Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, March 25, 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
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Wildlife Management Area Briefing
    Staff: Donnie Frels, Jeff Gunnels
  3. Withdrawn Acceptance of Land Donation - Bexar County - Approximately 3,000 Acres - Government Canyon State Natural Area (Action Item No. 12)
    Staff: Ted Hollingsworth
  4. Land Acquisition - Houston County - One Half Acre Contiguous to the Park Entrance at Mission Tejas State Park (Action Item No. 13)
    Staff: Corky Kuhlmann
  5. Update on Possible Land Acquisition and Development in Palo Pinto County (Executive Session Only)
    Staff: Scott Boruff
  6. Land Exchange - Galveston County -Receipt of 11 acres in exchange for 6 acres at Galveston Island State Park - Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process (Executive Session Only)
    Staff: Corky Kuhlmann
  7. Land Transfer - Taylor County - 91.3 Acres at Camp Tonkawa Boy Scout Camp/Abilene State Park - Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process (Executive Session Only)
    Staff: Corky Kuhlmann
  8. Land Acquisition - Bandera County - Lost Maples State Natural Area - Request Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process (Executive Session Only)
    Staff: Ted Hollingsworth
  9. Acceptance of Conservation Easement - Harris County - 15 Acres at San Jacinto Battleground/Monument State Historic Site (Executive Session Only)
    Staff: Ted Hollingsworth

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
March 25, 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: Donnie Frels
Jeff Gunnels

Conservation Committee
Wildlife Management Area Briefing
March 25, 2009

I. Executive Summary: This item presents an update and overview of the properties leased, owned and managed by the Wildlife Division. Staff will discuss the unique challenges faced at these sites while attempting to address and implement the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan.

II. Discussion: Since the initial acquisition in 1946 to protect the last remaining, native Desert Bighorn population in the mountains of West Texas, the department has acquired many diverse and unique properties across the state for a variety of purposes. Now totaling 51 sites and encompassing over 700,000 acres of land, these Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) provide our constituents a valuable service in the form of science-based management programs, public recreation areas, habitat demonstration sites, experiment and research stations, and outdoor classrooms for students. However, as demands on these sites continue to increase, our ability to adequately provide the expected level of service is compromised by declining operational budgets, inadequate staffing, heavy equipment requirements, and the escalating need for infrastructure maintenance and repairs. The major challenge for the Wildlife Division will be to strategically plan for the future of our WMAs while adhering to the specified goals for which the sites were originally acquired.


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Scott Boruff

Conservation Committee
(Executive Session Only)
Update on Possible Land Acquisition and Development in Palo Pinto County
March 25, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Staff will brief the Commission on efforts to acquire and develop property in Palo Pinto County.


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Corky Kuhlmann

Conservation Committee
(Executive Session Only)
Land Exchange - Galveston County
Galveston Island State Park
March 25, 2009

I. Executive Summary: TPWD staff is currently in negotiations with an adjacent landowner (Landowner) at the Park for the exchange of approximately 6.2 acres of TPWD land for an approximate 11-acre private tract. The 11-acre tract represents an in-holding at the Park and acquisition of the 6.2 acres by the Landowner would combine his holding into one block of contiguous land.

TPWD staff seeks permission to begin the process of providing public notice and obtaining public input regarding the proposed exchange. Upon final negotiation of the terms of the exchange and after obtaining public input, staff will return to the Commission for authority to close the transaction.

Attachment - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Exhibit A

Galveston Island State Park
Galveston County, TX
Location Map

Location of Galveston Island State Park, Galveston County in relation to the State of Texas

For help in interpreting this map, please contact Corky Kuhlmann.


Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Presenters: Corky Kuhlmann

Conservation Committee
(Executive Session Only)
Land Transfer-Taylor County
Abilene State Park
March 25, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has a request from The Texas Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America (Boy Scouts) to transfer approximately 91.3 acres of land at Camp Tonkawa Boy Scout Camp/Abilene State Park, Abilene, Texas.

II. Discussion: The Camp Tonkawa Boy Scout Camp consists of approximately 191.3 acres of land of which 91.3 acres is leased by the Boy Scouts from TPWD and was originally part of Abilene State Park. This lease originated on June 7, 1949 for a term of 19 years, with a renewed lease expiring in 2018.

TPWD has received a request from The Texas Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America for the transfer of 91.3 acres of State Park land to be used as an addition to Camp Tonkawa Boy Scout Camp. This transfer would provide opportunities for the Boy Scouts to build new facilities and/or renovate existing facilities.

This transfer would be subject to a conservation easement being placed on the land allowing for good conservation practices and providing a healthy Boy Scout atmosphere.

TPWD staff seeks permission to begin the process of providing public notice and obtaining public input regarding the proposed transfer. Upon final negotiation of the terms of the transfer and after obtaining public input, staff will return to the Commission for authority to close the transaction.

Attachment - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Abilene State Park
Taylor County, TX
Location Map

Location of Abilene State Park, Taylor County in relation to the State of Texas

For help in interpreting this map, please contact Corky Kuhlmann.


Committee Agenda Item No. 8
Presenters: Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
(Executive Session Only)
Land Acquisition - Bandera County
732 Acres at Lost Maples State Natural Area
March 25, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Staff has negotiated the acquisition of 732+- acres of land adjacent to Lost Maples State Natural Area from a willing seller.

II. Discussion: Lost Maples State Natural Area (SNA), located on the Sabinal River in Bandera County, is named after the bigtooth maple, which is found in a small area of the Edwards Plateau and noted for its spectacular display of fall color. At 2,174 acres, Lost Maples SNA is a relatively small area. The popularity of the site, and the impact of visitors on natural resources, especially in the fall, warrant expansion of both the area and the recreational opportunities available.

The owner of a ranch adjacent to the SNA has offered to sell 732 acres to TPWD. The acquisition would add miles of potential hiking trails to the site. In addition, the acreage is home to a high concentration of endangered Golden Cheeked Warblers.

Staff requests permission from the TPW Commission to begin the public notice and input process for this acquisition.

Attachment - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit A

Lost Maples State Natural Area
Bandera County, TX
Location Map

Location of Lost Maples State Natural Area, Bandera County in relation to the State of Texas

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Presenters: Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
(Executive Session Only)
Acceptance of Conservation Easement - Harris County
15 Acres at San Jacinto Battleground/Monument State Historic Site
March 25, 2009

I. Executive Summary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff is working with the City of Houston to place a conservation easement on land owned by the City adjacent to San Jacinto Battleground/Monument State Historic Site (SHS).

II. Discussion: San Jacinto Battleground/Monument SHS preserves the site where Texas won independence from Mexico in 1836 by defeating the numerically superior army of General Santa Anna. Recent archeological studies, coupled with careful study of historical documentation, have led to a much better understanding of the battle, the location of battle-related features, and the distribution of archeological resources. The encampment of the Texan Army on the day of the battle stretched from the current SHS onto land fronting on the San Jacinto River (Houston Ship Channel) and owned by the City of Houston. Staff of TPWD is concerned that future development of the site could lead to destruction of precious evidence of the Texan encampment, and further compromise the visitor experience at the SHS.

Discussions between TPWD staff and the City have resulted in a proposal that would involve the placement of a conservation easement on the subject tract, intended to protect that portion of the site believed to preserve archeological resources and most visible from within the current SHS.

Attachment - 1

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit A

San Jacinto Battleground SHS
Harris County, TX
Location Map

Location of San Jacinto Battleground SHS, Harris County in relation to the State of Texas

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



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