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Soil and Water Stewardship Week Highlights the Importance of Voluntary Land Stewardship
TEMPLE – The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, Texas Wildlife Association and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association are joining other state agencies and organizations in a statewide campaign to highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas. Soil and Water Stewardship Week is April 30 through May 7, 2017, the focus this year is “No Land No Water ™.”
The Texas Agricultural Land Trust reminds us of the importance of water, but also the value of stewardship on agricultural working lands with their message of “No Land No Water ™.” Texas farmers, ranchers, and foresters are constantly aware of the significance of water as a natural resource. They have been working with their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts for over 75 years to voluntarily implement conservation plans. These practices increase the quantity and improve the quality of our water, all while conserving water through innovative agricultural practices.
“Land management in rural areas directly affects the water quality and quantity for the 20 million Texans living in urban areas,” said Rex Isom, Executive Director of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. “When it rains in Texas, 83% of it falls on farms, ranches, and forests. In these areas, the rainfall either infiltrates down into the groundwater, absorbs into the soil, or it runs off into creeks, rivers, and reservoirs.”
Rural working lands are crucial to protecting and preserving the water resources of Texas. Water sustainability depends in large part on the stewardship and conservation of these private lands. With the majority of land in Texas being privately owned, voluntary land stewardship is vital to keeping these resources healthy.
Soil and water conservation in urban areas can also help supplement land stewardship efforts in rural areas. “Some cities have brought the land stewardship concept into their own backyards, as urban agriculture, urban farming, native landscaping and community forests are becoming more popular,” Isom said. “This trend has positively impacted urban communities socially and economically, in addition to educating and reconnecting people to the land.”
Partnering organizations in the “No Land No Water ™” public awareness campaign includes Ducks Unlimited, Earthmoving Contractors Association of Texas, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, South Texans’ Property Rights Association, Texan by Nature, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas Ag Industries, Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Forestry Association, Texas Grain and Feed Association, Texas Grazing Land Coalition, Texas Land Trust Council, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Pork Producers Association, Texas Poultry Federation, Texas Rice Council, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association, Texas Water Resources Institute, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
For more information on “No Land No Water ™,” please visit www.tsswcb.texas.gov and www.nolandnowater.org.