McALLEN (AP) — The U.S. government has paid almost $1 million for part of a South Texas nature preserve taken for the border fence, drawing to a close nearly four years of litigation in one of the project’s highest-profile condemnation cases.

Court records show the government deposited $978,650 with the court Monday, a month after notifying the judge that it had reached a settlement with The Nature Conservancy and farmers who leased property there.

The government took an 8.31-acre strip of land east of Brownsville for its fence, leaving most of the 1,000-acre property of sabal palms, oxbow lakes and citrus groves known as the Southmost Preserve in a no-man’s land between the fence and the Rio Grande.

The government has built about 650 miles of border barriers along the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico boundary.

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