Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Commission Agenda Item No. 14
Action
Lease Exchange with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr Counties
May 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: TPWD proposes to lease Boca Chica State Park (SP) and eight units of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and to assume management of FWS tracts adjacent to the Weslaco and Resaca de la Palma World Birding Centers (WBC) by Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

II. Discussion: Las Palomas WMA is comprised of some twenty (20) individual units, ranging in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. The eight units proposed for transfer to USFWS by lease with a term of fifty years are spread out over 100 miles, making the cost of operation out of proportion to the benefit. FWS would continue to manage the tracts for conservation.

1,055-acre Boca Chica SP was acquired in 1994 to provide conservation and low-impact public access to marshes, flats and the Gulf of Mexico at the extreme southeast tip of Texas. Access, elevation and tropical storms minimize the suitability of the site for development of recreational facilities, and no development has taken place. FWS owns the adjacent Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, and is better situated to manage this remote property for both wildlife and public access. In exchange, TPWD would assume management of the 201-acre Noriega tract adjacent to Resaca de la Palma WBC and the 37-acre Mercedes tract adjacent to Weslaco WBC, through an MOA with a term of fifty (50) years.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Executive Director is authorized to take all necessary steps to exchange easements in Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr counties on eight (8) units of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area and Boca Chica State Park with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for management authority on tracts of land adjacent to Resaca de la Palma and Weslaco World Birding Centers."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Site Maps (A-1 to A-3)

Commission Agenda Item No. 14
Exhibit A-1

Site Map

Las Palomas Proposed Land Agreement - August 2006, map A-1 media download(PDF 283.2 KB)

For help in interpreting this map, please contact Ted Hollingsworth.


Commission Agenda Item No. 14
Exhibit A-2

Site Map

Las Palomas Proposed Land Agreement - August 2006, map A-2 media download(PDF 212.4 KB)

For help in interpreting this map, please contact Ted Hollingsworth.


Commission Agenda Item No. 14<
Exhibit A-3

Site Map

Las Palomas Proposed Land Agreement - August 2006, map A-3 media download(PDF 226.9 KB)

For help in interpreting this map, please contact Ted Hollingsworth.


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