Texas Land Conservation Assistance Network launches in May 2019

Published 4:29 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

To The Leader

Exciting news is coming to private landowners in Texas! The formal launch of the Texas Land Conservation Assistance Network (Texas LandCAN) will be announced at a special event on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Meeting, 4200 Smith School Road in Austin. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
At Texas LandCAN, our mission is to promote the sustainability of wetlands, farms, forests, and other open spaces by empowering landowners to make smart decisions about their properties. Texas is one of eight state networks created by the Land Conservation Assistance Network, the largest conservation innovation platform on the web today. Texas LandCAN offers—free of charge—over 6,200 sources, solutions, programs, tools, and professional service providers to support landowners in Texas.
The new site is already averaging about 1,500 unique visitors each month which is an indication of its success. “We are extremely honored to bring our unique online platform to the great State of Texas,” says Amos Eno, Executive Director for the national Land Conservation Assistance Network (LandCAN). “Texas leads the nation in the number of farms and ranches, with more than 48,000 farms and ranches covering 140 million acres. That’s a lot of private landowners who can take advantage of our free resources.”
Based on the most recent Texas Land Trends report, about 83 percent of lands in Texas are classified as privately-owned working lands, signifying the critical role private landowners play in protecting the State’s valuable resources. Texas is the nation’s top producer of cotton, hay, sheep, goats, mohair, and horses. Some of its top crops are citrus, corn, wheat, peanuts, pecans, sorghum, and rice. Texas is inhabited by over 1,300 species that are considered to be Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The implementation of conservation easements, which are vital to keeping land from being split apart for development when a new generation takes over, is surging. According to Texas Land Trends, “88 percent of all conservation easements executed in Texas were executed between 2000 to 2018”.
Information and resources on Texas LandCAN are organized by ten eco-regions: Blackland Prairie, Cross Timbers, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Prairies, Piney Woods, Post Oak Savanna, Rolling Plains, South Texas Plains, and Trans Pecos. The website offers information for 11 resource categories that include (but are not limited to) Crop Production, Rangeland, Alternative Energy and Green Building Resources, Tax and Estate Planning, Wildlife and Native Plants, and much more.
The Texas LandCAN would not be possible without the generosity of: Stillwater Foundation; Jacob & Terese Hershey Foundation; John Nau and the Silver Eagle Distributors; Pioneer Natural Resources; and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We also thank national foundations who contributed: George L. Orhstrom, Jr. Foundation; Diana Davis Spencer Foundation; National Fish & Wildlife Foundation; the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service; and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service.
The overarching Land Conservation Assistance Network (LandCAN) platform connects private landowners to the resources they need to make smart, sustainable decisions about their land. It’s more important than ever to support landowners and help them sustainably manage their properties. Private lands host the vast majority of both wetlands (82%) and endangered species habitats (80%). They contain high levels of biodiversity and habitats for rare species, such as the declining monarch butterfly.
LandCAN is a free online conservation network that provides tools and resources to help landowners maintain and preserve their land for future use. The organization is a private non-profit organization that operates out of Falmouth, Maine. In addition to the national website, LandCAN hosts eight state sites: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, and Texas. The organization also hosts a site called the Habitat Conservation Assistance Network (HabitatCAN) that helps private landowners manage candidate, threatened, and endangered species on their lands.