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A pause for energy developers threatening Texas Big Bend Region

Three years ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture counted 80,000 head of cattle grazing the sea of golden grass across Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis counties in dry, open and captivating West Texas. That’s more than four times the number of people living in a region as big as Maryland…

It’s hard country, too. Household incomes are low. Droughts are an episodic hazard. Ranching is a tough business. The tourist trade is a six-month deal. The three counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, lost residents over the last decade. Well over a third of the people living in Jeff Davis are over 65.

Read the second installment of the five-part “Water, Texas” series from Keith Schneider with Circle of Blue here.