On Saturday, ranch-turned-preserve Billig Ranch was opened to the public for the first time during Open Preserve Day.
Billig Ranch is a 677-acre piece of land north of Paige that was previously used for ranching. In 2008, Erwin Billig gifted the ranch to Pines & Prairies Land Trust (PPLT), a Bastrop-based nonprofit that protects natural and cultural resources in nearby counties, to turn the ranch into a haven for wildlife.
The morning began with a bird-watching hike at 8 a.m., followed by a talk and demonstration about the damage caused by feral hogs and methods of trapping them at 9 a.m.
Later, PPLT executive director Melanie Pavlas led a tour of the preserve, showing the areas where the pastures of invasive grass were restored back to native prairie species.