Lone Star Healthy Streams program set for June 1 in Seguin to include Plum Creek Watershed

Focus on minimizing feral hog, livestock contamination in the watershed

Group of young brown cows on the edge of a ditch, relaxed lying and standing in the field, a wide view

Multi watershed event will host a Lone Star Healthy Streams workshop on June 1 at The Texas Agricultural Education & Heritage Center 390 Cordova Road, Seguin.

The workshop is a joint effort with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

The free program will run from 8 a.m.-to 1 p.m., with an optional Pork Steak lunch for $15, to be paid at registration.

Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education credits for pesticide applicators are available in the Integrated Pest Management category.

Preregistration is required –> CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The program will focus on the Plum Creek watershed, Geronimo and Alligator Creeks watershed, and Mid & Lower Cibolo Creek watershed and will discuss basic watershed function, water quality and specific best management practices that can be implemented to help minimize bacterial contamination originating from livestock and feral hogs. 

Watershed Partnership

This will be a multi-watershed program that will identify issues common to the Plum Creek, Geronimo and Alligator Creeks, and Mid/Lower Cibolo Creek watersheds.  The event is being held in Seguin, which is central to the three watersheds.  All three of these watersheds are impaired for contact recreation due to elevated bacteria concentrations. Stakeholders in each of the watersheds developed Watershed Protection Plans that contain voluntary measures to reduce pollution from entering the creeks. The ultimate goal of all three watersheds is to improve and protect water quality in these creeks for present and future generations of Texans.

Lone Star Healthy Streams Program

“The goal of the Lone Star Healthy Streams program is to educate Texas livestock producers and landowners about how to best protect Texas waterways from bacterial contamination associated with beef cattle, sheep, goats and feral hogs,” said Leanne Wiley, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Lone Star Healthy Streams instructor, Bryan-College Station.

Funding for this effort is provided through a Clean Water Act Section 319 nonpoint source grant administered by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information on the workshop, contact Wiley at 979-318-2617 or leanne.wiley@ag.tamu.edu;  Christina Lopez with Plum Creek at 830-557-7358 or  clopez@plumcreekwatershed.org;  Evgenia Spears with Geronimo and Alligator Creeks at 979-845-2862 or geronimo.alligator@ag.tamu.edu Ward Ling with Lower Cibolo Creek at 979-314-2472 or ward.ling@ag.tamu.edu;

To learn more about the partnership’s implementation efforts and download digital copies of the each Watershed Protection Plan, visit the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership; Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed; and Mid & Lower Cibolo Creek Watershed

This workshop is being co-hosted by the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership, Texas A&M AgriLife and the Texas Water Resources Institute. 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. Instructors are experts from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

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 (CEUs) available:

  • Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License – 3 CEUs
  • Texas Nutrient Management Planning Specialists – 6 hours
  • International Society of Arboriculture – 8.25 CEUs (Certified Arborist: 2.75, Municipal Specialist: 2.75, BCMA – Science: 0.75, BCMA – Practice: 2)
  • Texas Forestry Association – 6 hours
  • Society of American Foresters – 6 hours
  • Certified Crop Advisor- 7 CEUs (Nutrient Mgmt: 1, Soil & Water: 1.5, IPM: 1.5, Crop Mgmt: 2.5, Manure Mgmt: 0.5)
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners “Acceptable for HSW credit”
  • Texas Floodplain Management Association – 7 CECs
  • The program may also be used for CEUs for Professional Engineers.
  • Check with your Chapter for Master Naturalist and Master Gardener to see if it is approved for your area. This course is approved for the Texas Waters Specialist certification program

Registration is required by May 5, 2022. A catered lunch will be available to participants for $15. Lunch can be paid for in advance by credit card or in cash on-site the day of the event. Participants may also choose to bring their own lunch. Dress is casual and comfortable for the weather as we will be outside at the stream during the afternoon.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

For more information or questions please contact Alexander Neal at Alexander.Neal@ag.tamu.edu or 979-314-2351. This workshop is free because the program is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) awarded the Caldwell-Travis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) the “2022 Friends of NACD District Grant.” With the $2,500 award, the SWCD will host a series of workshops focused on soil health and deep topsoil restoration in the Plum Creek Watershed. The series also aims to create a dialogue on land preservation, farm succession planning, principles of soil health, economics of regenerative agriculture, ecosystem service market development, and conservation easement strategies with producers and landowners in the Plum Creek Watershed.

Details about the events open to the public are forthcoming.

Pictured L-R: Tim Auld, District Technician; and District Directors: Tina M. Freeman, Donnie Graham (Chair), Rosemary Kalina, and Rodney Purswell. Not pictured: Director Ann Schroeder. 

 

Scheduled for March 4, 2022 in Luling

A Texas Well Owner Network, or TWON, training has been scheduled for March 4 in Luling. Well owners are encouraged to bring a sample of their well water the day before the training.

The Well Educated training, which is free and open to the public, will be held Friday, March 4, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Luling Foundation Headquarters, 523 S. Mulberry, Luling.

Joel Pigg, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and TWON coordinator, College Station, said “the TWON program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs”.

“The program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment,” he said. “It allows them to learn more about how to improve and protect their community water resources.”

Well owners who would like to have their well water tested can pick up two sample containers and collection instructions in the week before the event from the Caldwell County AgriLife Extension Office, 1403 Blackjack Street, Suite B, Lockhart; Hays County AgriLife Extension Office, 200 Stillwater Road, Wimberley; Plum Creek Conservation District, 1101 W. San Antonio Street, Lockhart; or Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, 1124 Regal Row, Austin.

Sample drop-off will be the day before the event, Thursday, March 3, from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Caldwell County AgriLife Extension Office, 1403 Blackjack Street, Suite B, Lockhart; Hays County AgriLife Extension Office, 200 Stillwater Road, Wimberley; Plum Creek Conservation District, 1101 W. San Antonio Street, Lockhart; or Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, 1124 Regal Row, Austin. Screening costs $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in. Samples will be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids, and bacteria. The Friday, March 4 meeting will include information explaining the results.

Attendees can register on the Texas Well Owner Network website or by calling 979-845-1461.

“The training is one of several being conducted statewide through the Texas Well Owner Network project,” Pigg said. “The core content of this program is the same as other trainings, but the information is tailored to local water quality issues and aquifers.”

More than a million private water wells in Texas provide water to citizens in rural areas and increasingly to those living on small acreages at the growing rural-urban interface. Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells.

“They are responsible for all aspects of ensuring their drinking water system is safe — testing, inspecting, maintaining it,” Pigg said. “This training will help private well owners to understand and care for their wells.”

Funding for the Texas Well Owner Network is through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the TWRI, part of Texas A&M AgriLife

Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Contact: Joel Pigg, 979-845-1461, j-pigg@tamu.edu

LOCKHART, TEXAS – January 2022 – Caldwell County has received $20,000 through a grant program from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Wildlife Services to continue countywide feral hog abatement efforts. Caldwell County’s feral hog program for 2022 will include a five-dollar feral hog bounty, one workshop, one webinar, aerial control, a countywide survey and damage assessment and the continuation of a volunteer-led trapping effort.

Caldwell County is an affiliate of the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force and has partnered with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership to assist with implementation, research and educational components of the program in 2022.

“The 2022 feral hog program in Caldwell County is part of a sustained effort first implemented by the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership in 2012 and taken to the next level through collaboration with our Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force communities and partners,” said Nick Dornak, Director of Watershed Services at The Meadows Center.

Texas is home to an estimated 3 million feral hogs. Lacking sweat glands, hogs seek out shelter along creeks and rivers, which can result in contamination of those waterways, such as Plum Creek and the San Marcos River. Recognized as an invasive species, feral hogs are responsible for significant agricultural and property losses in Texas, exceeding $500,000,000 each year.

“Caldwell County has been an active partner of the Task Force from its beginnings in 2012. The efforts of our county staff, volunteers and partnering landowners have resulted in the documented harvest of over 16,000 invasive, wild pigs with an estimated property damage mitigation value of $8 million countywide,” said Hoppy Haden, Caldwell County Judge.

The 2022 Caldwell County feral hog bounty may be claimed on the 3rd Thursday of each month starting February 17 through July 21. During that period, individuals can bring in feral hog tails and/or certified buying station receipts to Smith Supply Co., 1830 Colorado Street, Lockhart, between the hours of 10am-1pm. Tails and/or receipts must be from feral hogs harvested in Caldwell County. Participants will be required to complete a W-9 and a participation form, which can be obtained at Smith Supply or from the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force Website.

Other Programs – The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership will be coordinating educational workshops for Hays and Caldwell County stakeholders throughout the spring and summer of 2022. Final dates and locations for landowners, hunters, trappers and conservationists to learn more about managing wild pig populations and damage will be provided in the coming weeks. Additionally, landowners engaging with the Caldwell County feral hog program will have the opportunity to participate in an ongoing, remote-operated feral hog trap sharing cooperative. These remote-operated traps were upgraded in 2021 to enable live video feed sharing.

For more information on these programs, to sign your land up for aerial control efforts, or to complete your 2022 feral hog survey, please visit the project website, http://www.feralhogtaskforce.com/caldwell.html or email the Task Force at feralhog@txstate.edu.

About The Meadows Center
The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University was named following a generous gift from The Meadows Foundation in August 2012. The Meadows Center inspires research, innovation and leadership that ensures clean, abundant water for the environment and all humanity.

Press Release | January 2022
Hays County will be continuing countywide feral hog management efforts in 2022 after receiving a $7,500 grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Wildlife Services. The Hays County program will include a five-dollar bounty on feral hogs, one workshop, one webinar, a countywide survey and damage assessment and the continuation of a volunteer-led trapping effort. Hays County is an affiliate of the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force and has partnered with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Cypress Creek Project, the San Marcos Watershed Initiative and the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership to assist with implementation, research and educational components of the program in 2022.

“The 2022 feral hog program in Hays County has a great opportunity for sustained success as we have received both the continued funding and support to coordinate on a regional scale with projects in Caldwell County,” said Nick Dornak, Director of Watershed Services at the Meadows Center.

Texas is home to an estimated 3 million feral hogs. Lacking sweat glands, hogs seek out shelter along creeks and rivers, which can result in contamination of those waterways, such as Cypress Creek and the San Marcos River. Recognized as an invasive species, feral hogs are responsible for significant agricultural and property losses in Texas, exceeding $500 million each year.

“Feral hogs continue to pose significant problems for both agriculture producers and residential property owners in Hays County,” said Mark Jones, Hays County Commissioner.

Bounty Program
Beginning in February 2022, there will be two bounty claim opportunities per month for feral hogs harvested in Hays County. A five-dollar per hog bounty will be paid by check on tails and/or certified buying station receipts. Participants will be required to complete a W-9 and a participation form, which can be obtained at the Hays County bounty station or from the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force Website.

Hays County Extension Office (map)
200 Stillwater Rd, Wimberley, TX 78676
Second Mondays from 8am to 12pm
Feb. 14 to July 11, 2022

Hays County Precinct 2 (map)
5458 FM 2770, Kyle, TX 78640
Third Fridays from 10am to 1pm
Feb. 18 to July 15, 2022

Other Programs
The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership will coordinate educational workshops for Hays and Caldwell County stakeholders throughout the spring and summer of 2022. Final dates and locations for landowners, hunters, trappers and conservationists to learn more about managing wild pig populations and damage will be provided in the coming weeks. Additionally, landowners engaging with the Hays County feral hog program will have the opportunity to participate in an ongoing, remote-operated feral hog trap sharing cooperative. These remote-operated traps were upgraded in 2021 to enable live video feed sharing.

For more information on these programs and to complete your 2022 feral hog survey, visit the project website, www.feralhogtaskforce.com/hays.html or email the Task Force at feralhog@txstate.edu.

November 6th, 2021

Over 120 volunteers removed nearly 1,000 pounds of refuse from 5 City Parks and the Downtown area. Volunteers enjoyed breakfast tacos and coffee and received reusable face masks with Keep Lockhart Beautiful’s logo. 

We cleaned — and then “greened” by distributing 100 trees to our participants.  More photos of the event can be found on Facebook @PlumCreekWatershed and @klbtexas. 

The Summer edition of The Plum Creek Current introduces our new watershed coordinator and contains a 5-question stakeholder survey as well as information for current events. Follow this link to read the full newsletter.

Christina is an environmental geographer and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in geography at Texas State University. Her dissertation focused on environmental volunteerism and natural resource conservation. She has held positions at Texas State University and several environmental organizations, such as the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Colorado River Alliance, and the National Wildlife Federation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking local green spaces, swimming in the San Marcos River, and traveling to Big Bend National Park. 

Christina is responsible for promoting and coordinating activities within the watershed, which aim to improve the health of the Plum Creek Watershed.

clopez@plumcreekwatershed.org

Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force

Feral hog bounty claims will take place from 10 AM to 1 PM on the following Thursdays:

  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12

Location: Smith Supply Co. 1830 S Colorado St, Lockhart, TX 78644

Feral hog tails (in a sealed Ziplock-type bag) or receipts from a TAHC certified buying station may be presented to a Task Force Representative.

Participants must certify that pigs were harvested in Caldwell County from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021 to be eligible for the bounty program. 

Thanks for participating!