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Keeping Texas Big,
Wide and Open
Created by landowners for landowners, TALT's mission is to protect private working lands, thus conserving Texas’ heritage of wide open spaces.

Photo © D.K. Langford

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CEO Testimony House Natural Resources Committee PDF Print E-mail

TALT’s CEO Blair Fitzsimons was invited to testify in front of the Texas House Natural Resources Committee on June 25, 2014. The committee was given an interim charge to evaluate different water strategies to address our state’s water problems. Blair was asked to speak about how meaningful funding of the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program – and by extension, private lands conservation -could be a cost-efficient component in the whole strategy for ensuring the state’s water security. Her testimony follows:

Testimony of Blair Fitzsimons

Chief Executive Officer

House Natural Resources Committee hearing

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Interim Charge Number 3 – Land Stewardship

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee – I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. You have heard from Dr. Andrew Sansom, who spoke on the subject of land stewardship. You heard from Dr. Roel Lopez, who shared new data on fragmentation and the loss of rural lands in Texas. And you have heard from Alan McWilliams, who discussed the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program. I have been asked to share insights into what is working “on the ground.”

2014 Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program PDF Print E-mail

By Blair Fitzsimons, CEO

On June 25th, the House Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony on the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) and its role in conserving water resources. Created by the Legislature in 2005 and housed today at the General Land Office, TFRLCP is a state program that makes grants to non-profit land trusts to buy conservation easements from willing landowners. This type of transaction is commonly known as a “Purchase of Development Rights,” or PDR.

Public Benefits of Private Land Conservation

A broad coalition of agricultural organizations and conservation groups supported the creation of TFCLP back in 2005 for the simple reason that, if done right, the conservation easement can be a win-win for private landowners and for the public, for

Who We Are

dyerConcerned that Texas is losing its rural lands faster than any other state in the country, leaders of Texas’ statewide agricultural, wildlife and landowner organizations came together in 2006 to create the Texas Agricultural Land Trust.

With a Board of Directors who, as landowners themselves, understand the day-to-day challenges of farming and ranching, TALT promotes the conservation of open space, native wildlife habitats, and natural resources of Texas’ private working lands.

TALT, a non-profit organization, today has partnered with landowners to conserve 224,900 acres. Created by farmers and ranchers for farmers and ranchers, TALT is proud to play a role in conserving Texas’ legacy of wide open spaces.

movieClick here to watch "Protect, Conserve, Pass On".
A compelling video about TALT's history and the need to protect open space in Texas.