Greenways and equestrians: A rural economic development proposal for the Llano Estacado region of Texas
Sewell, Valerie Adele
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This thesis is a three-pronged regional plannmg exercise mvolvmg the Llano Estacado region of Texas, the equestrian mdustry and greenway development. It is a call for change and development conducive to the needs of the region based upon its cuhure. natural resources and need for new choices and new land uses. The equestrian mdustry is aheady present m the region m some capacities; however, its potential is much greater and can brmg growth to decaymg rural areas, while stabilizmg the erosion and replacmg the dymg cotton mdustry in the region. Outdoor recreation and competitive circuits of the many sports within the equestrian mdustry is lacking m the region. The mdustry is currently growmg m both number of participants and horses, but pasture is lacking in many areas or tied up in CRP lands. There is tremendous potential hi creating equestrian communities in the region, thus shifting former irrigated croplands back to perennial pasturelands and haylands. As development occurs, linkage of communities with greenways could provide outdoor ridhig and trail training opportunities. Greenways can also be used on private ranches and m partnership with rural communities to brhig the recreation and tourism industries to these areas, thus diversifying the economic bases of these areas. This paper takes a broad-brush approach and attempts to build a basic understanding of the issues and potentials of the three prongs, all of which, are poorly understood in the region. It also proposes a multi-objective approach, which includes muhi-use and development of a larger tourism/residential community potential.
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