Conservation And Sustainability
Within the past 150 years, mankind has brought massive destruction and pollution to our Earth. One of the most tragic consequences are the dozens of species that go extinct everyday. Among the many threatened species there is a very unassuming cactus that resides among the desert brush of South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lophophora williamsii, or more commonly known as peyote, barely grows above ground. It has no thorns and from time to time will flower a beautiful yet simple pinkish blossom.
There are a number of stories describing how peyote first reached the people. There is the Huichol story of the blue deer, Kauyumari. There is the story of the Peyote Woman. Of the different origin stories, one thing we can assume is that our ancestors understood the peyote to be medicine. For over five millennia the people utilized peyote to help with physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. By the 1880's the medicine, peyote, was making it onto Native American reservations.
In 1918 the Native American Church was incorporated as a religious organization in Oklahoma. Today there are approximately 250,000 enrolled tribal members of the Native American Church with charters ranging throughout Canada, United States, and Mexico. There are thousands more who are not enrolled tribal members but attend NAC (Native American Church) meetings with a sincere and devoted testament to the peyote's healing power as a sacrament. Peyote is now reaching across the globe and helping people of all backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. With the growth of the NAC, we are witnessing a large group of our world society respecting and valuing this sacred cactus.
Morning Star Conservancy was formed to protect and sustainably care for the Lophophora williamsii cactus commonly known as peyote. Morning Star intends to educate those invested in protecting threatened habitats, ecosystems, and species about Peyote and its native ecosystem. Furthermore, Morning Star Conservancy intends to acquire land through purchase and land conservation easements in the Rio Grande Valley region of south Texas in order to protect the sensitive natural habitat of this rare and precious cactus. It is our vision that the conservancy will be a living model of sustainable practices in today’s complex relationship between human society and nature.
Educate. Organize. Protect.
Lophophora Williamsii is listed as vulnerable according to IUCN's Red List. Morning Star Conservancy is coordinating a strategic plan to defend the current populations of S. Texas through raising public awareness, habitat restoration, and legislative protections.