Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Action
Land Acquisition - Yoakum County
Fitzgerald Ranch
November 6, 2008

I. Executive Summary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is working cooperatively with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to assemble a significant tract of open land in Yoakum County for the conservation of the lesser prairie chicken.

II. Discussion: Habitat fragmentation and changing land uses have long-term implications for management of the lesser prairie chicken. TPWD is working with TNC on the assembly and acquisition of a significant tract of contiguous conservation land in the southern Texas Panhandle to help insure the bird's survival in the wild. In the last year, TPWD has made a grant of Pittman Robertson funds to TNC for the acquisition of the 6000 acre Fitzgerald Ranch in Terry and Yoakum counties. TNC is also negotiating with adjacent landowners for opportunities to enlarge this core conservation area.

One of these adjacent landowners is the Texas General Land Office (GLO), which owns a 241-acre tract scheduled for public sale. At the request of TPWD, GLO has taken this tract off the market and offered it to TPWD at the appraised price of $225/acre, or $54,214. The location and biological values of this tract make it a significant acquisition for the growing Fitzgerald Ranch/lesser prairie chicken preserve. Staff believes these values justify acquisition, ownership and management of this tract in cooperation with TNC.

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 acquire 241 acres in Yoakum County for addition to the Fitzgerald Ranch Lesser Prairie Chicken Preserve."

Attachments - 3

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

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit A

Location of the Fitzgerald Ranch in Terry and Yoakum Counties

Location of the Fitzgerald Ranch in Terry and Yoakum Counties in relation to the State of Texas

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map of Fitzgerald Ranch Southwest of Lubbock

Location of Fitzgerald Ranch in relation to the Lubbock, TX

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


Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit C

Site Map Showing Location of 241-acre Subject Tract

Location of subject 241 acres in relation to Fitzgerald Ranch

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


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