Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and private conservation organizations like Quail Unlimited provide ranchers with education and resources to support the enhancement of their land and management of its wildlife. Federal government programs now provide significant economic incentives to ranchers aimed to protect and conserve the land and its water resources and improve wildlife habitat. Many ranchers now nurture the wildlife and its habitat as carefully as their cattle and hay fields.
With the support of the Natural Resource Conservation Service, ranchers have for years been clearing water-hungry Mesquites and Junipers that had filled in the grasslands and canyons after droughts and intense grazing. Ranchers frequently use controlled burns to clear their lands, much as the Comanches did before them. On some ranches, where the Mesquite and Juniper thickets have been cleared, new springs of fresh water are surfacing and water tables are rising.
© Jim Watson