CORSICANA/ATHENS/HUNTSVILLE – Trinity Waters, a landowner organization based in the Trinity River basin, and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are hosting a series of workshops for landowners and other interested stakeholders in the region.
With significant population growth expected in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston metro areas, current water quality issues and an increasing demand for clean water will place greater pressure on natural resources of the Trinity River basin, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
“The first round of workshops is intended to raise awareness of water and land management issues in the basin among interested members of the public,” said Blake Alldredge, AgriLife Extension associate and education and outreach coordinator for the Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin project.
Alldredge said continuing education units would be available for attendees of the first round of workshops to be held Sept. – Nov. The no-cost, half-day workshops will address water resource protection and improvement. Times and locations for the initial workshops are:
Sept. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon, IOOF Event Center, 600 N. 45th Street, Corsicana.
Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. – noon, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Center,5301 County Rd. 4812 Athens (includes reduced entry fee to the visitor center).
Nov. 1 from 8 am – noon, Walker County Storm Shelter, 455 State Highway 75 North, Huntsville.
According to the Trinity Waters organization, about 40 percent of Texans get their water from the Trinity River and widespread habitat loss throughout the basin has led to reduced wildlife populations, particularly grassland birds.
“Private landowners own the majority of the land in the middle Trinity basin, so providing them with the information and resources they need to accomplish conservation goals within the basin is critical,” Alldredge said. “Quality land management links common goals in livestock, wildlife and water management.”
He said there will be three sets of workshops, each subsequent workshop with more detailed focus than the previous, to address various aspects of natural resource conservation and land management. These will culminate in a summit workshop.
Coordinators said the initial set of workshops will give participants a better understanding of basic water quality and watershed principles, as well as the strategies state and local organizations use to improve and protect water resources.
“Participants in these first workshops will also hear from personnel with the Trinity River Authority who will explain how effective watershed management practices can benefit society as a whole,” Alldredge said. “The programs will also involve discussion by an area landowner who has employed various conservation practices and, as a result, has improved cattle production and increased income from developing wildlife recreational opportunities.”
Coordinators said a second round of workshops are being scheduled for November and December. The focus of these subsequent workshops will be more specific land-management information and techniques for landowners to enhance their productivity and improve watershed management.
“This next series of workshops will include presentations on the Trinity River Information Management System, or TRIMS, an online mapping tool, habitat restoration tips and how landowners can benefit from developing a water quality management plan through the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board,” Alldredge said.
Coordinators said a third round of workshops is also being scheduled for January and February of next year and will include presentations on pasture management and row crop farming techniques to protect water quality; feral hog management; and financial assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service.
“Following these workshops, there will be a capstone summit where landowners and other stakeholders in the basin will come together and discuss the best course of action for watershed planning,” Alldredge said.
The Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin project is funded by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board through a Clean Water Act grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on the Trinity Waters organization, go to http://www.trinitywaters.org.
Those interested in attending any of these workshops should contact Alldredge at 979-845-0916 or email@example.com to RSVP and reserve a spot. To RSVP electronically, go to http://naturalresourcestraining.tamu.edu/schedule/and look for “Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin” and the date and location of the workshop.