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2013-07-18

Master Naturalists offer free help to landowners

Contributed

Members of the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists have a programs designed especially for new landowners.
Volunteers with the Land Management Assistance Program provide aid to landowners in identifying trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses on their property; assist with land, wildlife and livestock management; and make recommendations to help landowners accomplish their goals. According to Jim Stanley, program coordinator, this free program is available to all landowners in Bandera, Gillespie, Kendall and Kerr counties.
The program involves a team of two or three Master Naturalists visiting a landowner's property, discussing the landowner's goals, ideas and concerns, touring the property with the landowner and finally documenting the team's observations and recommendations. In addition, the landowner will be provided with information listing various state agencies and other organizations that can provide further information.
Texas Master Naturalist is an organization sponsored jointly by the Texas AgriLife Extension and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Its mission is "to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their community."
The Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist consists of about 300 members from Bandera, Gillespie, Kendall and Kerr counties. Over 325 Land Management Assistance visits covering over 27,000 acres have been conducted since the program began in 2005.
Landowners interested in having volunteers visit their property can call Jim Stanley at 830-257-2094 and request a free Master Naturalist Land Management Assistance visit.