Maggie and Mark Johnston hosted a field trip on their property in Black Pond.  An on-going research project on shortleaf pine and hardwood regeneration on previously mined site is being conducted by Mississippi State University and University of Tennessee-Knoxville.  Present at the meeting were Dr. Joshua  Grainger, Andrew Shea, Mike Henshaw, Mark Finley, Tyler Fish, Allison Cochran, Mark Johnston, Jason Harrison, Jamie Segroves, Dr. David Buckley, Maggie Johnston, Casey Hammack, and not pictured, Amy Melson, and Jerod Carter.  (photo by Amy Melson)

Discussed at the meeting were the following topics:

  • History of Blackberry Farm.
  • Balance of the treasury is $5,734.83
  • Update on non-profit status.
  • Winston FAWN dates and locations are TBD.
  • Marion FAWN dates are October 10-11.
  • Zack Brannon received the ALFA Excellence in Agriculture Award that includes a new zero turn mower.
  • RAC proposals are due by August 31.
  • RAC committee will meet in Montgomery to review proposals on September 21.
  • Scholarships to the TREASURE forest meeting are available for young and new landowners.
  • Jerod Carter announced RC&D grants for $5,000 for trails and recreation projects.
  • Natural Bridge Park is in new ownership.
  • Trails and Rec Festival will be held in Point Mallard Park in Decatur on September 30.  Admission for adults is $5.00, youth are free.
  • National Public Lands Day is September 23.  Wild South will sponsor a litter cleanup on September 23.
  • Lowe Mill in Huntsville will sponsor an Art Exhibit featuring Hemlock trees.
  • Needle blight disease in loblolly pine.
  • Jason gave an update on oak planting research on the Bankhead.
  • Tyler gave update on new signage that is being installed at Little Natural Bridge site.
  • This is the Year of Alabama Birding Trails, Allison suggested googling “Bird Tails” for more info.
  • Overview of open positions and recently filled positions on the Bankhead District.
  • Next meeting will be held at the Winston Alabama Forestry Commission Office in Double Springs at 9:00 a.m. on September 21.

Dr. Grainger and Dr. Buckley highlighted research that examines planting various hardwood species with pines on mined sites to determine effects on survivability, growth rate, growth form, and herbivory.  Photos from the August meeting and field trip are here.  

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