Land Transfer to Permanently Protect Fort Davis National Historic Site Viewshed Finalized

Date:   January 31, 2011
Contact:   Perry Wheeler, NPCA Senior Media Relations Coordinator, P: 202-419-3712 or
Ann Barrett, Media Relations Manager for The Conservation Fund, P: 703-908-5809 or
John Morlock, Fort Davis NHS Superintendent, P: 432-426-3224 x221 or

Land Transfer to Permanently Protect Fort Davis National Historic Site Viewshed Finalized

Last Wednesday, January 26, The Conservation Fund finalized a deal transferring a prominent 49-acre bluff to Fort Davis National Historic Site. This is the product of four years of outreach and advocacy by numerous concerned organizations and individuals. Please find statements below from The Conservation Fund, National Parks Conservation Association and Fort Davis Superintendent John Morlock.

Statement by NPCA Texas Regional Director Suzanne Dixon:

“The National Park Service and The Conservation Fund have taken the final step toward preserving the historic view at Fort Davis National Historic Site by closing on a deal that transfers a prominent 49-acre bluff overlooking the fort to the park. This land transfer is the culmination of several years of hard work and perseverance by numerous individuals and groups who recognized the importance of maintaining the view once shared by the Buffalo Soldiers at the park. With this deal, our children and grandchildren will be able to experience that same skyline, rather than one obstructed by incompatible development.

“The National Parks Conservation Association is delighted to see this deal completed, as it will allow the Park Service to continue to adequately protect and interpret the historical significance at the fort for Texans and all Americans. We thank all of those who fought tirelessly on this issue, including The Conservation Fund, the Park Service, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez. We also owe a deal of gratitude to conservation buyer Roy Truitt, who purchased and held the property until federal funding was secured.

“As we approach the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, this is a clear triumph for Fort Davis, Texas, and the integrity of the National Park System.”

Statement by The Conservation Fund Texas Director Andy Jones:

“Although its fully-restored buildings and original ruins make Fort Davis National Historic Site one of the best preserved examples of a frontier military post in the American Southwest, there has always been one aspect of the fort that remained at risk – its view. In 1999, The Conservation Fund helped to protect 14 acres just outside of the Fort Davis National Historic Site, and has been committed to preserving its character over the last decade.

"It is an honor to have helped permanently protect the viewshed of one of the nation’s finest frontier forts and very important Buffalo Soldier post. I would especially like to thank Roy Truitt, James King, and Bob Miles for their willingness to offer their property to make this effort successful. We couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of the NPCA, who recognized the importance of protecting this historic area for posterity.”

Statement by Fort Davis National Historic Site Superintendent John Morlock:

“The purchase of this property is critical to preserve the viewshed of historic Fort Davis.  The bluff dominates the view to the west from the historic core of the fort.  Any development there would have significantly altered the visitor experience.   Visitors will now continue to walk through the military post and feel the stepping back in time to the 19th century.

“Fort Davis National Historic Site offers the opportunity to sense the duties of post-Civil War soldiers and their life on the frontier.  One may also receive a view of travelers along the San Antonio-El Paso Road as they sought fortunes and new beginnings with the western expansion of the United States.  Learn of the hardships and successes endured by African Americans on their way from slavery-to-soldier-to-citizen.  With the permanent protection of the western viewshed, this visitor experience has been enhanced.

“The National Park Service is very grateful of partners like The Conservation Fund and National Parks Conservation Association, of neighbors Roy Truitt, James King and Bob Miles, of members of Congress, in particular Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez and of the many members of the public for the considerable support they provided in the preservation of Fort Davis National Historic Site.”

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