UVALDE, Texas – The 2011 Farm & Range Forum will be held April 1-2 in Uvalde, with this year’s theme being “Conserving Our Rural Heritage.”

According to event organizers, the forum will be “of interest to landowners, urban and rural conservationists, and anyone interested in the history and dynamics of the region as it faces economic and social challenges.”

The forum begins noon Friday afternoon with participants leaving by carpool or caravan from the Uvalde Adult Activity Center, 250 E. Main Street, for a field trip to the Harris Ranch, a large working ranch outside of Uvalde. At the ranch, experts will give small-group demonstrations and explanations of recommended range management practices, riparian values and protection, and healthy rangeland plant diversity, as well as opportunities for income diversification. Activities will be followed by a steak dinner at the ranch and campfire conversation among the participants.

Each of Saturday’s forum activities will take place at the Uvalde Adult Activity Center. Breakfast is available at the center from 7:30-9 a.m. and from 8-9 a.m. an optional session on pesticide laws and regulations will be offered. Official forum presentations take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. These include panels addressing topics ranging from public benefits of private lands to land fragmentation, economic development, crop diversification, rain enhancement and maximizing conservation values of rural lands. Featured presentations include discussion by landowners who have chosen to place conservation easements on their property and an introduction to the “Barn Again” program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and its tax credit offering for barn restoration.

The keynote speaker during Saturday’s program will be Con Mims, general manager of the Nueces River Authority.

Continuing education credits have been approved for Certified Private Applicator, Certified Professional in Range Land Management and Master Naturalist designations.

Registration for the event is $40 per person for Friday activities only, including the tour, steak dinner and campfire discussion. Registration for Saturday only, including breakfast, breaks and lunch, is $65 per person. Registration for both Friday and Saturday is $85. Student registration is half price.

Checks should be made payable to Texas Wildlife Association and registration form and payment should be mailed to Texas Wildlife Association, Attn: F&R Forum, 2800 N.E. Loop 410, Ste. 105, San Antonio, TX 78218. There are also options to pay by credit card using fax or phone.

Registration forms and details are available at the following websites: www.greensatx.org, www.texas-wildlife.org, www.hillcountryalliance.org and www.bexaraudubon.org.

A block or rooms is being held for a limited time at the Holiday Inn Express in Uvalde at the rate of $89.95 per night. For more information on this, call 830-278-7300 and reference the 2011 Farm and Range Forum.

The Farm & Range Forum was developed to foster dialog between rural landowners and urban conservationists, recognizing that in Texas, with 95-plus percent of land in private ownership, conservationists who wish to conserve wildlife habitat must depend on and cooperate with landowners who provide stewardship.

This year’s forum is being planned by the Bexar Audubon Society, Edwards Region Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas, Hill Country Alliance, Nueces River Authority, San Antonio Conservation Society, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Wildlife Association and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Sponsors and exhibitors are welcome. Contact Courtney Hollimon at chollimon@texas-widlife.org or Helen Holdsworth at hholdsworth@texas-wildlife.org or 800-TEX-WILD (800-839-9453).