Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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December 3, 2012

AgriLife water, land management workshops slated

Corsicana — Trinity Waters and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be holding a second round of water and land management workshops related to the Trinity River basin.

The first of these workshops, which are free and open to the public, will be 1 to  5 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Event Center, 600 N. 45th St., Corsicana, said Blake Alldredge, AgriLife Extension associate and education and outreach coordinator for Trinity Waters.

“The initial round of workshops focused on the basics of watershed functions and features, as well as water quality management in Texas, which provides the foundation for stakeholders to understand how to manage land in a way to improve water resources,” Alldredge said.

He said presentations from the first round of workshops may be found on the AgriLife Extension Wildlife and Fisheries unit YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/WFSCAgriLife.

“In this second round of workshops, participants will learn in greater detail how different land uses and ownership fragmentation can affect the water resources of the basin, as well as landowner profitability and wildlife habitat,” Alldredge said. “In addition, Dr. Don Renchie of AgriLife Extension will present on the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit as it relates to pesticide applicators complying with the Clean Water Act.”

Alldredge said various tools and strategies also will be presented to show landowners the multiple options they have for enhancing land management on their property. He said one such management tool is the Trinity River Information Management System, or TRIMS, mapping tool developed by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

“This tool provides soil, elevation, and hydrology data, plus the ability to measure acreage and lengths so landowners may quickly obtain information needed to manage their land,” he said.

Alldredge said during the second round of workshops representatives from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board will explain how developing a water quality management plan can help achieve a level of pollution prevention or abatement that allows waters to meet the state water quality standards while also benefiting agricultural productivity on private lands.

“The new workshop content will provide landowners with a greater understanding of the basic principles for managing land for water, which will improve agricultural production by reducing erosion and increasing water infiltration and water-holding capacity in the soil,” he said.

Second-round workshops scheduled for 2013 are:

Feb. 5 from 1-5 p.m., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Center, 5301 County Road 4812, Athens.

Feb. 8 from 1-5 p.m., Walker County Storm Shelter, 455 State Highway 75 North, Huntsville.

Each workshop will follow the same format, so Alldredge suggested participants only attend one. He added that 2.5 Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units — one laws and regulations, one general and 0.5 integrated pest management – will be available for attendees.

Those wishing to attend one of the workshops should RSVP by contacting Alldredge at balldredge@tamu.edu or 979-845-0916, or go to http://nrt.tamu.edu/schedule and look for “Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin,” and the date and location of the workshop.

Alldredge said a third round of workshops focused on pasture management and feral hog control would be forthcoming in 2013.

The Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute and funded by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board through a Clean Water Act grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

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