Monday, April 10, 2006

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to "bank" land to mediate loss of habitat from massive corridor plans

ECO-WATCH: Houston & Texas


Chronicle research; Associated Press
Houston Chronicle
Copyright 2006

A $6 billion toll road that would connect North Texas to Laredo could potentially affect 2,400 acres of farmland, 46 endangered species and 13 square miles of parkland, according to a federal review released last week. The 10-mile-wide road, which is one segment of the multibillion-dollar Trans Texas Corridor, would be finished by 2015.

BANKING HABITAT. Two state agencies brokered a deal last week aimed at restoring ecologically important habitats in the face of highway development. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will identify land parcels and obtain the necessary permits for the property. Then, when the state Department or Transportation builds a highway that results in the loss of habitat, the land "banked" by the parks department can be used to offset the impacts.

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