Minutes of June 20 Council Meeting


The Winston County Natural Resources Council met on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  The following members were present: Jamie Segroves, Casey Hammack, Mark Finley, Allison Cochran, Zack Brannon, Amberia Spiller, Lauranne James, Paul Green, Maggie Johnston (seated), and John Creed.  Not pictured are Mike Henshaw, Andy Scott, Heather Tucker, and Amy Melson.

The following topics were discussed:

  • Introductions of everyone present.  Heather Tucker is beginning her new role as the Executive Director of the Wild Alabama, a role formerly filled by Maggie Johnston.  Many council members have worked with Heather in her position as and educator and principal with the Winston County Board of Education and we look forward to working with her in this new role.
  • Review of Youth Fishing Derby activities, costs, income, partners, sponsors.  65 children attended and all caught fish.  Approximately 150 people attended, counting adults.  Top prize was a lifetime fishing license.  Allison said she would like to see more educational exhibits or booths, the archery activity was missing this year due scheduling conflicts.  More promotion of the derby in balance with the capacity of the site will be considered next year.  Networking ideas included Fresh Air Families, and Black Kids Adventure.
  • We also reviewed the recent Landowner Field Day at Riley Jacobs’ Property.  Everyone agreed that the topics were timely and all the attendees and the landowner enjoyed the visit.
  • An extended discussion about the current pine beetle situation was lead by Andy and Jamie.  Lots of pine beetle activity is being observed on both private and public pine forests.  Drone video was shown of some pine beetle activity in a young pine plantation.
  • Zack announced that the annual Tomato Sandwich Day would be held on July 12, behind the Bankfirst Building in downtown Double Springs from 10:00 am till supplies run out.
  • Lauranne said the NW RC&D Council’s Grant Applications are online now and they will be accepting application until June 30.  Casey is working on an grant proposal from the WCNRC.
  • NATR will be hosting an EXPO September 28.  
  • Matt Hannah sent word that he would miss this meeting because he was RV’ing in Arizona.
  • Mark said the TREASURE Forest program was celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.
  • Paul brought up a possible site for a landowner tour on private land near the Natural Bridge Recreation Site near Houston.  Funding is available until October, and the council would like to pursue this opportunity.  A tentative date of Friday, September 28, was set for the tour.  The next council meeting will be held at the Natural Bridge Recreation Site on July 18.
  • Zack said FAWN will be held in early October at the Houston Recreation Area.  Exact dates TBD.
  • Andy said Forest Service items included beetle update, Bear Creek Trail restoration, Flint Creek temporary closure, Western wildfires, and new Alabama Forest Supervisor will be announced soon.
  • Allison gave an update on the discovery of a four-toed salamander in the Black Pond area.  This a rare species rarely seen in Alabama.
  • Maggie gave an update on Wild Alabama activities and on her retirement and the hiring of Heather Tucker.
  • Casey said the balance in the treasury was $5,531.99.

The next meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Natural Bridge Recreation Area on County Road 63 near Houston, on Thursday, July 18.

Mike Henshaw

Secretary, WCNRC

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