Managing Habitat for Pollinators, Wildlife Tax Valuation

A landowner can maintain a wildlife tax valuation on their property by managing habitat for pollinators. Texas is home to a variety of pollinating species, and although most of these creatures are small they really are a big deal! Recognize the importance of birds, bees, butterflies and bats to the ecosystem and economy during National Pollinator Week, June 20-26.

Roughly one-third of all the food we eat is because of pollination that happened in a farmer’s field. Annually, bee-pollinated crops are estimated to add more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. In North America, most plant pollination is carried out by bees and the act of pollination itself is a service worth an estimated $3 billion annually.

Managing Pollinator Habitat for Wildlife Tax Valuation

Aiming to support native pollinators, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Nongame and Rare Species Program have developed new guidelines for landowners to develop wildlife management plans for their properties, which could qualify them for a wildlife tax valuation. A property that currently has an agricultural tax valuation as a result of farming, ranching, haying or other ag activities can qualify for the same tax valuation based on Wildlife Management Use if they follow the new guidelines to protect and support native pollinators.

A wildlife tax valuation is great deal for small acreage landowners across Texas because often the economics of a maintaining a commercial ag operation on acreage less than 50, 40, or 30 or fewer acres does not always make financial sense. The location of your property in the state is also factors into the equation since crop production or livestock production values fluctuates depending upon soils and annual rainfall.

Since more than 95 percent of Texas lands are privately owned, wildlife officials realize that effective native insect pollinator conservation requires the involvement of private landowners. Landowners like you play a significant role in conserving and maintaining pollinator populations by applying management practices that benefit these species, which support the healthy growth of several agricultural crops for free.

Managing habitat for pollinators is a good deal. The ability for Texas landowners to maintain a beneficial tax rate under a wildlife tax valuation is a good deal, too. Here’s to the birds and the bees, the butterflies and bats in the trees!