Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans Week April 26-May 3

AUSTIN, April 24, 2015 – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has partnered with the Association of Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD), Texas Wildlife Association, and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) to highlight the important connection between voluntary land stewardship and sustaining water availability. The statewide campaign of “Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans” is the theme of this year’s Soil & Water Stewardship Week, to be celebrated April 26 through May 3.

“Water supply is always a ‘hot topic’ issue in Texas,” said Jan Thompson, member of the Stewardship Committee for the ATSWCD. “This campaign aims to bring more awareness and support to voluntary land stewardship, because the way we manage our resources on private lands directly impacts the water resources available for public consumption.”

Effective land stewardship increases the ability of open land to absorb rainfall, replenish aquifers, and ensures 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.

“Promoting land stewardship is a year-round priority for Texas Parks and Wildlife, but spring is particularly apt timing to show the vital connection between land and water, as this month we’re announcing the Lone Star Land Steward Awards, a complementary effort that coincides nicely with Soil & Water Stewardship Week,” said Clayton Wolf, TPWD wildlife division director. “All these efforts underscore how voluntary land stewardship is an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable way to ‘create’ more water for homes, businesses, recreation, agriculture, and wildlife.”

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,” Thompson said. “Small efforts, such as using plants in our home landscaping that require little water or identifying and fixing household water leaks, 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, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas Association of Dairymen, South Texans’ Property Rights Association, Texas HORSE,Texas Deer Association, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Texas Poultry Federation, Texas Corn Producers, Taking Care of Texas, Trinity Waters, and Texas Pork Producers.

For more information on “Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans,” please visit www.tsswcb.texas.gov.

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