Archive for January, 2014

Angling: Tackle Loaner Program

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Fishing with borrowed tackle

Fishing with borrowed tackle

This is Passport to Texas

If one of your New Year’s resolutions included trying your hand at angling… but you don’t want to spend money on tackle until you know you’re going to like the sport… Texas Parks and Wildlife has a tackle loaner program for folks like you.

15—The tackle loaner program is a program in which we provide different sites with basic fishing rods and reels and some very basic tackle so that citizens can borrow that equipment and go fishing.

Ann Miller oversaw aquatic education at parks and wildlife before retiring.

16—When you go to a tackle loaner site to check out equipment, you’ll receive a little tackle box with basic hooks and bobbers and sinkers of different sizes. You’ll also be able to check out a very basic spin casting rod and reel.

Anyone over 17 will need a fishing license to check out equipment. Persons under 18 must have an adult check out the tackle for them.

15—Each tackle loaner site has a simple form that the person who checks out the equipment would sign, saying that ‘yes’ they will bring the equipment back. And you will just leave an ID there –you can check it out for up to a week.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds winter rainbow trout stocking in Texas. So borrow some tackle and reel one in.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Habitat: Tree Planting Tips

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Tree Planting, stage 1Tree Planting, stage 2 Tree Planting, stage 3

This is Passport to Texas

Trees are habitat for wildlife. And if you’re adding new trees to your landscape, you need to know the rules.

19—People frequently ask how close they can put a tree to the house, because shade on the house obviously is a huge energy savings. The general rule of thumb is you go no closer to the house than the eaves are high. So, if you measure up to the eaves of your house, and it’s ten feet high, then you need to get ten feet back from the house.

Scott Harris, a certified arborist in Austin, recommends planting only native specimens.

21—You always want to plant your trees at the exact level they were in the pot. Don’t dig a big deep hole, dig a big wide hole. Always use the same soil you took out to backfill. But, you can put your compost underneath the mulch, and then all of that organic goodness will dribble down in the way that nature intended.

By watering infrequently and deeply, we can help new trees develop extensive root systems.

12—If you just have a little bit of water in one area, that’s where the roots are going to go. But if you water very deeply, it’ll spread into the surrounding soil, and the roots will follow that moisture out.

Strong root systems help trees remain strong and withstand drought.

That’s our show…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram…

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Habitat: Planting Native Trees

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Texas Madrone, image from Aggi-Horticulture

Texas Madrone, image from Aggi-Horticulture

This is Passport to Texas

Now is an ideal time to plant trees throughout most of Texas…and you might wonder why.

08—Two reasons: the two most important constituents in tree planting—the people planting the trees and the trees. It’s just much easier on them.

Scott Harris is a certified arborist in Austin. Tree planting season in Texas started in October and continues through March.

11—Getting the trees in the ground in the fall [and winter], they have the entire cool season, dormant season, to spread roots out before the big demands on roots and water start in the spring.

Just because a tree will grow in Texas, doesn’t mean it should grow here. Harris advises that we all exercise caution about what we plant in our yards.

:20—The biggest thing to avoid is non-natives. Our natives have all of the features you would want, but they’ve spent thousands and thousands of years getting used to being here, and with all of the wildlife used to having them, too. It’s all a web, and you can’t tell which string you can pull out without upsetting things.

Tomorrow we’ll have a few tree planting tips to help you and your newly planted tree enjoy a long and happy life together

That’s our show…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Conservation: Land Restoration

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Caprock Canyons State Park

Caprock Canyons State Park

This is Passport to Texas

Returning land to near its original state –it’s condition prior to farming, grazing or development –takes years of planning and preparation.

07—Practically speaking it might take you a couple years to do some habitat assessment…to do some botanical assessment…

David Riskind… director of the natural resources program for state parks… says in most cases we can only approximate what the land looked like.

06—Most of the lands were previously forested…they were timbered…they were ranched…they’ve been modified.

One reason it takes two or more years to conduct assessments has to do with the state’s climate extremes.

14—We might acquire a piece of property, for example, during a drought year. We’d like to see what it looks like when it’s wet. So, before we do anything, we want to see what’s there. And quite often, we’re surprised at what recovers on a site after it has a chance to rest for a while.

After the land has had a chance to rest, then assessments take place.

13—We will do our baseline assessments. We may do some quantitative work… And then, for example, if it’s a grassland restoration project, it might take us another couple of years to gather the kinds of seed that we need to do restoration.

Find landowner information on the TPW website.

The Wildlife Restoration Program…supports our series and funds diverse conservations projects in Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Conservation: Land Management

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Well managed land.

Lone Star Land Steward statewide winner 2007. Gary and Sue Price

This is Passport to Texas

The concept of land management and restoration varies depending on landowner objectives.

09—It depends of whether you’re trying to restore forest, whether you’re trying to restore woodland, whether you’re trying to restore marsh or whether you’re trying grassland.

David Riskind is director of the natural resources program for state parks. Landowners managing for conservation purposes use similar strategies as other landowners, with one important difference.

38—They use a lot of the same strategies as other landowners do. Whether you’re in the forest business, the timber industry, the grass industry. But your objectives are different. In other words, you might weight it towards endangered species; you might weight it toward watershed protection, it might be toward songbird protection. But increasingly today, more and more people are getting involved in what’s called eco-system management. That is, you have an integrated approach. You include soil, you include wildlife, you include watersheds, you include hydrology and you include man as well.

Ecosystem management means addressing the long-term consequences of today’s decisions, and thinking of resources as interrelating parts of systems rather than as individual components to be managed separately.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and supports diverse conservation projects in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti