Q U A R T E R L Y N E W S L E T T E R Texas Land Conservancy Protecting the Nature of Texas. Issue #36 Fall 2009 eARTday 2010 TLC in Your Community It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Welcome aboard, Daniel! Preview and Review, Part II a...Bat? Meet our newest staff We pick up our history of the Have an artistic bone in your New partnership with DFW- body? Check out an area middle school connects Just in time for Halloween: member, Daniel Dietz! You land trust movement with upcoming oportunity to strut TLC with wider community. everything you’ve ever are sure to see his smiling the formation of the Land your stuff! We are excited to teach our wanted to know about the face sometime soon. Trust Alliance. skills to youngsters! Mexican Free-Tail Bat! Page 7 Page 2 Page 6 Page 5 Page 5 Closing in on a Centennial:100th Conservation Project on the Horizon With 99 conservation projects under our belt, we are excited about the prospect of crossing that centennial landmark in the near future. While we don’t know the name of the 100th property, we’d like to take this opportunity to look back on a few of our past projects, representing 27 years of conservation work. The One that Started it All: Catahoula Forest, 1984 When this 100-acre in-holding of Angelina Forest came up for sale, TLC was just a ﬂedgling organization, then called the Natural Area Preservation Association and incorporated just two years before. The owner of the land told our founder, Ned Fritz, “I’m going to sell this land to either a lumber company or your organization.” That was all the incentive Ned needed to take TLC to the next level, particularly given that he had spent much of his adult life campaigning against the ravages of the timber industry. He started furiously campaigning for the $108,000 TLC would need to make the purchase, and after months of very hard work, TLC bought the forest outright, making Catahoula Forest the ﬁrst nature preserve under TLC’s care. A number of people and organizations were instrumental in the purchasing effort, including Trammell Crow, Fred Agnich, Roger Horchow, banker Michaux Nash, Jr., the Dallas County Audubon Society, the Sierra Club and the Texas Conservation Alliance. Their efforts protected a number of important natural features, including a The entrance to Catahoula 37-million year old outcrop of boulders, a hanging bog with three species Forest is marked by a large of orchids, habitat for a colony of endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker, plaque, listing donors who and a clear-trickling Falls Creek shaded by large beech, oak and bald made the purchase possible. cypress. Continued on page 3 www.texaslandconservancy.org 1 T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y FROM THE DIRECTOR Well, the calendar says we are nearing autumn, but the weather seems to be behind the times. In Austin, as across most of the state, this summer has been an unbearable onslaught of heat and drought, and relief anytime soon seems unlikely. During a recent ﬁeld day with some landowners, one commented to me, “When the cedar trees start dying, we have a problem.” I agreed and explained that protecting land is one of the best way to protect water, a very tangible way to explain the importance of the work that we do. A large part of my job is interacting with a public that has little or no idea what we do, how we do it, or why we do it. Often I have less than a minute to explain that we are a land trust which facilitates land conservation through donated conservation easements and outright land purchases for permanent protection of critical landscapes. More often than not, this explanation is met with blank stares. So in the remaining ﬁfteen seconds that I have, I usually just explain that we are responsible for nature preserves. This usually appeases people and they go on their way. The point to my story is that what we do, how we do it, and why we do it is often either taken for granted, or misunderstood by the public. The work of permanently protecting wild places has lasting effects--protecting Texas’ limited and precious water supply, for example--and there is simply not enough time in casual conversation to explain them all. Regardless, we must, as supporters of conservation, continue to educate the public about the importance of this work. Our mission has been and always will be the permanent protection of vanishing places and resources. You can read about some of our public education efforts later in this newsletter. In addition to educating the public, we must continually strive to provide lasting ﬁnancial security, ensuring that we can truly protect the lands entrusted to us in perpetuity. As part of this ongoing effort I am pleased to announce that we have been awarded an extremely generous grant from the Malcolm C. Damuth Foundation for the establishment of a permanently secured endowment in the memory of Ned Fritz. Over the next two years the Foundation will provide $75,000 to establish this fund. My request to our members it to help us make this effort go even further and contribute to help us double or triple this amount. Permanent endowments provide enduring support for organizations like TLC and are critical for the longevity of the organization. As always, please take the time to renew your dues online or with the included envelope. Thank you for your support of TLC — we could not do this work without you. If you have any questions, please contact me at 512-301-6363 or mark@texaslandconservancy Mark Steinbach purchased key lands—often tracts that were come from various ﬁeld trips to the Oak Cliff Ned Fritz Memorial surrounded by national forests—and sold or Nature Preserve, the 120-acre nature preserve Endowment will Fund donated them to conservation groups. Malcolm donated two such tracts, the Winter’s we own in the heart of Oak Cliff. The preserve features many unique natural features to Protection and Bayou and Damuth Sanctuaries, to the Houston Audubon Society, helping protect 782 inspire students to create a piece of green art. Acquisitions acres near the Sam Houston National Forest. Students will be creating these pieces over the course of several months, in conjuction with We are excited to announce the establishment TLC is incredibly grateful to the Damuth an art-in-nature curriculum. The project will of the Ned Fritz Memorial Endowment, in Foundation for its establishment of this new be leading towards a culminating event called honor of our late founder, Edward C. Fritz, permanent endowment and would like to eARThday on April 17, 2010 at the Oak Cliff who passed away last December. The invite our members to contribute matching Nature Preserve. The sculptures will be put Malcolm C. Damuth Foundation has granted funds. If you would like to make a matching on display at the preserve for a day-long event TLC $75,000 over two years to establish the contribution to the Ned Fritz Memorial celebrating the environment, art, and most permanent endowment, which will be used to Endowment, please note that clearly on your especially, the creativity of students. further land protection and land acquisition check or in an accompanying note. Make a goals of our organization. TLC would like to contribution of $500 or more, and we will send While the focus of this event will be the art of thank the foundation, and especially its V.P. you a Texas Land Conservancy t-shirt and hat! students, we are hoping that some of our and Treasurer, Steven C. “Craig” Damuth, for community members will also be interested in its generosity in supporting our mission. creating art to display. If you have a penchant TLC to Partner with and/or talent for creating sculpture, please The Damuth Foundation, founded in 2005 in honor of Malcolm C. Damuth, supports Dallas ISD for Spring contact us for more information about the size and material guidelines--we would love to see organizations that work to protect key ecological habitat, endangered species, and eARThday Celebration your sculpture along side the students’! aquifer sustainability. The foundation has TLC is excited about an upcoming partnership This project is still in its planning stages and supported those goals through grants for land with the Dallas ISD. Beginning this fall, we encourage any of our members or acquisition in key areas of the state, echoing a students in art classes in a number of Dallas supporters who have an interest in technique used by Malcolm throughout his high schools will be invited to create large volunteering on the day of the event or in the life. Born in Magnolia, TX, Malcolm dreamed sculptures out of natural, recycled, and green preparations beforehand to contact Kate of investing in conservation real estate. He materials. The inspiration of these pieces will (email@example.com). 2 www.texaslandconservancy.org T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y Centennial, from page 1 Department of Reclamation, “the proposed Big by protecting them from potential Donations were memorialized on a permanent Sandy Lake would be a mistake and we development. In 1995, they donated a marker at the entrance as an incentive, which will...try to keep it from being built. It would conservation easement on a 167-acre parcel of still stands today. One can’t help but notice on take one of the few reading the plaque that there are a number of remaining free-ﬂowing people there named Fritz. Ned and his wife, streams in Texas and turn Genie, who remains a TLC board member, it into a long still water donated for each of their daughters and for lake.” themselves, a clear demonstration of how important this land was to them. The process In order to permanently of protecting Catahoula Forest paved the way impede potential damage for the future of our organization, as well as to this valuable other conservation organizations in Texas. The ecosystem, Trammell preserve is open to the public, and we invite donated a conservation you to take a walk in the woods, and be easement on his 356- Jesus Canyon Ranch reminded of the important work that land acres. We now hold the features many scenic trusts do in protecting land “in perpetuity,” easement so that the wild vistas like this one. which, for Ned, was the most signiﬁcant marsh will remain a component of a land trust’s efforts. vibrant example of ﬂoating marsh in Texas. the larger property. This piece is extraordinary Our ﬁrst Conservation Easement: The Glades opened the door for TLC to move in its diversity and rocky features, which The Glades, 1984 forward with other conservation easements, a include the Glen Rose formation, Edwards land protection method that was just really limestone, and Segovia Member. The easement One of the largest freshwater marshlands beginning to take off in the 1980s as an area contains the head of a tributary canyon as north of the gulf coast, The Glades is a vast, alternative to purchasing lands. Since The well as an intermitent stream. The canyon wet, shady place with plenty of wild life, Glades, TLC has been the recipient of 65 other ranges from 2,204 feet high at its tallest point including the American alligator. It is wild conservation easements. in a southern corner to about 1,780 feet at its country, home for water moccasins and, in the summer, a haven for mosquitoes. There are A Rugged Hill Country Gem: lowest point, where the creek leaves the ﬂoating islands of matted, decayed material Jesus Canyon Ranch, 1995 easement area. that now support other forms of plant life. Members of the TLC community have spent Surrounded by the head-high sugar cane The story of Jesus Canyon Ranch is not one of many hours documenting the biolgocal plumegrass, The Glades is also home to one of a reactive response to impending habitat divserity of the ranch. In one day Bob the most primitive of destruction, but rather O’Kennon of the Botanical Research Institute plants, the little- a tale of methodical, of Texas recorded 365 conﬁrmed species with known punctuated p r o a c t i v e about 100 more waiting for conﬁrmation once hornwort. The ﬂoating conservation efforts. they bloomed. Some of these have never been glade, which is similar Longtime TLC described and one has been seen only once to the Florida supporter Claude since it was ﬁrst recorded in 1850. Everglades, gets its Albritton, Jr. and his water from Mill Creek wife Susan Albritton, Giving the People What They Want: and drains into Big spent a good part of Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, 2000 Sandy Creek. the 1990s purchasing parcells of rugged Some of you may be sick of hearing about Oak In 1982, the U.S. Corps open space in western Cliff Nature Preserve, the 120-acre oasis of of Engineers did a Bandera County. Over green space located right in the middle of study on Big Sandy the years, they urban Dallas. How this unique nature preserve Creek, to determine accumulated roughly came to be entrusted into TLC’s care is an the possible effects of 2500 acres of vital interesting story, though, and one worth a proposed dam, lands, all part of the knowing! which would create Edwards Plateau and Big Sandy Lake, a containing a number The property was orginally a Boy Scout camp possible reservoir for of water resources called Camp Brooklawn in the 1970s, until the regional water supply. and unique geological scouts moved to Camp Wisdom in the mid- The Glades is similar to the Florida 1990s. For three years the land was unused, In the face of losing features. Located deep Everglades in its lush biodiversity which suited the neighbors just ﬁne. David one of the last East in the Hill Country and slow ﬂowing water. Marquis, active with the local home owners Texas bottomland near Utopia, the area marshes, concerned is a spectacular association, was alerted in 1999 that the citizens, led by Trammell S. Crow, who owned example of undisturbed terrain and property was being sold for home sites. David 356 acres of the marshland, and the Texas vegetation. and Michael Jung (the homeowners' attorney Conservation Alliance, raised objections. and now a member of TLC's board) worked Many letters were written and many meetings The Albrittons are Dallas residents, but have a with developers and the landowner to secure were held by Trammell and others before the deep respect for the nature of the Hill Country protection of the natural area forever. In 2003, project was put on hold. Trammell wrote the and wanted to preserve these vanishing lands the landowner donated the green space to TLC www.texaslandconservancy.org 3 T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y Centenial, from page 3 Rolling Plains of Texas, prairie dogs were (and burrows made of PVC pipe where the dogs are and we have since entered into a partnership still are) pests that made ranching more fed and housed until they accept their new with a local mountain biking club (the Dallas difﬁcult. With the success of plains agriculture location. The dogs’ numbers are down because Off-Road Bicycle Association), who maintains came widespread extermination of the of predation, but Mr. Wood believes they are environmentally sensitive biking/hiking trails animals, and the number of prairie dogs in here for good, and he has seen a burrowing as well as most of the day-to-day maintanence. Texas has been reduced from hundreds of owl using the prairie dog dens. millions to about 300,000 today. Rancho Madera is an excellent example of how This is troubling conservation easements can help make the news for wildlife conservation and restoration efforts of private diversity, because landowners permanent. prairie dog towns On the horizon: create necessary 100th Property, 2009 habitat for many other species, And so, there you have it: a small sampling of i n c l u d i n g the variety of properties that TLC has burrowing owls. protected over the past 27 years. These are just ﬁve out of 99 properties, all of which have When Jesse important stories and features attached to Wood began them. We invite you to visit our website and restoring the 410- click on “Lands” to ﬁnd more information acre ranch in about these and other preserves under our Callahan County care. Our interactive map will also help you A rider enjoys the trails he inherited from ﬁnd your way if you would like to visit. Please at Oak Cliff Nature his mother and note that some properties are open to the Preserve in Dallas. grandparents, he public, while others require permission, or are felt something not publically accessible at all. Contact us for missing. “I further information. Today, eight miles of multi-use hike and bike remembered back to the prairie dog-populated trails course through the OCNP. Bird and plant landscapes I had known decades before, and We are excited to be closing in on our 100th enthusiasts, bicycle riders of all ages-- they were so much more vibrant than the property later this year and are unendingly including former President George W. Bush-- empty rangelands of the present,” he said. This grateful to our generous landowners and and those just wishing for peace and quiet visit has inspired Mr. Wood to begin reintroducing supporters. Without all of you, Texas would be the preserve to connect with nature. The prairie dogs to the ranch. In December 2003, much further away from imagining a greener preserve has been the location for community Jesse and his wife, Olivia, donated a future with protected natural resources, and corporate work days, two Eagle Scout conservation easement on the ranch to including hardwood forests, wetlands, projects, and a myriad of biking events. permanently conserve the land where they’ve sweeping canyons, wildlife, urban green space, invested so much effort. and, perhaps most importantly, vital water We are particularly proud of this nature sources. presreve because it is located in a dense urban Jesse Wood has imported more than 200 prairie area and serves the needs of the traditionally dogs to the ranch, a labor-intensive and underserved population of Oak Cliff, in expensive project involving transporting the Don’t forget! addition to mountain bikers and hikers from animals from the Texas Panhandle and all over the city and beyond. Although Oak building and implanting artiﬁcial “starter” The extended federal tax Cliff was once a thriving independent town, it incentive for donated has since become A pair of newly re-introduced conservation easements is set to incorporated into the prairie dogs investigate their city of Dallas and is now new home at Rancho Madera. expire at the end of 2009. The one of the poorest, yet most diverse, areas of national Land Trust Alliance is the city. As is the case in working hard to make these many similar neghborhoods, natures beneﬁts permanent, but we do preserves or parks do not tend to be priorities not yet know the results of their for city ofﬁcials, so labors. If you or someone you OCNP ﬁlls a unique and much needed niche. know would like to donate an A Case Study in Wildlife easement and receive these Restoration: beneﬁts without risk, please Rancho Madera, 2003 contact us by October 15. To the ranchers of the 4 www.texaslandconservancy.org T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y TLC Partners with Middle School, Teaches Conservation In keeping with our goals to reach out into the communities state-wide, Texas. Native prairies have become increasingly threatened ecosystems TLC has become a community partner of Aledo Middle School in Aledo because of natural gas drilling and the creation of pipelines, which often (west of Fort Worth) for their Prairie Project, a year-long environmental uproot vast tracts of native grasses and forbs. Students wanted to help education initiative for the 2009-2010 school year. The project was mitigate the effects of this drilling by reseeding portions of a prairie and created by students and will take place on Bear Creek Ranch, a tall- collect data that shows why we need to preserve the Tall Grass Prairie. grass prairie owned by Dixon Water Foundation. Teams of students will be working on trail building, map creation, prairie restoration, wildlife The Prairie Project will allow students to present their ﬁndings to local, analysis, water quality testing, and a number of other activities. state, and national audiences. Students will be participating via Skype in conferences with other middle school students in Louisiana, The project is made possible by the Healthy Habitats Grant from Oklahoma, and Fort Worth. TLC is proud to join other community EnCana U.S.A. Gas and Oil, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Texas Service partners, including Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Service Learning, Learning. The project idea originated when 12 students were Dixon Water Foundation, Dixon Ranches, Fort Worth Nature Center, completing research and discovered that their local ecosystem, the Tall Tarrant Regional Water District, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Grass Prairie, is considered the #1 endangered ecosystem in the state of and Texas Master Naturalists in this exciting project! Hey, L k at That! Baby Bats! Fall is a time for movement, as many creatures take to foot and wing towards warmer winters. We’re focusing this season on bats, one of the least appreciated, but most interesting migrating mammals you may have the opportunity to see. While the thought of bats give many of us the heebie- jeebies, these winged mammals consume a lot of pesky insects for us, and protect farmers’ crops from a number of harmful pests. In Texas, bats are born around June, learn to ﬂy in July and August, and join their mothers on the journey south come fall. Here’s one of our favorites! Mexican Free-Tail Bats near San Antonio is home to the largest colony Once born, the baby bats take their ﬁrst ﬂight of mammals of any kind: over 20 million bats at about ﬁve weeks and continue to practice live in the cave, now owned by Bat on nightly ﬂights, preparing for the trek south Conservation International (www.batcon.org). in the fall. Throughout the summer, you can see vast clouds of free-tail bats emerging from Most of the female Mexican Free-Tail Bats their nesting areas--particularly the South arrive in Texas in March, having ﬂown in from Congress Bridge and Braken Cave--to hunt for Mexico, where they spend their winters. Many food each evening arond 8:00 p.m. males stay in Mexico throughout the summer as well. An estimated 100-million free-tail bats Researchers have watched emerging bats migrate to Central Texas each year, occupying ascend to altitudes of 1,000-10,000 feet to feed a wide variety of habitats. The bats tend to be on migrating cotton boll worm moths, army very loyal to their nesting places, returning to cut-worm moths, and other costly agricultural the same cave, bridge, or even abandoned pests. These pests cost Texas farmers millions mine year after year. The females are pregnant of dollars and the bats help naturally reduce when they migrate north, settling into large these costs dramatically. Pregnant and nursing maternity colonies, where they give birth from bat mothers, in particular, require signiﬁcant June to mid-July. amounts of food, which they get by eating egg-laden moths. Free-tail bats are one of the slowest reproducing mammals on earth; each Mexican Free-tails are among the few North American If you live in the Hill Country, you are Free-Tail mother gives birth to only one pup species that do not hibernate. With their long, probably familiar with the Mexican Free-Tail each year. In a single colony, 90% of births narrow wings, they are especially adapted to Bats, Tadarida brasiliensis. Austin boasts the occur within a 15 day period. In a 20-million- fast ﬂight, so when the temperatures begin to country’s largest urban bat colony under the bat maternity colony like Braken Cave, that’s drop, entire colonies take off for the long South Congress Bridge, while Bracken Cave 18,000,000 new bats in just over two weeks! journey to Mexico. Watch for them! www.texaslandconservancy.org 5 T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y National Land Trust New stewardship director, Census Finds Private Daniel Dietz, joins TLC staff Conservation Improved The national Land Trust Alliance (see Long Road, We are excited to introduce you to the newest addition to our conservation team. Daniel Dietz, a next page) conducts a full census of land trusts Texas native, has worked with conservation organizations as diverse as the Lady Bird Johnson every ﬁve years. We expect to see the 2010 survey Wildflower Center, the Nature Conservancy, and the City of Austin's Wildland Conservation in the next year, but wanted to share with you the Division. Daniel has much technical expertise, including native prairie restoration, prescribed results from the most recent survey, completed in burning, as well as easement monitoring and management. We are also thrilled about his 2005. This summary of ﬁndings can be found at the experience working with volunteers and outdoor education; if you have done any conservation LTA website: www.lta.org. volunteering in the Austin area, there’s a good chance you’ve seen him there! Daniel also serves as the Vice President of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (NPAT). While we could go on and • Acres conserved by local and state land on, let’s turn the floor over to the man himself… trusts doubled from 2000 to 2005. 11.9 million acres were conserved by these Hello Texas Land Conservancy supporters! this is why the work of TLC is so important. groups—an area twice the size of the state of Already, I have been able to meet with a New Hampshire. This is an increase of 5.8 I am very excited to be a part of an number of our land owners who decided to million acres since 2000. organization which is taking action to protect their land in perpetuity and marvel at conserve Texas’ natural heritage and look • The pace of private land conservation has their commitment to sound land management. tripled by local and state land trusts. From forward to meeting many of you in the near I thank them for introducing me to their future. Like many people, my first connections 1995-2000, land trusts conserved an average properties. While my education and work of 337,937 acres per year (by 1,263 land to the natural world were forged as child, experience have prepared me well for this job, going on canoeing and camping trips with my trusts). That pace soared to 1,166,697 million I know that I will always have much to learn acres conserved per year (by 1,667 land family. Growing up in the suburbs of and look forward to learning from you and Arlington Texas, I often found myself trusts), on average, from 2000-2005. sharing your expertise with others. spending time in the small undeveloped area • The states with the highest total acres that abutted the railroad tracks near our I also must thank outgoing stewardship conserved are California, Maine, Colorado, director Kerry Olenick, whose excellent notes home. Initially I spent a good deal of my time Montana, Virginia, New York, Vermont, and sound organization have allowed me to there firing slingshots and bottle rockets, but New Mexico, Pennsylvania and gradually grew to appreciate the green space hit the ground running. I first met Kerry at a Massachusetts. Notably, Colorado and for its own inherent qualities. prescribed burn in 2008. Talking with him led Virginia are two of the few states offering a me to become a member of TLC and develop a state tax incentive for conservation, in As I entered college and began to learn more deep respect for TLC’s mission. I look about conservation and land stewardship, I forward to serving that mission and tandem with the federal incentive. became more and more interested in furthering the goals of our organization. • Local and state land trusts increased the contributing to efforts which acres protected by conservation easements would work on large scales. by 148%. These private, voluntary As a part of the Lady Bird agreements saved 6,245,969 acres as of 2005, Johnson Wildflower Center’s versus 2,514,566 just ﬁve years ago. Landscape Restoration Easements allow landowners to take Program, I began to advantage of IRS approved tax incentives. understand how we can restore some of the natural • The primary focus of land trust efforts is processes which will keep our protecting natural areas and wildlife habitat landscapes healthy. My first (39%), followed by open space (38%) and work with landtrusts began water resources (26%), especially wetlands. during my four-year Yet the type of land protected nationwide is experiment living in New quite varied, reﬂecting the regional England, where I became the differences in landforms. Other protected stewardship manager for the areas are farms, coastal shores, prairies, Vermont Chapter of the deserts, urban gardens and local parks. Nature Conservancy. With TLC, I will be able to combine • The American West is the fastest-growing all of my interests: Texas region in both the number of acres saved ecosystems, land management, and the number of land trusts. Protection of and private land conservation. rangeland is increasing in many Western What could be better? states. The second-fastest growing region, by percentage of acres conserved, is the In this state, conservation on Southeast, an area that historically has had any large scale will need to fewer land trusts. The Northeast gained the involve both private most acreage under conservation easement, landowners and conservation nearly tripling the acres held under New Stewardship Director, Daniel Dietz easements to be effective, and easement in the past ﬁve years. 6 www.texaslandconservancy.org T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y The Long Road to Accreditation: Chapter II Review of Chapter I board of directors asked a new president to LTA and Conservation Easements step up to the plate, and by 1985 the In June, we wrote about the history of land One of the most important contributions of organization was again making progress. trusts, their creation in the face of decreasing LTA has been its ability to synthesize the federal funds to purchase and conserve lands, LTA’s Work Today experiences of land trusts working with and the beneﬁts they provide to landowners conservation easements, the voluntary legal The Alliance has taken on a number of projects who wish to conserve their land for future agreements between landowners and land throughout its history, but its primary mission generations. The very ﬁrst land trust was trusts that limit development of lands. States is fourfold: to raise resources to support established in 1891 in Massachusetts, and began to incorporate conservation easements permanent conservation of critical natural according to the most recent land trust census, into their tax laws in the 1960s, but did not use areas; to build awareness of the public beneﬁts 1,667 land trusts are operating in nearly every them widely until the 1980s. Between 1988 and of conserved land, including clean air, clean state in the union. Land trusts represent the 1998, land protected by local land trusts water, local food, scenic views and recreation “private” side of land conservation, allowing through ownership increased 176%, but land areas; to make land conservation a high individuals who own land with conservation protected through conservation easement priority for policy makers, community leaders value to add theirs to the growing number of increased 378%. and landowners; and to promote legal protected acres throughout the country. Land strategies and support systems to help land Landowners are often far more willing to trusts protect lands by purchasing lands, trusts successfully defend against threats to donate a conservation easement than they are accepting donated lands, purchasing now-conserved land. to donate the title of that same property. Also, development rights, or holding a conservation landowners tend to be willing to donate easement on a property. The growth in the Towards these ends, the LTA has regional easements on much larger pieces of land than number of land trusts really took off in the ofﬁces throughout the country as well as its they would donate outright. Finally, easements early 1980s, a trend that can be partially headquarters in Washington, D.C. It publishes allow working farms and ranches to become attributed to the creation of a national a quarterly magainze protected properties organization called the Land Trust Alliance. called Saving Lands, by leaving the Land Trust Alliance is Born containing important “A conservation easement has management in the information for land By the mid 1970s, fewer than 400 land trusts trust professionals as one purpose: to protect the hands of their owners, since few land trusts were working to protect lands from unchecked well as the general conservation values of a speciﬁc are in the position to development. Many of these were run entirely public. LTA hosts an by volunteers, but even so, had managed to annual conference, piece of land. The easement does operate a farm or ranch. make great strides and complete many referred to as Rally, this by switching the successful conservation projects. These where land trust staff, Easements, however, organizations were fairly isolated, however, board members, and responsibility, and the burden, of are complicated. As and had little contact with one another. To landowners come defending the conservation legal documents combat this isolation, a tax lawyer named together to learn about values from the successive attached to the title of Kingsbury Browne, Jr., who had been helping the latest industry a property, they individual land trusts understand tax policy, advances, much like owners of the land to an outside permanently restrict a undertook a major mission: a road trip across they did at that ﬁrst organization devoted to land variety of activities, the country with stops at many of the most conference back in 1981. including subdivision, active and successful land trusts. From July to The Alliance is also conservation.” (Brewer, 148) construction, December 1980, he visited many organizations, working hard lobbying development, and came away with the impression that there Congress to make disturbance of natural needed to be more communication. federal income tax incentives more lucrative habitat, and excavation. Each easement is for landowners wishing to donate negotiated between the land trust and the Browne’s report highlighted the need for an conservation easements. landowner, and each takes into consideration a exchange of ideas among these organizations, variety of circumstances that make a property which resulted in the 1981 conference entitled Finally, and most importantly, LTA has created unique. The ability of a land trust to defend the “National Consultation on Local Land the Land Trust Alliance Standards and conservation value of a property, by way of the Conservation.” This conference, and a another Practices to be adopted by land trusts wishing terms of the conservation easement, is based similar conference in the same year, kick- to live up to the highest standards in the entirely on the strength of that easement started the networking capabilities of formerly industry. The ﬁrst S&P were made available in document. secluded land trusts around the country. 1993, and revised in 2004. Approximately Participating organizations were excited to 1,000 land trusts have adopted these most The Land Trust Alliance has been instrumental learn about other organizations doing similar recent Standards and Practices. LTA has also in improving the strength of these documents work, and all beneﬁted from hearing case set up an Accreditation Commission and through their reserach, training, publications, studies of both successes and failures. application process by which a land trust can and ability to connect land trusts to each other. demonstrate its compliance with these Out of those conferences came the Land Trust Sources: standards and earn the right to bear the Land Alliance (originally Land Trust Exchange), 1) LTA website: www.lta.org. Trust Alliance accreditation seal. We are incorporated in 1982. LTA had a rough 2) Brewer, Richard. 2003. Conservancy: The Land working towards that as we speak and hope to childhood, struggling to ﬁnd grants and Trust Movement in America. Hanover, NH: be able to call our selves accreidited in 2010! sufering a ﬁnancial meltdown by 1984. The University Press of New England. www.texaslandconservancy.org 7 T E X A S L A N D C O N S E R V A N C Y WHO WE ARE W H AT W E D O IN THIS ISSUE: Staff The Texas Land Conservancy is a 501(c)3 non-proﬁt Mark Steinbach, Executive Director organization located in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1982 by We review a 27 year history of firstname.lastname@example.org Daniel Dietz, Stewardship Director a group of dedicated environmentalists in Dallas, TLC conservation work with our 100th (formerly the Natural Area Preservation Association) has email@example.com grown to conserve nearly 80,000 acres of land using property on the horizon; Kate Vickery, Outreach Coordinator conservation easements, the purchase of development rights, firstname.lastname@example.org and outright acquisition.. We are committed to the Board of Directors perpetual conservation of Texas lands by: We welcome our newest staff Robert J. O'Kennon, President, Fort Worth Mickey Burleson, President-Elect, Temple PROTECTING native landscapes that have been important member, Mr. Daniel Dietz; to Texans for generations; Janell Morgan, Treasurer, Dallas Eugenia Fritz, Secretary, Dallas DOCUMENTING a natural history of the land as Katherine Goodbar, Dallas benchmarks for future generations; We continue with Chapter Two of Polly Shields, Lancaster SAVING critical lands which are crucial for environmental our series, “The Long Road to Russ Jewert, Terrell functions such as clean water, clean air, erosion control, and P. Michael Jung, Dallas wetlands protection; Accreditation”; Earl Matthew, Rockport CONSERVING open space and reducing the negative Eileen McKee, Dallas effects of land fragmentation; Anne Norvell, Dallas PROVIDING scientiﬁc research opportunities to serve as We ramp up our activities in the Sharon C. Reed, Richardson Pat Spillman, Jr., Houston living classrooms where people can observe and appreciate Metroplex, helping students engage nature; Alex F. Weisberg, Jr., Dallas Jennifer Touchet, Houston PRESERVING the natural diversity essential to the health with conservation in creative ways; C O N TA C T U S and survival of the environment we all share. Texas Land Conservancy P.O. Box 162481; Austin, TX 78716 This newsletter is produced quarterly by the TLC staff We thank an important parnter for and distributed to members and donors at the $30 512.301.6363 (phone) 512.301.6364 (fax) level or higher. Comments, questions, and concerns establishing a permanent www.texaslandconservancy.org may be sent to email@example.com. endowment in honor of a friend.