The Big Bend Regional Sierra Club encourages everyone to attend Texas Parks and Wildlife public meeting on the Texas land and Water Resources and Recreation Plan. The meeting begins at 6:30
Thursday September 10 in the Alpine ISD Auditorium at 704
W. Sul Ross Ave in Alpine.
In the Trans-Pecos, we are fortunate to have more state park land than the rest of the state combined, which means we have lots of reasons to be involved.
The meeting is one of a series taking place around the state to seek public input on such issues as how Parks and Wildlife can best practice and promote science-based stewardship of natural and cultural resources, increase access to and participation in the outdoors, promote advocacy for fish and wildlife resources, and employ efficient, sustainable, and credible business practices.
Copies of the 2005 plan, which is being updated, are available
at public libraries in Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, Marathon,
Some of the issues which may be discussed include balancing plant and wildlife habitat needs of both game and non game species with human uses in regard to hunting, permitting, and water quality; how best to deal with invasive species problems and protection of endangered species, working with private land owners, and how to develop recreational needs or desires while still keeping the parks sensitive to all users.
The Sierra Club thanks Billy Tarrant of the Wildlife Division
for his help in setting up and facilitating a meeting in
July 30, 2009
Why Lone Star Sierrans Need to Comment
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Update of the 2005 Land and Water Conservation and Recreation Plan
The issue of Resource Protection is important to all of us.
Please take a look at the write-up below and send in comments,
even if you aren't able to attend one of the public meetings.
Online comments will be taken until September 18th.
Although the 2005 Land and Water Conservation and Recreation
Plan was intended to have a 10-year life, the agency has
decided to engage the public in a mid-term update of the
document. The update is meant to provide a 5-year vision
for Texas Parks and Wildlife that is understandable to the
public and useable by the staff.
TPWD is highly visible in the arena of management of species subject to hunting and fishing regulation. It has been the focus of state park advocates in obtaining adequate funding during the last two legislative sessions. However, the agency has another responsibility of particular interest to the Sierra Club.
Since the Resource Protection Division of TPWD was eliminated
in 2004, it has been very difficult for the public to identify
the correct person or office to contact when there is concern
about a permit or action that would affect vulnerable ecosystems,
such as wetlands or non-game wildlife. TPWD is the state
agency that bears consulting responsibility for these issues.
However, if TPWD does not facilitate the public’s ability
to identify and access the appropriate staff about these
matters, then the agency is falling short in carrying out
this consulting responsibility.
Sierra Club members have a particular interest in making sure that ecosystems and non-game wildlife are protected and managed properly.
We emphasize the important role of state parks in protecting natural areas and wildlife while providing needed recreation for the public.
You can contribute to making the Land and Water Conservation and Recreation Plan a better document by making these significant points in your verbal and on-line comments:
1. As part of protecting native ecosystems, TPWD should
also be accessible to the public for consultation on permits
and actions which would impact ecosystems and wildlife.
Section 1-C of the draft document refers to TPWD being
available to other agencies, developers, business, and
industry. Since TWPD is also a public resource, the public’s
interest in protecting ecosystems should also be included.
As part of ensuring public access, there should be a clear path for the public to identify individuals in TPWD who are responsible and available for consulting on the issue of ecosystem protection.
2. As part of protecting terrestrial ecosystems (Section
1-C) and providing nature-friendly outdoor recreations
opportunities (Section 2-A), the agency should not rely
only upon acquisition of property in fee. The agency can
also preserve habitat and enhance recreational values
through mechanisms such as conservation easements or purchase
of development rights. This could be particularly useful
around the perimeters around state parks to extend the “green buffer” zone.
3. TPWD should not only manage ecosystems for sustainable harvest of fish and wildlife (Section 1-A), it should also have the long-term goal of maintaining biodiversity of plants, fish, and wildlife.
4. Although the entire process of updating the Land and Water plan is organized on a watershed basis, the draft recommendations regarding expansion of recreation and habitat lands never emphasize the importance of connectivity. Connectivity could be by watershed, by ecosystem, etc. -- but connectivity is of long-term importance.
Connectivity will also assist in the protection of threatened, endangered, and high priority species, which is a Section 1-F goal.
5. Section 1-J, which states the goal of anticipating
and planning for emerging conservation issues, should
also include the issue of genetic isolation and habitat
fragmentation. Part of the plan should include developing “Best Conservation Practices” applicable
to issues such a siting for wind power generation and
ALL MEETINGS TO BE HELD 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Houston — Monday, August 3
Houston Garden Center
1500 Hermann Drive
Houston, Tx 77004
San Antonio — Monday, August 10
*Please bring your parking ticket to the meeting for parking validation.
Central Library Auditorium
San Antonio, TX 78205
Arlington — Monday, August 17
Arlington Convention Center
1200 Ballpark Way
Arlington, Tx 76011
Midland/Odessa — Monday, August 31
Sibley Nature Center
1307 E. Wadley
Midland, Tx 79705