Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Correction: Oil Spill-Land Conservation story

This July 29, 2014 photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows tide pools at Matagorda Bay, Texas at Powderhorn Ranch. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is leading the purchase of the 17,300-square-foot Powderhorn Ranch 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. It is largely financed by a fund created by BP and Transocean in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (AP Photo/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Earl Nottingham)

Enlarge Image

This July 29, 2014 photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows tide pools at Matagorda Bay, Texas at Powderhorn Ranch. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is leading the purchase of the 17,300-square-foot Powderhorn Ranch 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. It is largely financed by a fund created by BP and Transocean in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (AP Photo/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Earl Nottingham)

HOUSTON - In a story Aug. 21 about a new state park planned for southeast Texas, The Associated Press erroneously reported the amount of money from a BP and Transocean fund that was used to buy the land. It was $34.5 million, not $32 million. The AP also misidentified the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's executive director, Carter Smith, as the head of its non-profit fundraising partner, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Lastly, it was the state agency, not the foundation, that estimated that as much as 99 per cent of Texas' coastal plain has been lost to agriculture or animal grazing.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Ecologists team up to buy Texas bayside ranch

Conservationists team up to buy Texas bayside ranch with $30M from BP's 2010 oil spill fund

A sprawling private ranch in southeast Texas will be converted into a state park with the assistance of a fund created in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation announced Thursday.

The $37.7 million purchase of the Powderhorn Ranch, 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, is the highest price ever paid for a Texas conservation project and the biggest land acquisition so far using BP spill restoration dollars.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said it has been talking for more than three decades with the Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy and other groups on how to acquire the ranch.

Some $34.5 million came from a fund created by BP and Transocean following the Macondo well blowout on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 people and caused the largest marine oil spill in history. Additional funds were raised for habitat restoration and management and a long-term endowment. The Conservation Fund and the Nature Conservancy of Texas each provided $10 million, and the balance of the $50 million project will be provided by the foundation and from private donors.

Dan Friedkin, chairman emeritus of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and the billionaire owner and chairman of Gulf States Toyota, said the acquisition also creates an "exciting new recreational opportunity" for hunting, fishing and bird-watching.

The 17,351-acre property along the Texas coast in Calhoun County contains freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, tidal flats, oyster beds and live oak forests, and is hoped to become a wintertime refuge for the endangered whooping crane.

Aside from serving as a buffer for nearby communities from storm surge, the new park will play "an important role in protecting the integrity" of Matagorda Bay, said Carter Smith, the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

"The size and scale and diversity of the ranch are really almost unparalleled," he said.

The purchase is particularly significant for Texas, where 95 per cent of land is privately owned. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimates as much as 99 per cent of the coastal plain in Texas has been lost to agriculture or animal grazing.

The sellers of the property were Cumberland & Western Resources, a limited-liability corporation managed by Wyoming billionaire Brad Kelley, among the largest private landowners in the U.S., and his Florida-based business manager, Greg Betterton, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

According to Smith, the property drew the interest of a handful of buyers willing to pay more than the conservationists to use the ranch for commercial purposes, but the owners' "preference was to see a conservation-related outcome," and were willing to sell it below market value to achieve that aim.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates