Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, Jan. 25, 2006

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item No. Subject Public Hearing Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes.  
1. Land and Water Plan Update
Staff: Robert Cook
Committee Only
2. Archeology at Mission Tejas State Park
Staff: Todd McMakin
Committee Only
3. Withdrawn: East Texas Conservation Projects
Staff: Jack Bauer (Andy Jones, The Conservation Fund)
Committee Only
4. Land Transfer - Brown County - Lake Brownwood State Park (Proposed Transfer of 47 Acres to the Brown County Water Improvement District - Permission to Begin Public Notice and Input Process)
Staff: Ted Hollingsworth
Committee Only
5. Land Transfer - Hidalgo County (Acceptance of Transfer of the Unoccupied Portion of Approximately 18.5 Acres from the city of Weslaco for the World Birding Center - Permission to Begin Public Notice and Input Process)
Staff: Scott Boruff
Committee Only
6. Advisory Committee Rules Amendment
  • Big Bend Ranch State Park Task Force
  • Executive Director Advisory Committees
Staff: Ann Bright
14
7. Transfer of Lake Houston State Park to the City of Houston
Staff: Walt Dabney
9
8. Land Donation - Brewster County (Acceptance of Donation of a 10-Acre Inholding in Black Gap Wildlife Management Area)
Staff: Jack Bauer
18
9. Land Donation - Hamilton County (PAL Ranch - Acceptance of Donation of Approximately 220 Acres for Use as the TPWD Game Warden Training Academy)
Staff: Scott Boruff
19
10. Land Donation - Jasper County (Acceptance of Donation of Approximately 200 Acres for the Jasper Fish Hatchery Facility)
Staff: Corky Kuhlmann
20
11. Eagle Mountain Lake State Park - Tarrant County (Commission Consideration of Real Property Alternatives of Eagle Mountain Lake SP)
Staff: Jack Bauer
Committee and Executive Session

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Conservation Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency’s efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Regulations Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan’s Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Regulations Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Todd McMakin

Conservation Committee
Archeology at Mission Tejas State Park
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: Cultural Resource program staff will provide an update on the results of archeological research at the newly acquired 291 acres at Mission Tejas State Park. Research has been completed on three archaeological sites associated with the Nabedache (Caddo) Indian Village from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The recovery of Spanish trade goods and contemporaneous Caddo artifacts from these three sites indicate that the sites are indeed associated with the Nabedache village. Only a handful of archaeological sites of this period have been identified within the state. These sites are significant and should be interpreted at the park for the benefit of park visitors. The State Parks Interpretive Program, in conjunction with the Cultural Resources Program and regional State Parks staff, are identifying the appropriate way of interpreting these findings.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
Land Transfer - Brown County
Lake Brownwood State Park
(Proposed Transfer of 47 Acres to the
Brown County Water Improvement District)
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: Staff will be seeking permission from the Commission to provide public notice and seek public input regarding a proposed transfer of approximately 47-acres within Lake Brownwood State Park (the Park) to the Brown County Water Improvement District (BCWID). This 47-acre property has been leased by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to the Girl Scouts-Heart of Texas Council, Inc. (Girl Scouts) since 1954.

II. Discussion: In 1934, the BCWID deeded about 537.5 acres in Brown County to the State Parks Board (the predecessor of TPWD) to create and maintain a state park. The deed stated that the property would revert to the BCWID if TPWD did not use the property as a state park.

In 1953, the BCWID consented to TPWD leasing approximately 50-60 acres at the Park to the Girl Scouts. In 1954, the State Parks Board agreed to lease 73 acres to the Girl Scouts for 50 years. During that 50-year period, the Girl Scouts constructed a number of permanent improvements on the property (e.g., cabins, dining hall, and swimming pool). When the initial lease expired in January 2004, TPWD agreed to lease 60 acres that the Girl Scouts were actively using to the Girl Scouts for 2 years with an automatic 2-year extension.

The Girl Scouts would like to build and/or upgrade permanent improvements on the property, but are unable to obtain funding for such improvements without a long-term lease or ownership of the property. TPWD staff has been reluctant to enter another long-term lease with the Girl Scouts because of liability issues. Staff has consulted with the BCWID about returning approximately 47-acres that are actually used by the Girl Scouts to the BCWID. BCWID has tentatively indicated that it would accept the property and enter a long-term lease with the Girl Scouts. Staff would like to begin the process of providing public notice and obtaining public input regarding a proposed transfer of approximately 47-acres at the Park to the BCWID.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Map of Lake Brownwood SP

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Map of Lake Brownwood State Park


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Scott Boruff

Conservation Committee
Land Transfer - Hidalgo County
(Transfer of Unoccupied Portion of Approximately 18.5 Acres
from the City of Weslaco for the World Birding Center)
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: Staff will be briefing the Commission regarding a proposal to accept the unoccupied areas within an 18.5 acre tract of the property owned by the City of Weslaco as part of the City of Weslaco's match for the Estero Llano Grande site of the World Birding Center in Weslaco.

II. Discussion: By Agreements dated August 17, 1999, May 15, 2000, and October 23, 2003, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the City of Weslaco agreed to each contribute to the development of the Estero Llano Grande site of the World Birding Center in Weslaco. TPWD agreed to accept certain property as part of Weslaco's match for the site. Approximately 18.5 acres of property that Weslaco proposed to offer as the match has been used in recent years as a mobile home park. TPWD and the City of Weslaco understood that TPWD was not willing to accept any property on which individuals resided. However, there are several areas within 18.5 acre site that are unoccupied. TPWD staff would like to pursue the transfer of those unoccupied areas from the City of Weslaco to TPWD.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Map of Property

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

Map of Property


Committee Agenda Item No. 11
Presenter: Jack Bauer

Conservation Committee
Consideration of Real Property Alternatives of Eagle Mountain
Lake State Park - Tarrant County
January 2006

I. Executive Summary: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) addressed issues and alternatives concerning EML in Conservation Committee at the November 2-3, 2005 Commission Meeting. The Commission directed Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff to appraise the property and formulate options regarding future use of EML for Commission consideration. This item discusses results of the appraisal and explores options for Eagle Mountain Lake State Park (EML).

II. Discussion: Eagle Mountain Lake State Park is located on the eastern shore of Eagle Mountain Lake in Tarrant County about 20 miles northwest of downtown Fort Worth. The 400-acre property was purchased by TPWD in 1980 for $3.9 million for the purpose of developing a state recreation facility. The facility has never been developed into a park nor opened to the public. In August 2002, the Commission voted to sell EML but as a result of legislation passed by the 78th Texas Legislature (2003), TPWD was prohibited from selling EML until after September 1, 2004. In November 2003, the Commission approved a recommendation to the Board for Lease for Parks and Wildlife Lands that EML be nominated for oil and gas lease. The Board for Lease for Parks and Wildlife Lands approved the lease sale to Antero Resources, LP in February 2004. Oil and gas exploration and recovery operations are currently occurring at EML. The lease was sold to XTO Energy, Inc. during the summer of 2005.

In November 2005, the Conservation Committee addressed issues and alternatives concerning EML and directed Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff to appraise the property and formulate options regarding future use of EML for Commission consideration. Appraisal of the property is complete.

The Texas General Land Office (GLO) in a report to the Governor entitled State Agency Property Recommended Transactions, September 2005, recommended the sale of the entire 400.71-acres at EML. The GLO may conduct a transaction involving property on the list of unused or substantially underused property, unless the Governor disapproves the transaction within certain time frame allowed by law. TPWD has indicated that it does not object to the approval by the Governor of a transaction conducted by the GLO to sell EML provided the sale include surface estate only, reserving the mineral estate, with the proceeds of the sale to be deposited in the State Parks account (Fund 64) for use pursuant to Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §13.009(d). The current appropriation act does not permit TPWD to use land sale revenue to acquire land.

On December 19, 2005, the Governor disapproved the sale of Eagle Mountain Lake State Park unless the following conditions are met:

"Eagle Mountain Lake State Park, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, surface only, consisting of 400.71 acres, at Peden Rd. and FM 1220, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas (page 50 of GLO report), reserving the minerals, with the proceeds of the sale to be deposited in the State Parks account (Fund 064) for use pursuant to Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Section 13.009(d)."

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Location Map Eagle Mountain Lake SP

Committee Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit A

Location Map Eagle Mountain Lake State Park


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