A Wise Efficient Use of the Land
By Ben Eldredge
Every day, we work to preserve our 160 acres for future generations to enjoy at the Cibolo Center for Conservation. With a strong team of groundskeepers, rangers, and volunteers working day in and day out to maintain our space, it made sense to hire a Land Steward to further increase our quality of care.
David Touchon, a native Texan, and outdoor enthusiast is the Cibolo’s newest Land Steward.
His job is to execute the Wildlife Management Plan created by Rufus Stephens, retired Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The 100+ page, the multi-year plan will allow us to sustain the lands ecologically, benefit native wildlife and the Cibolo Creek.
“As a land steward, your work is never finished even when the day is over. You are constantly thinking of the next thing. The work is ongoing,” said David.
Proper maintenance of our unique ecosystems makes us an attractive destination for the 100,000+ recreational visitors our trails see each year. It is crucial to mitigate the impact of human traffic on our campuses for the long-term sustainability of the natural resources that we protect and preserve.
Land Management involves, but is not limited to, removing invasive species that threaten other native species that live in the Cibolo. Removing invasive plants is an all-hands-on-deck ongoing, year-round job.
Proper water treatment is also essential to caring for the Cibolo’s native species. Making sure the water is clean and accessible to every living being is how we care for everything that relies on our two campuses to live.
As part of our mission, we are using land management and stewardship as educational opportunities to enhance the environmental literacy of the general community. We are also creating ways to teach other landowners how to best steward their lands. This is done through internships, workshops, and programs, as well as through our annual Lende Lecture Series.
Just as we started 33 years ago, our community of friends continues to help us care for and learn from our region’s precious land, water, and wildlife.