The Botanical Research Institute of Texas and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are expanding their collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The two conservation organizations will work together protecting and safeguarding rare and endangered native Texas plants and promoting the value of biodiversity and natural resources to the public.
The agreement formalizes the two organizations’ commitment to plant conservation, exploration, and education. The MOU creates a relationship that advances plant conservation and programs that will educate the public.
“On behalf of Texan by Nature, the collaboration of these two great conservation partners is a welcomed development for Texas,” said Tina Buford, President of the Texan by Nature Board of Directors, in a news release. “Together they will strengthen our state’s natural heritage.”
According to the agreement, both organizations will:
— Support the Texas Conservation Action Plan,
— Strengthen their collaborative outreach and educational activities,
— Create training curricula to improve field identification and documentation of native plant species, and
— Collaborate on providing outdoor education, exhibit development, and interpretive media projects and other services to state parks and state natural areas.
“What makes this collaboration so important is that we’re not just getting one botanist to help identify rare plants, we’re getting BRIT’s full complement of research botanists and environmental educators to work with us,” said Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in the release. “Our partnership with BRIT helps us keep our commitment to Texas’ wild things and wild places.”
Collaborative programs are already underway, such as one which examines the distributions of 10 rare Texas plants and provides training materials for citizen scientists to go in the field and look for new populations.
“As the newest Texas member of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) organization, BRIT’s goal of documenting and protecting rare native plants is paramount,” said Dr. Ed Schneider, BRIT’s executive director, in the release. “Our research and education work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ensures that these plants will be discovered, protected, and appreciated by future generations of Texans.”