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

Stewardship funding for landowners, ranchers, farmers, and wildlife managers

Hill Country Conservancy and its partners are offering conservation-minded landowners land stewardship financial assistance as part of the Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative (HCHCI). The HCHCI provides financial assistance for landowners seeking to undertake projects that enhance soil cover, biodiversity, and water quality on their land. Qualifying projects will receive technical support from HCHCI partners in planning their project and reimbursement for a portion of their costs.

Supported practices include:

  • Enhancing riparian buffers
  • Managing livestock impacts to water bodies and providing alterative water sources
  • Planned grazing and grazing deferments to promote enhanced forage quality, soil cover, and wildlife habitat
  • Fencing improvements to promote wildlife passage and grazing management
  • Range planting (seeding of native grasses and forbs)
  • Improving pollinator and monarch habitat
  • Brush management (emphasizing removal of regrowth on deep soils in flat areas)
  • Instream habitat enhancement
  • Irrigation efficiency improvements

Projects that demonstrate learning from past successes and failures will be prioritized.

Hill Country Conservancy is now accepting pre-applications for funding. To be considered for financial assistance, landowners must take this first step in the application process by completing the pre-application form.

To receive alerts regarding deadlines and timing of ranking, click here. 

IMPORTANT: After completing this form, please contact Frank Davis at frank@hillcountryconservancy.org as soon as possible for guidance on timely next steps.

Note: While completing the form, if you need to modify your previous response(s), be sure to use the “back” button at the bottom of the form. If you use the back (left arrow) button in your browser window, all previous responses will be deleted.


About the Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative Program

In 2018,  Hill Country Conservancy, and 18 partner organizations, including the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network, banded together to create the Hill Country Headwaters Conservation Initiative (HCHCI).  The HCHCI is focused on enhancing and protecting natural resources through partnerships with dedicated conservation-minded landowners. 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). This award is being distributed 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 toward key land stewardship projects that meet the following criteria:

  • The project falls within the Onion Creek, Barton Creek, Pedernales River, Blanco, Upper San Marcos, and Llano River basins, as shown on this map, and
  • The project aims to enhance or protect soil, water, and wildlife habitat, with long-term effects.

For Landowner success stories click here.


Fill out the Pre-Application >

Additional resources and stewardship materials:

To receive alerts regarding deadlines and timing of ranking, click here. 

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