Why was the Trust Founded?
Texas A&M and American Farmland Trust collected data from the 1997 to 2007 census that shows Texas is home to over 142 million acres of private farms, ranches and forestlands. The state of Texas thus leads the nation in land area devoted to privately-owned working lands. These lands account for 84% of the state’s entire land area and provide substantial economic, environmental, and recreational resources to the benefit of the state’s entire population.
According to accumulated from data the County Appraisal Districts, over 2.1 million acres of farms, ranches and forestlands were converted to other uses over the period from 1997 to 2007. Over 40% of this land conversion was related to growth and development associated with population expansion in the state's 25 highest growth counties. During this period, 861,765 acres were lost from the agricultural land base in these counties. As a function of population increase, roughly 149 acres of agricultural lands were consumed per 1,000 new residents. For more information go to Texas Land Trends.
What is a Land Trust?
A land trust is a local, regional or national nonprofit organization that protects land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historic or productive value. Land trusts have varying conservation objectives; some work in specific geographic areas or concentrate on protecting different natural or cultural features. Land trusts that accept conservation easements are responsible for monitoring that property and ensuring that the terms of the easement are followed. The land trust is responsible for stewardship of the conservation easement for as long as the easement exists.