Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative


Zesch Ranch Grassland and Habitat Health Stewardship Project

For more information see below.


Fill out the Pre-Application >

Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative

A stewardship funding opportunity for ranchers, farmers and wildlife managers

Hill Country Conservancy will accept applications for funding through April 22, 2022. To be considered for financial assistance, landowners must take this first step in the application process by completing the pre-application form by the specified deadline.

IMPORTANT: After completing this form, please contact your local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible to tell them you need to "complete paperwork relating to eligibility for NRCS funding." Copy and paste the link below into your browser to find your local FSA office.

If you need to modify your previous response(s), be sure to use the “back” button at the bottom of the webpage. If you use the back (left arrow) button on your browser, all previous responses will be deleted.

If you have questions, email Frank Davis at Frank@hillcountryconservancy.org.

Are you a conservation-minded rancher, farmer or wildlife enthusiast looking to enhance the water, soils or wildlife on your land? If so, you are in the right place. Hill Country Conservancy and its partners are now offering land stewardship financial assistance, as part of the Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative (HCHCI), to subsidize important land stewardship projects.

About the Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative Program

In 2018 Hill Country Conservancy, and 18 partner organizations, including the newly-launched Texas Hill Country Conservation Network, banded together to create the Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative (HCHCI).  The HCHCI is focused on the conservation of sensitive land through partnerships with Hill Country landowners who are dedicated to enhancing and protecting natural resources. The initiative is financed through a $5.15 million award from the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as part of their Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Now, the 20 partners are distributing this award to landowners who wish to carry out conservation practices to enhance water resources, soil health, wildlife habitat and long-term productivity.

A portion of this award will be directed towards key land stewardship projects that meet the following criteria:

  • the project falls within the Blanco, Upper San Marcos and Llano River basins, and within areas of the Middle Colorado shown on this map, and
  • the project aims to enhance or protect soil, water and wildlife habitat, long-term.

Supported practices include riparian habitat enhancement, brush management, grass and forb planting, tree planting, prescribed fire, planned grazing, fencing of sensitive areas, and irrigation efficiency improvements.

The HCHCI is awarding projects aimed at enhancing soil cover, water quality, and native biodiversity while using approaches that are unique to the property being managed. Applications that demonstrate learning from past successes and failures will be prioritized.

For Landowner success stories click here. 

Additional resources and stewardship materials:

To receive alerts when funding cycles begin, click here.

Fill out the Pre-Application >