New properties donated to Big Thicket

Photo: Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust members Tom Maddux and Ellen Buchanan

The Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust is a small group of dedicated individuals organized with the mission to protect wildlife, biodiversity and the natural communities of the Big Thicket through encouragement of land stewardship values that promote sustainable communities.

A strategic goal identified by the group was to acquire properties along the Village Creek/ Beech Creek corridor for donation to the Big Thicket National Preserve. These properties contain significant biodiversity including numerous snow-white sandbars, tupelo-cypress sloughs, hundreds of big cypress trees and hardwoods.

While organizations such as The Conservation Fund focus on large tracts of land and are responsible for the total acquisition of 42,000 acres to the preserve, the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust, in contrast, focuses on smaller pieces of property. These properties are often acquired through donation.

Most recently 4.20 acres at the intersection of Village and Beech Creeks were acquired. In addition, another 4.45 acres from lots in the undeveloped J.K. Hurley First Addition adjacent to the Baby Galvez boat launch in Silsbee were secured. Property ownership to the Big Thicket National Preserve was successfully transferred in late 2012, and the lands are now part of the Village Creek Corridor.