Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Educators on the Water

Every summer, Texas Forestry Association, an organization of forest landowners, forest industry, loggers, resource professionals, and others, sponsors Teachers’ Conservation Institute (TCI) - a week-long workshop which uses the forest to teach environmental education.  Activities are led by foresters, educators, natural resource conservationists, and industry professionals. [Go to http://www.texasforestry.org/educators/teachers-conservation-institute/ for more information.]

For several years, TFS Water Resources staff have participated in the camps as leaders and/or presenters, talking about water quality, the relationship between forests and water, and how the forestry community works to protect water and soil during forestry operations. 

For the first time, an entire session focusing on water was offered in June of 2012.  Classroom studies and field investigations were conducted during the week on many aspects of water:  physical and chemical properties of water, groundwater, water conservation issues in Texas, watersheds, wetland habitats and wildlife, and more.  There was even a camping trip and canoeing for “up close” water habitat observations.

By the end of the week, participants were certified in Project WET and Watch on Wetlands (environmental education curricula focusing on water), and Leave No Trace.  Several continuing education credits were also offered.

These educators are now even more equipped to share with their students and organizations the importance of good stewardship of our water resources here in Texas and the world.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Photo Challenge: What's Wrong with This Picture?

Proper layout of a logging operation is a critical component of pre-harvest planning - a fundamental BMP. Look closely at the picture below. Can you spot any issues with the location of this road and landing (on the right side of the picture)?

(click on the picture for a larger view)

How about now?

Do you know what the BMP guidelines are for locating roads and landings next to perennial and intermittent streams? What should have been done differently in this case? How could this situation be fixed?

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BMP Trivia Question

Stream crossings are critical locations for Best Management Practices (BMPs) because they involve the direct interaction of forest roads (subjected to vehicle traffic) with water resources. To prevent water quality impacts and to maintain the integrity of the stream channel it is important to follow all applicable BMPs. Which of the following statements about stream crossings are true? (Hint: One or more statements may be true)

A. They should be constructed at a 45 degree angle to the stream channel

B. They should be constructed at a 90 degree angle to the stream channel

C. Dirt crossings are acceptable as long as they are removed promptly

D. In some cases it is not necessary to stabilize stream crossings after operations are complete

E. If possible, stream crossings should be avoided

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