Profile – Hearts Bluff Mitigation Tract

Location:  Titus County, Texas

Total easement acreage:  79 acres

The 2004 rupture of an oil field pipeline near the town of Talco in Titus County resulted in oil contamination and habitat damages to portions of the Sulphur River floodplain.  After the clean up, the oil company was required to provide habitat mitigation in the form of forested floodplain and wetlands preservation in a nearby location.  The 79-acre Hearts Bluff floodplain tract was chosen and set aside under a conservation easement within an existing game preserve as the acceptable habitat mitigation in 2008.  Texas Parks and Wildlife acts as a representative of the regulatory agency Trustees overseeing the mitigation requirements.

 The easement tract characterized by a cover of of both young and mature hardwoods within the floodplain forests of Oliver Creek.  Several natural swales cross the property, and numerous ponds and inundated borrow pits are present.  Although not drilled upon, the easement property is bisected by a gravel oil field roadway for access to adjoining oil field sites.  As part of a 3,000-acre game preserve called “Hearts Bluff”, this tract of land is occasionally hunted for its wealth of waterfowl, deer and occasional feral hogs.

Connemara’s ability to provide perpetual protection over this tract of bottomlands could be impacted in the future, due to the fact that much of the game preserve including this site are currently located with the flooding footprint of the proposed Marvin Nichols reservoir on the Sulphur River.  Should such a reservoir be built, those agencies have the eminent domain power to condemn lands within the reservoir footprint, resulting in the need to direct such land purchase funds into a new mitigation site.

Purposes of this Conservation Easement

  • Retain the Property in its natural and scenic condition;
  • Protect the native plants, animals and plant communities on the Property; and
  • Prevent any use of the Property that would significantly impair or interfere with the Conservation Values of the Property, while allowing traditional uses that are compatible with but not destructive of those Values.

Elements of this Conservation Easement

  • Property will be perpetually preserved in its predominately natural and open space condition as mitigation for injuries to other natural resources due to a November 2004 crude oil discharge.
  • Commercial and industrial activities are prohibited on the property.
  • All construction is prohibited on the Property, other than existing oil/gas road for off-site well access.
  • Continuation of compatible land uses are supported as they have been historically conducted in harmony with the property’s ecological and open-space values.
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Site last updated December 7, 2018 @ 12:57 pm; This content last updated April 21, 2014 @ 11:57 am