Daddy, don’t sell the farm!Daddy, don’t sell the farm!https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=27972014-10-14T12:55:00Z2014-10-14T00:00:00Z

TEXAS - The vast majority of Texas land — 83 percent — is part of a farm, ranch or forest. Texas, however, is losing rural land more than any other state because of the exploding growth of metropolitan areas, according to the latest Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources survey.

Texas lost about 1 million acres of open space lands between 1997 and 2012, and a majority of the land loss happened in the growing urban areas around Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston.

Scientists say the trend has serious implications for Texas' water supply because such acreage, known as "working lands" or "open space" lands, helps the state retain water resources by letting rain infiltrate the ground and circulate into aquifers.

At the same time, the market value of land is increasing in almost every Texas county, but it is increasing the most in the booming metropolitan areas. Travis County, for example, lost almost a quarter of its open space while land gained an average of $8,297 per acre in value between 1997 and 2012.

In Texas, where more than 95 percent of land is privately owned, there are unique challenges for the conservation of open space lands. As land gets more expensive, those who own open spaces will have more of an incentive to sell their acres to developers.

Texas Tribune
https://www.texastribune.org/2014/10/14/open-space-texas/Read more at {Source}

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