Joseph Fitzsimons

Making good use of what nature provides has been a founding principle for us. My sister Pamela and I were raised on the San Pedro Ranch in southern Texas. Because of the arid, drought-prone climate, we grew up very conscious of the fact that conservation and stewardship of natural resources were essential to the survival of the ranch.

I’ve served on committees, boards and commissions relating to natural resources throughout Texas, both as a cattleman and as a natural resources attorney. We have an integrated approach to livestock and wildlife management. We go on the philosophy that if we work to maximize native habitat in an ecological approach, then the wildlife will benefit.

The San Pedro Ranch, which has been in our family since 1932, is managed with a herd of registered Beefmaster cattle. In 1975, my father, Joe, recognized the need to manage the range holistically – using grazing and livestock management to enhance diversity.

As a result, the time our cattle spend in each pasture depends on a combination of important factors, including rainfall and forage growth rates. The stocking rate on the San Pedro Ranch is 68 acres per animal unit, much lower than the county average of 30 acres per animal unit. Our prescribed fire and aeration programs also help manage the range and the wildlife habitat it supports. In addition to the cattle operation, we utilize hunting leases and guided hunts as wildlife management tools for the ranch.

The Fitzsimons family was recognized in conjunction with the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) in 2006.


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