An iconic and beloved mountain range in West Texas will forever be protected after The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit, purchased 2,500 acres in conservation easements. For $1.5 million, they can now preserve the large part of the Davis Mountains that includes the craggy peak. Thanks to this deal, the biologically diverse area will now be protected from drilling forever.
Sawtooth Mountain is located 100 miles north of Big Bend National Park and brushes up against the Chihuahuan Desert. It’s also only 150 miles from Midland, which is an oil-drilling hot spot.
The Nature Conservancy received over a million dollars in donations from private investors to help secure the land. The donors include oil companies, an investment firm (Warburg Pincus LLC) and a conservation agency, according to Fuel Fix. Warburg is notorious for giving money to protect land in the U.S.
Department store heiress Miranda Leonard still owns the land which she purchased years ago. However, the 2,500 acres are now guaranteed to be protected indefinitely.
“Sawtooth is an iconic part of the Texas landscape,” Laura Huffman, Texas director of The Nature Conservancy, explained in a statement. “The beauty of this deal is that we have kept private land in private ownership, while safeguarding significant habitat and a vista that is enjoyed by millions.”
The Nature Conservancy can add Sawtooth Mountain to its list of areas it has helped preserve. In fact, they have protected over 100,000 acres worth of land in Texas’ Davis Mountains alone.