Oaks & Prairies, Texas
Texas contains ~170 million acres of land, 95% of which is privately owned. Private land stewards make decisions every day about production goals and how they use their land. Today, more landowners than ever are actively engaged in wildlife management. Wildlife-related enterprises, hunting, photography, birding, and ecotourism are now a major source of revenue for thousands of landowners on millions of acres. Given the opportunities, it makes sense to improve habitat conditions when possible.
With proper planning and implementation, landowners can convert energy development on their land to native wildlife habitat. These efforts will not only benefit wildlife but help restore pollinators that are critical to our food and fiber supply. EOG is working in partnership with landowners in the Eagle Ford Shale to restore native grassland and nectar-producing forbs on pad sites and pipeline ROWs.
Texan by Nature successfully completed the goals set by the South-Central Monarch Symposium in May 2017, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Throughout 2018, working groups formed from the symposium met to discuss data gaps and needs, created and executed a framework for a state plan, and highlighted potential next projects to address pollinator needs. In 2018, an online collaborative community was launched for research and idea sharing; the community currently has 85 experts and 2000 pager views and counting. Texan by Nature presented the results from the 2017 symposium and ensuing efforts to Texas legislators at the pollinator interim charge in late 2018.
In late 2018, Texan by Nature launched a second phase of pollinator initiative in partnership with EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG), with support from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Still Water Foundation to create 350 acres of native pollinator habitat on EOG pipeline rights-of-way and pad sites within their Eagle Ford Shale holdings.
Texan by Nature hosted a one-day leadership roundtable in January 2019 that included representatives from oil, gas, road, and rail industry; the seed industry; agencies that work with private landowners on habitat restoration, the Rights-of Way as Habitat working group, and private landowners to discuss issues surrounding native seed supply and demand, best management practices, the role ROWs play in development and recovery of native rangeland habitat for pollinators in Texas.
Attendees discussed key issues associated with regional scale implementation, potential market-based solutions to make large scale implementation beneficial to industry, and feasible solutions for year-round native restoration operations. The findings of this meeting will guide the planning and implementation of the EOG pollinator project.
The EOG pollinator project will restore 350+ acres of pollinator habitat within privately-owned pipeline ROW and pad sites operated by EOG Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale and will set the standard for future operating procedures for their ROW restoration.
Re-seeding native plants on oil well sites, ROW, and other energy infrastructure creates the potential for wildlife food plots over thousands of acres. Monarch butterflies must pass through our state during both phases of their migration each year. This happens every spring and fall and makes Texas a crucial place for monarch habitat. Well pads, pipelines, and ROWs are a significant opportunity for critical habitat, especially because they represent food plots that transect the state, connecting existing blocks of habitat along the migratory path. These food plots not only benefit monarchs but birds and other wildlife as well.
If you have questions or would like more information about this project contact Amy Snelgrove
Oaks & Prairies, Texas
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