FT 3 - CANCELLED  Endangered Species and the Military: Management of Sensitive Natural Resources on Fort Hood, Texas

Saturday, August 6, 2011: 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
Trinity Street Lobby Field Trip Pick Up, Austin Convention Center
Organizers: Gil Eckrich and Timothy J. Hayden
Participants will visit one of the Nation's largest military installations that has the largest breeding populations of two endangered songbirds (Black-capped Vireo & Golden-cheeked Warbler), over 200 Karst features (including a large cave myotis colony), 18 endemic cave invertebrates, and an endemic plethontid salamander subspecies. The installation's grasslands are host to numerous species of grassland birds, including Sprague's Pipit. Participants will see how Fort Hood, an active duty installation with practically year-round training activity, including tank, artillery and other live fire, manages its natural resources for the benefit of flora and fauna while preparing soldiers for world-wide deployment. Participants should get to see some Black-capped Vireo and will see habitat of both TES species. Fort Hood supports one of the largest blocks of contiguous Texas hill country oak/juniper woodlands under a single management authority. Stops will include prescribed burning locations and the effects of fire on habitat, as well as mechanical manipulation of vegetation. Participants will visit sites where control efforts are conducted to limit spread of oak wilt.

Registration Fee: $67

Equipment and Attire: ALL participants MUST carry a government-issued photo ID! Cameras and binoculars are allowed and recommended. Moderate levels of walking. Participants need to wear clothes suitable for outdoors in central Texas summers including sturdy footgear. Broad-brimmed hats are recommended. Insect repellant and sunscreen are needed. Permitted concealed handgun carriers can NOT carry any firearms.

Itinerary: Depart Austin Convention Center NLT 07:00 for Fort Hood. Once on the installation, the field trip leader will guide the driver to the various locations (TES habitat, prescribed burn site(s), mastication site, cave, oak wilt treatment and lunch stop). Return to Austin Convention Center by approximately 6:00 p.m.

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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.