Photography courtesy of Ted Barker

After Oncor clear-cut a 3-acre swath of the Old Fish Hatchery Nature Area earlier this month, an advisory committee was formed to ensure it never happens again without the city’s knowledge.

District 9 Councilwoman Paula Blackmon created the Old Fish Hatchery at White Rock Lake Advisory Committee to rebuild trust after the recent clearing of the right of way near an Oncor power line.

In early October, the utility company wiped out trees, vegetation and wildlife without notifying the City of Dallas. The Dallas Park and Recreation Department subsequently requested the temporary suspension of tree trimming and brush clearing activities in the nature area, located on the south end of White Rock Lake.

“We are fortunate to have a little bit of nature in the heart of an urban area, and it breaks my heart to see it in this state,” Blackmon said. “I understand the need for reliable electric service, but I am confident that we can all work together to create a space for birdwatchers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts in an area that is in the Oncor-owned right of way.”

The goal of the committee is to care for the Old Fish Hatchery moving forward, mitigate the growth of invasive species in the right of way and act as a liaison between Oncor, the City of Dallas and other stakeholders.

Members of the advisory committee are District 9 Park Board member Maria Hasbany, Brent Brown, Ben Sandifer, David Hurt, Kathryn Bazan, Kelly Cotton, Charles Elk, Ted Ellis, Garrett Boone, Sandy Greyson, Collin Koonce, Jill Kotvis and Ted Barker.

The first meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday via Zoom. Neighbors are welcome to make comments during the call or submit written comments to

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