Conservation Matters June 2016

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Draft Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan available for public comment

Draft Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan available for public comment The Upper Llano River. Photo credit: Upper Llano Watershed Coordination Committee.

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station, working with the Upper Llano Watershed Coordination Committee, recently completed the draft Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan. Stakeholders in the watershed can provide comments on the plan through July 8, during the formal public comment period.

Upper Llano River Watershed Coordinator Tyson Broad said the plan is available from the Llano River Watershed Alliance at llanoriver.org.

Broad said written comments should be emailed to him at southllanoriver@gmail.com or mailed to him at 254 Red Raider Lane, P.O. Box 186, Junction, Texas 76849. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on July 8 and should reference the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan.

"Every single person in the watershed has a stake in the plan, so we want to hear from everyone and encourage public comments — they are important,” said Dr. Tom Arsuffi, director of the Llano River Field Station.

Arsuffi said the Upper Llano River is currently a healthy ecosystem supporting a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and numerous recreational opportunities.

“However, loss of spring flow due to aquifer withdrawals, subtle changes from land fragmentation, loss of riparian habitat, spread of invasive species and encroachment of juniper species on upland habitats threaten this system, potentially decreasing water quality and streamflows,” he said. “The watershed protection plan proactively addresses these threats and will improve the sustainability of the Upper Llano.”

Funding for the plan’s development was provided through a federal Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant to TWRI, administered by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This Texas Tech Research video explains some of the efforts at the field station to preserve the watershed. 

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