Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans

The Texas Wildlife Association, the Association of Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD), and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are joining other state agencies and non-governmental organizations in a statewide campaign to highlight the important connection that exists between voluntary land stewardship and sustaining water availability. Soil & Water Stewardship Week will be held April 26 through May 2. The campaign for this year is “Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans.”

“As the urban population of Texas grows and the demand for water increases, the private landowners will have a growing impact on the health of our state.  It is so important that the people of Texas understand the tremendous benefits landowners provide to the entire state,” said David Yeates, CEO of Texas Wildlife Association.

Effective land stewardship increases the ability of open land to absorb rainfall, replenish aquifers, and ensure that water drains slowly and steadily into springs, streams, rivers and lakes – reducing run-off and helping to prevent flooding. Voluntary stewardship practices include things such as prescribed grazing management by ranchers, the use of cover crops by farmers, wildlife habitat enhancement, and the targeted removal of invasive brush species.

“Water supply is always a ‘hot topic’ issue in Texas. This campaign aims to bring more awareness and support to voluntary land stewardship, because the way we manage our resources on private lands directly impacts the water resources available for public consumption,” said Jan Thompson, member of the Stewardship Committee for the ATSWCD.  “Voluntary land stewardship is an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable way to ‘create’ more water for homes, businesses, recreation, agriculture, and wildlife.”

Soil and water conservation performed in urban areas can also help supplement land stewardship efforts in rural ones.

“Urban Texans can become involved by practicing effective land stewardship at home, and in their neighborhoods, schools, and businesses,” Thompson said. “Small efforts, such as using plants in our home landscaping that require little water or identifying and fixing household water leaks, can add up to major water conservation when practiced by millions of people across the state.”

Partnering organizations in the “Land Stewardship: Providing Water for Texans” public awareness campaign include Texas Wildlife Association, Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board, Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Ducks Unlimited, South Texans’ Property Rights Association, Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas Deer Association, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Horse, Trinity Waters, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Pork Producers Association, Taking Care of Texas, Plains Cotton Growers and Texas Poultry Federation.

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