Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement
The Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement is a component of the Borderlands Research Institute, a research organization housed at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
The Center aspires to facilitate effective conservation in Far West Texas. The Center provides technical resources for landowners, energy developers, community members, and conservation partners.
Our goal at the Center is to do the following:
- Provide science-based guidance to relevant stakeholders, enabling them to make informed decisions about minimizing developmental impacts while implementing mitigation and restoration activities.
- Offer resources and technical guidance to area landowners and land managers to assist them in conservation and management goals.
- Serve as a conservation liaison and convener for principal conservation partners in order to maximize the effectiveness of various conservation initiatives in the region.
The Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement at BRI is committed to provide the needed tools, resources and information to area landowners and land managers to help them make the most informed decisions about stewarding the properties that they know and cherish.
Far West Texas is still big and untamed, and the clean air, water, dark skies and pristine wildlife habitat is attributed to the large intact working lands we all depend upon for our way of life.
Similarly, we can provide information on the Respect Big Bend process that elevated local stakeholder values of the region, and the associated tool that can help landowners and industry begin thinking about energy development scenarios.
We also provide valuable on-the-ground services through our Stewardship Services program, as well as conservation cost-share information and opportunities.
Far West Texas has emerged as one of the most energy-intensive places on the planet.
While the Permian Basin continues to be recognized as one of the most prolific oil and gas plays in the world, abundant sunshine and wind make the area attractive for wind and solar development as well.
The energy industry benefits the state by providing jobs to Texans, income to landowners and tax revenue to the government. However, development can impact land and water resources, as well as the social and cultural values of the communities of the region.
The Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement stands ready to provide values-based assistance and information to energy industry representatives as they are planning development in far West Texas
The partners and resources listed below are for energy professionals who wish to explore conservation options in the Big Bend region.
RESPECT BIG BEND
In 2019, the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) and partners established the Respect Big Bend Coalition. The purpose was to inspire, engage and empower community stakeholders to conserve the unique resources and protect the iconic communities of the Greater Big Bend Region of Texas, while developing energy responsibly. Identified groups for this project included landowners, mineral owners, energy industry and service providers, community members, conservation organizations, and regulators.
BRI and partners also established the Tri-County Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) consisting of a select assemblage of 17 stakeholder representatives from the Greater Big Bend Region. The SAG members assisted in this process by working together to identify priorities and shape a shared vision of how the Greater Big Bend Region will look moving forward. Stakeholders included landowners, mineral owners, energy industry and service providers, community members, and conservation partners. Together, the SAG identified and agreed upon the shared values of the Big Bend Region within the Tri-County area. We expand on these values in the links below.
Recommendations from the SAG have been incorporated into the Center for Lands Stewardship and Center Engagement.
A significant recommendation from the SAG was that a regional center be established that could help ensure the long-term viability and functionality of the Respect Big Bend initiative. This entity would provide technical resources, and function as a conservation convener for Far West Texas stakeholders. Based on this recommendation, the Center for Lands Stewardship and Center Engagement at BRI has been established.
The Respect Big Bend Coalition was launched by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, and was sponsored in part by the Permian Basin Area Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, and the Still Water Foundation. The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation is a Texas foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems. The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation works as an engine of change in Texas, supporting high-impact projects at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity and economic vibrancy. Read more about the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation on https://cgmf.org/p/home.html..
The Respect Big Bend process and associated outcomes are encapsulated in the reports linked below.