Landowner Workshop Success in Comal County

Spring Branch, Texas — The Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA) and the Hill Country Alliance co-hosted the workshop, “Saving Family Lands: Tools for Landowners in Comal County,” on February 15, 2019 at the Anhalt Dance Hall in Spring Branch, Texas.

The one-day workshop, which highlighted financial and conservation tools available to rural landowners in fast-growing Hill Country counties, attracted ninety attendees. The workshop was designed to provide farmers, ranchers, and other landowners with effective tools and resources to help them address issues inherent in passing family land on to future generations.

Speakers presented on a variety of topics including the case for conservation in Comal County; wildlife and open space valuation; financial tools and programs for landowners; conservation easement basics and tax benefits; and the role of land trusts. The workshop ended with a panel discussion with local landowners and conservation easement donors. The presentations generated many questions from the audience.

“With rates of land development and subdivision booming in Central Texas, workshops like this one provide a critical service to landowners interested in protecting their land and handing on a conservation ethic to future generations,” said Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance.

Attendee Steve Hixon said, “It was an excellent landowner workshop. We got very useful information on conservation easements to help protect our family ranch for future generations.”

“The event featured well-informed speakers who covered a wide range of topics related to land conservation—from the basics of a conservation easement to tax advantages,” said attendee Martha Bersch. “The information will be valuable in my family’s discernment regarding the future of our land.”

“It was encouraging to see so many people interested in preserving their land,” Elizabeth Bowerman, President of the CCCA, said. “Some families in our county live on land that has been in their family for six or seven generations! These lands are an important part of the culture and the rural fabric of our area, and the CCCA is happy to be able to help these ranchers and landowners find ways to preserve their land for future generations.”

The workshop was conducted with assistance from Alamo Resource Conservation & Development Area Inc., Anhalt Hall, Blair Wildlife Consulting, Braun & Gresham Family of Companies, Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, Hill Country Land Trust, James D. Bradbury PLLC, Plateau Land Group, Plateau Land & Wildlife Management, Ranch Connection LLC, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas Wildlife Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Wimberley Valley Watershed Association and facilitated by Carolyn Vogel, Texas Conservation Connection.

The Comal County Conservation Alliance (www.comalconservation.org) is a nonprofit organization working to protect land, water, and wildlife in Comal County. The Hill Country Alliance (www.hillcountryalliance.org) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country.

Register now for Texas Wildlife Association’s Spring programs for youth education

The Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) promotes youth education as part of their ongoing Conservation Legacy. TWA believes that “the future of Texas wildlife and natural resources lay in the hands of youth. Conservation Legacy has developed Learning Across New Dimensions in Science (L.A.N.D.S.), a suite of educational programs for K-12 to utilize in formal and informal educational venues. Conservation Legacy programs deliver the private lands stewardship message using hands-on, science based interactive lessons. L.A.N.D.S. offers a variety of methods for educating youth including Discovery Trunks, Distance Learning Programs, Wildlife by Design, and L.A.N.D.S. Intensive Curricula.” (www.texas-wildlife.org)

Registration is now available for the Spring semester programs*

Click here for more information on registration and the latest programs available.

*All programs are Science TEKS-aligned for Grades K-8 and are available at no cost!

For more on TWA’s youth education, please click the following link: https://www.texas-wildlife.org/program-areas/category/youth/

Texas also needs more natural resource leaders! Conservation Legacy programs provide adults with the tools necessary to foster an appreciation for natural processes and ecological interactions. For more on TWA’s adult education, click here: https://www.texas-wildlife.org/program-areas/category/adult-education/