The Texas Legislature appropriates funding to the Comptroller’s office to contract with Texas public universities to research species of interest, including candidate, threatened and endangered species. The purpose of this research is to collect accurate scientific data to inform Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions and voluntary conservation efforts.
Texas Government Code §403.454 requires that the Comptroller’s office and its contractors protect private landowner information. Information regarding the specific location of species collected from private property is not subject to Chapter 552.
Government Code Section §490E.001 established an Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species. The Comptroller’s office may serve as presiding officer and provide administrative assistance to the task force, which consists of the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. The task force may convene when needed to provide technical assistance to local governments and communities regarding ESA compliance.
Government Code Section §490E.001 allows for the Comptroller’s office to develop, implement and manage federal conservation plans. The Comptroller’s office may hold the necessary federal permits or create non-profits to manage conservation plans.