The Valley Land Fund focuses on the following areas:
Over the past century, thousands of acres have been cleared, drained and paved. It is estimated that less than five percent of the original native habitat remains. These remaining natural habitats are scattered among eleven diverse biotic communities, including the tidal wetlands and sub-tropical forests of Sabal Palm on the east, to the thorny chaparral of the Chihuahuan Desert on the west. This loss of natural habitat threatens several species of wildlife. The Valley Land fund is steward of over 10,000 acres, permanently protecting it for area wildlife.
The heart of Valley Land Fund conservation efforts has been to protect working lands. Ranching and agriculture evolved out of the banks of the Old Rio Grande River to the nurture livestock, grain and citrus industries. It is on these working lands that 95% of wildlife currently dwells. The explosive population growth and development along the border threatens working lands. Conserving wildlife habitat on working lands while supplementing the livelihood of land owners remains our mission.
The sole source of fresh water for the Rio Grande Valley is the Rio Grande River. It flows through various Valley communities to sustain agriculture, business, a growing population and of course, wildlife. Waste water is treated and released into the Arroyo Colorado (more details at www.studentshare.net ), which flows from Mission to the Laguna Madre. While it remains a nursery for shrimp, crabs and small fish, the Arroyo Colorado has been designated by the state of Texas as an “impaired body of water.” The Valley Land Fund continues to improve and increase the water supply of South Texas.
From the arrival of Cabeza de Vaca in 1530, South Texas was under Spanish rule for over 300 years. The Republic of Texas has ruled the same area for the past 150 years. During this 481 year history, many battles have been fought and historical settlements were created. Preserving the sites of these historical events has been an added benefit of Valley Land Fund efforts to protect wildlife habitats of South Texas. The Salineño property and Palo Alto Battlefield are representative of these benefits. Due to Valley Land Fund efforts, these properties are permanently protected.