Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Conservation Committee

Jan. 16, 2002

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

                                                                        1



     

          5       BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 16th day

          6   of January, 2002, there came on to be heard matters

          7   under the regulatory authority of the Parks and

          8   Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission

          9   Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife

         10   Headquarters Complex, Austin, Texas, beginning at

         11   2:30 p.m. to wit:

         12   
              APPEARANCES:
         13   THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
              CONSERVATION COMMITTEE:
         14   
              CHAIR:   Katharine Armstrong Idsal
         15            Ernest Angelo, Jr.
                       Donato D. Ramos
         16            Philip Montgomery, III
                       Joseph Fitzsimons
         17   
              THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
         18   Robert L. Cook, Interim Executive Director, and other
              personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department
         19   

         20   

         21   

         22   

         23   

         24   

         25   


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          1                      JANUARY 16, 2002

          2                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  We are reconvening the

          3   Conservation Committee.  The first order of business

          4   is the approval of the minutes from the previous

          5   business -- previous meeting.

          6                 COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Move approval.

          7                 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Second.

          8                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Do I need to ask for a

          9   vote on that?

         10                 MR. COOK:  Yes.

         11                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Okay.  All in favor.

         12                 ALL COMMISSIONERS:  Aye.

         13                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  All opposed.

         14                 (No Response.)

         15                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Hearing none, motion

         16   passes.  The second order of business is -- or the

         17   first order of business is the Chairman's charges.

         18                 MR. COOK:  Okay.  Madam Chairman, we

         19   have two charges that address our Sunset Bill

         20   S.B. 305.  First of all, to implement provisions of

         21   that bill, step one here, is to discontinue use of

         22   "historical park" in publications and signs.  And

         23   this is on your agenda coming up.  State Parks has

         24   evaluated our historic properties and consulted with

         25   Texas Historical Commission and Historic Sites


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          1   Advisory Committee to rename as appropriate the

          2   various state parks that need to be done to

          3   historic -- historical sites.  Staff will be

          4   presenting these name changes.

          5                 Secondly, to develop a Statewide Land

          6   and Water Resource Conservation and Recreation Plan,

          7   again to address provisions in Senate Bill 305.  The

          8   chairman appointed an ad hoc Land and Water

          9   Conservation Committee back in December -- excuse

         10   me -- they met in December and -- to work on the

         11   outline of this plan; reviewed that plan with staff,

         12   and staff continues to work with the Committee in

         13   development of that plan.

         14                 I'd just like to mention and express our

         15   appreciation to that -- to the members of that ad hoc

         16   committee who are Commissioner Montgomery;

         17   Commissioner Henry; Commissioner Ramos; Dealey

         18   Herndon, who is a partner with Herndon and Stauch

         19   Associates, a project management firm; Chairman

         20   Emeritus Lee Bass; and Barry Miller, who is Chief of

         21   Staff in the Speaker's office; and Chairman Idsal.  We

         22   thank you very much.

         23                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Second order of

         24   business is a land transfer -- Lake Rita Blanca State

         25   Park, Walt Dabney will present.


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          1                 MR. DABNEY:  Chairman and Commission

          2   Members, I'm Walt Dabney, State Park Director.  I've

          3   come to you previously to -- to present under House

          4   Bill 2108 the potential transfers of Lubbock Lake

          5   Landmark, Old Fort Parker, and the Jim Hogg site at

          6   Rusk.

          7                 The Lubbock Lake Landmark transfer has

          8   been accomplished, and the other two are in the

          9   process that -- both of those should be actually

         10   transferred to other subdivisions of the state, local

         11   jurisdictions.

         12                 Today I'm here to talk to you about the

         13   potential transfer of Lake Rita Blanca State Park,

         14   which is up just outside of Dalhart to the City of

         15   Dalhart.

         16                 Under 2108 we're given a total of two

         17   million a year to effect the transfer of -- of sites

         18   that -- that through discussion a local entity, a city

         19   or a county, expresses an interest in taking over the

         20   management and operation of.  Those sites have to be

         21   continued to be used for park purposes and managed the

         22   same way.  We -- if -- once you approve it, we

         23   negotiate a contract with them about what kind of

         24   monies we're going to put into the site to fix it up

         25   to transfer, and again, we have done that in the


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          1   process on three different sites.

          2                 Lake Rita Blanca is the northern-most

          3   state park in Texas, again right outside of Dalhart.

          4   We acquired that.  We don't own it, but we have a

          5   101-year lease with the counties for that site.  We

          6   haven't done anything with it and -- and would not

          7   propose to be doing anything with it.  It fits very

          8   clearly into the intent of House Bill 2108, and will

          9   make a very good park for the Dalhart area.

         10                 What we -- what we would be proposing to

         11   do today -- tomorrow with your approval is to -- if

         12   approved, it would let us proceed forward to negotiate

         13   a contract with Dalhart.  We do not have the specifics

         14   at this time as to what they would request -- at least

         15   to present today what they would request for us to do

         16   before we effect this transfer or in conjunction with

         17   this transfer.  We would come back with you and -- and

         18   advise you what that is.  But tomorrow we'd be asking

         19   to -- to -- to be allowed to proceed with -- to effect

         20   a contract to transfer Lake Rita Blanca.

         21                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Commissioner Angelo?

         22                 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Is this something

         23   that we know already that they want to do also and are

         24   interested?

         25                 MR. DABNEY:  Yes, sir, we do.  Any of


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          1   them that we come to you --

          2                 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  You've already

          3   done that.

          4                 MR. DABNEY:  -- we already know that

          5   they are very seriously interested in doing this and

          6   that -- that the staff agrees that this probably

          7   makes -- that this would make sense.

          8                 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  How -- how

          9   valuable is -- from the wildlife standpoint is it for

         10   the geese particularly and with what they would do

         11   with the park, have any impact on that?

         12                 MR. DABNEY:  It's a valuable habitat for

         13   waterfowl, as I understand.

         14                 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I shot a few of

         15   them coming off of it.

         16                 MR. DABNEY:  Did you?  I don't think

         17   anything they would do would interfere with -- with

         18   any of that.  And -- and we would be -- in the

         19   transfer to them, we would be putting stipulations in

         20   there that it would have to be maintained for the same

         21   purposes.  And they don't have any intent of -- of

         22   doing anything, at least that they've presented to us

         23   at this time, that would alter that.

         24                 CHAIRMAN FITZSIMONS:  Including public

         25   hunting?


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          1                 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I wasn't hunting

          2   in the park.

          3                 MR. DABNEY:  It's a -- it's a 1668-acre

          4   site, so it's -- it's got some acreage to it.  And

          5   it's a very shallow lake; a lot of shore vegetation

          6   and -- and cattails and that kind of thing.  It's --

          7   it's -- it certainly is an attractive waterfowl

          8   location.

          9                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Any questions?  Does

         10   anybody have a question or discuss -- further

         11   discussion on this item?

         12                 (No Response.)

         13                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  If there is no further

         14   questions or discussion, without objection, I will

         15   place this item on the Thursday Commission Meeting

         16   Agenda for public comment and action.

         17                 MR. DABNEY:  Thank you.

         18                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  The next item of

         19   business:  The naming of historic sites and parks.

         20   Walt Dabney and Mr. -- is it Dr. Dolman.

         21                 MR. DABNEY:  Dr. Dolman.

         22                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Dr. Dolman.

         23                 MR. DABNEY:  Chairman and Commissioners,

         24   I have asked Dr. Dolman to join us; he's the Director

         25   of Professional Services for the Parks Division.  And


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          1   Dr. Dolman has been wrestling with this issue for

          2   sometime, and I thought I should not deprive him of

          3   being able to present this to you.

          4                 DR. DOLMAN:  Thank you, Walt.  As Walt

          5   said, we have been wrestling with this issue for a

          6   while.  By way of a bit of background, this particular

          7   change was recommended in a study prepared by the

          8   Texas Historical Commission with our participation,

          9   entitled the Texas Cultural Heritage Plan, published

         10   in 1999; although, most of the work dates from '98.

         11                 These recommendations were -- pardon

         12   me.  Let me back up -- were incorporated into the

         13   Sunset Bill draft and subsequently amended with a

         14   number of the recommendations deleted, but the one

         15   having to do with historic sites' names remained in

         16   there.  It's part of two sections of the Sunset

         17   Bill: 31.2(b) states, "The Commission may not classify

         18   a historical park -- a historical site as a historical

         19   park."  In Section 36, it amends Section 13.0053 of

         20   our code to say, quote, "The Department may not refer

         21   to a historical site as a, quote, 'historical park'

         22   one in a departmental publication, or two, on a

         23   departmental site."

         24                 We did quite a bit of research and

         25   coordination on this because it wasn't a straight line


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          1   deal to get there.  We checked with the National Park

          2   Service nomenclature and they designate a historical

          3   park by having multiple properties or buildings.

          4   We've tended to designate it based upon the presence

          5   of recreational facilities or also multiple sites.

          6   They call a historic site a single historical

          7   feature.

          8                 We got input from all of the field staff

          9   who would be affected and we also took it to the

         10   Historic Sites Advisory Committee in December.  In

         11   addition, we met with the Executive Director of Texas

         12   Historical Commission, Deputy Executive Director Terry

         13   Colly, who is in the audience today, and Assistant

         14   Attorney General Joe Thrash, and that also was useful

         15   in trying to see what our options were.

         16                 The presentation that I'm making today,

         17   which is a briefing item, was in this -- in the same

         18   format presented to the Texas Historical Commission

         19   both informally and formally at their December meeting

         20   by senior advisor for historic sites Cindy

         21   Brandimarte.

         22                 We have a fairly straightforward name

         23   change with approximately 28 of the sites.  And the

         24   example given to you here is Casa Navarro State

         25   Historical Park would become Casa Navarro State


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          1   Historic Site.  This renaming is very straightforward

          2   in most of these cases, in the 28 that are listed on

          3   your item.

          4                 We have three special cases, however,

          5   that we are suggesting an alternative approach.  One

          6   happens to do with a -- with two sites that have major

          7   recreational components:  One of them being Goliad and

          8   the other one being Steven F. Austin.

          9                 In the case of Goliad, because it has a

         10   major recreational component and three additional

         11   sites administered from that park:  Zaragoza

         12   Birthplace, Mission Rosario and Fannin Battleground,

         13   it was felt that the best way to comply with the

         14   statute was to drop the name "Historical," which

         15   applies more to the area -- the Goliad name applies

         16   more to the area and substitute the name of the actual

         17   historic feature there, which is Mission Espiritu

         18   Santo de Zuniga.  We'll leave off the de Zuniga for

         19   the naming purposes.

         20                 In the case of Stephen F. Austin, the

         21   historical component is not even contiguous to the

         22   recreational park; they're separated by about a half

         23   mile of private property.  And the -- the historical

         24   component is on the original town sites, one of the

         25   old plazas of San Felipe de Austin.  Consequently,


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          1   we're recommending -- of course, this has no new

          2   facilities to the system -- but designating San Felipe

          3   as a state historic site, because that is what it was

          4   part of and it accurately describes the situation.

          5                 The five that I'm going to address as

          6   part of Category 2 presented a little bit more of a

          7   concern.  They're major historical park -- historic

          8   sites, they're also very significant recreational

          9   areas.  And this -- we -- finally this was part of the

         10   reason for the meeting with the Assistant Attorney

         11   General.  We were trying to see if we had any legal

         12   room in the historical park naming, and the conclusion

         13   was we did not.  So the response from the staff was to

         14   maintain both the state park designation and the state

         15   historic site designation as being the most

         16   descriptive that is consistent with the terms of the

         17   statute.

         18                 Most of the -- of the input came from

         19   staff, the exception being at LBJ.  Lady Bird Johnson

         20   specifically wrote us saying that she did not want to

         21   see it called LBJ State Historical Site.  She wanted

         22   it either to be state park or to remain as it was.

         23   And our response to that was, as with the other two,

         24   to -- we have a -- we have a major -- that's where we

         25   have the two names, and this illustrates the issue.


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          1   Sauer-Beckmann Farm at LBJ is a major interpretive

          2   facility, it has real historical value, and we felt

          3   like that we could retain the state historic site

          4   designation because of those and other historic

          5   features of the park.  There are also two other

          6   historic cabin areas.

          7                 Then we have a third category where we

          8   recommend dropping "Historical" entirely from the

          9   designation.  The reason for this is very simple.

         10   Mission Tejas State Park is primarily a recreational

         11   park.  The only historical elements at that site are

         12   not original to that specific site.  The replica of

         13   Mission Tejas is not on the original site and is --

         14   archeologists believe they have located it on private

         15   property about two or three miles away.  The other

         16   historical feature is a cabin that was restored but

         17   was brought from another location.

         18                 The Texas State Railroad is a similar

         19   situation.  We have none of the original features of

         20   the original Texas State Railroad except for the --

         21   the original line itself.  None of the rolling stock

         22   is original to it.  The depots are -- were never there

         23   historically; we use them as a tourist railroad.  And

         24   the staff recommendation, therefore, is that we not

         25   call it a historic site but we simply call it a state


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          1   park.

          2                 Because the Sunset Bill is directive

          3   that means two things to us.  One, the National Park

          4   Service Policy is not an option that we can follow;

          5   and two, that we have no -- very few options on how to

          6   implement the Sunset Bill and -- and consequently the

          7   changes are brought to you.

          8                 We believe that the proposed name

          9   changes are very consistent with the actual historical

         10   resources, that they are consistent with current

         11   Commission policy on naming, and I would finally

         12   conclude that because there's a zero-dollar fiscal

         13   note on this item in the Sunset Bill, the policy that

         14   would be followed would be a phase-in policy based

         15   upon replacement, and therefore, would not involve any

         16   outlay of money just to do wholesale replacement.

         17                 And I'd be happy to entertain any

         18   questions you might have.

         19                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Could you explain to me

         20   again how you are dealing with the LBJ

         21   Sauer-Beckmann --

         22                 DR. DOLMAN:  Well, this

         23   recommendation -- partly because of the -- of the

         24   interest of the Johnson family would maintain the

         25   Johnson name associated with both the historic site


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          1   and the state park designations.  This is an exception

          2   to what we have suggested for Goliad where we -- we

          3   are introducing a new name, Mission Espiritu Santo,

          4   but we don't have the same family and stet interest

          5   involved.

          6                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  And Sauer-Beckmann

          7   would be -- I used -- I always referred to as the

          8   Sauer-Beckmann Working Farm, but is that the tech --

          9   is that technically the name that it has?

         10                 DR. DOLMAN:  That's the name of that

         11   particular facility.

         12                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Is that a historic

         13   site?

         14                 DR. DOLMAN:  It is a historic site.  We

         15   also have the Danz Cabins and another set of cabins at

         16   the headquarters facility that are historic

         17   structures, I believe, on the original site as well.

         18                 Of course, we do have the option of --

         19   of changing it and saying LBJ State Park and

         20   Sauer-Beckmann State Historic Site if that would be

         21   the wish of the Commissions.

         22                 MR. DABNEY:  That was considered.  It

         23   just gets real long and --

         24                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Yes, it does.  Any

         25   questions on this?  This is a briefing item?


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          1                 DR. DOLMAN:  As I understand, Gene, it

          2   is a briefing item and that the staff would be -- as

          3   long as there's not contrary direction from the

          4   Commission, the staff would implement it as an

          5   administrative action.

          6                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Okay.  So there's no

          7   motion required or --

          8                 DR. DOLMAN:  Not as I understand it.  We

          9   really basically have no authority to do much

         10   different.

         11                 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  What was

         12   Mrs. Johnson's request?  I'm not sure I'm clear on

         13   that.

         14                 DR. DOLMAN:  Mrs. Johnson requested

         15   either retaining the current name which would be

         16   contrary to statute, the Senate --

         17                 MR. DABNEY:  Historical park.

         18                 DR. DOLMAN:  -- Bill 305 with the

         19   historical in -- historical park in the name or to

         20   call it a state park.  And we didn't want to entirely

         21   lose the historic designation because of the historic

         22   features there.  It's both a recreational and a

         23   historic --

         24                 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So what's

         25   the --


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          1                 DR. DOLMAN:  The recommendation is --

          2                 MR. COOK:  Complies with her wishes.

          3                 DR. DOLMAN:  Yes.

          4                 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  That's what

          5   I -- just say, yes, ma'am.

          6                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Yes, ma'am.

          7                 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Yes, ma'am.

          8                 MR. DABNEY:  Commissioner, that's --

          9   that's what it would be called.

         10                 MR. COOK:  That's the right answer.  We

         11   thought it would be very good like that.  Sounds like

         12   a very good idea.

         13                 MR. DABNEY:  That's what it would be

         14   called right there.

         15                 CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Since this is just a

         16   briefing item, we can move on then to the next --

         17   there is -- I think that -- if there is no other

         18   business, that concludes the Conservation Committee,

         19   and we will move on to Education and Outreach.  Is

         20   that correct?  Ad Hoc Infrastructure.  I'm sorry.

         21   

         22   

         23   

         24   

         25   


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          1   THE STATE OF TEXAS    )

          2   COUNTY OF BEXAR       )

          3                      I, DICIE LEE EYTCHESON, a Certified

          4   Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do

          5   hereby certify that the above and foregoing 16 pages

          6   constitute a full, true, and correct transcript of the

          7   minutes of the TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION on

          8   JANUARY 16, 2002, in the Commission Hearing Room of

          9   the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters Complex,

         10   Austin, Travis County, Texas.

         11                      I FURTHER CERTIFY that a

         12   stenographic record was made by me at the time of the

         13   public meeting and said stenographic notes were

         14   thereafter reduced to computerized transcription under

         15   my supervision and control.

         16       WITNESS MY HAND this the      day of

         17                   , 2002.

         18   

         19   

         20                 DICIE LEE EYTCHESON, Texas CSR 5392
                            Expiration Date:  12/02
         21                 7800 IH-10 West, Suite 100
                            San Antonio, Texas 78230
         22                 (210) 377-3027

         23   

         24   

         25   


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