Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

April 2002 Commission Meeting

Committee and Public Hearing Synopsis Reports


REGULATIONS COMMITTEE
April 3, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM: 2 Cervid Disease Issues

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item amends the Scientific Breeder Proclamation to:

ITEM 3: Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

Presenters: Gary Graham, Phil Durocher, Hal Osburn

This item seeks adoption of the 2002-2003 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The potential changes include:

ITEM 4: Statewide Oyster Fishery Proclamation/Rule Review

Presenter: Robin Riechers

This item proposes submitting 31 TAC Chapter 58, Subchapter A (Statewide Oyster Fishery) to the full Commission for readoption. This chapter was submitted for Rule Review to the Texas Register in compliance with House Bill 1, 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, Article IX, Section 167. This is the final portion of Chapter 58 undergoing rule review and readoption.

ITEM 5: Public Lands Proclamation 2002-2003

Presenter: Herb Kothmann

This item proposes amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation, seeks approval for proposed public hunting activities on state parks, and establishes an open season on public lands for the purposes of providing public hunting opportunity. The proposed changes to the Public Lands Proclamation include:

ITEM 6: 2002-2003 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation

Presenter: Vernon Bevill

This item apprises the committee of anticipated developments in the federal regulatory process and amends the Migratory Gamebird Proclamation to adjust season dates to account for calendar shift.

ITEM 7: Commission Policy Manual Resolution/Designation of Official Nonprofit

Presenter: Gene McCarty

This item will:

ITEM 8: Commercial Nongame Permits

Presenter: John Herron

This item amends the regulations governing the collection and sale of nongame wildlife and regulations concerning endangered species. The proposed changes include:


FINANCE COMMITTEE
April 3, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Bomer Management Review

Presenter: Mr. Elton Bomer

Mr. Bomer will present results of the recent Management review.

ITEM 3: Financial Review and Update

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Staff will present a financial review for the year to date FY2002, including an update on Account 9, Game, Fish and Water Safety and Account 64, State Parks. This presentation will focus on:

ITEM 4: Foreign Travel

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Article IX of the General Appropriations Act requires that the Commission approve any trip to a foreign country that utilizes appropriated State funds. However, several times per year Texas Parks and Wildlife employees travel to foreign counties with expenses paid by other entities such as the Federal Government or professional associations. Staff seeks Commission guidance on proper procedure on these travel requests.

ITEM 5: Local Parks Grants Update

Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Staff will present an update regarding the Texas Recreation and Parks Account grant program. This presentation will include an administrative overview of the programs, including funding history, program goals and objectives, and the priority ranking systems used to prioritize funding allocations.

ITEM 6: Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Grants (UPARR)

Presenter: Tim Hogsett

ITEM 7: Lake Rita Blanca State Park Transfer

Presenter: Walt Dabney

ITEM 8: License System Update

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton, Terry Lewis

Staff will update the Commission on the implementation of the new license system. The update will include information regarding the closeout of the Transactive system and the statistics related to license agents selling via the World Com system. Staff will cover the call center and internet sales capabilities of the system.

ITEM 9: License Fees for Commercial Fisheries

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

This item reviews proposed changes to commercial fishing and business license fees and related transfers and duplicate fees. The changes have been proposed in order to cmply with legislative requirements directing the department to better recover coasts associated with administering and managing inland and coastal fisheries programs. Proposed rules include an increase of 20% for most commercial and business licenses fees, and a $5 increase to most transfer and duplicate (from $5 to $10).


CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
April 3, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Nomination for Oil and Gas Lease – Tyler SP – Smith County

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

The Board for Lease for Parks and Wildlife lands has received a nomination at Tyler State Park for an oil and gas lease sale offering.

ITEM 3: Petroleum Pipeline Easement – Cameron County

Presenter: Dennis Gissell

Commission approval to grant an easement to Penn Octane Corporation for two pipelines installed on Resaca de la Palma State Park. If approved by the Commission, the proposed easement would be forwarded to the General Land Office for final drafting and to the Board for Lease for final approval. The following items describe the situation:

ITEM 4: Easement Assignments – Travis County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

A right-of-way easement and an easement assignment along Smith School Road between Burleson Road and Level 3 Communication at the TPW Headquarters complex is recommended by two fiber optic communication companies.

ITEM 5: International Paper Land Sale – Middle Neches River

Presenter: Gary Graham

International Paper, Inc. (IP) has offered 33,000 acres representing bottomland hardwood and historical longleaf pine habitats for bid sale. Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), National Forest Service NFS), and the conservation community are interested in conserving these lands.

ITEM 6: Land Donation – Orange County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

A land donation from the Estate of Nelda C. Stark of approximately 18.28 acres is recommended as a habitat addition to the Old River Unit of the lower Neches WMA.

ITEM 7: Land Acquisition – Fort Bend County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

Land acquisition of approximately 80 acres is recommended at Brazos Bend State Park.

ITEM 8: Land Acquisition – Harris County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

Land acquisition of approximately 101.9 acres as a habitat addition to Sheldon Lake State Park is recommended as part of a damage settlement following a gas pipeline failure in 1994 in Harris County involving several oil and gas producers (Cause No. H-013171; U.S. and the State of Texas v. Equilon Pipeline Company, LLC, f/d/b/a Texaco Pipeline, Inc. and Colonial Pipeline Co.).

ITEM 9: Land Acquisition – Nueces County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

The acquisition of a 160-acre inholding on Mustang Island as an addition to Mustang Island State Park.

Acquiring the property will add no appreciable staff time or other management expenses to the Department.

ITEM 10: Land Acquisition – Bexar County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

The acquisition of an 1160-acre addition as an addition to Government Canyon State Natural Area.

Acquiring the property will add no appreciable staff time or other management expenses to the Department.

ITEM 11: Land Acquisition – Brazoria County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

The purchase of a tract of land adjacent to the Levi Jordan Plantation State Historical Site.

No additional staff time is anticipated with this addition.


OUTREACH AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE
April 3, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Outreach Update – Natural Leaders Team

Presenter: Leah Huth

The Sunset Report and subsequent legislation made key recommendations to the agency regarding its education and outreach efforts. A Natural Leaders team was given the charge to address the recommendations on behalf of the entire agency and the various divisions. This briefing gives you an update of the team’s efforts before the members give their final report in May.


PUBLIC HEARING SYNOPSIS REPORTS
PUBLIC HEARING
April 4, 2002

ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS

RETIREMENT CERTIFICATES AND SERVICE AWARDS

APPROVAL OF AGENDA - Chairman Bass

ITEM 1: ACTION - Consent Agenda Items

ITEM 2: ACTION – Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Grants (UPARR)

Presenter: Tim Hogsett

ITEM 3: ACTION – Lake Rita Blanca State Park Transfer

Presenter: Tim Hogsett

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

ITEM 4: ACTION – Cervid Disease Issues

Presenter: Dr. Jerry Cooke

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item amends the Scientific Breeder Proclamation to:

ITEM 5: BRIEFING – Crab Trap Cleanup

Presenter: Hal Osburn

ACTION: Commission review and discussion.

The purpose of this briefing item is to provide the Commission with an update on the status of Texas’ first-ever crab trap cleanup effort along the coast. At it’s November 2001 meeting, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a closed season for the use of crab traps.

ITEM 6: ACTION – Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

Presenters: Phil Durocher, Hal Osburn, Gary Graham

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item seeks adoption of the 2002-2003 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The potential changes include:

ITEM 7: ACTION – Statewide Oyster Fishery Proclamation/Rule Review

Presenter: Robin Riechers

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item proposes submitting 31 TAC Chapter 58, Subchapter A (Statewide Oyster Fishery) to the full Commission for readoption. This chapter was submitted for Rule Review to the Texas Register in compliance with House Bill 1, 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, Article IX, Section 167. This is the final portion of Chapter 58 undergoing rule review and readoption

ITEM 8: ACTION – License Fees for Commercial Fisheries

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item reviews proposed changes to commercial fishing and business license fees and related transfers and duplicate fees. The changes have been proposed in order to cmply with legislative requirements directing the department to better recover coasts associated with administering and managing inland and coastal fisheries programs. Proposed rules include an increase of 20% for most commercial and business licenses fees, and a $5 increase to most transfer and duplicate (from $5 to $10).

ITEM 9: ACTION – Public Lands Proclamation 2002-2003

Presenter: Herb Kothmann

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item proposes amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation, seeks approval for proposed public hunting activities on state parks, and establishes an open season on public lands for the purposes of providing public hunting opportunity. The proposed changes to the Public Lands Proclamation include:

ITEM 10: ACTION – Commission Policy Manual Resolution/Designation of Official Nonprofit

Presenter: Gene McCarty

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item will:

ITEM 11: BRIEFING - Game Warden Academy Status Report

Presenter: Royce Wells

ACTION: Commission review and discussion.

Chief of Training will present an overview of the Game Warden Academy and cadet selection process for the 48th Cadet Class. This presentation will focus on:

ITEM 12: Nomination for Oil and Gas Lease – Tyler SP – Smith County

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

The Board for Lease for Parks and Wildlife lands has received a nomination at Tyler State Park for an oil and gas lease sale offering.

ITEM 13: ACTION – Petroleum Pipeline Easement – Cameron County

Presenter: Dennis Gissell

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

Commission approval to grant an easement to Penn Octane Corporation for two pipelines installed on Resaca de la Palma State Park. If approved by the Commission, the proposed easement would be forwarded to the General Land Office for final drafting and to the Board for Lease for final approval. The following items describe the situation:

ITEM 14: Easement Assignments – Travis County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

A right-of-way easement and an easement assignment along Smith School Road between Burleson Road and Level 3 Communication at the TPW Headquarters complex is recommended by two fiber optic communication companies.

ITEM 15: Land Donation – Orange County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

A land donation from the Estate of Nelda C. Stark of approximately 18.28 acres is recommended as a habitat addition to the Old River Unit of the lower Neches WMA.

ITEM 16: Land Acquisition – Fort Bend County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

Land acquisition of approximately 80 acres is recommended at Brazos Bend State Park.

ITEM 17: Land Acquisition – Harris County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

Land acquisition of approximately 101.9 acres as a habitat addition to Sheldon Lake State Park is recommended as part of a damage settlement following a gas pipeline failure in 1994 in Harris County involving several oil and gas producers (Cause No. H-013171; U.S. and the State of Texas v. Equilon Pipeline Company, LLC, f/d/b/a Texaco Pipeline, Inc. and Colonial Pipeline Co.).

ITEM 18: Land Acquisition – Nueces County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

The acquisition of a 160-acre inholding on Mustang Island as an addition to Mustang Island State Park.

ITEM 19: Land Acquisition – Bexar County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

The acquisition of a 1160-acre addition as an addition to Government Canyon State Natural Area.

ITEM 20: Land Acquisition – Brazoria County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

The purchase of a tract of land adjacent to the Levi Jordan Plantation State Historical Site.


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