The Texas Water Resources Institute of Texas A&M AgriLife will be presenting a Texas Watershed Planning Short Course from Jan 12-16 in Bandera.

The course will be held at the Mayan Dude Ranch, 350 Mayan Ranch Rd., about 47 miles northwest of San Antonio.

“This is one of the few courses that builds upon the nine essential elements for watershed planning as identified by the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Kevin Wagner, a project manager at the institute and course leader. “People attending this course will come out better prepared to develop plans according to EPA guidelines.”

Well-considered holistic watershed protection plans involving as many stakeholders as possible in their development are becoming a widely-accepted approach to protecting Texas surface waters, Wagner said.

“The goal of the Texas Watershed Planning Short Course is to equip watershed coordinators and water professionals with the tools they need for effective watershed protection efforts,” he said.

The course will address watershed protection planning, building partnerships, watershed assessment, identifying solutions and creating an implementation plan, he said.

Wagner added that the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the two state agencies responsible for Texas’ water quality, are financing the creation of more than a dozen watershed protection plans statewide.

“The course will benefit those involved or interested in watershed restoration and protection projects to improve the water quality of the state’s rivers, streams and estuaries,” said Aaron Wendt, the soil and water board’s state watershed coordinator.

Upon completion, participants will receive continuing education units from the National Registry of Environmental Professionals.

Course registration is $375. A block of rooms has been reserved at a special rate of $121 per night, but to receive this special rate, reservations must be made by Dec. 31. Participants are asked to identify themselves as short course attendees when making reservations.

The upcoming short course is the second such program presented in Bandera. A third is set for the same location Aug. 17-21, according to program coordinators.

For more information, go to http://watershedplanning.tamu.edu/ or contact Wagner at klwagner@ag.tamu.edu or Courtney Swyden at cswyden@tamu.edu.