“Conservation district” question - The Horse Forum
 9Likes
  • 2 Post By Avna
  • 1 Post By horselovinguy
  • 1 Post By horselovinguy
  • 2 Post By jaydee
  • 3 Post By jaydee
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
Posts: 982
• Horses: 0
“Conservation district” question

So, the county where we’re buying our property has a Conservation District. According to their website, they offer the following services to farms and small farms:

• Water quality enhancement and improvement
• Farm conservation design plans
• Pasture management
• Livestock manure management
• Soil erosion reduction
• Stream bank restoration and protection
• Rain garden water infiltration techniques
• Wildlife habitat enhancement
• Tailored to the landowners property
• Personalized to meet the landowners goals and water quality issues
• Modified as landowners objectives change
• Incorporate Best Management Practices to conserve natural resources

They also say this: “We are a non-regulatory organization working cooperatively with private landowners to address water and soil concerns. We collaborate with farmers, residents, and businesses to work toward conservation goals.”

I am working on learning about pasture management, and I could definitely benefit from a lot of those services. I want to have my horses on this property in the most environmentally friendly way **that is reasonable for me**.

What I’m wondering is, if I have these guys come out to give me some ideas (supposedly they are happy to come out and help you plan), if they find something “wrong,” will they report it to the county officials? Specifically, there are two tiny creeks that cross the property. One is mapped as a “fish stream” in the county documents and is protected, and the other doesn’t exist as far as the county is concerned. If the county knew about the second creek, then it would be almost impossible to do anything with the land, due to their buffer zone requirements (even this teeny tiny trickle of a creek would require a 250 foot buffer on either side). So if these guys came out and saw the second creek, would they report it? They are a governmental entity, but they also seem to stress that they’re there to help, not punish. Based on people’s experience, what do you all think – should I have them come out and look at the land to help me get set up, or is it too risky?
ACinATX is online now  
post #2 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 10:36 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 5,703
• Horses: 3
Ask them. I would guess most farmers have that kind of question.

You always want to shield streams and ponds from livestock's free access. Otherwise they will be enormously destructive to all the life that waterways support, and that destruction affects everything downstream as well. I see this neglected all the time and everywhere, and it always makes me terribly sad. "No free access" is not the same as no access at all. You could fence off the creeks and graze alongside with temporary fencing when the ground was dry.
tinyliny and ACinATX like this.

Short horse lover
Avna is online now  
post #3 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 10:39 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,263
• Horses: 0
Can you look at a topographical map and see if what you think is a creek is not a water runoff and land depression spot, and yes they can run for miles.
Is it man-made or nature made?
Origin point at a stream or underground spring might give you some more idea of what you might encounter...
And is this "service" free or are there charges for coming to see and evaluate and offer solutions...be careful there is not "fine print" missed...
...
ACinATX likes this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
Posts: 982
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Can you look at a topographical map and see if what you think is a creek is not a water runoff and land depression spot, and yes they can run for miles.
Is it man-made or nature made?
Origin point at a stream or underground spring might give you some more idea of what you might encounter...
And is this "service" free or are there charges for coming to see and evaluate and offer solutions...be careful there is not "fine print" missed...
...
It's not water runoff. It's definitely a tiny creek. The sellers referred to them as "seasonal streams," and I'm going to ask them for more information about that when we go back out there in a couple of weeks. The county has it mapped as being in the forest parcel next door, but I walked that parcel and the map is incorrect -- it's on my property.

@Avna the two creeks join near the edge of the property and I was going to fence that off, but they are so tiny (when I was out there at the end of the rainy season one was about three inches wide by about two inches deep, and the other was maybe twice that size) with sandy bottoms -- could the horses really do that much damage? I mean, I know horses can do a lot of damage, but these creeks are mostly too small for them to even drink out of, so why would they even be hanging around them? After exiting my property, the stream does enter a legitimate fish stream, and about a mile after that it enters the bay, so I do want to protect it from manure, but fencing off both creeks would be a pain. I am not sure if they are really "seasonal streams" as the sellers say, or if they are year-round -- would that make a difference? Like maybe I could keep the horses off when there's running water, but let them on when they are "dry"?

I'm not trying to argue, just trying to understand what I need to do.
ACinATX is online now  
post #5 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 11:02 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,263
• Horses: 0
If they are legitimate "streams" they must have a head-water, a origin point...that would make all the difference in the world to me...
Is it ground seepage and then accumulates to run down hill and away..
Or is it fed by a live point of water coming from the earth...a head-water.
Is rainy season anything like what you would get in the springtime of snow/ice melt..??.
That gentle tiny water path could increase in size, depth and volume of water carried in a hurry and run-over the banks easily...

...
ACinATX likes this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 11:07 AM
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 32,236
• Horses: 3
You can get the advice you need from those types of advisory services but even though they say they aren't regulatory themselves you will find that there are probably laws in your area that apply to all of the things they list.
The service will help you not to break those laws but they won't protect you if you do and they become aware that you are.
They will report you because protecting the environment comes first and foremost to them


I'm not saying don't use them - what I'm saying is use them to be sure you don't accidentally break any local environment laws but don't expect them to protect you if you do.
AnitaAnne and ACinATX like this.

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
Posts: 982
• Horses: 0
@jaydee thanks that's what I was worried about. Maybe I will see if I can find a private person who provides the same services. I'd rather pay for the service and not get reported. I hope I don't sound like a terrible person -- minimizing my horses' impact on the environment is one of my top priorities -- but I feel like the county regulations as they currenty exist are just too onerous, and I don't want to lose the ability to use my property.

@horselovinguy both apparently originate in small ponds about half a mile from my property, although I'm sure in the (wet) winter a lot of the water in there will be runoff. In the winter, I'm planning on keeping the horses in a sacrifice lot anyway, so they wouldn't be near the water at that time.
ACinATX is online now  
post #8 of 8 Old 06-07-2019, 02:37 PM
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 32,236
• Horses: 3
@ACinATX
I get your point but please be careful if you try to circumvent any environmental laws that effect your property, even though some of them do seem silly.
There are other people who can report you, quite often they’re the lovely neighbors you thought were so friendly!

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome