Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Selects Matador Ranch as Lone Star Land Steward
June 11, 2010
MATADOR, Texas – Texas Parks & Wildlife Department honored Matador Ranch as the Lone Star Land Steward in the corporate category at a ceremony on May 26 in Austin. “Our Matador Ranch team is proud to hang the Lone Star Land Steward sign on our gate,” says Bob Kilmer. “To receive this prestigious award confirms that we are making real strides toward reaching our goal of improving our natural resources and creating real long-term value.”
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Land Steward Awards program recognizes those private landowners for excellence in habitat management and wildlife conservation on their lands. The awards also seek to publicize the best examples of sound natural resource management practices and promote long-term conservation of unique natural and cultural resources. (Video available here.)
“The Matador Ranch is unique in part simply because of its sheer size and the commitment and scale of the stewardship occurring on the ranch,” said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director. “They are managing nearly 130,000 acres of important wildlife habitat using innovative and beneficial practices such as prescribed burning, rotational grazing, and brush management. This has increased the abundance and diversity of wildlife on their property, benefiting both wildlife and their livestock operation, as well as plant health, water quality and general rangeland health over a critically important area of the rolling plains.”
Matador Ranch has employed the tools of range and wildlife management to continuously improve the long-term health and productivity of its land and water resources. Rest-rotational grazing systems that control seasonal use, duration and stock density are used to manage for increased quality and quantity of desirable forage. Strategic brush management has improved riparian areas, enhanced natural springs, and improved nesting cover for turkeys and quail. White-tail and mule deer are surveyed annually along with quail, feral hogs, coyotes and turkeys.
“The Matador team strives to manage our natural resources to ensure long-term productivity and sustainability,” Kilmer said. “We are honored to be recognized as a Lone Star Land Steward.”
Previous winners in the corporate category include King Ranch and the Triangle Ranches. Matador Ranch is owned and operated by Koch Agriculture Company, which is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc. In 1953, a company owned by Fred C. Koch acquired Matador Ranch, which was once part of an 800,000-acre ranch originally formed by Scottish investors in 1882. Today’s operation covers 130,000 acres in five Texas counties: Motley, Dickens, Cottle, Floyd and Crosby. In addition to the hunting and deer breeding operation, the ranch runs commercial and registered cattle and breeds Quarter horses.