The Thomsen Nature Preserve, located in southeastern Montague County, TX was awarded Texas Parks and Wildlife’s 2013 Lone Star Land Steward Award for its Cross Timbers and Prairies Ecoregion category earlier this year.
I have had the pleasure of going to Thomsen many times over the last several years and it is one of the nicest restored natural areas in the county. I also had the pleasure of taking a botany course from Dr. Lisa Bellows at NCTC (who is featured in the video below), which gave me my first introduction to prairies as well as one of my favorite prairie wildflowers – Dotted Gayfeather (Liatris punctata).
Another award winner (2011) that I had the pleasure of visiting many times during my undergraduate career is the 02 Ranch, which sprawls across 412 square miles of Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and shrublands – making it the sixth largest ranch in Texas on one block of land. It is located south of Alpine.
Dr. Bonnie Warnock, who is the Associate Professor and Chair of the Natural Resource Management Department at Sul Ross State University, was another educator I had a great opportunity to learn from. She taught the majority of my NRM and range management classes while I did my undergraduate degree at Sul Ross. The 02 Ranch also has the distinction of being the filming location for the PBS single season series, “Texas Ranch House“.
A big congratulations to Dr. Warnock, Sul Ross State University, TPWD, and to Dr. Bellows and the Thomsen Foundation. May they continue their great educational work and land stewardship, helping to foster much-needed ecological values for the next generation, who will take on an increasingly broken and fragmented world – minus the restored and protected slivers of what once was.
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
– Author Unknown