Uploads by Texas Parks and Wildlife

2019 Leopold Conservation Award: Killam Duval County Ranch

Killam Duval County Ranch Thoughtfully managed and cared for, the Killam Duval County Ranch is a real working ranch that is successfully making its own way through cattle ranching and hunting leases. When the ranch was purchased in the 1990’s it was mostly mesquite and bare ground. At 125,000 acres, on a scale much larger than most ranches, they have implemented planned grazing and strategic brush management resulting in habitat that is now thriving for both wildlife and cattle. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award is conferred each year by Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to private land conservation, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Land Steward Awards program. In Texas, the Leopold Conservation Award Program is sponsored by the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation, DuPont Pioneer and The Mosaic Company. For more information:

2019 Lone Star Land Steward: Kirchoff Family Farm

Kirchoff Family Farm - South Texas Region The Kirchoff family’s conservation goal for their Wilson County property is to ensure that the family land they reverted from cotton fields to native prairie is protected for future generations. Siblings Don, Brenda, Scott and Susan Kirchoff have spent 10 years restoring the native prairie grasses that once dominated their 200 acres. Today it is under a conservation easement with Native Prairies Association of Texas, ensuring that it won’t be broken up into smaller pieces, keeping their prairie project intact for years to come. For more information: Visit the Native Prairies Association of Texas:

2019 Lone Star Land Steward: Vacek Family Farm

Vacek Family Farm - Blackland Prairie Region By keeping their Central Texas farm in agriculture for more than a century, Rick Castello and the Vacek family honor their heritage. By restoring native grasses, rotating cattle, and conserving land in perpetuity, they also secure their farm’s future and improve water quality for all who live downstream. For more information:

2019 Lone Star Land Steward: Pigfoot Ranch

Pigfoot Ranch - Cross Timbers Region The story of the Pigfoot Ranch is not of stark before’s and after’s, but rather of a long-time legacy of excellent land stewardship. The Head family bought the ranch back in 1885, and Pigfoot has everything from pristine native prairie savannahs, to crystal clear creeks, to one of the best sunset views you can find in Central Texas. For more information:

2019 Lone Star Land Steward: Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch

Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch - Rolling Plains Region The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch is 4,700 acres of prime quail habitat dedicated to the study and research of everything related to quail abundance. Quail are the most imperiled game bird in Texas and many small towns rely on the species for income by bringing in hunter dollars. The ranch was acquired in 2006 with the help of the Richard King Mellon Foundation in Fisher County. For more information: To learn about the RPQRR: