Five generations of the Lucas family have cared for the Fair Oaks Ranch located in Goliad and Bee counties. Richard Lucas, and his family enrolled their property in a conservation easement in 2005 to help ensure that succeeding generations would have the opportunity to become land stewards as well.
“Our father used to say, ‘Each generation of Lucases has the responsibility to leave the land in better shape than when they took it over,’” Richard, whose son represents the sixth generation of ranch leadership, said. “Enrolling Fair Oaks in a conservation easement helps fulfill that legacy of stewardship because it will protect our land from the many diverse forces of fragmentation that are breaking up family farms and ranches across the state.”
The division of historic ranches is not an abstraction for Richard. It’s happened across his fence line. Recently, a 20,000-acre ranch that bordered his family’s land was sub-divided into five smaller properties because the owners did not have an adequate estate plan in place.
“When we conserve open space land, we’re actually conserving the history and heritage of Texas,” he said. “The image most people have of Texas is wide open spaces. If we don’t take steps to protect our open space land that will just be a memory.”
In addition, Richard serves as a director of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and as a director of the Palo Verde Cattle Co. LLC. He is also president of Fair Oaks Production Co., an oil and gas exploration company, and a long-time director Small Steps Nurturing Center, a charitable organization.