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It’s (past) time to save our rural land heritage

On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, from 6:00 – 7:00pm, the Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA) will host an evening program on “Saving our Rural Land Heritage.” Guest speakers are David K. Langford of the Hillingdon Ranch in Kendall County, and Rob and Teresa Ohlrich Johnson of the JO Ranch in Comal County. They will tell their stories about their families’ use of conservation easements as a tool to preserve their families’ land and ranching heritage along with the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Under the pressures of rapid population growth, Comal County’s rural lands are turning into subdivisions, shopping centers, quarries, roads, and other elements of an urbanizing landscape. Comal County is losing its rural heritage, and that is affecting the well-being of our entire county. It’s time we did something. These two families have done something, and they’re prepared to share their stories.

David Langford is an internationally known wildlife photographer and the co-founder and Executive Vice President (emeritus) of the Texas Wildlife Association. He and his wife Myrna live on their part of the historic Hillingdon Ranch where seven generations of the extended Giles family have lived and ranched. The Langford family recently put their ranch under a conservation easement with the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT), an organization David also helped found. David was once a critic but is now one of the strongest advocates of conservation easements as a tool for preserving a family’s land and legacy. He is also well aware of all the public benefits that protected open space lands provide, including clean air and water, native wildlife, pastoral beauty, and a way of life.

Rob and Teresa Ohlrich Johnson recently did the same: preserve their family’s heritage on their JO Ranch in Comal County. They too used a conservation easement held by TALT. Teresa’s ancestors were among the first settlers who traveled from Germany with Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels in 1845. Five generations of her family have lived on the ranch her ancestors settled. Through the generations, the ranch has been divided among descendants and some parts have been sold off.  The Johnsons have now assured their historic family ranch will remain intact and undeveloped for future generations.

We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

SAVE THE DATE!

WHAT:             Evening Program hosted by Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA)

WHEN:            Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

WHERE:           Virtual (Zoom), check CCCA website for details

www.comalconservation.org/2021-events.html

For more information, contact Comal County Conservation Alliance: Helen Ballew, 210-246-2883 or at hballew@gmail.com

Press release printed above with permission from the Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA). Learn more from CCCA here.