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Private Lands, Public Benefits:
Innovations to Sustain the Private Lands
that Provide Food, Fiber and Water Policy

Significant public good results from the stewardship of privately-owned lands. Basic necessities, such as food, fiber, shelter, and drinking water, have their origins in working lands. Nationally, the sustainability of the lands that produce these goods has been recognized as a strategic priority. But in Texas, with one of the highest rates of rural land loss in the country, the role of agricultural lands in providing public benefits is not widely acknowledged: Large infrastructure projects, for example, are often planned without a cost-benefit analysis of the loss of productive agricultural lands and water planning efforts often ignore the role of privately-managed watersheds and agricultural lands. On December 7, 2011, TALT hosted a workshop to promote the need to conserve and protect Texas’ private agricultural lands and to explore strategies to do so. Co-hosted by with the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas A&M’s Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, the workshop addressed the need for voluntary, incentive-based, non-regulatory approaches to land conservation issues. The following are recordings of each of the presentations.


(click on the green title to view a pdf file)


Prerequisites for Survival: Agriculture and the Existence of the Nation State

Dr. Dave McIntyre, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Homeland Security Studies & Analysis Institute (HSI);

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Homeland Security and Defense Programs, National Graduate School



Public Good from Private Lands

Reed Watson, Director of Applied Programs; Research Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center

Texas Land Trends: Our Future Landscape

Dr. Neal Wilkins, Director, Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas A&M University



Innovative Ag-Land Protection Programs

Bob Wagner, American Farmland Trust


Providing Ecological Offsets For Wind Energy Development in North-Central Kansas

Mike Beam, Ranchland Trust of Kansas


Agricultural Land Protection in Dakota County

Al Singer, Dakota County, MN


City of San Antonio Edwards Aquifer Protection Initiative

Dr. Francine Romero, University of Texas at San Antonio



Economic Value of Natural Goods and Services

Jessica Sargent, Trust for Public Lands


Free Market Environmentalism

Reed Watson, Director of Applied Programs; Research Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center



Putting It All Together: What Will Work In Texas?