FT 6 - CANCELLED  Landscape, ecosystem, and species diversity and conservation ranching in the Texas Hill Country

Saturday, August 6, 2011: 8:00 AM-9:00 PM
Trinity Street Lobby Field Trip Pick Up, Austin Convention Center
Organizers: William E. Rogers and Fred E. Smeins
The Texas Hill Country (eastern Edwards Plateau) is a unique North American ecoregion. Its Cretaceous, limestone, karst geology creates a diverse and rugged landscape with many terrestrial and aquatic environments. In addition it is a biogeographic crossroads of flora and fauna from the eastern deciduous forest, the tall- and mixed-grass prairies and the southern Tamaulipan shrublands. Many Pleistocene relict and endemic species occur. The tour will visit two nationally recognized conservation ranches, the Bamberger (Selah) and the Hillingdon ranches, that illustrate restoration and sustainable ranching with a focus on maintaining biodiversity and a quality environment within an operating ranch enterprise. A bar-b-que dinner will be served at one of the ranches as part of the tour.

Registration Fee: $92

Equipment and Attire: restrictions; have walking boots, long pants, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Binoculars and field guides are recommended, but optional.

Itinerary: After departing from the Austin Convention Center we will travel west along Hwy 290 for approximately 50 miles to Miller Creek Loop and visit the Bamberger (Selah) Ranch. After touring the ranch lunch will be served at the ranch ($10/pp). Afterward we will travel back to Hwy 290 and continue west to Johnson City and onward to Fredericksburg at which we will turn south on Old San Antonio Road and continue on until reaching the Hillingdon Ranch. We will tour the ranch and then conclude the days activities with a traditional Texas Bar-b-que for dinner at the ranch ($15/pp). We will then return to Austin for the conclusion of the days trip.

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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.