Lake Livingston named “Texan by Nature” project

Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs Designated a Conservation Wrangler by Texan by Nature

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.