From the San Antonio Express-News today:
For centuries, people have been drawn to the twisting limestone canyons that make up Lost Maples State Natural Area.
Lou Waters was one. Now 70, he can hop across white boulders to explore the grottos like a 10-year-old.
On Friday, he plans to sign paperwork to transfer more than 600 acres of his neighboring ranch to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to be added to Lost Maples. Another 100 acres will be transferred this fall.
Agency staff said the public should have access to trails on the new addition — which is a third of the park's current size — by 2012.
State appraisers valued the land at more than $2 million, but Waters is selling it for $1.5 million because he wants to see the land and its Can Creek watershed protected forever.
Land acquisition funds from the Parks and Wildlife Department and a $400,000 federal conservation grant will pay for it.
“You see it and you just want to take care of it,” Waters said.
In a memo explaining the sale, Waters said walking through the Can Creek canyons in the fall under the native big-tooth maples was like “hiking in a golden-red cathedral.”
His wife, Wanda Waters, said, “It just makes you feel so good that other people are going to be able to enjoy it.”
Lost Maples is about two hour drive west of here and a spectacular park as it is. Excellent news that it will soon be about 30% larger.