Cook’s Branch Conservancy is located off FM 149 near Montgomery. The project was created in 1990 by Houston-area businessperson and philanthropist George Mitchell and his wife, Cynthia, and it is now operated as a program in their foundation.
The conservancy won the Leopold Conservation Award—Texas' highest conservation honor—in 2012, according to the June 28 resolution. According to its website, Cook’s Branch also serves as a field laboratory for carbon flux, drought, ecosystem transition, biodiversity and the effects of fire.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley read out the resolution text at the meeting, which highlighted “rapid population growth and the call for new roadways” as a potential concern for the land where conservancy operates.
“Now, therefore be it resolved by the Commissioners Court of Montgomery County, Texas, that Montgomery County, Texas remains committed to not constructing roadways in and through the Cook’s Branch Conservancy to preserve the natural habitat as intended by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation,” Riley read.
According to the 2021 Montgomery County Major Thoroughfare Plan, which was approved in August 2021, no thoroughfares are planned to run through the conservancy area. There are no Texas Department of Transportation projects shown on the agency’s project tracker within the area.