Former First Lady Laura Bush, via Texan by Nature — Facebook. Photo by Grant Miller

Texan by Nature, a conservation group founded by Preston Hollow neighbor Laura Bush, has selected four organizations to partner with this year in its Conservation Wrangler program, CultureMap reported.

The chosen projects will be supported through Conservation Wrangler, an accelerator program that spurs science-based initiatives that demonstrate positive effects for people, prosperity and natural resources.

Conservation Wrangler is one of a few programs hosted by Texan by Nature, which the former first lady founded in 2011.

This year, the four organizations selected from the applicants are: Texas Water Trade, Texas Longleaf Implementation Team, San Antonio Zoo and Audubon Texas. Each will receive 12-18 months of support and resources such as promotion via social media, blogs and newsletters; content production; program management and impact reporting; connections to technical, expert and industry support; and recognition in Conservation Summit & Celebration.

Texas Water Trade is working to restore Comanche Springs in Fort Stockton, which once was known as the Spring City of Texas. The springs have not flowed reliably since the 1950s.

The Texas Longleaf Implementation Team is expanding longleaf pine landscapes, which are necessary for migratory birds, resident wildlife and rare and endemic flora and fauna. Conserving these longleaf pine forests has economic benefits as well, as the ecosystems can generate income through forestry, hunting and recreational leases and carbon trading.

Biologists at the San Antonio Zoo are collaborating with private landowners to put into place landscape management practices that help the Texas horned lizard, also known as the horned frog, which is the state reptile. Horned lizard populations have been on the decline since the late 1960s due to habitat loss, the introduction of exotic grasses, fire ants and the pesticide use.

Audubon Texas is focusing efforts on the Matagorda Bay Rookery Island conservation. Matagorda Bay is home to several iconic bird species. Chester Island, a rookery island in the bay, hosts about 20,000 breeding pairs of at least 18 bird species each year. Audubon Texas wants to work with local communities, businesses and industry partners to increase constructed habitat and awareness of bird conservation projects.

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