Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

November 2002 Commission Meeting

Committee and Public Hearing Synopsis Reports


REGULATIONS COMMITTEE

November 6, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Shrimp Report

Presenter: Hal Osburn

This item reviews the status of the report “The Texas Shrimp Fishery; a report to the Governor and the 77th Legislature mandated by §77.005 Parks and Wildlife Code as amended by Senate Bill 305 of the 77th Legislature. The briefing will also provide an overview of the process whereby the report was developed, drafted and reviewed.

ITEM 3: Statewide Hunting and Fishing Regulations Preview

Presenter: Gary Graham, Hal Osburn, Phil Durocher

This item briefs the Regulations Committee on potential changes to the 2003-2004 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. The potential changes include:

ITEM 4: Crab Trap Season

Presenter: Robin Reichers

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 its November 2001 meeting, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a closed season for the use of crab traps.

ITEM 5: Scientific Breeder Proclamation – Importation

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item presents changes to the Scientific Breeder Proclamation to:

ITEM 6: Trap, Transport, and Transplant of Game Animals and Game Birds

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

This item presents a proposed change to the rules governing the trapping, transportation, and transplanting of game animals and game birds (‘Triple T’ permits). The proposed change would suspend the issuance of permits for white-tailed and mule deer in response to concerns about the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

ITEM 7: Future of Hunting Plan

Presenter: Dr. Robert Brown

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in partnership with a number of other conservations organizations and individuals have been evaluating the long-term future of hunting in Texas, beginning with the organization of the "Hunting Think Tank" meeting in 1998. In early 2002, the group began to move forward with a detailed analysis of the issues, opportunities, and barriers that must be considered in order to assure the future of a sport that provides over $3 billion to the state's economy. A consulting group, Group Solutions, provided expertise in guiding us through this evaluation process. Internet hunter surveys were used to identify topics for evaluation, public hearing were held around the state to further refine the issues, and two major facilitated meeting were held during June to finalize the issues. The leadership committee of the Hunting Think Tank group, chaired by Dr. Robert Brown, of Texas A & M, has prepared the final report of this endeavor. The purpose of this briefing is to provide the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission insight into the results and recommendations coming out of the this initiative. Staff believe that the future of hunting can be very bright if the identified strategies are implemented by TPWD and its many conservation partners across Texas.

ITEM 8: CWD Update

Presenter: Doug Humphreys

This item presents the current status of CWD detection and control efforts undertaken by the Department and the Texas Animal Health Commission, including a draft action plan. The plan addresses:


FINANCE COMMITTEE

November 6, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Financial Review and Update

Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Staff will present a financial review for the year to date FY2003, 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. Updated budget and expenditure information will be also be presented.

ITEM 3: Artwork Approval

Presenter: Frances Stiles

This item provides the Committee/Commission the opportunity to review and approve the artwork utilized for the annual stamp and print program for Waterfowl, Saltwater, and Nongame species.

ITEM 4: Commission Policy Resolution

Presenter: Emily Armitano

This item will:


CONSERVATION COMMITTEE

November 6, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Land Sale – Tarrant County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

Eagle Mountain Lake SP, purchased in 1982 but never developed or opened to the public, was recommended for sale by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at the August 2002 meeting, but with specific directions to staff. Since the August 2002 meeting of the Commission, the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) and TPWD staff have met with representatives from the Texas Legislature, Tarrant County, and Tarrant County Water District in an effort to formulate a transaction whereby a partnership of local interests could acquire EML. The result of these discussions has lead to the TPL offering an option contract to acquire EML at the mean appraised value of two recent appraisals of $6.4-million. The option period is 12-months. In effect, the TPL must purchase the property for conservation use at the fair market value or transfer the option to a local partnership within this 12-month period. Staff seeks Commission approval of the TPL option contract.

ITEM 3: Land Acquisition – Cameron County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

Land acquisition of approximately 72-acres is recommended as a habitat addition at the Longoria Unit of the Las Palomas WMA.

One tract from one willing seller is under consideration at a sales price of $1,111/acre or $80,000 and a total project cost of approximately $90,000

The tracts will be farmed as food plots and reforested as thorn-brush habitat

No additional staff is anticipated with this addition

Funding is proposed with revenue from the sale of white-winged dove hunting stamps

ITEM 4: Land Acquisition – Somervell County

Presenter: Ronnie Ray

The Department has been offered 60 acres in Somervell County adjacent to Dinosaur Valley State Park. This action will:


AD HOC INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE

November 6, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Capital Project Update

Presenter: Steve Whiston

The Commission will be given a presentation on the Capital Construction Program. The presentation will include project status, funding, expenditure, and implementation plans for the FY03 Bond Program.


OUTREACH AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE

November 6, 2002

ITEM 1: Chairman’s Charges

ITEM 2: Outreach and Education Plan

Presenter: Scott Boruff

Staff will present a briefing on the agency’s response to Sunset recommendations regarding Outreach and Education. The briefing will include an update on the organizational status of the Outreach and Education Section, specific response to Sunset issues, and plans for ongoing Outreach and Education planning and implementation.


PUBLIC HEARING SYNOPSIS REPORTS

PUBLIC HEARING

November 7, 2002

ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS

RETIREMENT CERTIFICATES AND SERVICE AWARDS

PRESENTATION – Shikar-Safari Officer of the Year Award

Presenter: Roy Lawrence

PRESENTATION – NASBLA Texas Water Safety Officer of the Year Award

Staff: Roy Lawrence

ITEM 1: ACTION – Approval of Agenda

ITEM 2: BRIEFING – Texas Wildlife Expo

Presenter: Ernie Gammage

ACTION: Commission review and discussion.

Report on and review of the 2002 Texas Wildlife Expo

ITEM 3: ACTION – Commission Policy Resolution

Presenter: Emily Armitano

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item will:

ITEM 4: ACTION – Artwork Approval

Presenter: Frances Stiles

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item provides the Commission the opportunity to review and approve the artwork utilized for the annual stamp and print program for Waterfowl, Saltwater, Turkey, and Nongame species.

ITEM 5: ACTION – Crab, Trap Season

Presenter: Hal Osburn

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

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 its November 2001 meeting, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a closed season for the use of crab traps.

ITEM 6: BRIEFING – Texas Coastal Paddling Trails

Presenter: Bill Harvey

ACTION: Commission review and discussion.

In the September of 1999, TWPD staff laid out and mapped the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails in Redfish Bay. Located between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas, the trails were an instant success. Paddlers, anglers, and birdwatchers from all across the U.S. flocked to the area to experience this unique outdoor opportunity. As a result, TPWD established five additional paddling trails were established: Armand Bayou, Christmas Bay, Port O’Connor, Mustang Island and South Bay (near Port Isabel).

ITEM 7: ACTION – Scientific Breeder Proclamation - Importation

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item presents changes to the Scientific Breeder Proclamation to:

ITEM 8: ACTION – Trap, Transport, and Transplant of Game Animal and Game Birds

Presenter: Jerry Cooke

· ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

This item presents a proposed change to the rules governing the trapping, transportation, and transplanting of game animals and game birds (‘Triple T’ permits). The proposed change would suspend the issuance of permits for white-tailed and mule deer in response to concerns about the spread of Chronic wasting Disease.

ITEM 9: BRIEFING – Quail Plan

Presenter: Vernon Bevill

ACTION: Commission review and discussion.

The directors of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recently approved a range-wide recovery plan for the bobwhite quail. The goal of the plan is to restore quail habitat to a level that will support population levels that existed in 1980. For Texas, that means increasing bobwhite numbers by about 480,000 new coveys. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff are coordinating a cooperative effort to take the range-wide plan and step it down to the Texas landscape. This briefing outlines the key thrusts of the Texas Quail Plan, and highlights the means by which staff thinks this population goal can be achieved over the next 25-years.

ITEM 10: BRIEFING - Lake Austin Aquatic Vegetation Plan

Presenter: Phil Durocher

ACTION: Commission review and discussion.

Mr. Durocher will present a brief history of Lake Austin with emphasis on Aquatic Vegetation. The focus will be on the emergence of hydrilla in 1999 and what has occurred since that time. He will discuss the Aquatic Vegetation Plan developed in conjunction with the Lower Colorado River Authority, the City of Austin, and the Friends of Lake Austin to address current concerns.

ITEM 11: ACTION - Land Sale – Tarrant County

Presenter: Jack Bauer

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

Eagle Mountain Lake SP, purchased in 1982 but never developed or opened to the public, was recommended for sale by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at the August 2002 meeting, but with specific directions to staff. Since the August 2002 meeting of the Commission, the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) and TPWD staff have met with representatives from the Texas Legislature, Tarrant County, and Tarrant County Water District in an effort to formulate a transaction whereby a partnership of local interests could acquire EML. The result of these discussions has lead to the TPL offering an option contract to acquire EML at the mean appraised value of two recent appraisals of $6.4-million. The option period is 12-months. In effect, the TPL must purchase the property for conservation use at the fair market value or transfer the option to a local partnership within this 12-month period. Staff seeks Commission approval of the TPL option contract.

ITEM 12: ACTION - Land Acquisitions

Presenter: Jack Bauer

ACTION: Commission consideration for adoption.

A. Cameron County

Land acquisition of approximately 72-acres is recommended as a habitat addition at the Longoria Unit of the Las Palomas WMA.

One tract from one willing seller is under consideration at a sales price of $1,111/acre or $80,000 and a total project cost of approximately $90,000

B. Somervell County

The Department has been offered 60 acres in Somervell County adjacent to Dinosaur Valley State Park. This action will:


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