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Texas Comptrollers Natural Resources: East Texas Initiative

In the summer 2020 edition of its Natural Resources newsletter, the Texas Comptroller’s office reveals the impetus is driving science and stakeholder collaboration in East Texas. Over one dozen species, from demure flowering plants to the notorious alligator snapping turtle, are currently or soon to be considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Natural Resources program is coordinating with stakeholders, scientists, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) staff to make the most of extensive surveys across East Texas forests and streams and ensure cost-effective compliance with the ESA.

“This newsletter issue highlights the importance of community involvement in species research and Endangered Species Act decisions,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “Continued collaboration between scientists, businesses, and regulators is essential for science-based natural resource management strategies that balance the need to protect our state’s natural resources with the economic development that will be key to our state’s continued growth.”

The issue also discusses the challenges – and new opportunities – for studying one of the most inaccessible habitats in Texas. The Trinity-Edwards aquifer system supports millions of Texans, economic activities, and lesser-known wildlife, including salamanders, fish, and invertebrates. New research will apply innovative techniques to search for these subterranean species and inform their long-term conservation.

Also, the newsletter highlights species across the state – from Del Rio to Houston – as well as steps Texans can take to become involved in the study and conservation of rare Texas species.

The Natural Resources newsletter is distributed periodically with news and features on imperiled, threatened and endangered species across Texas. Since 2009, the Texas Legislature has directed the Comptroller’s office to take a leadership role in protecting the state’s natural resources while avoiding needless economic growth restrictions.

The Comptroller’s Natural Resources program funds research at state universities to inform ESA decisions and help communities and stakeholders develop voluntary conservation programs.

Go to the Comptroller’s website to read the latest Natural Resources newsletter.