Many of our chapter members, and many other property owners in Milam County, have some or all of their property categorized as Wildlife Management for tax valuation purposes. This tax valuation is similar to that for a typical “Ag” valuation as many would know it. In fact it can only be used for properties that already have an Agricultural tax valuation where you would then convert part or all to Wildlife Management valuation.
“Ag” valuations are done for typical farming and ranching operations, such as cattle, goats, corn, cotton and many more. A Wildlife Management valuation is done “to propagate a sustained breeding, migrating or wintering population of indigenous wild animals for human use, including food, medicine or recreation.” This involves not only the protection and encouragement of desirable species of wildlife (including deer and other mammals, birds, amphibians, native plants and prairies, etc.) and the removal of undesirable species such as feral hogs, non native introduced or invasive grasses and plants, etc.
This Wildlife Management valuation process was initiated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife department and legalized by the Texas Legislature as Proposition 11 change to the Texas constitution in 1995. In 2001, the Legislature passed H.B. 3123, requiring the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to develop and the Comptroller to adopt rules for the qualification of agricultural land in wildlife management use. It is managed by the local tax office in each county.
To utilize this valuation takes a little research on your part. You will need to understand all the requirements, and then determine how your property’s natural features along with your goals and desires, can be put into an acceptable Wildlife Management Plan. This web page is meant to help guide you in that effort.
There are seven activities described by the law that support Wildlife Management tax valuation. You must choose at least three for your plan, but most people do much more than that.
- habitat control;
- erosion control;
- predator control;
- providing supplemental supplies of water;
- providing supplemental supplies of food;
- providing shelters; and
- making census counts to determine population
All these activities were presented during a full day Wildlife Management Workshop held in Milano on February 27, 2015. This was sponsored by our El Camino Real Chapter with speakers from Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and our local tax office providing a wealth of information. Their power point presentations are included below in PDF form for ease of downloading and viewing.
- Texas Master Naturalist Program, Mary Pearl Meuth, TPWD
- Developing Your Wildlife Management Plan, Heidi Kryger, TPWD
- Habitat Control (1), Jay Whiteside, TPWD
- Predator Control (3), Mark Tyson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
- Supplemental Water (4) and Erosion Control (2), Tim Siegmund, TPWD
- Supplemental Food (5), Tim Siegmund, TPWD
- Supplemental Shelter (6), Rick Knipe, TPWD
- Census Counts (7), Billy Lambert, TPWD
- 1-D-1 Initial or Revised Plan submission form, Diane White, Milam Tax Office
- 1-D-1 Annual Report form, Diane White, Milam Tax Office
Key web sites for more information include:
- TPWD web page on Wildlife valuation. Particular information for our Post Oak Savannah and Grassland Prairie region should be reviewed – this is a HUGE amount of information, but very specific and very helpful.
- Guidelines for qualification of agricultural lands in wildlife management use, a PDF file by Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts