Photo by Kelley Wood

Estimating Economics of Agriculture, Hunting, and Tourism Industries in the Trans-Pecos

Kelley Wood, Louis A. Harveson, Patricia Moody Harveson, Stacey S. Dewald, and Billy Tarrant

With the rise in urbanization, it has become important to recognize the value of industries involving the outdoors. As part of the Respect Big Bend coalition, I aim to understand how hunting, agriculture, and tourism impact the landscape. To accomplish this, will compile data for making estimates of these industries across nine counties of the Trans-Pecos and Val Verde County.

To understand the value of wildlife on the landscape, I will look at existing data from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for three major wildlife species, including pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana). I will also examine the impact of agriculture on the Trans-Pecos landscape by examining data from the United States Department of Agriculture, using agriculture income statistics that are broken down based on livestock species and crop type. Additionally, I will examine tourism data from local economic counsels to understand the impact tourism has on the landscape.

Results from compiling this data will allow the creation of a tangible product consisting of maps and data to be used by the Respect Big Bend coalition. Such maps can be used to demonstrate the value of these industries to landowners and the public not only in the Trans-Pecos, but also to others across the state that may be interested in the economic potential of West Texas.

Funding source: Respect Big Bend Coalition.