Independence Headwaters Ranch is just that, located at the headwaters of Independence Creek an important watershed to the Lower Pecos River, halfway between Fort Stockton on I-10 and Sanderson on US Highway 90. The ranch fronts on the east side of US Highway 285 for more than 3.6 miles, providing very easy access to the property. This is considered Sanderson limestone hill country, with a great diversity of habitats, vegetation, and topography and distant views all the way to the Madera Mountains south of Fort Stockton.
The ranch was formally the southern part of the Cerf Ranch and is situated at the convergence of three biologically- distinct eco-regions in Texas; the Texas Hill Country to the east, the Chihuahuan Desert to the west, and the subtropical Tamaulipan brush land to the south, creating one of the most unique wildlife habitats in the state. A central plateau to the west and a plateau to the east, both with broad grassy tops, feature incised steep limestone outcrop bluffs and canyons. The drainages and valleys to the south have had more than 2,000 acres of mechanical brush removal, which has opened up amazing wide grasslands.
New exterior fences, roads, poly pipe water lines and troughs with a good distribution system, make the ranch ready for hunting, grazing, or just outdoor enjoyment and recreation. There are very few improvements on the ranch but there are many building sites and views of the rolling hills, distant valleys, and steep canyons. Topography ranges from just below 3,300 to more 3,600 feet and a network of excellent roads provides access throughout the ranch.
Habitat and Wildlife
Tamaulipan brush land, Hill Country and Chihuahuan Desert habitats are all part of Independence Headwaters Ranch. From yucca and sotol, to hackberry and mesquite woodlands, to persimmon and juniper, the ranch represents a crossroads of diverse habitats. The property’s browse and grasslands are in excellent condition, a result of the ranch’s evolution from a historic sheep and goat ranch into today’s recreational uses of hunting, hiking, and enjoyment of the scenic beauty. Native grasses, forbs, browse, brush, cacti and trees not only provide excellent habitat for game species such as Elk, deer, turkey, quail, and dove, but also for non-game species such as Texas horned lizard, neotropical songbirds, fox, ringtail cat, and many other mammals.
Recent use and management has been focused improving and growing Elk, mule deer, and whitetail deer populations, which are tremendous. The population is about 50/50 for the two deer types and, within the steep terrain along the canyons, one can also find Aoudad sheep. Wing shooting for Blue Quail and Mourning Dove is tremendous. The ranch has received excellent income from drought insurance under the existing owner.
The groundwater under the ranch is shallow, accessible, prolific, and high quality, being part of the Edwards-Trinity or Plateau Aquifer. There are two wells on the ranch, working and supplying water into concrete storage tanks, as well as various water troughs for wildlife and, historically, livestock. The wells are wind and electric with a generator pump.
Approximately 4.5 sections are mineral-classified sections owned by the Texas General Land Office, where the surface owner shares in 50% of all bonuses and royalties and negotiates terms of any mineral lease. Seller owns no minerals.