Over 17,000 acres of Texas Ranch have become a new state park thanks to large donations

The ranch in Texas More and more transformed into a home Companies that support the state’s explosive population growth. However, some ranches along the Gulf go against that trend.

According to Thursday’s announcement, all 17,351 acres of Powderhorn Ranch in Calhoun County near Port Lavaca have been donated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service and will eventually become a state park.

The ranch is one of the largest remaining “pristine coastal meadows” in Texas and protects hundreds of birds and animals, including the endangered Whooping Crane, the agency said.

“Powderhorn Ranch protects pristine wildlife habitats in areas of Texas facing rising development pressure,” said Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife, in a statement. Stated. “Investing in this asset permanently protects the amazing diversity of species and habitats.”

Efforts to protect assets have been underway since at least 2014, when large sums of money became available through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefits Fund resulting from a deepwater horizon oil spill that destroyed the local environment. It’s inside.

The project cost the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, an official nonprofit partner of the state government, about $ 50 million to purchase land, restore habitat, and set up a fund for long-term maintenance. .. Approximately 15,000 acres were transferred from the Foundation to the state in 2018, and the last 1,360 acres of land transactions ended on October 27.

“Powderhorn ranch donations are keeping promises,” said Mike Green, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors, in a statement. “This historic investment is made possible by an extraordinary public-private partnership and shows how landscape-scale conservation can be achieved in Texas and beyond.”

Several donors and nonprofits were involved in raising millions to acquire powder horns. The Nature Conservancy has established an agreement known as a conservation easement that permanently bans the sale of land to developers planning to turn it into a home or retail store.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, there is no timeline for developing state parks yet, but birdwatching, hunting, camping and research are already taking place on the ranch.The agency is currently preparing to open Palo Pinto Mountain State Park, first time New state park In 2023 in 25 years in North Texas.