Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

January 20, 2000

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

      7      BE IT REMEMBERED that on the 20th day of
      8   January, 2000, there came on to be heard matters
      9   under the regulatory authority of the Parks and
     10   Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission
     11   hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife
     12   Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County,
     13   Texas, beginning at 9:28 a.m., to wit:
     15   APPEARANCES:
             Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas, Chairman
     17      Dick W. Heath, Carrollton, Texas (absent)
             Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas
     18      Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas
             John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
     19      Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas
             Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
     20      Katharine Armstrong Idsal, Dallas, Texas
             Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
     22      Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and
          other personnel of the Parks and Wildlife
     23   Department.
             Ellis Gilleland, P.O. Box 9001, Austin, Texas,
      3   78766, representing Texas-Animals;
      4      Pablo Avila, County Judge, Zavala County,
          Crystal City, Texas, 78839;
             John Fain, 717 West Main, Arlington, Texas,
      6   representing Arlington Parks & Recreation;
      7      Robert L. Hall, Jr., 201 Airport Road, Drawer
          H, Anahuac, Texas, 77514, representing Chambers
      8   County, Texas;
      9      Marc Maxwell, 125 South Davis, Sulphur
          Springs, Texas, 75482, representing the City of
     10   Sulphur Springs;
     11      Tom Donnelly, Hallettsville, Texas, 77964,
          representing the City of Halletsville;
             Alberto Gonzales, 1503 North Seventh Avenue,
     13   Crystal City, Texas, 78839, representing Crystal
          City Independent School District;
             Charles Johnson, County Judge, 103 North
     15   Fifth, Carrizo Springs, Texas, 78834,
          representing County of Dimmit;
             John Davis, representing Urban Wildlife
     17   Program-Outreach and Output;
     18      Pat Mercado-Allinger, P.O. Box 12276, Austin,
          Texas, 78711, representing Texas Historical
     19   Commission;
     20      Elton Prewitt, 7701 North Lamar, Suite 104,
          Austin, Texas, 78752, representing Texas
     21   Archeological Society and Council of Texas
      1                   JANUARY 20, 2000
      2                      *-*-*-*-*
      3                    PUBLIC HEARING
      4                      *-*-*-*-*
      5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Good morning.  We'll
      6   try to get underway here.  Sorry for a little
      7   slow start this morning.
      8                To get the meeting going, would you
      9   please read our opening statement, Mr. Sansom.
     10                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, a public
     11   notice of this meeting containing all items on
     12   the proposed agenda has been filed in the office
     13   of the Secretary State, as required by Chapter
     14   551 of the Government Code.  This is referred to
     15   as the Open Meetings Law.  And I would like for
     16   the action to be noted in the official record of
     17   the meeting.
     18                Ladies and gentlemen, as you know,
     19   the Chairman is in charge of this meeting.  And
     20   today, as usual, I will be assisting him in the
     21   conduct of the meeting as kind of
     22   sergeant-at-arms.
     23                We have sign-up cards out at the
     24   table in the hall for anyone who wishes to
     25   speak.  And if you want to speak, you need to
      1   sign up, because the Chairman will call your name
      2   from the cards one at a time.
      3                Each person who has signed a card
      4   will be able to come forward and speak at the
      5   podium one at a time.  When your name is called,
      6   please come forward, state your name and who you
      7   represent, if someone other than yourself.
      8                He may also, depending on the issue,
      9   call the next person in line.  So if you could be
     10   prepared at the back of the room, then the
     11   meeting will move more quickly.
     12                Everyone who wishes to speak and has
     13   signed a card will have three minutes to state
     14   your comments and issues.  I'll keep track of the
     15   time using this little traffic light here, and
     16   notify you when your three minutes are up.  Your
     17   time will be extended if a commissioner has a
     18   question for you.  If the commissioners are
     19   discussing an issue among themselves, that time
     20   will not be counted against you, either.
     21                It's important that you understand
     22   that we -- that it's very critical to us that you
     23   be courteous in your comments; that you show a
     24   proper respect not only for the commissioners and
     25   our staff but for the other members of the
      1   audience as well.  I know you will.  And I
      2   appreciate all of you being here, because we do
      3   want to hear your comments.
      4                If you have written materials you
      5   would like to submit, then please give them to
      6   Ms. Estrada here, who is on my right, and she
      7   will make sure that the commissioners get them.
      8                Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
      9                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you,
     10   Mr. Sansom.  First order of business will be
     11   approval of the minutes from our previous
     12   meeting, which has been distributed to the
     13   Commission prior to this.  Are there any
     15                COMMISSIONER DINKINS:  Mr. Chairman,
     16   I just found one on page 36, line 23, to make
     17   "receive" past tense.
     18                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  I
     19   appreciate you catching that.  Any other
     21                With that amendment, the Chair would
     22   entertain a motion.
     23                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So moved.
     24                CHAIRMAN BASS:  A second?
     25                COMMISSIONER WATSON: Second.
      1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The Chair has a
      2   second.  All in favor?  Any opposed?
      3                (Motion passed unanimously.)
      4                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.
      5                The second order of business is the
      6   acceptance of gifts, which have also been
      7   previously distributed.  Primarily it deals with
      8   Rainbow Trout this time around.  Any comments or
      9   a motion for approval of the acceptance of
     10   gifts?
     11                COMMISSIONER DINKINS:  So moved.
     12                COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.
     13                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion then is
     14   second.  All in favor?  Opposed?
     15                (Motion passed unanimously.)
     16                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion carries.
     17   Thank you
     18                TPWD DONATIONS OVER $500
     19   Name of Donor:  HAAS Outdoors, Inc., Mossy Oak
          Description:  6 coats, pants, shirts, and caps
     20   Purpose of Donation:  Third Annual Dream Hunt
     21   Name of Donor:  Oquirrh Productions, LC
          Description:  The Hunting Game, CD ROM
     22   Purpose of Donation:  Hunter Education Training
     23   Name of Donor:  Alpha Leak Detection & Pipeline
          Description:  Diesel fuel and pump rental
     24   Purpose of Donation:  To provide water on 2,000
          acres of Murphree
      1   Name of Donor:  Will Kirkpatrick
          Description:  CASH
      2   Purpose of Donation:  Catch and live release
      3   Name of Donor:  City of Corpus Christi, Texas
          Description:  CASH
      4   Purpose of Donation:  Removal of Hyacinth, Lake
          Corpus Christi
          Name of Donor:  Lake Fork Area Merchants
      6   Coun-Tour Fund
          Description:  CASH
      7   Purpose of Donation:  Lake Fork Tournament Survey
      8   Name of Donor:  City of Lubbock, Texas
          Description:  CASH
      9   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     10   Name of Donor:  City Public Service
          Description:  CASH
     11   Purpose of Donation:  Survey- Braunig & Calaveras
     12   Name of Donor:  City of Denison
          Description:  CASH
     13   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     14   Name of Donor:  Randall Word
          Description:  CASH
     15   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     16   Name of Donor:  City of Canton
          Description:  CASH
     17   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     18   Name of Donor:  City of Duncanville
          Description:  CASH
     19   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     20   Name of Donor:  Texarkana
          Description:  CASH
     21   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     22   Name of Donor:  Pittsburg
          Description:  CASH
     23   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     24   Name of Donor:  Lamesa Kidfish
          Description:  CASH
     25   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
      1   Name of Donor:  W.O.R.D.
          Description:  CASH
      2   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
      3   Name of Donor:  Jack County
          Description:  CASH
      4   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
      5   Name of Donor:  City of Cleburne
          Description:  CASH
      6   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
      7   Name of Donor:  Cox East Texas
          Description:  CASH
      8   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
      9   Name of Donor:  City of Lamesa
          Description:  CASH
     10   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     11   Name of Donor:  City of New Braunfels
          Description:  CASH
     12   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     13   Name of Donor:  City of Victoria
          Description:  CASH
     14   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     15   Name of Donor:  City of Bandera
          Description:  CASH
     16   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     17   Name of Donor:  City of Wichita Falls
          Description:  CASH
     18   Purpose of Donation:  Rainbow Trout
     19   Name of Donor:  Friends of Neasloney
          Description:  CASH
     20   Purpose of Donation:  Hunter Safety and Youth
          Shooting Event
          TOTAL:  $116,105.75
     23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. Sansom, would
     24   you please do the presentation retirement and
     25   service awards.
      1                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, if you
      2   could please join me at the podium.  It's always
      3   kind of a bittersweet occasion when we have
      4   colleagues who are leaving the department as
      5   retirement.  So we wish them very well.
      6                Today we have two retirements.  Jose
      7   Esparza has been a game warden at Texas Parks and
      8   Wildlife for 25 years.  He has been stationed
      9   during that entire period in San Antonio.  He's
     10   been named officer of the year there and he's had
     11   a lot of experiences.
     12                Normally we think of the warden as
     13   an individual who primarily operates out in the
     14   countryside.  But in urban areas, as well, there
     15   are plenty of things to keep our guys busy.
     16                Jose actually lost his thumb one
     17   time in an incident involving a mountain lion.
     18   He was involved in the case of the famous Hill
     19   Country buck that now hangs in Hill Country
     20   Village.  He's very, very involved in
     21   institutions like the FFA and 4H, and he's the
     22   trail boss of Mesquite.  Please recognize,
     23   retiring now with 25 years of service, Jose
     24   Esparza from law enforcement, Game Warden V.
     25                (Applause; photographs taken.)
      1                MR. SANSOM:  Through the years, as
      2   we have continued to automate our system, now
      3   linking up our state parks, particularly for
      4   license sales and data and cash flow through our
      5   system, the burden of that has fallen on the
      6   administrative technicians in the Parks.
      7                Today we have the honor of
      8   recognizing, after 21 years of service, retiring
      9   administrative technician from Cleburne State
     10   Park, having come to Parks and Wildlife to work
     11   there in 1979, Brenda J. Starns.
     12                (Applause; photographs taken.)
     13                MR. SANSOM:  Well, I don't know
     14   whether any of you have been to Fort Griffin.  I
     15   hope you have, because one of the things that you
     16   can see there in the summer is that if you go up
     17   to Fort Griffin and go down to the campground,
     18   there will be an individual at the campfire at
     19   probably 6:30 in the morning who may one day be
     20   wearing a buffalo robe; the next day he may be in
     21   his buckskins.  He's making coffee and the kids
     22   are coming out of the tents and gathering around
     23   him so that he can explain to them the history of
     24   the area, the great lore and many stories of the
     25   buffalo hunters in that great period of our
      1   history.
      2                Lester Galbreath is receiving a
      3   service award today for 30 years at Parks and
      4   Wildlife.  He started at Dinosaur Valley.  He's
      5   been at Lake Whitney, and he is the steward of
      6   the official Texas Longhorn Herd.
      7                Please recognize, for 30 years of
      8   service, Lester Galbreath from Fort Griffin State
      9   Park.
     10                (Applause; photographs taken.)
     11                MR. SANSOM:  I have personally known
     12   this, our next honoree, for -- since he was in
     13   college.  And he I were acquainted at Texas Tech
     14   more than 30 years ago.  Larry Hutcheson has
     15   worked here for all of that time.  He came to
     16   Parks and Wildlife in 1969 as a member of the
     17   newly organized Interpretation and Exhibits
     18   Branch.
     19                As all of you know who have enjoyed
     20   and visited our state parks, the interpretation
     21   of the resources of Texas, be they cultural or
     22   natural, is a critical part of our mission and
     23   what we offer.
     24                Barry has been involved in exhibit
     25   projects at Palo Duro, Port Isabel, Caddo Lake,
      1   Franklin Mountains, McKinney Falls.  He's
      2   participated in master planning projects and
      3   preservation plans from places like the Maxey
      4   House, the Fulton Mansion, Brazos Bend and
      5   Seminole Canyon.
      6                He's been involved with large
      7   artifact projects such as the stagecoach at
      8   Fanthorp Inn, the living history farm which we
      9   will open on March 2nd at
     10   Washington-on-the-Brazos, and that big, blue ship
     11   that's at San Jacinto Battleground.
     12                Please recognize, after 30 years of
     13   service, Barry Hutchison, a planner from the
     14   State Parks Division here in Austin.
     15                (Applause; photographs taken.)
     16                MR. SANSOM:  We have discussed, over
     17   this Commission meeting, the acquisition of
     18   additional lands in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
     19   for the purpose of preserving habitat for
     20   white-winged dove.
     21                Gary Waggerman began working at
     22   Parks and Wildlife on the Statewide Morning Dove
     23   Project in 1967.  He left for a little while to
     24   go to work for the Army.  But for most of that --
     25   of his 30 years here, he has been involved in
      1   white-winged dove.
      2                He's identified and helped acquire
      3   over 90 percent of the land that we have acquired
      4   throughout the Valley for white-winged dove
      5   habitat.  That's nearly -- it's 5100 acres, and
      6   now known as the Las Palomas Wildlife Management
      7   Area.  That's where I first began to work with
      8   Gary when I was involved in the acquisition of --
      9   part of the department.
     10                Gary and his colleagues initiated
     11   and pioneered the planning of native brush to
     12   restore habitat, and he has personally been
     13   responsible for doing that on over 800 acres of
     14   former farmland in the Valley.
     15                He's known throughout the country
     16   for his expertise in this area, and he has
     17   authored and coauthored papers on censusing,
     18   brush planting, chachalacas, white-tipped doves,
     19   and many, many other wildlife issues.  He's now
     20   in San Marcos, moving north along with the
     21   white-wings, to expand the survey to the
     22   remainder of Texas.
     23                Please recognize, with 30 years of
     24   service, Gary Waggerman from the Wildlife
     25   Division in San Marcos.
      1                (Applause; photographs taken.)
      2                MR. SANSOM:  When I was reviewing
      3   this morning the accomplishments and experiences
      4   of Glenda Moore, who is in Administrative
      5   Resources, having worked there 25 years, it's a
      6   kind of an astonishing picture of what has
      7   happened in information technology since 1974.
      8                When Glenda came to work at Parks
      9   and Wildlife in the early '70s, basically what
     10   she was doing was transferring data from paper,
     11   such as letters and other forms, to cards for
     12   computer input.
     13                In a few years she began to work on
     14   a system where that data was transferred from
     15   cards to tape.  And she transferred to Data
     16   Control in 1982, where we began to operate the
     17   mainframe.  And she, in fact, was an operator.
     18                In 1988 she assisted in
     19   administering the project to create a LAN, which
     20   we call the Local Area Network, in our building,
     21   which connects personal computers throughout the
     22   system.  In '95 she moved on to the -- what we
     23   call the Desktop Computer Services, and today she
     24   is the supervisor of that group.
     25                So she has followed the
      1   technological revolution that we've all
      2   experienced from -- from basically from cards to
      3   microchips.  And over that 25 years she has
      4   provided a tremendous service to Texas Parks and
      5   Wildlife.  Network specialist from here in
      6   Austin, Glenda Moore, with 25 years of service.
      7                (Applause.)
      8                MR. SANSOM:  Must be a Y2K thing.
      9                Kenneth Moore.  I hope some of you
     10   have been out to Blanco.  Blanco is one of our
     11   most beautiful and lovely of original parks
     12   constructed in the Hill Country and built by the
     13   CCC.
     14                Kenneth went to work there in '74 as
     15   a park ranger.  He was promoted to a Ranger II
     16   and he became a Ranger IV today.  And he has
     17   worked all of his 25 years at Blanco State Park.
     18                Please recognize Kenneth Moore, 25
     19   years of service.
     20                (Applause; photographs taken.)
     21                MR. SANSOM:  Finally, just a few
     22   miles from Blanco, at Johnson City, Michael Burow
     23   has been with Parks and Wildlife for 20 years.
     24   He started at San Jacinto on the Battleground and
     25   transferred to Stephen F. Austin in 1980, where
      1   he was a utility operator.
      2                He became a Park Ranger IV in 1998.
      3   And after 18 years at Stephen F. Austin, he was
      4   promoted to a Conservation and Outdoor Recreation
      5   Specialist at Pedernales Falls State Park, where
      6   he is today the assistant park manager after 20
      7   years.
      8                Michael Burow, from State Parks,
      9   with 20 years of service.
     10                (Applause; photographs taken.)
     11                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, each year
     12   the Fisheries Administrators Section of the
     13   American Fisheries Society recognizes outstanding
     14   sportfish restoration projects that are submitted
     15   from fishery management agencies across the
     16   country.
     17                These sportfish restoration projects
     18   are funded with dollars collected from excise
     19   taxes paid on fishing tackle and equipment - this
     20   is known as the Wallop-Breaux Fund - and motor
     21   boat fuel as well.  The dollars are distributed
     22   back to the States on a cost-share basis for use
     23   in projects and management activities designed to
     24   improve sport fishing and boating opportunities.
     25   These funds represent a significant portion of
      1   the budget for most state fisheries, programs
      2   including ours.
      3                And now I would like to turn the
      4   microphone over to Phil Durocher, who has a
      5   special introduction that he would like to make
      6   to you.  Phil?
      7                MR. DUROCHER:  Thank you, Andy.
      8                Mr. Chairman, members of the
      9   Commission, I would like and I'm honored to
     10   introduce to you today Mr. Robin Knox.  He's a
     11   sportfish program manager with the Colorado
     12   Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Division.
     13                Robin is real active in the American
     14   Sport Fishing Association and American Fishery
     15   Society.  He's one of the leading experts on
     16   whirling disease, which as you know, probably
     17   know, affects a lot of trout in the western part
     18   of the United States.  And he's now serving as
     19   president of the administrative section of the
     20   American Fishery Society.  So I would like to
     21   introduce Mr. Robin Knox.
     22                (Applause.)
     23                MR. KNOX:  Thank you, Phil.
     24                Mr. Chairman, members of the
     25   Commission, I'll try and keep my remarks to three
      1   minutes so I don't get buzzed out of here.
      2                The fishery administrators, much
      3   like Mr. Durocher here, have the responsibility
      4   for managing fishery programs in the 50 states of
      5   the United States and then also on coastal marine
      6   fisheries.
      7                Each year we try to recognize
      8   projects that represent exemplary models of what
      9   can be accomplished through partnerships with --
     10   between state and federal agencies, private
     11   industry, local communities, and interested
     12   citizens.
     13                Each year we have three categories
     14   of awards.  The first category is sportfish
     15   restoration and management; the second category
     16   is outstanding sport fishery research; and the
     17   third category is angular and aquatic education.
     18                In 1999 the Texas Freshwater Fishery
     19   Center was submitted as an applicant for the
     20   outstanding angular and aquatic education
     21   project.  Let me tell you, this project won hands
     22   down.
     23                In the literature that I received
     24   from Texas, there was a quote that said, "Texas
     25   governor George Bush Junior summed up public
      1   perception of the new facility in November of
      2   1966 -- excuse me, 1996, when he presided over
      3   the grand opening and exclaimed, "'This place is
      4   really cool!'"
      5                Well, let me tell you, I got to go
      6   to the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center last
      7   April, when Mr. Durocher hosted the spring
      8   meeting of the Fishery Administrator Section, and
      9   I have to admit, that place is really cool.
     10                On behalf of the American Fishery
     11   Society, which represents over 7,000 fishery
     12   scientists throughout North America, I would like
     13   to present to the Texas Parks and Wildlife
     14   Department, the Commission, and the Inland
     15   Fisheries Branch, the Fishery Administrator
     16   Section Sportfish Restoration Award for 1999,
     17   Angular and Aquatic Education Project, the Texas
     18   Freshwater Fishery Center.
     19                So if I could have Phil and Mr. Bass
     20   come up here, please?
     21                (Applause; photographs taken.)
     22                MR. SANSOM:  Ladies and gentlemen,
     23   thankfully, Glenda was helping someone at her --
     24   fix their computer or figure out how to get into
     25   e-mail or something.  And she is here.  So
      1   congratulations.
      2                (Applause; photographs taken.)
      3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  He said lots of nice
      4   things about you.
      6      AGENDA ITEMS.
      7                CHAIRMAN BASS:  All right.  At this
      8   point I would like to ask for approval of our
      9   agenda.
     10                Item 11, land acquisition in Jack
     11   County, is eligible for the consent agenda.  It's
     12   been previously discussed in open session and is
     13   a return visitor to our agenda.  And as I say, it
     14   is eligible for consent agenda.  And that's our
     15   only item of the day that is -- the Chair would
     16   entertain a motion to approve our agenda, with
     17   Item 11 being on the consent agenda.
     18                COMMISSIONER DINKINS:  So moved.
     19                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.
     20                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The motion is
     21   seconded.  All in favor?  Opposed?
     22                (Motion passed unanimously.)
     23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  And
     24   which brings us to our first action item, which
     25   is approval of the consent agenda, the Item 11,
      1   Jack County, which nobody has signed up to speak
      2   on today.
      3                The Chair would entertain a motion
      4   to approve the consent agenda.
      5                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  So moved.
      6                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.
      7                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion is seconded.
      8   All in favor?  Opposed?
      9                (Motion passed unanimously.)
     10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very
     11   much.
     14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  At this point we'll
     15   have a briefing item on Local Parks and Indoor
     16   Recreation Grant Review.  Mr. Hogsett, if you
     17   would please --
     18                     (WHEREUPON, a briefing
     19                     item was presented to the
     20                     Commissioners, after which,
     21                     the following proceedings
     22                     were had:)
     24      FUNDING.
     25                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Local park funding.
      1                MR. HOGSETT:  Well, I could go ahead
      2   and start by telling you that outdoor recreation
      3   grants, we have received applications from 34
      4   sponsors requesting $13,965,092 in matching
      5   funds.
      6                We have made site visits of all
      7   those 34 applications.  The applications are
      8   scored and rank ordered.  You can find that rank
      9   order in Exhibit A of your Commission item.
     10                The funds that are currently
     11   available are $6,486,781.  And we're recommending
     12   the first 15 projects.  You will notice in the
     13   recommendation that the amount that we're
     14   recommending for the last project, the
     15   Burkburnett project, is slightly less than the
     16   total request.  That's because we simply don't
     17   have enough money in the account currently to
     18   fund that project at full funding.
     19                However, we are asking you to allow
     20   us the authority, should we realize savings in
     21   other projects, which is quite common during the
     22   fiscal year, that we will then amend that project
     23   to give them full funding.
     24                And I'd be glad to answer any
     25   questions you might have about the agenda.
      1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  We have some public
      2   comment on this agenda item, which I would like
      3   to call at this time.
      4                First I would like to call on
      5   Mr. Avila, a county judge from Zavala County.  If
      6   you come forward, please, give your comments at
      7   this time.
      8                And if John Fain from Arlington
      9   would be prepared to speak next.
     10                MR. AVILA:  Good morning,
     11   commissioners.  My name is Pablo Avila.  I'm the
     12   County Judge for Zavala County.  Crystal City is
     13   our county seat.
     14                And we have an application before
     15   you that ranked number 11 in recommended
     16   funding.  It's a project that we have submitted
     17   twice.  We feel that it is a project that will be
     18   very helpful to the adults and children of our
     19   community.  It's a recreation project that we
     20   have filed on behalf of the Crystal City School
     21   District.  And shortly we will have our
     22   superintendent speak to you in more detail.
     23                But I am kindly requesting that you
     24   consider approving our application.  Thank you
     25   very much.
      1                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much,
      2   Mr. Avila.
      3                John Fain from Arlington.
      4                And Robert Hall from Chambers
      5   County, if you would be prepared to speak next.
      6                MR. FAIN:  Thank you Mr. Chairman,
      7   commissioners.
      8                My name is John Fain, with the
      9   Arlington Parks and Recreation Department.  And I
     10   just wanted to take a few minutes to thank Texas
     11   Parks and Wildlife Department, particularly the
     12   grants and aids staff, for what has been a
     13   wonderful relationship over the years.
     14                I've been with Arlington now for
     15   over ten years and have worked with Tim and his
     16   staff on a number of projects.  And we've
     17   received just many, many awards from the
     18   Commission.  And while I can't say that a lot of
     19   those projects wouldn't have gone forward without
     20   your help, I can say very definitely that you
     21   just made those jobs a whole, whole lot better
     22   for us.
     23                So thank you to all of you, and
     24   particularly Tim.  I'd like to present this token
     25   from the citizens of Arlington to the
      1   Grants-in-Aid people.  Thank you.
      2                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very
      3   much.
      4                (Applause.)
      5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Robert Hall.
      6                If Marc of Maxwell would be prepared
      7   to speak next.
      8                MR. HALL:  Thank you, sir.  I'm
      9   Robert Hall, assistant county engineer for
     10   Chambers County.  I come on behalf of the
     11   commissioners and the county judge to thank you
     12   for your consideration for our boat ramps
     13   project.
     14                We understand at this time that
     15   there are funds that are going to be used for
     16   other infrastructures that you have, to try to
     17   keep those updated, and that we might be on -- be
     18   available to receive funds later.
     19                Well, this is our greatest asset we
     20   have in Chambers County, is the use of our
     21   wetlands, our fishing and our hunting.  And these
     22   boat ramps could be greatly used.
     23                And this would be on Corps of
     24   Engineers property.  And it will also be --
     25   make -- open that property to not only to
      1   boating and hunting and fishing, but also to the
      2   birds, bird watchers of our State.  Thank you
      3   very much.
      4                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.
      5                Marc Maxwell from Sulphur Springs,
      6   Texas.
      7                And Tom Donnelly, if you would be
      8   prepared to speak next.
      9                MR. MAXWELL:  Mr. Chairman,
     10   commissioners, I am Marc Maxwell, City Manager of
     11   Sulphur Springs, Texas.
     12                I just wanted to very briefly say
     13   thank for you this grants program.  As you know,
     14   the City is endeavoring to undertake a very
     15   ambitious park project.  When we're done, we
     16   believe we'll have a very well-rounded park which
     17   will measure up to the mission of Texas Parks and
     18   Wildlife, one that will serve not only our
     19   citizens, but the citizens of Northeast Texas as
     20   a whole.
     21                So again, thank you.  I would like
     22   to also acknowledge the very competent help of
     23   your staff, Mr. Hogsett and Elaine Dill.
     24                This is our first time applying for
     25   a grant at Texas Parks and Wildlife.  And they
      1   have been, very, very patient with us in
      2   answering our questions and helping us through
      3   the process.  So a big thank-you to them as
      4   well.  Thank you.
      5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you,
      6   Mr. Maxwell.  I appreciate you coming down.
      7                Tom Donnelly from Hallettsville.
      8                If Alberto Gonzales will be prepared
      9   to speak next.
     10                MR. DONNELLY:  Mr. Chairman,
     11   commissioners, my name is Tom Donnelly, City
     12   Administer, Hallettsville, Texas.
     13                It's my honor to be the first
     14   citizen of Hallettsville and Lavaca County to say
     15   thank you.  Thank you to the Commission, to
     16   Mr. Hogsett and his staff for their guidance and
     17   assistance through this procedure.
     18                Please be assured there will be
     19   thousands and thousands of thank-yous to follow
     20   from our citizens, as your funds and our local
     21   matching funds are turned into much needed
     22   facilities.  Thank you.
     23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you for
     24   coming.
     25                Mr. Gonzales.
      1                And if Ellis Gilliland will be
      2   prepared to speak next, please.
      3                MR. GONZALES:  Mr. Chairman,
      4   commissioners, on behalf of Zavala County,
      5   Crystal City Independent School District, and the
      6   children of Crystal City - I represent them; I'm
      7   the superintendent there - I'd like to thank the
      8   Commission for their consideration of the
      9   proposed project for our great community.
     10                This grant will have a significant
     11   and long-lasting impact for ourselves and future
     12   generations.  Our deepest appreciation is
     13   extended to you, to Elaine Dill, Joel Seffel for
     14   their technical assistance.
     15                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.
     16   Mr. Gilliland, if you would come forward and
     17   speak at this time.
     18                MR. GILLILAND:  I have some handouts
     19   for the commissioners.
     20                My name is Ellis Gilliland.  I'm a
     21   private citizen.  I'm representing Texas Animals,
     22   which is an Internet animal rights organization.
     23                I'd like to address the second page
     24   of the handout I just gave you.  It concerns
     25   Choke Canyon State Park.  It says, "Game
      1   preserve.  No firearms or hunting permitted."
      2                I'd like to ask the Commission to
      3   authorize funds for that park to take down that
      4   sign because it is not a game preserve.  And
      5   obviously firearms are permitted, and hunting is
      6   permitted every year.
      7                It sounds like Vietnam now,
      8   particularly that you have the duck hunting
      9   coinciding with the deer hunting.  When the deer
     10   hunters stop firing in the morning, the duck
     11   hunters continue all day long, with automatic
     12   Browning fire.  The deer hunters are only firing
     13   single shots, for some reason or another, and
     14   they pick up in the evening.  There is no
     15   wildlife viewing of any substance, which brings
     16   me to the second comment.
     17                The second comment is, on the first
     18   page of the Choke Canyon State Park handout which
     19   you publish, I ask you to allot funds so that
     20   park could publish another handout, because that
     21   handout is a fraud.  It says "For wildlife
     22   watching at its best."  That is a fraud.  It is
     23   not true.  It was, up until 1996.  When you
     24   authorized the hunting the last four years, '97,
     25   '98, '99, and 2000, it is not the best wildlife
      1   watching.
      2                So if you please would authorize the
      3   funds for reprinting of the brochure and funds to
      4   take down the sign that says "Game preserve.  No
      5   firearms," because it obviously is a shoot-em-up
      6   event for the Texas yahoos to go and shoot their
      7   automatic weapons and kill as many animals as
      8   possible.  Thank you.
      9                CHAIRMAN BASS:  We'll take your
     10   comments under advisement, Mr. Gilliland.
     11                There is no further public comment
     12   on this agenda item.  Is there any discussion
     13   from the commission?  The Chair would entertain a
     14   motion.
     15                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Move approval.
     16                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Make a motion.
     17                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Have a motion by
     18   Commissioner Ryan and a second by Commissioner
     19   Angelo.  All in favor?  Any opposed?  Motion
     20   carries.
     21                (Motion passed unanimously.)
     22      "Funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in
     23   the amount of $6,468,781.00 is approved, as
     24   described for individual projects in Exhibit B.
     25   Individual project amounts may be adjusted to
      1   take advantage of savings in other fiscal year
      2   2000 projects, as long as the overall total does
      3   not exceed the amount available, and the
      4   requirements of the grant program are met."
      5                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very
      6   much.
      7                Mr. Hogsett, you're up again.  But I
      8   will take a moment to say that it is nice to hear
      9   repeated good things about people's experience
     10   working with your staff.  And I don't think it's
     11   all just because they are walking away with
     12   money.
     13                MR. HOGSETT:  Thank you very much.
     14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  I'm sure it helps.
     15   It makes you a popular fellow.  But it is nice to
     16   hear good, positive feedback from the people that
     17   work with you and how they create a positive
     18   experience for those undergoing a process that is
     19   not always fruitful for them.
     20                MR. HOGSETT:  And I'm grateful for a
     21   wonderful staff.
     22                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Next item.
     24      GRANTS.
     25                MR. HOGSETT:  Again for the record,
      1   I'm Tim Hogsett, director of Recreation Grants
      2   Program in the State Parks Division.
      3                The next item is the proposed
      4   funding for indoor recreation centers.  We've
      5   received for this review eight applications
      6   requesting $3,359,500 in matching funds.  These
      7   were all of the applications which were received
      8   by our July 31st, 1999 deadline.
      9                Staff has reviewed all of the
     10   applications.  They are rank ordered in
     11   descending order of priority.  You can find that
     12   rank order at your Exhibit A and individual
     13   projects at Exhibit B.
     14                You will note that the last project,
     15   the Alamo Project, a similar situation as we had
     16   with the outdoor projects.  We have less than the
     17   amount available to fully fund that project.
     18   However, should we realize savings in other
     19   projects, we would amend that project to offer
     20   them full funding.  They've been contacted and
     21   they understand this recommendation and are fine
     22   with it.
     23                I'll go ahead and read the staff
     24   recommendation into the record. "Funding for the
     25   projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount of
      1   $3,325,000 is approved as described for
      2   individual projects in Exhibit B.  Individual
      3   project amounts may be adjusted to take advantage
      4   of savings in other fiscal year 2000 projects as
      5   long as the overall total does not exceed the
      6   amount available and all the requirements of the
      7   grant program are met."
      8                I'll be glad to answer any
      9   questions.
     10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Questions for our
     11   public comment?  We have three public comments
     12   today.
     13                Charles Johnson from Dimmit County,
     14   if you would please come forward and speak to
     15   us.  And I would -- I'm sorry, you are the only
     16   person on this item.  The floor is yours.
     17                MR. DIMMIT:  Thank you,
     18   Commissioner.  Am I still limited to three
     19   minutes, I guess?
     20                Commissioners -- Mr. Chairman,
     21   commissioners, my name is Charles Johnson, and I
     22   am the county judge of Dimmit County and I bring
     23   greetings from Dimmit County.  And I want to
     24   thank each of you for your support of this
     25   project.
      1                I would also like to thank Tim
      2   Hogsett and the staff, Elaine Dill and George
      3   Logan who have worked with us.  And I would also
      4   like to thank my staff, Tracy Hill, who has
      5   worked on this project.
      6                This project is bringing our
      7   community together, the city, the school and the
      8   county.  I know it seems difficult in these times
      9   that we're living in.  But it is a unique
     10   opportunity for our community.
     11                We also like -- we would like to
     12   commend the Parks and Wildlife for the funding
     13   for game wardens and supporting the law
     14   enforcement efforts.  Down in our neck of the
     15   woods, we are hard -- we're spread a little thin
     16   on law enforcement.  And especially during the
     17   deer season, we appreciate the special game
     18   wardens that are there that are funded through
     19   this agency.
     20                It seems like the population is
     21   growing in the State of Texas.  And it's not only
     22   true in the urban areas, but it's also true in
     23   the rural areas, where we live.  Dimmit County is
     24   down there north of Laredo.  And with NAFTA and
     25   the truck traffic that's coming through, we're
      1   also seeing tourists, we're seeing snowbirds that
      2   are coming down, and they are starting to like
      3   Dimmit County.
      4                We've got the Nueces River coming
      5   through there.  We would like to upgrade that and
      6   make it amenable to their parking and staying a
      7   little while.
      8                But with that things are changing.
      9   We're sort of experiencing a Renaissance in our
     10   local history.  This is bringing renewed interest
     11   in what has happened in South Texas.  We have had
     12   a very colorful history, as I'm sure you're aware
     13   of.  And we are taking steps to preserve that.
     14   And we would like to ask for your support on
     15   that.
     16                As a part of that, there is the
     17   Camino Real de los Tejas, which has passed
     18   through Dimmit and Zavala Counties.  We're
     19   neighbors to Zavala County, the gentleman who
     20   spoke previously.  And we would support your
     21   efforts with the National Forestry Service to
     22   promote that part of our history of our state, of
     23   Texas.
     24                And additionally, I know that with
     25   the Senate Bill 1 planning that is taking place,
      1   the Parks and Wildlife has representation on the
      2   Senate Bill 1 planning groups.  And I would urge
      3   you to protect our natural resources
      4   aggressively.
      5                Thank you, and may God bless you.
      6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.
      7   Appreciate you making the trip up here.  Any
      8   questions or comments on this agenda item?
      9                I think yesterday we touched on the
     10   fact that some of the plans that Mr. Hogsett and
     11   his staff have in the works to create some
     12   workshops and to publicize more widely some of
     13   these programs.
     14                We'll hopefully increase the pool of
     15   applicants and help us to achieve even better
     16   projects in the future.  But this is a good group
     17   of projects.
     18                And I would entertain a motion to
     19   approve the agenda item as proposed unless there
     20   are other comments.
     21                COMMISSIONER HENRY:  So moved.
     22                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Second.
     23                CHAIRMAN BASS:  A motion from Mr.
     24   Henry, a second by Commissioner Ryan.  All in
     25   favor?  Any opposed?
      1                (Motion passed unanimously.)
      2                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very
      3   much.
      4      "Funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in
      5   the amount of $3,325,000.00 is approved, as
      6   described for individual projects in Exhibit B.
      7   Individual project amounts may be adjusted to
      8   take advantage of savings in other fiscal year
      9   2000 projects as long as the overall total does
     10   not exceed the amount available, and the
     11   requirements of the program are met."
     14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The next item of
     15   business is a briefing item, Urban Wildlife
     16   Program, Outreach and Output.
     17                     (WHEREUPON, a briefing
     18                     item was presented to the
     19                     Commissioners.)
     21                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Our next item is
     22   also a briefing item on Outdoor Kids.  Dr.
     23   McKinney.
     24                     (WHEREUPON, a briefing
     25                     item was presented to the
      1                     Commissioners, after which,
      2                     the following proceedings
      3                     were had:)
      5      SHP PUBLIC USE PLAN.
      6                CHAIRMAN BASS:  All right.  Walt
      7   Dabney, if you'd come forward and do a briefing
      8   item for us on Hueco Tanks, please.
      9                     (WHEREUPON, a briefing
     10                     item was presented to the
     11                     Commissioners, after which,
     12                     the following proceedings
     13                     were had:)
     15      HIDALGO COUNTY.
     16                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The next item is an
     17   action item, land acquisition, Hidalgo County.
     18   Mr. Herring, please.
     19                MR. HERRING:  Good morning.  My name
     20   is Mike Herring, director of the department's
     21   Land Conservation Program.
     22                The property needed for the facility
     23   development portion of the Weslaco component of
     24   the World Birding Center is currently in private
     25   ownership.  The property is composed of three
      1   tracts, all under one ownership, which the owner
      2   desires to sell as a unit.
      3                Because of the owner's desire to
      4   sell the tracts, the department solicited the
      5   assistance of the Nature Conservancy to negotiate
      6   and broker this transaction.
      7                Tract 3, 3.15 acres, is a small
      8   triangle needed for World Birding Center access
      9   and buffer, which is proposed to be purchased by
     10   the department.  Purchase of Tract 3 is
     11   contingent on the Nature Conservancy's successful
     12   negotiations on Tract 1 and 2.
     13                Staff proposes to utilize general
     14   obligation bond funds authorized by legislative
     15   appropriation to make this purchase.  Recommend
     16   the Commission adopt the motion as shown in your
     17   agenda item.
     18                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Do you have a second
     19   item on this, or is this one motion for the
     20   entire piece?
     21                MR. HERRING:  This is one motion for
     22   this piece.  There will be a second item for
     23   another piece in Hidalgo County.  There are two
     24   Hidalgo County items.
     25                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Yes, I see that.
      1   Mr. Bauer is doing the other one.
      2                MR. HERRING:  Yes.
      3                CHAIRMAN BASS:  This was discussed
      4   in Executive Session of the Conservation
      5   Committee and was recommended for consideration,
      6   by the Board, in public session.  Are there any
      7   further comments, questions at this time?
      8                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move
      9   approval.
     10                CHAIRMAN BASS:  The Chair has a
     11   motion and a second.  All in favor?  Opposed?
     12               (Motion passed unanimously.)
     13      "The Executive Director is authorized to take
     14   all necessary steps to consummate the purchase of
     15   the 3.15 acre tract in Hidalgo County for
     16   inclusion in the Weslaco Unit of the World
     17   Birding Center."
     18      AGENDA ITEM NO. 9:  ACTION - LAND
     20                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much,
     21   Mr. Herring.  Would you now do your second item,
     22   which is Bastrop County land acquisition?
     23                MR. HERRING:  As a result of
     24   expansion work to the nine-hole golf course at
     25   Bastrop State Park, the department has certain
      1   Houston Toad mitigation responsibilities.
      2                The biological opinion issued by the
      3   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires that the
      4   department maintain at least a thousand acres of
      5   toad habitat in conservation status.
      6                A 1,000-acre tract of land adjacent
      7   to Bastrop State Park has been offered for sale
      8   to the department.  Fish and Wildlife Service has
      9   given approval to accept the 1,000-acre tract as
     10   compensation for the department's mitigation
     11   responsibility, contingent on the implementation
     12   of additional habitat improvements.
     13                Additionally, federal land and water
     14   conservation funds may be available for
     15   assistance with this project in the near future.
     16                Because of the landowner's desire to
     17   consummate the purchase quickly, the department
     18   requested the Nature Conservancy assist with
     19   purchase and interim holding the property,
     20   pending Commission approval and reimbursement.
     21                Staff also recommends that the
     22   Commission adopt the recommendation as shown in
     23   your agenda item.
     24                CHAIRMAN BASS:  This item was also
     25   discussed in the Executive Session of the
      1   Conservation Committee and recommended for
      2   consideration.  And if there are any questions or
      3   comments, the Chair would entertain them at this
      4   time.
      5                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Motion.
      6                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.
      7                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Have a motion for
      8   approval and a second.  All in favor?  Any
      9   opposed?
     10               (Motion passed unanimously.)
     11      "The Executive Director is authorized to
     12   take all necessary steps to consummate the
     13   purchase of the 100 acre tract adjacent to
     14   Bastrop State Park and to reimburse The
     15   Nature Conservancy for its overhead and holding
     16   costs."
     17      "The Executive Director is further authorized
     18   to utilize Land and Water Conservation Grant
     19   Funds to reimburse 50 percent of the acquisition
     20   costs for the 1000 acre Bastrop State Park
     21   addition."
     22                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much,
     23   Mr. Herring.
     24                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, if I
     25   might comment.  I would like to point out to
      1   you-all and the audience that this acquisition
      2   will essentially double the size of Bastrop State
      3   Park.  It's a very, very diverse piece of
      4   property that not only includes the remnants of
      5   the Lost Pines, but some other ecosystem remnants
      6   as well.  It will provide an important habitat
      7   for the Houston Toad and finish all mitigation
      8   requirements that the department is under
      9   obligation to in Bastrop County.
     10                Further, I think it begins the
     11   process of -- Bastrop County, as Travis County
     12   has done -- commencing a period of time in which
     13   endangered species will be a significant factor
     14   in development.  The acquisition of this tract, I
     15   believe, gets all of that process off on the
     16   right track in Bastrop County.  So I appreciate
     17   your action on this matter.
     18      AGENDA ITEM NO. 10:  ACTION - LAND
     20                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. Bauer, land
     21   acquisition in Hidalgo County, also for us to
     22   consider.
     23                MR. BAUER:  Good morning.  I'm Jack
     24   Bauer with the Land Conservation Program.  The
     25   Adams Unit of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management
      1   Area is a 65-acre brush tract near Weslaco,
      2   managed for use by white-winged dove.
      3                A 47.1-acre adjacent farm field has
      4   been offered for sale.  Our White-winged Dove
      5   Program staff and the Las Palomas Wildlife
      6   Management Area facility staff have been on the
      7   tract and recommend habitat addition.
      8                The proposed acquisition is
      9   consistent with the White-winged Dove Program
     10   management plan and meets Commission guidance for
     11   expansion of existing facilities.
     12                The property will undergo brush
     13   restoration and be utilized in dove food
     14   production.
     15                Staff recommends the use of
     16   white-winged dove stamp revenues to fund the
     17   acquisition.  Staff recommend the Parks and
     18   Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:
     19   "The Executive Director is authorized to take
     20   all steps necessary to acquire approximately 46.1
     21   acres in Hidalgo County as an addition to the
     22   Adams Unit of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management
     23   Area."
     24                Any questions?
     25                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Questions?  A
      1   motion?
      2                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.
      3                COMMISSIONER DINKINS:  Second.
      4                CHAIRMAN BASS:  There is a motion
      5   and a second.  All in favor?  Any opposed?
      6   Motion carries.  Thank you very much.
      7                MR. BAUER:  Thank you.
      8               (Motion passed unanimously.)
      9      "The Executive Director is authorized to take
     10   all steps necessary to acquire approximately 46.1
     11   acres in Hidalgo County as an addition to the
     12   Adams Unit of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management
     13   Area."
     14                CHAIRMAN BASS:  Let's see, that
     15   brings us to, I believe, the conclusion of our
     16   agenda.
     17                Mr. Sansom, is there any business to
     18   come before the Commission that you're aware of?
     19                MR. SANSOM:  No, sir.
     20                CHAIRMAN BASS:  In that case, we
     21   will stand adjourned.  Thank you very much.
     22   We'll see you upstairs for lunch.
     23                      *-*-*-*-*
     24                 (HEARING ADJOURNED.)
     25                      *-*-*-*-*
      1                REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE
      2   STATE OF TEXAS   )
      3   COUNTY OF TRAVIS )
      5        I, MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, a Certified Court
      6   Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do hereby
      7   certify that the above and foregoing 45 pages
      8   constitute a full, true and correct transcript of
      9   the minutes of the Texas Parks and Wildlife
     10   Commission on JANUARY 20, 2000, in the Commission
     11   hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife
     12   Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis County,
     13   Texas.
     14        I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic record
     15   was made by me a the time of the public meeting
     16   and said stenographic notes were thereafter
     17   reduced to computerized transcription under my
     18   supervision and control.
     19        WITNESS MY HAND this the 3RD day of
     20   FEBRUARY, 2000.
     22          MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, RPR, CSR NO. 3226
                 Expiration Date:  12-31-00
     23          3101 Bee Caves Road
                 Centre II, Suite 220
     24          Austin, Texas  78746
                 (512) 328-5557
     25   EBS NO. ________
                               Lee M. Bass, Chairman
      5                        Nolan Ryan
                               Ernest Angelo, Jr.
     10                        John Avila, Jr.
                               Carol E. Dinkins, Vice Chair
     15                        Alvin L. Henry
                               Katharine Armstrong Idsal
     20                        Mark E. Watson, Jr.