Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Special Called Meeting
July 17, 2008Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 17th day of July 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, Austin, Texas, to wit:
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION
- Peter M. Holt, San Antonio, Texas, Chairman
- Mark E. Bivins, Amarillo, Texas
- J. Robert Brown, El Paso, Texas
- Ralph H. Duggins, Fort Worth, Texas (Absent)
- Antonio Falcon, M.D., Rio Grande City, Texas
- T. Dan Friedkin, Houston, Texas (Absent)
- Karen J. Hixon, San Antonio, Texas (Absent)
- Margaret Martin, Boerne, Texas
- John D. Parker, Lufkin, Texas
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
- Carter P. Smith, Executive Director
- Other personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
CHAIRMAN HOLT: The first order of business is to call this meeting to order, Mr. Smith I believe you have a statement to make.
MR. SMITH: I do, I do, thank you Chairman Holt. 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 duly noted for the record.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Thank you Mr. Smith. Now we’re going to Commission Agenda Items 2, 3 and 4 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 seeking legal advise from the general counsel under Section 551.071 of the Open Meetings Act. Is that it?
MR. SMITH: That’s it, we are recessing the session.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: So we are now recessing this session and going into Executive.
(Recessed to Executive Session at 11:41 a.m.)
(Reconvened at 2:10 p.m.)
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Ok, first order of business is to, make sure I’m in the right one, is to call the meeting to order, Mr. Smith I believe you have a statement to make.
MR. SMITH: I do. A public notice of this meeting containing all items on the proposed agenda as 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 records of the meeting. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Thank you Mr. Smith. Commission Agenda Items 2, 3 and 4 will be discussed in Executive, wait see I knew I’d be in the wrong one here. I’ll never get this right. Ok, you all quit laughing at me. Ok, here we are, sorry. We are convening this special meeting, I think I was to have already said that. Item No. 2 — Action — Land Acquisition — Randall and Armstrong Counties, Mr. Scott Boruff please.
MR. BORUFF: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, for the record my name is Scott Boruff, Deputy Executive Director of Operations. My pleasure to be here today and present to you this item relative to a land acquisition in Palo Duro County, I mean at Palo Duro State Park at Randall and Armstrong Counties. As discussed, this would be an addition to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, it includes some rim that overlooks the state park. Here are some of the views, the tract is 2864 acres. A range of conservation options that we’re considering would be to acquire the land in total or acquire the land partially and have a conservation easement or other options on the remaining part of the land. We’ve had the appraisal done, we’re working with The Trust for Public Land to try to acquire this land. We’re still in the process of working on the contract. I would ask you to adopt the following motion to give the Executive Director to take all the necessary steps to continue the negotiations on this piece of property. I’d be glad to answer any questions.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Any questions?
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Question?
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Only thing is, I’ve got this view from subject tract, but I don’t see that fellow on that. Where is the star of the show here?
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Would you give us a rendition?
(Simultaneous talking and laughing)
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Sorry Scott, we’re getting a little giddy here. Any discussion, we will now hear from those who signed up. Anybody signed up for any of them? Okay, more comments, no? Is there a motion on this item? Motion by Mr. Brown and second by John Parker. All in favor? (chorus of ayes) Okay, thank you
Action Item No. 3 — Land Taking — Cameron County, Mr. Ted Hollingsworth.
MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: Chairman, Commissioners, good afternoon my name is Ted Hollingsworth, I’m with the Land Conservation Program. Texas Parks and Wildlife does own one unit of property. The Anacua Unit of Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area that is in the route of the tactical infrastructure or border fence as it’s known in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The unit is west of Brownsville, south of Harlingen in Cameron County. The fence has been engineered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Homeland Security Department. Would run through the middle of the unit cutting it into an 88-acre section separated from 48-acre section along the river. Staff did spend some time in negotiation with the Corps of Engineers to get the best possible compensation for that taking of property. Nonetheless, staff still believes that that compensation package that’s been negotiated does not fully compensate for those impacts, those biological impacts and does recommend that you adopt the motion that you see on your screen.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Any comments? I want to make a comment. I think, I just want it for the record that this decision is not being taken lightly. We understand the reasons that the federal government, United States government believes they need to build this fence and we’re certainly not in a position to make a decision whether that’s right or wrong. But that from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s point of view and for us as commissioners, our job is to look at the mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife and our constituency which is the citizens of the State of Texas and decide what’s the right thing relative to our mission, what we at Texas Parks and Wildlife are supposed to do and not do. So we are not taking this lightly, but at the same time I am looking for a motion on this and a vote.
So do I have a motion? Margaret Martin and second Tony Falcon. All in favor? (chorus of ayes). Okay, thank you Ted.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Item No. 4 — Action — Land Acquisition — Presidio County. Mr. Ted Hollingsworth, please.
MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners good afternoon my name is Ted Hollingsworth I’m with the Land Conservation Program. We have an opportunity to acquire the largest single inholding within Big Bend Ranch State Park. The ranch is a little over 300,000 acres now, this particular inholding straddles several important trails and an important canyon. Staff has been in contact with the family for about 20 years and the property has recently been made available to us. It includes a couple miles of, a couple of sections of riverfront sections as well as a very significant geological feature, Fresno Canyon which already has a very significant trail up through it which would be a very important asset to the public. We do have the resources to complete this acquisition and we do recommend that you adopt the motion in front of you.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Any comments or questions? Is there a motion? Commissioner Parker, second Commissioner Bivins. All in favor (chorus of ayes). Okay.
CHAIRMAN HOLT: Mr. Smith, this Commission has completed its business, I declare us adjourned. Thank you everybody.
(Meeting adjourned at 2:16 p.m.)
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
July 17, 2008
In official recognition hereof, we hereby affix our signatures as approved this 17th day of July 2008.
Peter M. Holt, Chairman
T. Dan Friedkin, Vice-Chairman
Mark E. Bivins, Member
J. Robert Brown, Member
Ralph H. Duggins, Member
Antonio Falcon, M.D., Member
Karen J. Hixon, Member
Margaret Martin, Member
John D. Parker, Member