Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Conservation Committee Meeting

Jan. 23, 2008

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

BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 23rd day of January, 2008, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex, to wit:

APPEARANCES:

THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:

THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:

P R O C E E D I N G S

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: The Conservation Committee will now come to order. The first order of business is the approval of the previous Committee meeting minutes which have already been distributed. Is there a motion for their approval?

COMMISSIONER BROWN: So move.

COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Second.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: So moved by Brown; second by Martin. All those in favor please say aye.

(A chorus of ayes.)

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: All those opposed, same sign?

(No response.)

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Hearing none, motion carries. Before we go any further I would like to mention that Committee Item Number 5, Acceptance of Conservation Easement in Bastrop County has been withdrawn at this time.

Committee Item Number 1, Land and Water Plan Update. Mr. Cook?

MR. COOK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a couple of items that I wanted to mention to the group. TPWD will receive a tad over $4.8 million from the Federal Recreation Boating Safety Grant Program for FY '08, which is an increase of $1.8 million from FY '07. Again, this goes back to a lot of the work that our law enforcement folks are doing with these various grant programs. These federal funds are for enhanced law enforcement activities in Texas waters to improve the safety for the ‑‑ almost 600,000 recreational boaters registered in Texas.

Also I think most of you know after several weather-delays the Texas Clipper was reefed on Saturday, November 17th. Unfortunately, the ship didn't follow the planned devise of lighting on the bottom in a sitting position, and is laying on its side, and staff is continuing to work with the marine vendor to determine what options are available and the feasibility of righting that ship back up in position, which could be quite a task.

COMMISSIONER HOLT: How deep a water is it exactly?

MR. COOK: 134 feet of water.

COMMISSIONER HOLT: Isn't there some kind of bond or agreement that if ‑‑

MR. COOK: Yes. We are ‑‑ as I said we are negotiating with them, it remains to be seen where we end up there. But they're working with us.

Also want to remind you that TPWD will host the 62nd Southeastern Fish and Wildlife Conference at the Bayfront Convention Center and Omni Bayfront Towers, October 12th through 15th, 2008. This is a big deal. This is 16, 17 states from the Southeastern United States, all of our fish, wildlife, law enforcement, pretty much everybody in Parks and Wildlife will be spending a week or two down there conducting this event, and typically we'll have 700 to 1,000 folks, possibly more show up for this event from all over the Southeastern United States. And we hope that you will join us.

COMMISSIONER PARKER: Is that in Corpus?

MR. COOK: Corpus Christi ‑‑

(Simultaneous discussion.)

MR. COOK: — October 12th through 15th.

As mentioned earlier, we successfully transferred 18 historic sites to the Texas Historical Commission on January 1, 2008, as directed by House Bill 12. Finally, the East Texas Fish Hatchery design is complete. The project is out for construction bids. It is anticipated that contracting for construction will be completed by early spring and construction should start this summer.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

COMMISSIONER MARTIN: May I say, Mr. Cook. The Clipper wasn't the only one tipping over its side.

(Simultaneous discussion.)

COMMISSIONER HOLT: It went on for a few hours too.

COMMISSIONER PARKER: Margaret, you naughty girl.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Thank you.

MR. COOK: Committee Item Number 2, Land Transfer in Taylor County, Mr. Corky Kuhlmann.

MR. KUHLMANN: Good morning. For the record, my name's Corky Kuhlmann with the Land Conservation Program. This item represents a request for a land transfer at Abilene State Park, Taylor County, Texas.

This request is being made by the Texas Trails Council, the Boy Scouts of America, they're asking for roughly 91 acres. You can see the outline of the state park in blue, the solid red, the red-hatched is what they're requesting. And the camp is to the east of that.

Just a little bit of history of the property. The property was given to us by the City of Abilene in 1933 to be built as a CCC Park. They gave us around 500 acres with a reversion clause. In 1949, the State Parks Board leased part of the camp ‑‑ the actual part they're asking to be transferred now, the lease was for 19 years in 1956; that lease was extended, and expires in 2018.

This is the first reading of this item, and what we're asking to do is, to publish public notice, hold some local meetings and come to you in the future if we can work out a deal. I'll be glad to answer any questions.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Can you go back to your map. Can you see the actual outline of the camp property on this, or ‑‑

MR. KUHLMANN: If you look at ‑‑ to the red, where it says ‑‑ has the camp, Tonkawa ‑‑

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Right.

MR. KUHLMANN: — it's pretty much the green part, to ‑‑ that's all adjacent to the red-hatched part.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Okay. All right, thank you.

Is there any discussion on this item?

(No response.)

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: If there are no further questions or discussion, I'll ask staff to begin the public notice and input process.

MR. KUHLMANN: Thanks.

MR. COOK: Mr. Chairman, we've had another emergency request. We have a group of guests in the back who are here for Item Number 3 under Outreach and Education. So I believe our process here is going to have to be, we're going to have to adjourn this Committee, and ‑‑ open the Outreach Education Committee, then we'll come back and recess to lunch.

(Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m. the meeting was adjourned, to reconvene at 12:50 p.m.)

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Thank you very much. I will reconvene the Conservation Committee and announce that we will resume our agenda after lunch, and also Items 6 through 8 will be discussed in Executive Session.

We will now recess for Executive Session. Therefore I would like to announce that pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 551, Government Code, referred to as the Open Meetings Act, an Executive Session will be held at this time for the purpose of deliberation of real estate matters under Section 551.072 of the Texas Open Meetings Act, and the purpose of seeking legal advice from the general counsel under Section 551.071 of the Open Meetings Act, and the purpose of deliberation of a prospective gift or donation under Section 551.073 of the Open Meetings Act. At this time we will recess to Executive Session.

(Whereupon, at 1:00 p.m. the meeting was adjourned, to reconvene in Executive Session and to resume at 2:20 p.m.)

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: At this time, I would like to reconvene the regular session of the Conservation Committee. And we will move to Item Number 3, Land Transfer, Bexar County. Ted Hollingsworth.

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: Chairman, Commissioners, good afternoon. My name is Ted Hollingsworth, I'm with the Land Conservation Program. This item is essentially a housekeeping item. We own the San Jose Mission in San Antonio, but a number of years ago we transferred the site to National Parks Service to be operated as part of the San Antonio Mission's National Historic Site.

Twenty-three acres of that did not get transferred because there was a discrepancy in the chain of title; at that time NPS wanted us to clean the title up before transferring that property. We have not done that, and are not going to do that, and in the meantime, their land folks have decided that it would be appropriate for us to go ahead and make that transfer and then they'll be responsible for cleaning up the title discrepancy.

The Commission authorized this transfer back in 2000, but since it's been eight years, we thought it appropriate to come back to you and let you know that with your concurrence, we'll go ahead and go through the process, the public process, and at this time publish public notice and solicit input. And then when the National Park Service is ready to close the transfer, come back to you with a second reading. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

COMMISSIONER HOLT: Anything about the title that's an issue, that could come back on us, or ‑‑

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: No, sir. Not at all. In fact, the site was given to us in the 1940's by legislation, and the legislation required that all those with any interest in the property transfer title ownership to Texas ‑‑ to the State Parks Board.

For some reason the Catholic diocese that had an interest, ownership interest in the property never did file that transfer, and so ‑‑ and I don't know that they're not amenable to clearing up that title work. It just hasn't been real high up on our radar screen and it has not been done to date.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Any further discussion by the Commission?

(No response.)

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Being none, I will ask staff to begin the public notice and input process.

Committee Item Number 4, Land Sale, Palo Pinto County. Once again, Ted.

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: For the record, my name is Ted Hollingsworth. I'm with the Land Conservation Program. This is the second reading of an item that would result in the transfer of two small city lots to an adjacent landowner.

These lots were acquired at the time the trailway was acquired, they were just associated with the property, we did not want them at the time, staff considers them to be more of a liability than an asset; the adjacent landowner has been maintaining those lots for years and has asked that we officially sell those lots to him.

We had two market analyses done by local realtors, and are offering the properties at the market analysis price. We have a contract in hand; we have conducted public hearing, and solicited public comment; there were exactly no comments at all; there's no opposition to this transfer, to this sale. And with your concurrence, we'll put this item before you at tomorrow's meeting. I'll be happy to answer any questions.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: If there are no further questions or discussion I will place this item on the Thursday Commission meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Regarding Committee Item Number 6, Possible Land Donation, Palo Pinto County, no further action is required.

Regarding Committee Item Number 7, Access Issues at the Big Bend Ranch State Park, no further action is required.

And Committee Item Number 8, Facility Boundary Strategy for San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Harris County, no further action is required.

Is there any other business to be brought before this Committee, Mr. Cook?

MR. COOK: No, sir.

COMMISSIONER BIVINS: Hearing none, the Committee has completed its business, and we will move on to the Outreach and Education Committee.

(Whereupon, at 2:26 p.m., the meeting was concluded.)

C E R T I F I C A T E

MEETING OF: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Conservation Committee
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
DATE: January 23, 2008

I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages, numbers 1 through 11, inclusive, are the true, accurate, and complete transcript prepared from the verbal recording made by electronic recording by Penny Bynum before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

02/01/08
(Transcriber) (Date)
On the Record Reporting, Inc.
3307 Northland, Suite 315
Austin, Texas 78731


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