AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new nonprofit foundation is joining the fight to protect Texas fish and wildlife for future generations. A group of prominent Texans have created the Texas Foundation for Conservation, dedicated to ensuring the people of Texas will always have abundant and healthy fish and wildlife to enjoy. The foundation launched with an event in Austin on Monday, Nov. 14 called "Ensuring the Wild Conservation Summit." Attended by approximately 100 conservationists and community leaders from across Texas, topics of discussion included impending threats to native fish and wildlife, the role of the private landowner and the agricultural community in conservation, history of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation, and the public trust doctrine.
"Those who love Texas fish and wildlife are increasingly concerned about the threat of privatization," said Dr. Fred Bryant, director of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and president of Texas Foundation for Conservation. "Native fish and wildlife are no different than our beaches and waterways—they belong to all Texans. We strongly believe our wild natural resources belong to the people of Texas, and we're committed to engaging Texans in efforts to ensure that the fish and wildlife we all treasure will be around for our kids and grandkids."
Privatization occurs when ownership of a public resource is transferred to a private individual or corporation. Potential negative consequences of privatization include unrestricted harvest without regard to natural life cycles of fish and wildlife resources, spread of disease, conflicts between neighboring landowners, inconsistent or non-existent regulatory frameworks, genetic manipulations of species, failure to conserve resources for future generations, and consumption of the resource for short-term gain, rather than long-term management.
The new foundation is committed to supporting the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which has proven to be the most successful conservation model in the world. The public trust doctrine is an essential cornerstone of the North American Model, as it establishes a trustee relationship obligating government to hold and manage fish and wildlife for the benefit of all Texans, present and future.
Private property rights are another key element of successful wildlife management, particularly in states like Texas, where 95% of land is privately held. Private landowners play a critical role in managing the fish and wildlife that belong to all Texans. The Texas Foundation for Conservation believes that publicly-owned native fish and wildlife on privately-owned land represents an ideal arrangement.
"Ensuring the Wild Conservation Summit" brought together local, national and international experts to discuss these issues, including keynote speaker Shane Mahoney, president and CEO of Conservation Visions, an internationally recognized voice for conservation.
"The North American Model is based fundamentally on the principle of public ownership of wildlife and is the very foundation of our conservation successes in the United States and Canada, two countries which now enjoy abundant wildlife, though many common species were on the brink of extinction in the early 20th century," Mahoney said. "The pressure to privatize wildlife is growing, and we've already seen the negative impacts of these efforts in other parts of North America. The Texas conservationists who are drawing the public's attention to this fundamental wildlife issue are doing a great service to their state and to their country."
Recent threats to privatize wildlife in Texas have galvanized the effort to inform and educate the public about the North American Model and the public trust doctrine. The board of the Texas Foundation for Conservation is composed of a diverse group of Texans from across the state who are concerned about protecting the public trust doctrine. Honorary trustees include Nolan Ryan (Georgetown), The Hon. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (Dallas) and The Hon. Pete Laney (Hale Center).
For more information about the Texas Foundation for Conservation or to get involved, visit http://www.texasfoundationforconservation.org/.
About the Texas Foundation for Conservation
The Texas Foundation for Conservation is a diverse group of Texans from across the state who are concerned about impending threats to privatize Texas native fish and wildlife. The Foundation was created to raise the profile of this critical conservation issue, and increase awareness of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. The public trust doctrine is an essential cornerstone of the North American Model as it establishes a trustee relationship obligating government to hold and manage fish and wildlife for the benefit of current and future Texans. Honorary trustees include Nolan Ryan (Georgetown), The Hon. Kay Baily Hutchinson (Dallas) and The Hon. Pete Laney (Hale Center.) For more information, please visit http://www.texasfoundationforconservation.org/
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SOURCE Texas Foundation for Conservation