Authors: Larry A. Redmon, Associate Department Head Soil and Crop Sciences, College Station, TX and James C. Cathey, Associate Director Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, College Station, TX

Texas is known for its natural resources ranging from grasslands in the north, brushlands in the south, piney woods in the east and the Chihuahuan desert in the west. These open space lands provide aesthetic and economic benefits through ecosystem services like recreation, water supply, carbon sequestration, and nutrient cycling. In order to preserve open space lands and their value to all Texans, qualifying properties may be taxed at a lower rate than other properties, provided rural lands qualify for one of two types of special appraisal methods.