GardenNews.biz - Oct 07,2011 - Support for Water Stewardship Amendment, Prop 8 Grows
Now, more than ever, Texas is in need of tools to protect its valuable water supply.
A broad, diverse group of statewide and local organizations have pledged their support for Proposition 8 in this November’s state constitutional election, Clean, Reliable Water for Texas PAC announced today.
Proposition 8, known as the Water Stewardship Amendment, will create an incentive for landowners who manage their property in a way that conserves and protects water for future generations of Texans.
The Texas Wildlife Association is one of dozens of diverse groups that support Proposition 8 — which was also passed unanimously by the Texas Legislature with bipartisan support. Texas Wildlife Association President Glen Webb said the statewide organization supports Proposition 8 because it provides private landowners another tool as stewards of the state’s natural resources. “Proposition 8 will provide Texas property owners more options for managing their property and another tool in their stewardship efforts. The measure will also help Texas landowners keep their family land intact by providing for tax valuation that recognizes these important water stewardship efforts,” Webb said.
Currently, Texas property owners who use their land to promote agriculture or protect wildlife are eligible to have that property assessed as agricultural land, which tends to reduce their property taxes. Proposition 8 would extend a similar tax incentive if they choose to manage their land to conserve water and protect water quality.
And because the water incentives in Proposition 8 would only apply to property owners who already qualify for the agriculture or wildlife incentives, it would not reduce the State’s tax revenues or raise taxes.
Ken Kramer, Director of the Lonestar Chapter of the Sierra Club, said “Texas is in desperate need of tools to help protect water quality and preserve water sources for future generations. Proposition 8 does that by allowing the State to partner with private landowners to implement land management practices that will help protect our rivers, streams and aquifers.”
Other major supporters of Proposition 8 include the Texas Association of Realtors, National Wildlife Federation, the Texas League of Conservation Voters, the Hill Country Conservancy, the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Houston Wilderness, the Hill Country Alliance, Texas Impact, the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration, the Texas Land Conservancy, the Texas Land Trust Council Plateau Land & Wildlife Management, the Greater Houston Partnership, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Laura Huffman, Texas State Director of the Nature Conservancy, said the broad base of bipartisan support for Proposition 8 — which includes farmers, ranchers, landowners, industry and conservation groups — demonstrates that the measure is good for Texas. “The Texas Legislature voted unanimously to put Proposition 8 on the November ballot because they recognize the need to provide practical solutions to our complex water supply issues. Our State Water Plan says that more than a quarter of our future water supply must come from conservation. Given that more than 90 percent of Texas is