What do natural resources professionals have in common with rocket scientists? More than you might think. Spacecraft-based cameras that orbit the globe have been providing images that guide natural resource management for decades.
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Scientists employ various methods, models and data to track weather patterns, including drought – a condition closely monitored by Texans, especially those involved in agriculture and natural resources.
Depicting their latest discovery, the Texas Land Trends team developed a new map series featuring the original Texas cattle trails to show how the historical cattle drive routes and supply posts have evolved into major highways and urban centers today.
Creating your individualized, conservation-minded map of Texas just became the bee's knees.
Working lands, whether private or publicly owned, provide substantial economic, ecological, and recreational resources across the U.S. Here in Texas, we often boast of being a “private land state”, meaning the majority of the land (~95%) is held in private ownership. Many may wonder how this came to be and if other states fall under similar ownership patterns. For this new Featured Map, we briefly explore the history of land settlement across the nation and demonstrate the unique ownership landscape that exists today.
Under the Texas Land Trends project, informative reports have been developed over the years to empower public and private decision-makers with the information needed to plan for the conservation of vital working lands. Public usability and access to this report data has been a cornerstone of this long-standing effort, promoting the creation of the Data Explorer tool, which was first launched in 2015.
Water is a cornerstone in supporting Texas’ rich array of landscapes, burgeoning populations and prosperous economy. Managing and regulating this valuable resource to ensure long-term, sustainable use is a top priority for state and local planners—however, it quickly becomes a delicate balance with consideration to ecological processes, natural disasters and general land/water ownership rights.
Explore the historic southeast range of Texas longleaf with us as we dive into their richly diverse conservation value.
The goal of this report was to examine the conservation easements executed under the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program, evaluating ecological and economic values secured through the protection of these properties as well as the fiscal efficiency of state funds to protect working lands with high agricultural value at a relatively low cost for state residents.
It’s been one year since TENT was launched and more than 450 30-minute sessions have been conducted by industry leaders, community stakeholders and military planners working collaboratively and proactively to avoid conflict.
In our latest featured map, we took satellite imagery collected throughout 2019 and stitched them together in an animation to illustrate the phenological changes of vegetation across Texas.
From 1997-2017, Texas lost about 2.2 million acres of working lands.
How we, as collective stakeholders in the state, balance our needs and the challenges from land-use changes will influence future outcomes for Texas’ open spaces. Where do we start?
Developed in partnership with Texas Agricultural Land Trust and the Borderlands Research Institute with funding by the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, the West Texas Landowner Report serves to compile information that can serve to better inform key partners and organizations working to conserve and shape the future of West Texas.
COLLEGE STATION, TX — The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI), in collaboration with the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC) within the Office of the Governor, Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), and with input from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), launched the Texas Early Notification Tool (TENT).
We are proud to present the long-awaited Texas Land Trends: Status Update and Trends of Texas Working Lands 1997 - 2017 published in December 2019. Texas Land Trends reports have informed private and public landowners and decision-makers for over two decades. With this report, we are able to examine new patterns and identify trends following the release of the Census of Agriculture datasets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS). These datasets provide key information for complex Texas natural resource challenges through the power of a “good map.” The Texas Land Trends: Status Update and Trends report is the fifth iteration and specifically describes the status and recent changes in land values, ownership size and land use of privately-owned Texas working lands.
Through our Texas Land Trends project, we have been tracking and telling the story of rural land use changes and trends across the state for the past few decades. Using remotely sensed data, we can better illustrate these changes; especially those related to urban and energy industry growth.
Using ecological expertise and remote sensing technology, we are working to assess the severity of disturbance to coastal forests caused by Hurricane Irma and track the recovery of natural vegetation providing habitat for endangered species in the Keys.
Learn about the recent trip NRI’s “Herp” team embarked on in a state-wide GIS-based analysis to create “heat” maps, using existing TxDOT roadway segments, where transportation will likely impact reptile and amphibian species on the SGCN list.
Our latest Texas Land Trends report examines conservation easements, an important tool that can complement both landowner and public needs by supporting rural economies, creating recreational opportunities. and providing intrinsic benefits.
Sink, Swim, or Take the Higher Ground: Challenges Facing Rare Species Management in the Florida Keys
While the cause of sea-level rise is subject to intense debate, as wildlife professionals, we continue to analyze and best predict the extent to which rising sea levels will affect habitat of focal species. For species in the Keys, rising water will have significant impacts including shifts in vegetation and habitat dynamics.
Brown-headed cowbirds are obligate brood parasites, meaning they lay their eggs in the nests of other songbirds instead of building their own. Learn about trapping efforts to control this species in our Map of the Month and accompanying article.
Freshwater mussels play an important role in the health of freshwater ecosystems by providing food and habitat for other aquatic species, stabilizing stream bottoms, and filtering the water in our lakes and rivers. The Rio Grande basin is home to three mussel species suffering from habitat loss and growing human populations in this area may be threatening the water systems necessary for their survival.