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2014-10-16

Powderhorn Ranch purchased by partnership

Special to the Courier From TPWD

Powderhorn Ranch is one of the biggest remaining unspoiled tracts of coastal prairie in the state and it will be protected forever, thanks to a coalition of partners which raised nearly 38 million dollars to purchase the more than 17,000 acre ranch in Calhoun County. The property will in years to come become a new state park and wildlife management area for the people of Texas.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is spearheading the fundraising for the $50 million project, which includes the property purchase, habitat restoration and management, and a long-term endowment. The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) are also playing critical roles in the acquisition and long-term conservation of this property.
A significant portion of the funding came from dollars paid by BP and Transocean in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. NFWF has committed $34.5 million over the next three years, making this the biggest land acquisition in the nation so far using BP spill restoration dollars.
The project represents a new model of conservation, involving multiple organizations with shared interests. Safeguarding this natural treasure has been contemplated for more than 30 years.
The acquisition will protect unspoiled coastal land with forests of coastal live oak and intact wetlands, including thousands of acres of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes that offer vital fish and wildlife habitat that provide natural filtering to improve water quality and shield people and property from storm surges and sea level rise.