NEWSLETTER


Right here at home - in the Hill Country!

February, 2005


HAYS COUNTY MASTER NATURALISTS

President Randy Moss

Vice President Tom Watson

Secretary Nancy Turner

Treasurer Winifred Simon

Training Committee

Joe Piazza

Records Committee

Judy Telford

State Advisory Board

Walt Krudop

Editor Richard Barnett Richb6986@aol.com

Webmaster Dave Schwarz

Extension Agent Bryan Davis

CALENDARR

February 15, 2005 Class Meeting: Texas Geology, Carter Kearns, Intro & Chap 2;

Soils & Comprehensive Land Planning - Range Management 101, Bryan Davis, pp1-18

February 24, HCMN Meeting: COYOTE MANAGEMENT, Guest Speaker, Randy Farrar, Texas Cooperative Extension-Wildlife Services. Fellowship Hall of Friendship Baptist Church, FM 1826, 3.8 miles NE of Salt Lick Barbecue and 6 miles SW of Austin. Potluck dinner at 6:30 pm. Public meeting with program at 7:15 pm.

February 26, Native Plant Symposium: Those Other Native Texas Plants - Grasses, Ferns, Cacti, & Their Allies. Information: tel 512-292-4200 x112; fax 512-292-4627; http://www.wildflower.org; sbbrueggerhoff@wildlower.org.

March 4, 5th annual Statewide Water Conference, hosted by Environmental Defense Fund at LBJ Wildflower Center, Austin. Information: Alicia Isaac-Cura, 512-691-3435; http://www.texaswatermatters.org.

March 8, 2005 Class Meeting: Ecology & Ecological Restoration, Dr. Steve Windhager,

Chapters 1 & 5; Texas Archaeology, Dr. Britt Bousman

March 19, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm: Hummingbird Festival, Texas Tech University Center at Junction. Kent Rylandaer, Mark Klym, Terry Maxwell, and Dan Brown present workshops on hummingbird anatomy, behavior, migration, nesting sequence, banding methods, and South American biodiversity. Registration: $25. For information and registration, contact Amanda Camp, tel 325-446-2301; Amanda.camp@ttu.edu; http://www.junction.ttu.edu under Field Research Station.

March 22, 2005. World Water Day

March 29, 2005 Class Meeting: Texas Weather, Troy Kimmel, Chapter 3;

Keying Plants, Jill Harding

April 9, 2005 Class Field Trip to Canyon Gorge, Dr. Carter Kearns

April 12, 2005 Class Meeting: Meet at Freeman Ranch. Impact of Man, Dr. Barron Rector (4:00-6:00 Nature Walk), Chapter 6

April 30, 9:00 am - 12:00; 2005 Class Field Trip to Lady Bird Wildflower Center; Wildscaping, Kathy Johnson

May 10, 2005 Class Meeting: San Marcos River Ecology, Dr. Flo Oxley;

Chap 2.19-23, Water in Hays County, Dianne Wassenich

May 14, 2005 Class Meeting: Butterfly Boot Camp at Freeman Ranch, Dr Chris Nice

June 14, 2005 Class Meeting at Aquarena Center: Wetlands, Dr. Randy Moss;

Restoration Nursery, Minnette Marr; Glass Bottom Boat Ride; Hillside Nature Walk,Bryan Davis & Tom Watson (Aquarium - 5:30 optional)

July 12, 2005 Class Meeting: Birds, Linda Keese; Bats, Meg Goodman (Chapter 4,1-17)

Aug. 9, 2005 Class Meeting: Trees, Robert Edmondson, Chapter 4,18-23;

Wildlife (mammals and herps) and Habitat, Dr. Randy Simpson

August ?, 2005 Class Field Trip to John Knox Ranch, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon: Fishes, Dr. Randy Moss; Amphibians & Reptiles, Lee Ann Linam; Water Quality & Invertebrates - Gordon Linam

September 13, 2005 Class Meeting: Prairies, Bob Lyons; Insects, Noel Troxclair (Chapter 3)

September 17, 2005 Class Field Trip to Bamberger Ranch, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, $10.00 per person

October 2005 Class Meeting: Livestock on Small Acreage, Dr. Rick Machem,

Chapter 8; Agricultural and Wildlife Tax Valuation, KayBeth Williams

October 15, 2005 Class Field Trip to Eagle Rock Ranch; Wildlife Management Activities, KayBeth Williams

November 1, 2005 Class Meeting: Land Fragmentation, Dr. Neal Wilkins, Chapter 7;

Land Stewardship & Sharing Your Knowledge Effectively, Sonny Arnold

Nov. 8, 2005 Class Graduation: Bryan Davis

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FEBRUARY MEETING

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Advanced Training

Seeds of Environmental Education

March 11-13, 2005, at the Outdoor Education Center at Camp Olympia, on the shores of Lake Livingston in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas, approximately twenty miles Northeast of Huntsville, Texas. Presented by Houston ISD Outdoor Education Centers and Texas Association for Environmental Education.

Keynote presenter Dr. Pete Gunter is a University of North Texas Professor and the author of several books, including Texas Land Ethics (with Max Oelschlaeger), The Big Thicket: A Challenge for Conservation, and The Big Thicket: An Ecological Reevaluation. He will speak on environmental education and the land ethics of Aldo Leopold in relation to the Big Thicket. He will also offer a related workshop and a session on ecological songs and stories. Keynote speaker Walt Dabney is Director of Parks for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and he speaks on "The Parks as Classrooms." Other workshops feature expert presenters on topics such as local wildlife and natural history. Recreational opportunities may include birding, canoeing, astronomy, and night hiking, and you will have a chance to share your favorite children's book at the Children's Literature Fair.

Early registration of $100 includes all workshops, keynote presentations, and entertainment, plus five meals and lodging for two nights in bunk-style group housing. Check in Friday evening and Saturday morning. Sessions begin Saturday morning and conclude by noon on Sunday. TEEAC and SBEC credit will be given. Directions and additional information will be sent to you upon receipt of registration. Questions? Contact Mary Gedelian at 1-800-729-6291 or mgedelia@houstonisd.org.

HUMMINGBIRD FESTIVAL

March 19, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm: Texas Tech University Center at Junction.

Kent Rylandaer, Mark Klym, Terry Maxwell, and Dan Brown present workshops on hummingbird anatomy, behavior, migration, nesting sequence, banding methods, and South American biodiversity. Registration: $25.

For information and registration, contact Amanda Camp, tel 325-446-2301; Amanda.camp@ttu.edu; http://www.junction.ttu.edu under Field Research Station.

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Chapter News

JANUARY MEETING

Following a potluck dinner and the installation of Chapter officers for 2005, President Randy Moss conducted a planning and strategy session with the aim of broadening participation and outreach to Hays County residents.

Activities for the next quarter will accordingly feature a public workshop on Coyote Management for February, a Photography Workshop in March, and an Earth Day event in April. The Coyote Management event will inform residents in northeastern Hays County and adjoining Travis County about coyote habits and measures to discourage them. The Photography event will include classes and activities that answer the demand for information about the latest digital technology and its application to wildlife photography.

Judy Telford reports that the revised list of members who met the certification requirements for 2004 now includes Ann Allen, Linda Anderson, Richard Barnett, Delbert Bassett, Steve Boles, Ray Franklin, Karen Hayward, Dell Hood, Gerin Hood, Kathy Johnson, David Jones, James Kinscherff, Walter Krudop, Randy Moss, Joe Piazza, Rebecca Shively, Winifred Simon, Johanna Smith, Judy Telford, Lydia Washam-Morgan, Betty Watkins, KayBeth Williams, and Susan Zimmerman.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Cypress Creek Nature Preserve

HCMN Project #409

The volunteers recruited to help develop the 7.2 acre Cypress Creek Nature Preserve have begun work at the Preserve. Master Naturalists can earn volunteer hours for their work on this project. The volunteers meet every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Preserve, located less than 100 yards east of the Wimberley Square on Old Kyle Road.

Volunteers help with cleaning up the site and developing the trail. Malcolm Harris, a member of the Wimberley Parks and Recreation Board, leads the work. Architect Oscar Wilson designed the improvements, and Jack Waldschmidt's water garden is under construction. A trail now extends all the way from the Wimberley Square to the Blue Hole property that Wimberley is in the process of acquiring. The next phase of work is covering the trail with wood chips and removing litter.

If you want to spend a Saturday morning in Wimberley, come volunteer in the Nature Preserve and watch it develop as you work. For further information, call Dell Hood at 512-847-1231, or e-mail: hood@alumni.utexas.net.

Trail Building and Maintenance

HCMN Project # 424

DATE: On-going projects

ACTIVITY: Volunteers will selectively remove brush, trees, and rocks in new trail corridors, create new trails, and maintain existing trails They will be instructed on site by a crew manager.

SPONSORS: Corps of Engineers Canyon Lake Park; Camino Real Cycling Club (CRCC); Austin Ridge Riders Mountain Bike Club; San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance (SMGA); Hays County Parks Depts .

SPONSOR CONTACTS: James Buratti (CRCC), 512-245-3641, jb63@txstate.edu ; Todd Derkacz (SMGA), 512-754-9321, tobe@austin.rr.com ; Jerry Pinnix (Hays Co), 512-393-2212, jlp2002@earthlink.net

HCMN CONTACT: Judy Telford, 512-353-8143, 2303 E McCarty Lane, San Marcos, TX 78666, jt01@txstate.edu.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Volunteers can expect to cut and remove trees, brush and rocks in new trail corridors, create new trails, and groom existing trails. They are welcome to work as much or as little as they feel up to. We just want everyone to enjoy the process of creating new hiking and biking trails. Some are narrow, natural surface trails that are built by hand without motorized equipment.

There are opportunities for volunteers of all ages and experience. A crew manager will instruct volunteers in methods and safety on site. Safety is the first priority. Careful attention is paid to erosion prevention, proper pruning techniques, natural aesthetics and preservation of valuable natural elements.

Every SMGA session begins with a safety briefing. People who volunteer and who have zero experience with natural surface trails may be required to read a short text or receive a briefing on some basic trail techniques before they touch a tool.

Tools will be provided. Volunteers should bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, eye protection, and water.

All trail building is on public land such as Canyon Lake Park, Lake Georgetown Park, Hughson Park, Schulle Canyon, and other city and county parks as they are identified. Volunteers are usually required to sign a volunteer release from liability.

Volunteers who really enjoy the experience can attend a trail building school, usually held once a year.

THE GREAT TEXAS RIVER CLEAN UP

HCMN Project # 407

The 20th Annual Great Texas River Cleanup on Saturday, March 5 is co-sponsored by the San Marcos River Foundation (407). March 5, 2005. Folks from all over Texas will be participating in the
world's longest river clean up. We will be picking up trash along the entire 90-mile length of the San Marcos River.

BANK CREWS
Everyone is urged to help. If you are unable to participate in the water, we need volunteers to work the banks of the river, especially at parks and highway crossings. Scuba divers and snorkelers are also welcome to join in the clean up.

RECREATIONAL PADDLERS
We are asking recreational paddlers and canoe clubs to accept the challenge and volunteer for a section of river. If your group or club has not already been assigned a section, be sure to contact Tom Goynes and tell him what stretch you would like. The upper sections of the San Marcos River, particularly just downstream of the City of San Marcos, will require the most attention, and the short mileages set for these sections reflect this. Furthermore, the river becomes less accessible and more hazardous as one goes downstream. For that reason, novice boaters should volunteer for either section 1 or 2 and more experienced boaters for the other sections.

CAMPOUT AND GET-TO-GETHER
Everyone participating in this event is invited to camp free at either Shady Grove Campground/ Spencer Canoes or at Pecan Park Retreat for the weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening there will be a free barbecue provided by the San Marcos River Foundation at Shady Grove/Spencer Canoes.

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE
There will be a non-denominational Christian worship service at Pecan Park on Sunday morning at 8:00 am.

MEETING TIMES AND SHUTTLES
A group meeting will be held for everyone working sections 3 through 7 at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Spencer Canoes. Groups working sections 8 - 11 will arrange their shuttles as early as possible Saturday morning and try to put in the river by 9:00 a.m. Persons working sections 1 and 2 will meet at City Park in San Marcos at 10:00 a.m.

Tom Goynes (coordinator) 512-392-6171; e-mail: mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

RIVER SECTION LISTINGS
1 San Marcos City Park to Thompson's Island (2 miles)
2 Thompson's Island to Pecan Park Retreat (3.5 miles)
3 Pecan Park Retreat to Spencer Canoes (6 mi.)
4 Spencer Canoes to Staples - Hwy 1977 (5 miles)
5 Staples to Fentress - Hwy 20 (9 miles)
6 Fentress to Stairtown (7miles)
7 Stairtown to Luling - Hwy 90 (6.5miles)
8 Hwy 90 to Luling City Park (6 mi.)
9 Luling City Park to Palmetto State Park (14.4 mi.) Texas Canoe Racing Assoc.: Ginger Turner mailto:gingerct@juno.com
10 Palmetto State Park to Gonzales Hwy 90A (14.8 miles)
11 Gonzales 90A to Gonzales 183 (10 mi.)

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Links to Chapter Sponsors and Partners

Sponsors

Texas Master Naturalist - State Website - masternaturalist.tamu.edu
Texas Cooperative Extension - agextension.tamu.edu/
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - www.tpwd.state.tx.us/

Partners

Bamberger Ranch -- http://www.bambergerranch.org/workshops.htm

LBJ Wildflower Center -- www.wildflower.org Native Plant Society of Texas - www.npsot.org/
Texas Cooperative Extension - Sea Grant Program - texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu/
Texas Forest Service - txforestservice.tamu.edu/
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - www.usace.army.mil/
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - www.fws.gov/
U.S.D.A. Natural Resource Conservation Service - .nrcs.usda.gov/

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© 2005 Hays County Master Naturalists