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Texas Parks and Wildlife awarded $20M settlement for Bastrop State Park restoration

Nine years ago, a large wildfire destroyed 1,700 homes and burned 96% of the park.

BASTROP, Texas — A $20 million settlement has been awarded to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to help restore the Bastrop State Park after a major wildfire nearly nine years ago.

The cause of the fire was ruled to be started by the failure of Asplundh Tree Expert LLC to properly manage vegetation growth in the area. It is said that unmaintained trees damaged power lines, sparking the fire that destroyed 1,700 homes and burned 96% of the Bastrop State Park, which is one of seven states parks across the U.S. that have been designated a National Historic Landmark.

“This settlement marks a monumental step in the continued restoration of the Bastrop State Park and healing of this beautiful Texas community,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “After fires and floods brought colossal damage, TPWD has been expertly nursing this state treasure back to health. As more work is still needed, I commend this settlement and the hard work of everyone involved for providing much-needed remedy to this stunning Texas landmark and those who fight for its conservation.”

RELATED: Bastrop State Park employees reflect on 2011 complex fire nine years later

“The Bastrop wildfire was unquestionably a tragedy that took a terrible toll on the local community, Bastrop State Park and the unique ecology of the Lost Pines,” said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director. “This landmark settlement will go a long way to help recover the state park and its wildlife and plant communities. By investing in strategic land acquisition and restoration around the park, this will benefit people and wildlife for decades to come.”

After suffering the most economically destructive wildfire in the state's history, the Bastrop State Park is under successful restoration and is now open in accordance with health and safety limitations and guidelines. 

A copy of the settlement can be read here.

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