Guadalupe River Basin Strategic Conservation Plan

Siglo Group was commissioned by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment to build upon their legacy of conservation work by identifying new opportunities to protect and conserve water resources throughout Texas. This work was completed with support from Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (TPWD).

This study assessed over 3 million acres of land in the Guadalupe Basin. The project builds on successful stakeholder driven conservation planning and conservation action processes completed in watersheds throughout Texas, the great plains, and the western United States. An initial stakeholder driven basin-wide conservation planning process using a GIS procedural model was followed by the creation of a 5-year conservation action plan that included over thirty specific projects throughout the watershed. In addition, the stakeholder process integrated governmental interest with those of non-profits and land trusts—making for results that better reflect the many interest of conservation throughout the basin.

To direct conservation easement and fee simple acquisition in the coming decade, the 10% of the basin with highest conservation values was identified. The procedural model and stakeholder input included variables associated with water, ecological, and cultural resources with a strong focus on Guadalupe Bass habitat—a key conservation species in the basin. Other conservation resources included freshwater mussels, flood mitigation lands, lands adjacent to existing open space, ranchlands, areas threatened by development, and riparian corridors.

These results are being used to galvanize diverse partnerships with the aim of conserving more land in the study area. Stakeholder meetings have already taken place and have included TPWD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas State University, Southwest Research Institute, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, City of San Antonio, City of New Braunfels, Comal County Conservation Alliance, Upper Guadalupe River Authority, Edwards Aquifer Authority, Great Springs Project, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, and San Antonio Bay Partnership.