SOURCE: Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield

September 10, 2008 15:39 ET

Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield Brokers Conservation Sale of 2,864 Acres to The Trust for Public Land, Expanding the "Grand Canyon of Texas," Palo Duro Canyon State Park

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - John Watson, president and CEO of conservation real estate company Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield, wanted to find the perfect stewardship buyer for the 2,864-acre Palo Duro Canyon Ranch. It wasn't just any property. It was situated along the rim of the state-owned "Grand Canyon of Texas," and adjacent to Palo Duro Canyon State Park -- with unlimited sporting and recreational opportunities.

The sale of the ranch (locally known as Fortress Cliffs Ranch) to The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit land conservation organization, was sought out and spearheaded by Watson. After purchasing the property, TPL transferred it to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), which combined it with the adjacent Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Now comprising 29,187 acres, the sale increases the park's size by nearly 10 percent. Introduced by Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield, this is the first time the nonprofit and public entities have worked together. A recent independent appraisal valued the property at $5.22 million, which TPL and TPWD paid by enlisting various donors.

"The sale of this property represents the core of our company's mission," says Watson. "There is a finite supply of investment-grade recreational properties, and Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield's goal is to find the best stewards for the protection and appreciation of the land."

"The rare chance to protect six miles of cliffs overlooking the 'Grand Canyon of Texas,' to keep that bluff looking the way the first Texans saw it -- this is unparalleled," said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director. "I know all Texans can appreciate the significance of this acquisition for our park system. It's for everyone alive today, and for generations to come."

About Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield Ranch and Recreational Properties, LLC (

Orvis/Cushman & Wakefield is a joint venture between The Orvis Company and Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. in the marketing, sale and conservation of premier ranch and recreational properties to the global market, matching qualified buyers with sellers of investment-quality properties. The company combines two world recognized brands -- Orvis, renowned since 1856 for its sporting traditions and commitment to conservation, and Cushman & Wakefield, founded in 1917, the preeminent commercial real estate services firm in the world with over 15,000 employees in 221 offices in 58 countries on six continents. The combined direct mail and broker network platforms assure maximum market reach and exposure.

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