Conservation Matters February 2015

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

IRNR joins partnership to establish the Center for Private Land Stewardship

IRNR joins partnership to establish the Center for Private Land Stewardship

The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) recently joined with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the East Foundation to form the Center for Private Land Stewardship (CPLS).

The three entities signed a memorandum of understanding on Feb. 3.

Dr. Roel Lopez, IRNR director, said the center is designed to fill critical research, extension/teaching, and policy needs to further a vision of private land stewardship.

The center will be the hub of education for private landowners and the public, according to a Noble Foundation news release. Through activities such as land use forecasting, experiential learning, professional training and policy innovations, the center will communicate and demonstrate the value of proper stewardship of private lands.

"Nothing is more critical to the future of agriculture and society than the stewardship of our land resources," Lopez said. "Our agricultural producers and land managers do an excellent job safeguarding this resource. However, CPLS will offer them more resources, practical tools to help handle the problems they encounter, while also bringing vital education to the public so they too are energized toward the cause of stewardship."

The CPLS will also conduct research on land use changes and other drivers affecting private lands, Lopez said.

"Big movements begin with small moments," said Bill Buckner, president and chief executive officer of the Noble Foundation, in the foundation’s news release. "By signing this memo, our three organizations are committed to advancing private land stewardship and integrating the interest of landowners with community well-being."

Dr. Neal Wilkins, East Foundation president, said CPLS will continue to grow, forming collaborative relationships with other like-minded organizations to further address regional and national stewardship issues.

"The work of private landowners in conserving natural resources is increasingly important,” Wilkins said. “We expect that the three organizations starting this effort will soon be joined by others who also understand private land stewardship." 

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