Texas has a long history of private land ownership where 95 percent of the state is privately owned. The role of landowners as stewards of our state’s private lands and the public benefits derived from them is paramount. Most often successful land stewardship begins when natural resource professionals convey good land stewardship practices and techniques to private landowners.

As part of the Private Land Stewardship program and through collaboration with the Noble Foundation and East Foundation, NRI offers Private Land Stewardship Academies as a professional development opportunity to enhance natural resource professionals’ expertise in applying private land stewardship. These week-long, field-based academies are taught by leading experts in the field and review strategies for addressing private land challenges as well as current and future emerging issues in natural resources and private land conservation. The program offers valuable “hands-on” experiences to natural resource practitioners.

We have developed and hosted in partnership with the Center for Private Land Stewardship five Private Land Stewardship Academies. We hosted one academy for 13 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county  agents, and one for 25 Texas NRCS conservationists. We also assisted Noble Foundation with three academies for 125 NRCS conservationists from 30 states.

Andy James

Andy James is a project coordinator with the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, supporting both extension and research efforts for various programs. Areas of expertise include watershed management, range and wildlife …

Brian Hays

As a program director for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Brian Hays provides leadership for the private land stewardship programs as well as works on watershed management, native grassland restoration, militar…

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    Conserving private lands conserves water

    Former President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson once said: “Saving the water and the soil must start where the first raindrop falls.”

    In Texas, where about 95 percent of the land is privately owned, and 83 percent of that land is rural farms, ranches and forests, it is essential that all Texans understand the interconnection of land and water to ensure the healthy stewardship of both, according to natural resource professionals.

      Blog Posts

      Private Land Stewardship and Plants

      The plant community on a property determines what habitat types are available for wildlife and how it can be grazed, so familiarity with those plants is essential for any land steward. Here we provide tips and tools that will help you learn to recognize your resident plant species and incorporate that knowledge into an effective management plan.

      Private Land Stewardship Starts with Soils

      Soils are the foundation of healthy habitat and can make or break any land management plan. Regional differences in soil structure and composition play a major role in determining which management strategies will succeed or fail, and familiarity with your soil is the first step toward meeting your land stewardship goals. Here we provide contacts and resources to help you take that step.

      Institute hosts tax appraiser, assessor training

      A recent tax appraiser and tax assessor training for land management for wildlife and livestock was a success, according to Brian Hays, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI) program manager.

      “The 34 participants attending found the training useful and unanimously agreed the information presented would help them in their job,” Hays said.

      Soil and Water Stewardship Week highlights importance of land conservation

      To highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas, the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI) are partnering with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, Texas Wildlife Association, and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The statewide campaign, “No Land No Water ™,” is the theme of this year’s Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 30 through May 7.

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