News Archive

In the News

NO JULY MEETINGS FOR Blackland, CenTex, Fort Worth & San Antonio Chapters.  Monitor Houston NPAT Chapter’s site to…

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Saturday, 7:30am-12 Noon Come out to INDIANGRASS PRAIRIE PRESERVE DAY {encode="kmharms3@gmail.com" title="CONTACT KIRSTI…

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“3rd Saturday Prairie Restoration Workday” at Kirchoff Family Farm MAYBE NEXT MONTH!We hope you can meet us Saturday, August 18, 2018, for project…

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Prairie Facts

Past News & Events

Field Trip to Henrietta Range

July 14-15, 2007 - Saturday and Sunday

Field Trip and Board Meeting

Board meeting on the 14th. NPAT will visit Henrietta Range near Wichita Falls on the 15th. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Other News

New Partners and Affiliations

NPAT has affiliated or partnered with multiple organizations with which we share common goals.  These include the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which mentioned NPAT in the latest issue of Wildflower magazine (Summer 2007) along with an short article about a small Blackland Prairie tallgrass prairie restoration at the redevelopment of the former Mueller airport in Austin.

See the complete list of partners and affiliations on our web site.

Texas Prairie Coalition Meeting

June 25, 2007 - Monday 1pm

First TPC Meeting

The Texas Prairie Coalition (TPC) is a group of private and public organizations and individuals active in native prairie conservation, restoration, and/or education in Texas. Meeting in Lewisville, TX north of Dallas/Ft. Worth. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Wildflower Tour of Bear Creek Ranch

June 9, 2007 - Saturday 10am-1pm

See tallgrass prairie and other habitat in the Fort Worth Prairie

Owned by the Dixon Water Foundation, the 1700 acre Bear Creek Ranch supports deep soiled tallgrass prairie, limestone glades, and streamside forest. Come see this spectacular part of the Fort Worth Prairie.

The Nature Conservancy’s Jim Eidson will talk about natural history, and Robby Tuggle, ranch manager, will talk about sustainable grazing.

Located at 2701 Bear Creak Rd., Aledo, TX 76008. Click here for directions.

For more information, contact the Nature Conservancy’s Jim Eidson, 903-568-4139, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Also see the field trip flyer.

Parker County Poor Farm Tour

June 8, 2007 - Friday 10am-1pm

See prairie on Grand Prairie limestone outcrops

The Poor Farm is owned by Parker County is in planning stages for development for some type of preserve, nature park or a natural area with minimal development. It is a 256 acre property, with good examples of Grand Prairie limestone outcrops (50-60 acres of Little Bluestem-Indiangrass prairie), Western Cross Timbers ecosystems, seasonal creeks, one small pond, old fields and orchards, and disturbed areas along roadways. There are also gas wells on the property for the county, which hopefully some of the revenue will go back to the Poor Farm project.

From Weatherford, at the corner of I-20 and FM 51, go west on the access road to Tin Top Road. Home Depot is on the right. Turn left onto Tin Top Road and go south approximately 1 mile to Leea Ln on the left. Leea Ln deadends at the gate to the Poor Farm. Meet at the gate at 10:00am.

For more information, contact Jeff Quayle, 817-729-0283, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Also see the Poor Farm web site.

Upcoming Prairie Field Trips and Events

Flower

See the News and Events web page for more events and information.

Parker County Poor Farm Tour - June 8, 2007 - Friday 10am-1pm
256 acre property contains 50-60 acres of Little Bluestem-Indiangrass prairie on Grand Prairie limestone outcrops
For more information, contact Jeff Quayle, 817-729-0283, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Also see the Poor Farm web site.

Wildflower Tour of Bear Creek Ranch - June 9, 2007 - Saturday 10am-1pm
Owned by the Dixon Water Foundation, the 1700 acre Bear Creek Ranch supports deep soiled tallgrass prairie, limestone glades, and streamside forest. Come see this spectacular part of the Fort Worth Prairie.
The Nature Conservancy’s Jim Eidson will talk about natural history, and Robby Tuggle, ranch manager, will talk about sustainable grazing.
Located at 2701 Bear Creak Rd., Aledo, TX 76008. Click here for directions.
For more information, contact the Nature Conservancy’s Jim Eidson, 903-568-4139, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Also see the field trip flyer.

Texas Prairie Coalition Meeting - June 25, 2007 - Monday 1pm
The Texas Prairie Coalition (TPC) is a group of private and public organizations and individuals active in native prairie conservation, restoration, and/or education in Texas.
Meeting in Lewisville, TX north of Dallas/Ft. Worth.  Contact Jason Spangler, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 512-736-4199, for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities

Flower

Get involved with prairie conservation, restoration, and education!

1.  NPAT is looking for volunteers to organize and lead prairie field trips, identify and record prairie remnants, educate people about native prairies, advocate prairie conservation and restoration to local groups and agencies, and to serve on the NPAT board.  Contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 512-772-4741 if interested.

2.  TPWD is looking for volunteers to help at a prairie booth near the small Indiangrass/Little Bluestem prairie planting during the TPWD Expo grounds in Austin.  They are looking for volunteers with a “passion for prairies who like to work with kids”.  October 6-7, 9am to 5pm.  They can offer an Expo t-shirt and tickets to the Expo banquet on Saturday evening.  Contact: Pat Morton, 512-912-7020 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Prairie Property for Sale

NPAT members have seen the following possibly native prairie sites for sale.  These could be good conservation buyer properties for restoring prairie along with a conservation easement.  For more information, contact Jason Spangler, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 512-736-4199.

1.  180 acres near Bruceville-Eddy (Blackland Prairie) and I-35 of degraded tallgrass prairie (south of Waco).  Site contains Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Ceanothus, Wild Hyacinth, Prairie Celestial, Standing Winecup, Barbara’s Buttons, Perennial Paintbrush, Liatris, including endemics White Silphium and Pale-Leaf Yucca.  A wooded stream runs through property, and an asphalt driveway already exists.  Site seems mostly native, with mostly seeding of climax native grasses and brush control needed for restoration.

2.  80 acres near Paris (Blackland Prairie) with Silveus Dropseed-Longspike Tridens prairie including prairie flowers/forbs such as Liatris and Giant Coneflower.  Property contains a house, workshop, and pond.

3.  500 acres near Paris (Blackland Prairie) of possibly degraded Silveus Dropseed-Longspike Tridens prairie used as pasture, near Smiley-Woodfin Meadow.

Restoration/Grant Opportunities

Butterfly

USDA announces up to $1 billion in funding for wildlife conservation over 15 years

The USDA has announced a program for restoring habitat (i.e. native prairie) on former cropland for species that are identified at risk in State Wildlife Action Plans like grassland birds, native bees, and butterflies.  Texas’ State Wildlife Action Plan lists Blackland Prairie and Coastal Prairies and Marshes as the top two priority regions, and grassland birds are a large part of the at risk species for those regions.

Only land that was in crop production 4 out of 6 years between 1996 and 2002 qualifies.

Payments for land management and restoration

Up to 90% cost share – the cost to prepare habitat and plant vegetation for wildlife.
50% cost share for management, such as prescribed burns, that is required to maintain the vegetation for wildlife during the 10-15 year contract.
Whole fields can be enrolled as well as stream and wetland buffers.
Payments to the farmer’s pocket:

Annual rental payments based on average rental rates for the 3 predominant soils on the cropland being enrolled for the length of the CRP contract (10-15 years). Nationwide, the average rental rate is $49/ac and varies from $27/ac to $122/ac in state averages.
An additional $100/acre upfront incentive payment.
These funds can be combined with other funding and programs, for example to: offer additional money to turn a temporary contract into a permanent conservation easement.  Read more in the USDA/Environmental Defense announcement.

Please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 512-772-4741 if interested in restoring native prairie and your property qualifies, especially if you are interested in a conservation easement on the restored prairie.

Expanded Conservation Easement Tax Benefits Available

If you own a native prairie, please consider a conservation easement with NPAT to protect your prairie.  The Pension Reform bill helps family farmers, ranchers, and other moderate-income landowners get a significant tax benefit for making the charitable donation of a conservation easement, restricting future development of their land to protect an important public resource.

The conservation tax incentive, in place for 26 years, has been adjusted to:

Raise the maximum deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year to 50%;
Allow farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of AGI; and
Extend the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5 to 15 years.
These expanded benefits only apply to conservation easements donated before the end of 2007 (unless Congress passes another bill extending or making them permanent).

Please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 512-772-4741 to learn more and discuss conservation easements.  Also learn more online on our web page and the Land Trust Alliance web site.

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