Brien O’Connor Dunn
Fennessey Ranch
Bayside, Texas

Brien O’Connor Dunn is the owner and operator of the Fennessey Ranch in Refugio County, Texas. The Fennessey Ranch has been in his family for 163 years and was part of a 750,000-acre land empire that originated with a Mexican land grant in 1834. Dunn has dedicated 950 acres to restored, created, or enhanced wetlands, with an additional 500 acres to be committed to one of the first private mitigation banks in South Texas. Dunn’s efforts have been assisted by the Partners for Wildlife program and the Prairie Wetlands Project, which is cosponsored by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, and Texas Parks and Wildlife. He is a cooperator with the Copano Bay Soil and Water Conservation District, and he participates in the Native Prairie Grassland Restoration Project through the De-Go-La Resource Conservation and Development Area.

Dunn believes that the private landowner must get involved to save habitat for wildlife in Texas and a rural way of life for future Texans. He has worked tirelessly with Texas ranchers as well as taught ranchers around the country how to implement innovative strategies to create environmentally healthy and profitable businesses. He has received the Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Award and is listed in National and State Watchable Wildlife Programs. The Fennessey Ranch is a site on the Great Texas Birding Trail.

— Rindle Wilson, De-Go-La Resource Conservation and Development Area