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«Recreation Plan Recreation Grants Branch State Parks Division 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744 © 2012 TPWD. PWD ...»

-- [ Page 18 ] --

* Includes Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds Historically, the Texas State Park System has been a beneficiary of the LWCF program with eighty-nine projects and over $34 million awarded at 55 park sites across the state.

Appendix I identifies the state parks that have received assistance through the LWCF program.

–  –  –

Other TPWD Grant Programs In addition to the multitude of programs administered formally by the Recreation Grants Branch, TPWD also has a variety of other grant-giving programs that are operated through various divisions. Included below is a brief sampling of a few other grants offered by other TPWD divisions. This should not be considered a comprehensive listing.

Chapter 9 – Texas Outdoor Recreation Grants Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) The Texas Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is a collaborative effort between TPWD Wildlife and Inland Fisheries Divisions to meet the needs of private landowners wishing to enact good conservation practices on their lands for the benefit of healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Many partnerships and funding sources external to TPWD help to make this program possible.

–  –  –

The Texas Watershed Funding Series

• USFWS Community Riparian Enhancement is dedicated to developing partnerships to conserve all habitats essential to environmentally and economically healthy watersheds that benefit the natural resources of Texas.

This is a cooperative effort between the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and both the Wildlife and Inland Fisheries Divisions of TPWD. This allocation of LIP funding is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

• The Llano Watershed/Texas Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative - LIP Funding Series is dedicated to conservation actions that positively impact the Llano Watershed, thereby protecting Guadalupe bass populations and their habitat, by developing networks of willing landowners interested in implementing coordinated landscape conservation actions at watershed-scales. Conservation actions implemented by private landowners will promote functional riparian and stream systems, in addition to emphasizing the conservation of native fish communities and supporting habitats. The networks will attempt to reduce or eliminate activities on the landscape that degrade water quality, reduce water quantity, degrade riparian systems, favor non-native species, or fragment stream systems, while encouraging a wide array of sustainable land-use activities that are compatible with aquatic resource conservation.

This allocation of LIP funding is made possible through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Southeastern U.S. Native Black Bass Keystone Initiative as well as partnerships with Anheuser Busch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State Wildlife Grants, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Passage Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish and Restoration Program, etc.

• James River Watershed Restoration - LIP Funding Series is dedicated to conservation actions that positively impact the James River Watershed by developing networks of willing landowners interested in implementing coordinated landscape conservation actions at watershed-scales. Conservation actions implemented by private landowners will promote functional riparian and stream systems, in addition to emphasizing the conservation of native fish Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 9 – Texas Outdoor Recreation Grants communities and supporting habitats. The networks will attempt to reduce or eliminate activities on the landscape that degrade water quality, reduce water quantity, degrade riparian systems, favor non-native species, or fragment stream systems while encouraging a wide array of sustainable land-use activities that are compatible with aquatic resource conservation.

The Texas Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) LIP Funding Series is dedicated to on-the-ground conservation work on private lands in an effort to mitigate the potential effects of climate change on terrestrial and migratory species in the Texas Panhandle portion of the GPLCC. This allocation of LIP funding is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

Traditional LIP Funding Series is designed to meet the needs of private landowners wishing to enact good conservation practices on their lands in any Texas County. This funding series is focused on projects aimed at creating, restoring, protecting, and enhancing habitat for rare or at-risk-species throughout the state. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service define at-risk species as any species identified as a "species of greatest conservation need" (high priority) in a state’s Wildlife Action Plan (Texas Conservation Action Plan). Rare species include those species that are federally or state listed as threatened or endangered or federal Candidate species not currently on the federal list.

Section 6 Grants

Section 6 of the federal Endangered Species Act, since 30 September 1988, has authorized yearly allocation of funds (awarded at a ratio of 3:1, or 9:1 if multistate) into the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) to be accessed by states through their state agencies operating under a current Cooperative Agreement with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The broadly stated objective for these funds was to “assist in development of programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species or to assist in monitoring the status of candidate species...and recovered species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1973).” TPWD has been actively involved with this program since its inception.





Originally, only projects focusing on scientific research related to conservation and recovery of federally listed taxa and species of concern (formerly called Candidate Species) were considered for funding. These are now known as “Traditional” Section 6 grants, and are awarded funding based competition at the state level. Beginning in 1998 money was also set aside under the CESCF program for awarding proposals related to land acquisitions and habitat conservation plans. To distinguish this latter set of awards from the earlier “research” grants these were termed “Nontraditional.” Nontraditional grants now consist of three types: 1) Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance grants, to facilitate development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), 2) Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grants, to fund acquisition of preserve lands Chapter 9 – Texas Outdoor Recreation Grants Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan under a permitted HCP, and 3) Recovery Land Acquisition grants, to fund acquisition of lands containing high priority or critical habitat to protect federally listed taxa.

Competition is held at the national level (among all states) for HCP Planning and HCP Land Acquisition proposals, whereas competition for Recovery Land Acquisition proposals is held at the Regional (USFWS) level.

To date, Section 6 grants to TPWD have totaled over $110,000,000 in federal share (~$150,000,000 total cost) and have supported 224 projects addressing high priority habitat protection and conservation needs for 445 species of rare, threatened and endangered species. Additionally, approximately 50,000 acres of private land in Texas have been successfully involved in conservation efforts, half of which have been secured with fee simple acquisition or conservation easements. Annually, this program funds 6-9 Traditional grants (median federal share = $83K), and 0-4 Nontraditional grants (median federal share = ~ $4M). TPWD posts a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Traditional grants each September. RFPs for Nontraditional grants originate at the federal level and dates vary each year.

Target Range Fund Program

The National Hunter Education and Shooting Range Program was established on October 23, 1970, and October 25, 1972 under Public Laws 91-503 and 92-358 (U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service, 2005). In Texas, the range portion became effective with the State Appropriations Act on September 1, 1981. Federal funds for the program are derived, in part, from the 11% excise tax on the sale of handguns and archery equipment. TPWD is responsible for administering the program.

The Target Range Fund Program provides financial assistance for construction, development, improvement and/or maintenance of target ranges and associated facilities. This is a 75% reimbursement program. The applicant is expected to finance 25% of the entire project. Seventy-five percent of actual expenditures will be refunded either during the project period as billings are submitted and/or when the project final inspection is completed.

Projects eligible for reimbursement include: Backstops, berms, target holders, benches, baffles, protective fencing, signs, gun racks, platforms, roads, parking areas, sanitary facilities, storage rooms, shelter buildings, and classroom. Furthermore, all range construction must be on lands owned by applicant(s) or lands controlled by applicant(s) by use permit, lease, or easement which assures hunter education classes and public use. In FY 2010 TPWD approved $240,000 in target range construction grants.

Conclusion While this is not a comprehensive list of recreation grants available across the state, the grants detailed in this chapter offer a snapshot of the wide variety of grants available.

Despite challenges, Texas continues to promote and maintain a quality park system.

Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 9 – Texas Outdoor Recreation Grants Open Project Selection Process Each year the LWCF apportionment is split between the State Park Program and the Local Park Program. As needs differ slightly for each program, separate project selection criteria have been developed. Once funding amounts are established, projects are selected by the applicable selection criteria. The Local Park Grants Program Selection Criteria are designed to give recreation providers positive incentives for improving grant project design, while the State Park Program Project Selection Criteria are based on achieving strategic and cost effective land acquisitions that are in-line with the 2010 TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Land and Water Plan).

–  –  –

The Local Park Grants Program currently manages the following grants:

• Outdoor Recreation Grant*

• Small Community Grant*

• Indoor Recreation Grant

• Urban Outdoor Recreation Grant*

• Urban Indoor Recreation Grant

• Regional Grant Of these programs, three are eligible to receive LWCF money, including the Outdoor Recreation, Small Community, and Urban Outdoor Recreation grants. In 2007, public meetings were held throughout the state with the purpose of reviewing proposed changes to the Outdoor Recreation and Small Community grant programs and their respective priority scoring criteria. In addition, a survey was conducted. Changes were sent to the Texas Register for public comment and subsequently approved by the TPW Commission.

All Local Park Grant Program applications submitted to TPWD are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized with the criteria in the following scoring systems.

Scored applications are presented to the TPW Commission for approval.

AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: A PROMISE TO FUTURE GENERATIONS

GOAL A: Create and enhance a new generation of safe, clean, accessible great urban parks and community green spaces.

“As America continues to become more urbanized, the need for green spaces close to home increases. Such spaces are good for our health, our ties to community, and our economy. They can be critical to building lasting personal connections with the great outdoors.”

–  –  –

In 2007 the Texas Legislature created the Large Community and Municipality Recreation and Parks Account with the purpose of designating park grant funds for cities and counties with populations over 500,000. Shortly afterwards, an Urban Parks Summit was convened with representatives from eligible cities and counties to develop administrative procedures and scoring criteria for the newly created Urban Parks Account Grant Program. These criteria were then sent to the Texas Register for public comment and subsequently approved by the TPW Commission. Two additional Urban Summits were conducted in 2009 and again in 2011. The 2009 Urban Summit focused on updating the Summary of Guidelines to reflect the needs of the Urban Program, while the 2011 Urban Summit’s priority was to discuss the suspension of the state grant funds and other current issues. Each of the approved Local Park Priority Scoring criteria can be found in Appendix G.

–  –  –

Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 10 – Open Project Selection Process Many good suggestions through the public meetings have been implemented. Having separate programs based on population is one prominent suggestion. Another key suggestion (that was implemented) is to encourage the Urban and Outdoor Recreation applicants to complete a Park, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan by rewarding them with points in the Priority Scoring Systems. Small Community applicants are rewarded for either having a Master Plan or for documenting a public input process.

This helps ensure that the local community needs are being met by the project.

–  –  –

Chapter 10 – Open Project Selection Process Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan centers, and lands that offer a diverse range of outdoor opportunities for present and future generations.

There are many factors that affect the suitability of land for use as a state park, and objectively quantifying the value of one tract over another can be difficult or impossible.



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