This guidebook is intended to help Texas landowners understand one of the most flexible and effective tools available to conserve and protect private property – the conservation easement. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that ensures a property will be conserved and maintained for some specified conservation purpose, determined by the landowner, for generations to come.
Every conservation easement is individually crafted and reflects the special conservation values of the land protected, as well as the needs and desires of the landowner for continued management and stewardship. Conservation easements can assist landowners who wish to permanently protect their farm or ranch land, wildlife habitat, open space, water resources, scenic views, historic buildings, or archaeological sites. Some conservation easements may be purchased, while others may qualify the landowner for significant tax benefits. Each agreement is tailored to meet a landowner’s specific needs, whether he or she owns 10,000 acres in West Texas or 100 acres in the Texas Hill Country.
This guidebook also profiles fifteen landowners, each of whom has used a conservation easement to protect some portion of their land. These profiles illustrate how conservation easements can help people to conserve their privately held lands and waters for agricultural production, wildlife habitat protection, open space, and water quality protection…now, and for the benefit of future generations.