Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Jan. 16, 2002Commission 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 2 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 3 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. ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 4 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 5 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 6 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? ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 7 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 8 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 9 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 10 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, ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 11 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. ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 12 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 13 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 14 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? ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 15 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 -- ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 16 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 17 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 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 .
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