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Hays County announces new nature preserve

Friday, May 22, 2015 by Nora Ankrum

A new nature preserve near Buda will open formerly private land to the public, thanks to a Hays County lease agreement believed to be the first of its kind. The county will lease a 384-acre tract of private land that overlays a conservation easement and make it available for limited public access. The tract, which is part of a ranch belonging to the Dahlstrom family, will be outfitted with walking trails to “encourage hiking, birdwatching and nature tours,” according to an announcement released by the county. The initial lease will last for five years and may continue in five-year increments for up to 20 years. Although no opening date has been set, the preserve — to be known as the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve — could open by the end of the year. Describing the land, Gay Dahlstrom said, “If you want a good sermon, walk out into this country. That is where things come together.”

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