Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Commission Agenda Item No. 22
Action
Acceptance of Conservation Easement - Harris County
13 Acres at San Jacinto Battleground/Monument State Historic Site
August 27, 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 is believed to have stretched from the current SHS onto land fronting on the San Jacinto River (Houston Ship Channel) and owned by the City of Houston. The City desires to sell a portion of the land. Staff of TPWD fears that development of the site would destroy precious evidence of the Texan encampment, and further compromise the visitor experience at the SHS.

As a result of discussions between TPWD staff and the City, a compromise has been worked out that would involve the placement of a very restrictive conservation easement on approximately 13 acres of the subject tract, followed by the sale of approximately 3 acres on the open market. The subject 13 acres would then be leased to TPWD to manage. The conservation easement would prohibit any development on the subject tract, which includes that portion of the site most visible from within the current SHS, and believed most likely to preserve significant archeological resources.

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 accept the donation of a conservation easement on approximately 13 acres in Harris County."

Attachments - 3

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

Commission Agenda Item No. 22
Exhibit A

Location of San Jacinto Battleground SHS - Harris County

Location of Harris County in relation to the State of Texas

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 22
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for San Jacinto Battleground SHS

Location of San Jacinto Battleground SHS in relation to Sheldon Lake State Park and Houston, Texas

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 22
Exhibit C

Site Map Showing Proposed Conservation Easement - San Jacinto Battleground SHS

Location of proposed conservation easement in relation to San Jacinto Battlegound SHS

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


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