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Mar 252009

Photo: Adrian F. Van Dellen | The Conservation Fund, Texas Pineywoods Region

From Green Right Now Reports

The Conservation Fund announced today that it has purchased more than 3,600 acres in three Texas counties that eventually will become part of the Big Thicket National Preserve. The land in Hardin, Tyler and Polk counties was purchased from the Hancock Timber Resource Group.

Packed with wildlife and plant species, the dense wilderness of the Big Thicket is considered one of the nation’s most diverse landscapes. The region in southeast Texas consists of important river corridors, productive wetlands, tall forests, open plains, pine savannas and dry sand hills.

The Conservation Fund said the purchase from Hancock Timber will establish a continuous conservation corridor along Village Creek that provides habitat for migratory waterfowl and song birds and serves as a floodplain that will benefit communities along Village Creek and the Neches River. Big Thicket National Preserve — the nation’s first national preserve — provides visitors with opportunities for backpacking, hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking and wildlife viewing.

“Working with partners like Hancock Timber allows us to rebuild the Big Thicket legacy so that future generations can enjoy this unique and historic part of east Texas,” Andy Jones, director of The Conservation Fund’s Texas office, said in a statement.

The Conservation Fund has helped preserve nearly 137,000 acres in Texas, including 32,000 acres at Big Thicket National Preserve. In addition, the Fund launched an ecotourism and economic development program for the region called the Pineywoods Experience and established Texas’ largest wetlands mitigation bank, the Pineywoods Mitigation Bank.