Oct. 21, 2013
Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Blake Alldredge, 979-845-0916, email@example.com
ATHENS – If you missed the Trinity River Land and Water Summit on Oct. 2 in Athens it’s not too late to catch a summary of the speakers, summit officials say.
Blake Alldredge, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate in College Station, said a complete summary of the summit along with the day’s presentations are posted on the Trinity Waters website: http://trinitywaters.org under the “About Us” tab.
The summit was conducted by AgriLife Extension and Trinity Waters with the goal of working with landowners and other stakeholders in the middle Trinity River basin to prioritize watersheds for future planning efforts and to develop monitoring strategies in those watersheds, Alldredge said.
“We had a great turnout and some truly outstanding presentations,” he said. “Bob McCan, president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association of Victoria, and Todd Staples, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, were our keynote speakers.
“Both McCan and Staples said that private land stewardship results in greater land productivity and sustainability for landowners,” Alldredge said. “They emphasised that such efforts can benefit the 45 percent of all Texans who depend on the Trinity River to meet their water needs. And an interactive presentation indicated that the vast majority of attendees was in agreement with them and saw the need for more watershed and water quality management education.”
Ken Klaveness, executive director of Trinity Waters, said Staples pointed out that 86 percent of Texas is rural, but that 88 percent of the population lives in urban areas. So as the state continues to grow toward the projected 50 million people in 50 years, the need to encourage the private ownership of land and a connect with urban Texans also grows. That connect should show that good land stewardship practices enhance water quality and stretch water supplies to the ultimate benefit of all.
“McCan emphasized that cattle producers play a major role in natural resources stewardship and encouraged attendees to take an active role in planning efforts in their own watersheds,” Alldredge said. “He shared his personal experience working with the Copano Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Project to illustrate how others could participate in these planning efforts.”
The Oct. 2 summit was the culmination of nine landowner workshops held in the middle Trinity River basin to promote land stewardship as a valuable watershed management tool, Alldredge said.
For those wanting to know if their land or municipality is in one of the discussed watersheds, the boundaries for all of these watersheds can be found on the Trinity River Information Management System online mapping tool at http://trims.tamu.edu/ .
Partners at the summit included Heritage Land Bank, AgriLand Farm Credit, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Water Development Board, Connemara Conservancy, National Wild Turkey Federation, Texas Wildlife Association and Texas Water Smart.
This summit was held as part of the Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in the Trinity River Basin project, 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.