On February 28, 2018, the owners of Los Madrones Ranch in western Travis County closed on the sale of a conservation easement that preserves 396 acres of open space, creeks, and sensitive bird habitat. The landowners, Mike Murphy and Julie de Wette, began the conservation easement process because it gave them the ability to protect the robust natural environment on their ranch from encroaching suburban development while obtaining the funding to preserve and steward the land for the future. Margaret Menicucci of Braun & Gresham helped Mike and Julie navigate the complex process of selling a conservation easement and negotiate the terms of the legal documents. The Natural Resource Conservation Service and Travis County funded the conservation easement and the landowners made a charitable donation of part of the value. The Texas Land Conservancy holds the conservation easement. Mike and Julie have always welcomed bird tours, photography tours and competitions, and educational groups to Los Madrones Ranch. The conservation easement sale ensures that they can continue to share and steward the land for generations.