Blake Murden, Ph.D.

As chief executive officer of Shield Land Stewardship Group, Blake Murden is responsible for the administration and conservation management of the three Shield-Ayres family ranches comprising 37,000 acres in Central and West Texas. He also supports the mission of the Shield Ranch Foundation through land stewardship, coordination and oversight of capital projects, and operations and management of facilities. 

Blake has more than 30 years of experience managing, researching, and monitoring land, water, and wildlife resources on private lands in Texas, Washington, Oregon, and New Zealand.  Prior to joining Shield Ranch in 2016, Blake was the director of Wildlife and Fisheries for Port Blakely, where he oversaw the natural resource management of forestlands in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. 

He serves on the executive board of the Texas Land Conservancy, the board of the Texas Wildlife Association, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Diversity Advisory Committee. Blake has been an active member of The Wildlife Society for over 35 years, where he’s held several volunteer and leadership positions at the state and national levels. 

Blake earned his Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Tarleton State University and his master’s degree and doctorate in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University. He and his wife April reside in Dripping Springs, Texas, and have two grown children, McKenzi and Marshall. In his spare time, Blake enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.