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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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No Land, No Water:
Tools & Strategies for Conserving Land
to Protect Water Resources


Wednesday, October 1st

Texas State Capitol Extension Auditorium
Austin, Texas

1.0 hours Continuing Legal Education credit offered by the State Bar of Texas

9:30–10:00am Registration

Welcome – Sizing Up the Problem:

“As Goes the Land, So Goes the Water & Life as We Know It”*

Blair Fitzsimons, CEO Texas Agricultural Land Trust


Going, going, gone:

How Land Loss and Fragmentation Threatens Texas’ Water Resources

Dr. Roel Lopez, Director, Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources

IRNR will debut the result of the latest Texas Land Trends Study (, a 25-year study examining the impacts of rural land loss and fragmentation on water, agriculture and other natural resources. Be the first to hear how dramatically land fragmentation is impacting the water resources needed to sustain Texas’ economy.


A Low-Cost Tool for Land Conservation:

An Introduction to the Conservation Easement

Allison Elder, General Counsel, Texas Agricultural Land Trust

A conservation easement is one tool available to landowners who want to keep their land in agriculture while protecting natural resources for the benefit of all Texans. Learn the basics of a conservation easement, how it works, its benefits and drawbacks and why this can be an effective tool for land and water conservation.



12:30–1:15pm State Programs & Solutions for Mitigating Land Loss

Blair Fitzsimons, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Agricultural Land Trust

Alan McWilliams, Director, Uplands Surface Leasing, Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program, Texas General Land Office

Texas has an opportunity to implement innovative land and water conservation strategies. This presentation will provide an overview of funding strategies from other states and how state money can leverage federal funding, and will profile Texas’ own Purchase of Development Rights program, the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program, which is housed at the General Land Office.


Private Lands, Public Benefits:

Win/Win Strategies for Rural and Urban Interests

Blair Fitzsimons, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Agricultural Land Trust

Dr. Francine Romero, Board Chair, San Antonio Aquifer Protection Initiative

Conservation of private land is the easiest and MOST cost effective water security strategy to implement. Learn about how two of the largest cities in the U.S. have protected their water supply and boosted their regional agricultural economies for a fraction of what other strategies would have cost tax payers.

– Adjourn –

Cost: FREE

Lunch will be provided for all attendees who register by Monday, September 29th.

To Register:
Call (210) 569-6972
Reg Online Link:


*Quote by David K. Langford, Photographer and Co-Author of Hillingdon Ranch: Four Seasons, Six generations.

CEO Testimony House Natural Resources Committee PDF Print E-mail

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.”

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