Three Ranch-Related Organizations To Receive BRIT’s International Conservation Award 


Recipients teach and practice conservation techniques that enhance the ecological and agricultural productivity for better land management


The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 International Award of Excellence in Conservation.  For the first time, BRIT is honoring three groups in the same year with this prestigious award.  The groups being honored are: J. David Bamberger and Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve; Frank Yturria and the Frank Yturria Family Ranch; and the Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program. The award ceremony will take place on September 27th, 2017 at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel.


“In our 30th year, we wanted to do something special,” said Ed Schneider, president and executive director of BRIT. “That’s why we decided to honor three ranch-related organizations at the same time. Their dedication to conservation has literally changed the landscape of Texas and has inspired and educated new generations of ranch managers on the concepts of restoration, biodiversity, and sustainability.”


Every year, BRIT’s International Conservation Award honors individuals and organizations that contribute to the conservation of our natural heritage by increasing our knowledge of the plant world and by enhancing the public understanding of the value plants bring to life. Some of the previous winners include philanthropist and conservationist Ruth Carter Stevenson, renowned chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall, and CNN founder and environmentalist Ted Turner. This year, the event will also be celebrating BRIT’s 30th anniversary; 30 years of conservation through discovering, documenting, and studying plants.


BRIT’s 2017 Conservation Award honorees:

J. David Bamberger has been restoring the habitat of his 5,500-acre ranch Selah for the past 48 years, which is one of the largest habitat restoration projects in the state.  Through struggles of invasive plants and neglected landscape, Bamberger persisted and has now created a habitat that contains ponds and lakes, a healthy population of all the Texas Hill Country wildlife and currently 213 species of birds including two endangered species, the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. The award-winning Bamberger Ranch Preserve is a modern success story of habitat restoration combined with educational opportunities for students and other landowners.  


Rooted in the deep south of Texas, The Frank Yturria Family Ranch has placed 10,000 acres into wildlife conservation easements for the protection of the endangered Ocelot cat and the Aplomado Falcon as well as other native wildlife. Today, an estimated 80 -100 Ocelots thrive on the ranch and reproduction is increasing every year. Frank Yturria’s dedication and partnership with the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service for Nature Conservation is responsible for this turnaround in wildlife conservation.  He is a graduate of Texas A&M and is a veteran of World War II and Korea.


The Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program has been preparing students since 1956 on how to thoughtfully and properly manage a broad range of resources while also improving them.  The curriculum offers ecologically and economically conscientious training to students who are pursuing a career in the agriculture business. Students graduate with the knowledge of how to be responsible land stewards.


More information on the Gala including how to register can be found on BRIT’s website at . It will be a night of celebration for all those who are concerned with conservation and creating a better earth for future generations.