CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has purchased nearly 250 acres in Cherokee County.

The 250 acres are bottomland hardwood forests, or “river swamps“, along with four miles of Neches River frontage at the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge.

“Conserving bottomland hardwood forests along Texas’ rivers is a high priority for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Amy Lueders, the Service’s Southwest Regional Director. “These forested wetlands provide essential habitat for a variety of  wildlife along with millions of migratory birds that migrate through the North American Central Flyway each spring and fall.”

The acquisition contains a mixed pine forest along the higher elevations and bottomland hardwood forest along the Neches River riparian wetlands. The goal is to benefit resident and migratory wildlife in the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge.

Neches River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2006 to protect wintering, nesting and migratory habitat for migratory birds of the Central Flyway and to ensure protection of the bottomland hardwoods for their diverse biological value.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the property using the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was established by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas.