About the Big Thicket Association

Our History

Our Board of Directors

Board of Directors, Big Thicket Association

We have a slide show highlighting our history, and the history of conservation efforts in the region.

BTA'S TRACK RECORD, 1964-2015:

  • 1964 Founded Oct. 4, 1964, Articles of Incorporation filed November 19.
  • 1966 Senator Ralph W. Yarborough introduced the first Big Thicket National Park bill.
  • 1967 NPS recommended a Big Thicket National Monument.
  • 1970 Yarborough bill passes Senate only; Cong. Bob Eckhardt (D-Houston) introduced bill to establish national park of 191,000 acres, endorsed by BTA and Big Thicket Coordinating Committee.
  • 1971 Sen. Lloyd Bensen succeeded Sen. Yarborough; reintroduced his bill.
  • 1970 to 72 Numerous bills introduced by Congressmen Jack Brooks, George Bush, Sr., Jim Wright, Alan Steelman, and Senator John Tower.
  • 1973 Cong. Charles Wilson (D-Lufkin) elected in 2nd District; introduced bill for 75,000 acres.
  • 1974 Big Thicket National Preserve Bill signed into law October 11, 1974 authorizing 84,550 acres, omitting Village Creek sandylands.
  • 1976 Temple-Eastex donated to Nature Conservancy approximately 2,300 acres as the Roy E. Larsen Sandylands Sanctury.
  • 1974-79 Campaigned for state park to complement the National Preserve; Village Creek State Park established in 1979.
  • 1986 Cong. Charles Wilson introduced the Big Thicket Addition Act, excluding properties with dwellings; Sen. Phil Gramm demanded exclusion of private properties and proposed exchanges of lands between corporate timber interests and the US Forest Service.
  • 1993 Big Thicket Addition Act authorizes 10,766 acres to be added to Preserve.
  • 1994 BTA transferred property and assets to Big Thicket National Preserve; reorganized in Novemebr.
  • 1996 Co-sponsored Big Thicket Science Conference. 1999 NPCA and Georgia-Pacific Foundation conferred $60,000 grant to renovate the Saratoga property for use as a Field Research Station.
  • 1999 Co-sponsored Big Thicket Science Conference.
  • 2000 Received grants from the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Meadows Foundation of Dallas, the Brown Foundation, the Magnolia Garden Club, Walter and Mary Crawford Family Fund, and Foundation for Southeast Texas to complete renovation for the Research Station.
  • 2001 Publication grant received from TLL Temple foundation to publish Temple Big Thicket Series; four titles published as of 2005.
  • 2003 Brown Foundation Grant for $250,000 to purchase land adjoining the Preserve Visitor Center.
  • 2003 Co-sponsored Big Thicket Science Conference.
  • 2004 Acquisition of Visitor Center land completed in partnership with the Preserve, The Conservation Fund, Entergy, and other private donors.
  • 2004 Participated in a partnership with the Conservation Fund to purchase area surrounding Visitor Center with gift from Brown Foundation.
  • 2005 Interpreted with message boards Ghost Road Scenic Drive County Park with partners including Hardin County Commissioners, Texas Historical Commission, Pineywoods Foundation, and Saratoga Timber Company.
  • 2006 Prepared of a Strategic Plan (starting in 2005) for the Big Thicket National Preserve and presented it at the annual meeting.
  • 2006 Sponsored the organization of an All Taxa Biodiversity (Thicket of Diversity) Inventory involving universities, observatories, museums, government agencies, and individual researchers; received Brown Foundation and T.L.L. Temple Foundation grants to fund a consortium and the Thicket of Diversity.
  • 2007 Co-sponsored Big Thicket Science Conference.
  • 2009 BTA contributions and property donations on behalf of Preserve reach 1 million mark.
  • 2011 Co-hosted West Gulf Coastal Plain and Big Thicket Science Conference, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • 2012 TOD July inventory identifies 2690 species with 12 new to science, 28 potentially new to science, 124 new to state, and 216 new to Preserve.

Constitution and Bylaws: Big Thicket Association Bylaws

Strategic Plan: 2006 BTA Strategic Plan

IRS Status: BTA is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization. Here is our IRS Determination Letter and our Texas Non-Profit Tax Exemption. You may view our status on the IRS web page.