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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

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.”

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

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