One of South Texas’s most prominent citizens died this week, and our Outdoor Reporter Richard Moore lost a cherished friend with the death of rancher Frank Yturria. Richard shares his thoughts on the remarkable legacy of Frank Yturria.
Frank Yturria, the greatest conservationist of his generation in South Texas, passed away this week. Rancher, oilman, banker, soldier, public servant, world traveler, philanthropist and conservationist, Yturria led an extraordinary life.
He was the first rancher to grant a conservation easement, protecting the endangered ocelot on his historic Yturria ranch north of Raymondville. He was among initial landowners that allowed reintroduction of the Aplomado falcon, and was instrumental in the recovery of Bahia Grande, the largest wetland restoration project in Texas.
I had the pleasure of Frank’s friendship for the past 30 years, and I have never met anyone who I admired more. He gave me unprecedented access to his ranch, and told me decades ago to visit whenever I wished saying, “Just let the foreman know you are coming and leave the gates the way you found them.”
Thanks to Frank Yturria’s friendship and generosity, I have had the pleasure and distinct honor of sharing the abundant wildlife on Yturria ranch with my fellow South Texans for the past three decades. Of all properties I have access to on both public and private wildlands, there is no better place to see South Texas wildlife than the Yturria ranch.
In recent years Frank Yturria set aside more than 10,000 acres in conservation easements that will protect his cherished wildlands in perpetuity on his family’s ranch in Willacy and Kenedy counties.
Frank Yturria once said, “It makes me feel very good. It does. I am so happy this has now been done, and I feel like it is going to be a legacy of mine that I have done it, I am gone, but it will still be here. It will be my legacy.”
Thanks to Frank Yturria’s extraordinary vision the abundant wildlife on the Yturria ranch will thrive for generations to come.