Natural Heritage Trust

Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust

The Big Thicket is a biologically and culturally rich area in the heart of deep east Texas encompassing nearly 3 million acres of pinelands, mixed forests and bottomland hardword forests and swamps. It stretches from Beaumont to Diboll and Liberty to Newton.

Once the Thicket was home to the Ivory-billed woodpecker, bears and panthers, and it provided Native Americans and sturdy pioneer families with the resources essential for meeting their survival needs. Later, its rich timber and oil resources became the foundations of the Texas economy.

Today, both the diversity and the scenic beauty, as well as the quality of rural life, are threatened by suburbanization and increasing resource extraction.

The Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust seeks to reduce the negative effects of these processes on plants and animals and the quality of life in the region. The Trust will protect wildlife diversity and natural communities of the Big Thicket and promote respect for and enjoyment of the rural character and culture of the region through encouragement of land stewardship values that promote sustainable communities. The primary mechanism for achieving these goals is acquisition (through purchase from willing sellers and acceptance of donations) of land, assets, and conservation easements.

The Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust networks with many partners, including citizens, corporations, businesses, developers, conservation groups and governmental organizations to seek out the most significant unprotected lands in the Big Thicket. A primary focus of the BTNHT is to solidify protection of existing preserves by acquiring buffers for them and connections between them. Wherever feasible, ownership and land management responsibilities will be transferred to the appropriate government agency, conservation group, or will reside with environmentally conscientious landowners.

Projects will be funded by donations from concerned landowners and residents, both individual and corporate, in the East Texas region, as well as the broader statewide and national community that has an interest in helping to protect the Big Thicket, our national biological treasure.

Your contribution and membership will help the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust protect Big Thicket resources for generations to come!

To offer help, print, fill out and mail the following membership application: PDF DOC

According to the Texas Land Trust Council, over 307,717 acres in 95 counties in Texas have been conserved. Nationwide nearly 1000 land trusts protect millions of acres of farms, wetlands, wildlife habitat, urban parks, forests, ranches, watersheds, coastlines, and river corridors. Land trusts are a creative answer to today's conservation challenges.