Protecting National Forest Lands in Texas
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Texas Conservation Alliance is building on the work of TCA founder Ned Fritz to increase the amount of protected land in the National Forests in Texas.
For decades Texas Conservation Alliance has been a leader in protecting national forest lands. TCA built the support for designation of five areas in Texas’ national forests as wilderness areas, ended clearcutting on 200,000 acres of national forest land in Texas, and has been instrumental in obtaining special protections for tens of thousands of additional acres of forest.
TCA’s National Forest Policy Coordinator, Larry Shelton, whose intimate knowledge has led Forest Service personnel to include his input in the early planning stages of management actions, reviews every management prospectus, including logging, road-building, prescribed burning, development of off-road-vehicle trails, recovery from tornado and hurricane wind events, and management of southern pine beetle outbreaks, to identify areas with exceptional ecological, scenic, or geologic resources. He performs an on-the-ground assessment of resources and works with Forest Service personnel to have streams, bogs, pockets of old growth forest, special geologic features, and other rare habitats excluded from management activities or set aside as Special Management Areas (SMAs).
TCA participates on a Forest Service committee to recommend how recreational dollars will be spent in Texas’ national forests and on committees making decisions about management of wilderness areas.
TCA also provides input as program-level guidelines are developed for management of Texas’ national forests. TCA participates on a Forest Service committee to recommend how recreational dollars will be spent in Texas’ national forests and on committees making decisions about management of wilderness areas.
Currently, TCA is proposing three new Special Management Areas that will focus on research, wildlife, and ecosystem protection and restoration. Nominating new SMAs will require Larry to spend many hours in the field, assessing plant-animal habitats. TCA will generate comments from its broad network of experienced individuals and organizations to support the SMAs.