Adams Ranch Present Day
In 2006, Josiah Austin and Cemex purchased the historic Adams Ranch. The property is called the El Carmen Land and Conservation project. It rises from the river to the towering cliffs of the Carmen Mountains. The national park is to the west and Black Gap Wildlife Management Area is to the east.
Together with volunteers from the Mule Deer Foundation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Sul Ross University, the Texas Bighorn Society and the Dallas Safari Club water guzzlers have been installed. The largest water guzzler, which holds 4,600 gallons and collects 1000 gallons for every 1 inch of rain, was installed in 2014.
Introduction of the leaf beetle (Diabrotica), has effectively eliminated Tamarix aphylla from the riparian zone along the Rio Grande. These beetles, which feed on the tips of tamarix branches and flower buds, were introduced from Eurasia. Tamarix is highly invasive, and both outcompetes native vegetation and depletes the water table. Pole plantings and natural reseeding have allowed the native willow (Salix) to recover which provide nesting habitat for many birds and native insects such as native bees and butterfies, and food for beaver.
Numerous native species have been reintroduced to the ranch including mule deer and Gambel’s quail. Other species such as black bears have recolonized the ranch as they move between the Carmen Mountains in Coahuila Mexico and Chisos Mountains in Big Bend.