On November 17, 2015, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hosted a day-long meeting between the four LCCs that operate within the state of Texas. Attendees included Deputy Executive Director Ross Melinchuk, Division Directors Clayton Wolf (Wildlife), Craig Bonds (Inland Fisheries), and over 30 TPWD staff. Jeff Raasch and Timothy Birdsong of TPWD hosted the meeting, and among the participant were:
All participated in collaborative discussions about how to make these partnerships more effective and efficient, though some TPWD staff came simply to learn about LCCs: what they are and how they can support the mission of the TPWD divisions. These statewide connections fit well with the issue of connections among LCCs in other states, forming a seamless network. This aspect of “connecting conservation” was a special message delivered by National LCC Coordinator Elsa Haubold during the meeting.
From the state perspective, Matt Wagner, Chair for the GCP LCC and Deputy Director of the Wildlife Division at TPWD, summed it up: “This was the first time leaders from all four LCCs in Texas came together to discuss similarities and differences in approaching landscape-level conservation in the Lone Star State. With over 30 TPWD biologists from our Wildlife, Inland, and Coastal Fisheries divisions in attendance, the vision of how their daily tasks fit into the overall mission of the LCCs is clearer, and it includes private lands and watershed stewardship.
From the National perspective, Elsa Haubold stated, “It was an informative, rewarding week, and Texas’ hospitality is unsurpassed! I appreciate Texas Parks and Wildlife Department inviting staff from the four LCCs in Texas to share their progress and discuss potential future collaborations and engagement with a diverse group of TPWD staff. It was wonderful to see how the investment TPWD has made in the LCCs is paying off in helping them achieve their conservation priorities. It was also great to see first-hand the seamless collaboration among LCCs and the South Central Climate Center in setting priorities for climate change science in the South Central US.”
Gwen White, Science Coordinator for the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie & Big Rivers LCC said she ”was delighted to participate in multiple meetings with our downriver colleagues. Thanks to the week of meetings, we will be able to synchronize actions and project ideas to address Gulf hypoxia and climate resilience across the Mississippi basin. We’ll also be able to continue working together with Austin and other cities on an urban conservation design that links people with nature across the migratory pathway of monarch butterflies -- and with co-benefits for other pollinators and agriculture.”
A summary of presentations will soon be posted at: