“There’s someone that’s willing to pay to have that left undeveloped, and also recognizes that it’s best to leave the existing farmer or rancher on that land, leave him with ownership, so they just unbundled that bundle of sticks that make up land ownership and take that one stick which is the right to develop your property and sell that one stick, so you no longer have that right but have been compensated for it fully.”
Neal Wilkins, Director of Texas A&M’s Institute for Renewable Natural Resources, says the landowner would be left with two things.
“One, cash, because of the purchase of that development right, but also a commensurate reduction in their property value, because that property’s no longer available for development. The group that bought that development right receives the benefit of that property remaining an open space.”
State funds would not be used to purchase development rights.
“There is a push for the development of an agricultural land trust, and this agricultural land trust has leadership from some of the major agricultural organizations in the state.”
Dr. Wilkins is an advisor to this group
“The only way to do it, I think, is to key in on those values, private agricultural lands that we’ve traditionally not compensated landowners for. Those lands ability to provide water and water quality, wildlife, wildlife habitat, even endangered species habitats on private lands.
I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.