Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Commission Retreat

October 6-7, 2009

Minutes
Commission Retreat
October 6-7, 2009

A public notice of the meeting was filed in the office of the Secretary of State at 9:34 a.m. on September 25, 2009, as required by Chapter 551, of the Government Code, referred to as the Open Meetings Act.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center
5103 Junction Highway
Mountain Home, Texas

Attendees:

Other Attendees:

At 10:48 a.m., October 6, 2009, at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman Peter Holt called the meeting to order. Chairman Holt asked Carter Smith to read a statement. Mr. Smith read the following:

A public notice of this meeting containing all items on the proposed agenda has been filed in the Office of the Secretary of State as required by Chapter 551, Government Code, referred to as "The Open Meetings Act." I would like for this fact to be noted in the official record of this meeting.

1. Presentation and Discussion of Updates to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan

Chairman Holt called Agenda Item 1, Presentation and Discussion of Updates to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan and asked Scott Boruff to make his presentation of this item.

Mr. Boruff began by introducing Ted Hollingsworth and Jeannie Munoz and acknowledging their work on the new Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan ("the Land and Water Plan" or "the Plan"). He also acknowledged the contributions of TPWD employees Larry Sieck and Karen Pianka. Mr. Boruff used a PowerPoint presentation to provide the Commission with background information regarding the history of the Land and Water Plan, the process for developing a new Land and Water Plan, and the provisions of the new Land and Water Plan. The text of the PowerPoint presentation and the draft (version 52) of the Land and Water Plan considered by the Commission are attached and incorporated into these minutes.

Mr. Boruff explained the history of the Land and Water Plan which was initially adopted in 2002, and was revised in 2005 to add new goals. He noted that one of the drawbacks to the current 2005 Land and Water Plan was that it restricted flexibility and creativity. He explained that in developing the proposed new Land and Water Plan, TPWD staff started with the agency’s vision and mission and eliminated much of the detail. He noted that the process for developing the plan was a "bottom up" process. He explained that over 800 public comments were received and that twelve regional forums (Texas Conservation Forums) were held throughout the state. He also noted that staff intends to continue to use the Texas Conservation Forums for planning. He also indicated that 15-20% of TPWD staff participated in the process and that more staff will want to participate in future Forums. Mr. Boruff noted that 5,000 to 10,000 man hours had been devoted to developing the Land and Water Plan.

Mr. Boruff explained that there were 43 public meetings held throughout the state, and some were better attended than others. He said that in developing the proposed new Land and Water Plan, staff tried to consider every comment. He also noted that some terms such as "advocacy" caused concerns and that staff would be seeking input from the Commission on those terms. Also, some of the old goals and concepts from the 2005 plan have been spread through all new goals, rather than listed as stand alone goals. Mr. Boruff indicated that the only real criticism of the agency’s new plan from constituents would likely come from persons or groups that did not see their specific sentence in the Land and Water Plan, although their ideas had been incorporated.

Mr. Boruff explained the elements of the proposed Land and Water Plan, which includes 4 goals, 8 narratives, a call to action and text boxes. He explained that Goal #1 is essentially to "take care of what we have." Goal #2 is to address recreation and new constituents. Goal #3 is to promote advocacy for conservation. Goal #4 is to address business practices. He also explained that the narratives were intended to be very readable.

Mr. Boruff explained that the electronic version would be linked to other land and water plans, such as those developed by Audubon and the Trinity River Authority. He also explained that the Land and Water Plan would be translated into Spanish. He noted that the Land and Water Plan would be used internally in developing TPWD division operation plans which would be linked to individual performance plans and would be linked to those plans.

Commissioners and Mr. Boruff discussed the meaning of certain terms, such as "landscape-scale" as used in the Land and Water Plan. They also discussed TPWD’s involvement in the State Water Plan and water planning, and the relationship of those plans to the Land and Water Plan. In developing the Land and Water Plan they discussed the importance of addressing education and a focus on youth and future generations in the Land and Water Plan and in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. The importance of communication and the need to communicate the Land and Water Plan, and communicate with constituents using Internet was also discussed. Commissioners discussed the relationship between the Land and Water Plan and the Natural Agenda (the legislatively required state agency strategic plan).

Commissioners discussed the deliverables set out in the Land and Water Plan, the goals of the Spanish version of the Land and Water Plan, and the importance of readability, clarity, and transparency. It was also noted that by linking to other plans, the public can "dig deeper" if desired.

The meeting was recessed for Lunch at 12:30 p.m.

The meeting was reconvened at 2:20 p.m.

Mr. Boruff reviewed the morning session for the benefit of Vice Chairman Friedkin, Commissioner Bivins, Commissioner Duggins, Commissioner Morian, and Chairman Emeritus Bass, who joined the meeting after the lunch recess. Mr. Boruff explained how the goals in the 2005 Land and Water Plan have been incorporated into the proposed new Land and Water Plan. For example, he noted that new goal 1, includes former goals 2, 3, 7; that new goal 2 includes former goals 1, 4, 5; that new goal 3 was newly crafted; and, that new goal 4 includes former goal 8.

The Commissioners discussed the legislative mandates related to the Land and Water Plan and to the Natural Agenda. Gene McCarty explained the role of the Natural Agenda to the legislative appropriations process.

Commissioners discussed the format, order and flow of the Land and Water Plan and the mechanism for a person who reads the Land and Water Plan to "dig deeper" into a specific matter through links to be included in the Plan’s on-line version. The Commissioners discussed the fact that the Land and Water Plan was not intended to be the end of the process, but rather the beginning since there will be other documents to address in more detail the goals established in the Plan. In other words, the Land and Water Plan was intended to be an umbrella document that would guide division operating plans and individual employee performance. Mr. Boruff noted that that there had been considerable discussions about implementation, and that the proposed Land and Water Plan has 25 or so specific deliverables contained in "call out boxes" throughout the Land and Water Plan that would drive actions on the ground. Commissioners indicated that they would like a summary of public feedback on the Land and Water Plan.

Commissioners noted several specific wording issues and the need for a table of contents laying out the goals and objectives, as a well as a glossary for the terms of art used in the Land and Water Plan. It was also suggested that the agency’s web site address be included on every page of the Land and Water Plan.

Mr. Smith suggested that an effective of way of tracking deliverables was to report those to the Commission at each Commission meeting as part of the recurring Land and Water Plan updates.

The Commissioners discussed the need to reach the agency’s audience, such as lifetime license holders, with information about the Land and Water Plan. They also discussed the fact that such a need should be addressed in the agency’s marketing budget. Mr. Smith suggested that a "marketing" briefing be scheduled at a future Commission meeting to address how best to use marketing capabilities and leverage private relationships.

The Commission then began discussing the Land and Water Plan’s 4 goals.

Goal #1 — Practice and Encourage Science-based Stewardship of Natural and Cultural Resources

In addition to specific wording issues, the Commissioners discussed the need to address stewardship on private as well as public land and the Land and Water Plan’s reference to feral species, invasive species, and community oriented policing. The Commissioners asked about the agency’s management of feral species and staff agreed to provide the agency’s policy to them.

Goal #2 — Increase Access to and Participation in the Outdoors

In addition to wording issues and funding related to this goal, the Commission discussed the need to clarify that land acquisition was to be from willing sellers or donors.

Goal #3 — Promote Advocacy for Native Plants, Fish, Wildlife and Cultural Resources

Commissioners discussed the need to eliminate the term "advocacy" from the goal and perhaps use the term "education."

Goal #4 — Employ Efficient, Sustainable, and Credible Business Practices

Commissioners discussed the need to emphasize efficiency and better business practices, including practices noted by the State Auditor’s Office.

In concluding the day’s discussions, the Commission again emphasized how the Land and Water Plan was intended to be only one layer, and that TPWD staff would take the items contained in the Land and Water Plan, and build upon them. They also discussed the importance of making the next layer clear and to inform the public that the Land and Water Plan is the start, not the end of the exercise.

Commissioners discussed the fact that the Land and Water Plan should be considered for approval at the Commission’s November meeting. They noted that subsequent division plans would be developed within TPWD, but that Mr. Smith would periodically report to Commissioners about the agency’s progress in developing operational plans and implementing the Land and Water Plan, once approved. It was also recommended that a timeline for implementation be developed.

2. Presentation and Tour of the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center

This item was withdrawn.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Kerr Wildlife Management Area
2625 FM 1340
Hunt, TX 78024

Attendees:

Other Attendees:

At 10:15 a.m., October 7, 2009, at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman Peter Holt called the meeting to order. Chairman Holt asked Carter Smith to read a statement. Mr. Smith read the following:

A public notice of this meeting containing all items on the proposed agenda has been filed in the Office of the Secretary of State as required by Chapter 551, Government Code, referred to as "The Open Meetings Act." I would like for this fact to be noted in the official record of this meeting.

1. Presentation and Discussion of Updates to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan

Chairman Holt called Agenda Item 1, Presentation and Discussion of Updates to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan and asked Scott Boruff to make his presentation of this item.

Mr. Boruff addressed the wording and organizational issues discussed the previous day. Ms. Munoz assisted Mr. Boruff in addressing the Commission’s specific wording suggestions. The Commission and Mr. Boruff discussed various ways of wording the goals and objectives set out in the Land and Water Plan. Mr. Boruff requested that any other suggestions from Commissioners be submitted to him by Tuesday, October 13, 2009.

2. Tour of the Kerr Wildlife Management Area

At 11:00 a.m. the meeting moved to the Donnie Harmel White-tailed Deer Research Facility at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Mr. Frels and other TPWD staff explained to Commissioners the purpose of the facility and the goals of the various research projects. Commissioners were able to witness the annual process of "working deer" including the removal of antlers, tagging, and vaccinating. Mr. Frels explained the way in which this work supported the research being conducted at the WMA and how this information is useful to private landowners and land managers in Texas

The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.


Back to Top
Back to Top