For nearly 30 years, the Texas Land Conservancy (TLC) has been working with landowners to protect their family lands through a variety of techniques designed to carry out the landowner's wishes. Our three main strategies are conservation easements, gifts, and purchase. In this section, you will find a comprehensive guide to conserving your land with TLC. We invite you to explore and learn about the work that we do; please
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” - Aldo Leopold
Methods for Protecting Family LandsConservation Easement Donation: A conservation easement is a legal agreement conveyed by a landowner that restricts certain future uses of a piece of property. The purpose of the easement is to ensure that the property will be managed to protect natural features, historic sites, scenery, traditional land uses, or other values. The goal of most conservation easements is to make sure that the current uses and condition of a piece of land are not greatly altered in the future. Conservation easements are usually donated to TLC, though in rare cases, an easement may be purcahsed from a landowner. TLC is responsible for visiting the property annually to make sure that the terms of the easement are followed. We also support the landowner by providing expertise or assisting with management activities on the property. Donating a conservation easement often qualifies the landowner for significant tax benefits. This is the most common method of land conservation for TLC; over 72,000 acres of our protected land came from easement donations. Learn more. Fee Simple Donation: A fee simple donation is the transfer of a property by deeding it directly to a charitable organization for conservation or other purposes. As a charitable organization, TLC may accept gifts of property in fee simple. More than twenty landowners have donated property to TLC. Donations of property to a land trust such as TLC are typically tax-deductiblePurchase: TLC has purchased a few of its fee simple properties with funds from special-purpose campaigns or general donations. Tracts of land purchased by TLC must be places of unusual significance for water features, wildlife, or native plants. This is not a common method of conservation because of the increasing costs of land due to development pressure.