Thursday, February 15, 2018

February Minutes

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.
Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February Council Meeting

The February meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 15, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Greg Pate with the Alabama Natural Resources Council will be attending and making a short presentation.  We also working on two Firewise proposals to the Winston County Commission.  Hope you will be able to attend.

Monday, February 5, 2018

AFC Names New Assistant State Forester

State Forester Rick Oates is pleased to announce that the Commissioners have approved the appointment of Bruce Springer as Assistant State Forester. Additionally, Brigetta Giles has been selected as Southeast Regional Forester to fill the vacancy left by Springer’s promotion. Both officially assumed their new responsibilities February 1.

More information on the announcement at this link:

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Winston County High School Agri-Science Class Builds Feral Hog Trap Door

Winston County High School Agri-Science students built this "Poor Man's Hog Trap Door" from plans in an Alabama Cooperative Extension System publication.  The trap will be loaned out to a local landowner that is currently having extensive damage to his property due to feral hogs.  The rest of the trap will be constructed of cattle panels that the landowner will provide.  This feral hog control demonstration is made possible by a partnership between the Winston County Natural Resources Council, the Winston County Extension Office, the Winston County Commission, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  The students worked under the direction of Mr. Byron Tuggle, Agri-Science Instructor at WCHS.  Pictured from left to right are Stephen Nix, Ben Mitchell, Jacob Terry, Jarrett Daniel, Mason Franks, Kameron Young, Adrian Blancas, Michael Avery, and J. P. Cornelius.  (photo by Mike Henshaw, ACES)