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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov Local Interview Contact: Diana Foss, (281) 456-7029, diana.foss@tpwd.texas.gov; or Keith Crenshaw, (281) 456-7029, keith.crenshaw@tpwd.texas.gov

Feb. 13, 2006



Workshop Offers Tips for Houston-area Landowners

HOUSTON — A workshop to be held Feb. 25 will educate Houston-area landowners about available land management tools. The workshop is part of a statewide series designed to address the growing problem of Texas rural land being fragmented into smaller tracts, often involving urban-based owners who are interested in wildlife conservation but lack experience in wildlife or land management.

For more than a century, rural Texas land has been owned mainly by farm and ranch families who lived on it. In recent decades, the countryside has been fragmented into smaller tracts owned increasingly by urban owners looking for a weekend retreat or retirement home.

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report showing that Texas led the nation in the loss of undeveloped land from 1992-97.

Land fragmentation is one of the main threats to wildlife in Texas. It crowds wildlife into smaller spaces, blocks travel corridors and disrupts access to feeding areas.

This workshop is for landowners who already have some experience with land and wildlife management. A workshop for beginners will be held later in the year.

The Feb. 25 workshop will discuss the tools, people and funding programs available to help landowners achieve conservation and financial goals when managing property for wildlife. Local wildlife professionals will give presentations regarding setting up leases, wildlife census counts, alien species, supplementing food and other topics.

Attendees will also receive two continuing education credit hours in general pesticide and agricultural applicator's licensing

“The rural landscape is being broken up and fragmented by landowners that want to own a little piece of the country. At this workshop, urban landowners that own property elsewhere can come and get the knowledge to make sound management decisions that benefit wildlife,” said Keith Crenshaw, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department natural resource specialist. “Houston landowners have property all over Texas so the workshop is not limited to management techniques along the Gulf Coast. We give a broad spectrum of information that is applicable statewide, then we add information from local biologists for the individual landowner to get a more regional perspective.”

TPWD and the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas are sponsoring the event, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, at Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Drive in Houston.

The cost for the workshop is $20 per person, which covers lunch and materials. Registration is required by Feb. 17 and the workshop is limited to 200 people For more information and reservations, contact Diana Foss or Keith Crenshaw at (281) 456-7029 or see the Landowner Workshops calendar on the TPWD Web site.

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KL 2006-02-13


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