Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Preservation Matters


April 29, 2005

Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust and Upper Guadalupe River Authority Sponsor Land Conservation Workshop in Kerrville

KERRVILLE-The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust and the Upper Guadalupe River Authority will host a Land Conservation Workshop on Friday, May 6, from 1-4 p.m. The workshop is free and open to the public and will include presentations from experts on how conservation easements and land trusts can help protect family farms and ranches and reduce tax burdens while preserving rural open land resources.

"We have invited some very knowledgeable experts to help explain the advantages of conservation easements and land trusts," said A.L. "Curg" Starkey III, Vice President of the board for the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, and a board member of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. "We know there are many people in Kerr County and around the state that are concerned about what will happen to their land in the future. They want to keep their family farms and ranches for future generations and they are finding it difficult in struggling with the inheritance tax burden. This is an opportunity to learn about some ways to keep your land, invest in protecting rural Texas and realize some tax relief."

Donnie Frels, of the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, with Texas Parks & Wildlife, will talk about Guadalupe River conservation efforts; Chuck Kowaleski, also from Texas Parks & Wildlife, will talk about the programs available to assist landowners; attorney Thomas Kelsey will talk about conservation easements; and Todd Votteler, Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, will talk about land trusts.

"There are many conservation options available to protect land that is being threatened by taxes or by family situations that force people to consider selling," said Pamela M. Hodges, president of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. "I think people will find the panel of easement donors very interesting, too. These people have taken advantage of a variety of land conservation options and can speak from experience about the issues we all face and the advantages."

The workshop includes a panel of easement donors includes Thomas Kelsey, who donated an easement to the Legacy Land Trust in Waller County, and Julie Johnson, who donated an easement to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust on her family ranch just outside of rapidly expanding Kyle, Texas. Following their specific stories about donating land to a conservation program, a question and answer session will allow attendees to follow up on areas of particular interest.

"We're very excited about the workshop and hope it will help clarify issues about land trusts as well as conservation programs," said Todd Votteler, executive director. "The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust has already worked with several landowners to help preserve the rural nature of their properties for generations to come and we're looking forward to continuing this effort to save Texas farms and ranches which are rapidly disappearing. This is especially critical around the state's rivers where the surrounding land impacts the quality of the rivers."

The workshop will be held at the Upper Guadalupe River Authority's Guadalupe Basin Natural Resources Center, 125 Lehmann Drive, in Kerrville, Texas.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust is a nonprofit land trust organization that was developed to protect land in the Guadalupe River watershed for its natural, recreational, scenic, historic or productive value.

The Upper Guadalupe River Authority was created as a conservation and reclamation district by the Texas Legislatures in 1939. UGRA aspires to be respected for its efficient, responsive and forthright stewardship of the Upper Guadalupe River and its Tributaries.