The Borderlands Research Institute and the Borderlands Research Foundation honored Houston businessman John L. Nau, III, with the inaugural West Texas Conservationist of the Year award on May 25, 2022. The award was presented at a special event at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston.
Nau has impacted all corners of the country through his conservation vision. Among his myriad accomplishments, he currently serves on the boards of the National Park Foundation, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the American Battlefield Trust and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. Here in Texas, he is a longtime member of the Texas Historical Commission, and is currently serving as board chairman.
In West Texas, Nau has partnered with the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University in Alpine on numerous wildlife and habitat research projects. In 2007, John acquired Nine Point Mesa Ranch in southern Brewster County, a breathtaking high desert oasis teeming with wildlife and the location of a continuing restoration success story, thanks in large part to Nau’s passion for West Texas and the wildlife that thrives there.
“John L. Nau, III, has certainly made his mark on conservation in West Texas and is a shining example of private land stewardship,” said Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., former chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, who now chairs BRI’s Advisory Board. “John has created a conservation legacy through his unwavering support of research, management, and philanthropy.
Nau is a firm believer in science-based land management, and has opened his gates to the staff and students of the Borderlands Research Institute.
“We’ve been fortunate to partner with John on a variety of research projects at Nine Point Mesa Ranch,” said Dr. Louis Harveson, who is the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., BRI Endowed Director and professor of Wildlife Management at Sul Ross State University. “The ranch is an extension of Sul Ross State University and has become a training ground for our students, who will become the next generation of conservation professionals.”
The event was also a Borderlands Research Foundation fundraiser supporting the work of the Borderlands Research Institute.
“We’re thrilled to honor John L. Nau, III, as the 2022 West Texas Conservationist of the Year,” said Borderlands Research Foundation chairman Allen Smith. “The proceeds of the event will help support the conservation mission of the Borderlands Research Institute into the future.”
Photo: Dr. Louis Harveson, John L. Nau, III, Dan Allen Hughes. Shawna Graves/Borderland Research Institute photo
Since 2007, the Borderlands Research Institute has encouraged effective land stewardship of the Chihuahuan Desert. Housed at Sul Ross State University, the Borderlands Research Institute builds on a long-lasting partnership with private landowners, the university’s Range and Wildlife Program, and cooperating state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. Through research, education, and outreach, the Borderlands Research Institute is helping to conserve the last frontier of Texas and the Southwest.