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Background of the Texas Legacy Project

The Texas Legacy Project is a video-based oral history of conservation leaders in the state. Illustrated excerpts of the interviews can be streamed on-line through our Vimeo archive. Meanwhile, the full records of the interviews, presented as rich media that matches video with a table of contents and transcript, can be viewed at the Briscoe Center for American History.

Selected excerpts are also included in the book, “The Texas Legacy Project: Stories of Courage and Conservation”, edited by David Todd and David Weisman, and published by Texas A&M University Press in 2010. David Todd, the major interviewer for these stories, described the origins and goals of the Texas Legacy Project in 2002 and 2018 video excerpts. David Weisman, who has also served as the Legacy Project’s video director and editor, described his insights into the Project both in 2002 and 2018. Gary Spalding, the lighting and audio technician for the Project over two decades, contributed his views of the Project in 2002 and 2018.

The Texas Legacy Project has three companion programs. One is the Texas Landscape Project, an atlas about the history of environmental events and conservation efforts in the state produced by David Todd and Jonathan Ogren, and published through Texas A&M University Press in June 2016.

The second sister program is the Texas Fauna Project, an effort currently underway to look at the environmental history of the state through the lens of our relationship with a variety of animals found here, including livestock, pets, feral creatures, exotics, and endangered species. More about the Fauna Project, including a literature review and an archive of streaming audios and transcripts can be seen here.

The Texas Fauna Project is illustrated by paintings and drawings selected from the Texas Notebook Project archive of images of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and other wildlife found in Texas.

All four projects are sponsored by the non-profit, tax-exempt organization, the Conservation History Association of Texas, which was founded in 1998, and recognized by the IRS the following year, to chronicle the effort to understand and protect Texas’ natural resources and public health.

The Association is managed by a board of trustees that includes Janice Bezanson, Susan Peterson (chair), Irene Pickhardt, and Ted Siff (Treasurer and Secretary). Additional help is provided by a Board of Advisors for the Texas Legacy Project, including Stephen Klineberg, Lydia Saldana, Louis Marchiafava, Marty Melosi, and Char Miller. The Texas Landscape Project is guided by its own Board of Advisors, including David Bezanson and Robin Doughty.

The Association has been very fortunate to have had several key partners, including the Briscoe Center for American History (archiving), Texas A&M University Press (publication), Texas Parks and Wildlife (video footage), and the University of Texas School of Information (online hosting and outreach).

Special individual thanks are due to Will Hornaday (graphics) and Sandra Skrei (educational outreach). We are very grateful to Robin Johnson and Judy Holloway for their transcription help, and to David Zepeda, Jessica Myerson, Justin Kovar, Zach Vowell for their contribution to rich media development and archiving at the Briscoe Center. We are especially obliged to Richard Roberts (video footage), Chase Fountain (photographs), and Lydia Saldana (communications) at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

As the project increasingly lives on-line, we would last like to extend deep thanks to the web help we have been fortunate to have from Jason Lively (Lively Productions) and Scott Hoenes, Sam Burns and Madeline Moya at Tiny Elephant Creative Studio (website design), and Quinn Stewart (rich media) at the iSchool, University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about the sponsoring group, the Conservation History Association of Texas, please review the Association’s pages on Charity Navigator and Guidestar.