Texas Land Conservancy by yaofenji


									                                        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

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                          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         (kate@texaslandconservancy.org).

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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

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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
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

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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!

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                                                                                                          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
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
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
       Daniel Dietz, Stewardship Director
                                                    a group of dedicated environmentalists in Dallas, TLC
                                                                                                                         conservation work with our 100th
                                                    (formerly the Natural Area Preservation Association) has
          daniel@texaslandconservancy.org           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,
            kate@texaslandconservancy.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
                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 kate@texaslandconservancy.org.
                                                                                                                         endowment in honor of a friend.

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