AUSTIN, Texas–()–Texan by Nature (TxN), a Texas-led conservation non-profit founded by
former First Lady Laura Bush, announces the honorees of its annual
Conservation Wrangler program for 2018.

Texan by Nature brings business and conservation together through select
programs which engage Texans in stewardship of land and communities. The
organization’s Conservation Wrangler program recognizes innovative and
transformative conservation projects across the state of Texas. Each
Conservation Wrangler project positively impacts people, prosperity, and
natural resources.

“Texan by Nature’s Conservation Wrangler program ensures that our
natural habitat will thrive for our children and grandchildren,” said
former First Lady and Founder of Texan by Nature, Mrs. Laura Bush. “We
are proud to partner with these terrific organizations, and we are happy
to highlight the important work they do to preserve our beautiful state.”

“We are inspired by each of the 2018 Conservation Wrangler applicants,
honorees and by the overall community response to our Conservation
Wrangler program,” said Joni Carswell, Executive Director of TxN. “We
have incredible partners with groundbreaking projects that will help
motivate and improve conservation efforts and education within Texas and

Texan by Nature will recognize the 2018 Conservation Wrangler honorees
on Oct. 17, 2018, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas,
TX. This diverse set of projects impacts land, water, habitat, and sky,
and represents six counties and five ecological regions. The following
are the six 2018 Conservation Wranglers and their innovative projects:

George W. Shannon Wetlands Project & East Fork Water Supply Project
and the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center

Tarrant Regional Water District (George W. Shannon Wetlands Project,
in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
) and the
North Texas Municipal Water District (East Fork Water Supply Project
and the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, in partnership with the
Rosewood Corporation
) work together with Alan Plummer Associates to
showcase an innovative, efficient, and sustainable approach for natural
filtration of water through the development of constructed wetlands. The
projects create over 3,800 acres of wetland, provide significant natural
habitat, and supply water for 3.8 Million people in North Texas. These
projects provide recreational opportunities, public education, and
research opportunities pertaining to water conservation, wetland
systems, and wildlife management.

Cool Schools

Texas Trees Foundation’s Cool Schools program works to implement
sustainable landscape plans that promote tree canopies on school
campuses in Dallas ISD. Benefits of this project include a reduction in
radiant heat on campuses, $5+ in social benefit per dollar spent,
ecosystem and land stewardship education for students, including
hands-on STEM-based and TEKS-certified curriculum, and the health and
environmental benefits of the habitat created for more than 1,000 people
per school.

El Carmen Land and Conservation Co.

CEMEX USA and J. Austin Ranches have partnered to form El Carmen Land
and Conservation Co., whose mission is to restore the lower desert
landscape and protect ecological corridors in a transboundary area
located as the connecting link between Texas and Mexico. El Carmen aims
to restore native wildlife and birds through land restoration, water
developments, and habitat enhancement. The area will also provide
research and demonstration of a lower desert ecosystem in the
Trans-Pecos Region of West Texas.

McDonald Observatory Dark Skies Initiative

The University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory seeks to reduce light
pollution surrounding its facility to protect the dark night skies for
ongoing astronomical research. The observatory has partnered with the
Permian Basin Petroleum Association and the Texas Oil & Gas Association
to publish “Recommended Lighting Practices” that oil and gas companies
in the Permian Basin can implement to reduce light pollution and
increase visibility and worker safety in the oilfield. Benefits of this
initiative include preserving the observatory’s astronomical research
efficacy, minimizing disruption for wildlife in surrounding areas, and
educating tens of thousands of visitors each year on the importance of
dark skies.

Sabine Lake Restored Oyster Reef Expansion

Building Conservation Trust (the National Habitat Program of Coastal
Conservation Association), Coastal Conservation Association Texas, and
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have partnered to restore a 27.7
acre oyster habitat in Sabine Lake. The habitat has been damaged over
the years by sedimentation from construction of the Sabine-Neches
intracoastal waterway and ship channel. This habitat restoration
benefits the recreational angler industry, small businesses, and the
local economy. In addition, the project is restoring degraded habitats,
creating new habitats, advancing the science of coastal habitat and
marine fisheries conservation, fostering habitat stewardship, and
educating coastal communities on the value of conservation.

Texas Playa Conservation Initiative

The Texas Playa Conservation Initiative (TxPCI) is working to restore
playa wetlands in North Texas, helping create an abundance of healthy
playas for the benefit of wildlife and residents of the playa region.
The playa wetland restoration facilitates the recharge of the Ogallala
Aquifer, which has a major impact on natural water supply for the
region. Leading partners in the development and administration of TxPCI
include Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Playa Lakes Joint Venture,
Ducks Unlimited, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA Natural
Resources Conservation Service. The partnership has funded and
coordinated restoration of over 400 playa acres to date.

Honorees were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Texan-led conservation initiative
  • Benefits community by providing tangible returns for people,
    prosperity, and natural resources
  • Reaches new and diverse audiences
  • Science-based
  • Measurable process and conservation outcomes
  • Partnership between community, business, individuals, and conservation

All will receive 12-18 months of tailored resources including:

  • Connections to technical expertise and industry support
  • Recognition and participation in annual Conservation Wrangler
  • TxN seal of partnership
  • Op-Ed piece promoting individual initiative
  • Letter of support from TxN leadership
  • Content and collateral cross promotion via TxN channels including
    social media, newsletters and website

Texan by Nature started the new year with the launch of multiple
conservation initiatives: the 2018 Conservation Wrangler program, the
TxN Leadership Roundtables, and the TxN Certification program. These
programs aim to deliver measurable results by collaborating with
individuals, communities, conservation organizations, and businesses in
projects as leaders, partners, and funders.

The TxN Leadership Roundtables convene leaders across industries
and drive conversations with the goal to create a vibrant conservation
economy in Texas. Throughout the roundtable sessions, participants
openly examine the current landscape and explore how businesses,
communities, and conservation organizations can work together to achieve
an ideal state across all verticals.

The TxN Certification program recognizes individuals, civic
groups, and businesses who practice measurable conservation in Texas. In
partnership with Texan by Nature, these leaders share the results of
their initiatives, receive certification, and pledge to continue caring
for Texas’ people, prosperity, and natural resources.

For more information on TxN partnerships and programs, or to learn how
to get involved, please visit

About TxN:

Texan by Nature unites business and conservation leaders who believe
Texas’ prosperity is dependent on the conservation of its natural
resources. TxN amplifies projects and activates new investment in
conservation which return real benefits for people, prosperity and
natural resources. Texan by Nature achieves mission goals through the
Texan by Nature Certification program, Conservation Wrangler program and
Symposia series. Get involved and learn more at
and follow on Facebook @TexanbyNature, Twitter @TexanbyNature, Instagram

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