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TPWD Unveils 2010 Texas Land and Water Plan
Regional Watershed Forums Created For Ongoing Input, Implementation
AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has completed a major revision of its Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan, which is now available to the public. The year-long process created 12 regional forums based on river watersheds to promote dialogue and joint planning with outside stakeholders and field staff.
"We wanted a plan that all our employees and many supporters could easily understand and embrace to make it real and useful for on-the-ground conservation and recreation, and we got it," said Scott Boruff, TPWD deputy executive director for operations, who led the team planning effort.
"Hundreds of employees and stakeholder groups worked long hours to make the 2010 Land and Water Plan a true living document that will guide our operational activities and tie to our budget. The creation of regional forums will make sure we regularly check in with our far-flung field employees and local stakeholders to stay nimble and on track."
Instead of drafting a revised plan at the Austin headquarters and sending it out for field and stakeholder input, the department created the regional forums and asked them to take the 2005 plan and start from scratch to completely revise it as needed.
The result is a simpler document with four main goals instead of eight. The 2005 plan was 138 pages in .pdf form, and had 76 pages of background before getting to the goals. The 2010 plan is 68 pages, with fewer words and more photos and graphics to immediately engage readers. Each page pulls out examples of measurable action items, such as "On an annual basis, 39 million fingerlings will be stocked in Texas waters, 24 million in Texas bays and 15 million in rivers, lakes and reservoirs."
The four new goals represent four key concepts: conservation, recreation, education and business. In full, the goals read:
- Practice, encourage and enable science-based stewardship of natural and cultural resources
- Increase access to and participation in the outdoors
- Educate, inform and engage Texas citizens in support of conservation and recreation
- Employ efficient, sustainable and sound business practices
The plan complements TPWD’s legislatively-directed strategic plan called the Natural Agenda, which ties department activities and budgeting to legislative oversight and appropriations.
It also meshes with other TPWD plans such as the Texas Wildlife Action Plan. Created in 2005, this plan was required for Texas to continue receiving millions of dollars in federal funding. The wildlife action plan provides a proactive blueprint to "keep common species common" and avoid additional endangered species, focusing conservation actions on priority species and ecological regions. The wildlife action plan will be updated in 2010.
This spring, the 12 Conservation and Recreation Forums across the state will meet again to discuss how to implement the Land and Water Plan in their watersheds and consider any changing conditions or developing issues. A list of representatives for each forum is on the TPWD Web site, where anyone can also access the plan in .pdf form.
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