For "Travel Tuesday": Let's visit a forest near me:
William Goodrich Jones State Forest
"If you want to experience an urban wilderness, visit William Goodrich Jones State Forest. It is located on F.M. 1488, 1.5 miles west of Interstate 45 in Conroe, Texas. This video highlights some of the things to see and do at the forest. For additional information, call the Texas Forest Service district office at 936-273-2261.
The forest was purchased in 1926 and named after W. Goodrich Jones, the founder of the Texas Forestry Association and considered the Father of Texas Forestry. The health and productive forest that exists today is a result of public forest stewardship after heavy logging, devastating wildfires and insect epidemics that were common at the turn of the century. Jones State Forest is managed to encourage Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.
The primary purpose of this forest is resource education for all Texas citizens and visitors. Sound scientific forest management that protects and perpetuates native flora and fauna is practiced. It is a working forest owned and administered by the Texas Forest Service.
The forest is an outdoor classroom, with resource education, demonstrations, and nature study. Group educational tours are available by appointment.
Recreational opportunities include: birdwatching, hiking, horseback riding, picnics, wildlife viewing, and biking.
This next video is about forest health and tree thinning in an urban wilderness. It was filmed at the W.G. Jones State Forest in Conroe, Texas. It shows some lovely pictures of the forest and the machines they use to keep it healthy for the wildlife:
"For thousands of years, before the arrival of civilization, forests stayed healthy and were constantly changing and regenerating themselves through natural cycles of drought, disease, fire regimes and ecological succession. However, in an urbanized environment, the rapid encroachment of civilization interferes with these natural processes.
Forests, such as Jones State Forest, are no longer vast expanses. They are fragmented by roads, impacted by human activities and affected by pollution. Understory vegetation is much denser, because wildfires are suppressed. And, when wildfires do occur, they burn hotter, and are often catastrophic, because of vegetation build-up. To maintain a healthy urban forest, it is necessary to use best management practices that mimic natural processes and also addresses the needs of rapidly changing dynamics in the forested landscape.
Timber thinning is one of these management practices. It removes weak, drought-stricken, dead and selected healthy trees; providing more resources to the remaining, residual trees. Susceptibility of the forest to insects, disease and catastrophic wildfire is also reduced. Thinning enhances endangered species habitat and at the same time provides wood products for human use.
The Texas Forest Service Best Management Practices Book provides guidelines for protecting water resources during any type of forestry operation. It may be downloaded from the Texas Forest Service website: http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/uploadedfiles/sustainable/bmp/bmpbookindd.pdf "
Monday, March 5, 2012
"Columns of thick, white smoke billowed from the treetops of the W. Goodrich Jones State Forest and the Sam Houston National Forest Monday.
The Texas Forest Service conducted its micro-burn around noon on various areas totaling 120 acres in the state forest off FM 1488 near Interstate 45.
Officials from the Sam Houston National Forest north of Lake Conroe also started a burn of about 600 acres at 11:30 a.m. Monday.
“The purpose is for fuel reduction and vegetation reduction as well as community safety,” Urban District Forester John Warner said. “Burning in a controlled situation ensures an uncontrolled situation doesn’t happen.”
Controlled burns act as preventive measures against wildfires by ridding areas of fuel, which could be any dry vegetation easily burned, Warner said. Flames are started by a drip lighter method where trained burn managers light vegetation in a linear fashion, moving against the wind, and are designed to burn at low intensity.
The method works best in a fire-friendly ecology, he said, where plants and mammals have adapted to it. Pine trees that populate the forest are protected by dense bark, allowing the low-intensity flames to pass by them without harm.
Weather conditions must be just right for controlled burns, Warner said, and an ideal temperature would not reach above 70 degrees. Officials map the burns against the wind to be certain sections of the forest are unscathed for longer periods of time than others, depending on the breeze.
“It’s a very mapped and controlled process,” Warner said. “We can’t necessarily mow the forest – that would be very expensive – so this is the best way of maintaining it and promoting forest health.”
The forest service conducts burns only in the wintertime, and Warner said this week’s burn, which should continue and be completed Tuesday, may be the last of the season.
Law enforcement and neighbors are notified before burns, he said, and any time a burn occurs near a residence, a fire truck is placed as a barrier between the flames and fence for precautionary purposes.
For more information about prescribed burns by the Texas Forest Service visit texasforestservice.tamu.edu."
Helping The TX Wildlife:
Other info about the Lone Star State:
RVers wanted as park hosts in Texas State Parks
Look for opportunities here:
Texas State Parks with Public Boat Ramps
"Following are the names of State Parks that are equipped with public boat ramps. For a complete list of all State Parks and the facilities they offer, contact Texas Parks & Wildlife at: 1-800-792-1112 or on the Internet at: www.tpwd.state.tx.us
Panhandle Plains Region
Lake Colorado City
Prairies and Lakes Region
Lake Mineral Wells
Ray Roberts Lake
Piney Woods Region
Lake Bob Sandlin
Martin Creek Lake
Big Bend Region
Caddo Lake: "This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900's when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971. Caddo Indian legend attributes the formation of the lake to a giant flood. Scientists believe the lake formed when floodwaters, blocked by massive log jams on the Red River, backed up into the Cypress Bayou watershed, forming the lake.
Thick bald cypress and a tangle of aquatic plants thrive in the waters at Caddo Lake State Park. Because the vegetation is so lush, much of the lake is really a maze of sloughs, bayous, and ponds. The park affords excellent access to the diverse fishing in Texas. Also popular are the park's quaint cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's" More at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/caddo_lake/
Already have a favorite lake? Try our alphabetical listing.
- Panhandle Plains
- Prairies & Lakes
- Piney Woods
- Gulf Coast
- South Texas Plains
- Hill Country
- Big Bend Country
Hill Country Region
South Texas Plains
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley
Lake Casa Blanca
Gulf Coast Region
Lake Corpus Christi
TX Lake State Parks
As John Steinbeck famously said: "Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession."
Get the FREE 2012 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas free by ordering online: www.texascampgrounds.com/
'Tis a Whole Other Country'!
With so many places to visit in TX, it is hard to pick one each week for Travel Tuesday. They all have their merits.
On This Day:
LBJ sends federal troops to Alabama, Mar 20, 1965:
"On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson notifies Alabama's Governor George Wallace that he will use federal authority to call up the Alabama National Guard in order to supervise a planned civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
Intimidation and discrimination had earlier prevented Selma's black population--over half the city--from registering and voting. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, a group of 600 demonstrators marched on the capital city of Montgomery to protest this disenfranchisement and the earlier killing of a black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state trooper. In brutal scenes that were later broadcast on television, state and local police attacked the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas. TV viewers far and wide were outraged by the images, and a protest march was organized just two days after "Bloody Sunday" by Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). King turned the marchers around, however, rather than carry out the march without federal judicial approval."
As I am taking care of Maddie and Muffie today, I went shopping yesterday. My shopping list had some items on it that were close to running out, like Taste Of The Wild cat and dog food. They don't get much dry food, they eat mostly canned like they are supposed to, but woe be me, if I run out of their Taste Of The Wild. The feed store was my first stop, so I wouldn't forget! At HEB and Kroger's I found several good deals on cold food, and wished that I hadn't procrastinated and already had the second 12v. fridge disinfected and ready to use. As I was by myself, I didn't go thrift shopping.
Coming out of Petsmart the wind was so strong, it was blowing shopping carts all over the parking lot, and I had a little clothes-flapping getting to the van. Basically though, it was a nice warm day.