Sunday, February 18, 2024

February Meeting Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on February 15, 2024, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  The following persons were present: Matt Hannah, Andy Scott, Chris Horn, and Mike Henshaw.  Casey Hammack, Treasurer, had sent word that the balance of the treasury was $6,671.52, with a $1,100.10 bill for the FAWN transportation that will be paid in just a few days.  The following topics were discussed:

  • Matt Hannah said that the Council would need to submit a simple online tax return, and the deadline for that was May 15.
  • Andy said that Chris Horn would be the regular representative from the Forest Service on the Council.
  • Short discussion was held about the officers for the Council in the coming year.  Mike offered to take the Secretary position, and other vacancies will be considered at a later Council meeting.
  • Andy and Mike gave a short review of the most recent Bankhead Liaison Panel meeting on January 30.  The main topics were about Southern Pine Beetle Activity, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement research facility construction, Snake Fungal Disease, and panel membership.
  • Andy said an official announcement about the Secure Rural Schools funding would be coming soon.
  • Mike said that Camp McDowell was conducting a small prescribed fire which will be one of the first on that property in many years.
  • Pine beetle activity on private property.
  • Feral Swine control on the Bankhead National Forest.
  • Winston County Tree Give Away will be held on Tuesday, March 5, at 9:00 a.m., at B & B Motors on US 278 in Double Springs.
  • Walker County Tree Give Away will be held on Friday, March 1, at 8:00 a.m., at the Farmers Market in Jasper on Airport Road.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Mike Henshaw, V. Chair


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Fight Cogongrass at No Cost to Landowners

 Alabama Forestry Commission News Release; 1 Feb 2024; Contact elishia.ballentine@forestry.alabama.gov

Fight Cogongrass at No Cost to Landowners

For the third year, financial relief will be available soon to assist Alabama landowners adversely affected by the non-native, invasive noxious weed, cogongrass. The application period for the Cogongrass Mitigation Program will launch on February 20, 2024, at 8:00 a.m. Central Time, and the portal will remain open until March 29 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time or until the threshold of 150 applications is reached. Eligibility for the funding requires that applicants be private, non-industrial landowners. Property with cogongrass infestations must be located in any of the 67 counties of Alabama, although the landowner is not required to reside on the property or within the state. There is no minimum or maximum acreage ownership requirement to enroll. It is a cost-free program.

 Administered by the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC), the Cogongrass Mitigation Program is made possible through a grant from the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ). The goals of this program are to reduce the number of infested acres, eliminate the damaging effects of cogongrass on existing ecosystems, and improve the productivity of sites impacted by the weed. Additional objectives include slowing the spread of current establishments of cogongrass and preventing introductions into new areas of the state.

To apply for this funding or for further information regarding additional eligibility requirements, please visit the Cogongrass Mitigation Program section of the Alabama Forestry Commission’s website at forestry.alabama.gov/Pages/Management/Cogongrass.aspx. You may also email the AFC Cogongrass Coordinator at owen.andrews@forestry.alabama.gov or contact your local AFC office.

The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principles and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. For more information about the Alabama Forestry Commission, visit the AFC website at forestry.alabama.gov


                                            Photo Credit - invasive.org; Nancy Loewenstein


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Cullman County Learn & Burn - Registration Required

Alabama Forestry Foundation is hosting a Cullman County Learn & Burn event for landowners to learn about prescribed burning. The event will be weather dependent in late February to early March.  Learn more here.  Registration is required.


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Winston County Natural Resources Council Meetings Resume on January 18, 2024

 The Winston County Natural Resources Council will resume meetings on Thursday, January 18, 2024.  The January meeting will be held at the Bankhead National Forest office in Double Springs.

Bankhead National Forest Liaison Panel Meeting Scheduled for January 30, 2024

 The Bankhead Liaison Panel will meet on January 30, 2024 at 6:00 pm at the Winston Baptist Association Building located at 25461 Alabama Highway 195, Double Springs.  Anyone interested in the management of the Bankhead National Forest is invited to this public meeting.  January 2024 meeting topics include Southern Pine Beetle activity; reptile and amphibian research; Atmospheric Radiation Measurement research facility construction and Liaison Panel membership.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Working with Bats and Forestry Workshop - Cullman - 11/28

 Learn about bats in Alabama forests, how to beneficially manage forests for bats, and state and federal regulations for bats.

Who Should Attend : Wildlife Biologists, Foresters, Procurement Foresters, Timber Buyers, Loggers, Natural Resources Professionals , Landowners and Students with responsibilities for forest land management.

Objectives of Workshop:  Objectives of this workshop are to raise awareness about forest bats while providing management tools to natural resource professionals, specifically

 Bats of Alabama and their benefits.

 Learning about BMPs for Bats (silviculture, timber harvesting and fire)

 Management Implications /Listed Bat Consultation and Management recommendations.

 Assessing habitat suitability for bats.

Class will have an afternoon field session, brief light walking may be required.

PLM and CFE credits for foresters & wildlife biologist will be offered

Registration is required.  Contact Brad Nail for more information - bnail@alaforestry.org

Online registration:  REGISTER


Monday, October 30, 2023

Fire Restrictions on National Forests in Alabama Due to Fire Danger

 NEWS RELEASE -

USDA Forest Service Places Public Fire Restrictions in Alabama’s National Forests

 


Montgomery, Ala. (October 30, 2023)
—  The USDA Forest Service is alerting all forest visitors to be aware of specific fire restrictions placed in Alabama’s federal lands – Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests.  Degrading fire hazard conditions have prompted Acting Forest Supervisor Timothy Spivey to sign a forest closure order to restrict the public from using fire or building campfires on the national forests except those within developed recreation areas that are confined to receptacles designed for fires.  Commercially available fuel stoves (camp stoves) and backpacking stoves are excluded from the restriction.  Forest Service officials are also prohibiting possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or pyrotechnic device.  The following public restrictions are effective on Oct. 30, 2023, and will remain in effect until November 30, 2023, or terminated by a Forest Supervisor.