Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts

The Soil and Water Stewardship Week message is a joint effort of ATSWCD and TSSWCB, in partnership with the following other ag and conservation agencies, promoting the annual observance online and in their newsletters.

NACD and Soil and Water Stewardship Week

        Helpful links to NACD for SWSW materials:

 An overview of SWSW:   http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-program/ 
SWSW materials:  http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-and-education-materials/2018-watersheds-water-home/
 The NACD Store:  

 https://nacdnet.z2systems.com/np/clients/nacdnet/catalog.jsp;jsessionid=A8C7CEDBD1B4749A47147D86ED431D48-n1?catalog=12

(Note: NACD  SWSW themes differ from the 2018 Texas theme)

NACD materials, workbooks, posters, placemats, litanies and more are free of charge.  Create an account and your selection will be emailed in pdf form for you to print.

For inquiries or further information, contact Tamara Daniel, ATSWCD Executive Director:

Phone:  254-778-8741

Email:  tamaradaniel@thegateway.net

2018 SOIL AND WATER STEWARDSHIP WEEK

APRIL 29 -- MAY 6, 2018

2018 Soil Stewardship Week
April 29 – May 6

 
The Importance of Pollinators to Soil and Water Conservation in Texas


When someone brings up “the birds and the bees,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably not soil and water conservation. Perhaps it should be, as these little creatures play a considerable role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. The birds and the bees (butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, and even small mammals) are pollinators, which are vital for agriculture, our food supply, and the preservation of our natural resources. Many Texas farmers, ranchers, foresters, and urbanites recognize the importance of these insects and ani-mals, and are attempting to regenerate pollinator populations by implementing voluntary conservation prac-tices on private and public lands. First impressions about “the birds and the bees” will probably never change, but conservationists are working hard to change people’s opinions about pollinators.

What is pollination, and why is it so important for agriculture and conservation? The process begins when pollinators visit flowers in search of food in the form of pollen or nectar. A pollinator will come in contact with the flower’s reproductive parts and deposit pollen from a another flower. The plant then uses the pollen to produce a fruit or seed. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, up to 80% of all plant species are pollinated, and 3/4 of all the world’s most common food crops require insect pollination. Some studies even suggest that one out of every three bites of food that we eat exists because of pollinators.

Unfortunately, pollinator populations have been declining in the United States for several years, primarily due to loss of habitat. Thankfully there are many landowners in Texas that want pollinators on their prop-erty, and for good reasons. To begin with, pollinators are essential for productive agricultural ecosystems, such as row crop production and agro-forestry, and they ensure the production of fruit and seeds in many crops, grasses, and timber. Likewise, pollinators play a significant role in natural rangeland ecosystems by helping to keep plant communities healthy and reproducing, which in turn prevents soil erosion, improves water quality, and provides food and cover for native wildlife.

 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in Texas are assisting
producers to achieve their goal of re-generating pollinator populations by developing voluntary conservation plans. These conservation plans in-clude the implementation of conservation practices that have the dual benefit of protecting natural resources and providing pollinator habitat. Such voluntary practices include riparian buffers, planting native grasses and wildflowers, cover crops, and prescribed grazing.

While there are many that might say you can’t eat a butterfly or bumblebee, the truth is that pollinators are indeed vital for food and fiber production in Texas and the United States. Without healthy and productive rangeland, cropland, and forests, our pollinators will fail, production agriculture will fail, and our society will ultimately fail. Whether you’re a farmer, a rancher, or just want to plant an urban flower garden, it is up to you to decide how to run your operation. We need pollinators, but we also need good stewards of our lands that protect and preserve the natural resources of Texas.

ATSWCD and NRCS State Conservationist Salvador Salinas are proud to announce a new funding opportunity for all 216 conservation districts in Texas.  Each district can apply for up to $555.00 in matching funds under the new agreement.  The payments will be made on a 75%-25% cost share rate.  Districts can be reimbursed for education and outreach activities.  Once the activity has been completed, the district can submit the attached form to apply for reimbursement.  

NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR DISTRICTS

FFA Leadership Development Program

2018 Soil Stewardship Public Speaking Contest

The Importance of Pollinators to Soil and Water Conservation in Texas


TEMPLE – The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and Texas Wildlife 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 29 through May 6, 2018, and the focus this year is “The Importance of Pollinators to Soil and Water Conservation in Texas.”

. . . read more

Conserving and Protecting the Soil and Water Resources of Texas

The Association of