Brief book review: Hill Country Landowner’s Guide

Hill Country Landowner’s Guide

by Jim Stanley

The Hill Country, like our own Palo Pinto Country, is witnessing an influx of new landowners coming from all parts of the country. In most cases they are buying small to medium properties in rural areas. Many of these new landowners have little experience managing ranchland. This handbook is intended primarily for just these people. Although written for the Hill Country it works equally well for us too.

Some of the issues Stanley discusses are brush control, overpopulation of deer and exotics, erosion, fire and oak wilt. He tells how to encourage native grasses and plants, how to attract songbirds and other wildlife, and how to conserve water, and how to deal with cedar and mesquite.

He also has information for those interested in keeping animals.  He discusses overgrazing, overbrowsing and restoration of the land.

He lists resources for those who want to know more. One section of particular interest categorizes plants according to their attractiveness to deer and cattle.

The author taught chemistry at LSU before going to work for Union Carbide. Twelve years ago he retired and moved to the Hill Country where he has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn about regional ecology. He writes in a clear down-to-earth style that shows that he’s had to deal with the issues himself

This is a book that should be read by everyone who buys a piece of property or moves here.