David Yeates: The Massive Urban-Rural Imbalance in Texas
Anyone who has heard me speak publicly on natural resource conservation in Texas knows that I invariably bring the discussion around to the enormous urban/rural imbalance that we find ourselves in here in our great state. Texas is a private property state, given our unique history as an independent republic before joining the United States. Therefore, the vast majority of our open spaces are held in private ownership. As our state’s economy develops, demographics shift, and agricultural practices become more efficient, our population becomes more and more centralized in urban areas.
Today, the state’s population is approximately 85% urban. Meanwhile, the working agricultural lands of Texas (farms and ranches) count for over 80% of our state’s land mass. Alarmingly, those lands are owned by less than 1% of our population… Read more from TWA