Spring 2020
Plum Creek Current
Spring 2020
Hello Plum Creek Watershed Partnership Stakeholders and Friends,
We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are doing well in the new year! The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership is starting the new year strong with the completion of the 2020 Update to the Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan, the beginning of the Caldwell County Feral Hog Bounty, and the start of riparian restoration efforts along Town Branch.
With the rainy season ahead, being aware of contributing factors to non-point source pollution is of utmost importance. Non-point source (NPS) pollution is caused when rainfall or snow-melt, moving over and through the ground, picks up and carries natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. The end of this newsletter includes simple tips you can implement right at home.
The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership has worked tirelessly to produce the fourth Update to The Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) in 2019. The Plum Creek WPP is updated biennially in order to keep stakeholders informed and engaged during the implementation phase of the Plan. The 2020 Plum Creek WPP Update details watershed trends, and the accomplishments of The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership and its members that have occurred since the previous update.
The Caldwell County Feral Hog Bounty Program is starting up again February 2020 with $20,000 in grant funding from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Wildlife Services to remove up to 2,300 feral hogs from the Plum Creek Watershed.The first round of collection starting Feb. 5 2020 at Smith Supply in Lockhart, TX from Noon - 3pm.
The City of Lockhart has begun its restoration efforts in Lockhart City Park by establishing no-mow green zones, and rotational viewing areas to enhance the Town Branch riparian area as apart of The Lockhart Urban Trail Low Impact Development Project
Upcoming Events
January 29 - Winter Row Crop Meeting
Date: Wednesday, Jan 29th
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12 pm
Place: 1403 Blackjack St. Lockhart, TX 78644
Cost: $10 per person
Two (1 IPM, 1 Gen) CEU’s will be given. Topics include: Cortova product review, 2018 Farm Bill updates, Caldwell County Hog Bounty updates, and Drift Minimization
February 5 - Caldwell County has officially kicked off the 2020 feral hog bounty to reduce the feral hog population in the area with the first round of collection starting Feb. 5, 2020 at Smith Supply in Lockhart, TX from Noon - 3pm.

The county was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to assist residents with feral hog management efforts.
The program will consist of delivering feral hog abatement, an educational program including a bounty program, a feral hog workshop and webinar, a countywide damage assessment and financial assistance to selected landowners who wish to trap hogs.

For more information and to register please visit feralhogtaskforce.com
March 7 - The City of San Marcos, Texas State University, the City of Kyle and the Texas River Protection Association are calling for volunteers to register for the 35th Annual Great Texas River Clean Up.

The 2020 Annual Great Texas River Clean Up event will take place on March 7 from 9 AM to 1 PM; volunteers will clean all 90 miles of the San Marcos River, including creeks and tributaries that flow into the San Marcos and Blanco Rivers.

For more information to sponsor, contact Amy Kirwin at  512.393.8419  or email  akirwin@sanmarcostx.gov . Stay updated with the Annual Great Texas River Clean Up by liking the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GreatTexasRiverCleanUp) .
April 1 - The Caldwell County Tree Project will host the very first Caldwell County Tree Adoption event to plant 1,000 new trees in Caldwell County in 2020.

The Caldwell County Tree Project works to provide free, year round education opportunities for all ages with the emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning using the urban forest as our teacher. *Activities such as “If I was a Tree” & “Explore a Forest” will be presented to the kids at both area libraries during our April 2020 event.

Our volunteer events welcome all ages and abilities to participate in growing Caldwell County green. To volunteer your time please call (830) 351-4421 or visit ccTree.org to signup to volunteer or to make a donation.
June 3 - A Texas Watershed Steward workshop on water quality related to Plum Creek will be held from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. June 3rd at The Luling Foundation, 523 S Mulberry Avenue, Luling, TX 78648.

The workshop is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership. The training is free and open to anyone interested in improving water quality in the region. Light refreshments will be provided. Participants are encouraged to preregister at the Texas Watershed Steward website at https://tws.tamu.edu.

“This training is designed to help watershed residents improve and protect their water resources by becoming involved in local watershed protection and management activities,” said Michael Kuitu, AgriLife Extension program specialist and coordinator for the Texas Watershed Steward program, College Station. Kuitu said the workshop will include an overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas, but will primarily focus on the Plum Creek.

Attendees of the workshop will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook and a certificate of completion. The Texas Watershed Steward program offers four continuing education units in soil and water management for certified crop advisers, four units for professional engineers and certified planners, four credits for certified teachers, and two credits for nutrient management specialists. A total of four professional development hours are available for professional geoscientists. In addition, three general continuing education units are offered for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders, and four for certified landscape architects. Four continuing education credits are provided to certified floodplain managers. Four continuing education credits are also offered for each of the following Texas Commission on Environmental Quality occupational licensees: wastewater system operators, public water system operators, on-site sewage facility installers, and landscape irrigators. Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists may also earn continuing education.

The Texas Watershed Steward program is funded through a Clean Water Act §319(h) nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information on the Texas Watershed Steward program and to preregister, go to the website or contact Kuitu at 979-862-4457, mkuitu@tamu.edu ;
For more information about watershed protection efforts for the Plum Creek Watershed, contact Stephen Risinger at 830-557-7358, srisinger@plumcreekwatershed.org.
Local News
The Texas Oil and Gas Association reported that companies paid a record level of taxes and state royalties last year amid a historic oil boom. But association President Todd Staples said that continued growth is not guaranteed.

In parts of Texas experiencing severe droughts, some ranchers are finding there is practically no grass left for cattle to graze on.

The environmental group is trying to obtain documents showing how the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality arrived at a decision on increasing emissions limits for a toxic chemical.

An analysis by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project found that 30 states have cut funding to environmental agencies over the past decade. In Texas, lawmakers slashed spending by more than a third between 2008 and 2018.
Learn about Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution
We all live in a watershed — the area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, aquifer or even the ocean — and our individual actions can directly affect it. 

Funding for the development and support of the Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan is through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.