Public Lands

Public Lands

Public lands, including parks, trails, beaches and open spaces, represent spaces for all of us to enjoy. Because of this, we each have a stake in how our public lands are managed and how much public land is available for the enjoyment of all Texans.

Texans strongly support public land conservation. A public survey performed by Texas Tech University in 2001 found that nearly 80 percent of Texans supported purchasing additional public lands for conservation. Another public survey conducted in 2009 showed similar results, with 83 percent of respondent agreeing that conservation of natural areas was a “core Lone Star value.”

Despite this support, Texas consistently falls short of national goals in regard to available parkland, and we are especially lacking in urban-accessible public lands. The National Recreation and Park Association recommends about 25 acres of local public parkland per 1,000 people as a quality-of-life measure. Even though we have significant private land conservation in the Hill Country, we average only about 12.4 acres per 1,000 people. Especially in the more urban areas of the Hill Country, our citizens are missing out on the numerous health and economic benefits of adequate access to public land. You can find out more about the economics of land conservation by visiting HCA’s Economics of Sound Planning page here.

Recent Public Lands News

Editor’s Note: Preserved Paradise

I’ve lived in the Hill Country for five years now, yet I’m still finding new reasons to admire its grandeur on a regular basis. I love that my kids get to grow up in such a beautiful, wild landscape, and I hope their kids will have the same opportunity. As Central...

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Unique and creative approaches for conservation

Editorial by Commissioner Lon Shell As our population surges, will the Hill Country retain its character? I believe it can, however it is a challenge that will require unique and creative approaches to balance that growth with preservation of the very things that...

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