Last Tuesday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Nature Conservancy of Texas announced that the conservancy has purchased the 7,000-acre Fresno Ranch and plans to sell it to TPWD for the same purchase price of about $2.6 million. The property will be added to Big Bend Ranch State Park, culminating 20 years of work to remove the largest remaining in-holding inside Texas’ biggest state park. The acquisition expands hiking and public access, and protects desert springs, Rio Grande river frontage, diverse wildlife and rich cultural resources.
“The Fresno Ranch acquisition opens up key areas in the park, places the public couldn’t go before,” said Scott Boruff, deputy executive director for operations, in a joint news release. “Plus, the mouth of Fresno Creek is the one remaining large tract along the river inside the park that could have been subject to adverse development. So this protects one of the most scenic and important areas at Big Bend Ranch.” The acquisition has been widely covered in news media throughout the state.
The Nature Conservancy of Texas has purchased the 7,000 acre Fresno Ranch in far West Texas and plans to transfer it to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the purchase price of about $2.6 million. The deal culminates 20 years of work to remove the largest remaining in-holding inside Texas’ biggest state park, expands hiking and public access, and protects desert springs, Rio Grande river frontage, diverse wildlife and rich cultural resources. Acquiring the checkerboard 11-section tract removes in-holdings within the park’s Fresno Canyon, a beautiful natural corridor with cottonwood trees, desert springs, archeological sites, and majestic views. The acquisition means park users will be able to access all of Fresno Canyon. The property comes down to the Rio Grande, so it also now gives the state park 8.5 miles of unbroken public river frontage. Most of Fresno Ranch lies in non-contiguous tracts in Presidio County, with some 200 acres in Brewster County.
“The Nature Conservancy is thrilled to be able to make this important addition to Big Bend Ranch State Park a reality to allow Texas residents and visitors greater opportunities to enjoy this beautiful and fascinating natural resource,” said Laura Huffman, state director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas. “Acquiring this key piece of land means additional opportunities for park visitors, and we believe providing access to this Texas treasure is important.”