Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Preservation Matters

News

September 25, 2008

Sisters Place 620-acre Linda Dean Ranch into Easement through Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust

Peggy Dean and Cynthia GuyonSISTERDALE, TX – Two Kendall County sisters have placed a conservation easement on 620 acres of prime Texas Hill Country property through the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. The ranch land, located near the Texas Hill Country town of Sisterdale where the Guadalupe River winds its way downstream, rippling over rocks, will be preserved in its natural landscape.

Natives of San Antonio, the two sisters, Peggy J. Dean and Cynthia A. Guyon, who started spending time on the property after their father purchased the ranch in the 1950s, developed a deep love for it. They began looking into options that would allow them to keep their property or to pass it on while ensuring that when they were gone the land would still be managed and protected in accordance with their wishes.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust is a 501(c)(3) that promotes and encourages the conservation, stewardship and enjoyment of the land and water resources of the Guadalupe River watershed, while maintaining its unique and irreplaceable natural heritage. Working with the Trust's Executive Director Todd Votteler, along with Janaé Reneaud, conservation specialist for the Trust, and Janet Thome, Trust coordinator, Dean and Guyon enacted a plan that would preserve the land for future generations and ensure that it will be managed in the manner they intend.

Guyon explained, "We have no children. We needed to stop and look around and do something," adding "I see the natural landscape eroding away - no more open land, water disappearing, building big homes, putting out sprinkler systems to water lawns." Ultimately, finding the right way to preserve the land became a priority for the sisters.

Linda Dean RanchLiving on the ranch full time for the past 35 years, Dean said, "I didn’t want to see a bunch of houses and subdivisions. I wanted a place for the wildlife, and to be able to continue ranching and hunting ... I think my daddy and mother would be very proud." The ranch in Kendall County was named after their sister Linda Dean who was killed in an accident when she was 13 years old. Naming the ranch the "Linda Dean Ranch" was a way Peggy and Cynthia could keep their name attached to the ranch as their only brother passed away from polio.

Wildflowers can be seen along the banks of the river, and views of the rugged landscape include fields of oak trees, rocks, and grass land. Dinosaur tracks are visible in a limestone outcrop. All of the scenic landscape will be preserved with the sister's voluntary conservation easement through the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust.

Thome said, "Getting to know these remarkable ladies, and becoming a friend of the family, has been a real honor. This action speaks to how they have thought strategically about how to protect a piece of the environment that is precious to them."

Another key player in assisting the sisters with bringing the easement to fruition was Boerne resident Mike Schulz. Schulz, who is a trustee of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, commented on how the landscape has changed and how nice it is to see people interested in preserving the land for future generations to enjoy.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust works with landowners, primarily within the Guadalupe River Basin, to help them preserve their property and leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Conservation easements are used by landowners who want to ensure that future owners continue to respect and conserve the values they have for the land. Conservation easements can also provide tax savings for the landowners who donate them. To learn more about the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust please visit the website at www.gbrtrust.org.