PAVING PARADISE?

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is opposed to any roadways that degrade or negatively impact current and projected conservation lands. The current proposed route of Highway 36A through Waller County would cut directly through some of Texas' most valuable prairie habitat.

WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH FOR ALL TEXANS

Our goal is to create a major park system in western Harris and eastern Waller counties.  The Katy Prairie Preserve contains nearly 20,000 acres - an area that is bigger than 40 Hermann Parks.  These lands are critical because they provide vital wildlife habitat, important farm and ranch lands, plus public access for fishing, hunting, and birdwatching -- or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the preserve system.

ROADS CAN MOVE. PRAIRIES CANNOT.

Just as I-45 and US 59 work around the Sam Houston National Forest - rather than plow through it - we would expect that any highway proposed in the vicinity of the Katy Prairie would go out of its way to work around the prairie - rather than barge through it. The Katy Prairie needs to remain a place that people, as well as wildlife, can enjoy now and in the future – no matter how many millions eventually call the Houston metropolitan area home.  In transportation, as in other facets of planning, the Katy Prairie deserves to be treated with the utmost care.

As a matter of first principles, transportation planning is multi-dimensional and respectful of the environment.  It starts by identifying key features and resources that can’t be replaced and shouldn’t be degraded – and then carefully fits roads around those elements, giving them a wide berth so that secondary impacts are also averted.  Road placements are inherently flexible – especially at a regional or intrastate scale where “lines” of desire are broad and elastic, and can readily be modified to steer clear of important natural resources and/or cultural features.  Prudent transportation planning avoids, rather than seeks, conflicts between roads and their surroundings. Routes can always be adjusted but natural resources cannot be so easily moved or replaced.  

As Juvenal observed: “Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.”

Photography provided by Michael Morton

MAPS

Original and current proposed route of Highway 36-A.

Above, Left: Hwy 36-A Coalition's route through the region as originally proposed. Above, Right: Hwy 36-A Coalition's current proposed route through the region. Source: Hwy 36-A Coalition. NOTE: Maps modified solely to reflect Katy Prairie Preserve System.

Above, Left: Hwy 36-A Coalition's route through the region as originally proposed.
Above, Right: Hwy 36-A Coalition's current proposed route through the region.

Source: Hwy 36-A Coalition.

NOTE: Maps modified solely to reflect Katy Prairie Preserve System.


Above: Historic boundaries and protected areas on the Katy Prairie

Above: Historic boundaries and protected areas on the Katy Prairie