I care deeply about nature and our environment. My campaign is focused on working to preserve and expand on the Texas parks system. I grew up appreciating the outdoors and have had the privilege of visiting 34 of our nation’s National Parks and countless within Texas. I cannot stress enough how important it is for future generations to have the same opportunity to visit and explore these beautiful parks.
With 80 state parks and 2 national parks, Texas has a rich and diverse landscape that needs to be preserved. The Texas Conservation Action Plan (TCAP), approved in 2006, facilitated the start of a series of conservation projects in Texas to protect plants and wildlife. One of the main struggles of conservation efforts in Texas is funding, so I will work to route more funding to these protective efforts.
Rare Plant Communities in Our Area
Texas Blackland Tallgrass Prairie: The Texas Blackland prairie region spans across most of Texas but is especially prevalent in our community. Originally maintained by roaming bison herds, these ecosystems have been destroyed by years of mowing, fragmentation and urbanization.
Endangered and Threatened Species in Our Area
Whooping Crane: An endangered species, the whooping crane is one of the United States’ rarest birds. During winter months, they will migrate to Texas. Their habitat here is at risk due to chemical spills, water contamination and illegal hunting.
Alligator Snapping Turtle: A household name, this species of snapping turtle has an unfortunate history of being hunted. Their eggs take up to 140 days to hatch, so are at risk to being eaten by local wildlife during this time. Adult alligator snapping turtles only have humans and habitat degradation to worry about.
Rufa Red Knot: Small but mighty, the rufa red knot experiences one of the longest distance migrations of any animal. Their population was hunted down in the 19th century but has been increasing ever since. Still, urbanization has brought on challenges to find safe places to rest and eat along their migratory path.
Parkhill Prairie Crayfish: Local to only two Texas counties, the Parkhill prairie crayfish is a threatened species due to its diminishing ecosystem. Population studies of this crustacean may help to understand conservation needs.