The second Bennett Trust educational program will take place April 23-24, 2015 at the Inn of the Hills Resort and Conference Center, Kerrville. This first-of-its-kind conference, “Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau,” will bring the best and wisest, accomplished stewards, visionaries, and legacy-leavers together as educators.

Details and Registration



 Day One

7:30 a.m. – Conference Opens – Registration

8:00 a.m. – History of the Edwards Plateau – Geology, Plants, Wildlife, and People – Donnie Frels, TPWD

9:00 a.m. – Break

9:15 a.m. – Hang On to Your Property – Elder Law & Estate Planning – Marilyn Miller, Attorney at Law

11:45 Noon – Lunch The Water Cycle of the Hill Country/Edwards Plateau and Impacts on Rangeland Health

12:30 p.m. – Rainfall patterns in the region, El Nino/La Nina – George Bomar

1:15 p.m. – Aquifer recharge and spring flow, –Ron Green, Southwest Research Institute

1:45 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions: Events/Actions That Impact the Hydrologic Cycle

  1. Session I – Drought, Urban sprawl and concrete/asphalt domination, Municipal water use of water resources, Rainwater harvesting – Billy Kniffen
  2. Session II – Juniper, Herbivore-forage interaction, Stocking rate and infiltration vs runoff in the Edwards Plateau – Bob Lyons

3:00 p.m. – Break

3:15 p.m. – What are My Options for 1-D-1 Tax Valuation & Implications for Lease Agreements – Tiffany Dowell-Lashmet

4:45 p.m. – Animal Options for the Edwards Plateau: What Species Mix is Best for Me – Rick Machen

6:00 p.m. – Rainfall Insurance – Jason Johnson

6:30 p.m. – Dinner/music at the Inn of the Hills – Table Topics

Day Two – Chartered Bus Tours

7:30 a.m. – Breakfast Buffet at the Inn of the Hills

8:30 a.m. – Load Busses for Tours (Each tour will have lunch provided while in the field)

  1. Tour A – Legacy Management. Come visit the historic Hillingdon Ranch, managed by Robin and Carol Giles & Family, and learn what it takes to hang on to a family legacy using good natural resource stewardship. The tour includes a visit to the historic Hillingdon Ranch in Kendall County and a pasture walk with Robin and Carroll Giles. Robin is the grandson of the ranch’s founder, Alfred Giles, and he and Carol have a contagious passion for stewardship and conservation that provides environmental benefits for all Texans. The ranch has been in the same family for over 125 years. Plant ID will be an important part of this ranch tour. Be sure and bring a full charged cell phone or camera for taking photos of regional plants.
  2. Tour B – Agritourism. With Agritourism in mind, where better place to visit than Fredericksburg and Gillespie County? Tour 2 visits sustainable vineyards, orchards and gardens to get a glimpse of essential elements for stewardship success.
  3. Tour C – Wildlife Management. For over 50 years, the go-to region for hunting in Texas has been the Edwards Plateau. Tour C will highlight wildlife management and the hunting industry in the Edwards Plateau with stops at landowners with reputation for being good stewards of their wildlife resources. The first stop will be at the famous Kerr Wildlife Management Area to hear about how to manage for livestock, and wildlife, endangered species. The second stop; will be at the Flagler Ranch and see how to manage wildlife resources on a commercial basis. Resource people will be on hand to help tour attendees identify local plant species.

5:30 p.m. – Return Inn of the Hills

6:00 p.m. – Dinner/music and Evaluation – Closing Remarks – Larry Redmon