April 2016 Conference
DOWNLOADABLE CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
• Ag or Open Space Latest Presentation
• Balancing Supply and Demand Presentation
• Bamberger Ranch Presentation
• Bennett Trust Presentation
• Bennett Trust Water = Value Presentation
• Managing Deep-Rooted Invasions Presentation
• Managing Land Keeping the Entirety In Mind – Wildlife and Fisheries Extension Presentation
• Tax Valuation Overview Presentation
• Texas Land Trends – Roel Lopez Presentation
• Warm Blooded Invaders Presentation
October 2015 Conference
FREDRICKSBURG – A conference devoted to helping women manage natural resources in the Edwards Plateau was held October 5-6, 2015 in Fredericksburg, Texas at the Inn on Barons Creek.
The Women’s Natural Resource Management Conference is funded by the Ruth and Eskel Bennett Endowment, said Dr. Larry Redmon, co-chair and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Bennett Trust specialist.
The women’s conference is an extension of the Bennett Trust Land Stewardship Conference, which has been held twice in Kerrville, Redmon said.
“More and more women are becoming landowners through inheritance and other means, and we want to help these women be a success in the management of their natural resources,” he said. “By offering a ladies conference, we hope women will feel more comfortable with attending and participating. We also want to encourage mothers to bring their daughters; it is a generational thing.”
Cost of the two-day conference is $75 and includes all meals, break refreshments and tour transportation costs.
“Everyone involved in the planning process is excited about our new Edwards Plateau Land Stewardship conferences,” he said. “And thanks to the Bennett’s generosity, this will be a unique learning opportunity for all of us for years to come.”
Dr. Rick Machen, AgriLife Extension specialist from Uvalde, said the conference will include “the best and wisest, accomplished stewards, visionaries and legacy-leavers as educators for this conference. Those with a passion for natural resource stewardship and a love for the Texas Hill Country will want to be there.”
Among the speakers will be wildlife biologists, animal scientists, range scientists, estate attorneys and financial planners.
The conference’s preliminary agenda for the first day includes a presentation on the history of the Hill Country plants, animals and early people found in the region, and how the region has changed with time and the challenges those changes present.
Additional discussions will cover estate planning, using wildlife as agriculture to satisfy the 1-d-1 Open Space Lands tax valuation, and discussion regarding development of a wildlife management plan to satisfy county chief appraisers.
Machen will make a presentation on land stewardship in the Edwards Plateau, followed by a panel discussion by women with a track record for land stewardship and natural resource management, and identification of agencies with the ability to provide financial assistance for ranch ownership.
Day two of the conference will provide unique “behind the scenes” tours, Machen said. Attendees will load buses and visit several local operations that will include traditional and non-traditional agricultural enterprises.
Lunch at a local winery will include a presentation regarding ecotourism and marketing natural resources. It will be followed by a second stop aimed at plant identification, demonstrations on how to manage brush species using individual plant treatment strategies, and a mock prescribed fire, Redmon said.
The tour will highlight both livestock and wildlife management, as well as the hunting industry in the Edwards Plateau, he said, adding, “for as long as I can remember, this region has attracted hunters from all over the state, nation and world.”
April 2015 Conference
The second Bennett Trust educational program took place April 23-24, 2015 at the Inn of the Hills Resort and Conference Center, Kerrville, TX. This first-of-its-kind conference, “Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau,” brought the best and wisest, accomplished stewards, visionaries, and legacy-leavers together as educators.
Keys to Hill Country Living
Sponsored by: The Bennett Land Stewardship Endowment to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
- 7:30 a.m. – Conference Opens – Registration
- 8:00 a.m. – History of the Edwards Plateau – Geology, Plants, Wildlife, and People – Donnie Frels, TPWD
- 9:00 a.m. – Break
- 9:15 a.m. – Hang On to Your Property – Elder Law & Estate Planning – Marilyn Miller, Attorney at Law
- 11:45 Noon – Lunch
- The Water Cycle of the Hill Country/Edwards Plateau and Impacts on Rangeland Health
- 12:30 p.m. – Rainfall patterns in the region, El Nino/La Nina – George Bomar
- 1:15 p.m. – Aquifer recharge and spring flow, –Ron Green, Southwest Research Institute
- 1:45 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions: Events/Actions That Impact the Hydrologic Cycle
Session I – Drought, Urban sprawl and concrete/asphalt domination, Municipal water use of water resources, Rainwater harvesting – Billy Kniffen
Session II – Juniper, Herbivore-forage interaction, Stocking rate and infiltration vs runoff in the Edwards Plateau – Bob Lyons
- 3:00 p.m. – Break
- 3:15 p.m. – What are My Options for 1-D-1 Tax Valuation & Implications for Lease Agreements – Tiffany Dowell-Lashmet
- 4:45 p.m. – Animal Options for the Edwards Plateau: What Species Mix is Best for Me – Rick Machen
- 6:00 p.m. – Rainfall Insurance – Jason Johnson
- 6:30 p.m. – Dinner/music at the Inn of the Hills – Table Topics
Day Two – Chartered Bus Tours
- 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast Buffet at the Inn of the Hills
- 8:30 a.m. – Load Busses for Tours (Each tour will have lunch provided while in the field)
Tour A – Legacy Management. Come visit the historic Hillingdon Ranch, managed by Robin and Carol Giles & Family, and learn what it takes to hang on to a family legacy using good natural resource stewardship. The tour includes a visit to the historic Hillingdon Ranch in Kendall County and a pasture walk with Robin and Carroll Giles. Robin is the grandson of the ranch’s founder, Alfred Giles, and he and Carol have a contagious passion for stewardship and conservation that provides environmental benefits for all Texans. The ranch has been in the same family for over 125 years. Plant ID will be an important part of this ranch tour. Be sure and bring a full charged cell phone or camera for taking photos of regional plants.
Tour B – Agritourism. With Agritourism in mind, where better place to visit than Fredericksburg and Gillespie County? Tour 2 visits sustainable vineyards, orchards and gardens to get a glimpse of essential elements for stewardship success.
Tour C – Wildlife Management. For over 50 years, the go-to region for hunting in Texas has been the Edwards Plateau. Tour C will highlight wildlife management and the hunting industry in the Edwards Plateau with stops at landowners with reputation for being good stewards of their wildlife resources. The first stop will be at the famous Kerr Wildlife Management Area to hear about how to manage for livestock, and wildlife, endangered species. The second stop; will be at the Flagler Ranch and see how to manage wildlife resources on a commercial basis. Resource people will be on hand to help tour attendees identify local plant species.
- 5:30 p.m. – Return Inn of the Hills
- 6:00 p.m. – Dinner/music and Evaluation – Closing Remarks – Larry Redmon