Jake (Bud) Dearing of Gordon was among 14 Lone Star Land Steward Award winners honored Wednesday in Austin during the 13th annual awards banquet
The Lone Star Land Steward Award program annually recognizes landowners in the state’s 10 ecological regions and others who have shown exemplary efforts to manage their property as ambassadors of conservation.
Also receiving a Special Recognition award was the Tierra Verde Golf Club in Arlington. The club is owned by the City of Arlington and was designed to maximize natural areas, including creating special habitat and nesting areas for numerous species of birds and other wildlife.
Dearing, 79, won the Cross Timbers and Prairies Region award for his efforts to improve habitat for wildlife, including whitetail deer on his 1,400-acre Dearing Ranch, a low-fenced ranch in northern Erath County.
Dearing purchased the initial portion of his ranch through a Veteran’s Land Loan in the early 1970s, adding to it over the next five years. He has improved native plant diversity to benefit a variety of wildlife by creating openings in stands of brush, seeding a mixture of native grasses and forbs, disking to promote growth of native forbs and creating strategically-located food plots.
Dearing’s ranch has produced quality whitetail deer through the parks and wildlife department’s Managed Lands Deer Program and is implementing a Water Quality Management Plan in cooperation with the Cross Timbers Soil and Water Conservation District.
Other Land Steward Award winners recognized included:
Blackland Prairie: Burleson Prairie in Bell County, owned by Bob and Mickey Burleson.
Edwards Plateau: Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Blanco County, owned by J. David and Margaret Bamberger.
Gulf Prairies and Marshes: Pierce Ranch in Wharton County, owned by Armour Trusts and operated by Laurence H. Armour III.
High Plains: Seven Cross Ranch in Gray County, owned by L.H. and Nama Webb.
Pineywoods: Mustang Prairie Tree Farm in Trinity County, owned by G. Gibson Family Limited Partnership whose general owner is Jane Baxter.
Post Oak Savannah: Baker Ranch in Guadalupe County, owned by Ronnie Baker.
Rolling Plains: Stasney’s Cook Ranch in Shackelford County, owned by Jon and Dick Stasney and families and operated by Johnny Hudman.
South Texas Plains: High Lonesome Ranch in McMullen County, owned by Charles and Nancy Hundley.
Trans-Pecos: W.R. Stumberg Ranch in Pecos County, owned by Marshall B. Miller Jr. and Mary Elsie Newton.
Wildlife Management Association: Wildlife Habitat Federation, Bob Moore, John Webb and Jim Willis, executive committee.
Corporate/Public: King Ranch, operated by Dave Delaney.
Leopold Conservation Award: Llano Springs Ranch in Edwards County, owned by Dr. Tom D. Vandivier and family.