Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for March 3 in Lampasas

LAMPASAS–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. March 3 in Lampasas.

The free program is for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Lampasas River watershed, coordinators said.

An ecosystem and ripalrian workshop will be held Feb. at

A  Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program  workshop will be held March 3 at the Texas Farm Bureau office in Lampasas. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo)

The workshop’s morning session will be at the Texas Farm Bureau, 1793 N. U.S. Highway 281. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river.

The workshop is co-presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Temple, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Lampasas County and the Lampasas Watershed Partnership.

The partnership consists of area residents and other stakeholders from throughout the  watershed area.

“We are able to offer this workshop without cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute Extension program specialist and coordinator, College Station.

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

“There will be useful information on riparian and watershed processes, as well as the benefits of healthy riparian areas, and what resources are available to reduce degradation and improve water quality,” she said.

Presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Attendees must RSVP by Feb. 26 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings under the “Upcoming Training Locations” tab.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation. A catered box lunch from Subway is available for $10 or attendees may bring their own lunch.

Lisa Prcin, AgriLife Research and Lampasas River Watershed coordinator, said the Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Lake was identified for watershed protection plan development due to concerns about elevated levels of bacteria, as per the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s 2002 Texas Water Quality Inventory. Both Sulphur Creek and North Fork Rocky Creek have also been identified as having a dissolved oxygen concern.

“The surrounding land mainly supports rural and agricultural uses, but rapid urbanization is occurring in portions of the watershed causing increased concerns to protect the river,” Prcin said.

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

The workshop offers several types of continuing education units, including three units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, six hours from the Texas Forestry Association, four hours from the Society of American Foresters 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 http://texasriparian.org or go to https://www.facebook.com/TexasRiparianAssociation.

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