In 1995, Texas voters approved Proposition 11, which allowed for the agricultural appraisal for land used to manage wildlife. This allowed Texas landowners the option of converting their current agricultural exemption to a wildlife exemption if certain conditions were met.
Land must be qualified for Agricultural use at the time the owner changes use to wildlife management use. This qualification is purely technical and is not related to the land's actual use to manage wildlife. In other words, the land must have been qualified and appraised as agricultural land during the year before the year the owner changes to the wildlife management use.
Land must be used to generate a sustaining breeding, migrating, or wintering population of indigenous wild animals.
Land may qualify for wildlife management use if;
- It is instrumental in supporting a sustaining breeding, migrating or wintering population. A group of animals need not permanently live on the land, provided they regularly migrate across the land or seasonally live there.
- A migrating population of indigenous wild animals is a group of animals moving between seasonal ranges.
- A wintering population of indigenous wild animals is a group of animals living on its winter range.
Meeting three of the possible seven management activities should be described in detail in the properties Wildlife Management Plan. This will also show evidence of the land's primary Use and Degree of Intensity that are described below.
- Habitat Control (Habitat Management). A wild animal's habitat is its surroundings as a whole, including plants, ground cover, shelter and other animals on the land. Habitat control or habitat management means actively using the land to create or promote an environment that is beneficial to wildlife on the land.
- Erosion Control. Any active practice that attempts to reduce or keep soil erosion to a minimum for the benefit of wildlife is erosion control.
- Predator Control (Predator Management). This term means practices intended to manage the population of predators to benefit the owner's target wildlife population. Predator control is usually not necessary unless the number of predators is harmful to the desired wildlife population.
- Providing Supplemental Supplies of Water. Natural water exists in all wildlife environments. Supplemental water is provided when the owner actively provides water in addition to the natural sources.
- Providing Supplemental Supplies of Food. Most wildlife environments have some natural food. An owner supplies supplemental food by providing food or nutrition in addition to the level naturally produced on the land.
- Providing Shelter. This term means actively creating or maintaining vegetation or artifical structures that provide shelter from the weather, nesting and breeding sites or "escape cover" from enemies.
- Making Census Counts to Determine Population. Census counts are periodic surveys and inventories to determine the number, composition or other relevant information about a wildlife population to measure if the current wildlife management practices are serving the targeted species.
Download Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management Use | PDF
Wildlife Management Planning Guidelines and Forms
The Comprehensive Wildlife Management Planning Guidelines for each ecoregion are provided below and are intended to assist landowners in preparing a wildlife management plan for ad valorem tax purposes.