A great deal of myth, misinformation and folklore surrounds mesquite ? the most common and most unpopular tree in West Texas. For decades, this attractive native tree has been maligned, abused and misunderstood. Yet mesquite survives and thrives, even in the midst of persistent drought and massive human efforts to eradicate it. The most pervasive myth about mesquite is that it uses exorbitant amounts of water and is responsible for the drying of aquifers, springs, creeks and rivers. Common sense,…
FORT STOCKTON — Saltcedar, an introduced species choking many Texas waterways, long has been a prime suspect in dwindling streamflows, but a Texas A&M AgriLife team has found that Tamarix, the plant in question, may have been accused falsely of that specific crime. Alyson McDonald, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service range specialist in Fort Stockton, said saltcedar probably was introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental shrub and windbreak plant in the early 1800s. The tree, any of several species…
While it was once widely assumed that heavy brush like cedar was keeping rainwater from recharging our streams and groundwater systems, science seems to indicate that it’s not quite that simple. When done with care and an eye toward restoration, brush control can be beneficial to ecosystem health. Just be realistic about the likelihood that it will fill your stream or stock pond. Read more from Texas Wildlife Magazine.
“A state program meant to encourage old-school range management and new-school water saving methods has become the subject of a peculiarly Texas controversy. The State Soil and Water Conservation Board will decide Monday how to disburse millions of dollars to clear brush from ranches in the name of boosting water supplies. Money has already been set aside for projects to begin this summer.” Read more from Asher Price at Statesman.com.
How many times have you heard that the Hill Country was once a great vast grassland with only a modest covering of trees and brush? Although this longstanding myth is deeply ingrained and embraced by many government agencies, biologists, landowners and professionals, it is false and misleading. Learn what the Hill Country was really like prior to 1860 from eye-witness accounts, and why it is important to understand the past. Read and share from Steve Nelle.
Grazing practices introduced to the Hill Country region in the late 19th century may be the cause of your cedar allergies. Read how from State Impact Texas.
“The water challenges of Texas will never be resolved until more people understand how creeks and rivers work, including the vital role of voluntary land stewardship, which helps sustain flows and maintain water quality. Landowners, policy makers, agencies, conservation and agricultural organizations all need to work together with greater cooperation to help sustain, maintain and restore the most precious and valuable natural resources that we have.”Read and share Steve Nelle’s Riparian notes.
Myths and misperceptions are common in the realm of nature and natural resource management. Some myths are harmless folklore and not really worth much debate. Other myths are more significant since they can affect natural resource decisions and influence public policy. One of the most oft repeated myths involves the historic landscape vegetation of the Hill Country…“The Hill Country was once vast open grassland with only scattered brush and trees.”Read full Texas Wildlife Magazine article.