The Bordas Escarpment spans a land rich in history and diversity of
On November 18, 2003, the Cactus Conservation
Institute (CCI) received its corporate charter from the State of Texas.
Those articles identified it as a charitable corporation organized
under the Texas Non-Profit Corporations Act.
On May 6, 2004 the Internal Revenue Service issued
its favorable determination letter in response to CCI's application for
tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3).
This determination allows CCI to gather donations to
itself tax free, as well as allowing donors to deduct their gifts from
their own income tax.
The final underpinning of CCI was put in place when
the State of Texas granted an exemption from state corporate franchise
tax, retroactively effective on the same date as the IRS determination
Since the officers of CCI are not paid, the
organization is able to devote 100% of each donation dollar to its
mission of preserving and restoring a selected portion of South Texas
Tamaulipan Thornscrub habitat of threatened and endangered cacti.
The release in late 2003 by the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Department of its Recovery Plan for preservation of the star
cactus Astrophytum asterias was the triggering event in the
creation of CCI.
Dr. Martin Terry had for some years prior to that release
been interested in the link between the harvest of Lophophora
by "peyoteros" in their trade with members of the Native American
Church and their accidental or intentional taking of Star cactus.
Not only have collectors put pressure on the
remaining populations of star cactus in South Texas, but the apparent
significance of star cactus per se to Native Americans has led
to deliberate harvesting of star cactus along with peyote. A growing
understanding that the fate of star cactus is inextricably intertwined
with the commercial harvesting of peyote, and that both cacti need
serious study, led to the mission statement of CCI.