Texas state park advocate explains how Proposition 14 would protect natural resources

Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 6:57 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2023 at 6:37 AM CST
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EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - We are a few days out from Election Day, and one item Texans will see on the ballot is Proposition 14. If approved by voters, this proposition will help fund the future purchases of state parks.

There are currently 89 state parks across the state of Texas with 8 of them being right here in East Texas. Erika Boyd, the CEO of the Texas Travel Alliance and a member of The Texas Coalition for State Parks says Proposition 14 will create a fund to purchase land for future state parks.

“The centennial conservation fund importantly will be a long-term mechanism to create new state parks for the state of Texas. As you know, we are growing as a state in our population, and we have minimal resources available as Texans to be outside,” Boyd said.

If approved, the fund will be a one-billion-dollar trust fund from the budget surplus to be managed by the comptroller’s office.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas state parks see roughly 10 million visitors a year, yet less than 5% of Texas land is available for public enjoyment.

“Some of those parks are seeing such large visitation, they have to do a reservation system to manage the flow of people. So having more parks available to more Texans would definitely help with the overcrowding in our parks,” Boyd said.

Sandy Robinett visited Martin Creek Lake State Park today and says she thinks this proposition is a good idea.

“I would rather have another state park than another huge apartment complex or something like commercial like that because we have enough of that, I think. And there is just not enough areas that you can enjoy nature,” Robinett said.

Boyd says that these state parks all around help the areas they reside economically. She says she is unsure if they are looking at purchasing more land in the East Texas area but knows it’s always a possibility.

“As people are looking to sell property and would like to see the land preserved, a state park is a wonderful way to do that, and this fund would give Texas Parks and Wildlife and the State Park System an opportunity to preserve that land so more people can enjoy it,” Boyd said.

For more information on the other propositions that will be on the ballot, click here.