Llano Springs Ranch
By: Leopold Conservation Award Program
“We have always taken pride in the fact that all of the work at the ranch has been accomplished exclusively by our family,” Tom M. Vandivier said.
The Vandivier Family uses a holistic approach to improve their rangeland. They have removed over 2,700 acres of invasive ashe juniper, which resulted in the return of several native grasses and improved water quality. Spring flow has increased significantly, including the headwaters spring of the South Llano River, located on the ranch. In addition, surface water, away from the South Llano, has been pumped and maintained behind small earthen dams to create two in-ground ponds and wildlife friendly overflows. The Vandiviers also use prescribed burning to encourage the growth of forbs and a wider diversity of woody browse.
The Vandiviers play an active role in promoting wildlife management through their willingness to allow access to government personnel, as well as educational and civic groups. For instance, natural history and environmental education classes from the University of Texas and Franklin College have utilized the ranch as an outdoor classroom.
Llano Springs Ranch was nominated by TPWD biologist Joyce Moore who praised the Vandiviers’ connection to their land.
“This unique family shares a bond with the land which makes them true land stewards and worthy candidates for the Leopold Conservation Award,” wrote Moore in her recommendation.