Texan by Nature Announces 2018 Conservation Wranglers

Texan by Nature Announces 2018 Conservation Wranglers

Six Texan-Led Conservation Initiatives Selected for Honor

April 3, 2018 – TEXAS – Texan by Nature (TxN), a Texas-led conservation non-profit founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, announces the honorees of its annual Conservation Wrangler program for 2018.

Texan by Nature brings business and conservation together through select programs which engage Texans in stewardship of land and communities. The organization’s Conservation Wrangler program recognizes innovative and transformative conservation projects across the state of Texas. Each Conservation Wrangler project positively impacts people, prosperity, and natural resources.

“Texan by Nature’s Conservation Wrangler program ensures that our natural habitat will thrive for our children and grandchildren,” said former First Lady and Founder of Texan by Nature, Mrs. Laura Bush. “We are proud to partner with these terrific organizations, and we are happy to highlight the important work they do to preserve our beautiful state.”

“We are inspired by each of the 2018 Conservation Wrangler applicants, honorees, and by the overall community response to our Conservation Wrangler program,” said Joni Carswell, Executive Director of TxN. “We have incredible partners with groundbreaking projects that will help motivate and improve conservation efforts and education within Texas and beyond.”

Texan by Nature will recognize the 2018 Conservation Wrangler honorees on Oct. 17, 2018, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX. This diverse set of projects impacts land, water, habitat, and sky, and represents six counties and five ecological regions. The following are the six 2018 Conservation Wranglers and their innovative projects:

George W. Shannon Wetlands Project & East Fork Water Supply Project and the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center
Tarrant Regional Water District (George W. Shannon Wetlands Project, in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) and the North Texas Municipal Water District (East Fork Water Supply Project and the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, in partnership with the Rosewood Corporation) work together with Alan Plummer Associates to showcase an innovative, efficient, and sustainable approach for natural filtration of water through the development of constructed wetlands. The projects create over 3,800 acres of wetland, provide significant natural habitat, and supply water for 3.8 Million people in North Texas. These projects provide recreational opportunities, public education, and research opportunities pertaining to water conservation, wetland systems, and wildlife management.

Cool Schools
Texas Trees Foundation’s Cool Schools program works to implement sustainable landscape plans that promote tree canopies on school campuses in Dallas ISD. Benefits of this project include a reduction in radiant heat on campuses, $5+ in social benefit per dollar spent, ecosystem and land stewardship education for students, including hands-on STEM-based and TEKS-certified curriculum, and the health and environmental benefits of the habitat created for more than 1,000 people per school.

El Carmen Land and Conservation Co.
CEMEX USA and J. Austin Ranches have partnered to form El Carmen Land and Conservation Co., whose mission is to restore the lower desert landscape and protect ecological corridors in a transboundary area located as the connecting link between Texas and Mexico. El Carmen aims to restore native wildlife and birds through land restoration, water developments, and habitat enhancement. The area will also provide research and demonstration of a lower desert ecosystem in the Trans-Pecos Region of West Texas.

McDonald Observatory Dark Skies Initiative
The University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory seeks to reduce light pollution surrounding its facility to protect the dark night skies for ongoing astronomical research. The observatory has partnered with the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and the Texas Oil & Gas Association to publish “Recommended Lighting Practices” that oil and gas companies in the Permian Basin can implement to reduce light pollution and increase visibility and worker safety in the oilfield. Benefits of this initiative include preserving the observatory’s astronomical research efficacy, minimizing disruption for wildlife in surrounding areas, and educating tens of thousands of visitors each year on the importance of dark skies.

Sabine Lake Restored Oyster Reef Expansion
Building Conservation Trust (the National Habitat Program of Coastal Conservation Association), Coastal Conservation Association Texas, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have partnered to restore a 27.7 acre oyster habitat in Sabine Lake. The habitat has been damaged over the years by sedimentation from construction of the Sabine-Neches intracoastal waterway and ship channel. This habitat restoration benefits the recreational angler industry, small businesses, and the local economy. In addition, the project is restoring degraded habitats, creating new habitats, advancing the science of coastal habitat and marine fisheries conservation, fostering habitat stewardship, and educating coastal communities on the value of conservation.

Texas Playa Conservation Initiative
The Texas Playa Conservation Initiative (TxPCI) is working to restore playa wetlands in North Texas, helping create an abundance of healthy playas for the benefit of wildlife and residents of the playa region. The playa wetland restoration facilitates the recharge of the Ogallala Aquifer, which has a major impact on natural water supply for the region. Leading partners in the development and administration of TxPCI include Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Playa Lakes Joint Venture, Ducks Unlimited, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The partnership has funded and coordinated restoration of over 400 playa acres to date.

Honorees were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Texan-led conservation initiative
  • Benefits community by providing tangible returns for people, prosperity, and natural resources
  • Reaches new and diverse audiences
  • Science-based
  • Measurable process and conservation outcomes
  • Partnership between community, business, individuals, and conservation organizations

All will receive 12-18 months of tailored resources including:

  • Connections to technical expertise and industry support
  • Recognition and participation in annual Conservation Wrangler Celebration
  • TxN seal of partnership  
  • Op-Ed piece promoting individual initiative
  • Letter of support from TxN leadership
  • Content and collateral cross promotion via TxN channels including social media, newsletters, and website

Texan by Nature started the new year with the launch of multiple conservation initiatives: the 2018 Conservation Wrangler program, the TxN Leadership Roundtables, and the TxN Certification program. These programs aim to deliver measurable results by collaborating with individuals, communities, conservation organizations, and businesses in projects as leaders, partners, and funders.

The TxN Leadership Roundtables convene leaders across industries and drive conversations with the goal to create a vibrant conservation economy in Texas. Throughout the roundtable sessions, participants openly examine the current landscape and explore how businesses, communities, and conservation organizations can work together to achieve an ideal state across all verticals.

The TxN Certification program recognizes individuals, civic groups, and businesses who practice measurable conservation in Texas. In partnership with Texan by Nature, these leaders share the results of their initiatives, receive certification, and pledge to continue caring for Texas’ people, prosperity, and natural resources.

For more information on TxN partnerships and programs, or to learn how to get involved, please visit www.texanbynature.org.

About TxN:

Texan by Nature unites business and conservation leaders who believe Texas’ prosperity is dependent on the conservation of its natural resources. TxN amplifies projects and activates new investment in conservation which return real benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources. Texan by Nature achieves mission goals through the Texan by Nature Certification program, Conservation Wrangler program, and Symposia series. Get involved and learn more at www.texanbynature.org and follow on Facebook @TexanbyNature, Twitter @TexanbyNature, and Instagram @texanbynature.