FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2023
Media contact for TPWF: Lydia Saldaña
Mason Mountain WMA Adds Acreage for Wildlife Habitat
TPWF Facilitates Quick Land Purchase in Fast-Developing Central Texas
Thanks to a philanthropic donation from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) and its partners, more than 200 additional acres have been added to the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Central Texas.
Mason Mountain WMA is located in the Llano Uplift of Mason County and now encompasses more than 5,500 acres of pristine wildlife habitat in one of the fastest growing regions of the state. As one of only two WMAs in the Hill Country region, Mason Mountain plays a critical role in safeguarding vanishing habitat for native and migratory species.
“We’re thrilled at this addition to Mason Mountain WMA, which will provide habitat for species ranging from white-tailed deer to grassland birds,” said Mason Mountain WMA Manager Mark Mitchell. “Besides providing public hunting opportunities, Mason Mountain is a research and demonstration site, providing access to wildlife researchers while providing Texas landowners with valuable information about how to best manage their land to benefit fish and wildlife species.”
The transaction closed in August 2023, and WMA staff worked feverishly to get the property ready to welcome hunters in time for the opening of dove season.
“There is such a high demand for public dove hunting opportunities that we really rushed things to get it ready for the September 1 season open,” said Mitchell. “Dozens of public hunters have been utilizing the property already, and we expect there will be a lot more before the season is over.”
According to Texas Land Trends data compiled by Texas A&M’s Natural Resource Institute, real estate values in Mason County have increased more than 380% since 1997, meaning the pressure to sell as land changes hands from one generation to the next has intensified. Mitchell has had his eye on the property adjacent to the WMA for years.
“When I heard it was going to be offered for sale, I alerted my bosses and we brought in Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to help,” said Mitchell. “We knew that if we didn’t put together an offer quickly, the land would be snapped up and developed, forever altering the natural landscape.”
TPWF worked with Horizon Foundation and the Knobloch Family Foundation to provide more than $380,000 in private dollars to match a federal Pittman-Robertson grant, making the acquisition possible.
“Stepping in to facilitate strategic land acquisitions with high conservation value is a priority for us,” said Zach Spector, TPWF’s Director of Conservation Programs. “We’re very grateful for the generosity of the Horizon and Knobloch foundations, which ensured this property will be available for public use, wildlife researchers, and, of course, our many wild things for generations to come.”
This acquisition is another milestone in the long history between TPWF and the growing WMA. Mason Mountain WMA was originally donated to TPWF in 1996, and transferred to TPWD in 1997. TPWF also helped facilitate a conservation easement on a 295-acre ranch adjacent to the WMA in 2020, and currently manages an endowment to benefit the WMA
About Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:
Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has raised and invested more than $235 million to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources. Our vision is for all Texans to have access to the wild things and wild places of our state, both now and for generations to come. For more information, please visit www.tpwf.org.