Beginning in 1915, landowner assistance and emergency response have been the primary duties of the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS). Today, this commitment continues, in large part, through the Central Texas Operations Department of TFS. The Central Texas Operations Department includes numerous offices and agency personnel throughout Central, South, and West Texas including the Texas panhandle to provide information and assistance in the areas that landowners desire for the continued enhancement of the Texas forests, woodlands, savannahs, and windbreaks.
The Texas A&M Forest Service also supports the many state and federal agency resource professionals, non-profit organizations, and professional land management consulting companies that exist to give specific management information to landowners in Central and West Texas. In such a vast area, partnerships are key to be able to provide landowners with specific and accurate information on a wide variety of topics and landowner needs. To learn about some of the partnership efforts, visit the following sites:
The Texas A&M Forest Service strives to work with landowners to help enhance their land to meet their goals. The Forest Stewardship Program administered through TFS is available to interested landowners. Through this program, foresters can visit with landowners on their property to discuss landowner objectives and strategies to meet those objectives through the development of a management plan. Landowners can take pride in knowing that their plan addresses numerous resource elements including biological diversity, soil and water, wildlife, forest health, among others. Successful implementation of the plan by a landowner often results in being recognized as a Certified Forest Steward.
Tree Planting is a common interest of landowners who contact TFS. Foresters can provide technical guidance, discuss the best species for the site, help determine site preparation practices, and help provide information on seedling nurseries that may grow a landowner's tree species of interest. Seedlings are available through the Texas A&M Forest Service's West Texas Nursery to help accomplish conservation and stewardship goals in Central and West Texas.
Another common interest among landowners is tree and brush management. TFS focuses on providing educational information about trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs are very important to wildlife habitat, erosion control, and biological diversity when the right species are in the right place. When not in the right place, they quickly become "brush" and should be managed accordingly. TFS can provide information on the practices and methods landowners can use to enhance the trees and shrubs they want and reduce the trees and shrubs they don't.
There are many other issues that landowners face in Central and West Texas. Among them are fire, insects and diseases (such as oak wilt), and invasive species. Foresters have the ability to provide information on a variety of topics. However, the job of a forester does not end there. They are often active in conservation education at schools, help facilitate local county landowner organizations, and try to be leaders in efforts to grow and enhance the forests, woodlands, savannahs and windbreaks of Texas.
Landowners have other resources available to them as they manage their land or seek educational opportunities. The landowner resources page describes a few common available resources.
Contact a local Texas A&M Forest Service office to find out more information on Central and West Texas landowner assistance.