Texas Parks & Wildlife Department honors Wexford Ranches for environmental efforts

June 5, 2012 at 1:05 a.m.

Environmental efforts placed one Crossroads-area ranch complex on the statewide map.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department named Wexford Ranches, a 30,000-acre complex that spans Goliad, Refugio and Victoria counties, among the recipients of the 2012 Lone Star Land Steward Awards.

It was the entity's conservation efforts that earned it a place with this year's winners, according to a parks and wildlife news release.

The land, managed by the O'Connor family for 136 years, is one of Texas' last remaining tracts of coastal prairie habitat, according to the release. It is also one of the largest.

Wexford maintains conservative stocking rates and rigorous brush management systems, according to the release, and also partners with agencies to restore and enhance the habitat for the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken. The ranch hosts field days focused on topics such as feral hog control, prescribed burning, brush management, firearm and archery safety, and youth hunting programs also join the ranks.

The annual awards program honors private landowners for accomplishments in habitat management and wildlife conservation, according to the release. The goal is to educate both landowners and the public, and to encourage habitat conservation.

Attempts to contact Wexford Ranches on Monday were unsuccessful.



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