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Curriculum: Agriculture: Energy & Environmental Technology [ 119.22(c)(3)]

The Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video, databases, transcripts and other material.  Below you can find the TEKS Agriculture standards for Energy and Environmental Technology, particularly Environmental Policies as described in section 119.22(c)(3), with relevant activities drawn from this archive.

Goal:  The student analyzes conservation and environmental policies related to local, state, and national levels:

  

Excerpts of TEKS Text

TexasLegacy.org  Relevance

Suggested Activities

 

(A)  identify factors affecting natural resources;

 

 

 

 

TexasLegacy.org narrators analyze environmental policies at all levels of government, using their understanding of controls and other factors affecting natural resources, as well as their perspective on the roles of government, society and property owners.

 

The ebb and flow of natural resources are affected by both human and non-human forces.

Human influences are a combination of population pressure, and lifestyle or consumption levels.  Mammologist David Schmidly discusses the effect of the shear number of people in the state. Houston author Daniel Quinn and the Austin philosopher Genevieve Vaughan discuss the effects of man's consumer culture on natural resources.

Non-human factors affecting natural resources are many, including disease, parasites, cold, predation, drought, starvation, and other factors.  San Marcos biologist Dede Armentrout discusses the vulnerability of deer when they are bred for trophy hunting rather than resistance to these natural threats.

 

 

(B)  identify ecological controls of natural resources; and

 

In many respects, ecological systems are self-balancing and self-limiting with many offsetting controls.  TexasLegacy.org narrators discuss many examples.

 

Major ecological controls include predation and decomposition.

Please watch the Marathon biologist and tracker, Billy Pat McKinney, discuss the predatory role of the mountain lion.

The San Antonio microbiologist, Ruth Lofgren, here discusses the role of the microscopic decomposing organisms in controlling natural systems. 

 

 

(C)  define the roles of government, society, and property owners in natural resource policy.

 

Responsibility for natural resource policy is shared among government, property owners, and the general public.  TexasLegacy.org participants talk about cooperative, and at times competitive, efforts in this arena.

 

 

The management of the National Forests in Texas is a fascinating example of the tug-of-war among government officials, property owners, and the general society. 

The use of fire is one example of this tension.  Dallas forest advocate Ned Fritz discusses the use of prescribed burning in the Texas public forests as a way to enhance the fire-resistant, and profitable, pines at the expense of the more vulnerable hardwoods.  Silviculturalist Ike McWhorter brings up the competing argument that fire was originally part of the natural regime, and may well have some place in forest management, particularly in longleaf pine areas.

The practice of clearcutting is another point of contention in natural resource policy in the Texas national forests.  Former Dallas congressman John Bryant explains how logging regimes in the national forests came to reflect timber industry goals of maximizing lumber production, not constructing a diverse and vital forest.  Nacogdoches cabinetmaker Larry Shelton adds that the clearcutting may accelerate private earnings in the short run, yet contribute to a boom-and-bust cycle that is destructive to the local economy over the long term.

In many cases, the discussions about natural resource policy, in the national forests and elsewhere, come down to a strained comparison of apples and oranges, between jobs and profits on the one hand, and aesthetics and life on the other hand.  As Huntsville video producer, George Russell, points out, how can one accurately provide a cost-benefit policy analysis of the irreplaceable ecology of an old-growth forest? 

 

 


 
Conservation History Association of Texas
Texas Legacy Project


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2007