History

THE BIG THICKET ASSOCIATION (BTA)

The Big Thicket Association is dedicated to conservation of the Big Thicket of Southeast Texas.

Pete Gunter-1971

Pete Gunter in Big Thicket, 1971

The Big Thicket Association, a 501(c)3 organization, founded in 1964, was formed to save remnants of the once extensive historic Big Thicket forests with its remarkable diversity.  The Association's efforts led to the establishment of the Big Thicket National Preserve in 1974 (a National Park System Unit, the first National Preserve).  Threats to the fledgling Preserve have proliferated over the years and in 2003 the Preserve was designated by the National Parks Conservation Association as one of America's Ten Most Endangered National Parks, and in 2007, the Neches River (part of the Preserve) was named by the American Rivers Association as one of America's Most Endangered Rivers.

THE PURPOSE, AS IDENTIFIED IN ITS CHARTER, IS AS FOLLOWS:

Big Thicket Association Charter-Constitution and Bylaws

The dedication and talents of Big Thicket Association members have contributed to the organization’s significant accomplishments since 1964 as one of the Big Thicket region’s staunchest supporters. 

 

Charter Directors of the Big Thicket Association 

The number of directors constituting the initial Board of Directors of the Corporation in 1964 was nineteen, and the names and addresses of the persons who served as the initial directors were:

Name

Address

Name

Address

Dempsey Henley

Liberty Texas

Willie Bean

Kountze, Texas

Emmett Lack

Kountze, Texas

Jim Hale

Daisetta, Texas

Jimmy Jennings

Kountze, Texas

Rex Fortenberry

Beaumont, Texas

John K. Casey

Beaumont, Texas

Carl Sory

Saratoga, Texas

Alice Cashen

Batson, Texas

Harold Fillingim

Saratoga, Texas

Mrs. E. P. Watson

Silsbee, Texas

Joe F. Combs

Beaumont, Texas

Mrs. R. C. Mitchell

Saratoga, Texas

Mrs. Dollie J. Hoffman

Saratoga, Texas

Joseph M. Heiser, Jr.

Houston, Texas

Terrell Buchanan

Silsbee, Texas

Walter Coon

Saratoga, Texas

Lance Rosier

Saratoga, Texas

Robert Neyland

Silsbee, Texas

 

 

 

                                      

Big Thicket Association Presidents

Dempsie Henley

1964-1969

Charles Wilbanks

1969-1971

Pete Gunter

1971-1973

Maxine Johnston

1973-1975

Howard Peacock

1975-1976

Hon. Ralph W. Yarborough

1976-1978

Gene Feigelson

1978-1981

Floyd Landrey

1981-1983

Billy Tomlinson

1983-1985

Dyli Martin

1985-1987

Houston Thompson

1987-1989

David Hartman

1989-1991

Kenneth Pelt

1991-1994

Maxine Johnston

1994-1998

Fred Allen

1999-2002

Ellen Buchanan

2003-2006

Bruce Drury

2007-2010

Mary Catherine Johnston

2011-2012

Jan Ruppel

2013-2016

Kathy Smartt

2017-

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Executive Director, (409) 790-5399, email: director@bigthicket.org