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Thread: Golden Cheeked Warbler delisting suit

  1. #21
    Hammerhead Bikes: Born in Austin 1999 ccoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBaron View Post
    Yep, some of us around here have been (sometimes heavily) involved with this for almost 20 yrs now. Forest Ridge closure was around 99'. That was what seemed like ground zero for the ongoing closures until the BCP 30k acre land acquisition was completed.

    Welcome to the subject. This topic pops up about 1-2x's per year.

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  2. #22
    MoJoMoRon bartman's Avatar
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    Im for anything that strips BCP of their power...

  3. #23
    MoJo Bishop AFROTHUND3R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    City of Austin BCP has contracted and paid for a study. They published some info from the first year(s) in 2012. Then it went dark. I have requested that info repeatedly. They actually took it to the Texas Attorney General to block releasing ANY more info. Something smells fishy about that. But they keep citing the Davis paper. Hmm, could that be the best support they have for their theory? Looks that way.
    This might be a dumb question but does the freedom of information act apply here?

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

  4. #24
    MoJo Neophyte rossm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFROTHUND3R View Post
    I was interested in this too so I just googled it. I found this study interesting considering it was conducted right here in Ft. Hood and Austin.

    Mountain Biking Trail Use Affects Reproductive Success of Nesting Golden-Cheeked Warblers

    (source)

    I of course didn't read the whole study but the abstract was interesting. So based on this one study it would seem that mountain biking did effect GW habitation. I don't know much about the organization conducting it. Maybe they could have some bias but I couldn't find any other research and this study seems to be referenced heavily in other observations of mountain bikings effects on wildlife.

    Thoughts?
    The editor and reviewers of this paper did huge a disservice.
    The title and abstract suggest that it was the mountain bikes that caused the impact. However, the conclusions in the paper state that it was forest fragmentation and edge effect created by the presence of trails that creates the impact.

    From the discussion section of the paper., "Golden-cheeked Warbler territories in biking sites in our study occurred in habitats more fragmented by trails than territories in non-biking sites. It appears mountain biking indirectly affected Golden-cheeked Warblers by habitat alteration and fragmentation caused by occurrence of mountain biking trails."

    It may seem minor, but this statement directly contradicts the title. Is it the "Use" or the "occurrence"? If the former mountain bikers are the culprit, if the latter then the presence of trails regardless of user types are what impacts the GCW.

    Forest fragmentation and edge effects make it more likely that predators can find nests. This is common knowledge about birds, and it is supported by the paper.

    The paper should say "trails impact nesting sites". The only thing about mountain bikes that impacts GCW is that in this particular case, it is the mountain bikes that use the trails. The birds would be impacted by any type of trail that leads to forest fragmentation and edge effects. This paper really bugs me because a good editor and review should have pointed this out.

    And on a side note I wonder if the Moto's at Emma scare the rat snakes away.
    Last edited by rossm; 04-29-2017 at 01:50 PM.
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  5. #25
    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossm View Post
    And on a side note I wonder if the Moto's at Emma scare the rat snakes away.
    I've pondered this myself, and in a more general way if use of the trails helps suppress all GCW predators.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFROTHUND3R View Post
    This might be a dumb question but does the freedom of information act apply here?

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
    If you read the Public Information Act [here - http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...tm/GV.552.htm] you will find that there are exceptions to the act. The one they used was that a "third party university" wanted to keep the information private so they could publish the "research". I think there is good reason for that exemption from releasing information to the public if the university wants to use that information to their competitive advantage. The Texas Attorney General office sided with their claim that GCW research could be kept private.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    I've pondered this myself, and in a more general way if use of the trails helps suppress all GCW predators.
    There are lot of good questions that need to be answered. Here are some -

    1) Are the motorcycles at Emma chasing away predators? I don't see any evidence to say they are. If it was the moto's, I would expect to see lower nest predation on the Motorcycle Park and higher predation on the Coldwater tract (just north) and on the Emma Long (Turkey Creek) tract. I have not noticed that in any of the data I have looked at. But it never hurts to look again.

    2) Are trails and associated habitat fragmentation negatively impacting the GCW? The BCP data I have reviewed suggests that trails are helping the GCW more than hurting them. The Coldwater tract is VERY similar to the Emma Long Motorcycle Park except that it is closed to the public with presumably no trails. (I was asking for someone with a quadcopter to fly over and look for trails.) Coldwater is worse than the Motorcycle Park in almost every parameter listed in the BCP data. Occasionally a Coldwater parameter is better than the Motorcycle Park but that is infrequent and it rarely lasts more than one year.

    3) Are the mountain bikes and motorcycles chasing away the GCW from the Motorcycle Park? That was assumed when the BCP was being formed in the 1990's. The Habitat Conservation Plan (contract that is the basis of the BCP), actually excluded the Motorcycle Park "and other active use areas" on page 3-100. After all, after 26 years of motorcycles using the trails year round including during nesting season, wouldn't the GCW have quit going and nesting there? But there is a 1997 memo that says that GCW were found on the Motorcycle Park. And the BCP documentation has included it in the BCP ever since. Even the 2016 BCP population data shows the GCW are still nesting there. And motorcycles have been using it year round since 1970 and mountain bikes have been using it since 1996. We have data showing GCW nests directly above trails, motorcycle trials (spelled correctly) riding areas and even next to the roads. If anything, all the data seems to say that 'noise' from motorcycles, mountain bikes and cars seem to make little difference to the GCW. But clearly noise makes a difference to the bird watchers.

    4) Are the GCW increasing their population on the study tracts? Some years yes. Some years no. There are very few data points and so much variability in the data, this is a questions that needs to look at many years of data. One year to the next really doesn't mean much.

    5) Assuming the GCW population in the study tracts is increasing, doesn't that mean that the GCW is recovering/recovered and should be delisted? Even if the GCW population was increasing every year on the BCP reports (it is not), I would not count on that as "proof" the GCW is no longer endangered. It is one data point in a study that needs LOTS of data points and careful analysis.

    Discussions like this could go on forever. I could go on and on and on. But I have to get some work done. Feel free to discuss this among yourselves.
    Last edited by cxagent; 05-01-2017 at 05:35 AM.

  8. #28
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    If anyone is interested there is a BCP Citizen's Advisory Committee meeting tonight 5/2/2017. Agenda can be found here - http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=276027

    All documentation can be found here - https://austintexas.gov/cityclerk/bo...tings/76_1.htm

  9. #29
    MoJoMoRon bartman's Avatar
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    The GCW is not and never has been an endangered or a threaten species..they used flawed research techniques to manipulate the outcome in order to have it listed to erode private & public property rights which has been exposed by Texas A & M follow up research which is the basis for its delisting.

  10. #30
    MoJo Bishop AFROTHUND3R's Avatar
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    Just wondering that if the BCP had never been developed and GCW hadn't been listed do you think that land would even be there anymore undeveloped for potential trail use anyway? Thoughts?

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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFROTHUND3R View Post
    Just wondering that if the BCP had never been developed and GCW hadn't been listed do you think that land would even be there anymore undeveloped for potential trail use anyway? Thoughts?

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
    This is kind of like the argument over who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman.

    Development would have happened in many of those area. Clearly some of the areas would no longer be available for trails because there are buildings, parking lots, etc on them. However, many of the trails we ride now are there because the owner/developer/somebody decided to leave some areas natural and have a trail thru them. I have to believe some of the 'development that didn't happen' would have done the same. Others would have put in official Parks where there might be trails.

    For what it is worth to this metaphysical discussion - many landowners are now approaching trail builders to build trails. A lot of those land owners and developers are willing to pay real money for having trails built on their land.

    IMHO, the BCP has several issues against them in the mtb community.

    1) Having petitions in the bike shops to support the 1990's bond election that purchased BCP lands and saying/implying that those lands would be available for mtb use gave the impression that the BCP would be mtb friendly. After all, the petitions said the lands would be available for public recreational use. Once the bond was passed, closing and fencing off those same areas created a LOT of animosity towards the BCP from hikers, bikers and other 'public recreational users'.

    2) The BCP was directed by their Coordinating Committee (then Mayor Will Wynn and Commissioner Gerald Daugherty) to open the preserve to recreational use as a secondary priority to the habitat preserve on 11/28/2007. The BCP developed a Trails Master Plan that was to guide opening the preserve to recreational use. They created a document to prevent opening trails. To date, there has never been a single "new" trail opened. There have been a total of two trail get thru that process and both were existing trails with a change of status. The Turkey Creek trail in Emma Long Park is hiking only. The one mountain biking trail that got thru that process was the Violet Crown Trail. And that was to change about a mile of existing 'unrecognized trail' to legal status. Digging thru the documentation of what had to be done to negotiate that minefield gives me a lot of respect for the Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) who did it. Did you know that the HCC supported mountain biking enough to agree to fund an undetermined study at an undetermined cost to evaluate the impact of mountain biking? Those folks put their money where their mouth is.

    3) The heavy handed way the BCP management arbitrarily makes and supports decisions. More info one one situation can be found at the second and third links at the top of the page on Friends of Emma Long Motorcycle Park | Promoting sustainable trails at Emma Long Motorcycle Park

    As I have said before and said above - the BCP does a lot of good for the City of Austin and Travis County. I consider setting aside areas for endangered species habitat to be worth while. It would be a real shame to throw out the whole thing while trying to get the BCP management to recognize that they are doing some of the same things they complain about from others like TxDOT (ref. SH 45SW), TAMU (ref delisting the GCW) and even other endangered species researchers / publishers.
    Last edited by cxagent; 05-03-2017 at 12:17 PM.

  12. #32
    MoJo Mother Superior crazyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    This is kind of like the argument over who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman.

    Development would have happened in many of those area. Clearly some of the areas would no longer be available for trails because there are buildings, parking lots, etc on them. However, many of the trails we ride now are there because the owner/developer/somebody decided to leave some areas natural and have a trail thru them. I have to believe some of the 'development that didn't happen' would have done the same. Others would have put in official Parks where there might be trails.

    For what it is worth to this metaphysical discussion - many landowners are now approaching trail builders to build trails. A lot of those land owners and developers are willing to pay real money for having trails built on their land.

    IMHO, the BCP has several issues against them in the mtb community.

    1) Having petitions in the bike shops to support the 1990's bond election that purchased BCP lands and saying/implying that those lands would be available for mtb use gave the impression that the BCP would be mtb friendly. After all, the petitions said the lands would be available for public recreational use. Once the bond was passed, closing and fencing off those same areas created a LOT of animosity towards the BCP from hikers, bikers and other 'public recreational users'.

    2) The BCP was directed by their Coordinating Committee (then Mayor Will Wynn and Commissioner Gerald Daugherty) to open the preserve to recreational use as a secondary priority to the habitat preserve on 11/28/2007. The BCP developed a Trails Master Plan that was to guide opening the preserve to recreational use. They created a document to prevent opening trails. To date, there has never been a single "new" trail opened. There have been a total of two trail get thru that process and both were existing trails with a change of status. The Turkey Creek trail in Emma Long Park is hiking only. The one mountain biking trail that got thru that process was the Violet Crown Trail. And that was to change about a mile of existing 'unrecognized trail' to legal status. Digging thru the documentation of what had to be done to negotiate that minefield gives me a lot of respect for the Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) who did it. Did you know that the HCC supported mountain biking enough to agree to fund an undetermined study at an undetermined cost to evaluate the impact of mountain biking? Those folks put their money where their mouth is.

    3) The heavy handed way the BCP management arbitrarily makes and supports decisions. More info one one situation can be found at the second and third links at the top of the page on Friends of Emma Long Motorcycle Park | Promoting sustainable trails at Emma Long Motorcycle Park

    As I have said before and said above - the BCP does a lot of good for the City of Austin and Travis County. I consider setting aside areas for endangered species habitat to be worth while. It would be a real shame to throw out the whole thing while trying to get the BCP management to recognize that they are doing some of the same things they complain about from others like TxDOT (ref. SH 45SW), TAMU (ref delisting the GCW) and even other endangered species researchers / publishers.
    It wont go away now because it already exists. Plus there are other endangered species in the BCP.

    Code next is a chance to help landowners build trails by removing barriers

    Right now the open space definitions in code next are broken. The big stumbling block for trails is that site plans are required which can result in environmental reviews on all kinds of things.

    Im working with freeride 512 and hopefully ARR to get a few changes into code next.

    1) Ideally no site plans for trails
    2) Ideally no restrictions on where trails can go with regards to critical environmental features (canyon rim rock and bluffs)

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    This is kind of like the argument over who would win in a fight, Superman or Bartman
    I fixed that for you.
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  14. #34
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    Park fee increase - the lowdown

    Travis County Commissioners Court Agenda Request

    Meeting Date: March 8, 2016
    Prepared By: Robert Armistead Phone #: (512) 854-9831
    Division Director/Manager: Charles Bergh, Parks Director

    Department Head: Steven M. Manilla, P.E., County Executive-TNR
    Sponsoring Court Member: County Judge Sarah Eckhardt


    AGENDA LANGUAGE: Consider and take appropriate action on proposed park fees.
    A) Temporary Concession Site Fees;
    B) BMX Event Parking Fees;
    C) Trailer Parking Fee and Annual Trailer Parking Fee;
    D) Pavilion Rental Fee; and
    E) Weekend Pricing at Reimers Ranch Park, Mansfield Dam Park, and Loop 360.

    BACKGROUND/SUMMARY OF REQUEST:
    A national trend for managing park system budgets is to pass on a higher share of costs to park users and beneficiaries in the form of direct user fees. The last time park fees were addressed was in January, 2014; however, some of the fee changes we are currently proposing were not addressed at that time.

    Travis County operates and maintains 33 parks, including 7 properties on Lake Travis leased from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). The county is authorized to collect park fees under two separate Texas laws developed separately for county parks and LCRA/county parks.

    Parks collect a general use fee for “basic services”; that is, services used by all park visitors, such as restroom and facility maintenance, utilities, landscape maintenance, and law enforcement. An additional fee is collected for “enhanced services”, such as the reservation of pavilions and shelters, the use of baseball and soccer fields, and camping.

    While the county charges a general use fee in all of the LCRA/county parks, it only levies a general use fee in 3 of the 26 county parks. The general use fee is currently
    $10 per vehicle and is intended to offset some of the cost of basic services, such as fee collection, restroom and facility maintenance, landscape maintenance, trash collection and law enforcement. From 2007 through 2011 fees charged in LCRA/county parks recovered approximately 50% of operating and maintenance costs. Contractually, we are obligated to set aside 15% of fee revenues from LCRA parks for future capital improvements in LCRA owned parks. During the same period, fees charged in county owned parks only recovered approximately 15% of operation and maintenance costs.

    The overall purpose of this Park Fee Proposal is to evaluate the county’s current fee schedule and to recommend to the Commissioners Court strategies and alternatives for offsetting increasing operational costs in Travis County Parks.

    STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS:
    Staff recommends approval of this request.

    ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES:
    The following information outlines the proposed fee increases and provides additional information on modifications to our facility rentals.

    A) Temporary Concession Site Fees
    Parks is requesting to establish fees for temporary concession vendors who want to set up tent/mobile concessions during large park events like bike races, triathlons, marathons, sports tournaments, etc.

    Currently, the skate park at Northeast Metropolitan Park (NEM), Travis County charges for hardened concession pads. The current fee structure is:
    • $20 per day on weekdays
    • $40 per day on weekends and holidays

    TNR recommends this same fee structure for temporary concession vendors at all parks. This will generate approximately $4,960 in additional revenue, provide more diverse concession options for our visitors, and allows Parks staff to monitor park concession activity.

    Parks also recommends removing the $50 deposit required for NEM concession pad rentals. Requiring a deposit is not practical for a very small reservation area that only consists of a concrete pad. The deposit is collected with other reservations such as, shelters, to encourage leaving the site clean and in the event damage occurs to the facility. The majority of the reservations will be made by returning customers and it is prudent for them to keep their area clean in order to continue a lasting relationship with the Parks department. Also, the concrete pad has little potential for damage. In addition, the deposit process is cumbersome for staff and the customer because of the paperwork required to collect the deposit and then to return the deposit after the event. The customer must also wait several weeks to have their money returned to them.

    B) BMX Event Parking Fees
    Currently, there are fees for parking during special events at the BMX track.
    • $10 per vehicle per day
    • $25 camping permit per night
    • $2 trailer

    These special events take place over 2-3 days, and it is typical with BMX events to offer a multi-day parking pass that is discounted.
    Parks is recommending adding the following fees:
    • 2-day pass for parking for the event for $15.
    • 3-day pass for parking for the event for $25.
    We also recommend eliminating the trailer parking fee charged for BMX events.

    By implementing these multi-day parking passes, we will stay consistent with fee structures that the BMX communities pay at other tracks across the nation, and will improve entry into the park. Multiple staff is required to sell permits to the stream of vehicles that arrive at the same time. In order to limit the wait time to enter the parking area and to prevent long lines on the public roads, each event will require significant staff to sell permits quickly.

    Attendees to these events usually return each day. If the multi-day pass is sold the first day, the majority of the attendees will have a parking pass for the entire event. The second and third day will run much smoother and require less staff to monitor the entrance because the attendees will only have to display their parking pass when they arrive at the park.

    Travis County Parks currently plans to host a national race (3-day event) once a year, with an estimated 1,500 vehicles per day, and host a state race (2-day event) twice a year, with an estimated 500 vehicles per day.

    C) Trailer Parking Fee and Annual Trailer Parking Fee
    Parks is requesting to raise the daily trailer fee from $2 per day to $5 per trailer and increase the Trailer Annual Permit from $30 to $50. The trailer fee has not been raised since it was established in October, 2003. Trailer fees were established because a vehicle with a trailer occupies twice as much parking space as a vehicle by itself.

    This would result in additional revenue with minimal impact on the number of permits sold. The proposed fee increase will generate approximately $38,487 in additional revenue.

    D) Park Pavilion Rental Rate Modifications
    Affects East Metro Pavilion, Bob Wentz Pavilion, Mansfield Dam Pavilion,

    East Metro Pavilion current rental rate:
    $50/hr with a minimum of four (4) hours
    $400 for full day
    $10 reservation fee
    $100 deposit

    Currently the East Metro Park pavilion can be rented a full day for $400 or $50/hr with a minimum of 4 hours ($200). We recommend doing away with the hourly option and only have the full day rental option for the following reasons:
    -People occasionally rent for the minimum 4 hours, but typically go for the full day rental.
    -We have never rented to more than one group in one day. It is problematic to get groups out of the building and get it cleaned before the next group shows up.
    -Easier to book the single-day event; it takes the same amount of staff time to prep and clean for a full day versus a four-hour rental.
    -Staff does not have to monitor for the hourly rental time block.

    Mansfield Dam and Bob Wentz Pavilions current rental rates:
    $10/hr with a minimum of 4 hours
    $100 deposit
    $10 reservation fee

    Historically, customers only rent for the minimum four (4) hours. We propose eliminating the hourly rental and offering only a full day rental for $50, for the following reasons:

    -We have never rented to more than one group in one day. It is problematic to get groups out of the building and get it cleaned before the next group shows up.
    -Easier to book the single-day event; it takes the same amount of staff time to prep and clean for a full day versus a four hour rental.
    -Staff does not have to monitor the allotted time block. Customers can arrive and leave as they choose (within park hours).

    E) Establish Weekend Pricing at Reimers Ranch Park, Mansfield Dam Park, and Loop 360.

    Milton Reimers Ranch Park, Mansfield Dam Park, and the Loop 360 Boat Ramp reach or nearly reach capacity daily from May through September each year. Parks requests adding a $5 surcharge for these parks on weekends and holidays from May 1 through September 30.

    The current fees are as follows:
    • $10 per vehicle per day (vehicle only)

    • $12 per vehicle per day (with trailer)

    If the proposed fees are implemented the fees would be:
    Daily (except weekends and holidays from May 1 through September 30)
    • $10 per vehicle per day (vehicle only)
    • $15 per vehicle per day (with trailer) – ($10 Day Use Permit + $5 Trailer fee)

    Weekends and holidays from May 1 through September 30.
    • $15 per vehicle per day (vehicle only) – (+$5 Surge fee)
    • $20 per vehicle per day (with trailer) – ($10 Day Use Permit + $5 Trailer fee +
    $5 weekend fee)

    The proposed fee increase may generate approximately $138,510 in additional revenue.

    TNR is additionally proposing to implement a $10/per vehicle non-refundable reservation fee at Hamilton Pool Preserve for the peak use period, May 1 through September 30. TNR is currently working on resolving technical and procedural issues with ITS, and expect to have this on the Commissioners Courts March 22nd agenda.
    Last edited by TAF; 05-04-2017 at 10:23 AM.

  15. #35
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    So I'm kinda baffled about the $5 surcharge - they don't really explain why they came up with it, and at those specific parks, other than to generally increase overall revenue. I also still don't believe that annual parks pass holders should have to pay the fee - at a minimum, they could increase the annual pass fee by a couple of bucks, and not have to stop and pay extra at the booth. I figure I will email them all, and see what comes back!

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    Whoops, I think I was replying to the wrong thread! Perhaps Admin can move it over to the Reimers Ranch one.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAF View Post
    Whoops, I think I was replying to the wrong thread! Perhaps Admin can move it over to the Reimers Ranch one.
    Just delete the text in that post and replace it with a recipe or two for grilling Bacon-wrapped GCW on the tailgate.
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    Today's Statesman:

    State agency sues to end warbler protections
    METRO-STATE By Chuck Lindell - American-Statesman Staff

    Highlights

    Lawsuit argues that the golden-cheeked warbler has recovered since joining the endangered species list.
    Federal regulators, environmentalists disagree, saying the songbird is still in danger of disappearing.
    Injecting state government into a long-running battle of development vs. preservation, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush sued the federal government Monday in an attempt to remove a Central Texas songbird from the endangered species list.
    The federal lawsuit argues that special habitat protections, including development restrictions, are no longer necessary because the golden-cheeked warbler’s population has recovered since the bird was listed as endangered almost 27 years ago.


    “Leaving a species on the endangered list after its recovery is not only ineffective, it’s irresponsible,” Bush said. “The restoration of the golden-cheeked warbler population is a success story worth celebrating by removing it from the endangered list and restoring the rights of Texas landowners to effectively manage our own properties.”

    If successful, the lawsuit would open a broad swath of Central Texas land — including western Travis County — to increased development and road building.

    Travis Audubon will continue to defend the bird’s status as endangered, said Joan Marshall, executive director.

    “Once again the golden-cheeked warbler is in the cross-hairs of people who have deep pockets and a desire to increase development of warbler habitat,” Marshall said. “The endangered bird’s habitat diminishes each year in fast-growing Central Texas. The birds’ survival depends on people being willing to stand up to these repeated threats.”

    Filed in Austin federal court, the lawsuit seeks an order invalidating the warbler’s designation as an endangered species, arguing that a 2015 Texas A&M University study concluded that there are 19 times more warblers spread over a habitat that is five times larger than was known when the bird was listed as endangered.

    The study shows that warbler protections are based on a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the bird’s population, the lawsuit said.

    The A&M study also formed the basis of a 2015 petition that sought to remove endangered species protections for the golden-cheeked warbler that had been filed by former state Comptroller Susan Combs and property-rights organizations.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which enforces the Endangered Species Act, rejected the petition last year, saying an agency analysis determined that the warbler is not recovering and that 29 percent of the bird’s nesting habitat had been lost from 1999 to 2011.

    “Due to ongoing, widespread destruction of its habitat, the species continues to be in danger of extinction throughout its range,” the agency said.

    In addition, the American-Statesman has reported that other biologists have criticized the Texas A&M study, finding methodology mistakes that led federal regulators to conclude that it overpredicted the number of warblers by as much as tenfold.

    The lawsuit was prepared by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin, on behalf of the General Land Office, which oversees property that includes warbler habitat.

    Ted Hadzi-Antich, senior attorney for the foundation’s Center for the American Future, said federal regulators should not be allowed to rely on the Endangered Species Act “to protect individual species without considering the impacts on the overall human environment.”

    “Otherwise, the act becomes a general, federal land use planning tool that effectively keeps humans out of the environment,” he said. “Congress never intended that result.”

  19. #39
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    Posts
    452
    fixed this for y'all...
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Today's Statesman (shorter version):
    "Wealthy Landowners hire lawyers and lobbyists to help state sue feds so they can do whatever they want with their land, no matter the consequences for nature and neighbors."

  20. #40
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    ATX southside
    Posts
    1,437
    ^ pretty much! I don't know how bad off that poor bird actually is, but I also don't want to see every square inch of the region covered in strip malls and McMansions.
    AntonioGG and CBaron like this.

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