Announcements from the April 2023 Chapter Meeting

Highlights from the April 2023 Chapter Meeting

The Announcements

We need your voice in setting priorities – please complete the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey emailed to all members on April 5th. Upcoming Chapter Bylaws vote: note that at the May general meeting we will vote on adopting new bylaws from the state office. Please review the draft updated Bylaws document here. Any questions about the draft should be referred to Whitney Wolf at policy@ntmn.org.

Please view the full set of April announcements by clicking here. Further activities are listed on the chapter calendar. Opportunities and contacts, websites, and other details are available

Highlights of the Meeting

Recognition – Congratulations to Master Naturalists achieving major milestones in the first quarter of 2023!
250 Hours – Laura Bunton, Nancy Griswold, Caleb Hinojos, Cynthia Jones, Colleen Murray, Rebecca Posten, Steve Wilson
500 Hours – Russ Olivier, John Pauley, Meredith Worrell
1000 Hours – Henry Aschner, Sue Matkin
2500 Hours – Gary Barton
And Wow! 4000 Hours – Laura Kimberly and Tom Willard
Well done, each of you!

The Importance of Private Land Conservation in Texas

A huge thank you to Amber Arseneaux, North Texas Program Director at Texas Land Conservancy, for a fascinating presentation on conserving Texas lands and connecting people with nature.

Texas Land Conservancy (TLC) is a non-profit land trust, founded in 1982 by Ned Fritz. It is one of 25 Texas land trust groups and is part of the Land Trust Alliance. While active around the state, TLC focuses on six priority watersheds, including the Trinity and Brazos rivers. Amber explained how TLC owns 22 properties outright, such as Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, but they primarily work with individual property owners. TLC implements conservation easements on 178 properties. Overall TLC is engaged in protecting over 146,000 acres.

Amber walked us through the importance of land conservation in furnishing habitats and natural areas for ecosystem services (air & water quality, drought & flood resilience), saving working/open lands for food and fiber, protecting heritage & culture, and providing scenic beauty.
She discussed TLC’s primary tool: the conservation easement. These voluntary legal agreements deed-restrict some land uses to protect environmental resources. Easement benefits include retaining ownership, obtaining income tax deductions, and ensuring land stewardship – the peace of mind that one’s land will never be developed or divided.

For those tax deductions the IRS requires that the easement protect natural wildlife habitat, open space, historical preservation, and/or public use. It must be administered by a land trust or government agency. Agriculture, recreation and hunting are allowed, development is limited, surface mining is prohibited.

Conservation easements are acquired by donation or purchase and once in place, are perpetual. For acquisition TLC staff considers geography, acreage, land characteristics and conservation values. Easement terms are negotiated and include a significant to a legal defense fund to cover monitoring and enforcement expenses.

Once under TLC, the property is monitored annually, compared to its baseline report and easement terms. Ongoing owner responsibilities include managing the land according to the easement, allowing monitoring, and paying property taxes.

TLC works to connect people with nature through a variety of events, including periodically opening properties to visits, guided hikes and campouts. These have taken place at Ivy Payne Preserve (Anderson County), Vivian J Malone Preserve (Johnson County), Leo Ranch – Dixon Water Foundation (Cooke County) and Los Madrones – Travis County.

Amber encouraged us to get involved with the Texas Land Conservancy. Avenues include TLC membership, joining workdays at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, and coming out when preserves are opened to the public. She closed with a hopeful message that increasing the acreage under long term protections is making a real difference for nature in Texas.

Going Deeper
Texas Land Conservancy 512.301.6363
Amber’s contact information
Review of Oak Cliff Nature Preserve – Amy Martin
Land Trust Alliance and Texas Land Trust Council – umbrella organizations
Natural Capital Accounting in the Interior Department

Thanks to our guests and members for participating in this month’s chapter meeting. I hope all feel welcome at NTMN.

Take care,
Scott Hudson
President
North Texas Master Naturalist

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Friends of Oak Cliff Parks Wildflower Walk - (AT) Sunday, April 28, 2024   11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Join us for a walk through the...
April 29, 2024    
7:23 pm - 8:23 pm
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May 1, 2024    
7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
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Walk & Talk Bird Tour at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  730am-930am Join us as we go on a...
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Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
1st Saturday Nature Walk – Friends of LLELA (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  10am-12noon Fees:  There is no additional fee for this class, just...
Night Hike at the Heard Museum (AT) Saturday, May 4, 2024  |  8pm – 10pm Explore the thrilling sights, smells, and sounds of night with...
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks Kids’ Bird Walk- (AT) Sunday, May 5, 2024   11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Join us for a walk through the...
2nd Saturday Bird Walk at the Heard Museum (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  8am-9:30am 2nd Saturday Bird Walks are intended to help beginning and...
World Migratory Bird Day - Guided Hike || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  8:30am-9:30am CST Join us for a guided...
World Migratory Bird Day – Guided Bird Walk || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  8am – 9am || 9am –...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
World Migratory Bird Day – Wild DFW Hike || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 11, 2024  |  11am – 12noon World Migratory Bird...
3rd Thursday Bird Walk at the Heard Museum (AT) Thursday, May 16, 2024  |  8am-9:30am 3rd Thursday Bird Walks in the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary are...
Morning Bird Walk || Trinity River Audubon Center (AT) Saturday, May 18, 2024  |  7:30am-8:30am Join us for a monthly bird walk to enjoy the trails...
May 18, 2024    
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Dallas County Texas Master Gardener Association is holding its 2024 Garden Tour on Saturday, May 18th, from 10am - 5pm, rain or shine. Many...
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks || Tree ID Walk - (AT) Sunday, May 19, 2024   9am – 11am Join us for a walk through the...
Thrive Nature Walk –Lewisville Parks & Rec (AT) Sunday, May 19, 2024 | 9am-10:30am Sights of plants and wildlife, smells of fresh air and trees,...
Chandor Nature Trail Guided Hike, NPSOT Cross Timbers Chapter (AT) Sunday, May 19, 2024  |  12noon – 2:30pm As a thank you for Cross Timbers...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, May 25, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
Laura W Bush Native Texas Park – Guided Walk (AT) Saturday, June 1, 2024  |  10:00am-11:00am  The park guides are Certified Master Naturalists from 3...
Events on April 28, 2024
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Events on May 1, 2024
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1 May 24
Farmers Branch
Events on May 5, 2024
Events on May 16, 2024
Events on May 25, 2024
Events on June 1, 2024