The Land Report

Spring 2015

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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LANDREPORT.COM 74 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5 Years of patience and persistence pay off, thanks to a multi-partner coalition and a gracious steward. L ast August, a decades-long endeavor finally bore fruit when a multi- partner coalition announced the acquisition of Texas's 17,351-acre Powderhorn Ranch. For over a century, the historic holding was operated as a cattle ranch, but its ultimate value lies in its rarefied status as a coastal wetland. "The Powderhorn is a treasure. It is a monumental deal that's been in the works for almost four decades, off and on, although the last 15 years have been the most intense," says Carter Smith, the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Smith points out that more than 200,000 acres along the Texas Gulf Coast have been developed. "It's one of the last of the best of the best, and about as special a place as you're going to find on the Texas coast. It's also going to be one of those great conserva- tion case studies as it illustrates the lessons of persistence and perseverance," he says. In addition to its proximity to a national wildlife refuge, the ranch is located just a stone's throw from the 19th-century ghost town of Indianola. "Powderhorn Ranch is the hole of the doughnut of many, many decades of conser- vation work in and around Matagorda Bay and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge complex," Smith says. "The place is literally teeming with fish and wildlife. And if you like to wade- fish, or canoe or kayak to catch a tailing red- fish, or catch a trout or flounder, the bays and back bayous and marshes are going to be the places for you. If you like to hunt, the game there is just sim- ply extraordinary — from deer to ducks and doves and bobwhite quail," he says. At $37.7 million, Powderhorn Ranch represents the largest amount ever raised for a conservation land purchase in the his- tory of the Lone Star State. In the years to come, the Powderhorn will evolve into a state park as well as a wildlife management area. T h e L a n d R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 D e a l o f t h e Y e a r Powderhorn Ranch Te xt by Eric O'Keefe Photo g raphy by Texas Parks and Wildlife & The Nature Conservancy D E A L O F T H E YE AR 2 0 1 4 T H E L A N D R E P O R T

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