A section of state-owned ranch land will be sold off, and the rest will be used to expand an existing state park.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the real estate deal that calls for TPWD to sell 2,014 acres of the 2,867-acre Fortress Cliff Ranch, located about 15 miles southeast of Amarillo.

The roughly 850 acres retained after the sale will be used to expand Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

The land will be sold to Sooter Ranch Ltd., who will pay $2.4 million for the property, which includes a modern ranch house, 1,500 acres of grassland and mixed brush, a side canyon, and a quarter mile of the canyon rim.

The Fortress Cliff Ranch was acquired by TPWD several years ago, primarily to protect Palo Duro Canyon State Park’s view shed.

The land slated for sale will be under a perpetual conservation easement to ensure that wildlife conservation values are protected, and to protect views from the park. The ranch land had originally been slated for a possible development of small, canyon-front homes prior to the State’s purchase.

“By selling much of the Fortress Cliff property to a conservation buyer, the agency is staying true to its original stated intent and plan to sell the ranch house and uplands at a future date to protect the cliffs and the park’s view shed, and make the best use of our limited funds,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “The sale proceeds will allow us to acquire high-priority state park property elsewhere in Texas.”

The Fortress Cliffs Ranch was once the Tub Springs Ranch, and is located in Randall and Armstrong Counties.