Nature

Bandera County’s Gunsight Mountain Ranch is a Sight to Behold

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There are about 540 acres inside of Bandera County that contain an old wagon route useful in assisting frontiersmen who were headed from the Gulf Coast to Kerrville. In that same area, reaching the Balcones Escarpment toward the Williams Creek Valley, is now known as “Gunsight Mountain Ranch.”

The name comes from its resemblance to a gun sight, and it has been operated by the Texas Land Conservancy since 2001 when a passionate conservationist (and Texas Hill Country native) named Dorothy Baird Mattiza decided to dedicate a portion of her old family ranch. It was done so as a conservation easement for purposes of retaining the wildlife habitat.

The land preserve ensures Mattiza’s decades of work to re-introduce indigenous Hill Country plants to the area will live on. The Austin-based TLC periodically hosts events on their acreage, and works to educate on local ecology and watershed resourcing.

 

@texaslandconservancy: Glorious shot from Gunsight Mountain Ranch for our #TXTuesday. Gunsight was protected with TLC in 1999. Covering 500+ acres in Bandera County, this gorgeous property features black-capped vireo habitat, Williams Creek Valley, and some stunning vistas.

@texaslandconservancy: “Glorious shot from Gunsight Mountain Ranch for our #TXTuesday. Gunsight was protected with TLC in 1999. Covering 500+ acres in Bandera County, this gorgeous property features black-capped vireo habitat, Williams Creek Valley, and some stunning vistas.”

The conservancy easement for Gunsight Mountain Ranch has resulted in two adjoining ranches following Dorothy Mattiza’s lead, with close to 1000 acres being conjoined to create a protected area near Williams Creek that aims to host native plant species and woodlands that house multiple varieties of Texas birds, such as the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.

Photographers, nature interpreters, event coordinators, and artists in residence are encouraged to volunteer with TLC.

The organization is one of few with a statewide network of hosts and volunteers.