Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

May 2002 Commission Meeting

Committee and Public Hearing Synopsis Reports


REGULATIONS COMMITTEE
May 29, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: 2002-2003 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation – Early Season

Presenter: Vernon Bevill

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

ITEM 3: Legislative Rules Review-Rulemaking, Chapter 65, Subchapter A, N, and Q

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item addresses the results of the legislative rules review of Chapter 65, Wildlife. The item amends Chapter 65, Subchapters A, N, and Q to implement specific dates upon which the closures of seasons for game animals, game birds, and furbearers will cease effect in the state-owned riverbeds of Dimmit, Uvalde, and Zavala counties.

ITEM 4: Cervid Disease Issues

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item presents voluntary efforts by the membership of the Texas Deer Association to implement adequate testing and monitoring protocols to detect tuberculosis and Chronic Wasting Disease in captive herds. The item also presents potential amendments to the Scientific Breeder Proclamation to impose minimum herd health standards for deer held within scientific breeder facilities.

FINANCE COMMITTEE
May 29, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Bomer Report Update

Presenter: Bob Cook

Staff will brief the Commission on the status of the implementation plan for the Bomer Management Report recommendations.

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 the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, boat registration and titling fees, and state park fees. Staff will also present preliminary budget information for FY2003.

ITEM 4: Revenue Estimating Methodology

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Staff will present proposed methodology for estimating revenues for the coming biennium (FY 04-05). The Business Practices Evaluation report by Elton Bomer recommended that the methodology be fully documented and presented to the Commission at its May 2002 meeting.

ITEM 5: Nonprofit Partners Resolution

Presenter: Susan Harris/Page Campbell

Pursuant to S.B. 305 as enacted by the 77th Legislative Session, staff will present to the Finance Committee and full Commission a resolution adopting current non-profit partners. Two lists will be presented for approval, closely related non-profits (our friends groups) and other non-profits. Recommendations will be made regarding the ongoing department policy for this approval.

ITEM 6: Point-of-Sale Update and License Legibility Rules

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Staff will update the Commission on the implementation of the new license system. The update will include information regarding the finalization of the system implementation as well as preparation for the new license year.

In addition, staff will brief the commission on proposed amendments to Title 31, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 53, Finance that will add a new rule specifying standards for licenses, including legibility. The changes are required by provisions in Senate Bill 305 (TPW’s Sunset legislation). Staff will request permission to publish the proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment.

ITEM 7: TPW Facility Transfer – Port Lavaca

Presenter: Walt Dabney

CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
May 29, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Land and Water Conservation Plan Update

Presenter: Bob Cook

This item will brief the Commission on the Land Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan Draft.

The process will include:

ITEM 3: Streambed Task Force

Presenter: Larry McKinney

In November 2001, the Commission instructed staff to convene a task force composed of a broad spectrum of stakeholders to bring to the Commission perspectives regarding the use of motor vehicles in navigable streambeds. The task force held three meetings and members submitted information and offered their views. Staff has prepared a report that summarizes the work of the task force. In this item, staff will:

ITEM 4: Nomination for Oil and Gas Lease – Jefferson County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

The Board for Lease has received a nomination at the Salt Bayou Unit of the J. D. Murphree WMA for a lease sale offering. The purpose of this Committee Item is to alert the Commission to this nomination and seek recommendations for the Board for Lease. WMA.

This item will:

ITEM 5: Prairie Dog Conservation Plan

Presenter: John Herron

Staff will brief the Commission on the status of black-tailed prairie dogs in Texas and the status of the management plan being prepared by citizens and conservation groups in cooperation with TPW.

In response to a petition and threatened legal action, in March 1999 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the black-tailed prairie dog on the threatened-species candidate list due to declines of the species throughout its range, which once included approximately 80 Texas counties. In cooperation with 10 other states, Texas Parks and Wildlife is developing a conservation plan to show that the future of the species can be secured its remaining range, eliminating the need for federal listing.

A statewide conservation and management plan has been drafted and will soon be ready for public release and comment. The good news is that the prairie dog is more abundant in Texas than was thought, so it should not take much additional effort to conserve the species. As a result, the plan’s emphasis is on voluntary actions, assuring landowners the flexibility and freedom they need to manage prairie dogs when problems arise.

ITEM 6: Release of Land Use Restrictions – Galveston Island

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

The Department has been offered $35,000.000 for the removal and release of deed restrictions that limit the use of a 4.139-acre tract adjacent to Galveston Island State Park.

This item will:

ITEM 7: Land Acquisition – Cameron County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

Land acquisition of approximately 14 acres is recommended to purchase road access, improve public access, and provide high quality farmland for native brush restoration at the Arroyo Colorado Unit of the Las Palomas WMA.

This item will:

ITEM 8: Land Acquisition – Nueces County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

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

This item will:

ITEM 9: Land Acquisition – Harris County

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

The Department has been offered 8.32 acres in Harris County that is an in-holding at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.

This item will:

AD HOC INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE
May 29, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: FY 03 G.O. Bond Resolution

Presenter: Steve Whiston

Discussion on the FY 2003 General Obligation Bonds and Resolution.

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE
May 29, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2. Sunset Recommendations on Education and Outreach

Presenters: Steve Hall/Nancy Herron

Briefing contains initial draft of Texas Parks and Wildlife's Education and Outreach Plan - Management Response to Issue 6 of the Sunset Staff Report. Legislation (S.B. 305 requires that the report be presented to the Commission and to the various legislative committees prior to September 1, 2002. The initial draft was prepared by the department's Education and Outreach Director with the assistance from one of the 2002 Natural Leaders Team (Education and Outreach Project), Education Services Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, the department's Internal Audit Branch and the interdivisional Education and Outreach Team. The report focuses on the four management actions addressed by the Sunset Staff that can improve the department's education and outreach efforts:

ITEM 3: Water Communications Initiative

Presenter: Lydia Saldaña

Aquatic Resources Director Larry McKinney and Communications Director Lydia Saldaña will discuss a comprehensive communications initiative on water. This integrated communications effort will include the following elements:

Media relations support

PUBLIC HEARING SYNOPSIS REPORTS
PUBLIC HEARING
May 30, 2002

ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS

RETIREMENT CERTIFICATES AND SERVICE AWARDS

OFFSHORE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE REEF PROGRAM

Staff: Paul Hammerschmidt

LONE STAR LAND STEWARD VIDEO

Staff: Gary Graham

ITEM 1: ACTION – Approval of Agenda

ITEM 2: ACTION – Legislative Rules Review-Rulemaking, Chapter 65, Subchapter A, N, and Q

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item addresses the results of the legislative rules review of Chapter 65, Wildlife. The item amends Chapter 65, Subchapters A, N, and Q to implement specific dates upon which the closures of seasons for game animals, game birds, and furbearers will cease effect in the state-owned riverbeds of Dimmit, Uvalde, and Zavala counties.

ITEM 3: BRIEFING – Fish Hatchery Status Report

Presenter: Phil Durocher/Gary Saul

The Commission will be briefed on the importance of fish stocking as a management tool in Inland Waters. The history of the state’s freshwater hatchery program will be reviewed and the current status and condition of the state’s five operating freshwater hatcheries examined. The briefing will end with a discussion of the staff’s efforts to overcome toxic golden algae at several of these facilities.

ITEM 4: Cervid Disease Issues

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item presents voluntary efforts by the membership of the Texas Deer Association to implement adequate testing and monitoring protocols to detect tuberculosis and Chronic Wasting Disease in captive herds. The item also presents potential amendments to the Scientific Breeder Proclamation to impose minimum herd health standards for deer held within scientific breeder facilities.

ITEM 5: ACTION – Nonprofit Partners Resolution

Presenter: Susan Harris/Page Campbell

Pursuant to S.B. 305 as enacted by the 77th Legislative Session, staff will present to the Finance Committee and full Commission a resolution adopting current non-profit partners. Two lists will be presented for approval, closely related non-profits (our friends groups) and other non-profits. Recommendations will be made regarding the ongoing department policy for this approval.

ITEM 6: ACTION – FY 03 G. O. Bond Resolution

Presenter: Steve Whiston

Discussion of the FY 2003 General Obligation Bonds and Resolution.

ITEM 7: Angler and Hunter Population Review

Presenter: Gary Graham

The number of hunting license buyers has been in decline since 1982 when it peaked at approximately 1.25 million license sold. A detailed analysis of various distributions describing hunting license buyers will be presented. Hunting License buyer numbers are related to recruitment and retention. Age is impacting retention, though there are some license buyers who do not consistently purchase licenses. Recruitment of youth is affected by many things. Basically, the age distribution of license buyers can be described as having:

Ohio and Oklahoma have been successful in increasing the number of fishing license buyers (i.e., 14-17% in one year) by taking an aggressive approach to marketing fishing licenses. The details of their approach will be discusses.

Key potential solutions may be:

ITEM 8: ACTION – TPW Facility Transfer – Port Lavaca

Presenter: Walt Dabney

ITEM 9: Nomination for Oil and Gas Lease – Jefferson County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

The Board for Lease has received a nomination at the Salt Bayou Unit of the J. D. Murphree WMA for a lease sale offering. The purpose of this Committee Item is to alert the Commission to this nomination and seek recommendations for the Board for Lease. WMA.

This item will:

ITEM 10: ACTION – Release of Land Use Restrictions – Galveston Island

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

The Department has been offered $35,000.000 for the removal and release of deed restrictions that limit the use of a 4.139-acre tract adjacent to Galveston Island State Park.

This item will:

ITEM 11: Land Acquisition – Cameron County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

Land acquisition of approximately 14 acres is recommended to purchase road access, improve public access, and provide high quality farmland for native brush restoration at the Arroyo Colorado Unit of the Las Palomas WMA.

This item will:

ITEM 12: Land Acquisition – Nueces County

Presenter: Jeff Francell

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

This item will:

ITEM 13: Land Acquisition – Harris County

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

The Department has been offered 8.32 acres in Harris County that is an in-holding at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.

This item will:


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