Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, January 21, 2009

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744

Commissioner Mark E. Bivins, Committee Chair
Scott Boruff, Committee Liaison

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
    • NOAA Fishery Disaster Grant
    • Golden Alga International Symposium
    • Grand Opening of Resaca de la Palma World Birding Center Site
    • Wildfire Research at the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Dove Research Briefing
    Staff: Clay Brewer
  3. Acceptance of Land Donation from the Brazos River Authority - Palo Pinto County - Approximately 350 Acres at Possum Kingdom State Park - Request Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process
    Staff: Ted Hollingsworth
  4. Land Exchange - Harrison County - Trade of 1 Acre for 1 Acre - Caddo Lake State Park - Request Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process
    Staff: Ted Hollingsworth
  5. Acceptance of Land Donation - Bexar County - Approximately 3,000 acres - Government Canyon State Natural Area - Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process
    Staff: Ted Hollingsworth
  6. WITHDRAWN — Land Exchange - San Saba and Lampasas Counties - Trade of 1470' Road Easement through Colorado Bend State Park to an Adjacent Landowner in Return for a 750' x 9100' "No Build Zone" Adjacent to a Portion of the Park Boundary (Action Item No. 13)
    Staff: Corky Kuhlmann
  7. Withdrawn – New Environmental Review Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TPWD and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) - Request Permission to Publish in Texas Register
    Staff: Kathy Boydston
  8. Update on Possible Land Acquisition and Development in Palo Pinto County (Executive Session Only)
    Staff: Scott Boruff

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Conservation Committee
Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
January 21, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith 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 Carter Smith will update the Conservation Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Conservation 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
Presenters: Clay Brewer

Conservation Committee
Dove Research Briefing
January 21, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Approximately 25 percent of the nation's dove hunting occurs in Texas, generating approximately $316 million in annual economic activity within the state. This briefing addresses past, current, and future dove research in Texas and how the information acquired from these studies is used at the state and national levels to guide decisions concerning regulations and management.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenters: Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
Acceptance of Land Donation from Brazos River Authority - Palo Pinto County Approximately 350 acres at Possum Kingdom State Park
January 21, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Staff of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is working with staff of the Brazos River Authority (BRA) on a land transaction that would result in the transfer of approximately 700 acres of land to TPWD in two phases.

II. Discussion: The 1,529-acre Possum Kingdom State Park was acquired from the BRA in 1939 and opened to the public in 1950. In 1965 a portion of the park was returned to BRA for proposed development of lakeside cabins, but much of that land remains undeveloped, and TPWD staff believes the land would make a viable addition to the state park, for an expanded trail network and possibly remote camping area(s). BRA is in the process of making decisions about land use surrounding the lake, and is interested in returning open land to TPWD for low impact recreation consistent with the current development and use of the state park.

In exchange, BRA is requesting the transfer of 250 acres of inundated lands lying under the surface of the lake from TPWD to BRA, and conversion of a 960-foot long BRA pipeline right-of-way term easement to a permanent no-fee easement. In addition, some or all of the transferred land would be subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) development restrictions, as is a portion of the current state park. The FERC restrictions would not preclude any of the current park activities or any of those contemplated for future development and public use of the property.

Two phases of land transaction, of roughly 350 acres each, are contemplated, as illustrated in Exhibit C below. Upon finalization of the terms and conditions of each of these transfers, staff requests permission to begin the public notice and input process.

Attachments - 4

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map
  2. Exhibit B – Vicinity Map
  3. Exhibit C – Site Map
  4. Exhibit D – Submerged Lands Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Location of Possum Kingdom State Park
Palo Pinto County

Location of Possum Kingdom State Park, Palo Pinto County in relation to the State of Texas

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit B

Possum Kingdom State Park Vicinity Map

Location of Possum Kingdom State Park in relation to Fort Richardson SP/SHS and Lake Mineral Wells SP

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit C

Site Map
Possum Kingdom State Park Proposed Transfers
Phase One North - Phase Two South

Location of Possum Kingdom State Park in relation to proposed transfers

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit D

Possum Kingdom State Park Site Map
Showing Submerged Land
Proposed for Transfer to Brazos River Authority

Location of Possum Kingdom State Park in relation to submerged land

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenters: Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
Land Exchange - Harrison County
Caddo Lake State Park
January 21, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff proposes the exchange of a 1-acre disjunct lot for a 1-acre lot contiguous with Caddo Lake State Park.

II. Discussion: A number of years ago, TPWD was donated majority interest in a waterfront lot at Caddo Lake separated from the state park by a road, and including a dilapidated house. TPWD has recently acquired the remaining interest in the lot. An intervening landowner is willing to exchange this lot for an area of waterfront land of equal value (one acre more or less) adjacent to the park.

This exchange is of particular operational value to TPWD because the land is adjacent to the park's boat ramp which is only a matter of yards from the current park boundary. Trespass by users of the boat ramp onto the adjacent private property has been an issue in the past. Acquisition of this tract would help alleviate this problem for both TPWD and the adjacent landowner.

Staff requests permission from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to begin the public notice and input process for this exchange.

Attachments - 3

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

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Location of Caddo Lake State Park
Harrison County

Location of Caddo Lake State Park, Harrison County in relation to the State of Texas

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit B

Caddo Lake State Park Vicinity Map

Location of Caddo Lake State Park in relation to Caddo Lake WMA

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit C

Caddo Lake State Park Site Map
Showing 1-acre Lots Proposed for Exchange

Location of Caddo Lake State Park in relation to boat ramp and lots to be exchanged

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenters: Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
Land Donation - Bexar County
Approximately 3,000 Acres at Government Canyon Sate Natural Area
January 21, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Staff of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has been working with the City of San Antonio on an agreement to transfer approximately 3,000 acres of undeveloped land from the City to TPWD for management and operation as part of the Government Canyon State Natural Area (SNA).

II. Discussion: The City of San Antonio (COSA) owns approximately eight tracts of undeveloped land contiguous with Government Canyon SNA totaling approximately 3,000 acres. The land is similar in topography, habitat and recreation potential to the park. COSA and TPWD staff has been discussing the possibility of transferring this land to TPWD for operation as part of Government Canyon consistent with the development and public use philosophy of the SNA.

The occurrence of the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler on Camp Bullis in areas needed for training exercises has precipitated the need to identify offsite conservation "credit." COSA has been consulting with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on ways to generate this credit. Since Golden Cheeked Warblers occur on parts of the 3,000 acres of subject tracts, some credit might be realized in the transfer of this property to TPWD for conservation and management in perpetuity. Any restrictions on development and operations resulting from this designation would be comparable to those already in place on the SNA.

The subject tracts represent the majority of undeveloped lands adjacent to Government Canyon, and may be the last opportunity to enlarge the SNA. Staff requests permission to continue working with COSA, enter into a Letter of Intent outlining the proposed transfer, and begin the public notice and input process.

Attachments - 3

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

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

Location Map for Government Canyon State Natural Area
Bexar County

Location of Government Canyon State Natural Area, Bexar County in relation to the State of Texas

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for Government Canyon State Natural Area

Location of Government Canyon State Natural Area in relation to City of San Antonio

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit C

Government Canyon State Natural Area Site Map
Showing Tracts of Land Proposed for Transfer to TPWD

Location of Canyon State Natural Area in relation to City of San Antonio land tracts

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Presenters: Kathy Boydston

Conservation Committee
New Environmental Review Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between
TPWD and the Texas Department of Transportation
Request Permission to Publish in Texas Register
January 21, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Transportation Code §201.607 directs Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to adopt memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with appropriate environmental resource agencies, including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

II. Discussion: Staff requests permission to publish the MOU in the Texas Register in February. TPWD and TxDOT are currently working to finalize the MOU for publication in the Texas Register in February, with adoption by both Commissions in March 2009.

The MOU will address the following: types of transportation projects to be reviewed by TPWD, the information that will be required in the Environmental Assessments prepared by TxDOT, coordination of these projects, best management practices to minimize impacts to fish and wildlife resources and a process for compensation for state fish and wildlife resources.

The current MOU is located at Texas Administrative Code, Title 43, §2.22 and was adopted by reference at Texas Administrative Code, Title 31, Part 2, Chapter 69.


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