The Texas Parks Department Is Hosting New Years’ Hikes Around The State

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelDecember 29, 2017 12:53 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

New research says oil production in the Permian Basin reached record-breaking levels in 2017. Marfa Public Radio’s Carlos Morales has the details.

This year at least 815 million barrels have been produced out of the Permian Basin, according to a new report from research firm IHS Markit. That total surpasses the previous record of 790 million barrels set in 1973.  Reed Olmstead is with IHS Markit. He says the production record speaks to the Permian’s resiliency.

“It doesn’t surprise me that we’ve seen such growth and supply come out of the Permian Basin. But the pace at which we’ve achieved it is impressive,” Olmstead says.

Recent innovations like hydraulic fracturing have allowed operators to extract resources they couldn’t get to before. Olmstead says by the end of 2018, he expects increased production in the Permian to continue.

“Looking in to ’19, ’20, ’21, we’ve unlocked this thing and it’s going to blowing and going for years,” he says.

Earlier this year, researchers with IHS said they believed the Permian still holds as much as 70 billion barrels of crude waiting to be tapped.

Texas has joined a dozen states in a lawsuit over cage-free products sales back east. From KETR in Commerce, Scott Morgan reports.

A Massachusetts law passed in 2016 is set to limit sales of eggs, veal, and poultry in that state to only sellers of cage-free products by 2022. That means no matter what state the products are produced in, the products must come from cage-free sources.

Thirteen states, mostly in the south and midwest say Massachusetts is imposing an unconstitutional law by trying to govern what other states can do. And while supporters of the law say it is meant to mandate more humane farm conditions for livestock, critics also cite higher costs of production. A similar lawsuit against California claims cage-free produce costs American consumers $350 million a year than standard farming.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Texas hens lay around 350 to 500 million eggs a month.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wants to help you start off the new year on the right foot – or any foot – with a series of hikes.

“We’re going to be having more than 75 state parks across the state that are hosting guided hikes and other exciting activities on New Years to help people kick off 2018 in the great outdoors,” says Aubrey Buzek, a spokesperson with the department. She says they’ve been hosting First Day Hikes for five years as part of a national initiative.

Last year more than 3,700 Texans participated.

Most of the events are on January 1 but a few are scheduled for New Year’s Eve, and Buzek says there’s really something for everyone.

“They aim to create a fun experience for the whole family – including dogs – most of the guided hikes are designed with all levels of ability in mind but some are more challenging,” Buzek says. “Some of the guided hikes even go into remote areas of state parks that people typically don’t get to see.”

There are even some hikes that don’t start until the afternoon on New Year’s Day – in case you’re still recovering from the festivities the night before.