For the first time, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) is awarding its 2017 International Award of Excellence in Conservation to three groups in the same year. BRIT has announced that the honorees are J. David Bamberger and his ranch Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve; Frank Yturria and the Frank Yturria Family Ranch; and the Texas Christian University (TCU) Ranch Management Program.
“In our 30th year, we wanted to do something special. That’s why we decided to honor three ranch-related organizations at the same time,” said the president and executive director of BRIT, Ed Schneider, in a news release.
The news release says that the International Conservation Award is given to organizations and individuals who “contribute to the conservation of our natural heritage by increasing our knowledge of the plant world and by enhancing the public understanding of the value plants bring to life.”
Bamberger’s 5,500-acre ranch is one of the largest habitat restoration projects in Texas and has lasted for 48 years. The news release said that it is now a habitat for ponds, lakes, Texas Hill Country wildlife and 213 species of birds (2 of which are endangered species).
The Frank Yturria Family Ranch is protecting the endangered Ocelot cat and the Aplomado Falcon with 10,000 acres of wildlife conservation easements. There are an estimated 80 to 100 ocelots living on the ranch. Yturria is also being recognized for his partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for Nature Conservation.
The TCU Ranch Management Program is being recognized for preparing students for careers in the agriculture industry with economically and ecologically conscientious training.
The award ceremony will be at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel on September 27. For more information about the award ceremony click here (http://www.brit.org/events/annual-event). The ceremony will also be celebrating BRIT’s 30 years of conservation.
The three honorees will join previous winners including Ruth Carter Stevenson (philanthropist and conservationist), Ted Turner (CNN founder and environmentalist) and Jane Goodall (renowned chimpanzee researcher).
“Their dedication to conservation has literally changed the landscape of Texas and has inspired and educated new generations of ranch managers on the concepts of restoration, biodiversity and sustainability,” said Schneider.