Big Bend Seminar Series on Energy Development Rebooted for Fall 2020
ALPINE TX – Residents of West Texas are invited to attend a free series of seminars on energy development in the Big Bend later this year. The seminar series got underway in January 2020, but three of the seminars were cancelled—one due to weather and the others to the COVID-19 pandemic. The seminar series is being rebooted for the fall with new topics and speakers. The seminar series is designed to engage a broad constituency of Big Bend community members to better inform them on recent energy projections, potential impacts on communities and conservation values, and to develop creative strategies to conserve the unique resources and communities of the region.
There are three seminars scheduled in fall 2020, and assuming COVID-19 is on the wane by then, the seminars will be held at the Espino Conference Center at Sul Ross State University in Alpine from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.
Wednesday, Sept. 16
Topic: Development by Design: Where Development and Conservation Meet
Joe Kiesecker – The Nature Conservancy of Texas
Melinda Taylor – University of Texas at Austin
Thursday, Oct. 8
Topic: Landowners, Energy Development, and Conflict: Finding Common Ground
David Yeates – Texas Wildlife Association
Chris West – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chase Curry – San Pedro Ranch
Topic: Conservation Values and Strategies for the Last Frontier
Louis Harveson – Borderlands Research Institute
Billy Tarrant – Borderlands Research Institute
The seminar series is sponsored in part by Respect Big Bend Coalition, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Permian Basin Area Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Still Water Foundation, and the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University.
“We are committed to involving the entire West Texas community in the conversations that are underway and we hope everyone who is interested in the future of the Big Bend region will participate in these seminars,” said Billy Tarrant, Associate Director for Stewardship Services at BRI, who is coordinating the engagement activities associated with the Respect Big Bend Coalition. “While we are hoping we can conduct these meetings in person, community safety remains our top priority, and if necessary, we’ll pivot to a webinar format. We hope to engage as many stakeholders as we can in this process.”
For more than a decade, the Borderlands Research Institute has encouraged effective land stewardship of the Chihuahuan Desert. Housed at Sul Ross State University, the Borderlands Research Institute builds on a long-lasting partnership with private landowners, the university’s Range and Wildlife Program, and cooperating state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. Through research, education, and outreach, the Borderlands Research Institute is helping to conserve the last frontier of Texas and the Southwest.