The new study, produced by Siglo Group in partnership with the Texas Land Trust Council, quantifies the value of lands and conservation easements that have been conserved by or with assistance from the Texas land trust community. Values for benefits provided by these conserved lands were calculated using an ecosystem services approach. Specifically, the study assessed the more than 1.6 million acres of open space lands that have been compiled into a statewide conserved lands database by TLTC members, and evaluated those acres for the services they offer Texas in terms water quality, water quantity, flood prevention, and rural economies (via agricultural production and wildlife leases).
The study examined past and current research and data related to economic benefits achieved through conservation, and found that the lands put into conservation with the help of Texas land trusts are estimated to provide more than $1 billion in benefits to Texas taxpayers each year. Of this, 47% is attributed to flood prevention and damage reduction, 16% can be attributed to supporting rural economies, and 37% can be attributed to benefits for water quality and quantity. Over the next 30 years, the protection of these services would result in over $30 billion in taxpayer savings at today’s current rates. That’s impressive.
Read the report in full here.