The Land Report

Spring 2016

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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I t's one thing to get a chuckle out of the state's highest elected official. But it's an entirely different situation when the longest-serving governor in Texas history is laughing at you. "The chances of the Waggoner selling?" Rick Perry asked me. The year was 2009, and the two of us were seated in a barren conference room in some nondescript state office building off Congress Avenue a few blocks south of the state capitol. "To begin with, neither side of the family will talk to the other. That's strike one. And there's no set price for the ranch, is there? That's strike two. But neither of those points matters, not when it comes to Waggoner. We both know who the real decision-maker is, don't we, Eric?" the governor asked. It was my turn to smile. Most people following the fate of the Waggoner focused their attention on its colossal size — over a half million acres — or its Texas-sized attributes: more than a thousand oil wells, tens of thousands of cattle and horses, and enough history and colorful characters to make a movie. But not Rick Perry. I have no doubt that this only son of a longtime Haskell County commissioner could identify the power behind the throne in each and every one of Texas's 254 counties, and that would include Wilbarger County. I nodded in agreement. "You don't have a motivated seller," he said. "You don't have a set price. And that means the court will never sign off on such a sale. It's not going to happen." Point taken, Governor. 80 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 6 LANDREPORT.COM Rick Perry's three deal breakers preventing the sale of the Waggoner Ranch: lack of a motivated seller, absence of a set price, and no chance of court approval. Rick Perry, the Lone Star State's longest-serving governor, was one of the many keen observers who thought there was little chance that the Waggoner would ever change hands. JOHN GRESS/REUTERS

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