Although wildlife management is not the primary goal for the foundation, their management practices have the added benefit of providing excellent habitat for wildlife without the need for supplemental feeding or nesting structures. Their careful management has led to better quality grasslands that support pronghorn and 26 grassland bird species, 15 of which are Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas. Visitors to the ranches are encouraged to explore the grounds and take advantage of the bird watching, hiking and opportunities for nature photography.
Dixon Water Foundation embraces education on all of their ranches. The ranches have hosted outdoor classroom events, where students are exposed to sustainable land management practices and are education on water quality, soil health and plants through hands-on activities. On the collegiate level, one of the ranches is used as a demonstration site for the Sustainable Ranching Program at Sul Ross State University. The program is the only one of its kind in Texas offering a B.S. and two-year certificate in Sustainable Ranch Management.
“The Dixon Water Foundation’s pioneering efforts could not come at a better time. As we search for ways to enhance food, water and economic security, while building resilience and healthy landscapes, the foundation’s work is central,” says Sandra Postel of the Global Water Policy Project. “Its commitment to experimentation, demonstration, documentation and education will be key to advancing the science and public support for regenerative grazing that Texas and the West will need in the coming decades.”