Conservation easements like on Cherry Springs Ranch push back against development

“It’s huge,” said Frank Davis, the Hill Country Conservancy’s chief conservation officer.

He’s referring to the recent conservation easement on the 1,038-acre Cherry Springs Ranch in Spicewood.

“Spicewood is right in the path of future development, and Cherry Springs Ranch, it’s pristine Hill Country land,” Davis said. “It’s something hard to find as we keep developing out to the west (of Austin).

Straddling the Burnet-Blanco county line, Cherry Springs Ranch has a range of landscapes, including lush, vegetated grottoes. Seventy-seven unique species of birds and 16 native wildlife species “of greatest conservation need” are found on the property. A species is identified as one of greatest conservation need based on declining populations and alarming rates of habitat loss.

The property even has dinosaur tracks.

Texas historian and folklorist J. Frank Dobie once owned it before selling it to the Edwards family in 1958.

The Edwards family and the Hill Country Conservancy announced the conservation easement on September 24. Under the easement, the family retains the property and can conduct a number of traditional activities on it, but it also protects the property against development like that seen on much of the land between Austin and Marble Falls.

Read more from Daniel Clifton with DailyTrib here.