Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

June 1, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744


       10      BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 1st day of June, 

       11  2000, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory 

       12  authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in 

       13  the Commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 

       14  Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning 

       15  at 9:25 a.m., to wit:

       16  

       17  APPEARANCES:

       18  THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:

       19  

       20      Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas, Chairman

       21      John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas

       22      Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas

       23      Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas

       24      Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas, Vice Chair

       25      Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1      Katharine Armstrong Idsal, Dallas, Texas

        2      Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas

        3  

        4  THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:

        5  

        6      Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director and

        7      Other Personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department

        8

        9

       10

       11

       12

       13

       14

       15

       16

       17

       18

       19

       20

       21

       22

       23

       24

       25

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  OTHER APPEARANCES:
           
        2  Mr. David K. Langford, representing Texas Wildlife Assoc.
           
        3  Mr. Ellis Gilleland, representing Texas Animals on the 
                    Internet
        4  
           Mr. Kevin Daniels, representing Coastal Conservation
        5           Association
           
        6  Mr. Chris Thompson
           
        7  Mr. Lee Roy Billington, representing IBC Petroleum, Inc.
           
        8  Mr. David A. Guidry, representing Local Fisherman
           
        9  Mr. Jack North
           
       10  Mr. Troy Williamson
           
       11  Mr. Jim Atkins
           
       12  Mr. Jim Smarr, representing Recreational Fishing Alliance
           
       13  Mr. Asa Yeamans, representing Breveport Association
           
       14  Mr. Spencer Collins
           
       15  Mr. Will Myers
           
       16  Dr. James C. Kroll, representing Texas Deer Association
           
       17  Mr. Don B. Frels, representing Texas Wildlife Management
                    Control
       18  
           Mr. John Jefferson
       19  
           Mr. Pix Howell, representing Williamson County
       20  
           Mr. Bob Wunsch, representing Avery Ranch
       21  
           Mr. Greg Boatright, representing Williamson County
       22  
           Ms. Sally Gavlik, representing County of El Paso
       23  
           Mr. Charles W. Nutter, representing City of El Paso Parks
       24           Recreation
           
       25  Mr. Javier Mendez, representing Cameron County Parks
           
                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1                          JUNE 1, 2000

        2                            * * * * *

        3                         PUBLIC HEARING

        4                            * * * * *

        5                           (9:25 a.m.)

        6                            * * * * *

        7                MR. BASS:  Good morning, ladies and 

        8  gentlemen.  I would like to call the meeting to order, and 

        9  ask Mr. Sansom to please read our opening statement.

       10               MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman and members of the 

       11  Commission, a public notice of this meeting containing all 

       12  items on the proposed agenda has been filed in the Office of 

       13  Secretary of State as required by Chapter 551 of the 

       14  Government Code.  This is referred to as the Open Meetings 

       15  Law, and I would like for this action to be put in the 

       16  official record of the meeting.

       17           Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome all of you here 

       18  this morning.  I appreciate the fact that you're here, as 

       19  does ever every member of the Commission.  And we look 

       20  forward to hearing your comments and having you participate 

       21  in our meeting.

       22           As all of you know, I will sort of be assisting the 

       23  Chair as kind of Sergeant at Arms.  And I wanted to make sure 

       24  that everyone who has a desire to speak today has filled out 

       25  one of the sign-up cards.  The Chairman will use the card to 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  call you forward, and each person will be allowed to speak 

        2  from this podium.

        3           When your name is called, please come to the podium, 

        4  state your name and who you represent, if anyone other than 

        5  yourself.

        6           The chairman may also call the next person in line 

        7  so that you can sort of be on deck.  And if you'll just come 

        8  to the back of the room, that will move the meeting along.

        9           Everyone who would like to speak will have three 

       10  minutes.  I'll keep track of the time with this little 

       11  traffic light here.  And when the light turns yellow, that 

       12  means you've got about 30 seconds.  So I appreciate you 

       13  adhering to that.

       14           When your time is up, please resume your seat so 

       15  that others can speak.  Your time may be extended if the 

       16  Commissioner asks you question or they discuss things among 

       17  themselves.  That will not count against your three minutes.

       18           As always, I will ask you please to refrain from any 

       19  argumentative or critical comments and show proper respect 

       20  not only for our Board and our staff, but for other members 

       21  of the audience.

       22           I would like to once again welcome you here and tell 

       23  you how much we appreciate you participating in our meetings.  

       24  If you have things you would like to give to the Commission, 

       25  please give them to Ms. Estrada here, and she will make sure 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  that they're passed out.  Thank you very much.

        2                MR. BASS:  Thank you, Mr. Sansom.  The first 

        3  order of business would be the approval of the minutes from 

        4  our previous meeting, which have been distributed.  And the 

        5  Chair would entertain a motion or any corrections or 

        6  deletions.

        7                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Mr. Chairman, I just 

        8  wanted to point out on Page 95, Line 25, "Trust for Public 

        9  Lands," that it be capitalized, since it's an organization 

       10  that has helped a great deal with Government Canyon.

       11           And I also want to commend our court reporters for 

       12  the great job they do with these transcripts.  And with that, 

       13  I would move for approval of the minutes.

       14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Do I have a motion?

       15                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

       16                CHAIRMAN BASS:  And a second.  All in favor?   

       17  Opposed?  Thank you.

       18                  (Motion carries unanimously.)

       19                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Second order of business would 

       20  be acceptance of gifts, which have been listed and -- to 

       21  which has been distributed for review.

       22           The Chair would entertain any comments, questions or 

       23  a motion.

       24                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval.

       25                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Second.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Motion for approval by 

        2  Mr. Angelo, a second by Commissioner Dinkins.  All in favor?  

        3  Any opposed?  Moved.  Thank you very much.

        4                (Motion carries unanimously.)

        5                            * * * * *

        6  DONOR                          DESCRIPTION

        7  1)  Lone Star Steel               600 feet 4" pipe
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  White Oak Creek WMA
        8  
           2)  El Eddon Verde Garden Club    6 Cypress and 6 fruit trees 
        9  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Grounds improvement
           
       10  3)  Quail Unlimited - Cross Timbers Chapter  CASH
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Match NFWF Challenge Grant
       11  
           4)  City Center Security          Exercise Equipment
       12  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  TPWD employee fitness program
           
       13  5)  Travis Audubon Society        CASH
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Wildlife Diversity Program
       14  
           6)  Exxon/Mobil                   CASH
       15  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Wildlife Diversity Program
           
       16  7)  Houston Audubon Society       CASH
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Wildlife Diversity Program
       17  
           8)  Temple-Inland Forest          CASH
       18  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Wildlife Diversity Program
           
       19  9)  North American Bat Conservation      CASH
              Partnership/Bat Conservation International
       20  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Wildlife Diversity Program, Bat 
           Program
       21  
           10) Reliance Products             Tackle Boxes
       22  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Incentive program
           
       23  11) Quahadi Society               Binoculars
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Support stargazing programs
       24  
           12) Quahadi Society               Binoculars
       25  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Support stargazing programs
           
                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  13) Friends of Kerrville-Schreiner    Family Recreation Area
               State Park
        2  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Visitor experience enhancement
           
        3  14) The 100 Club                  Navigational Radar
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Officer Safety, enforcement tool
        4  
           15) H.E. Butt Grocery Company     CASH
        5  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Event donation
           
        6  16) City of Texas City            CASH
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Great Texas Birding Classic
        7  
           17) Brownsville Convention and Visitors Bureau  CASH
        8  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Great Texas Birding Classic
           
        9  18) Travis Audubon Society        CASH
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Great Texas Birding Classic
       10  
           19) Silencio/Safety Direct, Inc.  Hearing and eye protection
       11  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Incentive awards
           
       12  20) Winchester Ammunition         Hunter education equipment
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Incentive awards
       13  
           21) Daniel Schaefer               Thompson submachine gun
       14  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Admiral Nimitz Museum SHP
           
       15  22) Admiral Minitz Foundation     Japanese Vice Admiral tunic
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Admiral Nimitz Museum SHP
       16  
           23) J. Steven Hoerster            Ford Jeep (1942)
       17  PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Admiral Nimitz Museum SHP
           
       18  24) Kenny W. Dezendorf            1985 GMC Suburban
           PURPOSE OF DONATION:  Texas Youth Hunting Program
       19  TOTAL:  $176,129.00

       20                            * * * * *

       21                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, today, the Governor 

       22  of our State has made a major announcement out in the State 

       23  of Utah.  And among the things that he will say in his speech 

       24  is that he will recommend the creation of a national Lone 

       25  Star Land Steward's award for the recognition of private land 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  owners who have performed exemplary conservation on their 

        2  properties.

        3           Many of us had the great pleasure on Tuesday evening 

        4  of recognizing this year's Texas Lone Star Land Stewards upon 

        5  which the Governor's national initiative is based.

        6           And at this time I would like for those of us who 

        7  were not able to attend to share in a brief video clip that 

        8  tells us about the wonderful work done at the Shields Ranch, 

        9  this year's winner of the Lone Star Land Steward's awards.   

       10                (Whereupon, a video clip was played.)

       11                MR. SANSOM:  This was the fifth annual Lone 

       12  Star Land Steward's award, and I know that every one of us 

       13  who was there shared the unique feeling that this event 

       14  has -- has taken on.  And it is clearly one of the most 

       15  important events of our year, because it recognizes the 

       16  people who are really doing the job out there on the 

       17  landscape to protect it for the future.

       18           At the same time, on Tuesday night, while we were at 

       19  the University of the Texas Alumni Center, on the Nashville 

       20  network, the program, "Wonders of Wildlife Honors" was shown 

       21  across the country.

       22           This was a very unique and first-time concert, the 

       23  ticket sales from which are given to conservation 

       24  organizations throughout the country, including Ducks 

       25  Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk, National Wild Turkey and many, 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  many others.

        2           One of the highlights of the program, which was 

        3  hosted by a number of very famous country and western 

        4  singers, including Kenny Rogers, Travis Tritt and many 

        5  others, was the recognition of three national winners, 

        6  conservationist winners.

        7           They were recognized as "The Outdoors Man," "The 

        8  Outdoors Youth," and "The Outdoors Woman" of the year in the 

        9  United States.  They were Kenneth Oden, who is the founder of 

       10  the Great Outdoors Conservancy, a young man who founded the 

       11  4-H Castaways Junior Bass Club, 13-year-old Shelby Bowling, 

       12  and the Vice Chair of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 

       13  Commission, Carol Dinkins.

       14           So please join me in a little clip from "Wonders of 

       15  Wildlife Honors," Nashville, Tennessee.

       16                (Whereupon, a video clip was played.)

       17                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.

       18                MR. SANSOM:  Carol, we congratulate you.  And 

       19  see how strongly we all feel about the support you've given 

       20  conservation.

       21           But I will also say as a part of the ceremonies, 

       22  Carol was given a check for $10,000, which she could 

       23  designate for any cause of her choice, and she has designated 

       24  that to the Lone Star Legacy.  So thank you for that, as 

       25  well, Carol.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1           At this time, members, it is my great privilege and 

        2  pleasure to recognize employees of our department who have 

        3  served us and the people of Texas so well over many years.

        4           The first, from Brownwood, Texas, is James Connally.  

        5  James started his career with the Department in May of 1975.  

        6  He's worked in Seabrook.  He's worked in Aransas Pass and San 

        7  Patricio County, and he was right in the middle of the net 

        8  bands along the coast.

        9           He's been involved in the shrimping and changing 

       10  laws and issues related to shrimping and commercial fishing 

       11  on red fish and trout.

       12           He was nominated for officer of the year by the 

       13  Coastal Conservation Association, and recently was -- at the 

       14  early part of this decade was promoted to lieutenant in 

       15  Brownwood, where he serves today as the -- as a game warden 

       16  with 25 years of service to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

       17           Please recognize James Connally from Brownwood, 

       18  Texas.

       19                                    (Photographs were then 

       20                                     taken; applause.)

       21                MR. SANSOM:  Many of us have had the pleasure 

       22  of riding on the Texas State Railroad, which is probably the 

       23  most complex maintenance challenge in the Texas Parks and 

       24  Wildlife system.

       25           Roger Graham began working there as a seasonal in 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  1975.  It's during this time that Governor Brisco attended 

        2  the opening of the park, and Roger was the third full-time 

        3  employee at the railroad.

        4           In 1978, he became the engineer, and he's been 

        5  involved in as many as 12 movies, commercials including, 

        6  "Uphill All The Way" with Roy Clark and Mel Tillis, "The 

        7  Streets of Laredo" with James Garner and Sissy Spacek, and 

        8  "The Rough Riders" with Sam Elliott.

        9           He and his colleagues keep that engine running, 

       10  because as many as 70,000 people a year ride it.  So please 

       11  welcome Roger D. Graham from State Parks with 25 years of 

       12  service.

       13                            (Photographs were then 

       14                             taken; applause.)

       15                MR. SANSOM:  He took us Big Bend.

       16           Also from State Parks, Tim Hufstedler started out at 

       17  L.B.J.

       18           In September of 1975, he was promoted to Ranger and 

       19  then transferred quickly to San Jacinto.

       20           In '76, he was made the assistant manager at San 

       21  Jacinto.  In 1977, he became the park manager.

       22           During that time, he was graduated from the police 

       23  academy and was commissioned as a state park peace officer.

       24           In 1981, he was again promoted and transferred to 

       25  his current position as park manager at Kerrville-Schreiner 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  State Park.

        2           Please recognize Tim Hufstedler with 25 years of 

        3  service in state parks.

        4                            (Photographs were then 

        5                             taken; applause.)

        6                MR. SANSOM:  A couple of the people we're 

        7  recognizing today played extremely important roles in boating 

        8  and water safety, which will be increasingly, this summer, an 

        9  issue on all of our minds.

       10           Ernie Lerma is a leader in this area.  He is a game 

       11  warden from Rio Medina, Texas.  He started out in 

       12  Brownsville, and he attended the 32nd Game Warden Academy, at 

       13  that time at Texas A&M.  He's worked at High Island in 

       14  Galveston County, and he's worked in Corpus.  And he 

       15  transferred to Medina in 1984.

       16           In 1981, Ernie was awarded the Game Warden of the 

       17  Year award by CCA.  He was awarded the Citizen of the Year 

       18  award by the Chamber of Commerce in Castroville, due to his 

       19  work with Boy Scouts and youth in the community.

       20           This year, Ernie was recognized as the Officer of 

       21  the Year for the State of Texas by the Southern States 

       22  Boating Law Administrator.  And he has participated in

       23  numerous personal water craft, swift water rescue schools and 

       24  instructed a number of Game Warden Academny classes in water 

       25  safety and swift water rescue.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1           Please welcome Ernest L. Lerma, Game Warden 5, Rio 

        2  Medina, Texas, with 25 years of service.

        3                            (Photographs were then 

        4                             taken; applause.)

        5                MR. SANSOM:  Another warden who has been 

        6  extremely involved in water safety over the years is Ewel 

        7  McCrary.  We call him Mokey.

        8           Mokey has worked in the Department for 25 years.   

        9  Today, he is in Kerrville.  He started out in Amarillo, where 

       10  he worked for 13-and-a-half years.

       11           He came to Austin to work at the Academy, which is 

       12  where I first met him.  He automated the grading system and 

       13  launched the training program for standardized field sobriety 

       14  tests.

       15           He oversaw the instruction for the game wardens and 

       16  park peace officers.  He's been a captain at the District 

       17  supervisor level in Lubbock and is currently the captain in 

       18  the Kerrville District office.

       19           He received -- he has received numerous citations, 

       20  particularly for saving a woman from drowning while he was a 

       21  supervisor.  And he has established, along with Ernie and 

       22  others, a swift water rescue team that is second to none 

       23  within this state.

       24           Please recognize from Kerrville with 25 years of 

       25  service, Game Warden Mokey McCrary.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1                            (Photographs were then 

        2                             taken; applause.)

        3                MR. SANSOM:  Mary Gluck also worked at the 

        4  railroad.  She's been there for 20 years.  She started as a 

        5  seasonal in the maintenance complex.  She's worked her way up 

        6  as a clerk.  She transferred to the headquarters and is now 

        7  an administration -- an administrative technician.

        8           She loves the railroad and says it's a great place 

        9  to work.  And like others who have worked there, she's had 

       10  the great privilege of meeting and working with people like 

       11  Jean Stapleton, Roy Clark, James Garner and many other people 

       12  from the entertainment world.

       13           Please recognize Mary Gluck from the Texas State 

       14  Railroad with 20 years of service.

       15                            (Photographs were then 

       16                             taken; applause.)

       17                MR. SANSOM:  Last August, we had to -- we 

       18  participated, as we do each year at that time, in the 

       19  Employee Recognition Awards program.  And one of the teams 

       20  that was recognized was from the Rockport maintenance shop.

       21           Joel Hearn, who we recognize today from Coastal 

       22  Fisheries, has worked in the division at Rockport for 20 

       23  years.  He is currently a fish and wildlife technician and 

       24  serves as a team leader, which received recognition last 

       25  year.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1           His knowledge of Coastal Fisheries facilities, 

        2  equipment, sampling operations and many other things has made 

        3  him an invaluable member in maintaining and repairing the 

        4  division's coastal-wide fleet of boats, motors, trailers and 

        5  vehicles.

        6           He has been instrumental in several projects, 

        7  including the fabrication of the aquarium displays on fishing 

        8  piers at Sea Center, the completion of the retrofits on all 

        9  our 45-foot research vessels, and the construction of the 

       10  division's mobile aquariums, which are used at Expo and 

       11  throughout the State.

       12           Please welcome Jowell Hearn from Coastal Fisheries 

       13  with 20 years of service.

       14                            (Photographs were then 

       15                             taken; applause.)

       16                MR. SANSOM:  Also from Coastal Fisheries is 

       17  Jerry Mambretti.  He began work in 1980 as a technician at 

       18  the Rockport Marine Laboratory.

       19           Jerry has steadily progressed in responsibility to 

       20  his current position as the Sabine Lake Ecosystem leader, 

       21  where he's responsible for orchestrating all programs, 

       22  activities and personnel at the Port Arthur field station.

       23           Jerry has been an advocate for the marine 

       24  conservation issues in southeast Texas, a tireless advocate.  

       25  He's a member of the Gulf States Fishery Management 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











                                                                   17


        1  Commission's Menhaden Advisory committee.  He represents the 

        2  Department and the natural resources of the State on the East 

        3  Texas Regional Water Planning Group, and he serves on Coast 

        4  Fisheries Quality Control Committee.

        5           He's also a veteran of seven consecutive expo's.   

        6  Jerry Mambretti from Port Arthur with 25 years of service to 

        7  Coastal Fisheries.

        8                            (Photographs were then 

        9                             taken; applause.)

       10                MR. SANSOM:  Again from Coastal Fisheries, Art 

       11  Morris.  Art also went to work in 1980 as a motor vehicle 

       12  mechanic.

       13           He transferred to the Corpus Christi field station 

       14  and was one of three individuals there to be promoted to 

       15  technician through the career ladder that was established in 

       16  the early part of this decade.

       17           Art made the special commitment of going to night 

       18  school through our Department's educational leave policy, and 

       19  he earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Texas A&M 

       20  University.

       21           After that, he was promoted to a fishery outreach 

       22  specialist, and today he is the principal liaison up and down 

       23  the coast with the commercial and sports fishing industries.  

       24           He has a column for the South Texas Fishing News 

       25  and, of course, he's an avid angler.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











                                                                   18


        1           Please welcome Art Morris with 20 years of service 

        2  in Coastal Fisheries.

        3                            (Photographs were then 

        4                             taken; applause.)

        5                MR. SANSOM:  That commitment to go back and 

        6  continuously improve not only one's education but one's 

        7  ability to serve the people of Texas is one that's shared by 

        8  management of this Department and all of its employees and is 

        9  exemplified by our last employee today that we recognize.

       10           Jimmy Swaim is a regional director in State Parks.   

       11  He's worked in State Parks for 20 years.  He started out as 

       12  regional maintenance specialist in Region 6.

       13           He came to work here in Austin in 1988 to coordinate 

       14  the maintenance operation for the north part of Texas.  While 

       15  he was here, in the early part of this decade, Jimmy, too, 

       16  was able to complete his Bachelor's degree.  And in 1992, he 

       17  was promoted to regional director in Abilene, where he 

       18  supervises all of the parks in Region 6.

       19           After five years in Abilene, he transferred to the 

       20  State Park region in Region 5 in Somerville, where he is 

       21  currently assigned as Regional Director.

       22           Please recognize Jimmy Swaim from State Parks, 20 

       23  years of service to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

       24                            (Photographs were then 

       25                             taken; applause.)

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











                                                                   19


        1                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, that concludes our 

        2  service awards and citations today.  Thank you very much, 

        3  members.

        4      AGENDA ITEM NO. 1:  ACTION - CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS.

        5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you, Mr. Sansom.  We have 

        6  a number of items that are eligible for the consent agenda 

        7  today, Items 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 14 and 15.  They are eligible 

        8  in that they've been approved by the appropriate committees 

        9  for consideration by the entire commission, and there is no 

       10  public comment requested today.

       11           Nobody from the public has requested to comment, 

       12  rather.

       13           The Chair would entertain a motion to move any or 

       14  all of these to the consent agenda, or if anybody on the 

       15  Commission would like further discussion or presentation by 

       16  the staff on these, obviously, we can leave it on the regular 

       17  agenda.

       18                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  I move these being moved 

       19  to the consent agenda.

       20                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Second.

       21                CHAIRMAN BASS:  I have a motion and a second to 

       22  move them all to the consent agenda.  All in favor?  Any 

       23  opposed?

       24           Hearing none, so done.

       25                  (Motion carries unanimously.)

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        1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  And the first order of business 

        2  would, therefore, be to approve the items on the consent 

        3  agenda and the staff recommendations inherent in those.   

        4  Chair would entertain a motion.

        5                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval from consent 

        6  agenda.

        7                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Second.

        8                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion and a second.  All in 

        9  favor?  Any opposed.  Motion carries.

       10                (Motion carries unanimously.)

       11      AGENDA ITEM NO. 2:  ACTION - MIGRATORY GAME BIRD 

       12  PROCLAMATION.

       13                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That brings us to Item 2, 

       14  migratory game bird proclamation.  Vernon Bevill, please.

       15                MR. BEVILL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I'm 

       16  Vernon Bevill, Program Director for Migratory Wildlife and 

       17  Wetland Ecology.

       18           As you recall from the April meeting, we came to you 

       19  with a request to publish the proposed changes for the 2000, 

       20  2001 migratory game bird season.

       21           At this meeting, we will be asking you to act on the 

       22  general rules and those rules pertaining to early season 

       23  species.

       24           Very quickly, a summary of changes that we're 

       25  proposing is the change in the opening of teal season and the 

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        1  closing date to amend the Zone C hunting season for sandhill 

        2  cranes and to make a slight boundary increase in that Zone C 

        3  area for sandhill cranes.  And then the other changes are 

        4  based on the calendar shift between last year and this year.

        5           For teal, we realize this year would require us, if 

        6  we stuck with the traditional Saturday opener, to open too 

        7  early in September to guarantee a real high quality teal 

        8  season, with that opener being required to start on the 9th.  

        9           Because we have to set the entire teal season within 

       10  the month of September, and we anticipate a 16-day season, we 

       11  felt it was most appropriate and would provide the greatest 

       12  hunting opportunity to recommend to you opening teal season 

       13  on Friday, the 15th of September, and ending on Saturday, the 

       14  30th of September.

       15           We've had a number of public comments on this 

       16  particular issue, and they run about 10 or 11 to one in favor 

       17  of this recommendation.

       18           For sandhill cranes, we would like to come back from 

       19  our recommendation from the April meeting and modify that and 

       20  request that the sandhill crane season for Zone C be amended 

       21  to open on December the 30th and run through February the 

       22  4th, rather than January the 6th through February the 11th.

       23           And the primary reason for this is when we come to 

       24  you in August with the late season rules, which will include 

       25  the conservation hunt for light geese, it will necessitate us 

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        1  closing the sandhill crane season when conservation rules are 

        2  initiated, probably the day after duck season closes, which 

        3  effectively eliminates about half of the sandhill crane 

        4  season in that area, anyway.

        5           So by opening a week earlier, we guarantee at least 

        6  a week of hunting opportunity for hunters in Zone C.

        7           We've also worked with our flyaway council and U.S. 

        8  Fish and Wildlife service toward an expansion of the hunting 

        9  area available in Coastal Texas.  And at this time, we are 

       10  looking at several options and how that would come to pass.

       11           We hope that the service regulations committee, 

       12  which meets later this month in Washington, will approve the 

       13  proposed extension of the boundary and will allow the Zone C 

       14  bag limit of three birds to be taken in that area.

       15           However, if Zone C expansion is approved, but the 

       16  regular bag limit is not approved - and there was some 

       17  discussion in our flyaway meeting in March that it would 

       18  probably be approved, but not necessarily with a three-bird 

       19  bag - then we would want to establish that as a Zone D, with 

       20  a bag this is approved by the Service Regulations Committee.

       21           And, of course, the last possibility is that the 

       22  Service Regulations Committee would not approve that, and we 

       23  would be back to where we were last year with proposal.

       24           So in summary, our preferred option is to have a 

       25  Zone C expansion with a primary bag limit of three birds.

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        1           Alternative 1 would be the extension of the hunting 

        2  area and call it Zone D with a one- or two-bird bag as 

        3  approved by the Service Regulations Committee.

        4           And then the second alternative is basically no 

        5  change.

        6           This would necessitate potential for the Executive 

        7  Director to make emergency rules, based on the approval of 

        8  the Fish and Wildlife service for this particular set of 

        9  recommendations.  So that's the -- the component of our 

       10  proposal is up in the air.

       11           We propose right now for it to be part of Zone C, 

       12  presuming that the bag limit is unchanged.

       13           Mourning doves, basically there's no change from 

       14  last year.  We are, again, recommending a 15-bird bag limit, 

       15  a 60-day season.  The season dates reflect calendar shift.

       16           We've had fairly light public comment.  Most of it 

       17  has revolved around the teal season.  We've picked up about 

       18  six comments since this slide was made, all in favor of 

       19  opening the teal season on the 15th and closing on the 30th.

       20           Mr. Chairman, at this time, staff recommendation is 

       21  that Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the proposed 

       22  amendments to 31 TAC 65.314, 65.315 and 319, concerning the 

       23  migratory game bird proclamation for early season species 

       24  with changes to the proposed text and appropriate sandhill 

       25  crane hunting area expansion alternative, as published in the 

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        1  April 28, 2000 issue of the Texas Register.  Any questions?

        2                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any questions of Mr. Bevill 

        3  from the Commission?  Being none, we'll take public comment 

        4  at this time.

        5           David Langford, if you would come forward to speak, 

        6  and Mr. Gilleland, if you would be prepared to speak next, 

        7  please.

        8                MR. LANGFORD:  Good morning, Mr. Chairman, 

        9  members of the Commission.  Welcome back Commissioner Ryan.

       10           I'm David Langford, Texas Wildlife Association, and 

       11  I would urge the Commission to approve the staff 

       12  recommendation.

       13           Mr. Bevill made a very, very interesting and 

       14  in-depth presentation to the New Hunting Advisory Commission 

       15  last week, and the amount of work that goes into these 

       16  recommendations is really something to behold.  So we urge 

       17  the acceptance of the staff proposal.  Thank you.

       18                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

       19                MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland.   

       20  I'm a private citizen.  I'm speaking for Texas Animals, which 

       21  is an Internet animal rights organization on the Internet.

       22           My comment on the migratory game bird proclamation, 

       23  first of all, relating to the item which you have in your 

       24  hand, which is an item from the Dallas Morning News, dated 6 

       25  February, 1999, which says, "Judge refuses to lift ban on 

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        1  pigeon shoot."  It says, "Pigeons substitute rock dove."

        2           I have read the Texas Register publication on your 

        3  migratory game bird proclamation, Texas Register published 28 

        4  April, 2000.  It mentions numerous times doves all over the 

        5  place, dove season.  And, also, it mentions on Page 3701, 

        6  Subparagraph E, red bill pigeons and band-tail pigeons, no 

        7  open season.

        8           So the precedence is set.  And you lawyers will 

        9  appreciate that.  The precedence is set.  Pigeons are 

       10  addressed and doves are addressed in your proclamation.

       11           So my comment -- my first comment addresses the 

       12  Dallas Gun Club, which uses rock doves as targets.  Instead 

       13  of clay pigeons, the Dallas Gun Club uses live animals.

       14           This article refers to 10,000 rock doves being used 

       15  as clay pigeons thrown in the air at Carrollton and shooting 

       16  up the place.  The real number is 25,000.

       17           The 25,000 rock doves are gathered by dealers, 

       18  brought down to Carrollton and tossed up in the air for these 

       19  people to render into a mass of feathers with their 12-gauge 

       20  shot guns.

       21           So my first comment is please do something in your 

       22  proclamation to stop the gun shoots up at Carrollton Dallas 

       23  Gun Club by mentioning the rock dove; include them in there.  

       24           And my final comment is -- which I don't think you 

       25  you'll do that, because it runs against your grain to do 

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        1  something for animals.  You only do things for people who 

        2  vote and have money and build high fences and charge $5,000 

        3  to shoot a deer.

        4           So my last comment is, if you will not take my 

        5  recommendation, I would ask that you install -- don't look so 

        6  grim, Commissioner Ryan.  Install and put in a regulation 

        7  which --

        8                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Gilleland -- Mr. Gilleland, 

        9  I'll ask you to keep your remarks --

       10                MR. GILLELAND:  -- put in a regulation which 

       11  says that hunters must eat all the rock doves they kill, all 

       12  25,000 of them, before they leave the shooting range.  Thank 

       13  you.

       14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. Bevill, do you have any 

       15  comments?

       16                MR. BEVILL:  Rock doves are not covered by the 

       17  Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  We don't -- regulate rock doves.  

       18                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you for that 

       19  clarification.  Any further comments or questions?  Care to 

       20  make a motion?

       21                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  So moved.

       22                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Second.

       23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion and a second.  All in 

       24  favor?  Any opposed?  Thank you very much.

       25                  (Motion carries unanimously.)

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        1                  "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission 

        2                  adopts the proposed amendments to 31 TAC 

        3                  65.314, 65.315, and 65.319, concerning the 

        4                  Migratory Game Bird Proclamation, with 

        5                  changes to the proposed text and appropriate 

        6                  sandhill crane hunting area expansion 

        7                  alternative, as published in the April 28,   

        8                  2000, issue of the Texas Register (25 

        9                  TexReg 3700)."

       10      AGENDA ITEM NO. 3:  BRIEFING  - THE EVOLUTION OF BASS 

       11  FISHING IN TEXAS.

       12                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That brings us to Item 3.  Phil 

       13  Durocher.

       14                  (WHEREUPON, a briefing item was presented to

       15                  the commissioners after which, the following


       16                  proceedings were had:)

       17      AGENDA ITEM NO. 6:  ACTION - SALTWATER SPORT FISHING 

       18  STAMP SURCHARGE.

       19                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That brings us to saltwater 

       20  sport fishing stamp surcharge.  Dr. McKinney.

       21                DR. MCKINNEY:  I'll tell you, Mr. Chairman, I 

       22  haven't had much luck finding those dumb bass, either.  I 

       23  think I fish in only the smart bass lakes.

       24                CHAIRMAN BASS:  My wife assured me she knows 

       25  where one is.

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        1                DR. MCKINNEY:  I probably shouldn't have 

        2  started down that road.  I think I'll just do my item.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  My teenage daughter really 

        4  knows where it is.

        5                DR. MCKINNEY:  Mr. Chairman, I'll just move 

        6  down the line, if you don't mind.

        7           For the record, I'm Larry McKinney, senior director 

        8  of aquatic resources.  The item you have before you for 

        9  consideration today is an increase in saltwater sport fishing 

       10  stamp and surcharge to accelerate our buy-back program for 

       11  shrimp licenses.

       12           We looked at a number of options on this program.   

       13  The options the staff has recommended to the Commission is to 

       14  set a goal of retiring 50 percent of our shrimp licenses 

       15  while also maximizing retirement of crab and finish licenses.  

       16  A couple of key points in a recommendation.

       17           One is our recommendation to increase the saltwater 

       18  stamp only, not the fishing licenses, but only where 

       19  individuals -- who purchase the saltwater stamp.

       20           We have recommended a five-year -- a cap of five 

       21  years on that proposal, and we -- that is set an effort -- a 

       22  goal is to meet that time in the five-year period.

       23           We estimate that we would generate over that period 

       24  seven million dollars.  And what we would do, of course, is, 

       25  focus on our goal of retiring the shrimping licenses but also 

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        1  take advantage of whatever the market dictates to retire the 

        2  license as well as so we maximize the use of those funds 

        3  should you move forward with it.

        4           Some of the issues that certainly have been 

        5  important in moving toward that goal, one, is sunsetting that 

        6  provision to make sure that once we set our goal, we will 

        7  sunsett that provision and give the Commission opportunity to 

        8  come back and look at it at the end of that five-year period 

        9  to see if we were successful.

       10           Clearly, we want to set clear and measurable goals.  

       11  That's what we tried to do in this process of looking at 

       12  retiring -- up to 50 percent of those shrimping licenses and 

       13  setting the sunset period.

       14           You've heard testimony yesterday, and I'm sure you 

       15  will today, about the importance of linking conservation 

       16  measures that we're considering in the shrimping industry 

       17  with this buy-back program and the importance of linking 

       18  those two to be successful in what we're trying to achieve.

       19           Also, we will be looking, as well as others, toward 

       20  finding additional funds -- federal funds to help us 

       21  accelerate that program.

       22           Summary of some of the comments that we have 

       23  received to date:  Since our last briefing, there has been 

       24  very few comments at all, 12 all together.  But what I have 

       25  put together for you is a summary of that portion of our 

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        1  saltwater stamp fishing surveys that deal with this issue 

        2  where we ask our anglers their support for additional fees to 

        3  retire those shrimping licenses at one, two and three dollars 

        4  and you see the results here of a very broad-based support 

        5  for this activity and the purposes that we're aiming at.

        6           With that very brief summary, staff would recommend 

        7  the Commission consider the following motion.  And I'm sure 

        8  there will be public testimony.  I will be available to 

        9  answer questions after -- at your pleasure, Mr. Chairman.

       10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  Obviously, we spent 

       11  quite some time yesterday discussing shrimp management, both 

       12  from the point of the view -- of the commercial and the 

       13  recreational users' perspective, but thank you.

       14           This is one aspect of that that we're addressing 

       15  today.  Believe it or not, there's not any public comments 

       16  signed up for today on this.  But the Chair would entertain 

       17  any discussion or comments from this item in the context of 

       18  shrimp management issues as a whole

       19                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Well, you know, I would 

       20  just like to comment that, you know, I think the buy-back 

       21  program is terribly important.  But I also think that we need 

       22  to move aggressively to adapt or adopt some of our 

       23  regulations on shrimp to coincide with this.

       24           I mean, obviously, I don't think they ought to be 

       25  tied together.  But if we are unable to come up with any 

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        1  improvements in our shrimp regulations, I think we should 

        2  re-visit that at some time.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Other comments?

        4                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  The concern that I have 

        5  that was expressed yesterday by several members of the 

        6  Commission regarding the effectiveness of this program, I 

        7  mean, it's critically important that we keep close tabs on 

        8  how it's going and people report to the Commission with 

        9  results, if you see them, as licenses are bought back and 

       10  what impact you think those are having on the fisheries.

       11                DR. MCKINNEY:  We will certainly do that, sir.  

       12  As we talked about yesterday, this is something new that 

       13  hasn't been tried before, so we don't know exactly where 

       14  we're going.  But we certainly appreciate -- have -- 

       15  appreciated the Commission's support in moving forward on it.  

       16  And we're going to do everything we can to live up to that 

       17  confidence and move down the course of where we want to go.   

       18  So we will do that, sir.

       19                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I think the other thing 

       20  that we want to say, involved in our discussion last 

       21  yesterday and last evening, is the Shrimp Advisory Committee 

       22  needs to really get together at least twice in the next 90 

       23  days while it's being evaluated in a public comment time 

       24  frame.

       25                DR. MCKINNEY:  Yes, sir.

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        1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Other comments?

        2                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval of the 

        3  recommendation.

        4                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion for approval.

        5                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Second.

        6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Second.  Any further 

        7  discussion?  All in favor.  Any opposed?

        8           So off we go into an expanded buy-back program and 

        9  expectations to monitor results closely, try to get some grip 

       10  on how it's affecting effort as well as license outstanding 

       11  and expectation to see this program really ramp up with -- 

       12  when additional funds become available starting FYO1.

       13                DR. MCKINNEY:  Thank you, sir.  Thank you, 

       14  Commissioner, for your support.  We will try our best to do 

       15  that.

       16                  "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission 

       17                  adopts changes to 31 TAC 53.3 Finance, as 

       18                  published in the April 28, 2000, issue of the 

       19                  Texas Register (25 TexReg 3655-.3862.)"

       20                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.  Bill 

       21  Harvey, Sea Grass Conservation rules.

       22      AGENDA ITEM NO. 8:  ACTION - SEA GRASS CONSERVATION 

       23  RULES.

       24                DR. HARVEY:  Mr. Chairman and members, I'm Bill 

       25  Harvey from the Resource Protection Division.

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        1           The item now before the Commission is an action item 

        2  concerning implementation of the Sea Grass Conservation in 

        3  Texas.   The proposals were published in the April 28th, 2000 

        4  issue of the Texas Register for public comment.

        5           Red Fish Bay, members, is located roughly in a 

        6  triangle from Rockport to Ingleside to Port Aransas and back 

        7  to Rockport.  It's one of the prime fishing destinations in 

        8  Texas, and an area which has experienced substantial and 

        9  documented and sea grass fragmentation.

       10           The proposal for Red Fish Bay would create a state 

       11  scientific for duration of five years where staff would 

       12  continue research in the area in implementing boater 

       13  education and outreach program.

       14           Navigable channels here would be marked to help 

       15  boaters avoid sea grass meadows.  And I would just like to 

       16  add that we -- this strategy has been very strongly embraced 

       17  by local CCA chapters and guide associations, who have 

       18  volunteered to help us in this effort.

       19           Central to the strategy for Red Fish Bay are the 

       20  creation of prop-up zones.  These be would voluntary and 

       21  improved access.  The prop-up zones are areas in which 

       22  boaters and anglers would be asked to access the areas by 

       23  drifting, poling, wading, use of trolling motors.

       24           In short, boaters would be encouraged to avoid 

       25  running through these areas in propeller-driven vessels.

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        1           And, of course, the goal here is that of preventing 

        2  further scarring of fragmented sea grass beds.

        3           The Nine-Mile Hole proposal was brought forward to 

        4  the Sea Grass Task Force by the Corpus Christi Chapter of 

        5  CCA.  The proposal was drafted with a specific goal of 

        6  enhancing fishing experiences and facilitating 

        7  fishery-related research, and to do this by managing boat 

        8  traffic in the northwest quadrant of the Nine-Mile Hole.

        9           The Nine-Mile Hole strategy would be that of 

       10  establishing a state scientific area within the upper north 

       11  west quadrant of the Nine-Mile Hole for a period of five 

       12  years.  Access into the Hole would be restricted by one of 

       13  the three cuts that you see in the -- in the slide here from 

       14  Roll-Off Channel, 201 Channel and Nine-Mile Hole Channel.

       15           And the mandatory no-run zone would then be off 

       16  limits to all internal combustion-driven vessels.

       17           In addition, the National Seashore, which overlays 

       18  part of the Nine-Mile Hole, has agreed to help us establish a 

       19  voluntary no-run zone in the north eastern quadrant of the 

       20  Nine-Mile Hole.

       21           We held a public hearing March 15th in Corpus 

       22  Christi to seek public comment on these proposals.  120 

       23  people attended the meeting.  52 spoke in favor of both 

       24  proposals.  Thirteen were opposed to the Nine-Mile Hole 

       25  proposal, and nine speakers opposed both.

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        1           Subsequent to the meeting, staff received a request 

        2  to consider an alternative proposal for the Nine-Mile Hole 

        3  that would create restriction of boat traffic only during a 

        4  window from May 1st to September 30th.

        5           We did not include this change in the actual rule 

        6  proposal, but did invite public comment during the 30-day 

        7  period after publication regarding a seasonal restriction to 

        8  boat traffic.

        9           We had very broad support for both of these 

       10  proposals.  The Coastal Bend Guides Association, CCA, Bays 

       11  and Estuaries Program, the other organizations listed.   

       12           We had two organizations listed which were in 

       13  opposition.  The Recreational Fishing Alliance and the 

       14  National Marine Manufactuers Association have both expressed 

       15  opposition to this proposal.

       16           In regard to the Red Fish Bay proposal, we only 

       17  received four comments, one in opposition and three in -- 

       18  excuse me; one in support and three in opposition.  Regarding 

       19  the Nine-Mile Hole, we received 68 comments in support of the 

       20  proposal for the Nine-Mile Hole as it was published, 20 in 

       21  opposition.

       22           We also received a petition with 550 signatures 

       23  which were opposed to the Nine-Mile Hole proposal.  We saw 

       24  very little support for the seasonal consideration.

       25           With that, members, the staff would recommend 

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        1  adoption of the new 31 TAC sections 57.920, 921, as published 

        2  in the April 28th edition of the Texas Register.

        3           With that, Mr. Chairman, I would certainly entertain 

        4  any comments.  And I'm sure we have some folks who wish to 

        5  speak on this issue.

        6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any questions prior to public 

        7  comment?

        8           Kevin Daniels, if you would come forward to speak 

        9  first and Chris Thompson, if you would be prepared to speak 

       10  second.

       11                MR. DANIELS:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  My name 

       12  is Kevin Daniels.  I'm the Executive Director of the Coastal 

       13  Conservation Association.

       14           And I would like to tell you that our organization 

       15  strongly supports both of these measures.  I think that 

       16  you've heard today regarding freshwater fishing, the effort 

       17  and technology of improving the harvesting of fish.  The same 

       18  is true in saltwater.

       19           I guess the reality is that we've met the enemy, and 

       20  he's us.  There's so many of us out there now, we're creating 

       21  more and more problems for the resource and putting more and 

       22  more pressure on it.

       23           So I think that what that's going to mean is it's 

       24  going to dictate more and more creative management practices. 

       25  And I think both of these projects exemplify that.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1           I might point out that both of this -- or the 

        2  Nine-Mile Hole project specifically is not cutting-age 

        3  practice.  I mean, this is -- these things, limitation of 

        4  horse power, limitation of access are common practice on 

        5  western rivers and in northern Minnesota and in southern 

        6  Canada.  So these are things that are not new.  They've just 

        7  never been used in Texas.  But I think the time is coming, 

        8  and I think it's here now.

        9           So we like -- we like both proposals as -- as 

       10  proposed by staff.  We do not like the idea of the seasonal 

       11  closure.  We think if you're going to try something new, 

       12  let's try it with a broad-based set of parameters.  It will 

       13  be reviewed annually.

       14           If there are problems, this thing -- it will morph 

       15  into what it should be over time.

       16           I think, also, the fact that it does have a sunset 

       17  gives us an opportunity to look at it and see how effective 

       18  it is or isn't in five years.

       19           So, again, we would strongly urge your support of 

       20  both of these projects.  Thank you.

       21                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you, Kevin.  Chris 

       22  Thompson and Lee Roy Billington, if you would be prepared to 

       23  speak next, please, Mr. Billington.

       24                MR. THOMPSON:  Thank you for letting me speak.  

       25  It's an honor to be here.  I'm the gentleman who did the 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  petition that Mr. Harvey talked about.

        2           I would like to say we did not go to malls and ask 

        3  anybody to sign it.  We left them at marinas, we left them at 

        4  bait stands.  We had -- really went after fisherman with this 

        5  petition.  And I have also been delivered about maybe 88 more 

        6  last night that are against this.

        7           The CCA and Parks and Wildlife has no data to 

        8  support what they want to do with the Nine-Mile Hole.  It is 

        9  a situation where they close this water, they tell you that I 

       10  can drift it, and I can tell you that I cannot, because what 

       11  happens is, on the map, the wind out of the southeast, which 

       12  is our prevailing wind all the time, blows you into this 

       13  bank.  It's too shallow for a trolling motor.  And I invite 

       14  anybody to push me off with a push pole in a 25-mile-an-hour 

       15  wind.  It's not going to happen.

       16           I still don't understand why all Red Fish Bay is 

       17  voluntary, and this is mandatory.  I tried to work with the 

       18  guys at the CCA on a compromise of having an east/west lane, 

       19  the seasonal deal.  These guys that want to close this fish 

       20  there about two months a year, and I fish there year-round.   

       21  It's a long trip.  It's an hour and 15 minutes.  There is 

       22  very little boat traffic in the hole.

       23           You may go in there in the peak weekends and see ten 

       24  or 12 boats.  Most of the time, it's two or three boats.

       25           I can tell you in the last month, me and friends 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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                                                                   39


        1  have probably caught and released in the neighborhood of 80 

        2  to 100 red fish in there.  Fish is not the problem.

        3           We -- you do have people that run over you.  We have 

        4  inconsiderate rude people in boats.  We have them on the 

        5  highways; might be some in this room.  And laws can't change 

        6  these people.

        7           And you're also looking at a beautiful, pristine set 

        8  of flats that can go in and put a bunch of PVCs in.  It's a 

        9  beautiful area.  You must see it.  And this is going to ruin 

       10  the beauty of this area to go in and put PVC everywhere.

       11           This is also an ADA problem.  A friend commented to 

       12  me that had heart surgery that you're going to have to 

       13  cross-train the game wardens to also be cardiologists, 

       14  because it's a very muddy area to wade, and, as I said 

       15  before, impossible to push pole in.

       16           25 percent of The Hole is what they say they are 

       17  closing, but this is where 90 percent of the fish are.  So 

       18  this is misleading.  It's just -- if you want to see what the 

       19  fishing is doing without boat traffic down there and without 

       20  pressure, close it to everyone, wade fishermen, kyackers, 

       21  motor boaters, or leave it open to everyone.  Thank you.

       22                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Questions of Mr. Thompson?

       23           Mr. Billington?  Thank you very much, Mr. Thompson.  

       24  Appreciate your comments.  And Jim Atkins, if you would be 

       25  prepared to speak next.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1                MR. BILLINGTON:  Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, 

        2  my name is Lee Roy Billington.  I am a vice president of 

        3  engineering for IBC Petroleum, an independent oil and gas 

        4  company in San Antonio.

        5           My reason for coming here today to speak is not that 

        6  we oppose the proposed scientific area or anything like that, 

        7  but we currently have oil and gas operations going on there.  

        8  We are looking at expanding those oil and gas operations and 

        9  working with the General Land Office.

       10           We understand that there are some communications 

       11  going on between Parks and Wildlife and the GLO.  Don't 

       12  believe that those have been concluded.  We're concerned that 

       13  we're looking at spending significant dollars and would like 

       14  to have those communications concluded, have the Parks and 

       15  Wildlife go on and conclude these, so that we, as an 

       16  operator, and other people, who would be coming in to look to 

       17  develop the State's natural resources there in this area, can 

       18  feel assured that we won't run into problems getting permits 

       19  and things like this to go ahead with our operations.

       20           That's what we would like to see happen.  We would 

       21  just simply request that the Commission and their staff go 

       22  ahead with these communications and see if they can get some 

       23  assurance to us, through the General Land Office, that we 

       24  will be able to continue our operations and not run into any 

       25  problems.  Thank you.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

        2                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I wonder if we couldn't 

        3  have somebody comment on that at this point, because I think 

        4  it's important for us to clear up any misunderstandings there 

        5  might be with regards to that question.

        6                DR. HARVEY:  Commissioner Angelo, there are 

        7  provisions in the Parks and Wildlife Code that specifically 

        8  speak to that issue in Chapter 81, which is the authorizing 

        9  statute for the creation of scientific areas.

       10           The law clearly states that any -- that the 

       11  designation of a scientific area does not affect any legal 

       12  activity which is allowed there under other law.  It does 

       13  not -- and it does not supersede that.

       14           So the designation of this as a scientific area 

       15  would not affect anyone's ability to exercise any existing 

       16  rights they had to oil and gas exploration, for example.

       17           We did have lengthy conversations with the Land 

       18  Office about the potential of establishing these and having 

       19  someone come in and start oil and gas exploration.  And we 

       20  understood that -- we were willing to take that risk.

       21           So, in short, it would not affect -- it would not 

       22  affect that at all.  And we certainly be glad to follow that 

       23  up with the Land Office, too.

       24                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  You do foresee them 

       25  following that up and maybe getting something official to the 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  people who are concerned about it?

        2                DR. HARVEY:  Yes, sir.  We'll take care of 

        3  that.  That's a great suggestion.  Appreciate that very much.  

        4                CHAIRMAN BASS:  And there would be no new 

        5  permit created by this to -- to enable oil and gas 

        6  exploration or anything?

        7                DR. HARVEY:  No, sir.  Again, it's clearly laid 

        8  out that we just would not have that.

        9                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Sounds like one avenue may be 

       10  simply for us to consider going on the record that, you know, 

       11  our understanding of the law is that this has -- would have 

       12  no impact on these uses, and basically state -- state over 

       13  the Executive Director's signature what, you know, the 

       14  Department's position and interpretation of the law is, as 

       15  you just outlined it.

       16                DR. HARVEY:  Yes, sir.

       17                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Transmit that to the GLO.  And, 

       18  probably, I would think -- I would think that might take care 

       19  of the whole issue right there.

       20                DR. HARVEY:  We'll follow up on that, sir.   

       21  It's a good suggestion.  Thank you.

       22                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Good.  Thank you. Jim Atkins?   

       23  And, Mr. Harvey, you'll have opportunity to comment on 

       24  follow-up with some of the other issues raised by some of the 

       25  public -- members of the public after they're finished.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1           Jim Atkins.  Would he come forward and speak?  Are 

        2  you here?

        3                UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  He's here.  Let me see 

        4  if he's outside.

        5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  We'll shuffle him to the back 

        6  of the deck and ask David Guidry if you would come forward 

        7  and speak.

        8           And Jack North, if you would be prepared to speak 

        9  after Mr. Guidry.

       10                MR. GUIDRY:  Morning.  That was convenient.  My 

       11  name is David Guidry.  I'm from Corpus Christi, and I'm a 

       12  local fisherman.

       13           I am a member of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.  

       14  I'm here to speak against the Nine-Mile Hole issue.  The 

       15  north part, the sea grass issue, I'm in support of that.  I'm 

       16  not against conservation that works.

       17           Some of the reasons I don't support the Nine-Mile 

       18  Hole issue is basically it's self-regulating.  Biologists 

       19  already stated it's a super shallow area.

       20           It's not a sea grass issue.  Already showed 

       21  yesterday, I'm sure, that boats that can run in there can go 

       22  in super shallow water without hitting any grass.

       23           And the area that they're closing down, most of the 

       24  year, you can't drift it anyway, because those channels that 

       25  they're going to build for us to drift to, to get out, you're 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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                                                                   44


        1  not going to be able to drift through.  The water is too 

        2  shallow.

        3           So, basically, it's self-regulating.  There's not a 

        4  whole lot of boats down there.  And the fish are there for a 

        5  reason.

        6           You know, I'm not a biologist.  I don't know.  You 

        7  know, the Texas Parks and Wildlife red fish numbers are good.  

        8  You know, our conservation numbers on slots and limits and 

        9  catch and release are working excellent.

       10           Another thing that bothers me is that it goes 

       11  against my heritage or Texas heritage of my grandfather 

       12  teaching my father and my father teaching me how to fish and 

       13  how to take care of our natural resources and don't take 

       14  anything that you won't eat.  We never filled an ice chest.

       15           This carried on to my adulthood.  I have a degree 

       16  from Texas A&M University at College Station in park and 

       17  recreation administration.  I have countless hours, 30 hours, 

       18  in natural resource management course work.

       19           And because I'm a recreational specialist, there's 

       20  things that concern me.  And one being this proposal, the 

       21  Nine-Mile Hole issue, was proposed by a guide through the 

       22  CCA.  And I'm not jumping on guides or anything else, but 

       23  they make up a very small percentage of the recreational 

       24  fisherman in Texas.

       25           You have your -- your experience level that they say 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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                                                                   45


        1  they're trying to create here.  And it's only going to take 

        2  five years and we'll review it then.  Who are they going to 

        3  ask in five years?  They're not going to ask me, because I 

        4  won't be there.  I'm going to be restricted, you know, for 

        5  personal reasons or, if I can't do it, for physical reasons.  

        6           Are they going to ask the guide that proposed it, 

        7  you know, "How is your fishing experience now?  Are the red 

        8  fish biting better?"  He's going to say, with a fat wallet, 

        9  "Yes, they are."

       10           You know, I'm concerned as a recreation specialist 

       11  that I have not seen anything on the barriers act or any ADA 

       12  act for the handicapped or the senior citizens that fish this 

       13  area on a regular basis.

       14           I know when I worked with TRAPS with this Commission 

       15  when we were doing a park and recreation master plans for 

       16  cities and college, that that was a big issue.

       17           They're calling this a scientific area now --

       18                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, sir.  Your time is up.

       19                MR. GUIDRY:  Thank you.

       20                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you, Mr. Guidry.

       21           Jack North.  And Troy Williamson, if you would be 

       22  prepared to speak next.

       23                MR. NORTH:  Mr. Chairman and members of the 

       24  Commission, I just want to take this opportunity to voice my 

       25  support for the Nine-Mile Hole and Red Fish Bay projects.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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                                                                   46


        1           As a recreational fisherman, who has been lucky 

        2  enough to have been born and raised in the Corpus Christi 

        3  area, I've been walking, drifting, floating over the top of 

        4  those areas for the last 40-plus years.  And I can tell you 

        5  that that's -- they're a unique eco system to these areas.   

        6  And I believe that the proposal, as it's written in the 

        7  Register, will allow not only a wider, greater experience for 

        8  fisherman, whether in or out of a boat, but will also have an 

        9  effect on these areas that will, in fact, enhance fishing for 

       10  the future and for years to come for everybody.  Thank you 

       11  very much.

       12                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. North, could I ask you a 

       13  question, please?  Sounds like you do not share the concerns 

       14  of some of the other speakers that, due to prevailing winds, 

       15  due to the softness of bottom, et cetera, that wading or 

       16  poling is -- is not feasible?

       17                MR. NORTH:  No, sir.  I've been in those areas 

       18  off and on since the mid '50s.  I can tell you there's been a 

       19  lot of bottom changing from large time -- periods of time 

       20  where there's sea grass, periods of time where there is 

       21  mostly sand.

       22           There are soft areas.  You can avoid those areas.   

       23  It's not a general overlay of muddy, unwadeable fishing 

       24  area.  There are some parts of the Nine-Mile Hole that is a 

       25  boggy area that does really prohibit wading comfortably, but 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  you can get in and out of it.

        2           But there is far more that is a good bottom to wade.  

        3  The prevailing wind issue, there was, I think, a mention of 

        4  poling problems in -- in the -- with the prevailing wind 

        5  pushing your boat around.

        6           One of the reasons that the meeting in Corpus 

        7  earlier, where the lanes were extended, access lanes on one 

        8  particular part of this area was extended, so that the poling 

        9  issue would be easier on those that were going to do that 

       10  type of activity, to shorten that area to where you would 

       11  have to pole through.

       12           It's interesting that some of the objection is to 

       13  shallow water or this being self-regulating because of 

       14  shallow water.  To me, that's all the more reason to prevent 

       15  or to provide a prop-up area, where you're not channeling or 

       16  running through these pristine areas and creating the very 

       17  damage that the scientific area is being set up to study and 

       18  gather data, hopefully maybe to be used as a template for 

       19  other areas that may be subject to this type of degradation.

       20           So there is a southeast wind that is prevailing.   

       21  You would have to pole or push your boat along if you got in 

       22  a certain position or got in that shallow water.  But this 

       23  particular area that's being referred to is more of a mindset 

       24  commitment when you're going in there.  By admission, it's 

       25  shallow, and you know there's going to be areas that usually 

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        1  you can't even drift over.

        2           So if you commit to the area, you need to be ready 

        3  to have the ability to get out of it, either by poling, 

        4  pushing, pulling your boat.

        5           There are areas that trolling motors can be used.   

        6  There are areas that they can't be used.  It's just a unique 

        7  eco system area that lends itself mainly to shallow water 

        8  tactics.

        9                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

       10                MR. NORTH:  Yes, sir.

       11                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Troy Williamson.  And Jim 

       12  Atkins, if you would be prepared to speak next.

       13                MR. WILLIAMSON:  Good morning, ladies and 

       14  gentlemen of the Commission.  I'm Troy Williamson.  I'm from 

       15  Corpus Christi.

       16           I'm here to speak this morning in favor of the 

       17  Nine-Mile Hole project as well as the Red Fish Bay project.

       18           In that regard, I would voice my opposition to the 

       19  less restrictive seasonal approach that's published in the 

       20  Register for two reasons:  No.1, the sea grass and wildlife 

       21  resources that we seek to protect with this project are not 

       22  there only on a seasonal basis.  They're there year-round.

       23           Not only that, I believe that the seasonal approach 

       24  would send the wrong message to the fishing and boating 

       25  public; that is, our commitment to protecting these resources 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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                                                                   49


        1  should be a year-round lifetime commitment, not just a 

        2  seasonal approach.  Thank you.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  Jim Atkins.  And if 

        4  Jim Smarr would be prepared to speak next.

        5                MR. ATKINS:  Yes.  Mr. Chairman and members of 

        6  the Commission, I'm Jim Atkins from Corpus Christi.  I'm 

        7  involved with CCA in Corpus.  I'm State Board and State 

        8  Executive Committee.  Have been involved in the Nine-Mile 

        9  Hole project since we first started talking about it, about 

       10  five years ago.

       11           We're obviously a proponent of the program.  It 

       12  really has been in discussion for five years.  I saw that 

       13  look.

       14           We put together a committee in Corpus literally, and 

       15  it started out as kind of an informal group about five years 

       16  ago.  The consensus was the evolution -- it was shallow draft 

       17  boat.  It was opening up areas that historically we couldn't 

       18  get to.

       19           I personally am totally convinced if you run enough 

       20  boats across an extremely shallow, sensitive flat, you're 

       21  going to disrupt the pattern of the fish on that flat.   

       22  They're going to either go up higher and skinnier where a 

       23  boat can't get to them, or they're going to go out and drop 

       24  off the edge.

       25           There's not any science to support that theory.   

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        1  However, most of the biologists that are in this building 

        2  that are familiar with the saltwater area subscribe to it, as 

        3  do most shallow water fisherman subscribe to it.

        4           Through this committee, there's a local committee.   

        5  And I think it's important to understand that this Nine-Mile 

        6  Hole project was a local initiative.  It was something that 

        7  was developed in the Corpus area.  The committee was made up 

        8  of a group of people, part CCA, part not CCA, but all who had 

        9  fished that area for an extended period of time.

       10           Most of them looked like me, with a lot of gray hair 

       11  and about nine million miles of walking through the thing.

       12           It's important, though, the ultimate plan was 

       13  developed and submitted to Parks and Wildlife.  It's well 

       14  thought out.  It takes into account bottom conditions, or 

       15  tries to.

       16           The north end of the Hole was the area picked, 

       17  because it is extremely shallow as compared to the south end.  

       18  It's easier to lay out, just on a little north/south 

       19  configuration, and it lends itself to this type of project.

       20           The area that was just being discussed and the 

       21  poling and the getting out between which -- between the 201 

       22  and the Roll-Off area, the average water depth in there, on 

       23  an annual basis, is less than three feet.

       24           In August, the water literally is like that.  You 

       25  can't even run a shallow draft boat through there.

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        1           Most of the year, it's deep enough to run through, 

        2  but you can't shut it down.  The nature of the shallow draft 

        3  boat, it will run shallower than it will float.

        4           And part of the concern and part of the things that 

        5  we were trying to address was a highway effect through this 

        6  area, coming from the south end of Yarborough (phonetic), 

        7  going to the south of end of the Hole with no intent of 

        8  fishing this area, but, rather, using it as a highway.

        9           And most of us have stood out there and seen those 

       10  fish break and run.  There was -- oh, I see the yellow light.  

       11  I'm in trouble already, but that's life.

       12           I'll just do a summation.  I was going to address 

       13  one of Commissioner Ryan's questions relative to enforcement 

       14  from yesterday.  We have visited with Don Parker, Director of 

       15  Regional Enforcement, as well as Gary Palmer, who's that 

       16  District Chief.  And -- do you want to cut me off, or can I 

       17  keep going?

       18                MR. SANSOM:  Conclude your remarks, please, 

       19  Mr. Atkins.

       20                MR. ATKINS:  They both have indicated that this 

       21  is enforceable, that they have personnel.  The way that 

       22  question was worded yesterday, they're both don't leave from 

       23  Corpus and go to the Nine-Mile Hole.  Mike Fain is the 

       24  principal warden in that area out of Sarita.  He comes 

       25  through Kennedy to a boat ranch in the cut.   That's how he 

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        1  works the cut.  That boat ramp is three miles or four miles 

        2  from the entrance to the Hole.

        3           So as far as personnel, fuel, it's not a big problem 

        4  at this point.  There been some discussion that if it got to 

        5  be a problem, there may be some ways to supplement some fuel 

        6  money or something on some initial enforcement.

        7                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, Mr. Atkins.

        8                MR. ATKINS:  That's fine.  Any questions?  I'll 

        9  try.  Thank you.

       10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.  We 

       11  appreciate your work on this.

       12           Jim Smarr.  And Mr. Yeamans, if you would be 

       13  prepared to speak next.

       14                MR. SMARR:  Chairman Bass, fellow 

       15  Commissioners, I thank you for the time to speak to you.  I'm 

       16  Jim Smarr, with the Recreational Fishing Alliance.  I am 

       17  State Chairman of this organization.  It's the only 501.4(c) 

       18  organization in the country representing fishermen in all of 

       19  the coastal states, including Alaska and Hawaii.  We're in 

       20  the United Kingdom.  We're in Australia and Kenya, Africa.

       21           Our membership is strictly fishermen that care about 

       22  fishing.  We're sort of the NRA of the fishing industry.

       23           We were not allowed on the sea grass panel, and I 

       24  have problems with that.  But besides that, we agree that the 

       25  Red Fish Bay/Estes Flats thing, as it is now, is a workable 

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        1  and, I think, a good solution.

        2           In the beginning, it was much broader.  I fought it 

        3  tooth and nail.  Where that stands today, I think we can live 

        4  with it.

        5           The Nine-Mile Hole project, we're adamantly opposed 

        6  to at the RFA.  I spoke to my Executive Director this morning 

        7  on my way here.  The National Marine Manufacturer Association 

        8  stands with us.

        9           We're against the fact that with the prevailing 

       10  wind, if you're blown against the shore, it's impossible to 

       11  pole the boat a mile from the shore back to the channel that 

       12  we'll need to get out.

       13           It restricts the handicapped or health impaired 

       14  people.  There are only 40 or 50 people, I think, that 

       15  normally use that area.  And I think we're spending a whole 

       16  lot of time in an area that we don't need to in designating 

       17  it a scientific area.

       18           The RFA has one other problem, and that is a blanket 

       19  issuance of a scientific research area by Parks and Wildlife, 

       20  because we're afraid of what can happen once you open it up 

       21  to a scientific research area.  There are a lot of laws that 

       22  give Parks and Wildlife specific latitude there that we're 

       23  afraid of as are the National Marine Manufacturers Trade 

       24  Association.

       25           We respectfully disagree on the Nine-Mile Hole 

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        1  project.  I thank you for your time.

        2                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you, Mr. Smarr.

        3           Mr. Yeamans.  Spencer Collins, if you would be 

        4  prepared to speak next.

        5                MR. YEAMANS:  Thank you, Chairman Bass.   

        6  Congratulations to you, Ms. Dinkins.  And as an ex-Iowanite, 

        7  it's extremely good to see Nolan this morning.

        8           I am A.C. Yeamans.  I am a volunteer representative 

        9  of the Rockport Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the 

       10  Task Force for the sea grass.

       11           When this issue -- and most of my thoughts have been 

       12  expressed already.  But when this issue first came up a year 

       13  and a half ago, emotions got pretty high, and some people got 

       14  very upset.  I am extremely happy that what we are now 

       15  proposing meets the approval of most people.

       16           You have in your record letter from Aransas County 

       17  Commissioners Court, Rockport Chamber of Commerce, as Bill 

       18  Harvey said, the CCA and The Guides Associations have all 

       19  volunteered their time to put the markings out and so forth.  

       20           And this came about, I think, because of inclusion, 

       21  because of the Task Force, and because we, on the local 

       22  level, had the opportunity to say what we thought.

       23           And serving on one of these, you always learn 

       24  something.  And the main you thing you learn is how little 

       25  you really know.  It spurred somebody to say, "Maybe we don't 

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        1  need marine biologists to talk about sea grass; maybe we need 

        2  marine hydrologists to understand what subtle tide changes do 

        3  to the bottom and what our not so subtle winds in the Coastal 

        4  Bend do to things."

        5           But inclusion, openness and the -- the -- having the 

        6  inputs from the people I think is what has brought us to this 

        7  point and what will make this a success.

        8           So my message this morning, since most of my 

        9  thoughts have already been expressed, is continue the 

       10  inclusion, continue to let people know what's happening, to 

       11  ask questions.

       12           As a -- I'm a realtor in the Rockport area.  A big 

       13  part of my business is vacation rentals in the Estes Flats 

       14  areas that we're talking about.  People from everywhere --

       15  I guess with my unusual name, when it hit the paper that I 

       16  was on this Task Force, I got a lot of calls from the Houston 

       17  area from people that didn't know where I had gone when I 

       18  left that part of the world.

       19           But what is happening to Estes Flats?  And it's 

       20  something that everybody's interested in, and it's something 

       21  that through the program of inclusion - I've used that word a 

       22  number of times - but that's what's going to make this a 

       23  success.

       24           Thank you.  And I do support it, if you didn't.

       25                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.   

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        1  Appreciate you volunteering your time in the process.

        2           Spencer Collins.  And Will Myers, if you would be 

        3  prepared to speak next.

        4                MR. COLLINS:  Good morning, Commissioners.  I'm 

        5  here today to support the sea grass plans as proposed without 

        6  any seasonal aspects to those plans.

        7           I am a member of the CCA.  I'm the Austin Chapter 

        8  president of the CCA, and I fish both areas quite frequently.  

        9  And as far as, you know, commitment to the Nine-Mile Hole 

       10  area, you know, it's going to be my plan from now on -- I do 

       11  have a shallow draft boat.  But when I'm ready to fish the 

       12  Nine-Mile Hole, I'm going to park in the land cut, anchor in 

       13  the land cut, jump the spoil islands and wade in there.

       14           So, you know, it's not going to -- the plan will not 

       15  prevent me from fishing in this area, because, you know, I've 

       16  got a game plan to get in and out, and that's wading in and 

       17  out.  So I do support that.

       18           I have observed over the last six or seven years 

       19  that I've been an avid saltwater angler, the deterioration of 

       20  the sea grass is certainly in those areas, but, you know, in 

       21  other areas, too.

       22           And five or six years ago, I was one of those, you 

       23  know, tearing that up with my props.  I've been educated 

       24  through the last few years and certainly try to prevent that 

       25  from happening.

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        1           So I encourage you to support the proposals.  Thank 

        2  you.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.  Will 

        4  Myers?

        5                MR. MYERS:  Good morning, Commissioners.  My 

        6  name is Will Myers, and I was fortunate enough to have been 

        7  selected to serve on the Sea Grass Task Force that formulated 

        8  the proposals before you today.

        9           I want to take this opportunity to thank the 

       10  Resource Protection Division, in particular, Dr. McKinney and 

       11  Dr. Harvey for their efforts over the past year in bringing 

       12  the Coastal Bend Bay users together to address a somewhat 

       13  contentious issue in finding a reasonable path that the 

       14  community can follow to protect and share - and I stress the 

       15  word "share" - a wonderful public resource long into the 

       16  future.

       17           Although change can be difficult, change is 

       18  necessary to respond to the growing number of impacts 

       19  threatening our -- the health of our bay system.

       20           We cannot sit idly by and hope these problems will 

       21  disappear, because they won't.

       22           If passed, these proposals will demonstrate that 

       23  heads are clearly out of the sand and that management of 

       24  traffic in the sensitive bay waters is desirable and will be 

       25  to the benefit of all user groups.

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        1           We have a responsibility to ourselves and to future 

        2  Texans to protect and preserve these fragile coastal 

        3  resources and the recreational experiences that they provide.  

        4  I hope you will vote in the affirmative.  Thank you.

        5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  That concludes our 

        6  public comment.

        7           Dr. Harvey, if you would come back, I think there 

        8  are a couple of issues that were raised that you might like 

        9  to respond to.

       10                COMMISSIONER HENRY :  Seasonal aspect, 

       11  Mr. Chairman.

       12                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Would you address that, please?  

       13                DR. HARVEY:  The -- there was some interest 

       14  from some constituents --

       15                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Just to clarify, for my sake, 

       16  the current plan does not have a seasonal aspect?

       17                DR. HARVEY:  It does not.

       18                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The proposal from staff does 

       19  not include a seasonal aspect?

       20                DR. HARVEY:  It does not.  Right.

       21                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Which, basically, what we heard 

       22  today was in accordance.  We didn't hear anybody, I don't 

       23  believe, asking for that to be changed.

       24                DR. HARVEY:  That's correct.  The current 

       25  proposal does not include a seasonal.  And I'm sorry if I 

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        1  misunderstood the question, Commissioner.

        2                COMMISSIONER HENRY:  No.  A couple of the 

        3  speakers indicated that -- that concern over a seasonal 

        4  aspect of two months specifically was mentioned.  And I 

        5  thought we needed to clear that up.

        6                DR. HARVEY:  Again, one of the sort of 

        7  compromises between a total closure or a total restriction 

        8  and that of no restriction was to do it on a seasonal basis.  

        9  And we actually pursued that during the public comment 

       10  period, such that there would be a season somewhere in the 

       11  window of May 1st through September 30th in which it would be 

       12  closed to boat traffic and the rest of the year would be 

       13  open.  But we just really had no substantial support for 

       14  that.

       15                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Bill, is there an issue for 

       16  the ADA?

       17                DR. HARVEY:  No, sir.  We really appreciate

       18  Mr. Guidry's comment earlier, because it was something 

       19  that -- I mean, we thought we were clear on, but wanted to 

       20  make sure.  But ADA does not apply in this situation.

       21                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  You know, we probably got 

       22  as many letters and petition signatures on this issue as 

       23  anything that I've seen since I've been on the Commission.   

       24  And there's obviously a very sharp difference of opinion 

       25  about what you can and can't do.

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        1           But I think it's going to be very critical again 

        2  that this be something we monitor closely and see what impact 

        3  it's actually having both on the resources as well as on the 

        4  people that want to use it.

        5           I'm a little bit confused, I guess, by people saying 

        6  that you -- you can't -- you can't fish it without a boat and 

        7  they would like to see it a voluntary deal.  But if it's 

        8  voluntary, does that mean that they would go ahead and do 

        9  what they wanted to do anyway?

       10           I don't quite understand, I guess, the -- the -- how 

       11  the voluntary part is going to work.  If you physically can't 

       12  fish it without a boat, does that mean that if it's 

       13  voluntary, then you're not going to be able to fish, or what 

       14  exactly does that mean?

       15                DR. HARVEY:  Well, the real issue there is that 

       16  it was our belief, as we studied this over the course of the 

       17  last year, that to make the Nine-Mile Hole a voluntary area 

       18  would simply invite the sort of boat traffic activity that 

       19  we're experiencing now; that, in effect, it would have no 

       20  effect, and that the alternatives were to either do it under 

       21  a mandatory restriction of some sort, whether that was 

       22  seasonal or year-round, or to not do it at all; that a 

       23  voluntary was probably not going to function very well.

       24           The physiography of the area, Commissioner, is such 

       25  that Mr. Atkins made a good point that boats can actually run 

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        1  through here that can run through it but cannot stop.  They 

        2  can actually run shallower than they can sit.  And, you know, 

        3  there is no -- there's probably no perfect place to implement 

        4  this sort of experiment.  This just probably is not a perfect 

        5  place.

        6           But in our opinion, in terms of its distance from 

        7  major fishing areas, the fact that it has enough boat traffic 

        8  that we can get meaningful information, but not so much that 

        9  it would displace a large number of anglers, we felt like 

       10  this was a good place to take a look.

       11                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Well, Mr. Chairman, I 

       12  would like to compliment the staff on the comprehensiveness 

       13  of their study.  I've had the opportunity to attend both the 

       14  meetings in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi, and I believe 

       15  that there was every effort made to involve the stake 

       16  holders.

       17           I've had the opportunity, also, to own property in 

       18  Rockport for the last 25 years, so this is an area that I am, 

       19  you know, somewhat familiar with.  I feel like the charge we 

       20  have is to protect not only this resource in the year 2000, 

       21  but protect this resource in the year 2030 and beyond.  And I 

       22  think that this is a significant opportunity for us to take 

       23  meaningful strides to make sure that this resource remains 

       24  intact and is going to be able to survive the continuing 

       25  pressure that's being put on it.  But I think the staff has 

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        1  done a wonderful job, and I would like to commend them on 

        2  that.

        3                DR. HARVEY:  Thank you.  Mr. Chairman, if I 

        4  might, real quickly, it's been a real honor for me to have 

        5  the opportunity to work on this project.  But I would be 

        6  remiss without recognizing the contributions of Larry 

        7  McEachron from in Coastal Fisheries.  He's been absolutely 

        8  instrumental in getting this done.  And we appreciate that 

        9  very much.

       10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any other comments or questions 

       11  at this time?

       12           Has Florida implemented anything similar to this in 

       13  any of their --

       14                DR. HARVEY:  They have, Mr. Chairman.  It was 

       15  interesting, in talking to some of their staff, initially 

       16  there was a lot of -- well, "a lot" is hard to quantify.  But 

       17  there was substantial opposition to doing these sorts of 

       18  things in Florida.  But they've been very successful there.

       19           They've also been very successful in other 

       20  countries, where areas have actually been set aside to boat 

       21  traffic.

       22           But the Florida experience has been one of initial 

       23  opposition.  Then as it has evolved, anglers have really come 

       24  to appreciate those areas.

       25                CHAIRMAN BASS:  How long have they been doing 

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        1  it in Florida?

        2                DR. HARVEY:  I couldn't say for sure.  I don't 

        3  know the answer to that.

        4                CHAIRMAN BASS:  And are their programs 

        5  voluntary, mandatory or a mix?

        6                DR. HARVEY:  In general, mandatory?

        7                CHAIRMAN BASS:  They do have some voluntary 

        8  ones?

        9                DR. HARVEY:  It's my understanding that they 

       10  have one or two, but not many.

       11                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Primarily mandatory?

       12                DR. HARVEY:  Primarily mandatory.

       13                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any other questions?   

       14  Discussion?  Commission's pleasure?

       15                 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Mr. Chairman, I move the 

       16  approval of this recommendation.

       17                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.

       18                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion and a second.  Any other 

       19  discussion?  All in favor?  Any opposed?  Thank you very 

       20  much, Dr. Harvey.

       21           Rigs to reef.

       22                  "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission 

       23                  adopts new 31 TAC 57.920-57-921 as published 


       24                  in the April 28, 2000, issue of the

       25                  Texas Register."

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        1      AGENDA ITEM NO. 9:  ACTION - BRIEFING - RIGS TO REEFS.

        2                  (WHEREUPON, a briefing item was presented to

        3                  the commissioners after which, the following

        4                  proceedings were had:)

        5      AGENDA ITEM NO. 10:  ACTION - MLD/TTT WORKGROUP UPDATE.

        6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The next item is the MLD/TTT 

        7  workgroup update, which Jerry Cooke is going to do for us.   

        8         Before he gets under way, I would just like to say 

        9  that I appreciate the time and energy that so many private 

       10  citizens put into -- to this effort in coming to Austin for 

       11  two meetings, both of which lasted all day.  And I think the 

       12  indicator of the interest level and commitment to this is 

       13  evidenced by -- out of -- I believe there were 17 members of 

       14  the committee that were from the private sector, and -- and 

       15  then plus a few people from the Department.  But I've seen 

       16  five of those here this morning, and that's an extraordinary 

       17  level of commitment.

       18           And I know David Langford is here.  John Jefferson 

       19  is here.  Dr. James Crow is here.  Tom Vanderveer is -- has 

       20  been here all morning.  And I saw Robert Saunders earlier, I 

       21  believe.  There he is.

       22           But, anyway, I appreciate you now making at least 

       23  three trips to Austin to help -- help on this effort.

       24           So with that, Dr. Cooke, would you walk us through 

       25  where we are?

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        1                DR. COOKE:  Yes, sir.  And thanks for that 

        2  comment.

        3           One thing that Chairman Bass did not mention -- I'm 

        4  sorry.  I'm Jerry Cooke, Program Director for Upland Wildlife 

        5  Ecology, presenting this agenda item for you.

        6           One thing that Chairman Bass didn't point out is 

        7  that the committee voluntarily asked that they be kept 

        8  together to meet again next year to help us review the 

        9  implementation of these two programs and to help us work 

       10  through any refinements that may need to be done at a future 

       11  date.

       12           The primary solution to both of the -- or most of 

       13  the concerns for these two programs was really 

       14  straight-forward.

       15           The recommendation of the workgroup - and, 

       16  certainly, we agree with this recommendation - is that both 

       17  of these programs should be incentive-driven and 

       18  habitat-focused.  This is relatively simple thing to 

       19  implement by simply recognizing that progress on a management 

       20  plan will be considered positive so long as the habitats are 

       21  stable or improving.  Fairly straight-forward.

       22           Yesterday, the regulations committee granted 

       23  permission of staff to public the TTT proclamation for public 

       24  comment, which we'll be gathering over the next several 

       25  months.  And we'll bring it back before you, again, in 

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        1  August.  And there really will be no other part of this 

        2  presentation that will deal with that program.

        3           Within the MLD program, a landowner who has current 

        4  census data and an approved wildlife management plan may 

        5  select Option 1 for taking antlerless only permits.

        6           That land owner will have the bag limit and the 

        7  season that's assigned in that county by this Commission, 

        8  although, antlerless permits, under this program, can be used 

        9  for bonus tags throughout the season.

       10           If a landowner chooses to select Option No. 2 within 

       11  the MLD program and he has at least one year of previous and 

       12  current census data, one immediately previous year of harvest 

       13  data and agrees to implement two habitat management practices 

       14  on their property, that landowner would have available to 

       15  them a five-deer bag, no more than three bucks for their 

       16  hunters.

       17           The buck season would open with the county and close 

       18  the last Sunday in January on that property.  For antlerless 

       19  deer, the season would begin the Saturday nearest

       20  September 30.  It says October 1 there on the screen, but 

       21  we're going to go with out standard language in our 

       22  proclamation there and will extend through the last Sunday in 

       23  January.  Bonus tags may be used with any permits on those 

       24  properties.

       25           If the landowner chooses to go with Option 3 in the 

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        1  managed land deer permit program, has at least two years of 

        2  previous and current census data, at least two previous years 

        3  of harvest data and agrees to implement four habitat 

        4  management practices on the property, the hunters on that 

        5  tract of land would have a five-deer bag limit, no more than 

        6  three bucks.  Any deer may be taken on that property from the 

        7  Saturday nearest September 30th through the last Sunday in 

        8  January, and bonus tags could be used on all of those 

        9  permits.

       10           Also, a three-year window for both Option 2 and 

       11  Option 3 would be approved.  In other words, when they 

       12  entered the program, they would be approved for three years; 

       13  they know when their future is.  And renewal of that 

       14  three-year window would be contingent on their progress and 

       15  on their management plan.

       16           There is always a rush to get permits from us 

       17  immediately before a hunting season, and this is always the 

       18  busiest time of year for our field staff.  But we would 

       19  recommend to include in this proclamation, in this portion of 

       20  the proclamation, that if a landowner were to apply on or 

       21  before August 15, that we could guarantee them review in 

       22  their permits before October 1.  If it's later than that, 

       23  bets are pretty well off, because of other commitments.

       24           Also, there will be times when management practices 

       25  simply can't be accomplished.  Droughts will prevent 

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        1  controlled burns.  Extremely good habitat conditions could 

        2  affect the ability to harvest, et cetera.  And we certainly 

        3  recognize those.  And only those -- only those practices that 

        4  can be accomplished would be reviewed and evaluated.

        5           There will be times when a landowner simply chooses 

        6  not to continue a management practice or several management 

        7  practices on their property, and other options within the 

        8  program would be available to them upon their request.

        9           Also, rarely, there will be times when there will be 

       10  flagrant violations of the program.  Over harvest is an 

       11  example.  And the committee's recommendation would be that if 

       12  a permit were denied under these circumstances that they not 

       13  be allowed to reapply for the program for three years.

       14                 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Excuse me.  Could you go 

       15  back to that last slide?

       16                 DR. COOKE:  I'll try.  Yes.

       17                 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.  Excellent.   

       18  The first entry, the last word, I think it would be more 

       19  accurate to say October 1 decision.

       20                 CHAIRMAN BASS:  Or response.

       21                 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Yes, or response, so that 

       22  it doesn't imply you will approve all of them that are 

       23  submitted.

       24                DR. COOKE:  Yes, ma'am.  I believe that 

       25  actually the word in the proclamation is "review."

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        1           Sorry.  I didn't mean to confuse that issue, but 

        2  thank you for pointing it out.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Good catch.

        4                DR. COOKE:  Staff recommends that the Parks and 

        5  Wildlife Commission adopt the 2001 statewide hunting and 

        6  fishing proclamation Sections 65.25 and 65.26 with changes to 

        7  the proposal as published in the March 3rd, 2000 issue of the 

        8  Texas Register.

        9           And if there are other questions, I would be happy 

       10  to try to entertain them now.

       11                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any comments prior to public 

       12  comment?  We do have some speakers on this.

       13           James Crow, would you come forward?  And Dave 

       14  Langford, if you would be ready to come up next.

       15                MR. CROW:  Thank you.

       16                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Good morning.

       17                MR. CROW:  It was an honor to participate in 

       18  that.

       19           Before we get going, our membership wanted us to 

       20  express our congratulations to Commissioner Dinkins, and that 

       21  we're very proud of you.

       22           And, also, they wanted me to tell Commissioner Ryan 

       23  how good it is to see him, and we wish for your continued 

       24  recovery.

       25           About approximately a year ago, I stood before you 

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        1  in regard to the scientific breeder regs and said that the 

        2  process worked and thanked you for it.

        3           This time I'm standing before you saying, once 

        4  again, the process worked, and I really appreciate everything 

        5  you've done.  And I thank every one of you, especially 

        6  Chairman Bass, for everything that was accomplished.

        7           I also want to thank my friend and colleague, Andy 

        8  Sansom and Bob Cook and Jerry Cooke and Officer Sinclair for 

        9  everything they did.  We really do appreciate it.  And we 

       10  offer our enthusiastic support for these proposals, and we 

       11  look forward to working with you in the future on other 

       12  issues, notably low fence small private lands, as well.  So 

       13  we thank you very much.

       14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  David Langford.   

       15  And Don Frels, if you would be prepared to speak next.

       16                MR. LANGFORD:  Morning, again, Mr. Chairman.   

       17  I'm David Langford, Texas Wildlife Association.  I would also 

       18  like to echo Dr. Crow's regards to Vice-Chairman Dinkins and 

       19  to Commissioner Ryan.

       20           You know, this deal is another example of the fact 

       21  that the last easy thing I ever did in my life was graduate 

       22  from high school.  I don't know where we got off track with 

       23  these permits a year or so ago, and I don't know why it took 

       24  so long to get us back on track, and I don't know why it was 

       25  so hard to get us back on track.  But it all succeeded and we 

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        1  got through it.

        2           I would like to thank everybody for keeping their 

        3  focus on the two most important things, which is habitat and 

        4  the future of hunting.  So the Texas Wildlife Association 

        5  would like to urge support of the staff recommendation, and 

        6  also urge continuation of the committee so that we can 

        7  address anything that might come up during the implementation 

        8  steps and tweak it, as we might need to.

        9           A lot of times, regardless of how hard everybody 

       10  works, sometimes there are unattended consequences, and we 

       11  would like the opportunity to address these should those 

       12  occur.  Thank you very much.

       13                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  Don Frels.  And

       14  Mr. Gilleland, if you would be prepared to speak next.

       15                MR. FRELS:  Commissioners, Mr. Sansom, I'm 

       16  speaking here today as President of the Texas Wildlife 

       17  Management Council.

       18           Texas Wildlife Management Council is a private 

       19  organization made up of wildlife biologists, wildlife 

       20  technicians, secretaries and retirees of the Texas Parks and 

       21  Wildlife Department.

       22           And at our meeting in Tyler, the staff of the 

       23  Council requested that we make a statement to Mr. Sansom 

       24  concerning the issuance of these permits.  And so a number of 

       25  our people got together and prepared a statement and sent it 

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        1  to Andy on May the 17th.  And they also asked me to read this 

        2  into the record of the Commission meeting.  So that's the 

        3  reason I'm here today, as President of that organization.

        4           The Texas Wildlife Management Council is an 

        5  organization founded by professionals in the field of 

        6  wildlife management and ecology.  And as directed by the 

        7  organization's by-laws, we actively work towards the wide use 

        8  and management of the natural resources of Texas.

        9           TWMC recognizes the fact that Texas is a 

       10  privately-owned state in so much as approximately 97 percent 

       11  of the land in Texas is held by private landowners.  It is 

       12  apparent that if the natural resources of this state are to 

       13  be conserved for future generations of Texans then the 

       14  private landowners are now and will continue to be the 

       15  stewards of these resources.

       16           Members TWMC are activity engaged in providing 

       17  technical assistance to private landowners in order to help 

       18  assure the proper management of publicly-owned wildlife 

       19  populations occurring in privately-owned habitats for the 

       20  benefit of all our citizens.

       21           We provide management plans with recommendations 

       22  that stress the importance of maintaining and developing 

       23  habitat that is beneficial for all wildlife species, be they 

       24  designated as game or non-game species.

       25           We believe that native habitat is the essential key 

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        1  in maintaining healthy and diverse ecosystems and that the 

        2  private landowners in Texas hold this key.

        3           We recognize that all wildlife species, especially 

        4  game species, provide a substantial additional income to 

        5  landowners; however, the economic value of wildlife cannot 

        6  supersede the value of good native habitat.

        7           We believe that good native habitat should be 

        8  defined as healthy and diverse plant communities that exhibit 

        9  no more than moderate utilization of key plant species.

       10           We believe that native habitats maintained in this 

       11  condition will be beneficial to all wildlife species and 

       12  still provide the additional income required by many Texas 

       13  landowners.

       14           In conclusion, it is our belief that the majority of 

       15  landowners in Texas understand the value of habitat 

       16  management and the benefits to be derived for both the 

       17  resources and the traditional and non-traditional user.

       18           We further believe that these landowners will 

       19  actively improve the conditions of the habitat if given 

       20  guidance in the form of sound, biological recommendations.

       21           We, therefore, urge Texas Parks and Wildlife to 

       22  include native habitat as the cornerstone of any permit 

       23  program offered to landowners, whether these permits are for 

       24  game, non-game or for rare and threatened species.  Thank 

       25  you.

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        1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.  Since 

        2  that is a part -- Mr. Frels, since basically that is integral 

        3  in the findings of where we are, I assume that your 

        4  organization supports the proposal today?

        5                MR. FRELS:  Yes, sir.

        6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

        7                MR. FRELS:  We just wanted -- the staff just 

        8  wanted to make sure that habitat was a cornerstone.

        9                CHAIRMAN BASS:  I think the committee agreed.

       10                MR. FRELS:  Okay.  Very good.

       11                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.

       12           Mr. Gilleland?

       13                MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland, 

       14  speaking for Texas Animals.

       15           First thing I would like to say is discussion with 

       16  Chairman Kuempel yesterday, we discussed this.   And, first 

       17  of all, you have not published your changes.  The only thing 

       18  that's been published is March the 3rd, Texas Register.  I 

       19  have it right here, and that's what I'm addressing.

       20           You have not published the changes which you say 

       21  have occurred in your staff recommendation, so you cannot 

       22  legally publish those without giving the public notice on 

       23  that.  If you do, they will be contested.  They can be 

       24  contested.  So we have to deal with what we have in the 3 

       25  March, Texas Register.

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        1           I would like to refer to the statement by

        2  Director Sansom in the 31 May, Austin American Statesman.   

        3  Director Sansom says, "TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION -- 

        4  97 percent of Texas land is owned by private landowners, 

        5  which means the future of the wildlife that all Texans love 

        6  is in private hands."

        7           Well, the thing that Mr. Kuempel doesn't understand, 

        8  and apparently you people do not understand either, is the 

        9  fact that while 97 percent of the land may, in fact, be in 

       10  private hands, the wildlife for the last 10 million years has 

       11  not been in private hands.  And it's only through your 

       12  practices and your incentives that you have now privatized 

       13  the wildlife to be commensurate with the privatized aspect of 

       14  the land.

       15           That is new.  The high fences are new.  And it's not 

       16  something that's been going on forever.

       17           The second thing I would like to say is the people 

       18  on this Commission -- they are engaged in Level 3.  Level 3 

       19  is not even mentioned here, and neither is Level 1 or 2, for 

       20  that matter.

       21           The people on this Commission that are involved in 

       22  Level 3, if you read the Texas Register, you'll know what 

       23  Level 3 is.  That's where the big buck high-priced 

       24  white-tailed deer behind high fences are.

       25           The four people on this Commission should recuse 

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        1  themselves from voting, because you people are monetarily 

        2  involved.  The four of you know who you are.  The four of you 

        3  are monetarily involved in Level 3 exploitation of Texas 

        4  bucks behind Texas high fences.  So I ask that you recuse 

        5  yourself.

        6           I know of four, maybe five of you.  That's a quorum.  

        7  I think that's unethical and may even be illegal.

        8           What is Level 3?  Level 3 in the March 31 Texas 

        9  Register says, "Level 3.  Level 3 managed land, deer permits 

       10  authorize the take of buck and antlers, white-tailed deer as 

       11  specified by permit."  That's open ended.

       12           You and Mr. Sansom can make the permit whatever you 

       13  want.  You can specify a million 25-point deer or whatever 

       14  you want, make it million point deer, as specified in the 

       15  permit.  You do not limit or say what the permit can specify 

       16  per the Texas Register.

       17                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, Mr. Gilleland.  Your 

       18  time is up.  Thank you very much.

       19                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That concludes the public 

       20  comment.

       21                MR. GILLELAND:  I would like to ask for extra 

       22  time.

       23                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, Mr. Gilleland.  Your 

       24  time is up.

       25                MR. GILLELAND:  Three minutes is not enough 

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        1  time to address something of this magnitude.  The other 

        2  people have had additional time.  I would like to have one or 

        3  two more.

        4                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you very much.

        5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. Jefferson?

        6                MR. JEFFERSON:  Were you about to say that that 

        7  concludes public comment?

        8                CHAIRMAN BASS:  I did.  But did you sign up?

        9                MR. JEFFERSON:  I filled out a form, as 

       10  specified.

       11                CHAIRMAN BASS:  I failed to find your sheet.   

       12  Would you please come forward and give us your comments.  My 

       13  oversight, I'm sure

       14                MR. JEFFERSON:  I will certainly excuse you for 

       15  that, Mr. Chairman, as I commend you for calling this 

       16  committee together.  I think that was a very wise decision on 

       17  your part.

       18           My name is John Jefferson.  I'm Executive Director 

       19  of the Texas Chapter for Wildlife Society.  Also, I want to 

       20  commend Mr. Sansom and rest of the staff for adopting this 

       21  vehicle for addressing this situation.

       22           I particularly want to commend Bob Cook, although he 

       23  sent me a fax to the wrong address that cost me seven dollars 

       24  to receive, but Bob -- Bob steered that committee through 

       25  some treacherous waters in a very diplomatic fashion.

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        1           The entire staff, Dr. Cook, Dr. Graham, also, did an 

        2  awful lot to inform us of what the issues were and to help us 

        3  to make this decision.

        4           I heard a comment about a -- from a previous 

        5  wildlife director that I think pretty well sums up this 

        6  situation.  He once said that the department is sometimes a 

        7  victim of its own success.  And I really think that's what 

        8  this permit situation is all about.

        9           The technical guidance biologists working throughout 

       10  the State have done an exemplary manner of educating the 

       11  public on white-tailed deer management statewide, but 

       12  particularly in South Texas.  And I think that may have led 

       13  to some of our problems.

       14           This probably all began with Al Brothers, who was 

       15  the first technical guidance biologist to work in south 

       16  Texas.  When he resigned to go to work for the Zachary 

       17  Ranches, Murphy Ray took his place.

       18           Allen Murphy collaborated on the Randmark book, 

       19  "Producing Quality White-Tailed Deer," which is considered 

       20  the Bible in Texas, particularly south Texas, and is also 

       21  recognized nationwide.

       22           After Al came on, Larry Weishuhn.  He was followed 

       23  by Ernie Davis.  When Ernie resigned, Jimmy Rutledge took his 

       24  place, and Jimmy is the current technical guidance biologist 

       25  for south Texas.

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        1           If there were a Hall of Fame for guidance 

        2  biologists, these guys would be in it.

        3           Don Frels spoke before.  He was the regional 

        4  director down there, and he's had a big hand in it.

        5           The more that landowners learned, it seemed like the 

        6  more tools they wanted.  And many think that we're 

        7  over-managing white-tailed deer, but that's where we are, and 

        8  I think that's what this permit discussion has all been 

        9  about.

       10           At our meeting, though, as one of the technical 

       11  guidance biologist, Fielding Harwell, pretty much diffused 

       12  the bomb.  When it came his turn to speak, Fielding said, 

       13  "This is what I can live with."  He set it out.  And it's -- 

       14  it gave us a good outline.

       15           Tom Vanderverr is here, an attorney from Austin and 

       16  a landowner.  Tom also helped lead us through this with some 

       17  of his correspondence.  And I just want to say that the Texas 

       18  Chapter supports this as long as your discussions continue to 

       19  be based on wildlife habitat conservation and the continued 

       20  public ownership of wildlife, the Texas Chapter of Wildlife 

       21  Society will continue to enthusiastically support your 

       22  decisions.  Thank you.

       23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you, Mr. Jefferson.  With 

       24  that, we've concluded the public comment.  And Dr. Cooke, do 

       25  you have any comments?

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        1                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  What about a 

        2  clarification on the publication, since it was raised?

        3                DR. COOKE:  At your April meeting, we were 

        4  reviewing the statewide hunting and fishing proclamation.  At 

        5  that time, the Commission chose not to act on that portion of 

        6  the regulations that we're discussing now.  So those two 

        7  sections remained open, following the adoption of the 

        8  remainder of the statewide hunting and fishing proclamation.  

        9  So your action is completely consistent with administrative 

       10  law.

       11           And so that is why the wording of the motion was 

       12  specifically to these two sections of the proclamation.   

       13  Also --

       14                MR. SANSOM:  Because it had been previously 

       15  published?

       16                DR. COOKE:  It had been previously published.

       17           Also, it is my understanding, not being a lawyer, 

       18  but it is my understanding that so long as a section is 

       19  opened, the public is placed on notice of potential changes 

       20  to that section.  So any amendments, so long as it doesn't 

       21  include new groups or areas not previously discussed within 

       22  the section, is certainly within your authority.

       23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The modifications, therefore, 

       24  do not require re-publishing?

       25                DR. COOKE:  Correct.

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        1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  One comment I had, that since 

        2  we are, as part of this, instituting some deadline dates, 

        3  both the TTT that we're posting as of yesterday's action and 

        4  in this proposed action, that it might be a good idea to send 

        5  notice to the users of these permits summarizing what the 

        6  changes in the programs are and putting them on notice that 

        7  there are some deadline dates in order to have the review 

        8  assured.   That's something for you to consider.

        9                DR. COOKE:  Correct.  The landowners can apply 

       10  for these permits right up to the last day of the hunting 

       11  season.

       12                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Right.

       13                DR. COOKE:  But as we said before, what we are 

       14  assuring the public is for review.  It will certainly be 

       15  covered in news releases --

       16                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Exactly.  Currently -- my 

       17  suggestion is that current holders or previous holders of 

       18  these permits maybe get a notice of what the changes in the 

       19  program are and that there are now some deadline dates for 

       20  assured review within a prescribed period of time, so that -- 

       21                DR. COOKE:  We'll do our best.

       22                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That's kind of so they're not 

       23  caught.

       24                DR. COOKE:  Certainly, all of these individuals 

       25  who have approved wildlife management plans are working with 

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        1  our field staff on these things.  But we will concern make 

        2  every effort.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  I know.  Any further comment?   

        4  Motion?

        5                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  I so move.

        6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Second?

        7                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Second.

        8                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion and a second.  All in 

        9  favor?  Any opposed?  Thank you very much.

       10                  "The Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the 

       11                  2000-2001 Statewide Hunting and Fishing 

       12                  Proclamation 65.25 and 65.26 with changes to 

       13                  the proposal as published in the March 3,   

       14                  2000 issue of the Texas Register

       15                  (25 TexReg 1840.)"

       16                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That brings us to Item 13, 

       17  regional grant funding.   Mr. Hogsett?

       18      AGENDA ITEM NO. 13:  ACTION - REGIONAL GRANT FUNDING.

       19                MR. HOGSETT:  Good morning, Mr. Chairman, 

       20  members of the Commission.

       21           I'm Tim Hogsett from the State Parks Division.  I'm 

       22  pleased to bring forward to you the recommendations for 

       23  funding for a new initiative that was created by the 

       24  legislature in the last session, coming out of the Texas 

       25  Recreation and Parks account.

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        1           We're proposing the funding of four regional park 

        2  projects through a pilot program that we've developed.  We 

        3  had several applications, and I must commend all of the 

        4  applicants for putting together packages that were so 

        5  complete in such a short period of time.  They had less than 

        6  a month to make their presentations to us.

        7           All the regional park initiative grew out of a study 

        8  that was conducted a couple of years ago by Texas A&M 

        9  University called Texas Outdoors Vision for the Future.  One 

       10  of the things that study noted as a need in Texas were large 

       11  intensive use parks in the major metropolitan areas or 

       12  regional park systems and conservation areas that linked 

       13  through greenways and adequate water resources to provide 

       14  habitat and water-based recreation.

       15           All of these are related to the metropolitan areas.  

       16  And the theory was that it would take joint cooperative 

       17  effort, both public and -- public and -- public and private 

       18  cooperation to make these things happen.

       19           The funding that we're proposing to use comes from 

       20  three sources.  The legislature did set aside a million 

       21  dollars for each of the next two fiscal years, fiscal year 

       22  2000 and 2001 for this regional parks initiative.

       23           We felt that it was important to make really more of 

       24  a program out of it being a pilot project.  So we have chosen 

       25  to recommend funding in the amount of a million dollars be 

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        1  taken from our allocation of the Federal Land and Water 

        2  Conservation funds, and that's about half of the available 

        3  Land and Water Conservation funds.  And the final million, 

        4  we're recommending we take from the unused portion of our 

        5  facility transfer program.

        6           The four projects briefly that I will highlight for 

        7  you that we're recommending funding for, all in the amount of 

        8  $750,000, which in every case is slightly less than they 

        9  requested:  Williamson County has cooperated with several 

       10  municipalities and other units of government in the 

       11  preparation of a county-wide plan for trail linkage.  They 

       12  have chosen to submit an application for Brushy Creek Trail.

       13           The partners involved in this initiative are, of 

       14  course, Williamson County, cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, 

       15  and then there are three other special districts that are 

       16  involved in the project.

       17           The specific project that they are proposing is the 

       18  development of an approximately two-mile corridor along 

       19  Brushy Creek.  Eventually, the entire length of the trail 

       20  would run from Cedar Park to the western edge of the City of 

       21  Round Rock.

       22           One of the most important elements of this project 

       23  is the development -- is the donation by a private developer 

       24  of 50 acres of land, which they are using as a part of their 

       25  local match.

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        1           This is a view of part of the trail corridor.   

        2           The next project that we're recommending is the El 

        3  Paso County River Trail.  This is a cooperative between the 

        4  City of El Paso and El Paso County.

        5           Eventually, plans call for a trail that would be in 

        6  excess of 50 miles, all the way from the New Mexico/Texas 

        7  border to east of the City of El Paso, along the Rio Grande 

        8  River.

        9           This particular project, the county is proposing to 

       10  develop approximately nine miles of that trail, starting at 

       11  the New Mexico border.  And it also involves the linkage of a 

       12  couple of existing county parks that are also along the Rio 

       13  Grande River corridor.  And here are a couple of shots.

       14           Obviously, the importance of water in El Paso as a 

       15  recreational resource can't be understated.

       16           The City of McAllen recently acquired a piece of 

       17  property known as the Quinta Mazatlan.  It was a 1930s 

       18  vintage adobe house and quite substantial grounds.   They 

       19  propose to develop that into a nature center, which would 

       20  also be serving as the McAllen wing of the World Birding 

       21  Center.

       22           They're proposing renovation of the building and 

       23  associated grounds work, things such as the development of an 

       24  outdoor classroom.  There is an old -- yeah, an old green 

       25  house.  Thank you.

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        1           There is an old green house on the site that they 

        2  propose to use as a butterfly conservatory.  It's just a 

        3  magnificent piece of property, and the City was very 

        4  fortunate to be able to acquire it.  It will be a very 

        5  popular birding site, and that activity is already occurring.  

        6          In addition, they are going to acquire three acres of 

        7  land of native grass habitat that's adjacent to the Quinta 

        8  Mazatlan grounds.

        9           And the final project that we're recommending is 

       10  Houston Braes Bayou Greenbelt.  It is a cooperative 

       11  effort between the City of Houston and the Harris County 

       12  Flood Control District.  This will be the first time Harris 

       13  County Flood Control District, as a part of one of their 

       14  projects, will do a very environmentally-sensitive flood 

       15  control project.

       16           What this particular project proposes is the 

       17  development of an area along this trail, corridor, which goes 

       18  from the west side of Loop 610 all the way to the Houston 

       19  ship channel.  The particular area is called Willow Water 

       20  Hole, and it will be the development of an enormous piece of 

       21  property with several lakes, and these will serve the dual 

       22  purpose of being detention ponds for flood control purposes.  

       23  And there will be a lot of recreational opportunities 

       24  provided, as well.

       25           Our recommendation is that we fund the four projects 

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        1  that I just presented to you in the amount of $750,000 

        2  apiece.  And I would be glad to answer any questions.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  We have seven people that 

        4  signed up for public comment.  And I appreciate their 

        5  patience with the proceedings, to wait this out.

        6           Pix Howell, from Williamson County, if you can come 

        7  up first.  And Bob Wunsch, I believe it is, if you would be 

        8  prepared to speak next.

        9                MR. HOWELL:  My name is Pix Howell.  I 

       10  represent Williamson County.  I was hired as the Brushy Creek 

       11  Trail coordinator last August, finally known as the trail 

       12  boss.

       13           I had some other representatives from Williamson 

       14  County here, and I'm not sure if they had other engagements 

       15  or all the previous talk about fishing kind of gave them the 

       16  fever.

       17           But this trail was originally envisioned as 

       18  running -- actually spanning Williamson County.  And it 

       19  became apparent that the corridor between Cedar Park and 

       20  Round Rock was -- had the most danger of being developed and 

       21  losing that opportunity.  So we focused on that as the first 

       22  phase.

       23           The slide that you saw earlier is basically two 

       24  miles of what we're going to build with this grant from 

       25  basically Cedar Park's park project over to Great Oaks, which 

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        1  is in Brushy Creek MUD.

        2           As Tim mentioned, it's a cooperative effort.  We 

        3  have formal resolutions from Cedar Park, City of Round Rock, 

        4  Brushy Creek MUD, Fern Bluff MUD and the City of Austin to 

        5  work with this, build it and implement it.

        6           I can't tell you how excited we are about this.  I 

        7  feel like with this grant we're going to be able to kick off 

        8  this first piece that's going to be a showcase for the rest 

        9  of the trail.

       10           We've had, over the last couple of months, other 

       11  property owners come to us and talk to us about adding their 

       12  property into it, and that goes east of Round Rock.

       13           We've had the LCRA talk to us about doing some 

       14  primitive trail connections back to the Highland Lakes, and 

       15  then beyond that, other drainage areas north of Brushy Creek 

       16  Trail making connections back up into the San Gabriel River 

       17  basin.  So it's going to create a lot of fever for this.   

       18  And we really appreciate your consideration.

       19           I'll be happy to answer any questions you might 

       20  have.  And thanks a lot.  You guys are tough staying here.

       21                CHAIRMAN BASS:  We get hungry, too.

       22                MR. SANSOM:  Should have been here yesterday.

       23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Bob Wunsch, if I'm pronouncing 

       24  that correctly.

       25           And Greg Boatright, if you would be prepared to 

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        1  speak next.

        2                MR. WUNSCH:  I think Mr. Boatright left.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  All right.

        4                MR. WUNSCH:  Mr. Chairman and members of the 

        5  Commission, my name is Bob Wunsch.

        6           I'm part of a group that's developing an 18-acre 

        7  project in north Austin.  We're bordered uniquely by Cedar 

        8  Park, Round Rock and now part of the City of Austin.

        9           It's an 1800-acre development, mixed use.  And about 

       10  a year ago, we had the idea of putting some people together 

       11  at a lunch to kind of talk about this idea.  And Williamson 

       12  County stepped up and hired an excellent consultant and Pix 

       13  Howell to help lead a group that has now included six 

       14  municipalities and a private sector to work on what we feel 

       15  is a shining example of regional corporation that will 

       16  benefit many generations of Central Texas.

       17           The group that I'm involved with will be donating in 

       18  excess of 130 acres to the overall project, about four total 

       19  miles of the ultimate project.  It will also be contributing 

       20  up to half a million dollars in funding.

       21           My group includes myself, Milburn Homes, former 

       22  Mayor of Austin, Roy Butler, and Mr. Dick Rathgaver.

       23           I would like to thank the Commission for considering 

       24  this, Mr. Dabney for coming out and seeing our project, for 

       25  Tim Hogsett and his staff for their hard work that will help 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  us establish a greenbelt and natural corridor that will 

        2  connect many communities in one of the fastest-growing 

        3  counties in the country.

        4           I promise we'll be good stewards of the land and 

        5  we'll use this money wisely.  Thank you.

        6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  Mr. Boatright, I 

        7  assume, has left.

        8                MR. WUNSCH:  He was the one I was talking 

        9  about.

       10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Well, tell him we appreciate 

       11  him hanging in as long as he did.

       12           Sally Gavlik.  And Charles Nutter, if you would be 

       13  prepared to speak next.

       14           Good morning.  Afternoon, I should say.

       15                MS. GAVLIK:  Morning.  Afternoon.  I'm Sally 

       16  Gavlik.  I'm the El Paso County Parks and Recreation 

       17  director, and we very much want to tell you how much we 

       18  appreciate this grant allocation.

       19           The river park development has actually been a 

       20  vision of El Paso County and the residents since 1925.  We're 

       21  just a little slow on getting things developed.  But the 

       22  river and the trail system will mean a great deal to the 

       23  county residents.

       24           We have actually have the cities of Anthony, Vinton 

       25  and Canutilla who are working together with us on a 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  particular portion of the project, and we will be working 

        2  with the cities of Socorro, Faden and Tornillo later on the 

        3  project.

        4           When it's completed, it will be 42 miles in length.  

        5  And we also have the possibility of working with the City of 

        6  Las Cruces and taking the project into New Mexico.  And we 

        7  very much appreciate this, and thank you.

        8                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  Mr. Nutter?

        9           And Javier Mendez, if you would be prepared to speak 

       10  next.

       11                MR. NUTTER:  Thank you.  Oh, well.  Charles 

       12  Nutter, Director of the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation 

       13  Department, and we're in consortium with the county on this 

       14  project.

       15           Actually, this seems to be the right thing at the 

       16  right time, because a year and a half ago the Department of 

       17  Interior declared the Rio Grande River as an American 

       18  Heritage river.  And at that time we started having meetings 

       19  of the Rio Grande Task Force, which consists of over 12 

       20  public agencies and about 15 community agencies in the El 

       21  Paso area.

       22           We've been meeting for about a year and a half and 

       23  have had great plans, but we have not been able to get 

       24  anything underway yet until this grant came along.  And then 

       25  a city bond issue which we passed less than a month ago, a 75 

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        1  million dollar bond issue for parks and recreation.  And 

        2  included in that is a million dollars for this riverfront 

        3  park and these trails and bicycle trails along.

        4           We do have the capability of extending this out 

        5  virtually as far as you can imagine.  The City of Las Cruces 

        6  and Sunland Park in New Mexico already have parks and trails 

        7  on the river.  We plan to link up with that.

        8           We purchased, three months ago, the first city and 

        9  park that's actually on the Rio Grande River.  We're going to 

       10  develop that, and it's going to be a major access point for 

       11  this trail.

       12           So on behalf of the City and the county and all the 

       13  other agencies that are involved in this, including the 

       14  International Boundary and Water Commission, I want to thank 

       15  you.  And we appreciate very much your consideration, and Tim 

       16  Hogsett's work on this and everybody's support.

       17                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  Mr. Mendez?

       18  Mr. Gilleland, if you would like to speak, you may.

       19                MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland, 

       20  representing Texas Animals.  My comment on this is I would 

       21  like to direct your attention to two phases, two aspects of 

       22  your mission.

       23           No. 1 is wildlife and the second is parks, promoting 

       24  people.  So you're basically dealing with people and animals, 

       25  people and wildlife.  You have four projects here.  All four 

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        1  of them are for people.

        2           Three million dollars, whatever it is, for people, 

        3  corridors, trails.  Fine.  I have no objection to those.   

        4  They might be worthy.

        5           But I would like to turn the clock back several 

        6  meetings when I told you about the Houston toad, the 

        7  endangered Houston toads and Bastrop State Park.  They were 

        8  killed needlessly because of your golf course expansion.  I 

        9  asked you to construct tunnels under Highway 95, because the 

       10  Houston toads, endangered toads, are on the east side of 

       11  Highway 95 and the breeding grounds are on the west side of 

       12  Highway 95.

       13           I asked you to build corridors under trails, toad 

       14  tunnels, call them what you will, to make an aperture under 

       15  those highways -- under that highway for these toads to breed 

       16  on the west side of Highway 95.  I even gave you a handout on 

       17  it.  And it's even come to the forefront again in the recent 

       18  five articles published in our local rag.

       19           So I would ask you, flip a coin or do whatever you 

       20  want and select one of the four projects and kill it.  You 

       21  all know how to kill things.  Kill one of these four projects 

       22  and take those monies and plug into a contract with several 

       23  more -- and not sole source, but with several contractors 

       24  bidding and build whatever tunnels, whether you or DOT come 

       25  up with, are appropriate for those toads to get under that 

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
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        1  highway and let these toads go breed in that pond on the west 

        2  side, please.

        3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  That concludes the public 

        4  comments.  Any discussion or questions from the Commission?

        5                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I would like to vote 

        6  approval of the recommendation as presented.

        7                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Second.

        8                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

        9                CHAIRMAN BASS:  A motion and a second.  Any 

       10  further discussion?  All in favor?  Opposed?

       11           Motion carries.  Thank you very much.

       12                  (Motion carries unanimously.)

       13                  "Grant funding for Regional parks in the 

       14                  amount of $3,000,000 is approved for the 

       15                  projects as shown at Exhibit A, for the 

       16                  projects as shown in the individual project 

       17                  descriptions at Exhibit B.  These projects 

       18                  will be administered using the rules for the 

       19                  Texas Recreation and Parks Account grant 

       20                  program."

       21                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. Sansom, do we have any 

       22  other business to come before the Commission today?

       23                MR. SANSOM:  No, sir, we do not.

       24                CHAIRMAN BASS:  We stand adjourned.  Thank you 

       25  very much.

                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











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        1  
           
        2                                  ___________________________
                                           Lee M. Bass, Chairman
        3  
           
        4                                  ___________________________
                                           Katharine Armstrong Idsal
        5  
           
        6                                  ___________________________
                                           Carol E. Dinkins, Vice Chair
        7  
           
        8                                  ___________________________
                                           Ernest Angelo, Jr.
        9  
           
       10                                  ___________________________
                                           John Avila, Jr.
       11  
           
       12                                  ___________________________
                                           Alvin L. Henry
       13  
           
       14                                  ___________________________
                                           Nolan Ryan
       15  
           
       16                                  ___________________________
                                           Mark E. Watson, Jr.
       17  
           
       18  
           
       19  
           
       20  
           
       21  
           
       22  
           
       23  
           
       24  
           
       25  
           
                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS











                                                                   96


        1                     REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE
           STATE OF TEXAS   )
        2  COUNTY OF TRAVIS )

        3      I, RHONDA HOWARD, a Certified Court Reporter in and for 

        4  the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the above and 

        5  foregoing pages constitute a full, true and correct 

        6  transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 

        7  Commission on June 1, 2000, in the Commission hearing room of 

        8  the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin, 

        9  Travis County, Texas.

       10      I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic record was made by 

       11  me at the time of the public meeting, and said stenographic 

       12  notes were thereafter reduced to computerized transcription 

       13  under my supervision and control.

       14      WITNESS MY HAND this the 10th day of July, 2000.

       15  
                                   Expiration date:  12-31-00
       16                          ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES
                                   3101 Bee Caves Road, Suite 220
       17                          Austin, Texas  78746
                                   (512) 328-5557
       18  
           
       19  
           
     


                   RHONDA HOWARD  CSR NO. 4136  (512) 328-5557 
         ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SVCS., 3101 BEE CAVES RD., STE. 220, AUSTIN, TEXAS

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