Experts to Speak at Prairie Conference on Baylor Campus June 17-19

June 3, 2005

by Judy Long

Baylor University will host the Native Prairies Association of Texas "Prairies and Savannahs Conference and Workshops" June 17-19 in the Baylor Sciences Building in Waco. The conference and workshops will provide information on land management and prairie restoration for landowners and land managers, as well as those with an interest in wildlife and native habitats.

The Native Prairies Association of Texas is an all-volunteer land trust which provides information about native grasslands and manages easements on original tallgrass prairies.

The Friday workshops will begin at 9 a.m. with presentations on "How to Recognize Tallgrass Prairie Remnants" by Mike Williams of Valley Mills; "Identification of Prairie and Mesic/Wetland Plants" by Dr. Stephan Hatch, professor of rangeland ecology and management at Texas A&M; "Restoration of Healthy Grasslands and Riparian Areas" by Steve Nelle, Natural Resource Conservation Services wildlife specialist in San Angelo' and "Prescribed Burning" by Dr. Butch Taylor, Sonora Research Station director.

The keynote speaker, Fred Smeins, professor of rangeland ecology and management at Texas A&M, will open the conference Saturday, speaking on "Why Practice Good Land Stewardship." Also speaking are the Honorable E.G. Rod Pittman, chairman of the Texas Water Development Board; David Langford, vice president emeritus of the Texas Wildlife Association; Nikki Dictson, program specialist with the Texas Cooperative Extension Program; and Dr. Allen Rasmussen of Texas A&M in Kingsville.

Other speakers include Ron Sosebee, Texas Tech University; Jennifer Ellis, National Wildlife Federation; Jason Hardin, Texas Audubon Society; Dr. Bill Eikenhorst; Jim Eidson of the Nature Conservancy; and Dr. Bryan Brooks, professor of environmental studies at Baylor. Nora Schell will lead a tour of the City of Waco Wetlands Project at 5 p.m., followed by a conference banquet.

Sunday morning will include field trips to various locations.

To reach the Baylor Sciences Building, drive east on University Parks from I.35 in Waco, turn right onto Bagby Avenue, then right on Speight Avenue. Parking is available in student or faculty/staff parking spaces.

For more information, including conference fees, go to Texas Native Prairies Association or contact Lee Stone at (512) 853-9838 or leeprairie@austin.rr.com.

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