In the past two months, East Texas and the Coast have seen more than two inches of rain. However, the Southern Coastal area and the Northeastern area of Texas have received more than four inches of rain. Far West Texas and the Panhandle have received less than .5 of an inch of rain, coinciding with most of the rest of the state that have received less than normal rainfall over the past thirty days.
The Resource Planning Act Assessment reports on the past, present, and future of renewable resources on public and private forests and rangelands. The recent 2020 assessment forecast was released in November and includes the following topics:
Did you know that Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium has developed science lessons tailored for grades 9-12 which focus on region-specific fire ecology. These lessons and materials can be downloaded and then adjusted by the educator based on their region.
On August 2, 2023, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Texas A&M Forest Service on a grass fire at FM 946 South and Harrell Road. A dominant upper-level ridge of high pressure resided over Texas from the middle of June through early August. These conditions resulted in flash drought conditions, which was only intensified by the well below normal rainfall.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its winter outlook. For Texas, we are looking at near-normal temperatures and wetter-than-normal conditions. While there are some potential drought improvements, it is expected to hang around. Figure 1b below gives us a three-month precipitation outlook.
Did you know that goats are meticulous eaters? They move across the landscape selectively browsing, picking out desirable pieces of forage, and combing hard to access pastures and areas for their favorite plant parts and species.
In the USDA-USFS Angelina National Forest, a prescribed burn was in progress when a wildfire was detected approximately two miles north of the burn. The burn manager released one of the one site dozers and an incident commander to contain the wildfire and secure it before launching the helicopter for continued aerial ignitions for the prescribed fire. Shortly after, another fire was detected adjacent from the prescribed burn on private land outside of the burn unit. With the fire burning aggressively, the burn manager requested contingency resources to be in route for support and to backfill onsite contingencies as they were being utilized.
Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service
Did you know most landscapes in the southeast and southern Great Plains are thought to have experienced frequent fires (3-5-year return intervals) in the time period between glacial retreat about 15,000 year ago, up until the time of European colonization?
The last three years have been years of La Niñas, while there is some chatter of a super El Niño coming, right now there is a 71 % chance of a strong El Niño developing (defined as a sea-surface temperature greater than or equal to 1.5 degrees Celsius). Figure 6a illustrates El Niño conditions exceeding 95% chance of extending through the winter, with growing chances of more neutral conditions in early Spring 2024.
Have you heard the myth that to have good deer hunting, you need lots of trees? In the Great Plains, healthy deer populations are supported without trees. The misconception lies in the fact that most of the time people are looking for deer around trees and not out away from trees.