Curriculum: Agriculture: Energy
& Environmental Technology [§
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 Land Use Planning
as described in section
119.22(c)(4), with relevant
activities drawn from this archive.
recognizes the importance of land use planning:
Excerpts of TEKS Text
(A) identify the principles of land use;
TexasLegacy.org archive has numerous discussions of the
principles, considerations, and trends in land use.
central principle of land use is compatibility, both of
compatibility between the use and the land, and between one
landowner's use of his property and that of his neighbor.
San Antonio landscape architect,
Larry DeMartino, discusses the idea of how land can both
support and limit certain uses.
George Rice, a San Antonio groundwater hydrologist,
gives an example of how the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone can
limit safe land uses and practices.
Jeanne Gramstorff, and Perryton farmer,
Donnie Dendy, explain how one neighbor's land use can
impinge on another's, using the example of the odors, dust,
flies and nitrates that escape from a pig and cattle feeding
(B) define considerations for land use management; and
There are extensive conversations among TexasLegacy.org
participants on how to best manage, require and encourage wise
There are a variety of tools for encouraging, and in some cases,
mandating appropriate land use.
urge providing information about the economic returns
from sound land use. For instance, the celebration of
ecotourism is intended to encourage landowners to preserve their
land for the revenue that they can earn from hunting, birding,
fishing and other outdoor pursuits. Please see our video,
Our Place in Nature, which gives a number of
perspectives about ecotourism. The shorter excerpts from
David Langford and birder
Tom Pincelli are other lessons in how good information
can lead to wise land use.
Others feel that there is a natural motive to maximize return on
land and other property, even if the costs are externalized to
neighbors and the general public (please see
Smitty Smith's teasing about the extent of air
polluters' voluntary good intentions). From this
perspective, proper land use requires a clear governmental
standard and mandate. Houston air quality inspector,
Brandt Mannchen, explains his preference for an explicit
law laying out the requirements.
Still other observers think that better land use will ensue from
a combination of information about good practices and government
regulations that eliminate subsidies for poor practices.
For example, investment in renewable energy should increase as
the public and government has better information about the
climate, air quality, and national security risks of fossil
fuels, and as government pulls back on depletion allowances for
petroleum, liability insurance for nuclear energy, and other
subsidies. Utility advocates
Smitty Smith and
explain the promise of renewable energy if society is
well-informed and the market playing field is level.
(C) compare land use policy trends.
TexasLegacy.org narrators are witnessing a fascinating evolution
in land use policy, as more elected officials and members of the
general public realize the uniqueness, limited quantity, and vulnerable
nature of land even in a big state like this.
Texas is a relatively young, and still rapidly growing, state.
We are still coming to terms with the fact that Texas is a
finite place increasingly affected by our neighbors' land use
(see remote sensing specialist,
Kamlesh Lulla's excerpt), as well as our own population
(please see the remarks from mammalogist,
As we continue to populate and learn about this state, we are
gaining a better sense of place. In other words, Texans
are starting to see what makes Texas unique, and how to best
protect and enhance those qualities.
One land use policy trend is the recognition and protection of
our historic resources. Landowner
Mary "Sissy" Fenstermaker recalls her forebears' efforts
to protect the frontier Fort Davis post.
Another land use policy trend comes under the name of "smart
growth", or "compact city". Houston urban planner,
Barrie Zimmelman, and San Antonio politician,
Helen Dutmer, talk about the struggle to keep the
integrity of cities' downtown, and to rein in the tendency to
sprawl out over the landscape.
third land use policy trend is the effort to minimize
environmental injustice, and to reduce and heal the
"sacrifice zones" that have long hosted the dangerous, unhealthy
industries and wastes of our society.
Phyllis Glazer, a northeast Texas rancher,
Grover Hankins, a Houston attorney,
Meg Guerra, a Laredo publisher, and
Sylvia Herrera and
Susana Almanza, Austin health advocates talk about their
struggle to improve land use, and make it more compatible with