Brad Kelley’s 420,000 Acre Ranch Is For Sale In Brewster County

By Sally Beauvais

What may be the largest contiguous ranch currently for sale in the U.S. is on the market in Far West Texas.

The property, a topographically diverse expanse of land located south of the town of Marathon, clocks in at more than 420,000 acres. That’s half the size of the state of Rhode Island.

According to James King of King Land and Water—the Fort Davis-based real estate firm marketing the property—if you’ve ever wanted your own private national park, this is your opportunity. The asking price is approximately $320 million.

Owner Brad Kelley has slowly pieced together nearly two dozen properties over several decades to create Brewster Ranches. (Courtesy of King Land and Water)

Bordering the state’s Black Gap Wildlife Management Area and a stretch of the Texas-Mexico border, the land includes mountains, springs, creeks, low Chihuahuan desert, and access to the Rio Grande. It is filled with wildlife, including the protected bighorn sheep.

The acreage is available for purchase as five separate-but-adjacent tracts, or as one monster property called Brewster Ranches. Notoriously private Kentuckian Brad Kelley, one of the largest landowners in the country, is listing the property under his LLC, Texas Mountain Cattle Co.

According to King, Kelley has slowly pieced together 22 properties, some of them historic ranches, over several decades to create Brewster Ranches.

“In Texas we’ve had this huge transition of fragmentation,” King said. “Our ranching communities, our landscapes are getting fragmented. This is one instance where it’s been the opposite. We’ve had a landowner who has actually assembled properties together. This is not the norm in Texas.”

Brewster Ranches spans 420,000 acres of West Texas. (Courtesy of King Land and Water)

King, whose company specializes in conservation real estate, indicated that the property is not a good candidate for large-scale water export, unlike other, less remote West Texas ranches positioned closer to the Permian Basin.

“We would love to find an owner who would keep the resources in tact.” King said.

Kelley has active leases with several local families who manage ranching and hunting operations on the property. According to King, what happens to those agreements will be up to the buyer(s).

Brewster Ranches is six times the size of the nearby Lely Ranch, which, up until recently, was thought to be the largest on the market in Texas.

Editor’s note: King Land and Water is a financial supporter of Marfa Public Radio.

About Sally Beauvais

Sally Beauvais reports on rural issues in Far West Texas. She also runs Marfa Public Radio's engagement efforts.
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