Mason Mountain WMA: A Case Study in Financial Self Sufficiency

Mason Mountain WMA was established as Texas' first financially self-sufficient wildlife management area. While maintaining the ecological health of Mason Mountain WMA is top priority, several programs have been initiated to generate revenue to fund Area operations. The Texas Exotic Safari, a lottery-type hunt for African big game, netted $33,762 in its first year of operation. Other public hunting activities generated a profit of $ 114,000. Grazing rights to Mason Mountain WMA are leased for $10,152 per year and exotic wildlife sales brought in $129,000 between January 1997 and April 1998. All profits and interest are retained by Mason Mountain WMA. The eventual goal is to generate enough revenue through exotic animal based programs to support the management of the native ecosystem once the exotics have been removed. Valuable economic lessons have been learned which can be applied to other Agency programs in order to reduce pressure on overburdened budgets.

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