TWA Private Lands Summit: Today’s Wild West of Ecosystem Services

TWA Private Lands Summit
Today’s Wild West of Ecosystem Services

Texas Wildlife Association is pleased to again be hosting its annual Private Lands Summit on July 14 at the fabulous J.W. Marriott in San Antonio, Texas. The theme of this year’s event will focus on rapidly evolving pressures and associated markets that are tied to an environmental and social movement like never before. According to TWA past president and perennial PLS steering committee member Greg Simons, “Until now, ecosystem services has largely been nothing much more than a buzz phrase conveniently used in the natural resource world. However, with the immense global groundswell of the environmental, social, and governance movement, these ESG forces are shaping industries and businesses to reconstruct operating practices so that these standards are perceived as being right by the world, ultimately creating greater clarity in the public benefits of ecosystem services.”

Some of the brightest minds that work within the spaces that are relevant to this year’s PLS theme are slated to share their intellect on various prongs of ecosystem services that relate to land-use practices. Impactors, stakeholders, private landowners, venture capitalists, regulatory specialists, and scientists, will explore these emerging opportunities, while also pointing out some of the landmines that serve as impediments in accommodating these imminent pressures. Historically, during times of chaos and uncertainty, opportunistic and strategic business minds are often able to capitalize on such times of flux, but unscrupulous actors tend to thrive during these times as well. Part of the purpose of this year’s theme is to allow stakeholders a better understanding of how to navigate through these processes so that they can make informed decisions that suit them well.

In a state like Texas, that’s 96% privately owned, some experts feel that private landowners and enterprising businesses are in a good position to consider how to harness the opportunities that are spinning off from these changing times. Terry Anderson, principal and co-founder of Conservation Equity Partners, LLC, feels that ecosystem service markets are changing so fast that many industry players are learning on the fly. Anderson claims, “There’s a new narrative being defined on how the conservation world and the financial-markets worlds are being forced to learn how to play together, which is much different than in the past.” He also added, “With new terms such as ‘natural capital’ and ‘social license to operate,’ these pioneer stages of this movement represent exciting times.”

The PLS is held in conjunction with TWA’s annual convention, which allows attendees to leverage the opportunity to stay over at the J.W. Marriott an extra day or two and enjoy this wonderful resort and the entrée of activities that are tied to this convention. For additional information to attend or serve as a sponsor of this event, contact TWA’s Conservation Education Specialist at (720) 333-6224 or email at

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