Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Commission Agenda Item No. 18
Action
Land Exchange - Presidio County
Big Bend Ranch State Park
August 21, 2008

I. Executive Summary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff has negotiated an exchange of lands with a private landowner within Big Bend Ranch State Park that will result in a net gain of acreage for the park and fewer inholdings.

II. Discussion: The land ownership history of the property now called Big Bend Ranch is complex and varied. As a result, the original ranch acquired in 1988 included irregular boundaries and a number of inholdings. Staff has been working ever since to add significant adjacent resources to the park, clear up ownership conflicts, deal with irregular boundaries and eliminate inholdings.

One of the owners of a number of inholding tracts, ranging in size up to 497 acres, has agreed to exchange 1,434 acres for 502 acres of TPWD land, resulting in a consolidated holding for the landowner and eliminating five individual inholding tracts from within the boundary of the park. These inholdings include tracts that straddle roads or trails and complicate user circulation within the park, while the consolidated inholding of the landowner is situated in such a way as to minimize any interference with implementation of the Public Use Plan. This exchange represents a straight trade at appraised value.

A contract between the landowner and TPWD has been signed, contingent upon TPW Commission approval. Public opinion has been solicited and a local public hearing has been conducted.

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 approximately 502 acres of land for approximately 1,434 acres of land in Presidio County to be managed as part of the Big Bend Ranch State Park. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission finds that ownership of the 502 acres being traded is no longer in the best interest of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, that this action is the most feasible and prudent alternative and that all reasonable planning has been taken to minimize harm to the park."

Attachments - 3

  1. Exhibit A - Location Map
  2. Exhibit B - Vicinity Map
  3. Exhibit C - Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 18
Exhibit A

Location of Big Bend Ranch - Presidio and Brewster Counties

Location of Big Bend Ranch State Park in relation to Presidio and Brewster Counties

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 18
Exhibit B

Big Bend Ranch SP and Associated Conservation Projects

Location of Big Bend Ranch State Park in relation to associated conservation projects

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 18
Exhibit C

Big Bend Ranch Showing Location of Proposed Exchange Tracts

Location of Big Bend Ranch State Park in relation to inholding areas

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


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