Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), in collaboration with the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TCTWS) and the James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute, released their new video 1-d-1 Wildlife Tax Valuation – Protecting Texas Today, for Texans Tomorrow earlier this spring to build awareness and recognition for the private landowners who carry the weight of conservation and land stewardship in Texas.
Our lone star state is made up of majority privately owned, working lands and open space outside of the Texas Triangle. An eye-opening statistic, the 25 Texas counties with the highest total population growth are comprised of 74 percent of Texas residents but only make up 10 percent of Texas land area. That means only a small percentage of our population is responsible for stewarding about 141 million acres of what makes Texas truly unique—our land.
The work of private landowners affects not only the health of the land but the habitat of wildlife, our natural resources, and the ever-evolving ecosystem services, like clean air and water, for everyone in Texas and our neighboring states.
As one of the most impactful legislative victories for private land ownership and wildlife conservation in Texas history, we call it “the best-kept secret in Texas.”
In its simplest form, the 1-d-1 wildlife tax valuation offers an incentive for landowners to keep at it, and over the last two years, the Dr. James G. Teer conservation leadership cohort developed a campaign advocating for awareness of the tax valuation program and its usefulness on properties of any size and purpose across the state. Widespread knowledge and implementation of the appraisal method will help protect rural lands from development and promote wildlife management on private lands by lessening the tax burden (without consideration of agricultural revenue) and allowing for more flexibility of how the land can be grazed and managed.
The video and campaign are a welcome addition to our work promoting the valuation program through our Private Land Stewardship academy Wildlife Management as Agriculture Use for Property Tax Valuation in Texas. The interactive course covers the requirements for wildlife appraisal, the different approved practices under the tax valuation, and how to complete the application process.
Landowners are the backbone of conservation in Texas, and the 1-d-1 wildlife tax valuation program is one of the best incentives created to reward their efforts. As these resources are designed with landowners in mind, we hope to continue to help them better understand and navigate this process—today, tomorrow and for future generations.