Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, May 25, 2005

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. East Texas Black Bear Conservation and Management Plan
Staff: Nathan Garner
Committee Only
3. Status of Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS)
Staff: Steven Bender
Committee Only
4. Oil and Gas Nomination - Smith and Hidalgo Counties
Staff: Corky Kuhlmann
5. Land Transfer - Brazoria and Jefferson Counties
Staff: Jack Bauer
Executive Session
6. Other Business  

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Nathan Garner

Conservation Committee
East Texas Black Bear Conservation
and Management Plan
May 2005

I. Executive Summary: Staff will brief the Commission about the progress made to develop a Black Bear Conservation and Management Plan. Major components of the plan will be covered and explained that this partnership plan is between public and private sectors. Results of the public input received on the East Texas Bear Plan from 10 Town Meetings conducted in East Texas, and the numerous letters and emails received will be summarized and presented.

II. Discussion: A brief overview will be provided of the major findings from the report titled "Attitudes About and Opinions Toward Black Bears in East Texas" which was part of a Michigan State University Study on the feasibility of black bears being re-established in southeast Texas.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Steven Bender

Conservation Committee
Status of Comprehensive Wildlife
Conservation Strategy (CWCS)
May 2005

I. Executive Summary: The State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program is a conservation program based on federal appropriation allotted to states, tribes and territories. TPWD receives approximately $3 million/year to put chiefly toward non-game programs and species. In order to continue to receive these funds, all states and territories must draft a plan called a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS). This plan will outline information that will assist in prioritizing Texas' future non-game conservation efforts and how we spend SWG dollars. There are eight elements that must be met in order to meet the requirements of the appropriation. Many of those elements were constructed by species working groups (mammals, birds, herps, etc.) that met from August 2004 until February 2005. Texas is in the final stages of development and currently working on a draft of the final document. There are two planners developing the draft with assistance from TPWD personnel as well as our conservation partners such as the Texas Nature Conservancy (TNC Texas), Audubon Texas, and the USFWS. The first draft of the strategy should be completed by June 2005 and the final draft must be sent to the USFWS in Washington, DC before October 1, 2005.