Our Prairie People: Clare & Aspen

Published by Kirsti Harms on

Meet Clare Buckner and Aspen Huebner
Our Newest Staff Members

Photos courtesy of Molly Quirk, our talented neighbor and the mayor of the Village of San Leanna.

Clare Buckner (left) joined NPAT In August as the land manager. Her focus is restoration at the Dowell Ranch in Manchaca, as well as providing support for NPAT’s Elder, Maddin, Riesel and Deer Park prairies. Clare came to us from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in eastern Virginia. There she was a restoration technician who worked with prescribed fire, longleaf pine savanna restoration, as well as outreach and education programs with volunteers. Her Texas prairie restoration experience came from TNC’s Texas City Prairie. Clare has Master of Science in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She also comes with the ability to maintain equipment. On her first week at NPAT she had to troubleshoot our old UTV and help replace a starter! 

We are very excited to have Clare on board. As we acquire more property there is a growing need for staff to oversee restoration and maintenance. Since the current heat and drought conditions limit what we can do with restoration projects at the Dowell, we have been making site visits to other NPAT properties to acquaint her with our prairies.

Aspen Huebner (right) is the daughter of the Dowell Ranch’s longtime manager, Dan Huebner. She grew up on the ranch and picked up a lot of skills from her father, who is the go-to guy for how things work. She knows the ranch very well and was hired earlier this summer to care for the remaining animals (now three beagles, four horses and four goats).

In August, after Jody Cross left to take a job in Colorado, Aspen stepped in as a part time administrative assistant. Aspen comes to us with a multitude of skills, including social media knowledge AND equipment repair. You may be hearing from her as she oversees our membership and donations. Aspen has a growing interest in the natural world and prairies, along with her gardening and homesteading skills. She also lives near the ranch, which makes her a valuable steward for the property.

During a hot day in August, the team took an auto tour of NPAT’s Central Texas prairies.
Categories: NPAT newsStatewide