Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Jan. 24, 2001Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
1 7 BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 8 24th day of January 2001, there came on to be 9 heard matters under the regulatory authority of 10 the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the 11 commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and 12 Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis 13 County, Texas, beginning at 2:45 p.m., to wit: 14 15 16 APPEARANCES: 17 THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION: Chair: Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas 18 Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas Dick W. Heath, Carrollton, Texas 19 Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas (Absent) Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas 20 John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas 21 Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, Texas Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas 22 THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT: 23 Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and other personnel of the Parks and Wildlife 24 Department. 25 . 2 1 JANUARY 24, 2001 2 *-*-*-*-* 3 CONSERVATION COMMITTEE MEETING 4 *-*-*-*-* 5 CHAIRMAN BASS: Thank you. I'd like 6 to reconvene after our recess that we took and 7 subsequent to our executive session to resume 8 public hearings. And I would yield the floor to 9 Ms. Dinkins, Chair of the Conservation Committee. 10 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Thank you, 11 Mr. Chairman. Our first order of business is 12 approval of the committee minutes from the 13 previous meeting. If there are no corrections or 14 additions, then I suggest that without objection, 15 we let those minutes stand approved as written. 16 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: The next item is 17 a briefing on the Chairman's charges. 18 AGENDA ITEM NO. 1: BRIEFING - CHAIRMAN'S 19 CHARGES. 20 MR. SANSOM: Madam Chairman, I would 21 call your attention to the fact that Item 4 on the 22 Chairman's charges was to continue to participate 23 in the Senate Bill 1, water planning initiative. 24 We have recently submitted a series of comments on 25 all recent water plans. That has caused quite a . 3 1 bit of debate between us and the members of the 2 regional planning committees. 3 I will be meeting with them sometime 4 in the next two weeks, meeting with each of the 5 Chairs to discuss the specific concerns that our 6 staff has raised over the water plans. And my 7 conversations with the Water Development Board 8 staff and Board have indicated that they are 9 receptive to that. 10 You'll recall also that the seagrass 11 conservation plan was a proponent of the 12 Chairman's charges. All phases of that plan are 13 all now being implemented. The water quality 14 standards now include provisions to conserve 15 seagrass as a result of actions by employees of 16 this department. And the Redfish Bay Scenic Area 17 has been designated as part of the Lone Star 18 Legacy, and as a matter of fact $12,000 was raised 19 to endow management in this area. 20 We'll be seeing in this session more 21 talk about aquatic vegetation management in the 22 Legislature. You have adopted rules to implement 23 the statewide aquatic vegetation management plan 24 and to allow for development and adoption of local 25 plans. I would note that these rules go into . 4 1 effect February 6th. Thank you. 2 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Thank you. Any 3 questions or comments? 4 AGENDA ITEM NO. 2: ACTION - NOMINATION FOR OIL 5 AND GAS LEASE - SHELDON LAKE STATE PARK. 6 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Hearing none, 7 then our next agenda item is the nomination for 8 oil and gas lease at Sheldon. And you'll find 9 that behind Tab 13 in your agenda book. 10 MS. BOYDSTON: Madam Chairman, 11 Commissioners, my name is Kathy Boydston, program 12 leader for Wildlife Habitat Assessment Program in 13 the Wildlife division. 14 The department received a nomination 15 for an oil and gas lease on the tracts known as 16 Lake Sheldon State Park east of Houston in Harris 17 County. The department owns 100 percent of the 18 minerals, approximately 2,219 mineral acres. All 19 seven tracts have been nominated. Staff 20 recommends the Department continue its policy of 21 requiring a minimum bonus bid of $150 per acre, a 22 fixed royalty of 25 percent and a $10 per-acre 23 delay rental. 24 This tract has been nominated 25 several times in the last few years with a no . 5 1 surface occupancy stipulation. And I understand 2 that there's been some discussion about wanting to 3 look at possibly locating on the surface. And I 4 have talked to the area manager, and he has 5 indicated that there is a site that's suitable at 6 the park that is adjacent to the highway in an 7 agricultural field that would not interfere with 8 park operations, and it could be done very easily 9 at that site, if we would want to consider doing 10 that. 11 So if we would want to amend the 12 motion or the -- to rectify the no-surface 13 occupancy, we could do that and send it forward in 14 the lease sale -- to the lease sale in the next 15 sale, which is April. 16 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Thank you, 17 Kathy. Andy, what would be staff recommendation 18 on that? 19 MR. SANSOM: I would recommend that 20 we do that. But certainly, Kathy, develop the 21 language such that the potential location of that 22 site be incorporated into the master planning 23 process at Sheldon. 24 MS. BOYDSTON: We could do 25 something along the line that the site would be . 6 1 determined by Parks and Wildlife. 2 COMMISSIONER HENRY: Did I 3 understand you to say adjacent to the highway? 4 MS. BOYDSTON: Yes. That's what the 5 park manager told me. There's apparently an 6 agricultural field close to the park headquarters, 7 and that would be one site that would be suitable 8 for an oil and gas well. 9 And we talked about how we could 10 also possibly incorporate that into an educational 11 aspect, as was mentioned earlier this morning, of 12 how oil and gas could be developed in an 13 environmentally sensitive manner, and work that 14 into the master plan at Sheldon. 15 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: What detail 16 would we want to get in the lease itself as far as 17 the proposal -- as far as the additions for that 18 site are concerned? 19 MR. SANSOM: Pretty detailed. 20 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: I would think 21 so. 22 MR. SANSOM: Yes, sir. And we have 23 guidelines for that. 24 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: We do? 25 MR. SANSOM: Yes, sir. . 7 1 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: We've 2 considered things along those lines before when 3 they have come before us, and we've put pretty 4 strong restrictions on it as I recall. 5 MS. BOYDSTON: Yes. One that comes 6 to mind right offhand is Tyler State Park. We 7 allowed development in there, but we specifically 8 noted certain sites where they could develop that 9 were out of sight and away from the normal park 10 operations and would not disturb any areas that 11 were of low habitat area. 12 COMMISSIONER IDSAL: And were they 13 developed? 14 MS. BOYDSTON: I don't think anybody 15 picked up that nomination. What the process is, 16 is that they asked us if we would be willing to 17 nominate the lease, and then we tell them what 18 kind of restrictions we will put on it. And then 19 they either put a bid up on it, or they don't put 20 a bid up on it when it comes up in the lease sale. 21 So a lot of times our tracts are nominated, but 22 then they are not picked up for whatever reason. 23 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: There has been 24 a request, to put this up -- 25 MS. BOYDSTON: Yes. It has been . 8 1 nominated several times in the last three or four 2 years. 3 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: But no one has 4 ever bid on it, we think, because there's not any 5 real opportunity to gain access. 6 CHAIRMAN BASS: I would think that 7 we -- if we are willing to allow access to this 8 particular location or if there are others after a 9 study, that it's better to say that on the front 10 end, when somebody is thinking of bidding, rather 11 than saying, we'll work with you and then they 12 come back and say, it's here or nowhere. It's 13 going to be very restrictive to one location. 14 I would think it would be better to 15 say that up front and then I -- as she -- I think 16 one of the things Mr. Angelo is alluding to is 17 that if we do allow them to drill there, there are 18 certain restrictions on how they do their 19 operations that we would want to implement, such 20 as perhaps using portable mud tanks rather than 21 digging a pit on site, et cetera, so that it 22 minimizes -- 23 MR. SANSOM: Impact. 24 CHAIRMAN BASS: -- surface damages 25 and facilitates cleanup. . 9 1 MS. BOYDSTON: I don't think we 2 would be -- that will be in the bid booklet when 3 these leases come out. 4 CHAIRMAN BASS: I think if we're 5 really talking about only one location of the 2200 6 acres that we'd be willing to accept as a drill 7 site, I think as part of putting it out for bid, 8 that it would be appropriate to put that in 9 because, frankly, their target may not be 10 accessible from that location. 11 MS. BOYDSTON: Right. And we don't 12 want to lead them to believe that they can locate 13 anywhere on the area. That's what we wanted to 14 avoid. 15 CHAIRMAN BASS: Or leading them to 16 believe that they might have a chance to drill on 17 the area where they can get to their target zone, 18 have them spend the money at the state lease sale, 19 and then find out, well, if you told me this six 20 weeks ago, I would have never bid on it. And 21 they're angry because they're out of money. 22 MS. BOYDSTON: Right. 23 COMMISSIONER IDSAL: What about 24 things like offsets and stuff? They wanted to -- 25 would that be a problem? . 10 1 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: If they're 2 going to have to directionally drill it, it 3 wouldn't matter. 4 COMMISSIONER IDSAL: It wouldn't 5 matter? 6 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: It would work. 7 It would probably work well. 8 MS. BOYDSTON: That's been one of 9 the stipulations before, the off-site location or 10 access by directional drilling or pooling with 11 another tract. And to date nobody has picked that 12 lease up. And so I have a feeling maybe there's a 13 problem finding a lease location -- or a surface 14 location. 15 CHAIRMAN BASS: Or an alternative 16 site that provides them access to whatever 17 geologic zone they're looking for. 18 MS. BOYDSTON: And I know 19 Commissioner Watson had asked about production 20 earlier. The GLO records indicate that there's a 21 well south of Sheldon that was drilled in '90, but 22 it's not producing anymore. And there's no wells 23 around there that are producing, but I know that 24 there is a lot of seismic activity going on east 25 of there. So they think that they may be . 11 1 generating some interest in the Yagua formation, 2 which is a gas formation. So they will be coming 3 our way with seismic, I think, pretty soon, 4 anyway. 5 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: So the 6 suggestion is that we have a -- that we put this 7 up for nomination, that we advise interested 8 parties that there would be a single drill site 9 available, that that drill site would be selected 10 by the TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION staff 11 and that it would be subject to the standard 12 restrictions and conditions that we usually would 13 have. 14 Have I summarized it fairly? Are 15 there any other questions? All right. 16 Then the Chair would entertain a 17 motion to nominate for oil and gas lease the 18 Sheldon State park area described in the agenda 19 book. 20 COMMISSIONER ANGELO: So moved. 21 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: And is that 22 motion to include with the one drill site? 23 COMMISSIONER HENRY: Uh-huh. 24 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Okay. I just 25 wanted to make sure. Any further discussion? . 12 1 (Motion passed unanimously.) 2 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Thank you, 3 Kathy. 4 MS. BOYDSTON: We'd like to also -- 5 or recommend that this be put on the consent 6 agenda for tomorrow. 7 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: All right. 8 This is eligible for the consent agenda. The 9 Chair would entertain a motion this be moved to 10 the consent agenda. 11 COMMISSIONER AVILA: So moved. 12 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Thank you. 13 (Motion passed unanimously.) 14 VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: Is there any 15 other business to come before the committee? The 16 other agenda items were considered in executive 17 session since they involve land acquisition 18 matters. 19 Hearing none, that concludes the 20 hearing of the conservation committee. Thank you, 21 Kathy. 22 *-*-*-*-* 23 (MEETING ADJOURNED.) 24 *-*-*-*-* 25 . 13 1 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE 2 STATE OF TEXAS ) 3 COUNTY OF TRAVIS ) 4 I, MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, a Certified 5 Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do 6 hereby certify that the above and foregoing 12 7 pages constitute a full, true and correct 8 transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks & 9 Wildlife Commission on JANUARY 24, 2001, in the 10 commission hearing room of the Texas Parks & 11 Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis 12 County, Texas. 13 I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic 14 record was made by me at the time of the public 15 meeting and said stenographic notes were 16 thereafter reduced to computerized transcription 17 under my supervision and control. 18 WITNESS MY HAND this the 24th day of 19 February, 2001. 20 21 MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, RPR, CSR NO. 3226 22 Expiration Date: 12-31-02 3101 Bee Caves Road 23 Centre II, Suite 220 Austin, Texas 78746 24 (512) 328-5557 25 EBS NO.
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