Monday, December 14, 2015

BMP Instructional Videos Coming Soon!!

Hot behind the scenes photo from the water bar and wing ditch video shoot on the Fairchild State Forest in Cherokee County last week.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Riparian and Stream Ecosystems Workshop – Attoyac Bayou Watershed

December 3, 2015
8 am – 4 pm

Courthouse Annex
203 W. Main Street
Nacogdoches, TX 75961
This workshop is being co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Nacogdoches County and the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Partnership. The training will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones and the benefits and direct impacts from healthy riparian zones. The riparian education programs will cover an introduction to riparian principles, watershed processes, basic hydrology, erosion/deposition principles, and riparian vegetation, as well as potential causes of degradation and possible resulting impairment(s), and available local resources including technical assistance and tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation.

These one-day trainings in watersheds across the state include both indoor classroom presentations and outdoor stream walks.  The goal is for participants to better understand and relate to riparian and watershed processes, the benefits that healthy riparian areas provide, and the tools that can be employed to prevent and/or resolve degradation and improve water quality. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
Continuing Education Units Available
  • Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License – 3 CEUs
  • Texas Water Resources Institute  – 1 CEU
  • Texas Nutrient Management Planning Specialists – 6 hours
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners “Acceptable for HSW credit”
  • Texas Forestry Association – 6 hours
  • Society of American Foresters – 5.5 hours
  • The program may also be used for CEUs for Professional Engineers.
RSVP is required by November 27, 2015. A catered barbecue lunch is available from C.C.’s Smokehouse for $10 with RSVP prior to November 27 and $15 after the 27th payable at the door the day of event. Please remember to select if you would like the catered lunch options or if you will bring your own. RSVP online at  and send in a check or credit card authorization form for lunch payment by email to or by mail by to Nikki Dictson, 1500 Research Pkwy, Ste 110, College Station, TX 77843-2260. Dress is casual and comfortable for the weather as we will be outside at the stream during the afternoon.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Wildfire Recovery Workshop - Edwards County

To get to the Edwards County Park Building, take State Highway 377 N. from Rocksprings toward Junction. The facility is a pale yellow brick building on the left side of the road just before the 4-H Barn which is part of the Edwards County Fairgrounds (903 US 377 N, Rocksprings, TX 78880).

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lone Star Healthy Streams Workshop in Copperas Cove on July 29th

The Lone Star Healthy Streams program aims to educate Texas livestock producers and landowners on how to best protect Texas waterways from bacterial contamination associated with livestock production and feral hogs. By participating in this workshop, livestock producers and landowners can learn specific conservation practices that can help combat bacteria pollution and improve and protect the quality of Texas water bodies, specifically the Lampasas River and its tributaries. Three Texas Department of Agriculture general continuing education credits will be provided for certified pesticide applicators. To RSVP for the workshop, go to or call Matt Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist in College Station at 979-862-8072.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring 2015 BMP Q&A

By: Todd Thomas, Water Resources Forester, Texas A&M Forest Service

Q: I have an old road that I use to access most of my property that is fairly steep in some parts and has high banks on either side.  The road itself has a good crown on it and sheds water well.  The problem lies with the ditches.  Due to the high banks I am unable to install any turnouts to give the side ditches some relief until the road reaches the bottom of the hill.  This makes for severely gutted out ditches.  What can I do to keep my ditches from being so washed out? 

A: Excellent question. Believe it or not, you are not alone in your problem.  This is especially common on roads that are retired county roads where years of grading left the road severely below grade.  Your issue is extremely problematic because if left untreated the erosion occurring in your ditches will eventually begin to undercut your road. 

The best option that comes to mind that would be the most long-lived would be the installation of small “Reno mattresses” in your ditches.  A Reno mattress is comprised of chicken wire, stakes (ideally rebar), wire ties and rock or other aggregate.  These installations should take up the full width of your ditch, be approximately one to two feet wide, and one to two feet tall.  The rock or rip rap you use should be bigger around than that holes in the chicken wire. 

Small Reno mattress installations in side ditch on steep grade
To install a Reno mattress, lay the chicken wire the width of your ditch, dump your aggregate on top of the wire to form a mound one to two feet wide and one to two feet tall, fold the wire over the top of your rock mound and use wire to tie the chicken wire shut.  Next, take your stakes and stake the Reno mattress down on the front and on the back.  When installing the Reno mattresses take care to ensure that any flow will not wash out the edges or undercut the installment.  To determine the number and spacing you will need, consult the Texas Forestry Best Management Practices Blue Book.  The chart for waterbar spacing on page 54 should suffice, however if you think you need more, go for it.  More of these will certainly not be detrimental.   

Top view of  Reno mattress
The functionality of these Reno mattresses is twofold.  The first function, as with all BMPs is to slow down the flow.  The second function occurs from the slowed down flow; once the flow in the ditch is slowed down any sediment it is carrying with it should settle out behind the installment.  Over time this should work to fill in the ditch behind the mattress while allowing water to pass on through.  Sort of a “filtering” effect. 

In closing, remember the primary functionality goals of BMPs, slow down flow to reduce erosion and to allow any sediment travelling with the flow to settle out.  Be sure to keep the questions coming.  You can call our office in Lufkin at any time, the number 936-639-8180, or you can email me at

Monday, March 30, 2015

2011 Drought and Fire Recovery Continues in Kimble County


Oasis Pipeline Fire Recovery Workshop

Please join us to discuss the recovery of land impacted by the April 2011 wildfire.  
On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the public is invited to participate in a workshop addressing four years of recovery and restoration of the land impacted by drought and the Oasis Wildfire of 2011 in Kimble County.
The workshop will begin at 8:30 am at the Texas Tech Center in Junction. An expert panel will provide information about the recovery of the land, water, and wildlife along with what strategies were most effective.  In addition to a guided tour of the recovery demonstration areas, attendees will be provided an informational binder, a package of a specially formulated seed mix for scorched and drought impacted lands, along with a picnic lunch on the South Llano River.
Registration is required 

Please register by April 12 online at
or contact Scott Richardson at 325-475-2271 or
The workshop is sponsored by the South Llano Watershed Alliance and Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
Picture provided by