Vote “yes” on Proposition 14

Proposition 14 will protect our state’s most beautiful places and waterways with a $1 billion investment in the Texas state park system.

Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2022 | Used by permission

This year, Texas is celebrating the 100th anniversary of our state park system — and there’s a lot to celebrate.

From Big Bend Ranch to Brazos Bend, Texas’ state parks system protects some of the state’s most beautiful places and waterways, and provides a home for iconic creatures like ocelots, horned lizards and sea turtles. Every year, millions of Texans visit our state parks to go camping, hiking, boating, climbing, fishing and hunting.

But as Texas grows rapidly, our parks are struggling to meet public demand for opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. Meanwhile, urban development continues to transform the iconic rural character that so many of us love about Texas.

We need to protect our wildlife and wild places. Texas needs more state parks. Texas needs Prop 14.

What is Proposition 14?

To celebrate the centennial of the state parks system and start planning for the next hundred years, the Texas Legislature voted this spring to establish the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund.

The $1 billion fund would be the largest investment in nature in Texas history. But in order to make this historic investment a reality, Texans need to vote “yes” on Proposition 14 this November 7th.

The fund will launch a new “golden age” for the Texas state parks, enabling the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to create dozens of new state parks in the coming years, including within driving distance of our biggest cities.

Prop 14 provides Texans with an opportunity to safeguard the state’s natural landscapes. By casting their votes in support of Prop 14, Texans can ensure that our cherished state parks remain accessible for future generations to enjoy.

Why do we need more investment in our state parks?

Texas currently ranks 35th in the country in state park acreage for capita. Our state is full of beautiful nature — but without a robust park system, it’s hard for Texans to enjoy it.

Our current state parks simply can’t keep up with demand. Visitors often have to book their visits months in advance, and campsites are often fully booked. A 2001 report estimated that Texas needed 1.4 million new park acres by 2030 to keep up with demand and our rapidly increasing population, but Texas Parks and Wildlife has only had the resources to add 200,000 acres in the last 20 years.

Prop 14 would protect more nature in Texas, and allow future generations of Texans to enjoy our state’s most beautiful places.

Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2022 | Used by permission

What threatens our state parks?

The rapid pace of development in Texas is a dire threat to our natural areas. We must protect Texas’ last remaining wild spaces today so that they won’t be lost forever.

Texas is home to 7 of the top 15 most rapidly growing cities in the country. Every year, Texas loses nearly one quarter of a million acres of land to development — that’s about 20 football fields’ worth of open space every hour.

The more we can invest in our parks, the more land we can protect from destruction.

Why are our state parks so important?

For one thing, our state parks get Texas families outside. They provide an affordable vacation for millions of Texas families. Away from the sucking power of screens, our kids can experience the wild, swim in rivers, explore forests, build fires, see the stars at night and soak in all the glories of the great outdoors.

Our state parks also protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat. By keeping wild areas and shores of waterways natural, our state parks help prevent pollution from contaminating waterways and provide habitat for endangered species. Dozens of endangered and threatened Texas species rely on state parkland to mate, feed, and roam.

Remember to vote “yes” on Proposition 14 on November 7th to preserve the state’s natural landscapes, biodiversity, and natural resources for generations to come.

Political ad paid for by Environment Texas.

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Luke Metzger

Executive Director, Environment Texas

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at three Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation, renewable energy and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.

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