Monthly Archives: June 2015

Range & Habitat Management: Prescribed Fire Workshop

The key to maintaining healthy plant and animal communities is range and habitat management. The Academy for Ranch Management is offering a basic prescribed burning workshop Aug. 6-8 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Sonora Station located on State Highway 55 between Sonora and Rocksprings. The basic course is open to those wanting to learn about the benefits of prescribed burning and the basics of planning and carrying out a prescribed burn, said Ray Hinnant, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research senior research associate in College Station.

“This looks to be an excellent year to grow grass, which is fuel for a prescribed burn, across the entire state,” Hinnant said. “This might be a good time to begin planning for a prescribed burn either this summer or next winter/spring.” He also said this workshop would be a great follow up for those who attended the recent Rancher’s Roundup in Abilene.

The workshop also constitutes the first half of Texas’ Prescribed Burn Board-approved course required for Certified and Insured Prescribed Burn Manager licenses by the Texas Department of Agriculture, Hinnant said. A license holder has the ultimate authority and responsibility when conducting a prescribed burn, according to department rules. The burn manager must meet the minimum standards of training and experience and maintain required insurance. There are three types of certified and insured burn managers: private, commercial and not-for-profit. Continue reading

Riparian Habitat Restoration Workshop for Texas Landowners

Riparian Habitat is Important

There is nothing better than riparian habitat. It’s true, the plant communities that comprise riparian areas are critical for wildlife. In many cases riparian areas have higher plant and animal diversity than surrounding areas. Although riparian areas such as creeks, streams and rivers are ever-changing, unprecedented rain events can cause serious problems with the health and function of these systems in the short-term. Central Texas has been hammered with rain, but Texas landowners have help when it comes to figuring out what to do with their flood-impacted properties.

The Nature Conservancy, Texas Parks and Wildlife, City of Wimberley, Texas A&M Forest Service and other Central Texas conservation agencies and non-profit organizations are offering natural resource restoration workshops June 10, 11 and 12 for landowners and residents whose properties were affected by flooding on the Blanco River. Water is important for the Hill Country, but it’s also important that riparian areas function properly.

What: The workshops will cover the do’s and don’ts of riparian (stream side) recovery following the Blanco River flooding. Field trips will cover restoration tips and plant identification and provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of Texas’ top riparian restoration experts. Continue reading