Soil and Water Stewardship Week highlights importance of land conservation
To highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas, the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) are partnering with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, Texas Wildlife Association, and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The statewide campaign, “No Land No Water ™,” is the theme of this year’s Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 30 through May 7.
The Texas Agricultural Land Trust is working to educate Texans on the importance of water but also the value of stewardship on agricultural working lands with its message of “No Land No Water ™.” TSSWCB helps support Texas farmers, ranchers and foresters who have been working with their local soil and water conservation districts for decades to voluntarily implement conservation practices that help protect Texans’ water.
“Private land stewardship is key to sustaining our water supplies for future generations. It’s our hope that this campaign will increase awareness of not only the need for greater stewardship but also make the public more aware of all the great work being done by landowners and all the great partners across the state,” said Dr. Kevin Wagner, TWRI deputy director.
Rural working lands are crucial to protecting and preserving the water resources of Texas. Water sustainability depends in large part on the stewardship and conservation of these private lands. With the great majority of land in Texas being privately owned, voluntary land stewardship is vital to keeping these resources healthy.
"Nothing is more critical to the future of agriculture and society than the stewardship of our land resources," said Dr. Roel Lopez, IRNR director.
According to TSSCWB, soil and water conservation in urban areas can also help supplement land stewardship efforts in rural areas. Cities across the country have brought the land stewardship concept into their own backyards, as urban agriculture, urban farming, native landscaping and community forests are becoming more popular.
Other partnering organizations in the “No Land No Water ™” public awareness campaign include Ducks Unlimited, Earthmoving Contractors Association of Texas, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, South Texans’ Property Rights Association, Texan by Nature and Texas Association of Dairymen. The Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Ag Industries, Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Forestry Association, Texas Grain and Feed Association, Texas Grazing Land Coalition, Texas Land Trust Council, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Pork Producers Association, Texas Poultry Federation, Texas Rice Council, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are also partners,
For more research on the changes facing rural working lands in Texas, see texaslandtrends.org, developed by IRNR.