Nature

Krause Ranch is One of the Newest Conservation Easements in Texas

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An easement on Krause Ranch, located in Leakey, in the Texas Hill Country, has been acquired by The Nature Conservancy (TNC,) working to preserve such unique natural features as a number of springs that can be found on this 1,640-acre parcel of land. Owned by Gary Krause, the property easement was partially funded by the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program (under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, the latter of which is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

As a charitable contribution, Mr. Krause donated a portion of the easement value. David Bezanson, Protection and Easement Manager for TNC, told kticradio.com, “Gary Krause acquired this ranch to conserve it, recognizing that it’s an example of the Hill Country at its most scenic and most natural. We’re very honored that he chose to work with us to accomplish that lifetime goal.”

Krause Ranch is One of the Newest Conservation Easements in Texas

Photo: envato elements

The Krause Ranch is home to, literally, hundreds of natural springs. They’re part of a five-mile-long aquatic feeder network to the West Frio River, flowing through the property. One spring, in particular, has been proven to contribute over 1 billion gallons of water annually. Among such unspoiled and untouched habitat live a variety of aquatic species. There are also a number of unique attributes to the ranch which TNC hopes to preserve and limit human impact on. These include dinosaur footprints and fossils, signs of original Indigenous habitation, a portion of an 1800s wagon trail, and countless flora and fauna species which are exclusive to Texas. As such, the easement outlines perpetual development restrictions that are to be adhered to by the Krause family as well as any future landowners.

Darren Clark, NRCS Easement Program Manager told kticradio.com, “This was a great opportunity for USDA-NRCS to partner with the Krause family and other conservation minded partners to protect working agriculture lands in the Texas Hill Country from future non-agriculture use developments. The conservation easement further provides a means for preserving traditional farm and ranch values as well as protecting the natural resources.”

Krause Ranch is One of the Newest Conservation Easements in Texas

Photo: envato elements

Both programs that helped toward completion of the easement have a mandate to conserve private land, productive ranches and farms, in particular. These are considered invaluable for maintaining the health and the native wildlife of the area and its natural watersheds. Mr. Krause will continue his ownership and operation of the ranch. He noted that he spent much of the last 35 years earning enough money to buy the land while seeking out interested organizations dedicated to land preservation. His search didn’t stop until he found this program.