Part of “one of the largest remaining stretches of unspoiled coastal prairie” in Texas is on its way to becoming a state park someday.
Texas Parks and Wildlife announced Thursday that the remainder of the Powderhorn Ranch – 1,360 acres – in Calhoun County has been acquired by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Last week, the foundation donated the land to the department.
The remaining acreage is in addition to the nearly 15,000 acres of Powderhorn Ranch that TPWF donated to TPWD in 2018.
The acreage acquired in the latest agreement will someday become a state park, according to TPWD.
Authorities have said it is too early for a state park schedule and that developing a master plan alone will take years.
The new state park is said to be one of the few along the Texas coast: Mustang Island and Goose Island state parks are found in southwest Calhoun County, while state parks of Galveston Island and Sea Rim lie to the northeast.
TPWD said the ranch includes over 11 miles of Tidal Bay on Matagorda Bay. Freshwater wetlands and salt marshes are not only home to fish and wildlife, but also act as a natural water filter and protect communities from storm surges, TPWD said.
Endangered whooping cranes also call the ranch home.
“This transformational project preserves irreplaceable wildlife habitat and provides an exciting new recreational opportunity for the people of Texas,” Dan Friedkin, chairman emeritus of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, said in the press release.
TPWD said the department and organizations have wanted to keep the ranch for decades.
It is known as “one of the largest tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie in the state”.
“Powderhorn Ranch conserves pristine wildlife habitat in an area of Texas that faces increasing development pressure,” TPWD executive director Carter Smith said in the statement.
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