Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.
November 2, 2011

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

Chairman T. Dan Friedkin, 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. Summary of Conceptual Design Report for the Battleship TEXAS Dry Berth Project
    Staff:  Scott Boruff, Rich McMonagle
  3. Request for Storage Lease–Anderson County–Natural Gas Storage Lease at Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area–Request Permission to begin the Public Notice and Input Process
    Staff:  Ted Hollingsworth
  4. ITEM WITHDRAWN — Regulation of Mineral Recovery for TPWD Lands
    Staff:  Ted Hollingsworth
  5. Acceptance of Land Donation–Orange County–111 Acres at the Tony Houseman WMA (Action Item No. 8)
    Staff:  Ted Hollingsworth
  6. Acceptance of Land Donation–Orange County–218 Acres at the Tony Houseman WMA (Action Item No. 9)
    Staff:  Ted Hollingsworth
  7. Request for Easement–Ward and Winkler Counties–Water Distribution Pipeline Easement at Monahans Sandhills State Park (Action Item No. 10)
    Staff:  Ted Hollingsworth
  8. Chaparral Wildlife Management Area Mineral Operations–La Salle and Dimmit Counties (Executive Session)
    Staff:  Ann Bright
  9. Cameron County Land Matter (Executive Session)
    Staff:  Scott Boruff
  10. ITEM WITHDRAWN — Proposed Land Sale–Randall and Armstrong Counties–Sale of Approximately 2,014 Acres at Palo Duro Canyon State Park–Request Permission to begin the Public Notice and Input Process (Executive Session)
    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
November 2, 2011

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 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan.  A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005.  In November 2009, the Commission approved a new Plan effective January 1, 2010.  The 2010 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, objectives and deliverables as they relate to the Conservation Committee.

The Plan consists of the following four goals:

  1. Practice, Encourage and Enable Science-based Stewardship of Natural and Cultural Resources
  2. Increase Access To and Participation In the Outdoors
  3. Educate, Inform and Engage Texas Citizens in Support of Conservation and Recreation
  4. Employ Efficient, Sustainable and Sound Business Practices

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenters:  Scott Boruff
Rich McMonagle

Conservation Committee
Summary of Conceptual Design Report for
the Battleship TEXAS Dry Berth Project
November 2, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  The committee will be provided a summary of the recently released Conceptual Design Report for the Battleship TEXAS Dry Berth Project.

II.      Discussion:  The 80th Texas Legislature appropriated $25,000,000 from General Obligation Bonds for repairs to the Battleship TEXAS.  TPWD developed a project to construct a dry berth for the Battleship and hired a design consultant in 2010.  That design consultant has recently released a report on its conceptual design for the project, which includes an update on the condition of the Battleship and more comprehensive construction cost estimates of constructing four different options for the dry berth.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter:  Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
Request for Storage Lease – Anderson County
Natural Gas Storage Lease at Gus Engling Wildlife Management Area
November 2, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  Sage Creek Energy Partners requests a lease from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to store and retrieve natural gas from a geological formation under the Gus Engling Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

II.      Discussion:  The recent surge in natural gas production in North America has resulted in an increased demand for gas storage facilities.  Bulk gas storage facilities help mitigate supply and demand fluctuations and stabilize prices.  Natural gas is stored underground, in one of two types of geological formations, hollowed out salt domes or depleted conventional oil and gas fields.  A depleted field that meets the geological requirements for gas storage exists under a 547-acre portion of the 10,960 acre Gus Engling WMA.

Sage Creek Energy Partners desires to develop this field as a gas storage facility.  It is working with the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) to provide the geological studies and reviews required for the RRC gas storage permitting process.

As proposed, the gas storage project would involve no surface occupancy on the WMA, other than re-plugging three existing abandoned wells.  TPWD staff has been discussing the logistics of the project with Sage Energy Partners and with the Texas General Land Office (GLO).  A number of issues remain to be resolved, including the disposition of TPWD’s mineral interests under the WMA, short-term damages and long-term fees associated with the lease.  Neither GLO nor TPWD have entered into a gas storage lease to date, and staff seeks counsel of the TPW Commission in this matter.

            Attachments — 3

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

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Location Map for Gus Engeling WMA in Anderson County

Location Map for Gus Engeling WMA in Anderson County


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for Gus Engeling WMA 15 Miles Northwest of Palestine

Vicinity Map for Gus Engeling WMA 15 Miles Northwest of Palestine


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit C

Site Map for Requested Easement at Gus Engeling WMA
Subject Tracts Shown in Red

Site Map for Requested Easement at Gus Engeling WMA, Subject Tracts Shown in Red


Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Presenter:  Ted Hollingsworth

Conservation Committee
Proposed Land Sale – Randall and Armstrong Counties
Sale of 2,014± Acres at Palo Duro Canyon State Park
August 24, 2011

I.              Executive Summary:  TPWD has received contract offers for the purchase of a portion of the Fortress Cliffs Ranch at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

II.            Discussion:  In 2008, in a dual transaction straddling FY2008 and FY2009, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) acquired the 2867-acre Fortress Cliffs Ranch in order to protect the 5-mile face and rim of Fortress Cliffs, which dominate much of the viewshed from the state park within the canyon.  The ranch was on the market and facing the prospect of being broken into small canyon-front home lots, which could have severely compromised the aesthetics of the park.

The acquisition included a house valued at approximately $1.5 million, and roughly 1,500 acres of grassland used as pasture by previous owners, neither of which were considered to add significantly to the mission of the park.  At the time of acquisition, it was intended that these assets would be evaluated and the portion of the ranch with minimal value to TPWD would be sold.  Using computer modeling and site visits to map views from the park, evaluate recreational access and outline public use options, staff proposed the sale of the house and approximately 2,014 acres of land, primarily grassland with some cedar brush and a side canyon complex known as Tubbs Draw.  The sale tract is configured to include a quarter mile of canyon rim, to maximize its attractiveness to potential buyers.  The entire sale tract will be restricted by a conservation easement held by TPWD.  The property can only be subdivided into two tracts in the future, no development can occur near the rim, and the terms of the easement will run with the land in perpetuity.

A local broker was retained and public marketing of the tract began in December 2010.  Staff recommends terms and conditions under which a contract offer will be found acceptable to TPWD and 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 – Park Map
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit A

Location Map for Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Randall and Armstrong Counties

Location Map for Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Randall and Armstrong Counties


Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Vicinity Map for Palo Duro Canyon State Park


Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit C

Palo Duro Canyon SP Map Showing the Fortress Cliffs Ranch

Palo Duro Canyon SP Map Showing the Fortress Cliffs Ranch


Committee Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit D

Site Map of Fortress Cliffs Ranch
Note Conservation Easement/Sale Tract is 2,014 Acres as Surveyed

Site Map of Fortress Cliffs Ranch - Note Conservation Easement/Sale Tract is 2,014 Acres as Surveyed










































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