A portion of “one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie” in Texas is in the works to become a state park, someday.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife announced Thursday that the remainder of the Powderhorn Ranch — 1,360 acres — in Calhoun County was 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 deal will one day become a state park, according to TPWD.
Authorities said it is too soon for a timeline of the state park, and the development of a master plan alone will take years.
The new state park would be one of few along the Texas coast: Mustang Island and Goose Island state parks sit southwest of Calhoun County, while Galveston Island and Sea Rim state parks are to the northeast.
TPWD said the ranch includes more than 11 miles of tidal bayfront on Matagorda Bay. The freshwater wetlands and salt marshes are not only home to fish and wildlife, but 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 conserves irreplaceable wildlife habitat and brings an exciting new recreational opportunity to the people of Texas,” Dan Friedkin, chairman emeritus of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, said in the news release.
TPWD said the department and organizations had been wanting to conserve the ranch for decades.
It’s known as “one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie in the state.”
“Powderhorn Ranch conserves pristine wildlife habitat in an area of Texas that is facing increasing development pressure,” TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith said in the release.