent need was for a logger PLM program focusing on Bankhead National Forest timber sales to control the current outbreak of pine beetles. The council will look into a landowner meeting in early summer that will include outreach by the Alabama Natural Resources Council.
- Blake Addison led the discussion about a possible PLM meeting about timber sales related to the pine beetle outbreak. This three-hour program would address the bidding process, status of the pine beetle outbreak on the district, information on how to best treat an active pine beetle infestation, special considerations on federal land, such as snags for bat habitat, a local timber mill representative, and Best Management Practices. The tentative date for this program was set as Thursday, April 26, 8:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m. Location to be announced later.
- Lauranne gave an update on the next Northwest Alabama RC&D meeting that will be held at 10:00 a.m. in Russellville on February 21. The program will be on Tombigbee Electric's Freedom Fiber internet access.
- Kerri mentioned the Firewise Grants that will cover the Fishing Derby, FAWN, and 4-H RiverKids. She also said the 4-H Shooting Sports program has applied for a Friends of NRA grant to support that group.
- Andy highlighted the Cullman Forestry Tour. He also said that the Extension System's SET maps may change in 2019, and his work area may change and Winston might have another REA for Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources.
- Jeremy said they would be setting the date soon for the Payne Demo area program for Double Springs schools. He also requested funding from the council to support either the transportation or the portable toilets.