programs Natural Resources

Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species


The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a powerful and far-reaching law that affects everything from windfarms to our groundwater supply.

To minimize its impact to the Texas economy, the Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species helps local governments and communities find cost-effective solutions for complying with the complex law and ensuring the best science is used in deciding to list or delist species. The Comptroller leads the task force.

The task force’s mission includes:

  • assessing the economic impact of endangered species management;
  • assisting landowners and other stakeholders in identifying and developing cost-effective strategies for complying with the ESA; and
  • facilitating state and local government efforts to implement the ESA effectively.

Task Force Members

Glenn Hegar, Comptroller and presiding officer of task force
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Jason Fearneyhough, Deputy Commissioner
Texas Department of Agriculture

Carter Smith, Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Liza Parker, Policy Analyst and Legislative Liaison
Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board

Carlos Swonke, Environmental Affairs Director
Texas Department of Transportation

These member agencies share information on ESA issues; work with institutions of higher education, agriculture and conservation groups; assess the economic impact of proposed listings; develop strategies for protecting endangered species while encouraging economic growth; and provide recommendations and reports on endangered species concerns across the state.

Task Force Advisory Committees

The task force may be assisted in its work by formal advisory committees. These groups help find solutions to specific issues and report back to the task force with recommendations. These meetings are open to the public and are posted on the task force meetings page.