An area’s infrastructure – its water and energy supplies, parks and transportation systems – can determine its economic viability.
Water is essential for life, but it is also necessary for electricity generation, commerce and recreation. Manufacturers require reliable and adequate supplies of electricity to make their products. A reliable transportation system helps ensure that businesses can sell their products in national and world markets, and that residents can receive the goods and services they need. And recreational facilities such as state parks and lakes help improve the area’s overall quality of life.
Employers locate in areas with reliable sources of water, power, roads and recreational activities, attracting talented workers and providing residents with a high quality of life. The Upper East Texas region, like the rest of the state, faces several challenges in maintaining its infrastructure and expanding it to serve the needs of its growing population.
With its proximity to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, borders shared with three neighboring states, abundant natural resources and productive rural communities, the Upper East Texas region is positioned to continue its economic growth and development. A robust infrastructure will provide the area with a solid basis for that growth.
PHOTO: Emmitte Hall
The Upper East Texas region is water-wealthy, containing portions of six major river basins with numerous tributaries and nearly three dozen major reservoirs and lakes. In addition to the surface water resources, the region sits above parts of two major aquifers. Average annual rainfall in the Upper East Texas region ranges from 45 to 55 inches, with rainfall increasing as one travels from the northwestern to southeastern corners of the region. (Statewide rainfall averages range from 10 inches annually in westernmost Texas to 55 inches in the far Southeast.)1
In 2004 (most recent data available), manufacturing and municipal water systems each accounted for large portions of the water used in Upper East Texas (Exhibit 18). The region also uses water for electricity generation, livestock, irrigation and mining.2
Upper East Texas contains parts of three water planning regions designated by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). The region includes most of Region D and half of Region I; half of Henderson County is in Region C (Exhibit 19).
Under state law, water planners must estimate water supply and use over a 50-year period; the current planning cycle covers the years 2010 through 2060. Based on data from 2000, these planners project that annual water use in the Upper East Texas region will increase by 66.8 percent to 988,834 acre-feet in 2060. (One acre-foot of water equals 325,851 gallons, roughly the annual consumption of two to three households in Texas. A regulation Olympic-sized swimming pool holds about two acre-feet.)
Total Water Use Upper East Texas Region, 2004
Regional Water Planning Groups Upper East Texas Region
Within that increase, changes are expected in shares used by each sector of the economy (Exhibit 20). Manufacturing is projected to continue to account for about 43 percent of the region’s water use in 2060. Electricity’s share, however, is projected to grow significantly, while the share devoted to municipal uses will decrease somewhat; each sector is expected to account for about a quarter of the total in 2060. Other sectors’ shares may shrink. For instance, the amount of water devoted to irrigation in Upper East Texas is expected to decrease by almost 4 percent by 2060 (Exhibit 20).3
Upper East Actual and Projected Total Water Use by Sector, 2000-2060
Sources: Texas Water Development Board and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
The Upper East Texas region relies less heavily on groundwater than many other areas of the state.
A number of rivers and creeks wind through Upper East Texas; each of the region’s 23 counties has a waterway as some part of its border (Exhibit 21).
These streams, and the reservoirs built into them, provide four-fifths of all the region’s water. Rains County, one of the smallest counties in the region, has more than 10 percent of its land area under parts of two large reservoirs.4 The region has 34 major water bodies, including Caddo Lake, the state’s only natural lake (Exhibit 22).
Upper East Texas Streams, Major Rivers and River Basins
The Upper East Texas region’s manufacturing base is projected to remain strong, and its associated water consumption will increase along with the sector’s growth.
The region contains parts of the territories of four river authorities that manage intrastate surface waters. The Red River Authority manages the river from its origin in the Panhandle across the top of the state to the Louisiana border, while the Trinity River Authority has jurisdiction over its river from Tarrant and Dallas counties down to the top of Galveston Bay, including the western halves of Henderson and Anderson counties. The Sulphur River Authority’s territory, like the river’s basin, lies almost entirely within the Upper East Texas region, while the Sabine River Authority manages the river that bisects the region, forming part of the boundaries of eight of its counties.
Major Water Supply Reservoirs Upper East Texas Region
|Reservoir Name||River Basin||Year 2010 Projected Yield (acre-feet)||Conservation Storage Capacity (acre-feet)|
|Lake Bob Sandlin||Cypress||60,430||200,579|
|Brandy Branch Reservoir||Sabine||11,000||29,513|
|Cedar Creek Reservoir (part)||Trinity||175,000||644,686|
|Lake Cypress Springs||Cypress||10,737||67,689|
|Ellison Creek Reservoir||Cypress||13,857||24,700|
|Forest Grove Reservoir||Trinity||8,583||20,038|
|Lake Fork Reservoir||Sabine||173,035||604,927|
|Jim Chapman Lake||Sulphur||127,983||310,019|
|Johnson Creek Reservoir||Cypress||1,785||10,100|
|Martin Creek Lake||Sabine||25,000||75,116|
|Lake O’ the Pines||Cypress||181,869||238,933|
|Pat Mayse Lake||Red||59,750||118,110|
|Peacock Site 1A Tailings Reservoir||Cypress||NA||7,100|
|River Crest Lake||Sulphur||8,635||7,000|
|Lake Sulphur Springs||Sulphur||9,800||17,838|
|Lake Tawakoni (part)||Sabine||229,807||888,126|
|Wright Patman Lake||Sulphur||180,000||110,853|
Note: Peacock Site 1A Tailings reservoir operated as part of a system, no individual yield total available.
Source: Texas Water Development Board.
With all its rainfall and rivers, the Upper East Texas region relies less heavily on groundwater than many other areas of the state. In 2004, groundwater supplied only 20 percent of the region’s total water use
(Exhibit 23). A few counties in the region actually consume more groundwater than surface water, although their overall water use is relatively low, and the region uses groundwater for almost 40 percent of its municipal water supplies.
Mining is the only sector that used more groundwater than surface water in 2004 (mostly in oil and gas exploration and production), but the mining sector accounted for only 3.1 percent of the region’s total water use in that year.6
Groundwater comes from aquifers, water-bearing layers of permeable rock, sand or gravel within the earth. The Upper East Texas region sits above the northeastern ends of two major aquifers and two minor aquifers (Exhibits 24 and 25).7
Upper East Texas Region Water Sources, by Sector, 2004
Major Upper East Texas Aquifers
State laws approved in 1999 and 2001 encourage the use of groundwater conservation districts (GCDs), led by locally elected or appointed officials, to manage groundwater sources. The Upper East Texas region has four GCDs, including the only district entirely contained within another, the Anderson County Underground Water Conservation District, which is surrounded by the three-county Neches and Trinity Valleys GCD. The other two GCDs are single-county districts, Rusk County GCD and Panola County GCD (the latter is one of the most recently approved districts in the state).8
Aquifers in the Upper East Texas Region
(acre-feet in 2010)
Note: Queen City and Sparta are designated as minor aquifers by TWDB.
Source: Texas Water Development Board.
Groundwater conservation districts have some options to restrict groundwater pumping to maintain aquifer sustainability. One of the Upper East Texas districts, Rusk County GCD, has ad valorem taxing authority, while the others do not. State law generally allows districts to receive revenue through bond proceeds, fees, investments, grants and loans, depending on the statute creating the district.
As noted earlier, the Upper East Texas region’s manufacturing base is projected to remain strong, and its associated water consumption will increase along with the sector’s growth. Being an area with ample water resources in a mostly semi-arid state is a boon to the region’s economic development. The possibility of communities with large water demands from outside the area trying to access the region’s supplies, however, is likely to continue to require the attention of local and state officials.
Reservoir Tug-of-War: Marvin Nichols
Parks and Recreational Opportunities
Caddo Lake is an angler’s delight, with 71 different species of fish.
The Upper East Texas region has abundant recreational facilities and provides unique opportunities for the public to enjoy nature. From the natural beauty and abundant wildlife of the bayous at Caddo Lake State Park to rides on the Texas State Railroad, Upper East Texas has something for every outdoor enthusiast.
Upper East Texas offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities at its state parks and recreational lakes. Caddo Lake, Martin Creek and Tyler state parks have the largest economic impacts on the region.
Caddo Lake State Park, 15 miles northeast of Marshall, is one of the crown jewels of the state park system. The park is situated on the western side of Caddo Lake, a collection of bayous and sloughs consisting of about 26,800 acres of cypress swamp. Caddo Lake was named after the Caddo Indians that have inhabited the area for more than a thousand years. Caddo Lake actually sits on the border of Texas and Louisiana, and several Louisiana parishes operate parks on the eastern end of the lake. In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers operates a park just south of Caddo Lake Dam.
Caddo Lake is the only geologically natural lake in Texas. It was artificially dammed in 1914 to help control flooding and to make its flood plain more accessible to oil drilling. A more modern dam built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1971 replaced the old dam. The current dam was constructed to provide a water supply and additional recreational opportunities to the people of both Texas and Louisiana.
As Caddo Indian legend has it, the lake formed because of a giant flood. According to scientists, the lake formed when floodwaters blocked by massive log jam on the Red River backed up into the Cypress Bayou watershed. Recreation opportunities at the state park and the lake itself are numerous, thanks to many privately owned recreational businesses such as restaurants, nature sightseeing tours, steamboat, canoe and paddleboat tours and marinas. And the lake is an angler’s delight, with 71 different species of fish. Park visitors can also enjoy stately cypress trees, American lotus and lily pads, waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutrias, beavers, squirrels, armadillos and white-tailed deer.9
In fiscal 2007, Caddo Lake State Park had more than 75,500 visitors. In fiscal 2006, the latest data available, park visitors spent nearly $1 million in the area and the park had a total economic impact on sales in Harrison and Marion counties of more than $1.8 million.10
Martin Creek Lake State Park, 20 miles southeast of Longview in Rusk County, consists of about 287 land acres as well as 5,000 acres of water in the form of Martin Creek Lake, which was constructed to provide cooling water for a coal-fired power plant. The creek was named for Daniel Martin, who in 1833 settled with his family nearby in what was called Hogan’s Bayou. He and his neighbors eventually built a small fort and, later, a town called Harmony Hill. The town reached its peak shortly after the Civil War and was completely deserted by 1900.
The area has been inhabited since at least 200 BCE, and was home to Native Americans of the Choctaw, Cherokee and Kickapoo tribes. Visitors can still see the old Trammel’s Trace road bed, a Native American trail, near the fishing pier at the park; the road served as a major route for settlers moving to Texas from Arkansas.
The park, located in the Piney Woods, serves as a shelter for wildlife including gophers, swamp rabbits, nutria, white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos and squirrels. The park has excellent year-round fishing due to the warm water generated by the power plant. Fish include large-mouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, perch, ball and sunfish. In addition, the park enchants visitors every fall when the season changes and the various hardwoods display their colorful foliage.11
In fiscal 2006, visitors to Martin Creek Lake State Park spent more than $1 million in the area and the park had a total economic impact on sales in Rusk County exceeding $1.8 million. Martin Creek had nearly 72,000 visitors in fiscal 2007.12
State Parks Upper East Texas Region
|Name||Number of Visitors 2007||2006 Total Economic Impact on Sales||2006 Spending by Visitors|
|Caddo Lake State Park||75,583||$1.8 million||$1 million|
|Martin Creek Lake State Park||71,911||$1.8 million||$1 million|
|Tyler State Park||104,644||$1.8 million||$1 million|
|Lake Bob Sandlin State Park||66,427||$1.5 million||$700,000|
|Purtis Creek State Park||104,855||$1.2 million||$700,000|
|Daingerfield State Park||55,734||$800,000||$400,000|
Sources: Texas Coalition for Conservation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Tyler State Park, located two miles north of the city of Tyler in Smith County, consists of about 986 acres including a 64-acre lake. The state acquired land for the park in 1934 and 1935 and opened it in 1939. The park’s woods, steep hillsides and lake provide excellent habitat for various wildlife including deer, squirrels, raccoons, possums and numerous species of birds. In addition, the lake provides anglers with an opportunity to catch crappie, perch, catfish and bass. The park also has a nature trail, a hiking trail, a 13-mile mountain bike trail and an amphitheater that can be used for outdoor performances and functions on the lakeshore.13
In fiscal 2007, Tyler State Park had more than 104,500 visitors. The park’s total economic impact in fiscal 2006 on sales in Smith County was more than $1.8 million, with visitors spending more than $1 million in the area.14
Exhibit 26 summarizes the economic impact of state parks in the Upper East Texas region.
In addition to the parks listed above, the region is also home to Atlanta State Park, and Doctor’s Creek and South Sulphur State Parks, both on Cooper Lake. These state parks had a combined 2007 visitation of more than 141,400 people.15
Recreational Lakes and Reservoirs
The region’s numerous lakes and reservoirs offer recreational activities including boating and fishing.16 Exhibit 27 lists the region’s lakes and reservoirs, their location and approximate size and average depth.
Recreational Lakes and Reservoirs Upper East Texas Region
|Big Creek Reservoir||1 mile north of Cooper||520 acres||27 feet/31 feet|
|Brandy Branch Reservoir||10 miles east of Longview||1,242 acres||47 feet/50 feet|
|Caddo Lake||Northeast of Marshall on the TX-LA state line||26,800 acres||10 feet/20feet|
|Cedar Creek Reservoir||15 miles west of Athens||32,623 acres||49 feet/53 feet|
|Cooper Lake||Northwest of Sulphur Springs||19,305 acres||50 feet/55 feet|
|Gladewater City Lake||In the city of Gladewater||481 acres||27 feet/30 feet|
|Lake Athens||5 miles east of Athens||1,799 acres||48 feet/50 feet|
|Lake Bob Sandlin||5 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant||9,004 acres||63 feet/66 feet|
|Lake Crook||5 miles north of Paris||1,060 acres||20 feet/24 feet|
|Lake Cypress Springs||15 miles northwest of Pittsburg||3,461 acres||53 feet/56 feet|
|Lake Fork||5 miles northwest of Quitman||27,265 acres||66 feet/70 feet|
|Lake Gilmer||4 miles west of Gilmer||1,010 acres||25 feet/28 feet|
|Lake Hawkins||4 miles northwest of Hawkins||776 acres||26 feet/30 feet|
|Lake Holbrook||3 miles northwest of Mineola||653 acres||26 feet/30 feet|
|Lake Jacksonville||3 miles southwest of Jacksonville||1,320 acres||59 feet/62 feet|
|Lake Murvaul||15 miles west of Carthage||3,397 acres||33 feet/36 feet|
|Lake O’ the Pines||25 miles northeast of Longview||16,919 acres||45 feet/50 feet|
|Lake Palestine||15 miles southwest of Tyler||25,560 acres||56 feet/58 feet|
|Lake Quitman||5 miles north of Quitman||814 acres||21 feet/25 feet|
|Lake Striker||20 miles east of Jacksonville||1,863 acres||33 feet/35 feet|
|Lake Sulphur Springs||2 miles northwest of Sulphur Springs||1,340 acres||24 feet/28 feet|
|Lake Tawakoni||15 miles southeast of Greenville||37,879 acres||66 feet/70 feet|
|Lake Tyler (East)||Southeast of Tyler||2,276 acres||38 feet/40 feet|
|Lake Tyler (West)||Southeast of Tyler||2,224 acres||38 feet/40 feet|
|Lake Winnsboro||5 miles southwest of Winnsboro||806 acres||19 feet/23 feet|
|Lone Star Lake||On the west side of the city of Lone Star||1,516 acres||37feet/40 feet|
|Martin Creek Lake||3 miles southwest of Tatum||4,981 acres||31 feet/35 feet|
|Mill Creek Reservoir||In Van Zandt and Canton counties||237 acres||21 feet/25 feet|
|Monticello Reservoir||10 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant||2,001 acres||37feet/40 feet|
|Pat Mayse Lake||12 miles north of Paris||5,940 acres||51 feet/55 feet|
|Purtis Creek State Park Lake||12 miles northwest of Athens||349 acres||28 feet/30 feet|
|Welsh Reservoir||10 miles southeast of Mount Pleasant||1,269 acres||47 feet/50 feet|
|Wright Patman Lake||10 miles southwest of Texarkana||18,994 acres||34 feet/40 feet|
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
Fishing and Hunting
Upper East Texas offers a variety of freshwater fishing opportunities. The region’s lakes and bayous support several types of bass; all types of catfish; common carp; both types of crappie (Black and White); all types of gar; and several types of sunfish, in addition to the American eel, bowfin, chain pickerel, paddlefish, gizzard shad and threadfin shad.17
Every county in the region offers some sort of legal hunting. There are, however, some differences regarding dove hunting depending on whether the county is in the Central or North Dove Hunting Zone. Central Dove Zone counties include Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Smith, Upshur and Wood. North Dove Zone counties include Bowie, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River and Titus.
In addition, Anderson, Henderson and Van Zandt counties have the same hunting seasons as counties in the Central Dove Zone, except that no turkey hunting is allowed; antlerless deer can be hunted by permit only; and bag limits for white-tail deer are set at three, including no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless deer (Exhibit 28).21
In 2007, hunting and fishing enthusiasts in the Upper East Texas region purchased nearly 218,000 licenses from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, at a cost of about $6.2 million. All revenues collected from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses go to a dedicated state fund set up for the protection, regulation and conservation of the state’s fish and wildlife.22
Bag Limits and Other Applicable Hunting Regulations Upper East Texas Region, 2007-2008
|Squirrel||Open season lasts from October 1 until February 3 and May 1-31. The daily limit is ten.|
|White-tailed Deer||Open season lasts from November 3 until January 6. From Thanksgiving Day through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day, antler-less deer may be taken without permit, except in areas where a special permit is required. The limit is four deer with no more than two bucks having an inside spread of thirteen inches or greater.
Archery season lasts from September 29 until November 2. The limit is four deer with no more than two bucks having an inside spread of thirteen inches or greater. Antler-less deer may be hunted without a permit unless TPWD has issued antler-less managed land deer permits (MLDP) to help control the deer population.
A special youth-only season occurs twice a year on October 27 and 28, and January19 and 20.
|Quail||October 27 – February 24. Daily bag limit: 15; possession limit: 45.|
|Turkey||Open season runs from April 1-30. The annual bag limit for Rio Grande and Eastern turkey is four, no more than one of which may be an Eastern turkey.
Archery only: September 29 – November 2.
Special youth-only season: March 8-9 and May 3-4.
|Dove||Central Zone: September 1 – October 30 and December 26 – January 4 with no limit.
North Zone: September 1 – October 30 with no limit.
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The Upper East Texas region contains two of the top 25 producing oil fields and two of the top 25 producing natural gas fields in the state.
Affordable and reliable energy is vital to the prosperity and economic development of the Upper East Texas region. Fortunately, the region has been blessed with abundant natural resources that are being used to provide energy for the area’s businesses and residents.
Oil and Natural Gas
The Upper East Texas region contains two of the top 25 producing oil fields in the state – the East Texas Field located in Cherokee, Gregg, Rusk, Smith and Upshur counties, and the Hawkins Field in Van Zandt and Wood counties.23 The East Texas oil field is the largest and most prolific oil reservoir in the contiguous U.S. Since its discovery in October 1930, more than 30,000 wells have been drilled within its 140,000 acres, yielding nearly 5.2 billion barrels of oil. The formation is still active today and is estimated to have more than 2 billion barrels of oil remaining.
There are active wells (oil-producing or enhanced-recovery wells) in every county in the region except for Delta, Lamar and Rains counties. The region has a total of 9,384 active oil wells, with the largest concentrations being in Gregg County (3,271 wells), Rusk County (1,915 wells), Wood County (701 wells) and Van Zandt County (615 wells).24
Upper East Texas is also home to two of the state’s top 25 producing natural gas fields – the Oak Hill and Carthage (Cotton Valley) fields located in Gregg, Panola and Rusk counties.25 The Carthage Field was the largest natural gas producing field in the state until the Barnett Shale Field overtook it in 2004.26
The region has 12,264 active natural gas producing or enhanced recovery wells, with the greatest concentrations of wells in Panola County (4,884 wells), Rusk County (2,151 wells) and Harrison County (2,027 wells).27
The Upper East Texas region’s oil and natural gas industry accounted for more than 15,000 jobs and more than $970 million in total earnings in 2007.28
Active Coal Mines Upper East Texas Region, 2007
|Martin Lake Mine||Rusk and Panola counties||Luminant Power||7,677,112|
|South Hallsville No. 1 Mine||Harrison County||Sabine Mining Company||4,153,485|
|Oak Hill Mine||Rusk County||Luminant Power||3,761,434|
|Monticello Winfield Mine||Franklin and Titus counties||Luminant Power||3,502,720|
|Monticello Thermo Mine||Hopkins County||Luminant Power||2,090,370|
|Darco Mine||Harrison County||Norit Americas Inc.||0|
|Upper East Total||–||–||21,185,121|
Source: Texas Railroad Commission.
The Upper East Texas region, particularly Franklin, Harrison, Hopkins, Panola, Rusk and Titus counties, has abundant lignite coal reserves. Lignite, the lowest-quality coal, is used almost entirely for electricity generation or to create heat for industrial processes such as smelting. The region contains six of Texas’ 13 operating mines and produced more than 21 million tons of coal in 2007, about 52 percent of the state total (Exhibit 29).
Three mines in the region, Martin Lake, South Hallsville and Monticello Winfield, are among the 50 top producing U.S. mines. All of the region’s mines support nearby coal-fired electricity generation plants or industrial facilities. The Darco Mine is currently listed as active but has not produced coal since 2001; it will change to reclamation status in a few years.30 In 2007, coal mining in the region accounted for more than 1,200 jobs and more than $21 million in earnings.31
Utility Rates and Services
Upper East Texas is served by two different electric grids and several different electric companies. All or most of Anderson, Cherokee, Delta, Henderson, Hopkins, Lamar, Red River, Smith and Van Zandt counties are in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) electric grid. All or most of Bowie, Camp, Cass, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Titus, Upshur and Wood counties are in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) electric grid.
Areas in the ERCOT and SPP Electric Grids Upper East Texas Region
Percentage of Electricity Generated by Fuel Type ERCOT and SPP, 2007
Note: Fuel Source totals have been rounded.
Sources: Electric Reliability Council of Texas and Southwest Power Pool.
Member-Owned Cooperatives Upper East Texas Region
|Entity Name||Service Area|
|Bowie – Cass Electric Cooperative||Bowie, Cass, Titus, Morris, Red River and Franklin counties|
|Cherokee County Electric Cooperative||Cherokee, Smith and Rusk counties|
|Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative||Panola and Rusk counties|
|Lamar County Electric Cooperative||Lamar and Red River counties|
|Panola – Harrison County Electric Cooperative||Panola and Harrison counties|
|Rusk County Electric Cooperative||Gregg, Panola and Rusk counties|
|Upshur – Rural Electric Cooperative||Camp, Cass, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Rusk, Smith, Upshur and Wood counties|
|Wood County Electric Cooperative||Camp. Franklin, Hopkins, Rains, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties|
Sources: Public Utility Commission of Texas and Texas Electric Cooperatives.
Exhibit 30 shows how the Upper East Texas region is divided between the ERCOT and SPP electric grids.
Exhibit 31 shows the fuel sources used to provide power in the Upper East Texas region.32
Texas began deregulating its retail electricity market in 2002. This deregulation, however, applies only to investor-owned utilities within the ERCOT region. Utilities owned by cities and rural cooperatives are not required to join the deregulated market. The Upper East Texas region has no municipally owned utilities and none of its rural cooperatives have joined the deregulated market.
Exhibit 32 lists the region’s member-owned cooperatives and their service areas.
Residential electricity rates charged by the region’s member-owned cooperatives ranged from 8.6 cents to 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for residential electricity service in May 2008.33
Areas involved in the deregulated ERCOT market include parts of Anderson, Cherokee, Delta, Henderson, Hopkins, Lamar, Red River, Rusk, Smith and Van Zandt counties. In these areas, as many as 40 private companies provide retail electric service to customers. The residential price per kWh in July 2008, based on a 1,000 kWh per month service plan, ranged from 15.2 cents to 20.2 cents in these areas.34
Transportation is essential to the economic health and prosperity of any area. The Upper East Texas region’s roads are its primary means of moving goods and materials from agricultural and forestry areas to manufacturing, processing and warehouses, and eventually to urban markets inside the state and beyond. While the region has a vast network of roads, roadway concerns and spending tend to center on a few roads:
- Interstate Highway 20, running west from Louisiana through Harrison, Gregg, Smith and Van Zandt counties towards Dallas/Fort Worth area;
- Interstate Highway 30, running west from Arkansas through Bowie, Morris, Titus, Franklin and Hopkins counties towards Dallas/Fort Worth area;
- U.S. Highway 59, running north from Carthage through Panola, Harrison, Marion, Cass and Bowie counties to Texarkana;
- U.S. Highway 69, running north and then west from Lufkin through Cherokee, Smith, Wood and Rains counties towards Commerce;
- U.S. Highway 84, running east from Waco through Anderson, Cherokee, Rusk and Panola counties to Louisiana; and
- State Highway 31, running northeast from Waco through Henderson, Smith, and Gregg counties to Longview.35
The Upper East Texas region’s roads are its primary means of moving goods and materials from agricultural and forestry areas to manufacturing, processing and warehouses, and eventually to urban markets inside the state and beyond.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) builds and maintains the Texas state highway system through local offices and contractors located around the state. Three TxDOT district offices serve Upper East Texas from locations in Atlanta, Paris and Tyler.
The region has 8,086 centerline miles (miles traveled in a single direction regardless of the number of lanes) and 18,782 total lane miles of state highways. It has about 1.1 million registered vehicles that travel just under 32 million miles daily. The state as a whole contains 79,696 centerline miles, 190,764 total lane miles and more than 20 million registered vehicles that travel nearly 477.7 million miles each day (Exhibit 33).36
Road construction, engineering and maintenance for state, local and private sources in the region accounted for more than 5,000 jobs and nearly $187 million in earnings in 2007.37
Highway Miles, Vehicle Miles Driven and Registered Vehicles Upper East Texas Region, 2006
|County Name||Centerline Miles||Lane Miles||Daily Vehicle Miles||Registered Vehicles|
|Upper East Texas Total||8,086||18,782||31,993,359||1,110,135|
Source: Texas Department of Transportation.
Upper East Texas Trade Corridors
To facilitate trade, promote economic development and relieve traffic congestion on our roads, TxDOT is developing the Interstate 69/Trans-Texas Corridor, or TTC (Exhibit 34).
First proposed in the early 1990s, Interstate 69 – or “Super Highway 69” – was initially envisioned as a multi-state trade corridor linking the trade areas of South Texas and Houston with markets in Chicago.38 Over the years, the route through Texas has been debated, but recently TxDOT recommended that I-69/TTC use existing highway facilities where possible and proposed two routes out of Texas using U.S. Highway 84 into Louisiana and U.S. Highway 59 into Arkansas. In the Upper East Texas region, the proposed I-69/TTC route would include what is currently U.S. Highway 59, running through Panola, Harrison, Marion, Cass and Bowie counties.
As with other Trans-Texas Corridor projects, TxDOT plans on using state, federal and private toll dollars to build I-69/TTC. At this time, TxDOT has not established the need for additional rights of way from land-owners.39 Depending on the final size of I-69/TTC and the need for potential bypass routes around urban areas, parts of Panola, Harrison, Marion, Cass and Bowie counties could be affected by the corridor.40
Recently TxDOT recommended that I-69/TTC use existing highway facilities where possible.
Entities that provide public transportation and special transit services to most of the Upper East Texas region, excluding the urban areas of Gilmer, Longview, Texarkana and Tyler, are the East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District (ETRTD) and the Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments. In the urban areas, services are provided by Citizen Services Enterprise in Gilmer, Longview Transit in Longview, Texarkana Urban Transit District in Texarkana and Tyler Transit Service in Tyler (Exhibit 35).41
Public Transportation Resources Upper East Texas Region
|County Name||City Name||Public Transit Authorities|
|Anderson||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Bowie||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Bowie||Texarkana||Texarkana Urban Transit District|
|Camp||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Cass||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Cherokee||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Delta||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Franklin||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Gregg||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Harrison||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Henderson||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Hopkins||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Lamar||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Marion||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Morris||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Panola||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Rains||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Red River||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Rusk||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Smith||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Smith||Tyler||Tyler Transit Service|
|Titus||Texarkana||Arkansas-Texas Council of Governments|
|Upshur||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Upshur||Gilmer||Citizen Services Enterprise|
|Van Zandt||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
|Wood||Kilgore||East Texas Council of Governments-East Texas Rural Transit District|
Source: American Public Transportation Association.
Texas State Railroad
Upper East Texas Rail Lines, 2005
The Upper East Texas region has five railroad companies operating within its area, including two Class I railroads, one regional railroad and two local railroads.42 Union Pacific Railroad Company and Kansas City Southern Railway operate the majority of tracks in the Upper East Texas region; Blacklands Railroad, Texas Northeastern Railroad Company and Burlington Northern Rail Company also operate in the area. The majority of the region’s rail lines run along or parallel to Interstate Highways 20 and 30, from the Texas border near Texarkana and Marshall to the Dallas/Fort Worth area (Exhibit 36).
The region’s coal, timber and manufacturing industries use rail lines as a primary shipping and distribution method because it is typically the least expensive and most efficient.
The Upper East Texas region contains 26 public airports, including commercial airports in Tyler and Texarkana.43
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport is the region’s busiest, with more than 79,076 passenger boardings in 2006, down approximately 8 percent from 2005 totals.48 American Eagle and Continental’s Colgan Air serve the Tyler airport.49
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Named 2007 Airport of the Year
- 1 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II, (Austin, Texas, 2007), pp. 132 and 135, http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/State_Water_Plan/2007/WATERFORTEXAS2007_VOL%20II.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 2 Data provided by the Texas Water Development Board on October 12, 2007 for Upper East Texas population, groundwater use, and surface water use for 2004.
- 3 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas 2007, Volume II, pp. 25-36, 61-66 ; and data provided by the Texas Water Development Board on March 3, 2007 for Upper East Texas water demand projections for 2000-2060 in acft.
- 4 Texas County Information Project, “Rains County Profile,” p. 1, http://www.txcip.org/tac/census/profile.php?FIPS=48379. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 5 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II, pp. 25 – 36; and Texas Water Development Board, North East Texas Regional Water Plan, Executive Summary, p. xiii, http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/rwp/D/PDFs?D_Executive%20Summary.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 6 Data provided by the Texas Water Development Board on October 12, 2007 for Upper East Texas population, groundwater use, and surface water use for 2004.
- 7 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II, pp. 193, 209, 213-214.
- 8 Texas Water Development Board, “Groundwater Conservation Districts,” http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/mapping/index.asp. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 9 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Caddo Lake State Park,” pp. 1-3, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/caddo_lake/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 10 Texas Coalition for Conservation, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, by John L. Crompton & Juddson Culpepper, Texas A&M University, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences (Austin, Texas, December 2006), p. 18, http://www.rptsweb.tamu.edu/faculty/Crompton/Crompton/Articles/3.10.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.) ; and Data supplied by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “State Park Sites, Acreage, and Visits,” June 2, 2008.
- 11 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Martin Creek Lake State Park,” pp. 1-3, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/martin_creek/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 12 Texas Coalition for Conservation, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 19; and Data supplied by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “State Park Sites, Acreage, and Visits.”
- 13 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Tyler State Park,” pp. 1-2, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/tyler/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 14 Texas Coalition for Conservation, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 19; and Data supplied by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “State Park Sites, Acreage, and Visits.”
- 15 Data supplied by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “State Park Sites, Acreage, and Visits,” and Texas Coalition for Conservation, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 19.
- 16 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Freshwater Lakes: Piney Woods Region,” p.1, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/ineast.phtml. (Last visited September 25, 2008); and “Freshwater Lakes: Prairies & Lakes Region,” pp. 1-2, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/inplains.phtml. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 17 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Freshwater Fishes Found in Texas,” pp. 1-2, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/aquaticspecies/inland.phtml. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 18 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, “Facts about TFFC,” pp. 1-3, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/facts/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 19 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, The 2006 Economic Benefits of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Watching in Texas, by Southwick Associates, Inc., (Austin, Texas, November 26, 2007), pp. 11, 17, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/nonpwdpubs/media/tx_fish_hunt_wl_view_economics.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 20 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, “Making More Fish for Texas: the TFFC Hatchery,” p. 1, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/hatchery/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 21 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “2008-2009 Texas Hunting Season Dates by County,” pp. 1-3, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/season/county_listing/. (Last visited July 1, 2008.)
- 22 E-mail communication from Lacie Russell, Intergovernmental Affairs Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, June 16, 2008; and data provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Recreational License Sales: Upper East Texas Region, License Year 2007.”
- 23 Texas Railroad Commission, “Top 25 Producing Oil and Gas Fields Based on 1999 Production,” p. 1, http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/activity/top251999.html. (Last visited September 25, 2008.) ; Texas Railroad Commission, “Producing Oil and Gas Wells, October 2005,” p. 1. http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/maps/ogm0014.gif. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 24 Texas Railroad Commission, “Oil Well Counts by County as of February 2008,” pp. 1-6, http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/statistics/wells/wellcount/oilwlct0208.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 25 Texas Railroad Commission, “Top 25 Producing Oil and Gas Fields Based on 1999 Production”; and Texas Railroad Commission, “Producing Oil and Gas Wells.”
- 26 Dan Piller, “Depleted Oil Fields Make Natural Gas a Player,” Fort-Worth Star-Telegram (January 22, 2006), http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/365832/depleted_oil_fields_make_natural_gas_a_player/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 27 Texas Railroad Commission, “Gas Well Counts by County as of February 2008,” pp. 1-6, http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/statistics/wells/wellcount/gaswlct0208.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 28 U.S. Census Bureau, “North American Industrial Classification System Codes 21111, 21311, 23712, 32411, 32511, 33313, 48611 and 48621: Oil and Natural Gas Related Employment for Upper East Texas.” A custom database query was created.
- 29 Northeast Texas Air Care, “History of NETAC,” pp. 1-2, http://netac.org/history.htm. (Last visited on September 25, 2008); and Northeast Texas Air Care, Tenth Biannual Report on the Early Action Compact for Northeast Texas (Kilgore, Texas, December 20, 2007).
- 30 Texas Railroad Commission, “Texas Coal - Annual Production through 2007,” http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/sm/programs/regprgms/tx_coal.xls. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 31 U.S. Census Bureau, “North American Industrial Classification System Codes 212111, 212113, 213113 and 423520: Coal Mining Related Employment for Upper East Texas.” A custom database query was created.
- 32 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, “ERCOT Quick Facts,” p. 1, http://www.ercot.com/news/presentations/2007/ERCOT%20Quick%20Facts%20May%202007.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.); and Southwest Power Pool, “What We Do,” p. 1, http://www.spp.org/section.asp?pageID=27. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 33 Public Utility Commission of Texas, “Residential and Commercial Bill Comparisons for Non-Competitive Markets,” http://puc.state.tx.us/electric/rates/NCrate/index.cfm. (Last visited September 25, 2008.); and Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative, “Bowie-Cass Residential Rate Structure,” pp. 1-2, http://www.bcec.com/rate-structure-residential.html. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 34 Electricity Texas, “Learn More About Available Electricity Providers in Your Area,” http://www.electricitytexas.com/service_areas.html. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 35 Texas Department of Transportation, “Local Information,” http://www.txdot.state.tx.us/local_information/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 36 E-mail communication from Caroline Love, Government and Public Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, February 20, 2008.
- 37 U.S. Census Bureau, “North American Industrial Classification System Code 237: Heavy and Civil Engineering and Construction Related Employment for Upper East Texas.” A custom database query was created.
- 38 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans-Texas Corridor, “I 69/TTC (Northeast Texas to Mexico),” p. 1, http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/projects/i69/. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 39 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans-Texas Corridor, “How Will It Affect Business and Property Owners?” p. 1, http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/faqs/?faq_type=5. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 40 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans-Texas Corridor, “I-69/TTC Recommended Reasonable Corridor Links: Link Map 1,” http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/publications/files/ReasonableCorridors_Approved_LINKS1_50dpiBest.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 41 American Public Transportation Association, “Texas Transit Links,” pp. 1-2, 4-5, 12, 14, 20, 22, 24, 26-27, http://www.apta.com/links/state_local/tx.cfm#A11. (Last visited July 9, 2008.)
- 42 Association of American Railroads, “Railroad Service in Texas, 2006,” pp. 1-2, http://www.aar.org/PubCommon/Documents/AboutTheIndustry/RRState_TX.pdf?states=RRState_TX.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 43 Texas Department of Transportation, “Texas Airport Directory,” http://www.dot.state.tx.us/services/aviation/airport_directory.htm. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 44 Texas State Railroad, “About,” pp. 1-2, http://www.texasstaterr.com/about.php. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 45 Texas Coalition for Conservation, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 19.
- 46 City of Tyler, “Tyler Pounds Regional Named Airport of the Year by the FAA,” by Susan Guthrie, p. 1, (March 12, 2008), http://www.cityoftyler.org/Home/tabid/36/ctl/NewsArticle/mid/865/CategoryID/5/NewsID/411/Default.aspx. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 47 City of Tyler, “Tyler Pounds Airport to Maintain Seating Capacity with Fewer Departures,” (June 25, 2008), pp. 1-2, http://cityoftyler.org/Default.aspx?tabid=36&mid=865&ctl=NewsArticle&NewsID=493&CategoryID=5. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 48 U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, “Calendar Year 2006 Passenger Activity: Commercial Service Airports in US,” p. 5, http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/cy06_primary_np.comm.pdf. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 49 City of Tyler, “10 Reasons to ‘Fly Tyler’,” p. 1, http://www.cityoftyler.org/Visitors/Airport/10ReasontoFly/tabid/109/Default.aspx. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)
- 50 U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, “Calendar Year 2006 Passenger Activity: Commercial Service Airports in US,” p. 6.
- 51 Texarkana Regional Airport, “Aviation Services,” p. 1, http://txkairport.com/aviation_services.php. (Last visited September 25, 2008.)