Representative Mike Villareal of San Antonio has introduced two new bills in the state legislature which aim to increase the production of native seeds.
HB 1135 would create a Native Seed Committee tasked with developing a ten-year plan to ratchet-up production of native seeds and their use in restoration projects. The committee would consist of the heads of state agencies, such as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Department of Transportation, along with others including representatives of conservation organizations such as the Native Plant Society of Texas.
HB 1116 would create a Texas Native Seed Competitive Grant Program to help a qualifying entity, like a public university, with restoration projects at places like roadside construction projects that utilize native plants.
“I would describe this agenda as one trying to protect our natural heritage,” Villarreal has been quoted as saying.
In 2010, a similar effort was initiated called Texas Native Seeds, organized by private landowners, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute South Texas Natives Project, and the Texas Department of Transportation. It aims to make native seeds available for restoration in South Texas.