Powderhorn Ranch Donation to TPWD Is Completed
Pristine paradise is a promise kept to Texans.
The entirety of Powderhorn Ranch near Port O’Connor is now in the hands of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation recently donated the remainder of the spectacular coastal property.
Powderhorn Ranch is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie in Texas, containing precious coastal habitat and forests of coastal live oak. The property also encompasses thousands of acres of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes that offer vital fish and wildlife habitat, providing natural filtering to improve water quality and shielding people and property from storm surges and sea level rise. The ranch includes more than 11 miles of tidal bayfront on Matagorda Bay, harboring hundreds of species of birds and animals, including the endangered whooping crane.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, TPWD’s official nonprofit partner, led the $50 million fundraising effort to acquire the property and conduct initial habitat restoration efforts. A coalition of conservation partners also played a role in the acquisition, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy.
TPWF donated the majority of the 17,351-acre property to TPWD for a wildlife management area in late 2018. The remainder was recently donated for a future state park. The pristine and irreplaceable Powderhorn Ranch is now a significant public asset for all Texans.
With the opening of the WMA in 2018, more people are experiencing all that Powderhorn has to offer. Public hunting and limited public access opportunities are now available, and a future state park will fulfill the promise made to the people of Texas. In the years to come, visitors to Powderhorn will be able to thrill to the sights and sounds of whooping cranes and myriad other bird species, cast a line into Matagorda Bay, hike through the grasslands of a coastal prairie or forests of live oak and camp under the stars.
Lydia Saldaña Jonathan Vail | TPWF