Partnership Would Help Protect McAllis Point (TX)
“The Texas General Land Office is proud to be a part of this effort,” said Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. “The school children of Texas are guaranteed a 10 percent return on this investment. And one of the last undeveloped portions of Galveston Island will remain pristine for future generations of Texans. Business and conservation are not mutually exclusive.”
“TPL and the supporters of this project owe their sincere gratitude to Commissioner Patterson and his staff at GLO,” says TPL Texas State Director Nan McRaven. “With GLO as a partner, we are able to save a significant piece of Galveston’s natural heritage for the public. We needed help fast and the GLO acted swiftly to make this happen.”
Since January, The Trust for Public Land has held an option to acquire the undeveloped tract, which is nestled in the path of rapid residential development. The property is prime real estate, and several developers have made offers to purchase the property.
TPL had only 90 days to close on the property, which begat a vigorous fundraising effort to raise millions of dollars. As an interim solution, the Texas General Land Office has agreed to partner with TPL in this conservation effort. TPL will acquire and convey the site to the GLO. Under the conditions of the agreement between the two organizations, within one year the GLO will sell a portion of the property back to TPL, which will be purchased using approximately $2.5 million in funds raised through public and private contributions.
The GLO will also grant TPL a right of first purchase on the remaining acreage. This partnership gives the Galveston community and TPL time to continue to raise money to buy the remaining portion of the property. TPL will seek to raise additional funds from public and private resources. If sufficient funds can be raised, TPL will pay the fair market value at the time of purchase of the remaining acreage. As with all similar investments, this money is dedicated to the Permanent School Fund, which helps pay for public education in Texas.
The property at McAllis Point is one of the last large prairie and marsh habitats left on the Island’s West End. Its conservation ensures the preservation of the various habitats found on the Island, which offer refuge for wildlife and a variety of bird species, including the Sandhill Crane, which roosts in Galveston’s remaining prairie areas from November to March. Ultimately, the conserved portion of the site will be owned by Galveston County and will be open to the public as a nature preserve.
About The Trust for Public Land
Since its founding in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 2.1 million acres of land in 45 states. In Texas, TPL has protected more than 30,000 acres for communities, including areas in and around Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Denton, Houston, and San Antonio. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve its land for people mission. For more information please visit TPL on the web at www.tpl.org
About the Texas General Land Office
The Republic of Texas established the General Land Office in 1836, shortly after Texas won its independence from Mexico. The General Land Office was originally responsible for managing the public domain, but now oversees veterans’ benefits, the state’s coast and earns money for the state’s Permanent School Fund through oil and gas production on state lands. Since the Permanent School Fund was established in 1854, the Texas General Land Office has earned more than $8 billion for it, mostly from oil and gas lease revenues and real estate trades and sales.
Since his election in 2002, Patterson has moved the General Land Office in new directions, finding new ways to earn money for the Permanent School Fund from wind power and real estate investment on behalf of the Permanent School Fund.