Current Land Use and Land Ownership
The current land use of the Palmito Ranch Battlefield is primarily rural. Since the battlefield is outside the jurisdictional boundary of the city of Brownsville, no parcels of the battlefield land are regulated by the city zoning system.
In terms of land ownership, more than 90 percent of the battlefield land is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), a public entity, and operated as a wildlife refuge protected area. In addition to the federal land, public holdings also include Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area located on the edge of the extended NRHP area just below the South Bay. Most of the battlefield land not designated as protected natural areas are agricultural lands primarily comprised of private ranches. During the project development, approximately 20 ranchers and private landowners were identified, including Mr. Zavaleta who owns the tracts totaling 20 acres on Palmito Hill.