(Have y'all seen this gorgeous Houston toad mural by Louis Masai in downtown Austin at 6th and San Jacinto?)
So, what does the Houston Toad have to do with yaupon?
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 in areas where removing yaupon helps the toad! The long answer: 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. 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 and yaupon has formed massive, dense thickets, which are bad for the toad and also a fire hazard for people living in the area. The yaupon thickets crowd out almost all other plants, including baby pine trees and the native grasses the toad calls home.
To help restore the forest and make the land more favorable for the toad, the Lost Pines Habitat Conservation Plan was created. The plan is designed to encourage property owners to create more favorable habitat for the toad and in return they get a wildlife property tax break. 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.