Land Stewardship and Conservation

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The Texas Hill Country region covers over 11 million acres in 17 counties of mostly privately held land. We love this region for its rich culture, spectacular beauty, water features, wildlife and heritage ranch lands.

Projected population growth and land fragmentation are significantly threatening these lands however through conservation and stewardship practices, we can balance growth with a land protection ethic that will sustain our region for generations.

The following resource pages are intended to teach and inspire ways we as individual landowners and also as a united community can care for the land together.

Land Stewardship

The Hill Country is blessed with a rich natural heritage. For many landowners, land is much more than a financial asset, it’s their legacy and their family history. Unfortunately, passing on the family farm or ranch is becoming more difficult in the face of encroaching development.

Conservation Easements

Conservation easements are a flexible and effective way to protect private property while providing tax relief. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that ensures that property will be managed according to the landowner’s wishes.

Riparian Management

The riparian area is the interface between land and water along a body of water. It includes the vegetation, soils and features from the water’s edge across the flood plain to the upland area.

Cedar / Brush Management

Experts agree good land management means more water, however good land management doesn’t always mean cedar eradication and it clearly doesn’t mean cedar removal alone.

Native Landscapes

Native landscapes are easy to maintain and use far less water than traditional lawns and gardens, which saves landowners money and conserves our water supply for the future.

Public Lands

Public lands, including parks, trails, beaches and open spaces, represent spaces for all of us to enjoy. Because of this, we each have a stake in how our public lands are managed and how much public land is available for the enjoyment of all Texans.

Habitat Conservation Plans

HCPs balance development and conservation needs and help protect water supply and the natural character of the Hill Country. These efforts are especially important where development is depleting natural areas that birds, butterflies and wildlife depend on.


The Hill Country is an ecologically diverse landscape that is home to native species found nowhere else in the world. Land stewardship and thriving populations of wildlife go hand-in-hand — healthy populations of native wildlife demonstrate that your land is part of a functioning ecosystem

Landowner Alliances

Landowners are ultimately the keepers of this precious region. In many areas, landowners are organizing themselves to watch over and protect common rivers, watersheds, viewsheds, wildlife habitats and rural way of life.

Pedernales River Basin

The Pedernales River courses 106 miles through the heart of Texas Hill Country. From its headwaters just west of Harper, through Gillespie County, Fredericksburg, Stonewall and Johnson City, and on to Lake Travis and the Colorado River. The Pedernales watershed represents the diverse culture, hydrology and landscape of much of the greater Hill Country region.

Local, Sustainable Agriculture

When you buy food from your local farmer, you also play a critical role in preserving open space and the cultural heritage of the Hill Country. By purchasing food grown in the Hill Country, we can help keep local farmers and ranchers on their land in business.