The first step in qualifying for funding and finding out what resources and expertise is available in your area is to contact one of the local state or federal agencies listed below. Be ready to talk about your goals and vision for your land and they will help you take the next step. Visiting and working with multiple agencies is encouraged and can often result in property and projects qualifying for more funding and assistance.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has biologists in every region of the state who can help property owners qualify for wildlife tax exemptions and grants.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Centers are designed to be one-stop shopping for the services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and USDA Rural Development. They also control most of the funding available for conservation work in Texas.
AgriLife Extension has agents in every county of the state. They don’t have funding but can offer advice and help in finding which programs a landowner may qualify for.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has Partners for Fish and Wildlife, a program that provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners to restore or enhance fish and wildlife habitats for the benefit of Federal Trust Species like migratory birds and threatened and endangered species.
Texas A&M Forest Service provides assistance programs to give technical advice on timber management, fire, insects, diseases and invasive species. Through the Forest Stewardship Program, a forester will meet with property owners to discuss their objectives, how to develop a management plan and suggest programs they may qualify for.
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board helps local soil and water districts implement programs that protect topsoil, reduce pollution and use water efficiently.
Texas Land Trust Council helps connect landowners wishing to sell conservation easements to land trusts. Easements are written agreements between landowners and the holder of the easement under which the landowner voluntarily restricts certain uses of the property to protect its productive, natural or cultural features. These protections and agreements can range from keeping land in agricultural production to not building near a specific spring or creek.
The Private Landowner Network is a resource to help landowners make decisions about the use and future of their properties. It offers a variety of resources including a searchable directory of conservation programs and professionals throughout the country.
Texas Master Naturalist program is similar to the Master Gardener Program, but focuses on developing educated volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas in Texas.