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Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans
AUSTIN - The Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Texas Wildlife Association, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are joining other state agencies and organizations in a statewide campaign to highlight the important connection that exists between voluntary land stewardship and sustaining water availability. Soil and Water Stewardship Week will be held April 27 through May 4, 2014. The campaign for this year is "Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans."
"Land management in rural areas directly affects the water availability for the 20 million Texans living in urban areas," said Johnny Ussery, Chair of the Stewardship Committee for the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts. "When we ably manage our resources on private lands, we enhance the water quantity for everyone in the state. Essentially private lands providing a public benefit."
Effective land stewardship increases the ability of open land to absorb rainfall, replenish aquifers, and ensure that water drains slowly and steadily into springs, streams, rivers and lakes – reducing run-off and helping to prevent flooding. Voluntary stewardship practices include things such as prescribed grazing management by ranchers, the use of cover crops by farmers, wildlife habitat enhancement, and the targeted removal of invasive brush species.
"Voluntary land stewardship is an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable way to 'create' more water for homes, businesses, recreation, agriculture, and wildlife," Ussery said.
Soil and water conservation performed in urban areas can also help supplement land stewardship efforts in rural ones.
"Urban Texans can become involved by practicing effective land stewardship at home, and in their neighborhoods, schools, and businesses," Ussery said. "Small efforts, such as using plants in our home landscaping that require little water, can add up to major water conservation when practiced by millions of people across the state."
Partnering organizations in the "Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans" public awareness campaign include Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas A&M AgriLife's Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, Texas Department of Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas Coalition Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Texas Association of Dairymen, South Texans’ Property Rights Association, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, South Texas Cotton and Grain Association, Texas Forestry Association, Texas HORSE, Texas Deer Association, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Texas Poultry Federation, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Wheat Producers Board and Association, Taking Care of Texas, Trinity Waters, Texas Pork Producers Association, Quail Coalition, Plateau Land & Wildlife Management, and Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
More information is available at Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans (PDF, 1.22 MB).
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and delivers coordinated natural resource conservation programs through the State’s 216 soil and water conservation districts. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is the lead agency for planning, implementing, and managing programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution. The agency also administers a water supply enhancement program to increase available surface and ground water through the targeted control of water-depleting brush; works to ensure the State’s network of 2,000 flood control dams are protecting lives and property; and facilitates the Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee.
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board grants permission for the use of this information as a free service to the news media. Articles may be used either in their entirety or in part, provided that attribution remains. You may print the story or post it on the Internet.