By: Leopold Conservation Award Program
The ranch uses rotational grazing and prescribed fire, burning approximately 1,500 to 2,000 acres per year in a rotational pattern, which helps with plant and wildlife management. Wildlife populations are surveyed annually through helicopter, spotlight, and cameras located at feeders. Temple Ranch is enrolled in the Managed Lands Deer Program to keep the deer population at a healthy level.
Water development is extensive on the ranch. Approximately 10 miles of water line supply continuous water to all of the ranch’s pastures. Water is supplied in earthen tanks and troughs every 1/2 mile with the exception of one pasture where water is located every 3/4 mile. Nesting structures exist at several of the water tanks to improve wildlife habitat.
For many years, the Temple Ranch has served as a tremendous resource for wildlife research. The Temples and Sanders have worked with Texas A&M University on several studies, including an evaluation of quail covey and hunter interactions and a study that examines turkey nesting success and movement. Robert and Jenny Sanders also volunteer as bird banders for a whitewing dove monitoring study through the University.
With the encouragement of the Temples, Robert and Jenny Sanders participate in several outdoor and wildlife education efforts. Jenny serves on the Texas Wildlife Association’s Women of the Land and Conservation Legacy advisory Committees in an effort to promote wildlife and natural resource literacy in Texas. Temple Ranch has hosted field days for local ranchers, as well as a wildlife field day for 70 7th graders who learned about topics such as habitat management, turkey biology and research, retrieving and working with hunting dogs, and the job duties of a wildlife biologist, extension agent, and game warden.