Free online mapping tool for Trinity River basin stakeholders updated
For the original story, visit the AgriLife Today website.
December 14, 2011
COLLEGE STATION - The Texas A&M
Institute of Renewable Natural Resources in College Station
recently released an upgraded version of its free Trinity River
Information Management System, an online mapping tool for
stakeholders within the Trinity River Basin.
The upgraded information management tool can be accessed at http://trims.tamu.edu.
According to developers, the information system was created as
part of the Building Partnerships for Cooperative Conservation in
the Trinity River Basin project, funded by the Texas State Soil and
Water Conservation Board through a Clean Water Act §319(h) grant
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was developed as
a means of helping stakeholders make informed conservation and
habitat-restoration decisions within the basin.
"TRIMS provides access to the latest aerial photographs and
information such as elevation, soils data, hydrology, land use,
vegetation cover type and more," said Amy Snelgrove, a geospatial
technology manager with the institute. "This data provides the
information necessary for conservation and restoration projects
within the basin, particularly native grassland and wetland
restoration, and bottomland hardwood establishment."
Snelgrove said updates to the system included rebuilding the
site's home page and "moving the mapping application to a newer
For the many livestock and crop producers in the Trinity River
Basin, the mapping tool can also provide tremendous benefits for
land management, said Blake Alldredge, AgriLife Extension
associate, and education and outreach coordinator for the middle
Trinity River project.
"For example, simple measurements of pasture acreage or
fence-line length can be accomplished in TRIMS to help ranchers
determine an appropriate stocking rate or rotational system for
livestock," Alldredge said.
Through the middle Trinity River project, Alldredge said
stakeholders hope to achieve the goal of restoring and conserving
wildlife habitat and improving the water resources of the
"We can assist toward that goal by providing landowners with
conservation planning information and tools to enhance restoration
efforts throughout the basin," Alldredge said. "TRIMS is a
practical and useful tool that can be used to help reach that
Alldredge noted that a long history of water quality problems
and increasing demand have led the state to place a high priority
on the restoration of the Trinity River as nearly 8 million people
depend on it for their water needs, including residents of Dallas,
Fort Worth and Houston.
Habitat loss throughout the Trinity River basin has been
extensive, he added.
"Agricultural development and encroachment from urban areas have
converted native habitats and resulted in a dramatic decline in
wildlife populations, such as quail," he said. "Native grasslands,
for example, are believed to occupy only 1 percent of their former
range within the basin."
Habitat protection and restoration is
one of the issues being addressed by a partnership project to
benefit stakeholders in the Trinity River basin. (Texas
AgriLife Extension Service photo)
The most efficient and least expensive way to improve the water
resources of the basin is to restore native habitats, he said.
"Native habitats allow water to infiltrate into the ground by
slowing runoff and reducing erosion, and then purifying the water
by natural means." He said. "This natural process prevents excess
amounts of sediment from filling Texas lakes and the need to build
new wastewater treatment plants."
He said improving native habitat also benefits landowners by
bringing additional income through increased hunting, fishing and
"There are many environmental and economic reasons for
protecting and restoring native habitats," he said. "We hope
stakeholders in the basin will take advantage of using TRIMS and
will benefit from the upgrades made to this tool as they weigh
their land-management decisions."
Workshops are being planned in order to conduct hands-on
training with the Trinity River Information Management
System. For more information on workshops, go to the "Events"
page on the Trinity Waters website, .
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Trinity River watershed encompasses
more than 18,000 square miles and travels through 38 Texas
counties. Approximately eight million people live in the
Trinity River Basin, making it the most populated river basin in
Texas. Major activities within the watershed affecting water
quality and quantity include urbanization, commercial and
industrial development, row-crop farming, livestock production,
outdoor recreation and timber production.
Amy Snelgrove, 979-845-4476, email@example.com
Blake Alldredge, 979-845-4698, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Alexander, email@example.com