HARLINGEN — A two-day workshop for small acreage owners in the Lower Rio Grande Valley interested in wildlife management will be held Aug. 17-18 at the Bass Pro Shop, 101 Bass Pro Drive in Harlingen.
The no-cost “Wildlife and Ranch Management Workshop” will be from 1-5 p.m. Aug. 17 and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Trophy Room of the Bass Pro Restaurant.
The workshop will be conducted by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas Water Resources Institute and the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.
Both institutes are part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.
“This workshop will offer landowners best practices for wildlife management,” said Dr. Roel Lopez, director of the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and interim director of the Texas Water Resources Institute. “The workshop is part of a program we are developing that targets small acreage landowners who want to adopt non-traditional and innovative alternative land management approaches, including wildlife management practices.”
Dr. Luis Ribera, an AgriLife Extension agricultural economist in Weslaco, said maintaining sustainable and viable agricultural operations in the Valley is increasingly challenging because of a variety of factors, including land fragmentation, drought and adverse economic conditions.
“Opportunities to assist these landowners in overcoming these challenges, such as this workshop, will help increase the sustainability and profitability of these producers,” he said.
The workshop will give landowners information on financial and technical assistance programs and information on applying for wildlife tax valuation credits that help reduce property taxes, Ribera said.
Topics and speakers on Aug. 17 include: “Wildlife habitat management on small acreage lands,” Lopez; “Farm bill conservation program,” Sonny Vela, program liaison and Jessica Benevides-Paredes, outreach conservation planner, both with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service; “Feral hogs in Texas; What is legal, what is not,” Dr. Jim Cathey, associate department head and program leader for AgriLife Extension’s wildlife and fisheries sciences unit; and “Wildlife and livestock management,” Dr. Megan Clayton, assistant professor and AgriLife Extension range specialist.
Topics and speakers on Aug. 18 include: “Wildlife and tax valuation,” Cathey; “Estimating wildlife populations with cameras and road surveys,” Lopez; “Water conservation and rain harvesting for wildlife,” Ashley Gregory, AgriLife Extension assistant, and Jaime Flores, program coordinator, both with the Texas Water Resources Institute; and “Value of agricultural production,” Dr. Maria Gutierrez, research scientist for the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.
Preregistration for the workshop is not required but is available, as is more information, by calling Gutierrez at 210-277-0292, extension 200.