Summit Brings Industry and Conservation Professionals to the Table
Nearly one hundred attendees gathered to hear a roster of experts for the first Summit on Healthy Lands and Energy Development at the Horseshoe Arena in Midland on April 6. The one-day summit was organized by Respect Big Bend, a coalition dedicated to responsible energy development in West Texas, in partnership with Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. 

The focus of the summit was on finding a balance between energy development and land conservation practices, with energy industry professionals, landowners, land managers, research scientists, and government officials among the day’s many speakers.

“Energy and conservation can coexist,” said Dr. Louis Harveson, who is the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., BRI Endowed Director and professor of Wildlife Management at Sul Ross State University. “We need to better define conservation practices and how to implement them.” 

Michael E. Young, senior research scientist with the Bureau of Economic Geology, said 30-year projections for energy demands in Texas predict that between 800,000 to 4 million additional acres of land will be needed for energy development, whether it’s for wind, solar, oil and gas, or other energy sources.

Success stories from landowners and energy professionals provided guidance on how to advance land conservation and energy development goals.  

BRI Launches Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement
A new Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement has been established at the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University. The center will facilitate conservation efforts in far West Texas by providing technical resources for landowners, energy developers, community members and conservation partners.

The new center is funded in part by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and the Permian Basin Area Foundation, and is a direct result of the recommendations made through the Respect Big Bend initiative. Respect Big Bend’s mission is to inspire and empower stakeholders to conserve the unique resources and protect the iconic communities of the Big Bend region of Texas. Led by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Respect Big Bend is a coalition of scientists, landowners, community leaders and industry who are committed to responsible energy development in West Texas.

“The center is the direct result of the incredible efforts of the Respect Big Bend Stakeholder Advisory Group, which worked hard to define the critical values of the region that we all treasure,” said Billy Tarrant, who is Associate Director of Stewardship Services at BRI. “They emphasized the need for a lasting resource for stakeholders, and this new center will be a tangible and valuable resource for landowners that will be valued for years to come.”

Two New Faces on BRI’s Advisory Board
The Borderlands Research Institute is proud to welcome two outstanding new board members to its advisory board.
Sarah Nunley Biedenharn is a fourth-generation landowner, rancher, and hunter. Sarah, along with her sister and cousin, form the fourth generation of leadership for the Nunley Brothers, which operates ranches in South Texas, the Hill Country, the Panhandle and the Trans-Pecos. She and her sister are also co-owners of Nunley Sisters, a livestock management business.

Sarah received her Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and accounting from Texas Christian University, and is Associate Director of Sales with Sonder, a hospitality company. Sarah serves on various conservation committees across Texas, is a member of the board for Texas Agricultural Land Trust, and currently serves as President of the Texas Wildlife Association. Sarah and her husband Tucker live in San Antonio. 
James C. “Rad” Weaver is CEO and Chairman of CW Interests, an investment management firm in San Antonio. He currently serves on multiple corporate boards, including Cox Enterprises, KB Home, and Milestone Brands. In 2017, Rad was appointed to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

Rad and his wife, Ashley, own the Petan Ranch in Marfa and the Amanecer Ranch in Yancey. They are both graduates of the University of Texas, passionate about supporting children’s education programs, and have two children who equally love the outdoors.
Big Bend Artists for Conservation
Inspiring Conservation Through Art
There is a unique nexus between the art world and the world of conservation. That’s why the Borderlands Research Institute is proud to present the “Big Bend Artists for Conservation” initiative to highlight the link between artists and conservation in the Big Bend region of Texas. By sharing their stories and their magnificent creations, we hope to inspire those who are working to conserve the borderlands region of Texas.

This month we’re shining the spotlight on William Carrington and Caroline Korbell Carrington, who share a passion for West Texas, art, and each other.

Above: “¡No Mire Atrás!” Bronze on Texas Mesquite, 30” x 10," by William Carrington. Top Right: “Marfa Landscape,” 22” x 30,” oil on paper, 2019, by Caroline Korbell Carrington.
Borderlands Buzz:
William Carrington & Caroline Korbell Carrington
William and Caroline in their studio. Photo by Wendy Bowman Butler.
William Carrington and Caroline Korbell Carrington have a uniquely creative partnership. The two artists have been married for almost two decades, and they are inspired by the wide open landscapes and abundant wildlife in West Texas. The Borderlands Research Institute is shining a spotlight on their work as a featured artist in BRI’s “Big Bend Artists for Conservation” initiative. Listen in on our latest podcast to hear more.

Publication Spotlight
Publishing the results of research projects in peer-reviewed publications is the goal of most research scientists. We’re proud to showcase these papers as they are published.
Pronghorn and Cattle
Former graduate student Jacob Locke and others at BRI and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently published an article in Rangeland Ecology and Management about livestock grazing and pronghorn habitat.
The citation for the article is: 

Locke, C. J., J. T. French, C. E. Gonzalez, L. A. Harveson, B. J. Warnock, and S. S. Gray. 2021. The Effects of Continuous and Rotational Livestock Grazing on Forb Quality and Quantity: Implications for Pronghorn Habitat Management. Rangeland Ecology & Management 77:75–81.
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Borderlands Research Institute | 432.837.8225 | [email protected]
P.O. Box C-21, SRSU, Alpine, Texas 79832