Conservation Matters April 2017

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop coming to Fredericksburg May 16

Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop coming to Fredericksburg May 16

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. May 16 in Fredericksburg for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Pedernales River watershed area.

The workshop is part of the Texas Riparian and Stream Education Program. The morning session will be at the Texas Tech University Hill Country University campus, 2818 E. U.S. Highway 290. The afternoon session will include an outdoor walk along the Pedernales River.

The workshop is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Gillespie County, Hill Country Alliance, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and The Nature Conservancy.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation. Hill Country Alliance is providing a catered lunch for $10 or participants may bring their own lunch.

Register for lunch online at http://bit.ly/2nLUPne or pay cash at the door.

Attendees must RSVP by May 12 to Nikki Dictson, TWRI Extension program specialist and coordinator for the program, at 979-575-4424 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations/.

The Pedernales River is 106 miles long and is fed by more than 1,000 springs as it runs through the Hill Country in Central Texas, according to Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance in Bee Cave. It is a tributary of the Colorado River and is home to 14 endemic species of fish, including the state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe Bass.

Melissa Parker, TPWD’s river conservation team leader in Austin, said the department is partnering with The Nature Conservancy and the Hill Country Alliance to help ensure the Pedernales River and its associated ecological, recreational and economic values are available for current and future generations.

“We are working with private landowners to promote management practices that result in conservation of this valuable resource,” Parker said.

Dictson said trainings will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones as well as the benefits and economic impacts from proper functioning riparian systems.

“A riparian zone is the land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou or river,” she said.

Dictson said workshop topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of AgriLife Extension, TWRI, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, TPWD, Hill Country Alliance, Hill Country Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy.

“The goal is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, see the benefits of healthy riparian areas and know what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality,” Dictson said.

Dictson said the workshop is being offered free thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Brad Roeder, AgriLife Extension agent for Gillespie County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.

The workshop offers various continuing education units, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Texas Forestry Association and six hours from the Society of American Foresters. It offers one unit from TWRI, seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, seven hours from the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

For more information, contact Dictson, visit texasriparian.org or go to facebook.com/TexasRiparianAssociation.

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