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NRCS Reaches Wildlife Enthusiasts, Urbanites and Landowners at Cabela’s an

NRCS Reaches Wildlife Enthusiasts, Urbanites and Landowners at Cabela�s and Texas Hunting and Outdoor Expo

Story by Melissa Blair

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff got to show off the �wild� side of conservation at two events during August. The Texas Hunting and Outdoor Classic in San Antonio held Aug. 13-15 and the Fall Great Outdoor Days at Cabela�s in Buda on Aug. 21-22.

Both events allowed staff to visit with landowners, urban audiences who leased land for hunting and/or fishing, and outdoor enthusiasts, about the technical and financial assistance available through NRCS for conservation planning. Some attendees were aware of NRCS (or as some remembered it, SCS) and talked about the work they have done with our agency, but most were not aware of the opportunities available to them in utilizing the services and programs for enhancing wildlife habitat and other conservation work.

The Texas Hunting and Outdoor Classic featured the Texas NRCS display �Wild about Wildlife: Enhancing Wildlife Habitats in Texas� and live demonstrations of the Web Soil Survey by Dennis Williamson, State Soil Scientist,; Jessica Jobe, MLRA soil survey leader at the Kerrville MLRA Soil Survey Office. Hays County District Conservationist, Cris Perez; range management specialist, David Bush; and Zone 3 public affairs specialist, Melissa Blair, provided assistance to landowners who visited the booth about ways that NRCS could address their land issues and provided NRCS office information for follow up. As a result of a contact at this show, NRCS was extended an invitation to participate in the Fall Great Outdoor Days at Cabela�s.

The Fall Great Outdoor Days is a nationwide Cabela�s event to encourage people to enjoy the Great Outdoors. Organizations and companies pass out brochures and pamphlets to customers and inform them of what they have to offer for the outdoors. The NRCS booth featured the Wildlife Habitat - Making Texas Home display and plants mounts for viewing on Sat. and more than 50 fresh plants on Sunday. Contact was made with several potential career candidates at Cabela�s along with school teachers, landowners, hunters, fishers and others interested in finding out more about NRCS.

State wildlife biologist, Russell Castro; Travis County district conservationist, Jeremy Hasty; conservation program manager, Eddie Garcia; and Melissa Blair, worked the NRCS booth at Cabela�s on Sat. while Zone 5 wildlife biologist, Ricky Linex gathered the fresh plants on Sat. for Sunday�s display. Castro and Linex were assisted on Sunday by state public affairs specialist, Bob Stobaugh; and Zone 4 public affairs specialist, Beverly Moseley, with the outreach effort.

�While landowners use the technical side of NRCS to develop and carry out their conservation programs, urban folks generally do not know who we are or how we can help them,� said NRCS state conservationist, Don Gohmert. �Having the opportunity to participate in events like the Outdoor Classic and Cabela�s Outdoor Days gives us a chance to interact with urban residents, recreationists and environmental enthusiasts about their interest and needs. It helps us learn how to serve them better.�

Wildlife biologist, Ricky Linex; state wildlife biologist, Russell Castro; and state public affairs specialist, Bob Stobaugh, visit with customers at the Cabela�s Fall Great Outdoor Days about NRCS programs and beneficial plants for conservation and wildlife.

Dennis Williamson, State Soil Scientist; and Jessica Jobe, MLRA soil survey leader at the Kerrville MLRA Soil Survey Office, visit about the benefits of Web Soil Survey with a fellow vendor at the Texas Hunting and Outdoor Expo in San Antonio.

 

State wildlife biologist, Russell Castro, and conservation program manager, Eddie Garcia; discuss plants with a customer at Cabela�s Fall Great Outdoor Days.