Wildlife habitat management is a good thing for wildlife, but hard work can pay off for landowners, too. Though most landowners involved in wildlife management do so for their own satisfaction, it never hurts to be recognized for a job well done. Revitalization efforts on two Texas ranches in two different ecological regions of the state have earned a Houston couple the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award, Texas’s highest honor for private land conservation. Recognized for their stewardship were Jack and Jan Cato, who in 2004 and 2006 received regional Lone Star Land Steward awards for what they have done to restore their two properties – the Buckhollow Ranch in Uvalde and Real counties on the Edwards Plateau and the Stockard-Sirianni Ranch in Frio County. That ranch is located in the South Texas Plains ecoregion.
The Leopold award, given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is conferred each year by Sand County Foundation, an international non-profit organization devoted to private land conservation, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) as part of its Lone Star Land Steward Awards program. In Texas, the Leopold award is sponsored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Fund for the Environment, Silver Eagle Distributors and the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation. Continue reading