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News Release
Media Contact:
TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030

March 3, 2016



Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council Approves $1.4 Million in Grant Awards

Conservation Easement Funding for five projects covering 14,311 acres

AUSTIN – The Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council today approved land trust funding totaling $1.4 million for a wide array of conservation easements to help bring more than 14,300 acres of the state’s high-value working farm and ranch lands under long term protection.

The Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) received 12 funding applications for projects in 10 counties ranging in scope from working cattle ranches to rice production and crayfish farming. Habitats considered for conservation easements were equally diverse, covering high desert grasslands, Hill Country springs, and tidal wetlands.

Criteria used to rank and score each project include: threat of development or other conversion of productive working lands, value (cost effectiveness), watershed value, fish and wildlife value, contribution to a conservation landscape, and terms of the conservation easement.

“The Council is committed to providing Texas landowners a viable option for protecting the state’s high conservation value working farm and ranch lands,” said Council Chairman S. Reed Morian. “We believe these projects are prime examples of that commitment.”

The following projects have been approved for conservation easement funding. All projects are perpetual in term:

A second round of the TFRLCP grant application cycle is currently open for consideration of the remaining $470,000 available in this year’s funding. The deadline to apply for consideration by the Council at its April 25 meeting is April 8. Applicants who Project submitted during the first cycle will automatically be considered and may amend their applications and resubmit before the deadline. New applicants are also welcome to submit applications. More information about the TFRLCP is available online at http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/private/farm-and-ranch/ or contact TPWD by email at TexasFarmandRanch@tpwd.texas.gov .

The goal of the TFRLCP is conservation of working lands with high values for water, fish and wildlife, and agricultural production, especially lands at risk of development. The program is administered by, and supports the mission of, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to encourage stewardship of private working lands for conservation of natural resources. TPWD objectives within this program include generating interest and awareness among land trusts and landowners, attracting significant numbers of qualified applicants, and leveraging the available money to fund as many high quality projects as possible.

Texas leads the nation in the loss and conversion of working farm and ranch lands. TFRLCP hopes to stem the tide by providing grant funds to purchase long term conservation easements on high value working lands. To date, Texas land trusts, which serve as the brokers for conservation easements, have brought more than 1.6 million acres of working lands into long term protection from development.

SL 2016-03-03


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