A Living Laboratory: Landowner and Student Education of Semiarid Land Management
Investigators (most current known information)
Management of semiarid rangelands in southern Texas traditionally has been one dimensional, focusing primarily on livestock production. However, wildlife enterprises involving both consumptive and nonconsumptive activities recently have exerted a profound impact on the Texas economy, often generating more income than livestock production. This change in rangeland use has surfaced the need for multiple-use management. Thus, land stewards need information on how to adapt rangeland management to benefit both livestock and wildlife. We developed a demonstration area that illustrated various management techniques that could be used to manage rangelands in southern Texas for multiple uses. Our goal was to provide land stewards and students with the opportunity to observe multiple-use management in a "real life" setting.
We created a demonstration area on a 252-acre property (South Pasture) that is owned by Texas A&M; University-Kingsville. Various classes from the Department of Animal and Wildlife Science were used to develop and implement a management plan for South Pasture that addressed the region's needs. The resulting demonstration area included the following sites:
- Plots illustrating vegetation response to various brush management treatments
- Wildlife management areas for white?tailed deer and northern bobwhite
- Nature trail exemplifying various nongame management techniques
The South Pasture demonstration area has been used for field lectures, field trips, and management activities for both university students and visiting students and land stewards. Students in these courses are engaged in active learning through hands-on experience. It is our goal to continue the educational mission of the demonstration project and extend its life by involving future students with the maintenance and care of the demonstration area.
Hernandez, F. 2004. "Texas quail short course III." 2-Set DVDs. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Kingsville TX.
Hernandez, F. and D. Doan-Crider, eds. 2004. "A living laboratory: Landowner and student education of semiarid lands." Presented, Proceedings of the third Texas quail short course. Concluding Seminar, March. Kingsville TX.