As rice farmers, ranchers, and ag-enthusiasts, we take great pride in Texas’ vast open spaces, as well as the heritage that comes with working these lands. You may have noticed recently that developments such as subdivisions, shopping malls, outlet malls and the like have begun to reduce what used to feel like miles of open plains, and healthy forests. There’s definitive value in those vanishing, often overlooked, but endlessly important ‘undeveloped’ pieces of Earth. The No Land, No Water campaign is pushing for awareness and action.
Land conservation seems, at first glance, to be a very simple idea. Keeping the country in our country, the rivers wild, the trees tall, and the grass waving in the breeze is a fundamental must in the eyes of anyone who’s ever stopped to experience any of these features. What about the fields where your cattle graze? The neatly organized rows of crops that’ll yield just as long as you get enough rain? Even after they’ve accomplished these tasks, these plots of land continue to serve yet another purpose.
Wildlife is often sustained in the fields where your livestock are kept, from the field mice, to the iconic road runners, wildlife gets many of their resources from land left quiet. That is, land that hasn’t been stripped of grass, leveled, and polluted with concrete and other building materials. Ecosystems are a careful balancing act of nature, and while the critters you might find on your property may seem like small potatoes, they play a role in just how Texas works.
Working land also can naturally cleanse and capture water into our source which can then be used for things like washing dishes, showers, and even drinking. This natural filtering system helps to reduce the cost for cleaning water down the line.
Finally, drought – I know, it’s a word no one wants to here – but in times of drought, on that glorious day the rain finally falls, conserved land whose springs have been sustained and aquifers untouched are critical to urban water supplies because they make the most efficient use of what raid does fall.
In short, and to punctuate this article, land is a part of many of our livelihoods. Farmers and ranchers tend to know that just off the cuff, but what many people do not understand that even without having a direct link to the commerce that comes with crops and livestock, they need these plots of land too. Without the land, water often goes to waste and you can be sure everyone notices when they reach for the sink to wash those dishes and nothing comes out of the faucet. Keep doing what you’re doing – be proud of the land you have, and quick to educate those who seek to simplify what you do and what value it has in this day and age. No Land, No Water.
Learn more about the No Land, No Water campaign here: http://www.nolandnowater.org/