Hello members,
May 2005

There are a couple of things happening that deserve our attention, so here's
a quick Texas Rivers Protection Association e-news:


MEDINA CLEAN UP A SUCCESS

First of all, thanks to Bob Brischetto and the folks in Medina for a great
clean up.  The barbeque was great, the   fellowship was wonderful and the
river is several tons cleaner.

Do we have anyone out there who would like to coordinate an Upper Guadalupe
Clean Up?  Or for any other stretch of river?  Let us know.


ACTION NEEDED TO STOP FOUR DAMS PLANNED FOR NECHES RIVER:

Dear TCONR Members and Friends of Texas Rivers, Bottomlands, and Those Who
Live There--
One Minute of Your Time Now Can Help Stop Four Unneeded Dams and Gain
Protection for the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge!

These Reservoirs Would Flood the 25,000-Acre Potential Refuge Site and
100,000 Acres of Other Bottomlands                      And Would Condemn the
Land of Thousands of Unwilling Texans

Click the following link to go to the instant form:
http://www.savetexasrivers.com/actionalert/action-page-2.asp
urging decision-makers to spare Texas rivers and landowners from needless,
devastating dams.
(Deadlines May 20 and 31)

Important Meeting Coming Up on May 23:
http://www.savetexasrivers.com/actionalert/meetings.asp    Please try to
attend!

North Texas water planners propose four needless reservoirs in East and
Northeast Texas that together would flood 125,000 acres of increasingly rare
floodplain habitat, condemn at least 375,000 acres of private lands,
threaten the extremely high-quality proposed Neches River National Wildlife
Refuge, and cost nearly $3 billion. Fourteen Texas and national
environmental and landowner organizations have asked the Regional Water
Planning Group instead to use existing reservoirs, conservation, and
recycled water—sources available that are adequate to provide supply about
70% more water than North Texas’ projected demand in the next half-century,
according to the Planning Group.

Floodplain acreage almost as large as East Texas’ Big Thicket National
Preserve and five national forest wilderness areas combined would be drowned
forever by the notorious proposed Marvin Nichols and Fastrill Reservoirs and
two additional ones, including some of Texas’ best remaining bottomland
hardwood forests.  Staggering negative impacts would include taking the land
and livelihoods of thousands of mostly unwilling Texans and devastating
wildlife habitat and ranching, timber, and farming industries in large areas
of Texas.

As decisions approach, please be counted now to help stop these needless,
devastating dams.

For more info, please go to http://www.savetexasrivers.com/

For questions or to volunteer to help, please contact:

Janice Bezanson, Executive Director, Texas Committee on Natural Resources
(TCONR), 512-327-4119 bezanson@texas.net, 3532 Bee Caves Rd., Suite 110,
Austin, TX 78746, Fax 512-327-2115.

Please add or substitute your name or your group’s name and contact info (if
desired) and forward this to others.


SENATE BILL 3 UPDATE:

SB 3 was heard in the House Natural Resources Committee until late into the
night on Monday. As expected, there was more controversy about some
provisions of the bill than there was in the Senate. Your help is needed to
ensure that SB 3, and particularly the environmental flows provisions in
Article 1 of the bill, maintains momentum and reaches the House floor
in time to meet legislative deadlines.

Most of the criticism centered on the groundwater provisions of the bill.
Several groundwater districts were opposed to a new oversight structure
proposed in Article 2 of SB 3.  We are hoping that the districts will be
able to resolve these issues so that SB 3, or even a stripped down version
with just the parts that have broad consensus, can move forward.

While the Texas Water Conservation Association and other water supply folks
testified in favor of the environmental flow provisions, Wade Stansell of
Texas Utilities testified against them.  His testimony mischaracterized many
portions of the environmental flows article. Although we were able to make
clarifications in testimony after Mr. Stansell, we feel it is important that
House Natural Resource Committee members hear support for the environmental
flow provisions from people
who were not able to be at the hearing.

Just FYI, earlier today, the Senate Natural Resources Committee attached the
environmental flows provisions onto SB 1512 as a backup. While this is
helpful, it is late in the session and SB 1512 still has to clear the Senate
and then get through the House, so we can't let up in pushing very hard on
SB 3.

If you are amenable, it would be helpful to have communications to the
members of the House Natural Resources Committee supporting the
environmental flows provisions of SB 3 as a reasonable compromise. You might
also consider noting support for the land stewardship and water conservation
provisions.

The members of the committee are:
Robert Puente (San Antonio) Chair
Phone: (512) 463-0452
Fax: (512) 463-1447

Bill Callegari (Houston) Vice-Chair
Phone: (512) 463-0528
Fax: (512) 463-7820

Charlie Geren (Fort Worth)
Phone: (512) 463-0610
Fax: (512) 463-8310

Harvey Hilderbran (Kerrville)
Phone: (512) 463-0536
Fax: (512) 463-1449

Rick Hardcastle (Vernon)
Phone: (512) 463-0526
Fax: (512) 463-6003

Scott Campbell (San Angelo)
Phone: (512) 463-0331
Fax: (512) 463-5896

Ruben Hope (Conroe)
Phone: (512) 463-0726
Fax: (512) 463-7100

Dennis Bonnen (Angleton)
Phone: (512) 463-0564
Fax: (512) 463-8414

James E. "Pete" Laney (Hale Center)
Phone: (512) 463-0604
Fax: (512) 463-5896

You can find additional contact information online at
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

Thanks,
Myron Hess
National Wildlife Federation


NEW T-SHIRTS ARE ON THE WAY

We should have new TRPA t-shirts next week (including some small and medium
shirts).  You can get a free shirt with a $50 membership renewal (or get two
for $100!).  Or, if you prefer, you can order just a shirt for $15 (includes
tax and shipping).  Let us know if you would like one.

Tom Goynes
President, TRPA
mailto:goynes@centurytel.net
512-392-6171