The Conservation Fund joined the east Texas community and a host of public and private partners on April 15, 2009 to celebrate and announce the donation of 6,600 acres of bottomland hardwood forest and cypress-tupelo wetland to the National Park Service as part of Big Thicket National Preserve.
The Conservation Fund acquired the 6,600 acres from a variety of landowners near the Beaumont and Village Creek Corridor units of the preserve. About 4,500 acres came from Temple-Inland, and 970 acres came from Tony and Gisela Houseman. The remaining acreage was a combination of smaller parcels from multiple landowners.
The Conservation Fund was able to obtain the properties through land donations and funding from: BP America, Inc.; Entergy Corporation; Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; T.L.L. Temple Foundation; Mr. Eddie Arnaud; Mr. Walter Umphrey; Malcolm C. Damuth Foundation; North American Wetlands Conservation Act; Land and Water Conservation Fund; Imperial Oil Company; family members of the C.W. Howth Estate; and three environmental settlements. BP America also donated a solar powered utility vehicle to the preserve.
The Conservation Fund has been a partner in mission with Big Thicket National Preserve since 2003. They have raised over $15 million to acquire approximately 10,000 acres of congressionally authorized lands for the Preserve and over $7 million for lands that have been donated to the preserve.