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TTU Llano River Field Station Partners with Llano River Watershed Alliance on Protection Plan

By Trevor Hendricks, Student Assistant

The Llano River, a tributary of the Colorado River, runs through the hills around Junction, Texas. Noted as an "ecologically significant stream segment" by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD,) the entire Llano River supplies the animal population with a bountiful habitat filled with food, water and shelter while also supplying the people of Junction a home for research and recreation.

Texas Tech University's Llano River Field Station (LRFS) in Junction, has teamed up with the Llano River Watershed Alliance (LRWA) to support the Upper Llano River Watershed Protection Plan (ULRWPP). Established in June 2002, the LRFS has been providing scholars with laboratory and classroom facilities staffed with national award-winning faculty to help conduct Tier-One research at the largest inland field station in Texas. LRWA, a non-profit established in July 2009, has the mission of protecting and preserving the natural resource that is the Llano River as well as the land around it.

The LRWA has defined a watershed as "an area of land that drains to a common body of water such as a stream, river or even a spring," and adds that "the Upper Llano Watershed consists of the North and South Llano river watersheds, part of the larger Llano River watershed and even larger Colorado River watershed." The Llano River Watershed is a large landform that provides natural resources to the Central Texas area, playing a critical role in the ecosystems surrounding.

The implementation of the ULRWPP began in May 2016 with the goal of protecting key elements of the Llano River Watershed. The ongoing protection plan is projected to run for another eight years, possibly ending in 2026. The URLWPP measures its efforts in eight separate voluntary actions: septic systems, feral hogs, wildlife and exotics, livestock, brush control, streambank restoration, stormwater runoff and water conservation. Striving to meet the objectives of these eight milestones will create a balanced and eco-friendly environment for the Llano River Watershed which will diffuse to the entire Llano River, inviting growth for animal and human populations.

For more information about the ULRWPP and ongoing projects, including the LRFS's involvement, download and view the LRWA's monthly newsletters. The URLWPP cannot be carried out effectively without its supporters. For a full list of sponsors, partners and contributors visit the Llano River Watershed Alliance.