2021 RWFM Stewardship Webinar Series
6:00pm – 7:30pm CST Online
Aquatic Vegetation webinar
Join us for a how-to educational program by Brittany Chesser on preventing aquatic vegetation from re-emerging in ponds and lakes. To get a deeper understanding, we will cover how certain species of aquatic plants are able to persist during the colder months and what types of aquatic vegetation you may be battling again this year. In order to help you get ready for the spring, we will cover potential prevention methods, discussing their feasibility including money, labor, and timing.
March 4, 2021
Developing a Drought Management Plan for the Ranch
Drought is an ever-present specter for Texas livestock and forage producers. This webinar will showcase a preview of future workshops that will present resources on creating plans for managing livestock, particularly cattle, through drought. Participants will also learn the importance of creating a plan that addresses forage and livestock insurance options, tax implications for the sale of a large number of livestock, as well as overall risk management strategies.
April 1, 2021
Toxic Plants in Grasslands and The Impact on Livestock
Dr. Cat Barr, Diagnostic Toxicologist, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station
Grasslands are critical infrastructure for most cow/calf operations. The quality and abundance of pasture grasses directly influence livestock rate of gain, thereby affecting livestock margins and production costs, which determine the profitability of a stocker operation. The successful cattleman controls weeds not only to preserve healthy pasture but also to prevent plant poisonings that may reduce individual animal performance or even cause fatalities. Extension programs for Integrated Toxic Plant Management (ITPM) have been developed to teach ranchers to identify the potentially toxic plants in their pastures, understand symptoms of plant poisonings in livestock, recognize biomes where certain plants are likely to emerge, and provide strategies for controlling those plants and their ingestion. Toxic plants across the US cause a range of effects in cattle and other grazing species. Nightshades (Solanum spp.) can cause gastrointestinal irritation (diarrhea) and neurological problems (incoordination, depression) when overconsumed. Starthistles (Centaurea spp.) cause a very specific brain damage in horses, preventing them from chewing and swallowing properly. Coffee senna and its cousins (Senna occidentalis,et al.) cause profound skeletal muscle destruction in cattle (alert downers) and heart muscle damage in goats and chickens. Some plants cause birth defects in calves and lambs [e.g., skunk cabbage (Veratrum spp.), tobaccos (Nicotiana spp.), larkspurs (Delphinium spp.)]. Plants that contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (e.g., Amsinckia spp., Crotalaria spp., Heliotropium spp., Senecio spp.), cause a progressive liver damage that can take 6 weeks to over a year to kill animals that consume them. Every year we lose an unknown number of animals across the country to largely preventable plant intoxications.
Fighting Fire with Fire: Fighting Fire with Fire – Rx Fire Toolbox to Combat Identified Social Barriers
Dr. Urs Kreuter
Elevated fuel loads together with projected hotter and drier climatic conditions will likely lead to more frequent erratic wildfires in the western USA. Recognition that changing climate and decades of fuel accumulation are increasing the risks of wildfire has led to calls for fire management reform, including the widespread use of prescribed fire to reduce fuel loads. However, this shift in fire management emphasis is failing to be widely adopted due to social and regulatory barriers to using fire. To ensure fire management reform is broadly adopted on private land in the western states, the attitudes of stakeholders towards the use of prescribed fire as a wildfire reduction tool need to be clearly understood.
June 3, 2021
Dr. Barron Rector
Top 10 Most Threatening Brush and Weeds in Texas
If you asked rangeland managers what the worst plant is that people work with, you would hear a thousand different answers. But the word “threatening” is key. A threat can take on many different forms such as to the water cycle and promotion of clean air and water, to the livestock industry with illness, mortality, and market fluctuations, opportunistic and potentially monoculture forming, uncontrollable by current knowledge and methodology, unaffected by prescribed burns or wildfires, or on the federal or state invasive and noxious plant lists. But, sometimes, the most threatening weed and brush species are those that you do not know the name of, thus you can’t look them up or prepare a plan of attack because you walk by them not knowing they are a threat. The worst threatening plant could also be the mis-identified plant on iNaturalist and you select the wrong management tool and actually make the situation worse. During this webinar, participants will not only learn how invasive brush and weeds can threaten rangelands, but also tips and tricks to identifying the top weed and brush species in Texas.
July 1, 2021
Dr. John Tomeček
Integrated Approaches to Managing Wildlife Damage
This presentation will address the methods by which damage is managed on native wildlife species. We present an integrated approach, choosing the appropriate tool for the problem, and how to apply multiple tools to achieve management goals. We will discuss lethal and non-lethal approaches and include a special session on the proper use and application of toxicants.
August 5, 2021
The Prairie Project: Coupling Fire and Grazing
Dr. Laura Goodman
Grasslands and savannas worldwide are an imperiled biome—particularly as a result of woody plant encroachment (WPE), increasingly extreme climatic conditions, and more frequent and intense wildfires. This is especially true for the Great Plains of the United States. We contend here that the widespread adoption of pyric herbivory (the synergistic application of fire and grazing) and mixed-species grazing (cattle and goats) would not only make grasslands and savannas more resilient to environmental change but also enhance the profitability of livestock production systems. These management strategies control woody plants, enhance forage quality, and increase animal production. Although this new management paradigm holds tremendous promise, it has not been widely adopted because of cultural constraints. Saving the remaining grasslands in the Great Plains and elsewhere will require a widespread shift in cultural norms—facilitated by targeted government incentives and a coordinated program of regional research, extension, and education.
September 2, 2021
Dr. Maureen Frank
Natural Resource Tourism with Wildlife
This webinar will help connect people to their local natural resources by emphasizing wildlife tourism opportunities, natural resources, tourism business, and social sciences to develop appropriate prospects for managing recreation and tourism enterprises. Opportunities like building backyard bird habitat to encouraging youth to become leaders through hunting experiences will be covered. Dr. Frank will help non-landowner birders understand the value of sustainable working lands, and landowners explore the benefits of bird ecotourism.
October 7, 2021
Jenny Pluhar and Frank Price
6:00pm – 7:30pm CST Online
Aquatic Vegetation Management webinar
December 2, 2021
Big Picture: Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management