Lazy Bend Ranch
Lazy Bend Ranch constitutes approximately 150 acres of ranchland outside of Dripping Springs. This conservation easement expands the footprint of conservation lands in the upper Onion Creek watershed to an impressive 5,000+ acres! The Lazy Bend Ranch is located in close proximity to the High Gate Ranch and Storm Ranch conservation easements. These three ranches combined create an extraordinary expanse of protected waterways, indigenous Texas wildlife and endless vistas.
With its rolling hills and historic rock fences separating the pastures and ponds, Lazy Bend Ranch is located along a crystal-clear stretch of South Onion Creek. The landowners fell in love with and purchased this tract of land 25 years ago. Their intention was to restore the indigenous wildlife habitat and to preserve a critical reach of the creek. Since then, they have invested heavily in improving the land’s vitality through selective habitat management and over seeding with native grasses and wildflowers. Today, thanks to more than two decades of devoted stewardship, the property boasts a wide variety of native wildlife including imperiled birds such as Painted Bunting, Lark Sparrow, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Northern Bobwhite and the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler.
Lazy Bend Ranch is quintessential Hill Country ranch land, but surrounding the property changes are evident. Many of the large ranches in the area have been reduced to 10, 30 and 50-acre pieces. Fragmentation limits the land’s ability to reduce flooding, increases pollution and runoff into waterways and local aquifers, and constricts critical wildlife terrain. Conversely, dedicated care of land in this region will safeguard the health of local drinking water resources springing from the Onion Creek watershed and Trinity and Edwards Aquifer. Conserving the Lazy Bend Ranch land will also help to ensure the perseverance of Austin’s iconic Barton Springs.
Several years ago, with conservation on their minds, the Lazy Bend Ranch owners reached out to HCC to form a partnership with the goal of retaining the integrity of this tract of land forever. In September 2017, the partnership was formalized and this goal was achieved. Moving forward, this conservation easement will keep the Lazy Bend Ranch acreage intact while allowing maintenance of existing structures and investment in recreation projects. The property will continue to be used for hunting, fishing, agricultural activities, and other traditional uses of the land. The family will continue to manage their beloved estate and spearhead conservation efforts with guidance from HCC.
This conservation easement would not have been possible without funding from the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP), administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The TFRLCP complements TPWD’s mission to conserve natural resources by protecting working lands from fragmentation and development. TFRLCP maintains and enhances the ecological and agricultural productivity of these lands through agricultural conservation easements.