This year has been historic with our 50th Anniversary, growing membership and donations, more habitat protected and restored, and more people welcomed into wildlife conservation. TCA’s core advocacy programs are as strong as ever and we’ve launched fresh programs to engage new communities in conservation. Thank you; it’s your support that makes all this good work possible.
TCA Protecting Biodiversity in Texas’ National Forests
TCA’s National Forest Policy Coordinator, Larry Shelton, discovered timber sales had been incorrectly marked for logging on steep slopes and streamside zones, in violation of protections USFS had agreed on. Larry’s diligence resulted in protection of wetlands, rare sand-cap/bluejack oak and Catahoula Barrens plant communities, mature hardwood stands, and other sensitive habitats. With your support, TCA has expanded Larry’s work to assess past and ongoing timber sales and to work with USFS toward more stringent guidelines and oversight.
Larry recently negotiated major protection for wetlands in the Sabine National Forest that were threatened by a proposed marina. After consultations and field visits with TCA, the Sabine River Authority dropped a 70-acre expansion of one project and is considering alternatives to another project, scheduled for up to 400 acres, such as moving it to already-disturbed private land. Thank you for helping Larry deliver these big wins for conservation in our National Forests!
TCA Making Conservation Real for New Communities – Hands-on Restoration of Land & Water for Wildlife
The loss and degradation of habitat are the number one threat to wildlife today. TCA’s new community conservation program hosted 50 restoration events, recruiting 1000 volunteers, many of them high school students. Together they planted 16,140 tree saplings, and 3927 native prairie plants, removed 11,994 pounds of litter pollution from waterways and natural areas, mounted 20 wood duck boxes at the Neches River NWR, constructed 25 more wood duck boxes for other locations, and removed invasive species from areas to be planted with natives. Based on the growing understanding that “doing leads to caring”, the hands-on nature of these events afforded TCA the opportunity to reach out to new communities and engage scores of new constituencies in direct wildlife conservation. About 75% of the participants were from historically underserved populations and many engaged their families in wildlife conservation work for the first time.
TCA Fighting Unwise River Damming and Development – Stopping Marvin Nichols Reservoir!
For 20 years, TCA has coordinated a diverse coalition opposing the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir on the Sulphur River in Northeast Texas. The proposed dam would permanently flood 66,000 acres of rich bottomland hardwood forest and other wetlands, heavily impact the timber- and agriculture-based economy of the region, and force thousands of Texans to sell land that provides their livelihoods and homes. TCA has launched a new initiative called Preserve Northeast Texas, to call Texans to action. We’ve generated extensive media coverage in the region, held town halls attended by as many as 250 people, and had the area Member of Congress and other elected officials speak out against a reservoir that would be devastating to the economy, environment, and social fabric of this region of Texas. Go to PreserveNortheastTexas.org and sign the petition against Marvin Nichols Reservoir.
TCA Opening Doors & Helping Emerging Conservation Leaders Get Started – College Internship Program
TCA’s internship program is reaching new constituencies while helping train the future conservation leaders of Texas. Students work alongside TCA’s seasoned conservation professionals and experience the frontlines of opposing damming of rivers, grassroots organizing, media strategy, and wildlife habitat restoration. Internship projects vary, but the opportunity to develop technical acumen, exercise transferable skills, and cultivate conservation leadership is integral to every TCA experience. We take pride and satisfaction knowing we are supporting future conservation leaders, potentially leaders for TCA and other conservation organizations in our state and across the country.
TCA Leading a Statewide Coalition for Game-Changing Legislation - Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would permanently dedicate $1.4 billion per year to projects benefiting at-risk wildlife species, $50 million a year here in Texas. The US Senate version has an amazing 32 bipartisan cosponsors, nearly a third of the senators! TCA coordinates a coalition of 175 Texas wildlife groups working on the bill. We’re hopeful that this may be the (two-year) session it finally passes and delivers $50 million to some 1300 “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” identified in our state.
TCA Restoring a Safe & Starry Texas Night Sky for Millions of Migrating Birds – Lights Out for Wildlife
TCA is co-leading the Lights Out for Wildlife initiative with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and other non-profit organizations, urging cities, businesses, and individuals to turn off non-essential lighting between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am during the spring and fall bird migrations. Darkening our skies helps prevent the loss of the hundreds of millions of birds that are lured down by artificial lighting and lost to collision with buildings. The City of Dallas and a number of the high-rise buildings in downtown Dallas and Houston agreed to turn off non-essential lights through September and October. The initiative is spreading across the state and thousands of Texans are taking action to save migratory birds. Learn more at LightsOutforWildlife.org.