Land trusts are charitable organizations whose mission is land and water conservation. Land trusts have been working in Texas since the 1960s, with a large expansion of their work in the 1990s, growing from a handful of organizations to the robust coalition of more than 30 groups working across Texas today to conserve our state’s most precious lands and waters. To date, these land trusts have conserved over 1.6 million acres of forests and wetlands, farms and ranches, deserts and coastlines, hills and prairies.
These organizations offer many different opportunities to partner with public agencies and private landowners to conserve land. Land trusts help acquire parks and protected areas, hold and manage their own nature preserves, and work to secure permanent conservation agreements on private lands.
With over 95% of Texas in private ownership, private lands are essential to preserving the integrity of our state’s natural resources. Land trusts work with and assist Texas landowners with the long-term conservation goals they have for their own lands. Land trusts conserve natural areas by negotiating private, voluntary agreements with property owners to leave their land largely undeveloped, preserving agricultural production values or other conservation resource values. Land trusts offer a nonprofit, voluntary solution for achieving land conservation goals.
Together, land trusts conserve open space, wildlife habitat, waterways, and agricultural lands to preserve Texas for future generations. In turn, those conserved lands provide many economic and natural resource benefits for all Texans.