HOUSTON, September 8, 2017 –
The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) and Wildlife Habitat Federation (WHF) are excited to announce two fall workshops designed to empower Texas landowners to conserve and restore their land for themselves and to benefit local wildlife. 97% of Texas land is privately held and local landowners are critical to saving and restoring wildlife habitat and ensuring nature will be there for the next generation to enjoy.
RESTORE YOUR LAND FOR CATTLE, GAME BIRDS, OR BUTTERFLIES
The first workshop, the Prairie Restoration Roundup, is scheduled for Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This day of hands-on demonstrations and insightful discussions about restoring prairies to farms, ranches, private residences, parks, and more will take place on KPC’s Indiangrass Preserve in Waller, TX. Prairie restoration is attracting a great deal of interest, as native prairie plants are drought resistant, don’t need large inputs of fertilizer. They can also be a boon to both cattle and wildlife. Jim Willis of WHF attests, “Most Texas ranchers were suffering from severe droughts early in this decade and had to import hay in the summertime or sell off their livestock. Conversely, those who switched back to native grass and properly managed it had ample grazing and also they better conserved all natural resources: soil, air, water and wildlife.” Restored prairies are also valuable for bringing back game species, like quail and puddle ducks, and ensuring the survival of beloved Texans like the monarch butterfly. “A lot of folks have forgotten that monarchs are prairie animals, as the prairies go, so go the fate of the monarchs. When we restore prairies they can help us reduce downstream flooding, feed monarchs and migratory birds, and better connect us to our Texas heritage.” The most talented prairie experts from throughout southeast Texas will be on hand to lend their guidance and experience. KPC and WHF will be joined by Coastal Prairie Partnership, Native Prairies Association of Texas, Texas Parks & Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas Master Naturalists, Harris County Flood Control District, and Houston Parks & Recreation Department for this annual event.
PERMANENTLY PROTECT YOUR PRIVATE LAND
The second workshop, the Conservation Easement Workshop, is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This workshop is for landowners, real estate professionals, attorneys, advisors, natural resource professionals, and city or county officials to learn the hows and whys of conservations easements and land protection. Elisa Donovan from Katy Prairie Conservancy explained, “Preserving agricultural and natural lands benefits wildlife and protects the quality of life for people in the Houston area. A conservation easement is an important tool that can be used to protect greenspace, while keeping ownership with the landowner. Landowners that grant conservation easements may be able to achieve tax savings while also protecting the land for future generations.” The workshop will also cover how land preservation impacts flood control. In addition, information will be provided on several state and federal programs in Texas that provide funds and encourage landowners to preserve and restore land. “We are excited to bring together representatives from multiple agencies that support our common goal of preserving land.” Participants in the KPC workshop will include representatives from Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Bayou Land Conservancy, Galveston Bay Foundation, Texas Land Trust Council, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board, and Texas Coastal Watershed Program.
The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie or at katyprairie.org.