TxN Conservation Wrangler Program Accelerates Conservation Initiatives Impacting Texas’ Natural Resources 

April 3, 2023 – TEXAS – Texan by Nature (TxN), a conservation non-profit, today announces the selection of the 2023 TxN Conservation Wranglers. Conservation Wrangler is an accelerator program that catalyzes the very best Texan-led conservation projects occurring in the state. Selected projects are science-based and demonstrate a positive Return on Conservation for people, prosperity, and natural resources.

The Texan by Nature team will work with the 2023 Conservation Wranglers and provide 12-18 months of tailored support in program management, strategic planning, marketing strategy, metrics capture and analysis including the production of United Nations Sustainable Development Report Cards, professional content creation, and partnership development – whatever is needed to accelerate the project.

“Congratulations to our 2023 Conservation Wranglers!” said Texas by Nature Founder and former First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush. “I am thrilled to see these conservation innovations taking place in Texas and I am grateful for your efforts to take care of our people, prosperity, and natural resources. You are a setting a fine example for our state.”

“We received a wide selection of Conservation Wrangler applications showing the incredibly diverse range of positive conservation action taking place in our state,” said Joni Carswell, President and CEO of TxN. “This year’s Conservation Wrangler projects represent the solution-oriented nature of Texans. In addition to their clear natural resource benefits, they demonstrate innovative approaches to global conservation problems. TxN’s work with this year’s selected projects will expand conservation efforts and results across the state. We look forward to sharing Conservation Wrangler best practices, as well as opportunities to participate in and scale these efforts and returns.” 

Texan by Nature will recognize the 2023 Conservation Wranglers at the annual Conservation Summit on November 7, 2023, in Dallas, TX at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

2023 Conservation Wranglers:
American Bird ConservancyStopping Plastics and Litter Along Shorelines
Through years of bird conservation work on the upper Texas coast, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) saw first-hand the impact of trash pollution on birds and other wildlife. In 2020, ABC partnered with Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Black Cat GIS to form Stopping Plastics and Litter Along Shorelines (SPLASh), in order to address Texas’ serious trash pollution problem and its negative impact on wildlife. SPLASh aims to help spread awareness about the marine debris issues our state faces and works to organize cleanup events in the Houston Galveston area, resulting in over 29,000 lbs. of trash removed from beaches, bayous, and other waterways since 2020. SPLASh also provides marine debris educational programming for local schools by organizing field trip cleanup events and leading courses in schools.

Caddo Lake Institute
Caddo Lake is the only naturally formed lake in Texas and the only Wetland of International Importance in Texas. The Caddo Lake Institute (CLI) is a nonprofit scientific organization founded in 1993 to conserve the ecological, cultural, and economic integrity of Caddo Lake and its watershed. Caddo Lake Institute operates holistically across Caddo Lake’s 6,000 square mile watershed, improving the quantity and quality of water in the system to support a thriving, diversity-rich ecosystem that provides the foundation of successful economic activities in this area of rural East Texas. Caddo Lake Institute brings together state, federal and local government entities, other nonprofits, and the community to apply the best science to improve and maintain the ecosystem. The work of CLI positively impacts rivers, bayous, swamps, lakes, wetlands, and bottomland hardwood forests to provide resilient, healthy habitats for 973 species of animals and plants that call Caddo home. 

Ducks UnlimitedChenier Plain Restoration
Texas’ Chenier Plain serves as the first line of defense from natural disasters for coastal communities, as essential habitat for recreationally and commercially important fish species, and as crucial habitat for millions of migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. The coastal prairies and marshes of the Chenier Plain are also the heart of the Gulf Coast energy industry. Unfortunately, human-induced and natural changes have severely degraded and altered the Chenier Plain, including the 139,000-acre Salt Bayou Watershed, Texas’ largest contiguous estuarine marsh complex. Since 1990, state, federal, and nonprofit conservation partners have been focused on addressing the area’s decline, including the formation of the Salt Bayou Watershed Restoration Plan. To date, partners have invested more than $153 million to restore and enhance ~90,000 acres over 30 years. However, there is much work left to do. Ducks Unlimited and partners have plans to invest $30 million to enhance and restore more than 6,000 acres on McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge and J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area over the next 3-5 years, furthering restoration within the Chenier Plain complex.

Hill Country AllianceHill Country Night Sky Program
Hill Country Alliance’s (HCA) Night Sky Program helps over 20 counties and countless cities minimize the environmental and economic impacts of light pollution through education and outreach, business recognition programs, the establishment of outdoor lighting policies, and the recognition and celebration of designated Dark Sky Places in the Hill Country region. Over the past 12 years, this program has contributed to the development of 15 community-based Friends of the Night Sky groups, assisted in the designation of a dozen International Dark Sky Places, aided in the creation and revision of over 20 outdoor lighting ordinances, and grown the night sky movement to a place of prominence in the region. Meanwhile, over the past two years, the Hill Country Eclipse team—has grown to over 400 members across 50 cities in over 23 counties, all preparing for the total solar eclipse coming to the region in April 2024. Hill Country Alliance’s next big vision is the creation of a Hill Country Dark Sky Reserve, with the goal to achieve the designation by 2027. 

Texas Wildlife Association
From the Piney Woods to the Panhandle, from the deserts of the Trans-Pecos to the barrier islands of the Coastal Bend, Texas is bountiful in beauty and rich in wildlife – and every part of it is worth protecting. As people become more disconnected from the land, the need for natural resource education and engagement dramatically increases. The Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) Conservation Legacy education and Hunting Heritage programs, promote and teach natural resource conservation and management, train conservation ambassadors, and equip the conservation leaders of tomorrow to ensure Texas has healthy wildlife habitats for generations to come. TWA aims to connect all Texans, from diverse backgrounds and geographies to the land, in an effort to spread awareness of the important role private landowners play in natural resource conservation through land stewardship.

About Conservation Wrangler and Texan by Nature:
2023 Conservation Wranglers were selected, in part, 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 support and resources including:

  • Promotion via social media, newsletters, blogs, website, etc.
  • Professional content production in the form of videos, collateral, and messaging
  • Program management and impact reporting
  • Connections to technical, expert, and industry support
  • Recognition and participation in the annual Conservation Summit

Last year’s 2022 Conservation Wranglers included Bringing Baffin Back, Hives for Heroes, Texas Partnership for Forests and Water, and Texas Runs on Water.
These projects and organizations represent significant impact for Texas: 

  • People: 15.3M
  • Prosperity: $99.4B in economic benefit
  • Natural Resources (Acreage): 5.3M
    • Natural Resources (Other):

Texan by Nature (TxN) unites conservation and business leaders who believe Texas’ prosperity is dependent on the conservation of its natural resources. TxN, founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, acts as an accelerator for conservation groups and a strategic partner for business. TxN supports 130+ conservation organizations and has accelerated projects and programs that have impacted 7 million-plus people, 20 million acres, and all of Texas’ 254 counties Get involved and learn more at www.texanbynature.org and follow us on Facebook @TexanbyNature, Twitter @TexanbyNature, and Instagram @texanbynature for the latest.



Karina Araujo

Texan by Nature