Presenter: Scott Boruff
Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Land and Water Resources
Conservation and Recreation Plan
I. Executive Summary: On August 29, 2002 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan. Pursuant to SB 305 as enacted by the 77th Legislature, staff created this plan to guide the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department over the next ten years in conserving natural, recreational, historic and wildlife resources and providing public access to the outdoors.
II. Discussion: As is expected, once the plan was being used there would be amendments to the goals and objectives.
III. Recommendation: Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts by resolution (Exhibit A) the amendments to the goals and objectives (Exhibit B) of the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan."
A Resolution by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Adopting the Amendments to the Land and Water
Resources and Recreation Plan
Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department prepared a comprehensive Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan; and,
Whereas, the Plan includes an inventory of all historical, natural, recreational and wildlife resources; and
Whereas, the Plan analyzes Texas' conservation and recreation needs, identifies threatened land and water resources and establishes the relative importance of these resources; and,
Whereas, the Plan includes criteria for determining how to meet Texas' conservation and recreation needs; and,
Whereas, the Department uses this Plan to base decisions on acquisition of new resources, divestiture of Department owned resources, local park grants, cooperation with private landowners and conservation organizations and other major land conservation operations of the Department; and
Whereas, the Plan calls for periodic updates; and,
Whereas, the Department has conducted an extensive review of the goals and objectives of this Plan; and,
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission that the amendments to the goals and objectives of the Land Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan are hereby adopted.
Adopted and Approved this 27th day of January 2005.
Joseph B. C. Fitzsimons, Chairman
Alvin L. Henry, Vice-Chairman
J. Robert Brown, Member
Ned S. Holmes, Member
Peter M. Holt, Member
Philip Montgomery, III, Member
John D. Parker, Member
Donato D. Ramos, Member
Mark E. Watson, Jr., Member
The State of Texas
County of Travis
I, the undersigned Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, do hereby certify that the foregoing resolution is a true, full, and correct copy of a resolution adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission of the State of Texas on the 27th day of January 2005.
Executed under my hand and seal of said Commission on this the 27th day of January 2005.
Robert L. Cook
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Major Goals and Objectives for the Next Ten Years
The following goals and objectives are provided as a method of measuring success of this Plan. To do so, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will annually evaluate and report its progress over the preceding year and its priorities for the following year to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. In addition, TPWD will update the Plan by October 2006 and regularly update it every four years.
Goal: Improve Public Access to the Outdoors
- A. Identify opportunities to expand trails, campgrounds, water access and hunting opportunities at priority state park and wildlife management areas based on the need identified in this Plan.
- B. Investigate and report strategies for increasing recreation on private land.
- C. Open to the public a minimum of four, 5,OOO-acre or larger state parks near major urban centers of the state.
- D. Provide wildlife management areas in the Cross Timbers and Prairies and the High Plains ecoregions.
- E. Provide additional land for public use to priority state parks and wildlife management areas as opportunities arise.
- F. If an appropriate owner or manager is identified, transfer eligible state parks and wildlife management areas listed in this Plan. (See Goal 2/ #2.9)
- G. Explore transferring leased state parks and WMAs listed in this Plan to their owners if the lease responsibility expires over the ten-year period. (See Goal 2/ #2.9)
Revised Goal 1: Improve access to the outdoors.
- 1.1 Identify opportunities to expand outdoor recreation, water access, hunting, and fishing on both public and private lands and waters.
- 1.2 Acquire and develop a minimum of four, 5,000 acre or larger state parks near major urban centers of the state.
- 1.3 Identify opportunities for adding land to existing state parks and wildlife management areas consistent with this Plan.
- 1.4 Acquire new wildlife management areas in the Cross Timbers and Prairies and the High Plains ecoregions.
- 1.5 Promote awareness and support of safe and responsible use of the outdoors.
- 1.6 Manage grant funds to enhance access to the outdoors.
Goal: Preserve, Manage and Operate the Best and Most Complete System of State Historic Sites
- H. Develop and implement a plan for regular maintenance and improvement of facilities, interpretation and programming at the high priority historic sites identified in this plan.
- I. Complete a system-wide evaluation of interpretation needs.
- J. Work with the Historic Sites Advisory Committee to appropriately integrate visitation, net revenue and new information into the site evaluation process.
- K. Using the existing criteria, refine and complete the gap analysis with the Historic Sites Advisory Committee, Texas Historic Commission and other experts to determine the most significant elements missing in publicly accessible historic sites in the state.
- L. Evaluate whether identified gaps can be addressed through improved interpretation at existing sites.
- M. Provide 1-3 new historic sites that address the highest priority gaps identified in the gap analysis.
- N. Work with the Texas Historical Commission to deaccession low priority historic sites through transfer, adaptive use or sale with appropriate restrictions.
Revised Goal 2: Conserve, manage, operate, and promote agency sites for recreational opportunities, biodiversity, and the cultural heritage of Texas.
- 2.1 Develop and implement plans for regular maintenance, conservation, restoration, and improvement of all agency facilities.
- 2.2 Develop agency priorities for spending available repair and development funds
- 2.3 Develop interpretive, educational and recreational programs at agency sites that demonstrate and promote understanding of the importance of natural and cultural resource conservation.
- 2.4 Protect, maintain, and restore appropriate terrestrial and aquatic habitat on agency sites.
- 2.5 Develop criteria for a statewide historic sites system in conjunction with the Texas Historic Commission.
- 2.6 Develop management priorities among existing TPWD historic sites.
- 2.7 Promote energy conservation and the use of alternative energy systems and programs.
- 2.8 Operate TPWD sites to increase public support, recreation participation, visitation, revenue, public support and promote the agency’s core conservation message.
- 2.9 Manage agency sites to demonstrate healthy natural ecosystems and support recreational uses consistent with the agency’s conservation mission.
- 2.10 Transfer eligible state parks and wildlife management areas listed in this Plan when appropriate.
Goal: Increase Support for Conservation on Private Land
- O. Incorporate recommendations for watershed management in all Wildlife Management Plans (WMP).
- P. Increase lands under Wildlife Management Plans (WMP).
- Q. Double lands under Wildlife Management Plans to 28 million acres.
- R. Increase percentages of WMPs in high priority ecoregions identified in this Plan (South Texas, Gulf Coast and Blackland Prairies).
- S. Increase percentage of ecoregion under WMPs in the High Plains, Pineywoods and Cross Timbers where lowest percentages currently exist.
- T. Increase WMPs focused on high priority habitats (native prairies, riparian areas) identified in this Plan and for priority wildlife species (priority : birds, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, lesser prairie chickens, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and quail).
- U. Support the establishment of a purchase of development rights program in Texas that is consistent with the Department's mission in the conservation of natural resources.
Revised Goal 3: Assist landowners in managing their lands for sustainable wildlife habitat consistent with their goals.
- 3.1 Promote awareness of and support for resource management through technical guidance to landowners.
- 3.2 Prioritize incentive-based management strategies as an alternative to regulatory strategies when appropriate.
- 3.3 Incorporate watershed management strategies in all Wildlife Management Plans (WMP).
- 3.4 Increase acres under Wildlife Management Plans to 20 million acres by 2008
- 3.5 Increase percentages of Wildlife Management Plans in high priority ecoregions and habitats identified in this Plan
- 3.6 Support establishment of a purchase of development rights program in Texas that is consistent with the agency’s mission.
- 3.7 Streamline permitting processes that ensures resource conservation.
Goal: Increase Hunting and Fishing Participation
- V. Maintain the current level of hunting and fishing license sales by recruiting new hunters and anglers.
- W. Develop a pilot management plan for promoting fishing opportunities in urban areas.
- X. Increase marketing to encourage intermittent anglers (anglers who have either stopped or irregularly purchase fishing licenses) and minorities to purchase fishing licenses.
- Y. Create an effective marketing campaign to market and promote hunting.
- Z. Reduce the lapse rate of intermittent hunter participation by 10 percent.
Revised Goal 4: Increase participation in hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor recreation.
- 4.1 Increase opportunities for youth to participate in outdoor recreation.
- 4.2 Promote and expand outdoor recreational activities.
- 4.3 Develop strategies to recruit, inform and retain new, lapsed and current outdoor users.
- 4.4 Increase access to and safety on public waters.
- 4.5 Promote outdoor recreation opportunities in urban areas.
Goal: Improve Fishing on Inland and Coastal Waters
- AA. Replace or renovate the Jasper fish hatchery.
- BB. Evaluate all fish hatcheries to determine long-term maintenance or replacement requirements.
- CC. Complete a final report of the impact of 2000 shrimping rules on coastal habitats, species abundance, bycatch and coastal fishing and implement any necessary changes.
Revised Goal 5: Enhance the quality of hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor recreation.
- 5.1 Manage and conserve (e.g., monitor, analyze, regulate, enhance, restore and protect) natural resources for healthy and sustainable ecosystems.
- 5.2 Refine hatchery programs to improve performance of fishes stocked into public waters.
- 5.3 Develop private/public partnerships to maintain, enhance, and restore ecosystems and promote outdoor recreational opportunities.
- 5.4 Simplify regulations consistent with the agency’s mission.
- 5.5 Restore aquatic and terrestrial habitat where feasible to sustain and enhance healthy ecosystems
- 5.6 Manage commercial resource activities to ensure long-term sustainability.
- 5.7 Create artificial reefs to enhance coastal recreational opportunities.
- 5.8 Promote safe and responsible boating.
Goal: Improve Science and Data Collection
- DD. Undertake a complete review of all scientific and conservation programs.
- EE. Review assessment and monitoring functions for fish and wildlife populations.
- FF. Complete an independent programmatic peer review.
- GG. Establish a systematic review process.
- HH. Develop an integrated GIS database of fish, wildlife and water data to assure that decisions are based on sound science and the best available data.
- II. Annually develop Internet accessible data and analytical capability, develop, provisions for continuous updating and coordination with other state agencies to access pertinent data.
- JJ. Complete formal agreements with state and federal resource agencies where necessary.
Revised Goal 6: Improve science, data collection and information dissemination to make informed management decisions.
- 6.1 Complete a comprehensive science review.
- 6.2 Develop and support integrated databases that include baseline resource inventories
- 6.3 Make all relevant information readily accessible to internal and external stakeholders.
- 6.4 Develop an implementation plan based on the science review and establish a systematic review process
- 6.5 Evaluate and apply emerging technologies when possible.
Goal: Maintain Sufficient Water Quality and Quantity to Support the Needs of Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation
- KK. In conjunction with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board, set incremental deadlines to complete all major and minor bay and estuarine system evaluations.
- LL. Incorporate freshwater inflow recommendations of Texas' major bay sand estuaries into water planning, development and management processes.
- MM. In conjunction with TCEQ and TWDB, complete instream flow studies to determine the quantity and timing of water, flow regime, necessary to support a sound ecological environment in rivers and streams.
- NN. Work with TCEQ and TWDB and with each of the 16 water planning regions over the next two state water planning cycles in 2006 and 2011 to incorporate fish, wildlife and recreation needs into each regional plan and the state water plan.
- OO. Encourage the conversion or transfer of existing unused water rights to the Texas Water Trust to protect instream uses.
- PP. Work with landowners, river authorities and regulatory entities on a watershed management approach, including range and habitat management practices, to improving water quality and quantity.
- QQ. Work with appropriate agencies to develop and implement nutrient, habitat and biological criteria for state waters (rivers and estuaries) to protect the health and productivity of those waters.
- RR. During each of the subsequent triennial reviews (2003, 06 and 09), TPWD will work with affected stakeholders to assure the water quality standards increasingly incorporate biological information conducive to management of fish and wildlife resources and implementation of this Plan.
Revised Goal 7: Maintain or improve water quality and quantity to support the needs of fish, wildlife and recreation.
- 7.1 Promote watershed and range management practices that improve water quality and quantity.
- 7.2 Promote cross-agency and stakeholder cooperation that enhances water quality, quantity and habitat.
- 7.3 Incorporate instream flow and freshwater inflow needs into water permitting, planning, development and management processes.
- 7.4 Incorporate fish, wildlife, and recreation needs into the Regional Water Planning process.
- 7.5 Promote understanding of and support for the water needs of fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation.
- 7.6 Work with stakeholders to ensure that Water Quality Standards increasingly incorporate biological data to protect the health and productivity of Texas waters.
- 7.7 Encourage the conversion or transfer of existing unused water rights to the Texas Water Trust to protect instream uses
Additional Goal 8: Continuously improve TPWD business management systems, business practices and work culture.
- 8.1 Promote a work culture that fosters agency-wide understanding of resource and business management and a team approach to problem solving.
- 8.2 Provide quality customer service.
- 8.3 Develop efficient and consistent processes that produce good financial systems and business outcomes.
- 8.4 Balance conservation and good business practices to achieve the agency mission.
- 8.5 Recruit, train, and retain quality employees at all levels of the agency.
- 8.6 Provide accurate and timely communication to oversight organizations.
- 8.7 Develop effective internal and external communication processes.
- 8.8 Develop an agency-wide plan for acquiring additional funding to support the agency’s mission.