WHY CONSERVE WORKING LANDS?
South Texas is changing and growing faster than anywhere else in the state.
Our sources of water are increasingly being threatened due to drought, development pressure, and population growth. But what we don’t always see is the effect this growth has on our native wildlife. Now more than ever it is crucial to protect land, water and wildlife for future generations.
What Are Working Lands?
Working lands are privately owned farms, ranches, and forests that produce food and fiber, support rural economies, and provide wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and recreational opportunities.
OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON THE LAND
More than 95% of Texas's private lands are owned by farmers and ranchers, families whose commitment to stewardship runs generations deep. Carrying on this legacy so the land continues to thrive for future generations is the essence of conservation.The Valley’s population is one of the fastest growing in the country; in 30 years it has tripled. Great are the economic pressures to subdivide land into small parcels, which inevitably reduces native plants and wildlife. Time after time, the experts have found that cutting up habitat is the biggest threat to the survival of any plants and animals. Stewardship of our working lands has never been more important, and VLF is the only land trust south of San Antonio dedicated to conserving these lands – an ecosystem referred to as the “last great habitat”.
INTRO TO CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
Conservation easements are voluntary agreements between a landowner and a qualified organization like VLF to restrict development of a property.
They are permanent and run with the land despite any changes in ownership. Texas’ landscapes and its people are diverse. Because every landowner and every property is unique - no two conservation easements are alike. Each is tailored to a specific piece of land and the conservation values of its owner.
In general, easements limit development to protect certain resources in perpetuity, such as open space, wildlife habitat, agricultural use, scenic vistas, historic landmarks and more. Easements encourage traditional activities such as farming, grazing, hunting, fishing, and recreation on the land. VLF focuses on conservation easements, which are designed specifically to preserve wildlife habitats, working lands, heritage lands and water resources.
Typically, the easement donation process takes approximately four to six months. Ready to get started? Contact us.