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Aug. 14 meeting in Junction on protecting Upper Llano River Watershed

Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan
July 25, 2012

JUNCTION--Anyone interested in becoming involved in improving and protecting the Upper Llano River Watershed is invited to attend a meeting Aug. 14 in Junction.

Participants at the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan meeting will discuss strategies to conserve and protect the water quality in the North and South Llano Rivers, according to Dr. Kevin Wagner, associate director of the Texas Water Resources Institute.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Llano River Field Station, 254 Red Raider Lane. The Texas Tech University at Junction Llano River Field Station, Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are sponsoring the meeting.

Refreshments will be served a half-hour prior to the start of the meeting.

“The Upper Llano River is currently a healthy ecosystem that supports a variety of habitats and offers many recreational opportunities, such as kayaking, canoeing and tubing,” said Dr. Tom Arsuffi, director of the Llano River Field Station. “There are, however, some threats that could potentially degrade the North and South Llano Rivers’ water quality, such as land fragmentation, loss of riparian habitat, spread of invasive species and encroachment of woody brush.”

Arsuffi said the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan aims to address these potential threats before they become a problem, thus making sure the watershed remains healthy.

“We’re encouraging citizens of the region to attend this meeting as their input is essential to the process of developing, implementing and achieving the ultimate success of the watershed protection plan.”

“The watershed protection plan is a grassroots approach with community members establishing goals for the watershed, analyzing potential problems, and identifying solutions,” said Art Mudge, board member of the Upper Llanos Soil and Water Conservation District. “One of the things we hope to look at are the benefits of clearing brush to increase not only the quantity, but also the quality of water flowing into the North and South Llano Rivers.”

The South Llano Watershed Alliance, whose mission is to “keep the rivers flowing” by encouraging land and water stewardship through collaboration, education, and community participation, is partnering with the Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas Tech’s Llano River Field Station and Water Resources Center, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and others to develop the plan, Wagner said. This effort is also being coordinated with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative. Funding for the development of the plan is through a Clean Water Act §319(h) nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, see the project website: http://southllano.org/ or contact Arsuffi at tom.arsuffi@ttu.edu or 325-446-2301 or Wagner at klwagner@ag.tamu.edu or 979-845-2649.

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