Have y'all seen this gorgeous Houston toad mural by Louis Masai in downtown Austin at 6th and San Jacinto? In the past, the Houston toad lived all over the central coastal area of Texas, but thanks to development and drought, they are now critically endangered.
So what does the Houston toad have to do with tasty, caffeinated yaupon, and why do we have the little guy on our logo? The short answer: We harvest our yaupon mostly in areas where removing yaupon helps the toad!
The long answer: Most of the remaining Houston toads (only about 2,000-5,000 total!) live in Bastrop county, Texas, in the Lost Pines Forest area. Over time, largely because of human impact on the land, the forest has gotten out of balance. One issue is that in some areas yaupon has taken over and formed thickets, crowding out native grasses (which is what the toad needs) and creating a forest fire hazard.
To help restore the forest and make the land more favorable for the toad, the Lost Pines Habitat Conservation Plan was created, part of which gives property owners a tax break for thinning yaupon. We work with property owners and help them clear their yaupon, and everybody truly wins!
So bottoms up! It doesn't get much better than knowing the delicious yaupon you're drinking is actually helping the environment and our precious endangered critters AND energizing you at the same time.