"Watershed News" will have the dual mission of reporting the work of our volunteers and keeping you informed of the issues concerning land and water in the Wimberley Valley. Together, we are all working to protect Jacob's Well and the waters that make this place so beautiful.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Conservation News and Info from TLTC July 2, 2014
Conservation related news from Texas and beyond...
TLTC Op-Ed Runs in the Fort Worth Star Telegram
Conservation easements help preserve some of the best of Texas while keeping private lands private
By Lori Olson Special to the Star-Telegram
Texas is a beautiful and ecologically diverse state with miles of
beaches, tall pine forests, vast open prairies and beautiful, rolling
hills. And many of our state’s residents have been closely tied to the
land for generations, making their living from farming and ranching. But
the face of rural Texas has changed dramatically, with scenic hilltops
and once fertile farmlands and valleys being sold and divided into
smaller and smaller tracks.
Protecting the natural state of Texas has become increasingly important: one useful tool in doing this is conservation easement.
A landowner can use this voluntary, flexible, negotiated tool to protect
their land for future generations by agreeing to restrict certain uses
of the property to protect its natural, productive or cultural features.
In exchange for this donation, the landowner receives limited tax
benefits. (To read the FULL article, click HERE.) Encourage your US Representative to Support HR 2807- the Enhanced Tax Incentive for Conservation Easements
This important bill was recently passed out of the House Ways &
Means Committee. We now have a great opportunity to put this important
legislation on the House floor for a vote! For ways to get involved and
contact your representative visit: http://www.landtrustalliance.org/policy
TX House Natural Resources Committee Discusses
Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program
June 25th, the House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on the
Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) and its role
in conserving Texas' water resources. Later this summer, the Committee
will make recommendations for possible legislative action in 2015.
TFRLCP is a state program that makes grants to non-profit land trusts to purchase conservation easements from willing landowners. State funding for this program would dramatically increase the rate of land conservation in Texas, opening up
many opportunities for Texas to leverage significant federal Farm Bill
conservation funding. Over $1 Billion dollars will be available for
agricultural conservation easements over the next 4 years and without a
reliable source for matching funds, Texas simply cannot take full
advantage of this opportunity.
If Texas were to fund the TFRLCP, land trusts across the state would
have the ability to work in partnership with landowners to purchase
conservation easements that protect our state's vital land and water
resources. With over 90% of Texas land in private hands, landowners
across our great state play a critical role in determining the health of
our water supply. We need to provide financial incentives that allow
Texas landowners and families to place conservation easements on their
lands. The public benefits are many....clean water, open space, wildlife
Let your Texas representatives know how private lands provide these
essential benefits and that you support incentives for conservation in