• Water Resources & Best Management Practices (BMPs)

    Healthy trees and forests are critically important to protecting water resources and sustaining them in the future. Approximately 50 percent of the freshwater resources in Texas originate on forestlands, which provide a continuous and abundant supply of clean water. In fact, many state and national forests were established to protect the country’s water sources.

    Sustainably managed forests and woodlands are able to provide clean water in addition to many of the products we use on a daily basis, such as lumber and paper, as long as Best Management Practices are implemented.

     + Forest and Water Relationship

    In addition to supplying the cleanest water of any land use, Texas forests also absorb rainfall, refill groundwater aquifers, slow and filter stormwater runoff, mitigate erosion, reduce flooding, and maintain watershed stability and resilience. Collectively, this process is known as the forest-water relationship, or watershed ecosystem services, and is valued at $13.2 billion annually. 

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     + Watershed Protection Plan Implementation Grants

    A Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) is a coordinated framework for implementing integrated water quality protection and restoration strategies driven by environmental objectives. Watershed protection planning is a locally driven mechanism for voluntarily addressing complex water quality problems that cross multiple jurisdictions. Nature-based solutions that increase strategically placed tree cover protect water quality while increasing equitable access to urban tree canopy and associated health, environmental and economic benefits.

    Leveraging the Texas Partnership for Forests and Water network of local government, water utilities, and non-governmental organizations, this project will support up to fifteen $50,000 grants to implement tree and forestry components of approved watershed protection plans. Areas of implementation will be limited to disadvantaged communities and prioritized watersheds identified through the assessment phase.

    Submission portal closed until fall of 2024.

    Link to Application Worksheet

    Link to Budget Template

    Application submission link

     + Temporary Bridge Grants
    A rent-to-own program for bridge mats for stream crossings, pipeline crossings, and temporary roads to minimize disturbance to soil and water resources. Successful grant recipients will be responsible for 6 monthly lease payments, totaling 25% of the cost of the bridge. At conclusion of the agreement terms (lease payments), Texas A&M Forest Service will transfer ownership of the bridges to the recipient. Eligibility limited to SFI Certified logging contractors in good standing with the State of Texas.

    Applications will be reviewed and awarded quarterly (July 1, October 1, January 1, April 1).

    More Information

    Application Link


     + Best Management Practices

    Approximately 14.4 million acres of forested lands in Texas are suitable for the production of timber. Forest operations associated with management, harvest and regeneration can potentially degrade water quality if done improperly. Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) are the principal means of protecting water resources during forest operations.

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     + Partnerships

    Texas Forests and Drinking Water Partnership

    The Texas Forests and Drinking Water Partnership was established in 2015 to explore the connections between forests and drinking water, and to investigate ways to collaborate to sustain these two important and interdependent natural resources. This initiative works to increase understanding and communication between the forest and drinking water sectors and is part of a larger, regional collaborative called the Southeastern Partnership for Forests and Water.  

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