Austin and Livingston, Texas: Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFoR) has been designated a valued partner as a Conservation Wrangler by Austin-based nonprofit Texan by Nature for leadership in the restoration of Lake Livingston. Founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, Texan by Nature’s mission is to spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources by activating new investments in conservation.
In 2013, LLFoR began to restore the habitat for fish and wildlife populations, improve fishing and water quality, and reduce erosion by regularly planting vegetation in non-bulkhead areas to inhibit silt flow and provide a shelter for small fish and fingerlings to restore the fishery of the lake. This enhanced recreational fishing leads to more civic engagement and a vibrant local economy. According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey, Texas anglers spend over $1.5 B annually in pursuit of their sport.
The all-volunteer effort has evolved into a multi-generational volunteer pool which ranges from local high school students to retirees. Most of the project’s research and development is now done by Lee College Instructor Scooter Langley and the inmate horticulture students at Huntsville’s TDC Ellis Unit, who are exploring growth methods to produce larger, healthier plants in less time.
“Our multi-generational volunteer pool, educational outreach, and focus on improving water quality and natural habitat align closely with Conservation Wrangler Program objectives,” said Scott Ball, LLFoR Project Director. “We are confident that a partnership with Texan by Nature will help increase awareness of LLFoR’s success and accelerate our efforts to expand participation in our project beyond Polk, San Jacinto, and Trinity counties.”
“Lake Livingston is the state’s second largest lake and a major source of water for the city of Houston,” said Tina Buford, Texan by Nature’s board president. “This innovative conservation project combines broad-based community engagement in collaboration with state agencies to help improve water quality, restore recreational fishing, and provide economic benefit to the region.”
LLFoR has planted 10,100 American Water-willows at 18 sites, mostly in the southern portions of Lake Livingston. The next major planting is scheduled for September 13, 2017 with Mrs. Bush and members of Texan by Nature in attendance.
The Conservation Wrangler Program highlights the very best Texan-led conservation projects occurring in Texas. This is one of three program offerings through Texan By Nature that engage citizens in stewardship. Texan by Nature supports select innovative, transformational projects in the field of conservation with tailored aid, resources, and visibility. Collaborative partnerships for conservation yield great benefits — for our natural landscapes, native plants and wildlife, and for everyone involved. Texan by Nature connects, catalyzes, and communicates for the benefit of Conservation Wrangler partners.
In addition to the Conservation Wrangler Program, Texan by Nature’s Monarch Wrangler Program is the organization’s first statewide initiative providing Texas employers, organizations, and individuals with a results-oriented and meaningful way to get involved in creating habitat essential to the monarch butterfly through planting natives, removing invasive species, and tagging or tracking monarchs. A third emphasis area is Texan by Nature’s Symposia Series which identifies key topics related to natural resource conservation; connects scholars, policy makers, and experts to hold a discourse on emergent issues; communicates the story to the world in a way that activates new investments in conservation; and catalyzes further research and commitment.
About Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs
LLFoR is a division of Texas Black Bass Unlimited, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that works with partners Texas Black Bass Unlimited, Trinity River Authority, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, and volunteers from Polk County Hookers, SJC Master Gardeners, the Heartwood Chapter and Piney Wood Lakes Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists. With its partners and volunteers from local and county governments and six independent school districts, LLFoR is “Revitalizing Lake Livingston.”
About Texan by Nature
Texan by Nature (formerly Taking Care of Texas) was founded in 2011 by former First Lady Laura Bush to align the broad interests of conservation groups with business, healthcare, schools, the scientific community, and faith-based organizations. The organization's core belief is that our state’s prosperity and quality of life are strongly linked to the conservation of natural resources, so it is Texan by Nature’s mission to spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources. The organization accomplishes this by bringing the message of conservation to new audiences and activating new investments in conservation that are Texan- led, community-organized, and science-based.
More information about Texan by Nature can be found here.
Beth Miller, Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs, 832-282-2423 / email@example.com
Kent Nutt, Texan by Nature, 512-422-0552 / firstname.lastname@example.org