The Guadalupe Blanco River Trust and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority: Creating and Then Working with a Non-Profit Conservation Partner

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1 The Guadalupe Blanco River Trust and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority: Creating and Then Working with a Non-Profit Conservation Partner Todd Votteler, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority South Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group March 19,

2 Why Create a Non-Profit Conservation Partner? A Non-Profit Conservation Partner Can: Assist with the implementation of the parent agency s mission; Provide access to financial resources that are generally unavailable to the parent agency; Improve the parent agency s working relationship with landowners and others within your jurisdiction; and Demonstrate parent agency s commitment to its mission 2

3 Why Create a Non-Profit Conservation Partner? 3 GBRA has created 3 Non-Profit Conservation Partners: Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust (Trust), 2001 Conserves the watershed and protects the quality and quantity of water in the Guadalupe River, which supports GBRA s responsibility for stewardship of the river Gorge Preservation Society (GPS), 2006 Ecotourism and education at the Canyon Reservoir Gorge, which supports GBRA s responsibility for economic development within the river basin San Antonio Bay Foundation, 2008 Promotes research on, and the conservation of San Antonio Bay and the Guadalupe Estuary, which supports GBRA s responsibility for stewardship of the river that provides the majority of freshwater inflows

4 Why Did the GBRA Create the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust? Land Use Changes in Texas... From 1982 to 1997 over 2.6 M acres of rural Texas was urbanized - the conversion rate is accelerating; Texas is losing land in agriculture and wildlife habitat more rapidly than any other state; These changes impact water quality & quantity; Because 94% of Texas land is privately owned, maintaining land for agriculture and wildlife is ultimately up to private landowners; and Currently, there is a massive transfer of wealth underway, including land from baby boomers to their children creating a great opportunity for conservation. 4

5 What is the Trust? The Trust s Mission is to promote and encourage the conservation, stewardship and enjoyment of the land and water resources of the Guadalupe watershed, while maintaining its unique and irreplaceable natural heritage. 5

6 What is the Trust? The Trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization known as a land trust, or in this case a water and land trust; A land trust is a local, state or regional nonprofit conservation organization that protects land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical, open space or educational value. More than 40 land trusts work in Texas; The Trust works in the entire Guadalupe watershed, including counties that are not in GBRA s district, assisting landowners with their long-term conservation goals; The Trust works with volunteer landowners & organizations such as the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department & the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge; and The Trust is a non-regulatory approach to conservation. 6

7 What is the Trust? The Trust Has a voluntary Board of 9, with 2 appointed by GBRA and 1 by Upper Guadalupe River Authority; Is staffed part-time by GBRA employees; Provides solutions to local needs including the protection of watersheds, farms, and ranches; Supported by GBRA, individual donations, & grants; and Provides the GBRA, and now the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, with a reliable, longterm 501(c)(3) partner organization. 7

8 What is the Trust? The Trust Promotes the development of relationships with other organizations such as local, state, & federal governmental agencies, as well as individuals, industries & other conservation organizations; Draws upon local resources and reflects the basin s values; Secures state, federal and private grants that organizations other than 501(c)(3) cannot get; and Receives tax deductable public donations that a river authority or other agency wouldn t receive. 8

9 The Trust What is the Trust? Through fee simple acquisition, conservation easements, and the purchase of development rights works to protect and conserve the Guadalupe River watershed much in the same way San Antonio is conserving the waters of the Edwards Aquifer by preserving over 54,000 acres of the recharge zone, and as the City of New York has done by preserving over 70,000 acres of the Hudson and Delaware Rivers watersheds. 9

10 10

11 EXAMPLES OF TRUST PROJECTS

12 Linda Dean Ranch in Kendall County 620 acres near Sisterdale, Texas; Significant frontage on the Guadalupe River; and Dinosaur tracks. 12

13 Stroube Ranch in DeWitt County This property has significant frontage along the Guadalupe River including a healthy riparian zone. 13

14 14 Caulkins Ranch in Guadalupe County

15 Land Donations to the Trust The Trust will eventually receive the Caulkins Ranch along the Guadalupe River. It could be kept in the Trust or sold to help finance Trust programs. A conservation easement will stay with the property if it is sold. 15

16 Calhoun County Easement 16 Guadalupe Delta, 2.5 miles of river frontage protected.

17 Trust Purchase of Property Two properties, 820 acres between Hog and Schwing Bayous; Over 90% wetlands; The goal is a corridor of conserved lands from the Calhoun County Canal to Mission Bay; and Land will eventually be open to limited public use for hunting, fishing, birding other uses potentially. 17

18 18 GBRA Salt Water Barrier Property

19 Additional Property TPWD s Guadalupe Delta WMA Project Area TPWD s Guadalupe Delta WMA 19

20 Guadalupe River Delta Before and After Guadalupe Delta WMA Mission Bay Mission Bay North Guadalupe River Victoria Barge Canal North Guadalupe River Guadalupe River South Guadalupe River Guadalupe Bay Guadalupe River Traylor Cut Old Guadalupe River Channel South Guadalupe River Guadalupe Bay N Hynes Bay Approximately 0.5 miles San Antonio Bay Hynes Bay Approximately 0.5 miles San Antonio Bay 20 20

21 Traylor Cut PHOTO

22 Traylor Cut PHOTO

23 Traylor Cut PHOTO

24 24 Removing Sandbar Forming Across Mouth of Old Guadalupe Channel

25 25 Spraying of Invasive Species Along 4 Miles of the Guadalupe River Below Traylor Cut

26 Wetland Habitat Restoration at the Myrtle-Foester Whitmire Unit Creating a reliable method for delivering freshwater to 750 acres of wetland impoundments at critical times benefiting hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, wading and shorebirds. The Whitmire Unit is a major wintering waterfowl area on the Texas Gulf Coast. 26

27 Wetland Habitat Restoration at the Myrtle-Foester-Whitmire Unit Project Partners and Contributors Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service : Conoco Phillips : National Fish and Wildlife Foundation : Coastal Coordination Council : Friends of Aransas Wildlife Refuge : Formosa Environmental Trust Fund : ALCOA : Tetra-Tech 27

28 The Whitmire Unit is located at the end of the GBRA s Calhoun County 28 canal system.

29 The new 2.6 mile canal provides for a more efficient delivery of freshwater to wetland impoundments benefiting hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, wading and shorebirds throughout the year. 29

30 Land Conservation Workshops The goal of the Trust workshops is to provide information to landowners about land conservation techniques and programs, while introducing them to the Trust. 30

31 31 Partnerships: City of Martindale Expansion of Existing Park

32 32

33 Project Overview The goal of this project is to create a basin-wide monitoring network to relay real-time water quality data to regulating entities and the public. The network will assist in determining baseline water quality conditions and long term changes in water quality due to non-point source impacts from urbanization. It will also assist in the quick identification and reaction to spills and storms. Multiple organizations can partner together to establish and maintain a monitoring site by making a tax deductible donation to the Trust. 33

34 Cypress Creek at Jacob s Well Cypress Creek Downstream of Wimberley San Marcos River at Spring Lake Geronimo Creek Station Plum Creek near Lockhart Kerr County Station Peach Creek downstream of Waelder Canyon Lake Guadalupe River in Kendall County Cow Creek Groundwater Stations Guadalupe River at Lake Placid Sandies Creek near Westhoff Guadalupe River in Gonzales County GBRA Routine Monitoring Stations (27) Guadalupe River in Victoria County Existing/Imminent Water Quality Stations 34 Proposed Water Quality Stations (319 Grant Application San Antonio Bay Stations Potential Locations for Community Sponsored Stations

35 35 Cypress Jacob s Well

36 36 Canyon Reservoir

37 37 San Antonio Bay

38 Water Rights Cape Family water rights on the San Marcos River totaling 70 acre-feet placed with Trust in 2005; Priority dates are 1895 and 1905 making these rights some of the oldest on the Guadalupe River; and A first for a Texas-based land trust. 38

39 Publications and Website The Trust has participated in the creation of a number of publications for landowners about topics such as managing riparian zones and protecting springs. The Trust website, contains substantial amounts of information for landowners who want to conserve their land. 39

40 Guadalupe River Conservation Partner Award An ad hoc award given to organizations or individuals that a substantial contribution to a Trust project of great importance. The first award winner is Union Carbide, a fully-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. 40

41 41 How to Maintain a Strong Relationship with Your Non-Profit Partner Maintaining a partnership with your non-profit conservation partner requires common sense and a continuing commitment that most governmental organizations should be able to accomplish easily; Continuing Financial Support Proximity Interaction Common Goals

42 42 Questions?

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