Upper Llano Watershed Coordination Committee to Hold Meeting in December

On Dec.11, a new group that hopes to protect and improve water quality and flows of North and South Llano Rivers will be holding a meeting. Local residents are encouraged to attend.

According to Dr. Tom Arsuffi, director of the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station, the Upper Llano Watershed Coordination Committee will be holding a meeting on Dec. 11 in Junction, TX. The inaugural meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Llano River Field Station, 254 Red Raider Lane. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m.

Dr. Kevin Wagner, Texas Water Resources Institute associate director, said the North and South Llano rivers are currently healthy, providing quality water for recreation, ranching, and area residents.

The Texas Water Resources Institute is collaborating with the field station to improve and conserve these vital water resources. The institute is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“However, land fragmentation, erosion along river banks, spread of invasive plants along the river, expansion of brush throughout the watershed, and other issues threaten the rivers’ land and water natural resources,” Wagner said. “To address these and other local concerns, we are assisting local stakeholders in developing a watershed protection plan.”

The Upper Llano River Coordination Committee was recently formed to guide the effort to develop and implement a strategy addressing current and future water issues affecting citizens of Edwards, Kimble, and Sutton counties. Once the efforts are completed, local and regional watersheds will benefit from the plan.

“We’re encouraging citizens of these and surrounding counties to attend upcoming meetings of this partnership,” said Wagner. “We need their input to develop a comprehensive management plan for this watershed and to put that plan into effect.”

Wagner said area residents have been very positive about the efforts to date, with more than 140 attending previous organizational meetings about the watershed protection plan. Funding for this effort is provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.