The wide-open spaces of Texas are a gift to all who live here, but they’re not a given. Ninety-five percent of the state is privately owned. This means that landowning families—working together with government, nonprofits, developers, and concerned citizens—play a crucial role in sustaining our most treasured natural environments.

At Shield Ranch, stewarding and protecting Texas ecosystems is our solemn purpose. Our three ranches encompass 37,000 acres of sustainably managed wildlands in Central and West Texas.

To support our ambitious land management program, we partner with renowned conservation organizations and provide transformative nature-immersion experiences for Texans. Our state is growing. Our communities are expanding. And truly wild places are becoming increasingly rare. But together, we can ensure Shield Ranch will stay wild for good.

The Family

Bonded To The Land

Eighty years ago, Fred and Vera Shield purchased an expanse of land in Travis County southwest of Austin. Fred, a successful wildcatter who would become a distinguished independent oil producer, grew up on a small cotton farm near San Saba. Vera was raised in Abilene and became a nurse anesthetist and community volunteer. Together they stayed close to this land that would come to be known as Shield Ranch. Here, four generations of the Shield-Ayres-Bowen family fell in love with Barton Creek and the natural beauty of the Hill Country and vowed to steward and protect it.

Learn the History