Tag Archive: land

  1. Integrated Toxic Plant Management

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    Integrated Pest Management is a balanced, tactical approach to pest control. It involves taking action to prevent pest outbreak, when possible and to prevent excessive damage caused by pests. When the noted pest is toxic plants in native grass and introduced grass pastures, Integrated Toxic Plant Management involves an application of IPM principles, the identification of toxic plants, understanding the symptoms of poisoning in livestock, recognizing problem areas in pastures and facilities, and formulating a management strategy for minimizing livestock losses. Management strategies include using good range and pasture practices and livestock management practices. Management strategies include getting new, strange and potentially poisonous plants correctly identified, recognizing when plant control is necessary, knowing what kind of control is best, and most importantly, planning for follow-up management to reduce reinfestation by targeted toxic plants.

    This webinar will offer 1 IPM CEU for pesticide applicators in Texas.

  2. What Makes Me Texan By Nature – Estela Lopez

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    Rio Grande River
    Exit to the Rio Grande Valley

    I never knew the impact of growing up in the Rio Grande Valley had on me until I moved away for college. had always heard the saying “you know you’re almost in the valley when you take the exit in Corpus”, but I wouldn’t understand the emotional meaning of it until I drove home for the first time and took the exit myself.

    Ring Day 2022

    I was born and raised by two of the most hard working individuals I know, Rosa Maria Lopez and Fernando Lopez, in the not so little city of McAllen,Texas. I never knew the sacrifice my parents made for me until I started sharing my story in college. My mother was born in Mexico and courageously came to the United States with a dream and a prayer. She has been the greatest role model in my life and has always encouraged of all of my dreams. My m​​other and father did not have the opportunity to attend college, and always made it a goal of theirs to have their only child attend college. They sacrificed continuing their education to provide for their family, and now that I have the ability to attend college and pursue a higher education, I dedicate everything I do for them.

    Bougainvillea Tree
    Memories in Mexico

    Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley has been a blessing. It has given me the ability to appreciate the beauty it holds even though the weather is unbearable at times. The proximity to the border and the Gulf of Mexico blesses us with an abundance of biological diversity. The true beauty of the RGV is in the people and the culture. The Tex-Mex culture has always been a defining and influential part of my life. Most of my childhood was spent traveling to Mexico to visit my mother’s side of the family. My greatest childhood memories include spending time at the ranch in Mexico with my family and eating all the delicious food I could possibly consume prepared by the locals in my grandparent’s hometown. My favorite thing to do was ride around with my grandpa in his old truck listening to corridos and looking at all the cattle and the surrounding vegetation. One of the most beautiful aspects of the ranch is a bougainvillea tree that my great-great grandfather planted for his wife, Rosa Ramirez, who I get my middle name from. This tree has survived droughts, freezes, and the hardships that ranching families face. It shows the true power and perseverance that nature has. This tree has always been so symbolic in my family because if this tree can survive anything, so can we.

     

    Antelope Canyon

    Traveling and discovering the beauty of nature is one of my favorite things to do. One of my favorite quotes comes from John Muir, “Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees”, and I couldn’t agree more. Traveling with my family across the U.S. has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Pictures cannot describe the awe that encompasses an individual when you see first hand the beauty that nature graces us with.

    Antelope Canyon

    My time at Texas A&M University has afforded me the ability to learn more about the great state of Texas. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate education, so many professors have highlighted the diversity that Texas has. Through case studies and group discussions, it’s quite evident the pride that we all hold to be Texan. Nothing gives me greater joy than to tell my story and what it means to me to be from Texas. Walking into a room knowing that growing up in Texas has given me the strength, courage, and ability to conquer anything I set my mind to, empowers me to overcome any obstacle in my way. This is what makes me proud to be Texan by Nature.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  3. A Conservation Guide for Texas Landowners

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    New and experienced Texas landowners alike have a variety of tools at their disposal to become involved in the conservation of the state’s natural resources. Whether it’s land, water, or the wide array of flora and fauna that make their home in Texas, landowners can use the tools below that are featured in Texan by Nature’s Landowner Guide for Conservation and Land Management to engage in meaningful conservation efforts. With ~95% of land in Texas being privately owned, (Texas Land Trends) it is essential for landowners to participate in conservation stewardship and ensure our natural resources flourish for generations of Texans to come.

    LAND

    With 10 distinct eco-regions, the 172 million acres of Texas terrain offer a wide range of landscapes, from mountains in West Texas to coastal plains in East Texas. To best understand the conditions that affect your land like annual precipitation and soil type, use this map to find out your land’s ecoregion. 

    Once landowners have determined the ecoregion their land is in, there are a variety of land management strategies that can be used to restore and maintain native ecosystems.  Landscaping with native plants is a simple solution that provides habitat and food for native species; find which plants are native to your region here. A hands-off approach can also be an effective land management strategy to establish plant biodiversity – landowners can consider not mowing or mowing a small portion of land to allow a biodiverse range of plants to take root. A variety of plants can support a variety of animals, promoting a healthy ecosystem on your land. 

    Habitat Restoration Resources:

    To protect these native ecosystems on your land, consider implementing a Conservation Easement. A Conservation Easement is a voluntary agreement between a private landowner and a government agency, land trust, or other conservation organization, to limit/restrict certain activities on private land in perpetuity. For example, there may be restrictions on subdividing or developing your property, while ensuring your right to continue ranching, farming, hunting, and otherwise maintaining the rural lifestyle. As a landowner, you can continue to live on the land, sell it or pass it on to future generations, but the conservation easement will remain intact. Other easement agreements may focus on timber management, energy development, or other natural resources. An easement holder, such as a land trust, ensures that the easement is maintained by periodically checking that the easement provisions are upheld. More information on conservation easements can be found here.

    Conservation Easement Resources:

    WATER

    Of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the United States, 7 are in Texas. While this presents an opportunity for economic growth, it also presents a challenge as demand for water in the municipal, industrial, and agrarian sectors grows. Innovation that includes conservation, industry, landowners, and communities is a must to meet the challenge.

    According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, irrigation and livestock combined uses about 78% of all groundwater, and agriculture uses about 33% of all surface water used in Texas. If you’re a landowner whose land is used for agriculture, one of the simplest conservation measures you can take is investing in water efficiency. Water conservation happens on a large and small scale, from fixing dripping faucets to innovations in reclaimed and recycled water. Landowners can efficiently irrigate crops and maintain soil moisture by installing low-pressure sprinklers (i.e. drip irrigation) and lining irrigation canals with pipelines to prevent leaks. Landowners and the general public alike can conserve water by repairing leaks and investing in water-saving technologies like low-flow toilets.

    Water Resources:

    PLANTS & WILDLIFE

    Landowners can participate in various programs to promote and maintain plants and wildlife. Even small projects that focus on benefitting one plant or animal species can positively impact other plants and animals in the same ecosystem. These projects can actually save you money through tax exemption.

    Some landowners purchase land that is already under a tax exempt status, or you can apply for exemptions. With an agricultural or timber exemption certificate, landowners are exempt from tax on the purchase of items directly used to produce agricultural and timber products being grown commercially. Another type of agricultural exemption is a wildlife exemption, which lets you keep your property taxes low by performing activities aimed at helping native Texas wildlife rather than, or alongside, traditional agriculture uses.

    In regions where the landscape evolved with naturally occurring wildfires, prescribed burns may benefit the plant and animal life on your land. Prescribed Burns are controlled low-intensity fires that remove excess brush and clear space for seeds to take root. A prescribed burn should be performed only by trained professionals, such as Prescribed Burn Alliance of Texas or Texas A&M Forest Service. Read How Fire Makes a Forest to learn how the Texas Longleaf Team implements prescribed burns. Additionally, consult the NRCS Conservation Practice guide to learn about the uses and risks of prescribed burns.

    Plants and Wildlife Resources

    CARBON CREDITS

    ​​As a Texas landowner, you can diversify your profit stream by claiming carbon credits through the conservation work you do on your land. When you claim these credits on a registry, private companies can purchase these credits from you through your registry to counterbalance their CO2 emissions from their operations. Your land can store carbon above ground as well as below ground through the root system and soil. Learn more about carbon credits and get involved in the right program for you through the resources below.


    Carbon Resources:

    As a Texas landowner, you have the opportunity to strengthen your connection to natural resources and continue the forward momentum of conservation in the Lonestar State. Being a steward of the native species and ecosystems that make their homes on privately owned land is one way to preserve Texas’ rich natural history and preserve it for the future.

    Additional Tools & Resources for Landowners:

    Examples of Texan-led Conservation Efforts on Private Lands:

    Definitions:

    • Carbon credits – A tradable permit that achieves measurable reductions in greenhouse emissions.
    • Conservation – The act or process of conserving. The efficient management or restoration of wildlife and of natural resources such as forests, soil, and water.
    • Conservation Economics – The use of economics to understand the costs and benefits of sustaining natural ecosystems. Its purpose is to accomplish more widespread and lasting conservation by lowering its costs, revealing its benefits and fitting it within genuine economic development. NTE: This phrase is used in a variety of ways.
    • Ecoregion – An area where ecosystems are similar based on climate, landscapes, plants, and animals.
    • Environmentalist vs. Conservationist – Environmentalists believe the environment is to be saved, preserved, set aside, protected from human use vs. Conservationists who believe that natural resources are something we use for living and prospering, so we have to conserve and take care of these resources for the future.
    • Public-Private Partnership – In the conservation realm, this term typically refers to a government or non-profit entity such as Texas Parks and Wildlife or Texan by Nature partnering with private foundations, landowners, and/or businesses in pursuit of a conservation outcome.
    • Return on Conservation – The return realized by investing in conservation encompassing positive financial, people, and natural resource impact.
    • Sustainability – The process of maintaining change in a balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.

    Visit our Landowner Guide for Conservation and Land Management for the latest and email us at info@texanbynature.org if you have additional resources to add to the guide.

  4. Webinar Recap: Land, Water, & Wildlife – Conservation in Action

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    In 2021, Texan by Nature (TxN) and North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) launched a complimentary, four-part webinar series to increase education and awareness of the top natural resource conservation practices in the Lone Star State. The series provided new data, ideas, actionable next steps, and resources for individuals and businesses to get involved. You can watch the first three webinars here or on the Texan by Nature YouTube Channel:

    The fourth and last webinar in the series, “Texas Land, Water, & Wildlife – Conservation in Action,” featured the following speakers:

    Watch the full recording of the webinar:

     

    During the presentations, the following questions were asked via chat. All of the questions and answers can be viewed here:

    Learn more:

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