Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg and Dr. Fred C. Bryant, both Kingsville natives, have been selected by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to be inducted in the 2017 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame. They are to be honored for their work they’ve accomplished at the Caesar Kleberg Research Institute, as well as individual achievements in conservation.
Both men are to be honored on April 6, 2017 at Melody Theatre in Austin. The event will be a dinner and concert where Kleberg and Bryant will be inducted along with Wales Madden Jr. and the Operation Game Thief program.
Stephen Kleberg is a member of the founding King Ranch family. He serves as chairmen for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife foundation and participates on the advisory board for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Institute. His work in wildlife management began as early back as the 70s, when he was the manager for the wildlife, cattle, horses, and farms of the King Ranch. In the late 70s, he became the Secretary-Treasurer of the company. By the end of the 80s, he managed most South Texas agricultural operations. Kleberg is being honored for 37 years of work, protecting the local South Texas landscape and wildlife.
Fred Bryant, Ph.D., is the Leroy G. Denman, Jr. Endowed Director of Wildlife Research at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. He has held this title since 1996. Before 1996, he was a professor of Range Management at Texas Tech University’s Department of Range and Wildlife Management, where he would eventually be named a Distinguished Alumnus. His work focuses significantly around range management and habitat management, working with grazing and hunting animals. Along with this, he also served as president of the state professional societies for both the Society of Range Management and The Wildlife Society.
Bryant says, “It’s humbling to think about all the people that have been honored before us and what they contributed to the field of conservation in Texas, so it’s a humbling experience to just have been nominated and now to actually get the award.” With Bryant and Kleberg long friendship, Bryant said, “I’m thrilled to be inducted with one of my best friends, I mean, does it get any better than that.”
President Dr. Steven Tallant continued elaborating on their work together, “Their leadership has made the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute the leading wildlife research organization in Texas and one of the best in the nation. We are excited and proud that both men are being honored for the passion they share for conservation. The state of management and wildlife in Texas is better because of their work.”
The Texas Conservation Hall of Fame benefits the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, which will help raise funds to provide public funding for high-impact environmental projects. One of these projects being to conserve the Powderhorn Ranch, one of the largest, untouched tracts of land along the native coastal prairie. This deal is one of the largest conservation projects in the history of Texas.