Conducting and publishing good scientific research on the cactus species which are experiencing human pressure is our passion. To perform field work involving those cacti commonly requires the willingness to brave thorny vegetation and the ability to tolerate intense sun, high heat, and wind-blown dust that can be extreme enough to interfere with the functioning of cameras, computers and other electronics. These working conditions frequently impose some challenges for botanists, not simply from those discomforts, but also due to the sometimes lengthy road travel that is required to get to and from a research site.
Imagine the benefits of a research station that was located in typical Chihuahuan Desert cactus habitat. With the area immediately around the site being capable of and suitable for providing long-term and short-term study opportunities for many types of cacti and desert plants. AND with an added advantage of bringing the researcher closer to many other sites in the area containing threatened or endangered species — adding hours of productive time to their days. We are envisioning the CCI Research Station to be that resource in Presidio County, Texas.
We are creating a space that can accommodate a very small number of botanists at one time. Not in luxurious conditions but someplace providing shelter from the sun and elements, with basic camp facilities for preparing a simple meal, a composting toilet and a pad for a bedroll. This can be accomplished off-the-grid using rainwater collection for water, with solar panels and possibly a small wind turbine for electricity. Finding a suitable spot for such a research station and then acquiring the property could be a daunting task but fate has provided us with a one-acre donation of land to use as the permanent site for this facility. We have already broken ground by clearing the site — with the pouring of a concrete slab scheduled for later this month (i.e. September 2018 — construction delays have pushed this into January 2019).
We will be posting updates of our progress throughout the process of its construction.
Cactus Conservation Institute will be funding the majority of the costs involved in creating this valuable resource, but additional help from the public is welcomed. Cactus Conservation Institute is a 501(c)3 educational organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. Substantial donors of $5000 or more should contact us directly; we are quite happy to discuss the plans in more detail. For all other levels of interest, there is a PayPal donation button conveniently located on this page. No amount of support is too small. A thousand dollars is only fifty $20 donations. Thank you for your interest and for your support of this exciting project.