Event will also include the Rancher’s Workshop slated for Oct. 6-7
MARFA – Educational field tours, international talks, a Rancher’s Workshop and social networking are all adding up to make the 65th Annual Texas Section, Society for Range Management’s annual meeting Oct. 7-9 at Marfa and Alpine a huge success, said the professional organization’s president.
“At last count we had 156 registered, and that doesn’t count about 30 from Mexico that we know are coming but will register on site,” said Dr. John Walker, who is also the Texas A&M AgriLife Research director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension center at San Angelo.
The main meeting, dubbed “Borderland Conservation: Two Countries, One Cause,” is set for Oct. 7-9, beginning at the Crowley Theater in Marfa. That meeting will be preceded by the special Rancher’s Workshop set for 3-6:15 p.m.Oct. 6 and from 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Oct. 7 at Marfa’s Hotel Paisano.
The regular annual meeting’s first session, an ecological site workshop, will start at 8:30 a.m. in the Crowley Theater before reconvening at 11 a.m. at the Mimms Ranch for a site visit. The theater session will feature talks on soils, vegetation, soil surveys, developing ecological site descriptions and using ecological sites for conservation planning.
The Mimms Ranch field trip will include viewing of ecological sites, soil interpretation, map unit design and soil inclusions.
The group will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. at Crowley Theater for the Binational Symposium, featuring presentations on the Mexican and U.S. perspectives on the role of exotic grasses for cattle and wildlife, rangeland restoration efforts, successes and failures of technology transfer of grazing management and the future of rangeland education.
The Oct. 8 field trips all depart at 9 a.m. from the Sul Ross State University Student Center parking lot in Alpine. The four concurrent tours will include Dixon Water Foundation Lands, Mimms Ranch; Rangeland Restoration, CF Ranch near Alpine; Davis Mountains Preserve; and Tour de Big Bend.
The Oct. 9 plenary sessionwill start at 8:15 a.m. at the Espino Center at Sul Ross State University and will include talks on geology, soils and climate of the Trans-Pecos region; vegetation and community types of the Trans-Pecos; case study of the Genevieve Lykes Duncan Archeological Site on the O2 Ranch; U.S. and Mexico perspectives of ranching in the Chihuahuan Desert; Texas climate outlook; overview of the Borderlands Research Institute, and long-term vegetation trends on grazed and ungrazed Chihuahuan Desert grasslands.
The educational curriculum features a social at Planet Marfa at 6 p.m. Oct. 7, a young professionals breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 8 and Past President’s Breakfast, at 6:30 a.m. On Oct. 9 there will be by an awards luncheon at Kokernot Lodge at 11:45 a.m. and an awards banquet followed by live music at the Granada Theater, both in Alpine.
For more information on the annual meeting or Rancher’s Workshop, go to http://texas.rangelands.org/aminfo.shtml or call 432-729-4532.
Walker said 1952 was the last time the Texas Section held a meeting in Alpine.
According to the 400-member statewide organization’s website, http://www.rangelands.org/texas, the Texas Section’s mission is “to provide leadership for the stewardship of rangelands based on sound ecological principles.”