WEST COLUMBIA - The Brazos River passes - wide and muddy - through the Griffith family ranch. Floodwaters frequently prompt family members and an armada of cowboys for hire to round up their cows and move them to higher ground.
Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program Report
Texas is comprised of 142 million acres of private farms, ranches and forestlands, leading the nation in privately owned working land acres. These working lands are under increasing land conversion and fragmentation pressure. In response, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) in 2005 to protect agricultural lands in the state.
In April 2015, NRI evaluated the TFRLCP, a purchase of development rights (PDR) program, to determine the needed funding levels and target areas of opportunity for the state. This report provided science-based information to help the land trust community make the case for sustained TFRLCP funding and resulted in the program receiving funding for the first time since its establishment. In December 2016, a second report evaluated the effectiveness of the TFRLCP, following the implementation of the recently funded program. The report focused on the program’s return on investment, value of protected water resources and potential future demand for a PDR program. For more information on the TFRLCP program, see the TPWD program’s website.
Finalized in November 2020, NRI examined the conservation easements executed under the TFRLCP, specifically evaluating ecological and economic values secured through the protection of these properties as well as the fiscal efficiency of state funds to protect working lands with high agricultural value at a relatively low cost for state residents. Read the 2020 report, prepared by NRI, the Texas Land Trust Council and the Texas Water Resources Institute, here.
As director for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Dr. Roel Lopez provides leadership in the field of wildlife ecology and natural resource management. Roel works with internal and external stakeholders in develop…
Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program: 2020 Evaluation Report
Alison Lund, Garrett Powers, Roel Lopez, Addie Smith, Lori Olson, Lucas Gregory
Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program Evaluation Report
Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources
In this Texas Agricultural Land Trust video, Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department explains the impact of the initial round of funding used to conserve working agricultural lands through the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program which provides grants for paid conservation easements to private land owners.
The fall issue of the Land Trust Alliance Saving Land magazine highlights recent grants to land trusts for remote monitoring projects, transformative partnerships between land trusts and Indigenous groups and NRI's work to define the economic value of protected lands.
Water is a cornerstone in supporting Texas’ rich array of landscapes, burgeoning populations and prosperous economy. Managing and regulating this valuable resource to ensure long-term, sustainable use is a top priority for state and local planners—however, it quickly becomes a delicate balance with consideration to ecological processes, natural disasters and general land/water ownership rights.
A recent report by the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas Land Trust Council shows state-funded conservation easements in Texas provide numerous financial and ecological benefits.
The goal of this report was to examine the conservation easements executed under the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program, evaluating ecological and economic values secured through the protection of these properties as well as the fiscal efficiency of state funds to protect working lands with high agricultural value at a relatively low cost for state residents.
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 Council has approved land trust funding totaling $1.4 million for a wide array of conservation easements, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).