WHAT WE DO

Advancing Texas Land & Water Conservation

Land and water conservation are essential to a healthy Texas. The protection and enhancement of water resources and the preservation of our natural heritage are of the utmost importance to our economy and our quality of life. The Texas Land Trust Council (TLTC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that builds and supports a strong, active coalition of more than thirty organizations working to conserve the lands and waters of Texas.

Since the late 1990s, TLTC has served as a powerful voice for conservation to protect drinking water, Texas’ iconic wildlife, and the rich natural and cultural heritage of the state. Together and in partnership with private landowners and citizens, we work to ensure that the Texas landscape rich in history, natural resources, breathtaking views and recreational opportunities can be left intact for all citizens today and in the future.

To support and advance land conservation across our state, TLTC focuses on several program areas:

Education

TLTC maintains a strong focus on education and training, to ensure that Texas land trusts are keeping pace with land conservation trends nationally. The Texas Land Conservation Conference is the preeminent statewide meeting for anyone working in the field of land and water
conservation, including non profit organizations , private landowners, government staff, volunteers, businesses and agency partners interested in conservation issues.

Outreach & Advocacy

TLTC advocates for land trusts in Texas, promoting the many benefits of our collective conservation work. Land trusts conserve Texas’ special lands and waters by permanently protecting them from development for the benefit of people, wildlife and our economy. TLTC works to coordinate land trust advocacy at the federal and state level , developing a robust coalition with a unified voice to build strong, sustained support for land conservation in Texas.

Technical & Financial Assistance

TLTC seeks to provide pertinent conservation related tools and information to land trusts, landowners, and the general public. These include our Conservation Lands Inventory database and maps of land trust conserved lands, our Conservation Easement Guidebook for landowners, our Land Trust Directory and our Transaction Matching Grants Program.

 

Conservation is Important for Texas

In Texas, open lands help preserve important natural functions, like buffering our communities from flood damage and providing areas for food production. Iconic expanses of grasslands and forests, marshes and desert, farms and ranches have defined our state’s history and culture and continue to sustain our economy. Natural and open lands also help capture our drinking water by letting rain infiltrate into the ground, circulate into streams, and recharge our aquifers. In fact, open landscapes support our rapidly growing urban communities in many ways.

Texas is losing our open lands at an alarming rate.(www.texaslandtrends.org) The loss of working lands and natural areas induces stress on our natural infrastructure. Conservation is essential because:

• Protecting sensitive wetlands, rivers and streams from development protects floodplains and keeps polluted runoff out of drinking water.

• Preventing more land from being covered in concrete ensures that more rainwater can soak into the ground, replenish our water supply and reduce flood risk.

• Conserving land in floodplains and coastal areas helps to slow water movement, reduce erosion, and decrease overall storm damage.

• Preserving important farm and ranch lands helps provide our food, fuel and fiber.

• Conserving native habitat protects our iconic Texas fish and wildlife.

Land trusts are charitable organizations devoted solely to conserving land. Land trusts work with agency partners and land owners throughout the state to conserve Texas’ special lands and waters. By protecting these lands, land trusts help ensure that every Texan has access to clean water and the opportunity to connect with our natural and cultural heritage.

Land conservation by private, non-profit land trusts is a cost-effective and efficient way to protect water quality and quantity, mitigate and prevent flood damage, and support the rural economies that provide Texans food, water, and wildlife resources. The Texas Land Trust Council focuses on advancing Texas land trusts by providing technical resources like our Conservation Easement Guidebook and Texas Conservation Lands Inventory database, as well as first-rate training opportunities via annual Texas Land Conservation Conference.

To date Texas’ land trusts have protected over 1.75 million acres of farms, ranches, wetlands, urban gardens, forests, watersheds, coastlines and river corridors. TLTC is proud to support this effort.

TLTC also provides resources for private landowners who are interested in protecting their land. These include our free, online Land Trust Directory, which lists all TLTC member land trusts by county.  Landowners can search for land trusts working in their area of the state. Our Conservation Easement Guidebook, also available online, provides landowners with useful information about conservation easements particular to the state of Texas, contains a list of commonly-asked questions, and profiles landowners around the state who have used conservation easements to protect their land.

For more information contact us at info@texaslandtrustcouncil.org.