Integrating Land Conservation Planning in the Classroom
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Opportunities for wildlife undergraduates to engage in land conservation planning can bridge the gap between formal academic training and professional wildlife experiences. Land conservation plans are an important component in managing wildlife habitat. In 1995 state legislation offered Texas landowners the opportunity to remain under agricultural valuation (Texas House Bill 1358, Proposition 11, 1-d-1) by designating wildlife management activities as qualifying agricultural practices. To obtain a wildlife management tax valuation, a landowner must have an active, written wildlife management plan. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists often provide technical guidance to landowners in this process. Allowing wildlife undergraduates to have an active role in this process offers a unique opportunity for them to gain practical "hands-on" experiences while improving their writing skills. Students enrolled in Wildlife Habitat Management and Conservation (WFSC 406) work in groups (3-4 students) to develop a management plan for 3 local landowners. In addition to writing an actual management plan, students gain experience in land surveying, vegetation sampling, GIS/GPS technology, and public speaking. Landowners receive 3 peer-reviewed management plans they can select from to implement on their property. Students assist TPWD biologists and Texas Cooperative Extension staff in providing technical guidance to local landowners. Wildlife education can be enhanced by integrating land conservation planning in the classroom via partnerships with natural resource agencies and landowners.
Wildlife Society Bulletin
author list (cited authors)
LOPEZ, R. R., HAYS, K. B., WAGNER, M. W., LOCKE, S. L., MCCLEERY, R. A., & SILVY, N. J.
complete list of authors
LOPEZ, ROEL R||HAYS, K BRIAN||WAGNER, MATT W||LOCKE, SHAWN L||MCCLEERY, ROBERT A||SILVY, NOVA J