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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78 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5 LANDREPORT.COM Powderhorn Ranch Texas Seller: Cumberland & Western Resources Seller's Agent: James King, King Land & Water Buyer: The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, & The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation The Land Report 2014 Deal of the Year sponsored by D E A L O F T H E Y E A R 2 0 1 4 T H E L A N D R E P O R T More than a decade has passed since James King of King Land & Water caught wind of the immense conservation opportunity afforded by the Powderhorn Ranch. At the time, the Texas A&M graduate was employed by The Nature Conservancy. One of his colleagues there was Carter Smith, who would serve as state director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas before being appointed as the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in January 2008. "In 2001, a broker sent me a marketing package, which I still have," King says. "There were several starts and stops. In the conservation business there needs to be an alignment of will to buy and manage with funding. I left The Nature Conservancy in 2008 and carried the Powderhorn project with me. I worked till 2014 to build a set of partners that created that alignment. So many meetings, so many conversations, and so many partners finally made it happen. Carter carried the ball over the goal line." Says King, "I must say in my 30 years in the conservation real estate business, I have never seen a landowner more patient and generous as Brad Kelley. From our first face to face meeting in Nashville in 2008 through the various plans that were developed, Brad never blinked. He was always open to our ever-changing series of new ideas. In the end it came down to Brad; his attorney, Greg Betterton; and his ranch manager on Powderhorn, James Brown, who ran the ranch day by day with an amazing balance of conservation and production. They are the real heroes in this story." The Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation is still seeking donations to help fund the Powderhorn Ranch acquisition, which is part of a statewide fundraising campaign called "Keeping it Wild: The Campaign for Texas. " More information on this effort is available online at Increasingly rare and enormously valuable, coastal holdings such as Powderhorn Ranch are a haven for game, upland birds, and waterfowl, an attribute that makes the 17,351-acre tract even more appealing as a state wildlife management area.

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