TACA talks conservation at environmental seminar

By |  September 26, 2019
TACA environmental sustainability seminar

Panelists at TACA’s Environmental & Sustainability Seminar included, from left, moderator Jill Boullion, executive director of the Bayou Land Conservancy; Jim Bradbury, attorney-at-law; Tim Mallicoat, president and CEO of Rasmussen Group; and Lori Olson, executive director of the Texas Land Trust Council. Photo courtesy of TACA

The Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association (TACA) hosted its Environmental & Sustainability Seminar at the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio.

More than 90 attendees participated in the seminar.

TACA’s panel – “Win-win-win: The financial and community power of conservation easements” – explored how mining companies consider their post-mining land uses and, in concert with land trusts, seek to capture the land’s remaining value.

Panel participants included Tim Mallicoat, president and CEO of Rasmussen Group, which operates Hallett Materials Co. in Texas; Lori Olson, executive director of the Texas Land Trust Council; and Jim Bradbury, attorney-at-law. The discussion was moderated by Jill Boullion, executive director of Bayou Land Conservancy.

To open the discussion, Olson defined a conservation easement as “a written, legal agreement between a property owner and a ‘holder’ of the conservation easement, under which a landowner voluntarily restricts certain uses of the property in order to protect its natural productive or cultural features.”

More than 85 percent of Texas residents live in urban areas and more than 95 percent of the state’s land is privately owned, according to the Texas Land Trust Council. With a conservation easement, landowners retain ownership of the land, but also manage the property in partnership with the land trust, according to TACA.

Panelists agreed that all involved parties – including landowners, land trusts and local communities – can benefit from conservation easements. These benefits range from tax benefits, appraisal reductions, preserving natural habitats and, in some cases, cash back.

“We are able to preserve and mitigate wetlands on our properties, which are monitored by the Bayou Land Conservancy land trust, along with our own environmental specialists,” says Mallicoat, speaking on the benefits of conservation easements. “With the conservation easement, we are doing what we want to and are supposed to be doing.”

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