In 2000, Environmental Defense Fund staff began conducting breeding bird surveys and habitat assessments on a few ranches in the Bandera Canyonlands region as part of EDF's Landowner Conservation Assistance Program (LCAP).
The resulting survey information was provided to landowners to help them with their land management planning. EDF and partner organizations such as TNC began conducting yearly workshop in the area to educate landowners about best management practices for Hill Country habitats and provide information on the various technical and financial resource programs that were available.
Success of these workshops resulted in steadily increasing landowner interest and participation in LCAP, and in 2003, a group of eight BCA landowners met with EDF and Orion Research and Management Services (Orion) to discuss working cooperatively to control feral hogs. Feral hog numbers were clearly increasing in the Bandera Canyonlands area: their impact was becoming a major threat to sensitive habitats. This meeting resulted in the establishment of a feral hog management cooperative.
Participating landowners collaborated with EDF to share the cost of an ongoing hog removal effort focused on their properties. Orion administers and operates the cooperative (collects participation fees, pays the hog trapper, and assembles and manages data on hogs removed). The cooperative has been operating continuously since 2003.
As participation in LCAP and the feral hog management cooperative increased, a core group of landowners began to emerge who were deeply interested in conserving the natural, cultural and scenic values on their ranches and the surrounding region.
In February 2007 a few of these landowners met with EDF, Orion and TPWD (Linda Campbell and Gary Homerstad) at the courthouse in Boerne to discuss the formation of a landowner association in the Bandera Canyonlands. The potential goals, objectives, partners and next steps were discussed and a path forward was identified.
In March 2007 the Bandera Canyonlands Alliance was incorporated as a non-profit in the State of Texas. Later that spring the first official BCA membership meeting was conducted; goals and priorities were further discussed and refined and a slate of initial officers was endorsed by the membership.BCA meetings for members and the general public are conducted in the spring and fall of each year. Meetings typically consist of updates from various BCA committees (e.g., feral hog management, water issues, grants) and a treasurer's report. This is followed by an invited speaker who gives a presentation on a natural or cultural resource issue that is relevant to the Bandera Canyonlands. Past speakers and topics have included:
- Dan Snodgrass (TNC): Past, Present and Future Management of Love Creek Preserve
- Sky Lewey (Nueces River Authority): Riparian Habitat Management
- Mike Krueger (TPWD): Management of White-tailed Deer in the Hill Country
- Steve Nelle (NRCS): Management of Hill Country Habitats