Newly signed bill makes firm commitment to soil health in Texas

Published May 25, 2021


Yesterday, Gov. Gregg Abbott signed a bill that helps build the state’s resilience, boosting Texas’ ability to mitigate both flooding and drought, while increasing the health of plants and animals grown for food. 

The bill to create an “On-the-Ground Conservation” program passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House with a vote of 143-1 before being sent to the Governor.

SB 1118 directs the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board to provide education, technical assistance, and grant resources to support specific practices on private lands. It explicitly addresses soil health, improving resilience to weather extremes and natural disasters, sequestering carbon in the soil, and several other areas that were only indirectly addressed under the Board’s current programs.

“Because 95 percent of all land in Texas is privately owned, environmental preservation depends enormously on stewardship by private landowners,” explained Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas), the Senate bill sponsor.…

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