ECONOMIC IMPACT AND BENEFITS STUDY AND COMPANION MOBILITY STUDY

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is undertaking two companion studies to ensure that the conservation values of the more than 20,000 acres of prairie already protected as well as associated grasslands and wetlands nearby, are maintained and that a more general awareness of the importance of such lands and techniques for holding them harmless from transportation projects and other land use changes figure prominently in the decision-making process going forward.  The two studies are a natural goods and services study – sometimes known as an economic benefits and impact analysis – and a public infrastructure and mobility study.

As parallel studies, they will help identify the requisites for and the benefits accruing from conservation to inform planning and policy choices. They may also provide a model that can be applied to ecologically important lands facing similar pressures locally, regionally, and perhaps even nationally, given that the Katy Prairie itself is already recognized by the national Audubon society as a global important ecosystem for avian habitat and migration, while its importance and efficiency as a non-structural flood mitigation bulwark/asset for developed areas downstream with current populations larger than those of all but a handful of Texas cities, is clearly a matter of regional importance and safety that affects both public and private interests.