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      Nature Report: "Last Great Habitat"

      King Ranch, sprawling across 825,000 acres in Deep South Texas with headquarters on the banks of the Santa Gertrudis in Kingsville, is referred to by some as the lynchpin in the "Last Great Habitat" as it one of the last regions in the state with large tracts of contiguous habitat.

      While most large ranches in the country have been split up over the generations, King Ranch, founded in 1853, remains intact, and this is because ranch heirs believe firmly in keeping the land together.

      Helen Kleberg Groves, great granddaughter of King Ranch founder Captain Richard King, has seen plenty of changes in her lifetime and has fond memories of growing up on the most famous ranch in the world.

      Helen Kleberg Groves says, "Growing up here we loved going to the big roundups and working cattle and cutting cattle out of the herd."

      One of the biggest changes that took place in her youth was the completion of the final stretch of Highway 77 cutting thru King Ranch from Kingsville to Brownsville.

      Groves says, "And that road was put in in my lifetime that is 77, and there were no roads it was just wagon tracks and later used by a few cars."

      King Ranch heirs have been steadfast stewards of the land, and early on with the impetus of senator Dick Kleberg were instrumental in getting game laws passed such as the migratory bird act.

      King ranch continues to be a working cattle ranch, and native habitat flourishes providing a vital reservoir of wildlife.

      Groves says, "It is something so unique in the world that we look with pride at it and enjoy showing it to friends."

      With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.