Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Riparian and Stream Ecosystems – Attoyac Bayou Watershed

2016 Attoyac Bayou Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Training Catered Lunch

September 29, 2016
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.
RSVP is required by September 21, 2016. A catered barbecue lunch is available from C.C.’s Smokehouse for $10 with RSVP prior to September 21 and $15 after the 21st 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 the link above and pay online by credit card or send in a check by mail by to Nikki Dictson, 1500 Research Pkwy, Suite 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.
For more information or questions please contact Nikki Dictson at 979-458-5915  or                            n-dictson@tamu.edu or visit to twri.tamu.edu or texasriparian.org.     

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Do you own or operate heavy equipment?

If so this workshop is designed for you.  Please join us.

Below is the registration address:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Land Stewardship Workshop for Texas Land Contractors - Breckenridge

Do you operate and or own equipment used for brush, wildlife, and or fire management? 
Do you perform road/trail maintenance on your property? 
If you answered "yes" then this workshop is for you.
Sign Up Today!    




Monday, February 1, 2016

Winter 2016 BMP Q&A

Winter 2016 BMP Q&A
Todd Thomas, BMP Forester, Texas A&M Forest Service

Q: A buddy of mine attended one of the recent logger training courses and was telling me about this fancy new computer mapping tool that the TFS has produced.  Where can we find this tool and what are the details? 

A:  The tool your buddy was referring to is called “Plan My Land Operation.”  Plan my land operation is an application that can be found at www.texasforestinfo.com.  At this website, there are several useful tools that I encourage you to try out.  Other applications that can be found there include an interactive forest products directory, to a timber decision simulator, as well as several other interactive web based applications. 

Plan My Land Operation was designed to help loggers, foresters, and landowners to gather information to plan out their forest operations more efficiently.  The first step in conducting your operations in a BMP savvy manner is to plan.  On this application, the user can view aerial imagery that is linked to bing maps, historical aerial imagery dating back the last 10 years or so, USGS topographic maps, and maps that display only the hydrology of the area.

The first step is to find the location of the property.  This can be done by zooming in with your mouse, or by entering the latitude/longitude of the site.  Once this is done, you may use your mouse to draw out the boundaries of the property.  If you have the boundaries saved you may load them to save you time if they are of the following file types: mmp, shp, kml, or gpx.  Once you have your boundaries drawn, you may save them and load them later if you need to revisit the application.  Acreage is automatically calculated once you get the boundaries drawn out. 

The next tool listed on this application is the “Sensitive Areas” tool.  This tool automatically draws out any streams on the site, applies an SMZ to these streams (defaults to 50 feet, but you can tailor it to your needs), shows any steep slopes (slopes greater than 8%, but can be changed to your liking), and any wet areas where rutting may be a concern.  The application will even produce a written report on these sensitive areas for your reference.  After this comes the “Soils” tool.  This overlays NRCS soil maps onto the landscape allowing you to view not only soil type, but erodibility, site index, etc.   If this wasn’t enough, the tool below soils is called “Operational Considerations.”  This contains layers that show suitability for roads and landings, harvest equipment operability, soil rutting hazard, and others that give the user a view of landscape conditions that could hinder operations. 

Possibly my favorite two tools are next on the menu.  These are the “Culvert Size” and “Elevation Profile” tools.  The culvert size tool allows the user to select a location on a stream and the area that drains down to that point on the stream is automatically drawn out on the map.  Next a report is produced that gives the user recommendations on what size culvert would be appropriate for the location selected.  The “Elevation Profile” tool gives the user the ability to draw out a potential road or trail on the map, and a graph charting the elevation of that path as it snakes along is produced.  This gives you the ability to choose a location for a road or trail with the least amount of slope.  This tool is also handy for any of you hikers out there.  The last four tools on the application allow the user to measure area and distance, add labels, add linear features, and add points of interest.  Once you are satisfied with the map you have produced, the last button on the menu gives you the option to save the map in pdf form for future reference or print it out. 

That, in a nutshell, are just some of the options brought to the table by the “Plan My Land Operation” tool.  I encourage you to visit the website and play with this particular application and the many others provided on the website.  Don’t worry, this web tool is way more user friendly than I have made it sound.   It was designed to be as user friendly as possible and is constantly being improved and added on to.  If you have any questions about this or any BMP issues call my office in Lufkin, the number is (936)639-8180.  You can also email me at tthomas@tfs.tamu.edu.