Note: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners will be attending the graduation ceremony for the 57th Game Warden class, beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the House Chamber of the Texas State Capitol building, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas. No business will be conducted.

Committee Meeting

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
11:00 a.m.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX  78744

Chairman T. Dan Friedkin, Commission Chair
Carter Smith, Commission Liaison

Approval of the Previous Meeting Minutes from the Finance, Regulations, and Conservation Committees held May 23, 2012

  1. Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
    • Committee Structure
    • Internal Affairs Report
    • Rules Regarding Zebra Mussels – Request Permission to Publish Proposed Rules in the Texas Register
    • Begin Rule Review
    • Begin the Public Notice and Input Process for Acquisition Approximately 120 Acres at Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, Palo Pinto County
    • Publish Proposed Changes to the Following Chapters Based on the Rule Review: 
      • Chapter 51 – Executive
      • Chapter 52 – Stocking Policy
      • Chapter 55 – Law Enforcement
      • Chapter 60 – Maintenance Review
      • Chapter 61 – Design and Construction
    Staff:  Carter Smith
  2. Financial Overview
    • Update on the Legislative Appropriation Request (LAR)
    • FY 2013 Operating and Capital Budget and Approval of the Capital and Conservation Account Funding Projects (Action Item No. 2)
    • Budget and Investment Policy Resolutions (Action Item No. 2)
    Staff:  Mike Jensen
  3. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Rules – Request Permission to Publish Proposed Rules in the Texas Register
    Staff:  Mitch Lockwood
  4. Boater Education Deferral Rules – Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes (WITHDRAWN) (Action Item No. 8)
    Staff:  Tim Spice, Jeff Parrish
  5. Request for Pipeline Easement – Brazoria County – Two Hydrocarbon Pipelines at the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area (WMA) – Request Permission to begin the Public Notice and Input Process
    Staff:  Ted Hollingsworth

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter:  Carter Smith

Committee Meeting
Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the
TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
August 29, 2012

I.      Executive Summary:  Executive Director Carter Smith will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency’s efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the “Plan”).

II.    Discussion:  In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104).  In 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan.  A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005.  In November 2009, the Commission approved a new Plan effective January 1, 2010.  The 2010 Plan is available on the TPWD web site.  Executive Director Carter Smith will update the Committee on TPWD’s recent progress in achieving the Plan’s goals, objectives and deliverables.

The Plan consists of the following four goals:

  1. Practice, Encourage and Enable Science-based Stewardship of Natural and Cultural Resources
  2. Increase Access To and Participation In the Outdoors
  3. Educate, Inform and Engage Texas Citizens in Support of Conservation and Recreation
  4. Employ Efficient, Sustainable and Sound Business Practices

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter:  Mike Jensen

Committee Meeting
Financial Overview
August 29, 2012

  1. Executive Summary:  Staff will present an update of the FY 2014-2015 Legislative Appropriations Request, a summary of the FY 2013 Operating and Capital Budget, a summary project list for Capital and Conservation Accounts, and discuss the Commission’s Budget and Investment policies.
  2. Discussion:
    • Staff will provide an update on the FY 2014-2015 LAR
    • Staff will discuss the FY 2013 Operating and Capital Budget including a proposed project list for funding from the Capital Conservation Account
    • Staff will summarize the Commission’s Budget Policy and Investment Policy

Committee Item No. 3
Presenter:  Mitch Lockwood

Committee Disease Detection and Response – Chronic Wasting Disease
August 29, 2012

  1. Executive Summary:  This item seeks permission to publish new rules governing the department’s regulatory response to the detection or expected detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Texas.  The proposed amendments would:
    • Establish the geographical boundaries, including the initial Containment Zone (CZ) and High Risk Zone (HRZ);
    • Prescribe the restrictions on activities involving susceptible species within the geographical boundaries;
    • Set forth the powers and duties of the Executive Director; and
    • Provide for penalties for violations.
  2. Discussion:  CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects cervid species such as white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and others (susceptible species).  It is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, a family of diseases that includes scrapie (found in sheep) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, found in cattle and commonly known as Mad Cow Disease).  The department has been concerned for over a decade about the possible emergence of CWD in wild and captive deer populations in Texas.  The department closed the Texas border in 2005 to the entry of out-of-state captive white-tailed and mule deer and has increased regulatory requirements regarding disease monitoring and recordkeeping.  Since 2002, the department has tested more than 26,500 wild deer in Texas for CWD, and cervid producers have submitted more than 7,400 test results to the department.

    In February of 2012, the department’s concern about the emergence of CWD in Texas escalated when the New Mexico Game and Fish Department notified the department that CWD had been detected in three mule deer taken by hunters in the Hueco Mountains, within two miles of the Texas border.  Therefore, the department and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reconstituted the CWD Task Force, a group of wildlife-health professionals and cervid producers, to make recommendations on how best to defend wild and captive populations of deer in Texas from the spread of CWD.  The Task Force recommended that the department take specific actions, including the designation of zones surrounding the geographical points where CWD has been detected and both the implementation of elevated disease monitoring and restrictions on deer-management practices within the zones.  Recommendations from the TAHC and the Task Force also included the implementation of mandatory check stations.  Therefore, beginning with the 2012-13 hunting seasons, the department intends to implement mandatory and voluntary check stations in certain areas of the state for hunter-killed deer under the existing authority of 31 Tex. Admin. Code §65.33, concerning Mandatory Check Stations.

    The department worked with TAHC and the Task Force to develop proposed rules.  At the May 2012 Regulations Committee meeting, staff was authorized  to publish the proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment.  In July of 2012, the department confirmed CWD in two mule deer taken in the Hueco Mountains in Texas as part of a department surveillance effort.  The department submitted proposed rules to the Texas Register and the proposal was published on August 3.  However, as TAHC and the Task Force continued to work together, it was determined that the rules as proposed may not provide all of the necessary protections.  In an effort to ensure that the proposed rules provide an appropriate framework for addressing CWD, the proposed rules were withdrawn and department staff will be seeking the Commission’s permission to publish new rules.  Staff will brief the Commission on the elements of the new proposal.

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter:  Ted Hollingsworth

Committee Meeting
Request for Pipeline Easement – Brazoria County
Two Hydrocarbon Pipelines at the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area
August 29, 2012

  1. Executive Summary:  Enterprise Crude Pipeline Company LLC (Enterprise) requests an easement to directionally drill pipelines of 30” and 36” diameter across a portion of the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area in Brazoria County.
  2. Discussion:  The Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area (the WMA) consists of 14,734 acres of coastal prairies, bottomland hardwoods and marshes that serves as significant habitat for a number of resident and migratory species, including waterfowl and wading birds.  Located near industrial facilities in Jones Creek and Freeport, several pipeline corridors already cross the WMA.  Enterprise is in the process of selecting a route for two (2) new pipelines, a 30” “Waller to Jones Creek” line and a 36” “Jones Creek to ECHO” pipeline that is part of a 65-mile leg of the Seaway Pipeline.  The pipelines will provide transportation services for customers to move crude oil from the existing storage terminal at Jones Creek to the ECHO Terminal and subsequent further shipment via Seaway, Enterprise and third party pipelines to the Gulf Coast refining centers in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

    Enterprise project managers have worked with TPWD staff to minimize impacts to the WMA through route selection and agreeing to directionally drill the two pipelines.  The proposed route crosses 4,693 feet (301 rods) of the WMA.  Staff requests permission to begin the public notice and input process.

Attachments — 3

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map
  2. Exhibit B – Vicinity Map
  3. Exhibit C – Site Map

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

Location Map for Justin Hurst WMA in Brazoria County

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for the Justin Hurst WMA 55 Miles South of Houston

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit C

Site Map Showing Proposed Route of Pipelines across WMA
Outline of WMA in Yellow
Proposed Pipeline Route in Red

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