Texas conservationists have an opportunity to acquire a 296-acre tract with several populations of the rare pyramid magnolia [Magnolia pyramidata]. Texas has several small populations in Newton and Jasper counties. Other populations exist along the coastal plain in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.
Flora of North America states that the magnolia is "very local and nowhere abundant." The Center for Plant Conservation indicates that the tree is threatened, but that there is no formal management plan.
The Big Thicket Association was incorporated in 1964 as a non-profit organization (501-C-3) and led efforts to establish the Big Thicket National Preserve. Through the years, the Association has worked for appropriations to acquire land, to build facilities, and to expand the Preserve, that now includes 106,000 acres. At present, BTA partners with the Preserve on an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, entitled Thicket of Diversity.
Beyond the Preserve, the Association supports efforts to fund and to expand state and national parks, wildlife refuges, and private preservation projects. On the cultural front, our publication project, the "Temple Big Thicket Series," has published five books. BTA is actively in eco-tourism programs.
Because of the dwindling populations of pyramid magnolias across the Southeastern States, BTA has made efforts to encourage protection of populations in Newton and Jasper counties. We have sponsored two recent field trips and conducted an incomplete species inventory on the 296-acre property, and we now have the opportunity to acquire this tract.
Funds Needed: The initial goal is to raise $125,000 to purchase a conservation easement. If more funds were available, the property could be purchased in fee.
Fund Sources: Partners will appeal to their members and to conservation friends for support. Club projects in several colleges will attempt to recruit student advocates at $5 each. All gifts are tax deductible.
Funds contributed will be placed in a Big Thicket Association special account, and the Association will provide information to partners on progress of the project.
Management: The conservation easement will be held by a land trust, and a management plan will be drafted by the partners participating in the project.
For more information, contact
BTA President Bruce R. Drury, 409-892-9108 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maxine Johnston, 936-262-8522 (email@example.com)
PARTNERS TO PRESERVE PYRAMID MAGNOLIAS
BIG THICKET ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 198
Saratoga TX 77585