4

After Proposing Land Swap, State to Pay Dallas Homebuilder $13 Mil for Devils River Land

A couple of months back we noted that the Texas Park and Wildlife Department had proposed making one hell of a trade with Dallas's Rod Sanders, co-founder of Huntington Home, for some land down in Val Verde County. Sanders, you may recall, owns the 17,638-acre Devils River Ranch -- which, far as the state's concerned, has "significantly more river frontage and better public access as well as outstanding natural and cultural features" than the 20,000-acre Devils River State Natural Area. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission had proposed to give Sanders the 20,000 acres and $8 million for his property.

But folks were incensed at the proposal, which is why the TPWD postponed the transaction in early November. Since then, nothing. Till today: TWPD sent a release this afternoon announcing that the state is buying Sanders's land outright for $13 million, with other money going toward land upkeep:

TPWD will use $10.1 million in private donations, $2.7 million in state funds allocated for park land acquisition and $1.3 million in federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars to acquire the property. The donations also will cover operating expenses for two-and-a-half years as well as development of a master plan for joint public use of the ranch and the Devils River State Natural Area, 12.7 miles upstream.

Note: The release doesn't name Sanders. Says a TWPD spokesman, who can't "officially" confirm the deal's with Sanders, as the property owner -- whoever he may be, ahem -- asked his name be kept out the announcement. Says the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club: "The acquisition of the Devils River Ranch, while retaining the existing State Natural Area, is a wonderful holiday gift for the people of Texas."

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: