FOR Retires $75,000 Conservation Easement Note
Posted on Jul 28th, 2011
The Brazoria County News
Front page reprint, Thursday, July 28, 2011
In less than one year, Friends of the River San Bernard has been able to retire a $75,000 Conservation Easement Note, securing the environmental protection of a portion of the river.
According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department handbook, “A conservation easement is a restriction landowners voluntarily place on specified uses of their property to protect natural productive or cultural features. A conservation easement is recorded as a written legal agreement between the landowner and the holder of the easement, which may be either a nonprofit conservation organization or government agency.” Landowners retain legal title to their property and can choose how they wish to limit development of the property. “For example, a landowner donating a conservation easement could choose to limit the right to develop a property, but keep the rights to build a house, raise cattle and grow crops,” states the handbook. "The landowner may continue his or her current use of the property provided the resources the conservation easement is intended to protect are sustained.”
On September 11, 2010, (article below) FOR announced it had enacted a land conservation easement on the river adjoining another easement held by Ducks Unlimited. Together, these two easements put a two-mile stretch of the river under permanent development restrictions. The easement contains a landmark sycamore tree that is cited on the original land survey commissioned by Steven F. Austin. It marks the intersection of Ft. Bend, Brazoria and Wharton counties.
The $75,000 note was scheduled to be paid out over five years, but thanks to donations from local industries, fundraisers and Supplemental Environmental Program funds from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the note has been retired.