FORT DAVIS, Texas, Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nature Conservancy announced today that one of the most scenic vistas in Texas will stay that way forever. Over the course of the last four years, the Conservancy has worked closely with a private landowner and funders to establish a pair of conservation easements on Sawtooth Mountain, located in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. The two easements protect more than 2,500 acres in this important region. The landowner donated a large portion of these easements so the Conservancy was able to purchase them for $1.5 million, nearly a million dollars under the appraised value. Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, and its portfolio companies Brigham Resources, Kosmos Energy, Laredo Petroleum and Zenith Energy, are together providing $1.2 million in funding. Standing tall and solitary, Sawtooth Mountain is a landmark on the Scenic Loop, the famous 75-mile stretch of road between Highways 166 and 118, where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the sky islands of the Davis Mountains. "Sawtooth is an iconic part of the Texas landscape," said Laura Huffman, Texas state director of The Nature Conservancy. "As Texas continues to grow at record speed, we're in a race to conserve the characteristics of our state that make it so special. The owner of the property, together with Warburg Pincus and its portfolio companies, have done an amazing thing by enabling us to safeguard this ecologically important and revered site. The beauty of this deal is that we have kept private land in private ownership, while safeguarding significant habitat and a vista that is enjoyed by millions." "Warburg Pincus has long been a dedicated supporter of The Nature Conservancy's mission," said Mark Tercek, president and chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy. "Thanks to their support, we have preserved iconic landscapes across North America that will have lasting value for people, natural systems and wildlife." "Warburg Pincus is honored to support The Nature Conservancy's efforts to protect this incredible landscape in West Texas," said Chip Kaye, co-chief executive officer of Warburg Pincus. "Partnerships among the public, private and non-profit sectors are critical to ensuring that natural landmarks such as Sawtooth Mountain are preserved." Rising to an elevation of 7,686 feet, Sawtooth Mountain is located 22 miles northwest of Fort Davis. While the region is widely considered one of the most scenic areas of Texas, it is also one of the most biologically diverse. There are several rare plants and animals found in the Davis Mountains that are found nowhere else in Texas. Mountain animals and birds like black bears, mountain lions and golden eagles also make a home in these mountains. In states such as Texas, where 95 percent of the land is privately owned, conservation easements serve as a critical tool to protect important lands and waters. In total, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 100,000 acres in the Davis Mountains, including the summit, Mount Livermore, which is part of the 33,000-acre Davis Mountains Preserve. With this latest deal, the Conservancy now holds conservation easements on nearly 70,000 adjoining or adjacent properties.