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NRCS Teams Up with Conservation Professionals at Land Management Workshop

story by Randy Henry

More than 70 landowners learned methods to preserve and rehabilitate wildlife habitat on small rural properties during the Dallas Land Management Workshop at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Urban Solutions Center in Dallas on July 27, 2012.

Michael Brooks, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationist for Dallas and Tarrant counties delivered a presentation targeting drought management and erosion control.

"Many landowners are purchasing smaller portions of larger ranches throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, however, they face the same resource concerns on the newly acquired land," said Brooks. "Drought management and erosion control are some of the primary resource concerns facing these small landowners."

Workshop topics included maintaining habitat quality for wildlife, pond management, aquatic weed control, prescribed burning, wildlife tax evaluation, along with drought management and erosion control.

Brooks told the attendees that NRCS programs address conservation needs on the farm or ranch, community storm water management issues, rural and urban water quality problems, soil health and quality, flood prevention and damage repair, as well as wildlife habitat management and wetland creation and restoration.

"NRCS has time-tested solutions designed to address erosion problems and to provide a visually attractive, natural landscape for landowners," said Brooks. "With bioengineering techniques, the stability of the property can be restored naturally with vegetation improving water quality and providing wildlife habitat."

Other speakers discussing conservation issues with attendees included Dr. Dale Rollins, quail expert and founder of the Rolling Plains Research Ranch in Roby; Dr. Billy Higginbotham, professor and Fisheries Specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension in Overton; David Sierra of the East Texas Ecological Center in Tyler; and Brett Johnson, Urban Wildlife Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Dallas County.

Sponsors for the informative workshop were Texas AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Lone Star Ag Credit, and Texas Master Naturalists-North Texas Chapter.

NRCS Table Michael Brooks

During the breaks at the Dallas Land Management Workshop on July 27 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas, attendees and sponsors visited the NRCS table for information about conservation programs and chat with NRCS personnel.

NRCS District Conservationist Michael Brooks for Dallas and Tarrant counties discusses land management issues and solutions with a workshop attendee in the exhibitor's area. Brooks delivered an informative presentation about drought management and erosion control to more than 70 landowners that came to listen to conservation experts at the workshop.

Buckskin Brigade Display

One of the highlights at the workshop was visiting the Texas Brigades booths, which included North Texas Buckskin, Bobwhite, and Bass Brigades. These two cadets, Cody Craig (right) and Kenneth Mount (left) are earning points toward becoming assistant leader cadets and learning to work with conservation professionals and the public.