In Texas, our land has created the identity, both natural and cultural, of our state. With diversity stretching from West Texas to the Gulf Coast, Texas would not be the same without these unique landscapes. This land has been undergoing substantial changes over the past few years from population growth, increased costs, and conversion of open land to other uses. With these increasing pressures, land conservation is critical to the viability of our state.
Over 95% of Texas is privately owned farms, ranches, and forests, so the Colorado River Land Trust (CRLT) works in partnership with private landowners to voluntarily protect these landscapes. These private lands not only produce our food and water, but also have a long, rich family history that tells the story of Texas.
Conserving land carries many long-lasting benefits for our state. Protecting farms and ranches ensures more of the rainfall will soak into the ground and aquifers, replenishing our water supply. Also, conserving land protects habitat for iconic Texas wildlife, such as pronghorn and Guadalupe bass, while ensuring many of our cherished pastimes of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are all still possible.
The tool CRLT uses to accomplish land protection endeavors is a conservation easement, which offers a nonprofit, voluntary solution for land conservation that does not rely on government tax dollars or programs to help protect the land.
Conservation easements are voluntary agreements between a landowner and a qualified organization that encourages farming, ranching, hunting, and fishing on the land, while protecting it from incompatible development. These agreements offer landowners flexibility to meet their specific needs and goals while protecting the open space, wildlife habitat, agricultural use, or historic features of the property.
Granting a conservation easement may qualify landowners for financial benefits, including income and estate tax savings, and allow land to remain in the family, easing the financial burden of passing the property to heirs.
We strive to protect the Colorado River in Texas, as well as the surrounding land and water that make up this diverse part of our state. From the high plains in west Texas and New Mexico, to the productive farmland near the coast, and emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, the Colorado River is critical to a diverse array of cities, industries, wildlife and more. Reach out to us to learn more and how we may assist you in protecting your land.
We work to protect the wide open spaces, abundant wildlife, agriculture, and heritage of Texas by working cooperatively with landowners to promote voluntary land conservation. By protecting our state’s resources, we can ensure the unique legacy of Texas exists for future generations.