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Agenda Item No. 9
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

 

Action

Consideration by the Council of the adoption of the scoring process for evaluating and awarding applications for grants by the TFRLCP required under Texas Parks and Wildlife Code section 84.010(2).

January 28, 2016

According to Section 84.010 of HB 1925, the council shall:

  1. give priority to applications that protect highly productive agricultural lands that are susceptible to development, including subdivision and fragmentation; and
  2. adopt a scoring process to be used in evaluating applications that considers the following:
    1. maintenance of landscape and watershed integrity to conserve water and natural resources;
    2. protection of habitats for native plant and animal species, including habitats for endangered, threatened, rare, or sensitive species;
    3. potential for leveraging state money allocated to the program with additional public or private money;
    4. proximity of the subject property to other protected lands;
    5. the term of the proposed easement, whether perpetual or for a term of 30 years; and
    6. a resource management plan agreed to by both parties and approved by the council.

In order to comply with this provision of the Act, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) convened a Project Ranking Committee, whose first task was to develop a TFRLCP grant application form and application ranking criteria. The committee consists of:

  • Tim Birdsong, Inland Fisheries Division, Ecosystem/Habitat Assessment Chief
  • Justin Dreibelbis, Wildlife Division, Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director
  • Ted Hollingsworth, Land Conservation Program Director
  • Corky Kuhlmann, Land Conservation Program Senior Project Manager
  • Jeff Raasch, Wildlife Division, Statewide Wetland Habitat Program Leader

The application form and draft selection criteria are posted to the TFRLCP web site www.tpwd.texas.gov/texasfarmandranch with the caveat that the selection criteria are subject to review and approval by the Council. This has been done in order to give potential applicants as much time as possible to gather and draft information for use in the application. The draft selection criteria are attached hereto as Exhibit A.

Recommendation

“The Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council adopts the Scoring Criteria
attached as Exhibit A and authorizes their use for all purposes related to the ranking
of applications for the 2016 grant cycle.”

Attachments – 1

1. Exhibit A - Proposed Scoring Criteria


Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit A

 

Texas Parks and Wildlife

 

TEXAS FARM AND RANCH LANDS CONSERVATION PROGRAM
GRANT SCORING CRITERIA

Only projects that are on working lands (in general, lands that are under special ad valorem tax valuation for farming, ranching, timber production or wildlife), and propose to (1) conserve water or protect water quality, (2) conserve native wildlife species through protection of their habitat, (3) conserve rare or sensitive species, (4) demonstrably contribute to preservation of a landscape of conservation lands, or (5) protect productive open-space land threatened by fragmentation or development may receive funding from the Program. The Council will not consider any applications that are administratively incomplete. At the Program Coordinator’s discretion, administratively incomplete applications may be returned with a request for additional information.

In accordance with Texas Natural Resources Code § 183.060, the Council has adopted scoring criteria that will be used in evaluating applications. The Council may emphasize factors of special interest during the project selection process. Points are awarded for those values which will clearly be protected by the conservation easement.

 

Project Name __________________________________________

Applications will be assigned a score in accordance with the following criteria. The bullets listed for each scoring category provide guidance. The application review team may consider other relevant criteria.

  • Threat of development or other conversion to productive working lands (20) _____
    • Near a population center
    • In an area experiencing or expected to experience rapid development
    • Demonstrable pressure to sell for development
    • Conversion would result in significant loss of productivity
  •  

    Reviewer Comments:

     

  • Value (20) _____
    • Cost effective for conservation benefits and region
    • Conservation easement donated or offered at bargain sale price
    • Market dynamics result in very high conservation value for the money
    • Applicant, donor, grant, or other funding source contributing to project
  •  

    Reviewer Comments:

     

  • Watershed value (20) _____
    • Protects headwaters systems, springs, creeks, wetlands, riparian buffers, aquifer recharge features, or other sensitive watershed features
    • Has quantifiable aquifer recharge value
    • Land uses and landscape position contribute to maintenance of watershed processes that protect water quality and quantity
  •  

    Reviewer Comments:

     

    ;
  • Fish and wildlife value (20) _____
    • Protects habitat(s) that are considered to be a high priority for conservation due to rarity or rate of decline
    • No or few examples of target habitats are currently in conservation
    • Supports conservation or recovery of federal or state listed species, Texas Conservation Action Plan (TCAP) species of greatest conservation need, or species in decline
    • Conserves particularly mature, diverse or healthy habitat(s)
  •  

    Reviewer Comments:

     

  • Contribution to a conservation landscape (10) _____
    • Contiguous with lands already protected for conservation
    • Offers additive habitat, watershed, or aesthetic values
    • Conserves migration routes, terrestrial or aquatic corridors or critical habitat buffers
  •  

    Reviewer Comments:

     

  • Terms of the conservation easement (10) _____
    • Conservation easement is perpetual
    • Easement holder is accredited and stable
    • Conservation easement prohibits fragmentation and encourages stewardship
  •  

    Reviewer Comments:

     

    Total score (out of possible 100) _____