How Many Counties in Texas are Open Range?

Find out how many counties in Texas are open range and what local stock option elections have been held to determine this.

How Many Counties in Texas are Open Range?

Texas is an open range state, meaning that livestock are not required to be fenced in. This is due to the Texas Agriculture Code, which states that all land adjoining the United States is open range. There are 22 counties that have been legislatively prevented from having closed fields for livestock. However, counties can hold elections to become closed range and require that livestock be fenced in.

In the early 20th century, many Texas counties were closed. Johnson County is currently a closed county for certain livestock animals. Additionally, some counties have enacted stock exchange laws for part of the county, but not for the entire county. These counties have sent letters stating that, as of the date of the letter, they are unaware that no stock laws have been passed in their county. In order to determine how many counties in Texas are open range, it is important to look at the local stock option elections that have been held.

If voters have not voted to close a county in the short term through a local stock option election, then it is considered an open range county.

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