"In the field of the environment, I represent a normally unrepresented class, and that is Nature itself, which cannot speak verbally and has no ability to hire lawyers."
-Edward "Ned" C. Fritz
Texas Land Conservancy was founded in 1982 by intrepid Dallas attorney Edward C."Ned" Fritz known by many as the Father of Texas Conservation. In response to the increasing demand on land and water for development, Ned realized there was need for a statewide land trust that would take on the preservation of lands both large and small, public and private especially in Texas, where the majority of land was and is still privately owned. Ned gathered a group of grassroots volunteers to establish a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and the Natural Area Preservation Society (NAPA), now Texas Land Conservancy (TLC), was born. Today, thanks to the foresight of a few individuals, TLC has grown to be one of the oldest and largest land trusts in the state. TLC focuses on projects that are ecologically representative of each of Texas' ten eco-regions, and places high priority on lands connected to critical water resources and are home to threatened or endangered species.
About Ned Fritz
In December 2008, environmental activist and trailblazer Ned Fritz died at the age of 92. Fritz's career as an environmental activist began in the 1950s when, as a trial lawyer, he began to advocate for species and land protection. At the time of his death, Fritz was still working to save land in Texas from highway development. As a legal advocate for conservation, Ned was the first person to file a lawsuit under the National Environmental Policy Act. Over the course of his career, Fritz wrote three books, was a founding member and president of the Texas Land Conservancy, the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Texas League of Conservation Voters, fought for major environmental legislation, and own numerous awards for his lifetime of service. One of Ned's biggest land preservation victories, the Big Thicket National Preserve, outside Beaumont, Texas, which Ned is credited with saving, will allow future generations to share in his love of nature. Ned will surely be missed, not only by those who knew him personally, but by those who have benefited from his efforts to protect land and enforce environmental law.Ned cared deeply about the future of Texas and we are honored by his legacy, which continues to guide our work today. In his memory, TLC has established a giving society for our most prominent members - those donors of $1,000 or more who gather annually at a memorable farm-to-table dinner to celebrate him and his life's work.
Read more about TLC Founder Ned Fritz
"Edward C. Fritz Papers" from DeGolyer Library - Southern Methodist University - 1950-2008
"Larger than Life" by Wendy Holtcamp -- Texas Parks and Wildlife - August 2009
Texas Legacy Project interviews -- Conservation History Association of Texas- 1983, 1997, 1999, 2000
"Ned Fritz - Nature's Advocate" - Whole Earth Provision Co. - 2013