Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

April 6, 2000

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

      7      BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 6th
      8   day of April 2000, there came on to be heard
      9   matters under the regulatory authority of the
     10   Parks and Wildlife  Commission of Texas, in the
     11   commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and
     12   Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis
     13   County, Texas, beginning at 9:12 a.m., to wit:
     17      Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas, Chairman
     18      Dick W. Heath, Carrollton, Texas
             Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas
     19      Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas
             John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
     20      Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas
             Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
     21      Katharine Armstrong Idsal, Dallas, Texas
             Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
     23      Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and
          other personnel of the Parks and Wildlife
     24   Department.
             Rene Barrientos, 11 ME 624, P.O. Box 542,
      3   Cotulla, Texas  78014;
      4      Dave Richards, 25935 Fox Brian, Boerne, Texas
          78006, representing Gary Grant Sales;
             Dr. James C. Kroll, Route 5, Box 2585,
      6   Nacogdoches, Texas, 75964, representing Texas
          Deer Association;
             Margie Raborn, Route 2, Box 206E, Allevton,
      8   Texas, 78935, representing TSA;
      9      Gene Riser, P.O. Box 809, George West, Texas,
          78022, representing Texas Deer Association;
             Jerry Johnston, P.O. Box 79117, San Antonio,
     11   Texas, 78279, representing Texas Deer Association
          and Texas Trophy Hunters Association;
             Larry Grimland, 2610 Manana, Dallas, Texas,
     13   75220, representing Whitetail Ranch;
     14      Ellis Gilleland, P.O. Box 9001, Austin, Texas,
          78766, representing Texas Animals;
             Walt Glasscock, 408 Shriley Oaks Drive,
     16   Columbus, Texas, 78934, Representing Texas
          Sportsmans Association;
             Jack Brittingham, Route 3, Box 3560,
     18   Palestine, Texas, 75801, representing Briar Lakes
             Marty Berry, representing self;
             Bill Grace, 126 Mustang Creek Road, Salado,
     21   Texas  76571, landowner, representing TDA;
     22      Don Casey, 897 Shovel Mt. Road, Cypress Mill,
          Texas, 78654, representing Blanco County;
             David Hayward, 8300 Que Pasa Ranch Road,
     24   Anderson, Texas, 77830, representing Que Pasa
      2      David K. Langford, representing Texas Wildlife
             Tomme R. Actkinson, 3002 Magnolia, Temple,
      4   Texas, 76502, representing Lone Star Bowhunters
             Kevin Hilbig, 4905 FM 535, Cedar Creek, Texas,
      6   78612, representing Lone Star Bowhunters
      1                       APRIL 6, 2000
      2                        *-*-*-*-*
      3                       PUBLIC HEARING
      4                        *-*-*-*-*
      5                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  This meeting is
      6   called to order.  Thank you.  Before proceeding
      7   with any business, Mr. Sansom has a statement to
      8   make.
      9                MR. SANSOM:  Madam Chairman and
     10   members of the Commission, a public notice of
     11   this meeting containing all items on the proposed
     12   agenda has been filed in the office of Secretary
     13   of State.  This is required by Chapter 551 of the
     14   Government Code and referred to as the Open
     15   Meetings Law.  I would like for this action to be
     16   noted in the official record of the meeting.
     17                Ladies and gentlemen, so that
     18   everyone will have a chance to address the
     19   Commission today, I'm going to talk to you a
     20   little bit about kind of how we do these
     21   meetings.  And we're thrilled that all of you are
     22   here, and we appreciate the fact that you've come
     23   to participate.
     24                Chairman Dinkins is in charge of the
     25   meeting and I will sort of assist her as usual as
      1   kind of a sergeant at arms.  Now, out there in
      2   the corridor we have some cards that are required
      3   for you to sign up if you wish to speak.
      4   Chairman Dinkins will call your name from those
      5   cards.  So you must fill one out if you want to
      6   talk.  Everyone who has filled out a card will be
      7   allowed to speak from the podium here in front of
      8   me, one at a time.  When your name is called, I
      9   would like for you to come forward, to state your
     10   name, and who you represent, if someone other
     11   than yourself.  If there's a lot of folks that
     12   want to talk on a particular issue, the chairman
     13   may call the name of the second person in line,
     14   and I would like for you to come and stand at the
     15   back of the room so that we can move the process
     16   along.
     17                Everyone will have three minutes to
     18   speak and I will keep track of that with this
     19   little traffic light that I have here and notify
     20   you when your three minutes are up.  If the
     21   Commissioners ask you a question or if they
     22   discuss things among themselves, that time will
     23   not be counted against you.
     24                In order for us to show proper
     25   respect not only for our board, for our staff,
      1   and for each other, I will not be tolerant of any
      2   statements which are simply argumentative or
      3   critical of others.  And I know that you will
      4   adhere to that and cooperate with me in that
      5   regard.
      6                If you have any kind of written
      7   materials or tapes or videos or anything that you
      8   would like for the Commission to see, please give
      9   them to Ms. Lori Estrada here on my right and she
     10   will make sure that the Commissioners get them.
     11                Thank you very much, all of you, for
     12   attending our meeting today.
     13                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     14   Mr. Sansom.  The commissioners have all received
     15   a copy of the minutes of the last meeting.  And
     16   the Chair would entertain a motion for the
     17   approval of those minutes.
     18                COMMISSIONER HENRY:  So moved.
     19                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
     20   Motion by Commissioner Henry and second by
     21   Commissioner Angelo.
     22                Is there any discussion?  All in
     23   favor say aye; those opposed nay.  Motion
     24   carries.  Thank you.
     25                     (Motion passed unanimously.)
      1                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Our next order
      2   of business is the acceptance of gifts.  And
      3   there is a list of those in the briefing book,
      4   the agenda book that was sent.  Mr. Sansom, do we
      5   need a motion for approval of those gifts?
      6                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  So make a
      7   motion.
      8                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  All right.
      9   Motion by Commissioner Ryan, second by
     10   Commissioner Watson.  Any discussion?  All of
     11   those in favor say aye; all opposed nay.
     12   Motion carries.  Thank you.
     13                     (Motion passed unanimously.)
     14            TPWD DONATIONS OVER $500
     15   Name of Donor:  Jimmy Silva, Chambers County
     16   Description:   Small Boat Radar
          Purpose of Donation:  Law Enforcement
          Name of Donor:  Texas Black Bass Unlimited
     18   Description:  CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Tram Improvements at TFFC
          Name of Donor:  Texas Parks and Wildlife
     20   Foundation
          Description:  Food, Lodging, Tour, Prizes
     21   Purpose of Donation:  Natural Classroom Symposium
     22   Name of Donor:  Treesearch Farms
          Description:  Trees and shrubs
     23   Purpose of Donation:  School habitats in Houston
     25   Name of Donor:  ALCOA Alumina & Chemicals LLC
          Description:  Equipment
      1   Purpose of Donation:  Lake Texana State Park
      2   Name of Donor:  Partners in Palo Duro Canyon
      3   Description:  Radios
          Purpose of Donation:  Palo Duro Canyon State park
          Name of Donor:  Travis Audubon Society Inc.
      5   Description:  CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Special Nongame and End.
      6   Spp. Conservation Fund
      7   Name of Donor:  Temple-Inland Forest Products
      8   Description:  CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Special Nongame and End.
      9   Spp. Conservation Fund
     10   Name of Donor:  Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of
     11   Description:  CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, Inc.
     13   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Austin Woods and Waters Club
     15   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Central and South West Services,
     17   Inc.
          Description:   CASH
     18   Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
     19   Name of Donor:  Park Board of Trustees, City of
     20   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Frank Boggus
     22   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  KOWA OPTIMED, Inc.
     25   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  KOWA OPTIMED, Inc.
      2   Description:   Three scopes and eyepieces
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Michael C. Delesantro (Weslaco)
      4   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Reliant Energy HL&P
      6   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Swarovski Optik North America
      8   Ltd.
          Description:   CASH
      9   Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
     10   Name of Donor:  Swarovski Optik North America
     11   Description:   Four binoculars
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Boy Scouts of America
     13   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  John G. and Marie Stella Kennedy
     15   Memorial
          Description:   CASH
     16   Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
     17   Name of Donor:  Corpus Christi Convention and
          Visitors Bureau
     18   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic
          Name of Donor:  Reliant Energy
     20   Description:   CASH
          Purpose of Donation:  Great Texas Birding Classic

          Name of Donor:  Texas Wildlife Association
     22   Description:   Shotgun shells
          Purpose of Donation:  Youth Shooting Sports,
     23   Chaparral WMA
     24   TOTAL:  $78,250.68
     25                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  And now we come
      1   to the great part of --
      2                MR. SANSOM:  It is the great part,
      3   Madam Chairman, and I would like to ask you to
      4   come down here at this time and join me for the
      5   part of the meeting that I think many of us
      6   consider very, very special.
      7                I would like to note that last
      8   evening we participated in the recognition of
      9   many of our incredible volunteers from throughout
     10   the state in our second annual Lone Star Legends
     11   Volunteer Awards program.  A number of those
     12   winners, or at least one, I know, is here with us
     13   today.  And I would like for Leonard Ranne and
     14   anyone else who was recognized last night in the
     15   volunteer awards program to stand so that we can
     16   recognize you.
     17                        (Applause.)
     18                MR. SANSOM:  I think some of our
     19   staff certainly put in plenty of volunteer hours,
     20   theirselves.  Because many, many, many, many
     21   people in this department, in fact most, put in
     22   far more than a 40-hour week for the citizens of
     23   the State of Texas.
     24                Today we have the great privilege of
     25   recognizing two of them who will be retiring.
      1   The first is Antonio Buenano from Coastal
      2   Fisheries who has worked for Texas Parks and
      3   Wildlife as a technician for 32 years.  During
      4   all of that time he has been in Rockport and he
      5   helped and was an integral part of the
      6   development of the field sampling technology in
      7   the early '60s and '70s that has made the famous
      8   Texas coastal monitoring program and database one
      9   of the most influential scientific instruments in
     10   the country.
     11                His biological collection techniques
     12   and tabulation of data is a model to other
     13   technicians, which he spends a good deal of time
     14   training.  Antonio has trained numerous staff
     15   over the years in the use of all gear, equipment,
     16   and scientific instruments.  He gives workshops
     17   and he is known throughout our system as a leader
     18   among the people who really get their work done
     19   out in the field.  And that's our fish and
     20   wildlife technicians.
     21                Please recognize, retiring today
     22   with 32 years of service, Antonio Buenano from
     23   Coastal Fisheries.
     24                        (Photographs were then
     25                        taken; applause.)
      1                MR. SANSOM:  Members and ladies and
      2   gentlemen, for the past several years we have
      3   almost been totally preoccupied in our system
      4   with its repair.  As all of you know, some 20
      5   percent of our state parks are more than 50 years
      6   old, having been built largely by the Civilian
      7   Conservation Corps during The New Deal.  Over 20
      8   percent of our parks -- 60 percent of our parks
      9   are more than 20 years old.  The bedrock of that
     10   repair program has not only been in our
     11   infrastructure division but in our regional
     12   maintenance specialists who have struggled to
     13   keep these facilities open and ready for the
     14   public.
     15                Today we recognize John Rochelle who
     16   is the regional maintenance supervisor and
     17   specialist at Waco, who is retiring with 27 years
     18   of service.  He started out as a seasonal worker
     19   at Lake Whitney State Park over 27 years ago and
     20   he has worked for most of his career in the
     21   maintenance program as a supervisor in Waco.  His
     22   work has reflected the dedication that it has
     23   taken to keep these facilities, sometimes in the
     24   face of some real daunting deterioration, open,
     25   safe, and clean for the public.  And he has been
      1   very, very instrumental in the progress that we
      2   have made in terms of automatic maintenance
      3   programming and cycling.
      4                So please recognize from Waco, in
      5   the State Parks division, John Rochelle, retiring
      6   today, 27 years.
      7                        (Photographs were then
      8                        taken; applause.)
      9                MR. SANSOM:  Many of the law
     10   enforcement officers that you will be introduced
     11   to today who will be receiving service awards
     12   were members of the 34th Game Warden Training
     13   Academy which graduated in 1980.
     14                But first let me introduce to you a
     15   man who is receiving a service award for 25 years
     16   of dedicated service to Parks and Wildlife.
     17   Bruce Bunn has been a person who is known
     18   throughout our system.  He started basically as a
     19   summer intern at Huntsville in 1974.  He's worked
     20   at Lake Colorado City, at Sabine Pass, Sea Rim,
     21   Lake Livingston, Fort Richardson.  When I first
     22   met him, he was a superintendent at McKinney
     23   Falls.
     24                In all of these positions, including
     25   regional directorships at two locations, Waco and
      1   Lubbock, and a headquarters assignment, he is
      2   known throughout our system as a respected leader
      3   and colleague and one who I think has clearly
      4   demonstrated a lot of leadership and mentorship
      5   for younger people coming along.
      6                Today he is a regional director for
      7   State Parks in Lubbock and we recognize Bruce
      8   Bunn for 25 years of service to Texas Parks and
      9   Wildlife.
     10                        (Photographs were then
     11                        taken; applause.)
     12                MR. SANSOM:  One of those graduating
     13   cadets in 1980 in that 34 class was Jose
     14   Esparza.  Jose got out of the academy and joined
     15   the ranks in -- of the department actually in
     16   1975.  He's received many awards during his
     17   career, including officer of the year of St.
     18   Hedwig.  He has got an urban assignment because
     19   he spent most of his career in San Antonio and so
     20   he has had some unusual things to have to
     21   handle.  He lost part of his thumb while trying
     22   to take care of a mountain lion incident in the
     23   middle of San Antonio.  He was one of the major
     24   players in the Hill Country buck case, which we
     25   all read about in Hill Country Village a couple
      1   of years ago.  He's a very well-known person
      2   throughout Bexar County and he's thoroughly
      3   involved in his community in everything from FFA
      4   to 4H and other such programs.
      5                So please recognize, with 25 years
      6   of service from the law enforcement division,
      7   Jose Esparza from San Antonio.
      8                        (Photographs were then
      9                        taken; applause.)
     10                MR. SANSOM:  Our next awardee,
     12   for 25 years, immigrated to this country from
     13   Mexico and started as a seasonal worker at Lake
     14   Brownwood State Park 25 years ago.  He has spent
     15   his entire career in that park and he has had a
     16   wonderful, wonderful association not only with
     17   all of the visitors to the park but all of its
     18   staff.
     19                Juan Gonzales is a new American and
     20   an important part of our system and a strong,
     21   active member of the staff at Brownwood State
     22   Park.  Please recognize Juan Gonzales, with 25
     23   years of service.
     24                        (Photographs were then
     25                        taken; applause.)
      1                MR. SANSOM:  All of us who have
      2   worked around the building here -- and I know
      3   many of you commissioners and members of the
      4   legislature -- by the way, I would note that Vice
      5   Chairman of the State Recreation Resources
      6   Committee, Robin Cooke, who joined us yesterday,
      7   is also here today.  And we welcome him to this
      8   meeting.  He knows Jack King.
      9                Jack King is a director II in our
     10   law enforcement division, having worked in that
     11   division for 25 years.  He got out of the academy
     12   in 1975 and was assigned to Corpus Christi, where
     13   he worked as a field game warden for ten years.
     14   He became a staff lieutenant, which was where I
     15   first met him, in the Corpus Christi regional
     16   office in 1985.  He became the district
     17   supervisor down there in 1992.  And he was
     18   promoted to assistant commander here in law
     19   enforcement headquarters in 1994.
     20                Over the years since he has been in
     21   this office, Jack King has supervised programs
     22   that all of us are familiar with, including
     23   Operation Game Thief, the Civil Restitution
     24   Program.  He's been directly involved with
     25   emergency management activities, not only here
      1   but throughout the state.  Today, he is director
      2   of policy and planning in the law enforcement
      3   central headquarters.
      4                Please recognize Jack King, from the
      5   law enforcement division, 25 years of service.
      6                        (Photographs were then
      7                        taken; applause.)
      8                MR. SANSOM:  Once again, from the
      9   State -- from the State Parks Division, we
     10   recognize David Lopez.  David began his
     11   employment in 1974 as a ranger at Varner-Hogg,
     12   which many of us have visited down there in
     13   Brazoria County, Commissioner Ryan.  David's duty
     14   assignments have been at Sea Rim, at Lake Corpus
     15   Christi, and as a park ranger at Lake Texana
     16   before it opened in 1981.
     17                In 1998, just two years ago, he was
     18   promoted there to park manager, and he runs one
     19   of the neatest parks we've got, which is at Lake
     20   Texana.
     21                Please recognize David Lopez, with
     22   25 years of service.
     23                        (Photographs were then
     24                        taken; applause.)
     25                MR. SANSOM:  Also from headquarters
      1   here in the law enforcement division, Dennis
      2   Johnston.  Dennis came to work for the department
      3   in 1980 in Franklin County.  He became a
      4   lieutenant in the Temple regional office in 1990
      5   and became district supervisor there in 1994.
      6   Three years ago he was promoted to the director
      7   of Fisheries Enforcement at the Austin
      8   headquarters.
      9                Please recognize Dennis Johnston, 20
     10   years of service.
     11                        (Photographs were then
     12                        taken; applause.)
     13                MR. SANSOM:  Also from law
     14   enforcement, Audie Nelson.  Audie started in
     15   Rockport in Aransas County where he was
     16   recognized by GCCA as the coastal warden of the
     17   year in 1983.  He transferred later to San
     18   Antonio, where he remains today as a law
     19   enforcement officer.
     20                Please recognize Audie Nelson, 20
     21   years.
     22                        (Photographs were then
     23                        taken; applause.)
     24                MR. SANSOM:  I spent one of the most
     25   memorable days in my tenure here at Parks and
      1   Wildlife with the next gentleman that I would
      2   like to introduce to you.  He is -- his name is
      3   Carl Perry.  He works on the railroad.  He
      4   started there as a force account employee in
      5   1980.  He served there as a park ranger and a
      6   maintenance foreman as well.  He supervises the
      7   maintenance and repair of 29 timber trestles, the
      8   completion of all bridge replacements at the
      9   railroad, all track and equipment repairs and
     10   maintenance.
     11                During his tenure, the railroad has
     12   become, as all of our sites, computer friendly,
     13   and he helped set up the computer systems there,
     14   began the automation process, and currently
     15   assists with virtually all computer-related
     16   problems at the park.  He is an example of real
     17   leadership in our department.
     18                I had the wonderful opportunity to
     19   spend the afternoon with him and his crew along
     20   the railroad one day and I watched him interact
     21   with his employees.  And the way that he
     22   supervises them and manages them as a team is one
     23   of the most exemplary efforts I've seen at Texas
     24   Parks and Wildlife.  That leadership is evident
     25   in that after 20 years of service he is going
      1   back to school at the Trinity Valley Community
      2   College and will complete his associate's degree
      3   in business management.
      4                Please recognize Carl Allan Perry,
      5   with 20 years in the State Parks division at the
      6   Texas State Railroad.
      7                        (Photographs were then
      8                        taken; applause.)
      9                MR. SANSOM:  From Palestine, Texas,
     10   Michael Pike graduated from the academy in 1980,
     11   assigned to Anderson County in Palestine.  He's
     12   been there and performed faithful service for 20
     13   years.  We've had some extremely interesting
     14   issues over there, particularly as the Post Oaks
     15   Savannah has continued to change.  But he has
     16   been a stalwart in our efforts over there to
     17   protect the resources of Anderson County.
     18                Please recognize Michael Pike from
     19   Palestine with 20 years of service to law
     20   enforcement.
     21                        (Photographs were then
     22                        taken; applause.)
     23                MR. SANSOM:  The next lady that I
     24   would like to introduce to you came to work at
     25   Parks and Wildlife when she was only 17 years
      1   old, as a seasonal.  Cathy Piper started working
      2   in State Parks 20 years ago.  She became a park
      3   ranger at Dinosaur Valley and moved on to
      4   becoming a safety officer and interpretive
      5   ranger.
      6                She has served on numerous
      7   leadership committees in the department,
      8   including a career development and advancement
      9   committee to regional directors advisory board.
     10   She developed the grant for funding of the
     11   Dinosaur Valley's new ADA Trail and she works
     12   there today as volunteer coordinator.
     13                Please recognize Cathy Piper from
     14   State Parks, with 20 years of service.
     15                        (Photographs were then
     16                        taken; applause.)
     17                MR. SANSOM:  From Hankamer, Texas,
     18   Don Robertson.  His first duty station was in
     19   Livingston when he got out of the academy.  In
     20   1983 he went to La Porte in Harris County and he
     21   transferred to Chambers County, where he remains
     22   today.
     23                Please recognize with me and welcome
     24   Don Robertson from law enforcement with 20 years
     25   of service.  Let me tell you that Don holds a
      1   master peace officer's license, he's got 80 hours
      2   of TCLOSE mounted patrol time in.  He's attended
      3   the Federal Marine Offshore Patrol School and
      4   he's a very, very active participate in both the
      5   Houston and the Pasadena rodeo associations.
      6   Welcome Don Robertson.
      7                        (Photographs were then
      8                        taken; applause.)
      9                MR. SANSOM:  Alfonso Vielma.  First
     10   duty station was in Texas City on the upper
     11   coast.  He started work there in 1980, worked
     12   until '84.
     13                He transferred all the way from
     14   Galveston Bay to Comstock in Val Verde County,
     15   where he worked along the Texas/Mexico border on
     16   Lake Amistad and the river for ten years.  As
     17   part of that service he received a National Water
     18   Safety Congress Appreciation Award on his work on
     19   boater education and water safety in the Del Rio
     20   area.
     21                He became the administrative
     22   sergeant in region five in San Antonio in 1994.
     23   And in '96 he was appointed lieutenant game
     24   warden in San Antonio.  He received a meritorious
     25   service award for his work done with a number of
      1   our law enforcement officers during the 1998
      2   floods in New Braunfels.
      3                Please recognize and welcome with me
      4   Alfonso J. Vielma, with 20 years of service, from
      5   San Antonio.
      6                        (Photographs were then
      7                        taken; applause.)
      8                MR. SANSOM:  Finally, a gentleman
      9   whom I have had the pleasure of knowing
     10   throughout my service here at Parks and Wildlife,
     11   Louis Washington.  Louis graduated in that 34th
     12   class and was stationed in Dallas for ten years.
     13   He was promoted after that time to lieutenant and
     14   went back to the academy as a trainer and
     15   affirmative action recruiter.  His service took
     16   him all over the state to work with young people
     17   in different colleges and universities to help
     18   them become interested in becoming law
     19   enforcement officers at Texas Parks and
     20   Wildlife.
     21                In '92 he transferred from here to
     22   Harris County as a district supervisor.  And
     23   today he serves in that capacity as district
     24   supervisor in Temple.
     25                Would you welcome with me, Louis
      1   Washington from the law enforcement division,
      2   with 20 years of service.
      3                        (Photographs were then
      4                        taken; applause.)
      5                MR. SANSOM:  Members, as we have
      6   discussed in the past few days, we have just
      7   completed -- or I should say the Sunset
      8   Commission staff has just completed its review of
      9   Texas Parks and Wildlife.  And Mr. Cooke and
     10   Mr. McCarty and I were visiting with the senior
     11   person on that staff a couple of days ago and
     12   reviewing their work.  And this gentleman told us
     13   at the end of the interview that the one thing he
     14   wanted us to know was that over the past six or
     15   seven months, as they have surveyed our
     16   department, that he has met some of the most
     17   finest and dedicated people that he's ever met in
     18   his life and that these employees are very
     19   special.  And we appreciate you taking the time
     20   each time you come to Austin to recognize them.
     21                Much of what our agency is able to
     22   accomplish is dependent, as we learned last
     23   night, on volunteers.  Some of these groups go
     24   well beyond the normal commitments to help us
     25   accomplish our mission.  One such group that I
      1   would like to ask you to recognize with Phil
      2   Durocher and I this morning is the Lake Ray
      3   Roberts Sportsman's Association.
      4                The emergence of Lake Roberts as one
      5   of the premiere bass fishing lakes in the state,
      6   and I should say the nation, is due largely to
      7   the efforts of this organization.  They've worked
      8   with the staff since the reservoir was built,
      9   from the very beginning.  They've supported our
     10   efforts to make Lake Ray Roberts become what it
     11   has meant to us and what it is continuing to
     12   develop.
     13                Their efforts with creel surveys
     14   were particularly significant.  After the local
     15   biologists, who I will introduce to you, Bruce
     16   Hysmith told them about the need for creel data
     17   to assist with the future management decisions,
     18   they took on the task.
     19                During a two-year period they worked
     20   72 days, a majority of the weekends to collect
     21   the data we needed.  26 members of the
     22   organization took part and spent over 1800 hours
     23   in the effort.  They provided their own boots and
     24   their own fuel and covered all the costs of the
     25   labor.  I'd like to ask Phil Durocher and Bruce
      1   Hysmith from Lake Texoma to come up and
      2   recognize -- and call Mr. Jim McIlroy, Pete
      3   Hollar, Steve  Coffey, and Mike Neblitt to be
      4   recognized today from the Lake Ray Roberts
      5   Sportsman's Association.
      6                          (Photographs were then
      7                          taken; applause.)
      8                MR. SANSOM:  Madam Chairman, that
      9   concludes our awards for this morning.  Thank you
     10   very much.
     11                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     12   Mr. Sansom.  And, again, congratulations to all
     13   of you who were recognized this morning.  And we
     14   appreciate the hard work of the Lake Ray Roberts
     15   association.  And thank you for coming to Austin
     16   to be recognized.
     17                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Our next order
     18   of business is the approval of the agenda, which
     19   you have before you.  The Chair would entertain a
     20   motion for approval.
     21                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.
     22                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  It's been moved
     23   by Commissioner Watson.  Is there a second?
     24                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Second.
     25                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Seconded by
      1   Commissioner Avila.  Any discussion?  All in
      2   favor say aye; those opposed, nay.  Motion
      3   carries.
      4                      (Motion passed unanimously.)
      6      ITEMS.
      7                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  The next item
      8   is the consent agenda.  And the items eligible
      9   for the consent agenda are Item 7, the TPRA grant
     10   rules; Item 8, the local park funding; Item 10,
     11   land transfer in Bexar County; and Item 11, land
     12   exchange in Burnet County.
     13                The Chair would entertain a motion
     14   for approval of the consent agenda.
     15                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Moved.
     16                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  I'll second.
     17                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
     18   It's been moved by Commissioner Angelo and
     19   seconded by Commissioner Ryan.  Any discussion?
     20   All in favor say aye; those opposed, nay.  Motion
     21   carries.  Thank you.
     22                        (Motion passed unanimously.)
     24      PREVIEW.
     25                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Our next item
      1   is a briefing on the fishing preview.  And I am
      2   very eager to hear how it's going to be this
      3   year.  And I want a guarantee when you finish.
      4                        (WHEREUPON, a briefing
      5                        item was presented to the
      6                        Commissioners after which,
      7                        the following proceedings
      8                        were had:)
      9               VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  I believe that
     10   concludes this briefing item.
     11      AGENDA ITEM NO. 3:   ACTION -  2000-2001
     13                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  The next item
     14   is an action item, which is the Statewide Hunting
     15   and Fishing Proclamation.  And we have a number
     16   of people who have signed up for public comment.
     17   But first, we'll hear from Mr. Durocher.
     18                MR. DUROCHER:  Madam Chairman,
     19   members of the Commission, I'm Phil Durocher, the
     20   director of the Inland Fisheries Division.  What
     21   I'll be presenting today is the proposals for
     22   regulation changes for the Inland Fisheries
     23   Division for the year 2000 and 2001.
     24                All of our regulation changes that
     25   we're recommending this year deal with one of the
      1   species with black basses.  The first proposal is
      2   for spotted and Guadalupe bass.  The current
      3   statewide limit on those species, a 12 inch
      4   minimum length limit, five fish daily bag, in
      5   combination.  We're recommending to change that
      6   to a no minimum length limit and retain the five
      7   fish daily bag.
      8                On three lakes, Lake Jacksonville,
      9   Cleburne State Park, and Meridian State Park, the
     10   current bass regulation is a 14-inch minimum,
     11   five fish daily bag, which is the statewide
     12   limit.  We're recommending to change that to an
     13   18-inch minimum length limit and retain the five
     14   fish daily bag.
     15                On two lakes, Town Lake and Buescher
     16   State Park Lake, the current large mouth bass
     17   limit, again, is the statewide minimum and daily
     18   bag limit, and we're recommending to change this
     19   to a 14- to 21-inch slot limit, five fish daily
     20   bag, only one bass 21 inches or greater.
     21                We held public hearings and received
     22   public comments from other sources, such as on
     23   our web site and letters.  And for all of these
     24   recommendations, they ran about three to one in
     25   favor of these proposals.
      1                The only proposal that we had
      2   negative comments of, we had a proposal to change
      3   the limit on Lake Austin.  And because of the
      4   concerns, we felt like some of these concerns
      5   were legitimate, we decided to drop the proposal
      6   on Lake Austin and we will continue to monitor
      7   that situation to see if what our biologist
      8   predicts is going to happen will happen.  But
      9   those are the proposed changes we have for
     10   2000-2001.  Any questions?
     11                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Questions?
     12   Thank you, Mr. Durocher.  Mr. Osburn?
     13                MR. OSBURN:  Thank you, Madam
     14   Chairman, commissioners.  Let me brief you on the
     15   coastal fisheries portion.  I'm Hal Osburn,
     16   coastal fisheries division director.  Our first
     17   proposals deal with moderate increases in the
     18   size limits on billfish, sailfish, white marlin,
     19   blue marlin.  These changes will help
     20   conservation and also will provide compatibility
     21   with the rules in federal waters.
     22                Public opinion was overwhelming in
     23   favor of these.  I think it kind of demonstrates
     24   that catch and release ethic, that there was very
     25   few anglers that felt like they shouldn't
      1   continue to release these fish.
      2                Staff also proposes some shark
      3   regulations, decreasing the daily bag limit from
      4   five to one per person, establish a 24-inch
      5   minimum size limit, and establish a commercial
      6   season compatible with the federal waters.
      7                Many of our shark species in the
      8   Gulf have become overfished, primarily due to the
      9   long -- commercial long line fishing that's
     10   promulgated in federal waters.  These proposals
     11   will compliment the conservation efforts that are
     12   being proposed in some areas of the federal
     13   waters.
     14                Once again, we had very good
     15   favorable response on this.  A good majority in
     16   favor of the proposals that -- those that opposed
     17   generally wanted a two-fish bag limit, which for
     18   our anglers would not allow for very much of a
     19   reduction in harvest, actually.
     20                So we continue to support the
     21   adoption of the original set of proposals with no
     22   modifications.  Thank you.  I'd be happy to
     23   answer any questions.
     24                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Any questions?
     25                Thank you, Mr. Osburn.
      1                MR. HEATH:  Madam Chair?
      2                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Oh, yes.
      3   Mr. Heath?
      4                MR. HEATH:  I just wanted to make a
      5   comment for the record that my daughter,
      6   Brittany, who recently caught a 180 pound -- ten
      7   pound --
      8                MR. OSBURN:  How much does she
      9   weigh?
     10                MR. HEATH:  Brittany weighs 80
     11   pounds.  Thank you.  We need that there.  But she
     12   wanted it to be known that she comments very
     13   positively in support of staff's recommendation
     14   for billfish.  And I just wanted to get that into
     15   the record.
     16                MR. OSBURN:  Thank you.
     17                MR. HEATH:  That's Brittany, 180
     18   pound ten-foot blue stripe marlin.  She weighs 80
     19   pounds.
     20                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  I'm sure the
     21   marlin and Brittany both appreciate your
     22   publicity on their behalf.
     23                MR. HEATH:  Thank you.  And excuse
     24   me, Mr. Gilleland, anything you could do to
     25   publish this far and wide would be very much
      1   appreciated.
      2                        (Applause.)
      3                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
      4   Mr. Osburn.  Doctor Cooke?
      5                DR. COOKE:  Madam Chairman and
      6   members, my name is Jerry Cooke, program director
      7   for Upland Wildlife Ecology, and I'll be
      8   presenting to you the wildlife division's
      9   proposed changes to the 2000-2001 hunting and
     10   fishing proclamation.
     11                We're proposing to add Camp,
     12   Franklin, Hunt, Morris, Panola, Rains, and
     13   Shelby, and Titus Counties to the currently open
     14   eastern spring turkey season in East Texas.  They
     15   have the same seasons, bag limits, and other
     16   particulars as exist in those other counties.
     17                In Cass, Marion, and Harrison County
     18   we proposed to create four doe days.  This will
     19   open on Thanksgiving Day through the Sunday
     20   following Thanksgiving.  And this map shows the
     21   relationship of those counties to those currently
     22   having that season.
     23                In a portion of East Texas they
     24   currently have 23 doe days.  We would propose to
     25   redefine those doe days as being the days from
      1   the opening day of the season through the Sunday
      2   following Thanksgiving because 23 days doesn't
      3   always include the Thanksgiving holidays.
      4                And we would also propose to add San
      5   Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker Counties to that
      6   compartment.
      7                In the 11 counties that currently
      8   have the 23 doe days, we would propose to open a
      9   muzzleloader-only season.  This would be opening
     10   the first Saturday following the close of the
     11   general season, and continue for nine days.  And
     12   the bag limit would be two antlerless and/or two
     13   spike deer during that season.
     14                This map shows the distribution of
     15   whitetail deer in Texas.  We're basically -- over
     16   a third of the whitetails in Texas exist in less
     17   than a fifth of the state, which is used to
     18   justify the proposed -- proposal that we have for
     19   the Edwards Plateau Counties, 25 counties, and
     20   I've added Bexar County for you, Mr. Watson.
     21                It would include a portion of
     22   Kinney, Uvalde, and Val Verde Counties, all of
     23   Bexar County, and half of Travis, Hays, and Comal
     24   County where we would propose to go to five deer,
     25   no more than two bucks during that season and
      1   include a 14-day antlerless and spike season
      2   following the close of the general season.
      3                We went to the public with a
      4   proposal to increase the mule deer season in a
      5   portion of the Panhandle, western portion of the
      6   Panhandle.  With discussions with the regulations
      7   committee yesterday, staff recommends that that
      8   extension be for nine days from the five day
      9   current in those counties, and add Cochran County
     10   to that regulation compartment.
     11                In a portion of Henderson County
     12   currently game can be hunted only with a shotgun
     13   or archery, lawful archery equipment.  We would
     14   propose to delete that restriction in that
     15   portion of the county.  We've had favorable
     16   comments from the public on that proposal.
     17                We had a proposal to change the
     18   regulations related to the MLD program and it's
     19   my understanding the regulations committee,
     20   yesterday, would recommend that we not include
     21   those proposed changes in the adoption of the
     22   coming proclamation.
     23                For all of our presentations,
     24   coastal and freshwater fisheries and wildlife, we
     25   recommend the following motion, that the Parks
      1   and Wildlife Commission adopt 2000-2001 statewide
      2   hunting and fishing proclamation located in
      3   Exhibit A of your booklets, with changes to the
      4   proposal as they were published.
      5                And I will be happy to answer any
      6   questions you may have at this time.
      7                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
      8   Doctor Cooke.  Any questions by any of the
      9   Commissioners?
     10                Thank you.  And we did, indeed, pass
     11   for the consideration by the full Commission this
     12   morning the proposed regulations without the
     13   changes to the MLD program.
     14                We will now take public comment.
     15   The first speaker is Rene Barrientos.  And next
     16   will be Dave Richards.
     17                Rene Barrientos?  Yes, thank you.
     18                MR. BARRIENTOS:  Good morning, Madam
     19   Chair, Commissioners.  I did not quite understand
     20   that there will be no changes to the MLD
     21   program?  Or is it completely deleted?
     22                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  There will be
     23   no changes.  It will be left as it is.
     24                MR. BARRIENTOS:  Essentially three
     25   things I would like to address in support as
      1   the -- I'm a landowner from La Salle County.  I'm
      2   also the volunteer county attorney.  With
      3   reference to the enforcement, it is -- the
      4   changing of the regulations and upgrading of the
      5   penalties has had a significant effect on -- in
      6   the deterrence factor.  The enforcement is
      7   there.  You have a tremendous game warden group.
      8   But there has to be prosecution.
      9                We've seen other counties in
     10   surrounding areas begin maximizing the fines and
     11   we're actually incarcerating the violators on the
     12   serious offenses.  I have been able to take
     13   advantage of the TTT program and those deer
     14   permits and the managed land deer permits.  I
     15   believe wholeheartedly that they should be
     16   continued to be based solely on the biology of
     17   the deer in the natural habitat; that it should
     18   not be geared to anything other than that.
     19                With the assistance of the
     20   technicians, the biologists, we've seen a
     21   dramatic increase in body weights and quality of
     22   deer.  And certainly that's been assisted by your
     23   allowing the MLD permits.  And thank you.
     24                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Appreciate your
     25   comments, Mr. Barrientos.
      1                And Dave Richards?  Next up, if you
      2   would be prepared, please, is Doctor James
      3   Kroll.
      4                MR. RICHARDS:  Good morning.  My
      5   name is Dave Richards.  I'm a citizen of the
      6   state of Texas and I'm a manufacturers
      7   representative in the sporting goods industry.
      8   And over a year ago, myself and several other
      9   private citizens and people from different
     10   interest groups stood before this commission and
     11   asked that you would legalize crossbows during
     12   the general archery season.  And at that time it
     13   was brought to our attention and we knew that the
     14   legislature was in session, and Mr. Bass said
     15   that because the legislature was in session, that
     16   we would allow that to go over and let them rule
     17   on it and see where it stood after that took
     18   place.
     19                In the meantime, as I'm sure most of
     20   y'all are aware, what happened was, it got caught
     21   in committee.  Just like hundreds of thousands of
     22   bills do, ours got caught in committee and it
     23   never saw the light of day.  And so I'm back
     24   before you today to ask that y'all would consider
     25   legalizing crossbows for the general archery
      1   season.  I'm not going to go into a long
      2   dissertation about crossbows and how they are a
      3   short-range weapon.  I'd be happy to answer any
      4   of those kind of questions.
      5                What I will say, though, is in the
      6   beginning, the reason we wanted to go through the
      7   legislature is so that we could be fit under the
      8   archery stamp, so it could generate more dollars
      9   for hunting in the state of Texas, and also for
     10   Robertson Pittman funds and all those things.
     11                It has come to -- and as we've
     12   looked at it, more of the information that we've
     13   gotten is, when you look at the stamps that are
     14   actually purchased, more people buy a super combo
     15   license which encompasses all the stamps.  And so
     16   we want to relook at that and say, are we missing
     17   the forest for the trees or whatever?  If people
     18   are all buying super combos, which a huge percent
     19   of them are, we're not going to -- we're going to
     20   lose revenue from the loss of hunter opportunity
     21   of the women and the kids and the people that
     22   want to hunt with a crossbow during our only
     23   short-range weapon season.
     24                The other issue that I'd just bring
     25   up before you, you know, and everybody knows in
      1   this room, we live in a state that's 98 percent
      2   private property owned.  Even if they were legal
      3   on private property, what difference does it make
      4   in a 30-day season whether my dad in Leon County
      5   wants to hunt, in his mid 70s, with a crossbow to
      6   the guy who is on the next lease over on his
      7   ranch over?  We just wanted to bring it back
      8   before you and hope that y'all would reconsider
      9   to legalize crossbows for the general season.
     10   And thank for you the opportunity to come before
     11   you this morning.
     12                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     13   Mr. Richards.  Doctor Kroll?
     14                DR. KROLL:  Good morning.  Ladies
     15   and gentlemen of the Commission, I'm Doctor James
     16   Kroll.  And I'm here to speak for the members of
     17   the Texas Deer Association concerning recent
     18   application of managed land and deer permits.
     19   Before I get going, though, I'd like to extend
     20   our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Chairman
     21   Bass.  He's very important to us.
     22                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  We'll be sure
     23   he gets those good wishes.  Thank you.
     24                DR. KROLL:  Thank you very much.
     25                About 20 years ago many of us in
      1   this room worked hard to pass the Uniform
      2   Regulatory Authority legislation, resting away
      3   from the county road commissioners, the authority
      4   to manage wildlife.  Texas was a patchwork quilt
      5   of regulations numbering in the dozens.  Under
      6   this law we simplified wildlife management in our
      7   state.
      8                Some 20 years later the private
      9   landowner is again faced with an ever increasing
     10   complexity of laws and regulations.  To
     11   exacerbate the situation, local biologists now
     12   are given the authority to make significant
     13   policy decisions.  The MLD program, we feel, is a
     14   wonderful tool in which we can manage our deer.
     15   Unfortunately, however, the interpretation of the
     16   program by a local biologist is not.  The program
     17   is now being applied -- is not being applied
     18   uniformly and objectively.  As one who has
     19   observed in the field an objective habitat
     20   evaluation firsthand, and as one who, for 20
     21   years, has directed one of the largest whitetail
     22   deer research facilities in the nation, I did not
     23   see anything objective nor scientific about it.
     24                We want to modernize deer management
     25   in our state.  One important way is to give
      1   landowners who want to intensively manage deer
      2   the tools and freedom to do so.  Why is there
      3   always the assumption high fences and intensive
      4   management is bad?  Where is the bad?  Is what's
      5   going on outside of fences good?
      6                There's a growing number of
      7   landowners, large and small, who are willing to
      8   put everything they have on the line to save
      9   their little piece of Texas.  Saving habitat is
     10   not about browse surveys.  It's about making
     11   decisions whether or not to sell out and move to
     12   the city.
     13                Texas agriculture is hurting, ladies
     14   and gentlemen.  In the near future we will see
     15   the end of what we all think is Texas.  Wildlife
     16   in the marketplace is the salvation of wild
     17   places, not regulations.  Please give us the
     18   tools to operate.  I have given my friend and
     19   colleague, Mr. Sansom, my word, we will work to
     20   resolve these issues, and I give you my word,
     21   also.  But please take some temporary action
     22   today to assure landowners who are waiting to
     23   make decisions about leases and hunts, they will
     24   be in business this fall.  For now restore MLD
     25   policy to its original intent.  Together we can
      1   work to assure all Texans have access to quality
      2   hunting and quality wildlife experiences.  Thank
      3   you.
      4                        (Applause.)
      5                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
      6   Doctor Kroll.
      7                Next up is Margie Raborn.  And next
      8   after that is Gene Riser.  Ms. Raborn?
      9                MS. RABORN:  This was a learning
     10   experience.  We have had -- we sent some
     11   petitions forward from the Texas Sportsman
     12   Association.  And so I pass.  It seems that most
     13   of what you're doing now, we're a little late to
     14   get in the process.  But hopefully next time
     15   we'll do better.  Thank you for the opportunity.
     16                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     17   Ms. Raborn.
     18                Gene Riser?  And next up will be
     19   Jerry Johnston.
     20                MR. RISER:  Thank you, ma'am.  I'm
     21   very proud to be here with you this morning, and
     22   appreciate the opportunity to address you and be
     23   in the company of all these people that are
     24   interested in wildlife.
     25                And I come to you as a landowner in
      1   South Texas, a deer manager that's interested in
      2   modern deer management, and a member of Texas
      3   Deer Association.  And I want to say that I agree
      4   with and appreciate the comments that you just
      5   heard from Doctor Kroll.  I agree with all the
      6   things he said.  And I would add a couple of
      7   things as my own observations.
      8                First of all, I would like to
      9   generally ask the Commission to instruct the
     10   policy of the wildlife division about whitetail
     11   deer, that you should change the overall thrust
     12   of the policy from one of protection of a
     13   threatened resource, to the management and
     14   utilization of a mature and abundant herd.
     15   Because that's what we have now.  And as long as
     16   there is an economic value recognized in those
     17   deer, they will not be threatened anymore.  And
     18   that's proven itself out all over the United
     19   States and all over the world.
     20                In so many parts of the world where
     21   there are a lot of people, there is no wildlife.
     22   That's not the case here, and largely it's
     23   because there is an economic value appreciated
     24   and assigned to wildlife in the United States.
     25   And when sportsmen have the animals -- we have
      1   lots of animals.  When sportsmen take care of the
      2   turkey, we have lots of turkeys.  Whenever the
      3   government takes care of the bald eagle, it's a
      4   threatened species.  That's just sort of a
      5   synopsis of the way we see it playing out over
      6   and over again.
      7                Another thing I would like for the
      8   Commission to do is instruct the policy of the
      9   staff to change their overall attitude from one
     10   of what seems to a lot of us to be coercion,
     11   change it to one of cooperation.  I think
     12   together, we can get a whole lot more done in the
     13   new age of modern trophy management and deer
     14   management all the way around.
     15                A couple of specific issues are --
     16   I'm just going to leave the specific issues out
     17   for right now.  But I'm looking forward to being
     18   a part of this committee that will go over some
     19   of these things with you and just say that we
     20   look forward to cooperating with you-all in the
     21   future because we think there is a great future
     22   for whitetail deer and management right ahead of
     23   us.  Thank you very much.
     24                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     25   Mr. Riser.  And we appreciate your comments and
      1   your offer to help.
      2                Jerry Johnston?  And next up will be
      3   Larry Grimland.
      4                MR. JOHNSTON:  I'm Jerry Johnston.
      5   Good morning, Commission, director.
      6                I had a pretty good thing written
      7   down but I don't even think I want to mess with
      8   it.  I just want to talk to the Commission a
      9   little bit, try to maybe put this thing in
     10   perspective the way I see it.
     11                Commissioners, the landowner of
     12   today is a different landowner than he was -- I'm
     13   talking about a man that raises deer and loves
     14   his deer and he loves his country.  Is a
     15   different person than he was 15 years ago or 20
     16   years ago.  And what I mean by that is that these
     17   folks that put these fences up, they basically
     18   are in love with deer.  I mean, they -- it's
     19   their passion in life.  And there probably -- the
     20   last guy in the world that would want to do
     21   anything that would be detrimental to the habitat
     22   or his deer herd, I wish some attention could be
     23   brought to that.  It's all on a voluntary basis
     24   and it's because he loves that part of his life.
     25                Folks like that and me -- you know,
      1   we'd like to just maybe be able to break even,
      2   you know.  You know, some of us didn't inherit
      3   property, we went out and bought it.  And, you
      4   know, when you clamp down on these regulations so
      5   tight to where there's no flexibility, you know,
      6   in some cases it might end up that you're going
      7   to lose it.  And then what happens is, you've got
      8   to sell it off or fragment it, cut it into
      9   pieces.  And I just think that the answer to this
     10   is to recognize that probably Texas would be
     11   among the leaders in terms of how landowners
     12   voluntarily manage the wildlife.
     13                And I think Andy has got a great
     14   idea in the perspective of maybe we need to study
     15   this.  Because it's a big industry and it's not
     16   getting smaller.  It's getting bigger.  So I'd
     17   just like to say that on behalf of the Texas
     18   trophy hunters and TDA, I would really like to
     19   see his plan go forward.  Thank you.
     20                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     21   Mr. Johnston.
     22                        (Applause.)
     23                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Larry
     24   Grimland.  And next up will be Ellis Gilleland.
     25                MR. GRIMLAND:  Good morning.  I
      1   would just like to read a statement to you.  My
      2   name is Larry Grimland.  I live in Dallas,
      3   Texas.  I own a whitetail ranch in Bosque County
      4   which is 35 miles west of Waco.  I high fenced
      5   the 400-acre ranch in 1984 for the sole purpose
      6   of producing trophy whiletail bucks.  My ranch
      7   was the first to be high fenced north of
      8   San Antonio exclusively for whitetail deer.  I
      9   tried to get a managed land deer permit in 1998
     10   but was turned down because I had too many deer.
     11   The local biologist said I have to agree to shoot
     12   the herd down to where I have one deer per 20
     13   acres.  I have 150 deer on 400 acres.  So TP&W's
     14   plan was to kill 130 deer.
     15                I fertilize the pastures each
     16   spring, plant food plots, feed protein and corn,
     17   but this does not matter to TP&W.  I could go by
     18   their management plan and shoot two mature bucks
     19   each year or my plan and shoot 20 mature bucks
     20   each year.
     21                The same biologist goes ten miles
     22   north in the same county and tells another high
     23   fenced landowner he can run a deer per five acres
     24   and he gets his MLD.  My question: Is this fair?
     25                TP&W needs to do away with carrying
      1   capacity on high fence ranches.  Let the
      2   landowner run as many deer as they want.  TP&W
      3   needs to give an MLD to all high fenced ranches,
      4   period.  If TP&W will not give every high fenced
      5   ranch an MLD, at least create a special permit
      6   where landowners can buy tags from TP&W.  The
      7   landowner will give the tags to the hunters.
      8   This would solve a huge problem of not being able
      9   to shoot low-end bucks in October before the rut
     10   with a rifle and solve the other major problem of
     11   trying to run a trophy deer operation in a
     12   one-buck county, where many hunters fly in from
     13   all over the U.S. and can only shoot one buck.
     14                TP&W's refusal to give MLD permits
     15   is costing landowners millions of dollars each
     16   year.  I talked to Andy Sansom in October of 1998
     17   about the MLD problem.  He said, Larry, when we
     18   set up the MLD permit, we did not take into
     19   consideration a ranch like yours.  There are
     20   hundreds of miles of high fence being built in
     21   Texas each year and almost all these ranches
     22   north of San Antonio are 1,000 acres or less.
     23   It's time to do something in a positive way for
     24   these ranches.
     25                Please approve a set of regulations
      1   that is fair for everyone, regardless of your
      2   last name, who you know, or how large or small
      3   your ranch is.  My three minutes are up.  What I
      4   need is three hours to tell you everything I have
      5   uncovered in the past two years concerning MLD
      6   and TTT permits.
      7                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you.
      8                MR. GRIMLIND:  Again, as long as
      9   carrying capacity is in the mix, permitting will
     10   never be done fairly.  It is time for a change.
     11                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, Mr.
     12   Grimlind, your time is up.
     13                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     14   Mr. Grimlind.
     15                Mr. Gilleland?  And next up will be
     16   Walt Glasscock.
     17                MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis
     18   Gilleland.  I'm a private citizen and speaking
     19   for Texas Animals, which is an animal rights
     20   organization on the Internet.  I'm not an
     21   authority on deer but I want to present to you
     22   two people that you recognize as authority.  The
     23   first is Ray Sasser, who you have been given a
     24   copy of what he published in the Dallas Morning
     25   News on the 11th of March 1999.  And I agree with
      1   him wholeheartedly when he says, "Bonus tag
      2   proposal means more bucks for the rich."  In
      3   other words, our millionaires and billionaires
      4   and those of you that in that category will
      5   understand what I'm talking about.  I refer you
      6   to the part I've underlined in yellow at the
      7   bottom in the middle.
      8                The other authority was your own
      9   authority.  And he's sitting here with us now,
     10   gray-headed gentleman over there, Graham, Gary
     11   Graham said, "Less than two percent of Texas
     12   hunters now use the five deer tags on their
     13   license."
     14                So that being the case, Gary is an
     15   expert and you pay his check.  And we assume he
     16   knows what he's talking about.  That means 98
     17   percent of the folks get along just fine.  I
     18   understand this to be a democracy.  So I beseech
     19   you to take care of the 98 percent which seem to
     20   be well taken care of.  I don't see special
     21   legislation for two percent of the population.
     22   And I'm sure your chairman can quote you
     23   something on that, whereby you cannot enact
     24   legislations or laws for one specific person.
     25   Laws are enacted for the general coverage of the
      1   entire population.
      2                So I think Sasser is right.  The
      3   bonus tags proposal would mean more bucks for the
      4   rich.  In other words, these people bellyaching
      5   about what they do behind the high fence.  Behind
      6   the high fence, from what I've seen, is their own
      7   kingdom.  They do anything they want.  There's
      8   nobody telling them how many deer this and how
      9   many deer that.  They've got their own little
     10   fiefdom.  You've added a month at the beginning,
     11   you've added October to them.  You're now --
     12   you've added 14 days on the other end. You now
     13   want to add some more days, modify the MLD.  You
     14   want to make four bucks instead of -- you want to
     15   make five.  Well, you're already getting eight.
     16   The man shooting his wife's four bucks and his
     17   four, that's eight.  Now you want to give them
     18   one more.  That makes ten.  That's absolutely
     19   ridiculous.  So I don't see these people hurting
     20   behind the high fence.  The --
     21                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you,
     22   Mr. Gilleland.  Your time is up.
     23                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     24   Mr. Gilleland.
     25                Next up is Walt Glasscock.  And
      1   following Mr. Glasscock will be Jack
      2   Brittingham.
      3                MR. GLASSCOCK:  Commissioners, I
      4   sincerely appreciate this opportunity to share
      5   the concerns of the Texas Sportsman Association.
      6   We have membership out of the state, in the
      7   state.  And the largest part of our membership is
      8   in a three-county area, Colorado County, Fayette
      9   County, and Austin, Lavaca.
     10                I note in -- on page 74 of your
     11   little document, that Austin, Bastrop, Bell,
     12   Caldwell, Colorado, and Comal all fall together,
     13   with a list of other counties.
     14                We seem to have a one rule fits all
     15   when it comes to deer regulation.  And where
     16   we're living, it's not working too well.  We have
     17   a lot of people that have decided to move from
     18   Houston out into our area and they're buying five
     19   acres, ten acres, a little here, a little there.
     20   And they may park next to the gentleman that has
     21   500 or a thousand acres, and he's been working
     22   his deer herd diligently, building it up, and
     23   this fellow with the smaller acreage comes along
     24   and he sets up deer feeders all over the place
     25   and he brings in his three sons from college and
      1   their 17 buddies and four uncles and the guy's
      2   boss from work and they all kill a deer apiece
      3   and cripple ten.
      4                But the people around him with the
      5   larger acreages, many of them this year didn't
      6   even see a deer.  Without trampling on property
      7   rights, which I think we all hold dear, we
      8   propose that deer not be killed with less than
      9   four points on an antlered side, one side because
     10   somebody might see what he thinks is an eight
     11   point buck, shoot it and find out it's only a
     12   seven.  So four points on an antlered side is the
     13   proposal.  That would increase the number of
     14   bucks, it would increase the number of bucks that
     15   are able to breed does, and the hunters would
     16   have to exercise a little more caution in
     17   shooting their deer.
     18                Now, I understand that such
     19   proposals are not real popular.  But we have a
     20   unique situation.  And I know the deer running
     21   all over the country in Comal County.  You can't
     22   get rid of them.  We can't build our herd up.  In
     23   fact, I understand the only way to get a deer in
     24   Colorado County is to go out and buy a new car.
     25   Then you'll probably find one just before you hit
      1   it.
      2                So those are our concerns and we
      3   appreciate the opportunity to share that with
      4   you.  We feel like this advent of the smaller
      5   acreages has produced a real problem, and the
      6   only way to address it is to increase the antler
      7   size and improving, then, the number of shootable
      8   deer.  I can't tell you how many people we've run
      9   into who this last year didn't even see a buck
     10   they could shoot.  And they've been there for
     11   years.  And I think they know what they're
     12   talking about.  Thank you so much.
     13                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     14   Mr. Glasscock.  Jack Brittingham?  And next up
     15   will be Marty Berry.
     16                MR. BRITTINGHAM:  Good morning,
     17   Commissioners.  Thank you for allowing me to
     18   speak.  I've chosen to speak on only one topic in
     19   hopes that the commissioners will focus on what I
     20   have to say.
     21                For 20 years, Texas Parks and
     22   Wildlife has told landowners that supplemental
     23   feeding and supplemental food plots were a
     24   habitat improvement that was beneficial to
     25   wildlife.  A little over a year ago they suddenly
      1   changed their mind and now they say food plots
      2   don't count.  On my 1700-acre ranch where I live
      3   in East Texas, I maintain over a hundred acres of
      4   year-round food plots.  In the spring I plant
      5   alfalfa, iron and clay cow peas, clover, and
      6   ceratro.
      7                In the fall I plant rye grass; albon
      8   rye, a cereal grain much like wheat; crimson
      9   clover; rose clover; Louisiana S-1 clover;
     10   Cherokee red clover; and alfalfa.  This
     11   overlapping system of food plots provides enough
     12   high quality forage to support more than 300 deer
     13   without any of them ever taking vitamin naturally
     14   existing forage species native to my ranch.
     15                Yet Texas Parks and Wildlife now
     16   says food plots don't count.  My annual plantings
     17   are no small undertaking in terms of labor or
     18   expense.  By providing these food plots I have
     19   raised the nutritional plain of my habitat by
     20   over 200 percent.
     21                At the same time I have provided
     22   important nesting and escape habitat for a
     23   variety of game and nongame species.  I have
     24   reduced the incidence of predation for many
     25   species of ground nesting birds, rodents,
      1   whitetail fawns by greatly increasing the amount
      2   of ground cover available in the spring for their
      3   utilization.
      4                Of course, Texas Parks and Wildlife
      5   says food plots don't count.  For them to
      6   maintain this position -- they expect the
      7   landowners and private wildlife managers to
      8   accept this -- is an insult to the intelligence
      9   of everyone involved.  Many years ago the cattle
     10   ranchers in the rolling plains area of Texas
     11   began the practice of planting winter wheat to
     12   increase the carrying capacity of their land for
     13   cattle.  As a result of this successful
     14   supplemental feeding program, they not only
     15   increased the number of cattle they could
     16   support, they also provided a new home for over
     17   half a million wintering waterfowl.
     18                At the same time the deer herd in
     19   this region has likewise expanded and has
     20   increased as a direct result of this supplemental
     21   feeding practice.
     22                Further south along the Texas coast
     23   millions of wintering waterfowl are supported by
     24   the farming and ranching practices of private
     25   landowners.  Our ranch next to the McFadden
      1   National Wildlife Refuge, we plant approximately
      2   a thousand acres of rye grass for our cattle,
      3   which also supports 10 to 20 thousand geese of
      4   various species along with heavy usage by the
      5   local whitetail herd.  If tomorrow all
      6   agricultural practices cease in the rolling
      7   plains and Texas coastal regions and all of our
      8   wintering waterfowl relocated to Louisiana and
      9   Mexico, would Texas Parks and Wildlife still say
     10   food plots don't count?
     11                The fact is, all agricultural
     12   practices are nothing more than supplemental food
     13   plots for our wildlife.  These practices,
     14   combined with a maintenance of a percentage of
     15   quality habitat is exactly what has allowed our
     16   states and our nation's wildlife to prosper so
     17   greatly.  In closing, I would like to thank you
     18   for allowing me to speak.
     19                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     20   Mr. Brittingham.
     21                Next is Marty Berry.  And after
     22   Mr. Berry is Bill Grace.
     23                MR. BERRY:  Good morning,
     24   Commissioners, I'm Marty Berry.  I'm from Corpus
     25   Christi, Texas.  I'm a landowner in the state and
      1   have a couple of issues I want to address this
      2   morning.  First of all, Jack did a great job on
      3   his research and I follow that exactly.  I feel
      4   like in any business you're in, in any industry
      5   you're in, end results is exactly what counts.
      6   Not how you get there.
      7                And when the State sets forth our
      8   habitat and how our habitat should look and how
      9   it should be and how strong the plants should be
     10   versus looking at the animals and saying how much
     11   pelvic kidney fat are on them?  How heavy are
     12   they?  What's your fawn crop?  Antler sizes,
     13   other criteria that mean much more to landowners
     14   than the habitat.  What the department is trying
     15   to do is use these permits, which modern wildlife
     16   managers need every day to manage their herds, to
     17   control the habitat in the state.
     18                And the only control of this habitat
     19   in the state is going to be what its highest and
     20   best use is.  Go to the valley.  It used to be
     21   citrus.  It's now houses.  The same thing will
     22   happen to that brush country when the deer or the
     23   cattle are no longer the highest and best use.  I
     24   think that it should be changed to an end result,
     25   set their criteria, give us some levels or
      1   weights you want to see on our animals and don't
      2   tell us how to take care of the brush.  We know
      3   how to take care of our brush way better than any
      4   biologist that can walk across my country and
      5   look at it.  I've been with one.  I've used many
      6   of your permits.  I go through it just like
      7   everybody else, to get the permit.  I think it's
      8   ridiculous but I do go through it.  I'm not going
      9   to destroy my habitat.  I love it more than
     10   anybody.
     11                The second thing I want to address
     12   this morning is, I'm in a business and I'm in a
     13   service industry business where I have to react
     14   or I lose my customers.  I feel like the Texas
     15   Parks and Wildlife is a service to the State.  It
     16   does a great job.  And I don't want to hound any
     17   of the people but I want to point out that when I
     18   have to go to a biologist and I have to wait two
     19   to three months to get one to look at my
     20   paperwork for one of these permits, it slows me
     21   down.
     22                Time is money, as you're well aware
     23   of.  I hear from the State, we don't have any
     24   appropriations for hiring new biologists.  That's
     25   no excuse.  I pay good money.  $1,000 for one of
      1   these permits.  His time is not worth $1,000 a
      2   day.  God knows he's probably worth it.  Y'all
      3   aren't paying him that much.
      4                Why don't y'all open it up to
      5   accredited, private biologists to review these
      6   permits, let them sign off on it.  Make them have
      7   a master's degree, a doctor's degree?  It makes
      8   no difference.  Set the criteria for them.  Let
      9   the private industry take care of it.  They will
     10   do a better job.  Because you don't have the
     11   money to hire them and we're suffering because of
     12   it.  I appreciate your time.  Thank you.
     13                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you, Mr.
     14   Berry.
     15                Bill Grace and then Don Casey.
     16                MR. GRACE:  Hello, Commissioners, my
     17   name is Bill Grace and I'm a landowner in Salado,
     18   Texas, also a member of TDA.  And I just want to
     19   mention a few quick, short things here.
     20                We just need some short-term
     21   assurances that we will continue to receive our
     22   MLD permits, TTT, things of that nature.  It
     23   helps us to have consistency so we can rely on
     24   the permits which we have received for the past
     25   three years in my case.
      1                We have been booking hunts based on
      2   our ability to utilize these MLDs.  These permits
      3   help us to effectively manage our resources and
      4   modernize our whitetail deer management.  Thank
      5   you very much.
      6                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
      7   Mr. Grace.
      8                Don Casey and then David Hayward.
      9                MR. CASEY:  I would like to thank
     10   you for giving me the opportunity to take a few
     11   minutes of your time.  I'm Don Casey, I'm with
     12   the Blanco County Farm Bureau.  I was here last
     13   year and I left licking my wounds and I had time
     14   to try to reflect on what I did wrong in trying
     15   to pursue my interests.
     16                And I realized from your point of
     17   view that you're dealing with five groups.
     18   You've got the hunters, you've got the people
     19   like the gentleman here selling the crossbows.
     20   And then within our landowners, which I'm one of
     21   the landowners, there are three groups.  There
     22   are the new, small fragmentation divisions.  I
     23   represent the open range group of no high
     24   fences.  Really, it's more like the old-time
     25   situation.  And then we have the high fence
      1   group.
      2                I think that us open range people
      3   are still the majority.  One of my big
      4   concerns -- and I asked Mr. Macdonald if he would
      5   be willing to put his job on the line and come
      6   tell you what he heard in Gillespie County.
      7   There was a group that wouldn't even come close
      8   to fitting in this room, and they were 98 percent
      9   against extending the season.  And we don't feel
     10   like our voices are being heard.
     11                Now, there may be some other data
     12   that came in in e-mails and however that's
     13   proliferated.  But I realize that in the future,
     14   the biggest thing facing you folks is going to be
     15   the conflict between us open range people and the
     16   new ten acres next to us, as the gentleman from
     17   Columbus so adequately explained.
     18                I would just plead with you to hold
     19   off on extending that season and let's maybe have
     20   a group, and I'd volunteer to serve on the
     21   commission, representing the open range people.
     22   And see if we can find -- identify the conflicts
     23   between these five groups, the hunters, the
     24   hardware salesmen, the small groups, the high
     25   fence, and the open range.
      1                I can assure you that the open range
      2   people, with all due respect, now, think a lot of
      3   you folks about like the people in Miami think of
      4   Cuba, they just don't feel like their voice is
      5   being heard whatsoever.  So, please, maybe just
      6   hold off two weeks -- a year.  And let's see if
      7   we can understand the conflicts between these
      8   groups, and maybe there's a compromise.  Thank
      9   you very much.
     10                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
     11   Mr. Hayward and then David Langford.
     12                MR. HAYWARD:  Ladies and gentlemen
     13   of the Commission, I appreciate your time here.
     14   I just wanted to make a few comments on what's
     15   been said.  In response to the gentleman that was
     16   just up here about extended seasons, extended
     17   seasons help those of us with high fences manage
     18   our deer with inside the fence.  We can harvest
     19   does before the breeding season so the bucks
     20   don't waste their energy on that.  We can harvest
     21   lower end, lower genetic quality deer before the
     22   breeding season so that we can help to increase
     23   the genetic quality of the herd.
     24                Three years ago the Texas Parks and
     25   Wildlife Department awarded Que Pasa Ranch of the
      1   Post Oaks Savannah area the Lone Star Land
      2   Steward Award.  Now, according to your MLDP
      3   programs, we should go through and kill out 50
      4   percent of the deer which we carry on that
      5   property, yet you awarded us one of your most
      6   prestigious awards.
      7                Now, my point is, the MLDP program
      8   is a good program but there needs to be some
      9   changes made.  The biologist came in and said
     10   that we have a deer per seven acres, and we
     11   should only have a deer per 14 acres.  But on the
     12   other hand, when it came up for the award, he
     13   backed us wholeheartedly.
     14                A gentleman down the road has the
     15   same situation, plants all the food plots, yet he
     16   was turned down for him as an MLDPs.
     17                Mr. Brittingham made the point about
     18   food plots.  And that was all part of the reason
     19   we received the award from Parks and Wildlife, is
     20   because in 2200 acres inside that game fence,
     21   which I have managed for seven years, I put in 15
     22   percent of that property, planted every summer
     23   and every winter in food plots.  I manage the
     24   entire forested areas so that those deer have
     25   everything they need to eat, which, in turn, has
      1   helped all the other populations of wildlife
      2   found within that area.
      3                One of the other things I would like
      4   to comment on, the -- Mr. Gilleland, the bonus
      5   tags for the rich.  It's all part of supply and
      6   demand.  If you supply us with more tags, we can
      7   supply hunters with more deer, which will, in
      8   turn, bring the cost of hunting for deer down.
      9                He said two percent of the
     10   population uses the tag, but he does not mention
     11   what percentage of the population benefits from
     12   those tags.
     13                And last but not least, I agree with
     14   Mr. Glasscock that --
     15                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, sir.  Your

     16   time is up.
     17                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     18   Mr. Hayward.  David Langford and then Tomme
     19   Actkinson.
     20                MR. LANGFORD:  Good morning, members
     21   of the Commission.  I'm David Langford,
     22   representing my family's two ranches and the
     23   Texas Wildlife Association.  I guess I fit
     24   probably into four of those five categories that
     25   were described here a minute ago.  I support what
      1   Dave Richards came to say about crossbows.  One
      2   of our ranches in South Texas is a high fence
      3   ranch, has been high fenced since the early
      4   '70s.  And there probably weren't more than a
      5   dozen high fence ranches in the whole state when
      6   we built ours.  We're four generations on that
      7   ranch.  We're seven generations on the ranch in
      8   the Hill Country, which is in Kendall County,
      9   which is a low fence ranch.  So I've got all
     10   kinds of hats I can wear.
     11                Before I finalize my comments, I
     12   would like to make, again, one of the comments
     13   that I made at the public hearing.  I know it's
     14   registered somewhere, floating around.  But I
     15   think we should consider a lifetime nonresident
     16   hunting and fishing license.  We have them for
     17   residents.  We should also consider them for
     18   nonresidents.
     19                We have a lot of members from out of
     20   state who own ranches in Texas and it's quite
     21   expensive to maintain the ranch and then pay --
     22   depending on how many family members hunt,
     23   another, 15 to 18, 21, 24 hundred dollars to come
     24   down and hunt on a ranch that they own.
     25                I would like to address the managed
      1   lands deer permit and the TTT permit and make
      2   sure that Mr. Sansom and the Commission, that you
      3   all know that we're willing to serve on the
      4   committee to address a lot of the problems.  Many
      5   have been eloquently brought forward here this
      6   morning.  And hope that TWA will be represented
      7   on that committee.
      8                Also, Doctor Kroll made a very, very
      9   important point about -- as did a couple of the
     10   others, about being in business and trying to
     11   hold it all together by being in the hunting
     12   business and being able to make decisions for
     13   next fall.  We've got to do this with a degree of
     14   urgency.  As I understand how the process works,
     15   we've got until June to fix it so that it can go
     16   out for public comment and then be addressed in
     17   August; otherwise it's too late to put into
     18   operation next fall, where people need to depend
     19   on and make their business decisions.
     20                I'd also like to address one thing
     21   Mr. Gilleland said.  It's not a democracy.  The
     22   very first thing that most of us memorized in
     23   school was, I pledge allegiance to the flag of
     24   the United States of America and to the
     25   Republic.  This is a Republic.  It is a
      1   representative democracy, not a democracy.  We
      2   expect to come before you and help present the
      3   issues and have you make the decision, as do our
      4   congressmen and senators.
      5                The last thing I'd like to say is,
      6   what a great event last night.  Thank you very
      7   much.  It's the only time in my life I've ever
      8   had any fun on the TU campus.
      9                        (Applause.)
     10                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Let me just say
     11   that all that applause was out of order.
     12                Mr. Actkinson?  And next up will be
     13   Mr. Hilbig.
     14                MR. ACTKINSON:  My name is Tomme
     15   Actkinson, and I'm the president of the Lone Star
     16   Bow Hunters Association.  LSBA opposes use of
     17   nonarchery equipment in the special archery
     18   season.  I will show why attempts to do this
     19   cause dissension and why they're not needed.  I
     20   would also like to offer alternative solutions.
     21                In the last two years I've heard bow
     22   hunters called ignorant, selfish, greedy,
     23   misinformed, elitist, conservative, and stupid.
     24   One writer went further when he said the bow
     25   hunters who oppose crossbows and draw locks are
      1   giving support to the anti-hunting movement.
      2   Hunter dissension is harmful, especially when
      3   much of it is based on myth and misinformation.
      4                One myth that has been exploited is
      5   that crossbows are needed to give women and
      6   children the opportunity to hunt.  I say
      7   exploited because this argument has been repeated
      8   over and over as if sheer repetition would make
      9   it factual.  It's not factual.
     10                My five-foot two-inch wife took up
     11   bow hunting in 1976.  Her compound bow allowed
     12   only a 30 percent let off.  She was holding 31
     13   pounds.  With modern bows she would only have to
     14   hold eight pounds to hunt.  At LSBA tournaments
     15   and in the field there are many women and
     16   children shooting a bow and hunting.  The LSBA
     17   brochure shows an 11-year-old boy and his trophy
     18   buck.  He had the opportunity to hunt.
     19                In his book, No Hunting, Truths Lies
     20   and Myths, Doctor David Samuels pointed out that
     21   while the number of rifle hunters has declined
     22   there's been an increase in the number of bow
     23   hunters and an increase in the number of female
     24   hunters.
     25                Connie Balusek was the LSBA youth
      1   essay contest winner this year.  At age 11 Connie
      2   wrote of harvesting her first whitetail with a
      3   bow.  The argument that crossbows are needed to
      4   give women and children the opportunity to hunt
      5   is a myth.
      6                Another argument is since that we
      7   are all hunters, bow hunters should allow
      8   nonarchery equipment during archery season.
      9   Suggestions have ranged from crossbows to
     10   muzzleloaders.  One writer even argued that since
     11   he was a better shot with his muzzleloader than
     12   his bow, then he should be allowed its use in the
     13   archery season.  Bow hunters are not against any
     14   other group of hunters but we've long supported
     15   hunting in Texas and the special archery.  Our
     16   season should be respected.
     17                Solutions:  Consider a primitive
     18   arms season the first week in November.  This
     19   would allow manufacturers a chance to sell their
     20   products, ranchers a chance to help control their
     21   deer herds, and Parks & Wildlife an opportunity
     22   to sell a primitive arms stamp.  It would also
     23   allow a logical progression from the most
     24   primitive weaponry of bow and arrow through
     25   muzzleloaders and crossbows to finally rifles.
      1                If you decide to go this route,
      2   please don't take away the last weekend in
      3   October from bow hunters.  We already hunt the
      4   hottest part of the season.  Sometimes we get
      5   lucky and get a cool front the last October
      6   weekend.
      7                Do we need a bow hunting season?  I
      8   think so.  Dedicated hunters are close to
      9   nature.  As a group, I think this is especially
     10   true of bow hunters.  For success with archery
     11   equipment, you have to become a student of
     12   nature.  As you practice with your bow and learn
     13   about wildlife you become a more dedicated
     14   sportsperson.  We need to encourage more
     15   dedicated sportspersons, we need to encourage
     16   more bow hunters.  Please keep the archery only
     17   season archery only.  Thank you very much.
     18                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     19   Mr. Actkinson.
     20                Mr. Hilbig?
     21                MR. HILBIG:  Yes, ma'am.  I'm Kevin
     22   Hilbig, vice-president of the Lone Star Bow
     23   Hunters Association.
     24                Your honorable commissioners, in
     25   '50s, '60s, and '70s, Bow Hunters United worked
      1   hard for bow hunting opportunities and seasons.
      2   The Lone Star Bow Hunters Association worked
      3   together with Texas Parks and Wildlife to
      4   establish an archery only season funded by the
      5   archery stamp.  To be a bow hunter was accepting
      6   the challenge of taking game with a bow and
      7   arrow.
      8                Archery seasons in most all of the
      9   lower 48 states occur before general firearms
     10   season.  This structure allowed the opportunity
     11   to hunt game that was still undisturbed.  I say
     12   opportunity because bow hunting is not instant
     13   success when attempting to take wild game with
     14   bow and arrow.  It takes accurate shooting
     15   skills, getting close to the animal pursued, and
     16   drawing the arrow in the most silent and
     17   unobscured manner.  Even with early seasons bow
     18   hunter harvest a game remains at a very low
     19   percentage rate.  The success is measured in the
     20   challenge of the hunt.
     21                Many bow hunters, including myself,
     22   consider hunting with the crossbow far easier
     23   than that of the modern day bow.  That actual bow
     24   and arrow is taken away with the crossbow.  Two
     25   things can happen when a bow hunter attempts to
      1   draw a bow.  One is movement, the other is
      2   sound.
      3                I'm sure that most of you know the
      4   keen sense the whitetail deer and a vast majority
      5   of other game have for detecting movement and
      6   hearing strange, unnatural noises.  It would be a
      7   rare statement if a bow hunter told you that they
      8   never had spooked an animal by drawing their
      9   bow.
     10                Well-known Texas bow hunter ranches
     11   will not even allow the crossbow for use during
     12   the general season when crossbows are legal.  Why
     13   is this?  Simple.  An outfitter cannot afford to
     14   overharvest his deer herd, especially for prices
     15   far cheaper than the cost of other package
     16   hunts.  The low success rate of bow hunting
     17   ensures this.  The outfitter can bring in a
     18   larger volume of bow hunters and not overharvest
     19   their operation.  At the same time they generate
     20   increased revenues through larger volume.
     21                With obvious differences, crossbow
     22   manufacturers still claim that the crossbow is no
     23   different than the compound bow.  Crossbow
     24   enthusiasts are still pushing to have them
     25   legalized in the special Texas archery season.
      1                Statements have been made that we
      2   are all hunters.  That is correct.  We are all
      3   hunters, and should stick together instead of
      4   creating division amongst ourselves.
      5                Crossbow manufacturers and
      6   proponents certainly know that every time they
      7   push for legalizing the crossbow during special
      8   archery season, they are creating division among
      9   the hunting fraternity.  One can read the
     10   August/December '99 issue of Bow Hunter Magazine,
     11   Talk Between Bow Hunters section to get an idea
     12   of how bow hunters feel about having a crossbow
     13   in the archery season.  One reader responded by

     14   saying that a bow is not a crossbow, it's more
     15   similar to a rifle.
     16                Bow Hunter Magazine editor M.R.
     17   James did an editorial in '85 at a magazine
     18   stance against the use of the crossbows in
     19   archery season.  The magazine reaffirmed their
     20   belief against the use of crossbow and a new
     21   editor, Dwight Shoe, printed an editorial in the
     22   August/September '99 issue of Bow Hunter
     23   Magazine.
     24                The State of Texas has a lengthy
     25   general season where a hunter can choose the
      1   weapon of his choice.  As I mentioned earlier,
      2   crossbows are legal.  Why, then, are crossbow
      3   manufacturers and advertisers continue to push to
      4   legalize crossbows in the archery season?  Do
      5   they not care about the division they are going
      6   to create between bow hunters and crossbow
      7   users.  Division will happen.
      8                MR. SANSOM:  Thank you, sir.  Your
      9   time is up.
     10                MR. HILBIG:  Okay.  Just one more.
     11   The reason the crossbow died in committee last
     12   year was lack of interest in opposition against
     13   it.  Thank you, ma'am.
     14                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     15   Mr. Hilbig.
     16                Any further comment by staff?  Any
     17   questions or comments by members of the
     18   Commission?
     19                Hearing none, the Chair would
     20   entertain a motion for approval of the
     21   recommendation of staff.
     22                COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  So moved.
     23                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  It's been moved
     24   by Commissioner Idsal.  A second, please?
     25                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.
      1                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Commissioner
      2   Watson.  Thank you.  Any further discussion?  All
      3   in favor say aye; those opposed nay.  Motion
      4   carries.
      5                     (Motion passed unanimously.)
      6      "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
      7      adopts the 2000-2001 Statewide Hunting and
      8      Fishing Proclamation (located in Exhibit A)
      9      with changes to published in the March 3, 2000
     10      issue of the Texas Register (25 TexReg 1840)."
     11                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  And I did want
     12   to welcome the members of the Texas A&M class who
     13   are joining us today.  It's very good to have you
     14   here.  And notwithstanding the applause, which
     15   was out of order, I hope that you will return and
     16   the Commission wishes you much success in your
     17   studies.  And we hope you'll come back when
     18   you're through with school, too
     19      AGENDA ITEM NO. 4:   ACTION -  PROPOSED
     21                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  The next item
     22   is the proposed finfish license limitation
     23   program.  And Paul Hammerschmidt will address the
     24   Commission on this.
     25                MR. HAMMERSCHMIDT:  Madam Chairman,
      1   Committee, my name is Paul Hammerschmidt, program
      2   director for the Coastal Fisheries Division.  My
      3   presentation today will review staff's proposals
      4   to fulfill the legislative mandate to implement a
      5   licensed management program for the commercial
      6   finfish fishery in Texas.
      7                The 76th Legislature under Senate
      8   Bill 1303 granted the Parks and Wildlife
      9   Commission this authority.  The various proposals
     10   that were put together were implementation of a
     11   license management program through the new
     12   finfish fishery proclamation.  Within this
     13   delegates administrative authority to the
     14   Executive Director, establishes rules for the the
     15   display of a license plate on a vessel, sets the
     16   date for transferability of the licenses to any
     17   time beginning September 1, 2000, and lays out
     18   the framework of a licensed buyback process.
     19                In addition, it sets commercial
     20   finfish fishermen license and transfer fees in
     21   the -- in the finance proclamation of $300 for a
     22   resident and $1200 for a nonresident.
     23                Finally under the statewide hunting
     24   and fishing proclamation, it sets the total
     25   number of trotlines and crab traps that a
      1   commercial finfish fisherman may use, and
      2   establishes marking requirements for those gear.
      3                From the round of public hearings
      4   and via e-mail and other sources of public input,
      5   staff received 53 responses, of which 83 percent
      6   were favorable toward adoption of the proposals.
      7                In addition to this, during the
      8   public hearing process, members of the commercial
      9   fishing industry asked the Commission to consider
     10   new, less restrictive criteria which are used to
     11   determine whether fishermen can leave trotlines
     12   in the water during the weekend trotline ban.
     13                Currently trotlines must be removed
     14   from the water no later than 1:00 p.m. on Friday,
     15   unless the National Weather Service has issued a
     16   small craft advisory or wind speeds of 20 knots
     17   or greater.
     18                The industry asks that the criteria
     19   be lowered to a newly adopted advisory category
     20   called small craft take caution where wind speeds
     21   are 15 to 20 knots.
     22                Staff obtained weather data from the
     23   National Weather Service and found that the
     24   number of Fridays eligible for the new advisory
     25   would increase from ten percent for the year to
      1   50 percent of the Fridays for the year.  Due to
      2   this significant increase in potential fishing
      3   effort, staff felt no action should be taken at
      4   this time.  However, staff would like to continue
      5   to evaluate the proposal.  As part of this
      6   evaluation, we will solicit more input from the
      7   general public, we will look at the potential
      8   effects of this change from a resource
      9   perspective, and we would like to assess how the
     10   new license management program, pending the
     11   Commission's adoption, may affect future
     12   commercial fishing activities.  Now, if you have
     13   any questions, I'd be happy to answer them now.
     14                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Any questions
     15   from any of the members?  Thank you,
     16   Mr. Hammerschmidt.
     17                MR. HAMMERSCHMIDT:  Hearing none,
     18   then staff recommends the following motion, and I
     19   just knocked it off the screen.  Bring it back.
     20      "Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts
     21      new Finfish Fishery Proclamation, Chapter
     22      58.301 through 58.304, and changes to Chapters
     23      53.6 Finance, 65.72 Fish and 65.78 Crabs and
     24      Ghost Shrimp as published in the
     25      March 3rd issue of the Texas Register."
      1                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
      2   There are no members of the public signed up to
      3   speak on this item.  Are there any other comments
      4   by members of the Commission?
      5                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval
      6   of the recommendation.
      7                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
      8   It's been moved by Commissioner Angelo.
      9                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Second.
     10                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Seconded by
     11   Commissioner Ryan.  Any discussion?  Hearing
     12   none, those in favor say aye; those opposed nay.
     13   Motion carries.  Thank you.
     14                     (Motion passed unanimously.)
     15      "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
     16      adopts new Finfish Fishery Proclamation 31
     17      TAC Chapter 58.301 through Chapter 58.304,
     18      and amendments to 31 TAC Chapter 53.6
     19      Finance, Chapter 65.72 Fish, and Chapter 65.78
     20      Crabs and Ghost Shrimp, with changes to the
     21      proposed text (located at Exhibit A) as
     22      published in the March 3, 200 issue of the
     23      Texas Register (25 TexReg 1813-1912.)"
      2      PREVIEW.
      3                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Our next item
      4   is a briefing item.  And that is a preview of the
      5   State Parks.
      6                     (WHEREUPON, a briefing
      7                     item was presented to the
      8                     Commissioners, after which,
      9                     the following proceedings
     10                     were had:)
     13      HUNTS.
     14                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Our next item
     15   is an action item, the Public Hunting Lands
     16   Proclamation and Proposed State Park Hunts.  Herb
     17   Kothmann, please.
     18                MR. KOTHMANN:  Madam Chairman,
     19   members of the Commission, my name is Herb
     20   Kothmann.  I'm the director of public hunts.
     21   This presentation deals with the proposed changes
     22   to the Public Lands Proclamation and the proposed
     23   2000-2001 public hunts on state park lands.  The
     24   first portion of the presentation deals with
     25   changes to the public lands proclamation.
      1                One proposal -- proposed change
      2   would promote youth participation hunting by
      3   lowering from 21 to 18 the minimum age at which
      4   young adults could supervise youth in hunting
      5   activities.
      6                Another staff proposal would be that
      7   we would authorize holders of an annual public
      8   hunting permit, a limited public use permit, or
      9   either the silver or gold PCP to access public
     10   hunting lands for the purpose of getting to
     11   adjacent public waters.  And they could fish from
     12   the bank of those public hunting lands in those
     13   adjacent public hunting waters.  This would be a
     14   relaxing of the current requirement that there's
     15   a $40 permit required to enter those lands for
     16   the purpose of hunting or a $10 permit for all
     17   nonconsumptive use.
     18                We do not anticipate this would
     19   impact the current 38,000 of these $40 that are
     20   being sold for hunting activity.  That
     21   requirement would not change.  But it hopefully
     22   would improve the access to our public waters in
     23   the state.
     24                Another proposal would eliminate the
     25   current provisions applicable only to U.S. forest
      1   service lands within the Parks and Wildlife
      2   public hunting program that allows hunting of
      3   small game and feral hogs under a $10 limited
      4   public use permit.  Where everywhere else this
      5   serves simply as a nonconsumptive access permit.
      6                Staff has requested now that that
      7   proposal be withdrawn, that request of the forest
      8   service which would like additional time to
      9   evaluate the impact on their users.
     10                Another proposal on dealing with the
     11   U.S. forest service lands within our public
     12   hunting program would establish a special
     13   antlerless deer permit to regulate the harvest of
     14   antlerless deer on those lands during the general
     15   deer season.  This permit, if authorized, would
     16   be issued by the forest service to people who
     17   have the $40 permit.  It would not be at an
     18   additional cost to the department to administer
     19   and we do not recommend charging a fee to the
     20   sportsmen for the permit.
     21                Another proposal would waive the
     22   applicable regular permit fees for activities
     23   other than hunting.  These are nonconsumptive
     24   visitors to our wildlife management areas.  We
     25   currently waive these fees for our hunters.  If
      1   there's a regular fee and they have the annual
      2   permit, we don't require them to again pay that.
      3   This would give equity to the nonconsumptive
      4   user, to what we currently allow for the hunter
      5   out there.
      6                Another proposal would prohibit the
      7   distribution or removal, primarily we're
      8   concerned about the theft, of rock, gravel, sand,
      9   soil, or shell from our public hunting lands,
     10   except as authorized by the department.  This has
     11   become a recently identified problem in some of
     12   our units in the lower Rio Grande Valley
     13   specifically.
     14                On our proposals that were published
     15   in the Texas Register, we had received no
     16   comments on the proposed changes in regulations.
     17   Of course, we did receive extensive input from
     18   the U.S. Forest Service, and that is why we have
     19   recommended withdrawal of that one proposal.
     20                The second portion of the
     21   presentation deals with the proposals for the
     22   State Park hunts.  We're proposing, again,
     23   hunting on 42 units of the State Park system.
     24   This is the same number that were hunted this
     25   past season.  41 of the 42 recommended are the
      1   same parks.
      2                There's one change.  That is
      3   Dinosaur Valley has dropped out for this proposal
      4   and South Llano River has been added.  I have a
      5   list of three slides or three slides that show
      6   the 42 by name.  I will not read these but I will
      7   go through them slowly so that the audience has a
      8   chance to look at them.
      9                Inks Lake and Longhorn Cavern are
     10   shown as a joint area because although they are
     11   two parks in close proximity they are hunted as
     12   one combined public hunt area.
     13                And South Llano River Bend
     14   highlighted is the new addition that was not on
     15   the list last year.  Although we have hunted it
     16   prior to that time.
     17                We did have the proposals of State
     18   Park hunts aired at public hearings around the
     19   state.  They have been posted on our Internet
     20   home page, distributed through the news media.
     21   We did receive only one comment to those
     22   published proposals.  That was favorable,
     23   supporting the proposal for hunts.
     24                The staff makes a recommendation to
     25   three motions and I would like to read those.
      1   Motion Number 1 says that the Texas Parks and
      2   Wildlife Commission adopts the amendments to
      3   Sections 65.191 to 65.193 and Section 65.199
      4   concerning the public hunting land -- or Public
      5   Lands Proclamation with changes to the proposed
      6   text as published in the March 3, 2000, issue of
      7   Texas Register.  And this is important.
      8   Withdraws the proposal to establish uniform
      9   requirement of an annual public hunting permit to
     10   enter public hunting lands for the purpose of
     11   hunting.
     12                This motion is slightly different
     13   than the one in your agenda book.
     14                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Could you put
     15   that on the screen for a moment, please?  I think
     16   we have Motion 2 up there.
     17                MR. KOTHMANN:  Okay.
     18                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
     19                MR. KOTHMANN:  This is Motion 1.
     20   And the bottom portion is that withdrawal of that
     21   elimination of the $10 permit, which we're asking
     22   the withdrawal of.
     23                Motion Number 2, the Texas Parks and
     24   Wildlife Commission authorizes the hunting
     25   activities designated in Exhibit B to be
      1   conducted on the 42 listed units of the State
      2   Park system.
      3                And Motion Number 3, states that the
      4   Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes an open
      5   hunting season on public hunting lands to run
      6   from September 1 of 2000, to August 31 of 2001.
      7   This is an action that's required in order to
      8   hold hunts on any of our State Parks or wildlife
      9   management areas.
     10                But there are three motions that I
     11   am presenting for consideration.  Madam Chairman,
     12   are there any questions?
     13                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.  Any
     14   questions by any of the members?  Thank you.
     15                We have two people signed up for
     16   comment.  The first is Ellis Gilleland.  And the
     17   other is David Langford.  Mr. Gilleland?
     18                MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis
     19   Gilleland.  I'm speaking for Texas Animals which
     20   is an animal rights organization on the
     21   Internet.  I would like to ask the Commission if
     22   I could show this three-minute clip, video clip
     23   to the Commission in lieu of my three minutes of
     24   speaking.  I asked when I came in if I could show
     25   this.  I brought my own VCR to show this, or we
      1   could show it on yours.
      2                MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Gilleland, I
      3   appreciate you bringing the video.  And as I
      4   mentioned to the crowd this morning, if you would
      5   like to give it to Ms. Estrada, we will
      6   distribute it to the Commission at a later time.
      7   Thank you very much.
      8                MR. GILLELAND:  I wanted to show it
      9   and be here to narrate what's happening in it.
     10   There's no audio with it, so it will not be
     11   meaningful if you just look at it like it is.
     12                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Mr. Gilleland,
     13   thank you, but that won't appear in the minutes.
     14   And so if you would provide a copy, that copy of
     15   the video to Ms. Estrada and then make your
     16   remarks, we'll be glad to receive those.
     17                MR. GILLELAND:  You cannot silence
     18   the truth.  And so I will just inform you that if
     19   you do not allow me to present it to you, the
     20   tame animals which exist in Choke Canyon State
     21   Park, and I suspect that the tame animals exist
     22   in probably all -- nearly all the parks, the tame
     23   animals, I wanted you to see these tame animals
     24   that you're authorizing people to kill, then make
     25   your decision based on that.
      1                I suspected you would not let me
      2   show this because it's the truth.  So I have made
      3   arrangements, I will just put it on the Internet
      4   and we'll just let the whole world evaluate it.
      5   We'll do it that way.  We'll rachet up one.  I
      6   want the whole world to see the tame, and I
      7   emphasize, t-a-m-e, tame animals that you people
      8   are killing.  The world will see it on the
      9   Internet.  Thank you.
     10                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     11   Mr. Gilleland.
     12                Mr. Langford?
     13                MR. LANGFORD:  Thank you,
     14   Commissioners.  I'm David Langford, Texas
     15   Wildlife Association.  And we would urge you to
     16   support the staff recommendations and vote
     17   positive on those three motions.
     18                And I would also like to say, I
     19   guess that's one more example of you can't
     20   believe what you see on the Internet.
     21                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     22   Mr. Langford.
     23                Any comments or questions by any of
     24   the members?
     25                Hearing none, the Chair would
      1   entertain a motion for approval of the
      2   recommendations by staff.
      3                COMMISSIONER AVILA:  So moved.
      4                COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.
      5                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
      6   It's been moved by Commissioner Avila and
      7   seconded by Commissioner Henry that the three
      8   recommendations that were presented by
      9   Mr. Kothmann be approved.  Is there any further
     10   discussion?
     11                All in favor say aye; those opposed
     12   nay.  Motion carries.  Thank you.
     13                     (Motion passed unanimously.)
     14   1) "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
     15      adopts an amendment to 31 TAC 65.191, 65.193,
     16      and 65.199, concerning the Public Lands
     17      Proclamation, with changes to the proposed
     18      text as published in the March 3, 2000, issue
     19      of the Texas Register (25 (TexReg 1848), and
     20      withdraws the proposal to establish uniform
     21      requirement of an APH Permit to enter public
     22      hunting lands for the purpose of hunting."
     24   2) "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
     25      authorizes the hunting activities designated
      1      in Exhibit B to be conducted on the 42 listed
      2      units of the state park system."
      4   3) "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
      5      authorizes an open hunting season on public
      6      hunting lands to run from September 1, 2000 to
      7      August 31, 2001."
      9                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Our next item
     10   is a briefing on Texas birding.  John Herron and
     11   Vernon Bevill, I believe, are our presenters.
     12                     (WHEREUPON, a briefing
     13                     item was presented to the
     14                     Commissioners, after which,
     15                     the following proceedings
     16                     were had:)
     17                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
     18   The next item is an action item, land transfer,
     19   Bexar County, Mike Herring.
     20                MR. HERRING:  Actually, I believe we
     21   had those two on the consent.
     22                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  I'm sorry.
     23   I've got the wrong one, I think.
     24                MR. HERRING:  It's Bexar County.
     25   It's land acquisition.
      1                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Yes.  Items 10
      2   and 11 were on consent.  And Item 12.
      3                MR. HERRING:  Yes.
      4                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
      5   Sorry, I crossed out the wrong ones.
      6      AGENDA ITEM NO. 12:  ACTION -  LAND
      8      CANYON).
      9                MR. HERRING:  My name is Mike
     10   Herring.  I'm director of the Parks Land
     11   Conservation Program.  The original 4,717 acres
     12   comprising the Government Canyon State Natural
     13   Area were acquired in 1993 with an additional
     14   1100 acres acquired in 1995.  The trust for
     15   public land, a nonprofit land conservation group,
     16   was instrumental in facilitating the acquisition
     17   of both tracts.
     18                In January 1999 TPL negotiated a
     19   contract for the 805-acre Davis Ranch, upland
     20   tract, adjacent to the park, and successfully
     21   secured funding for its purchase and subsequently
     22   donated the property to the department.
     23                TPL, in coordination with the
     24   department staff, has continued to monitor
     25   adjacent lands for potential conservation
      1   options.  The approximately 4,000-acre Gallagher
      2   Ranch has been identified as a desirable addition
      3   to the park and the trust has negotiated an
      4   option to purchase it.
      5                Through independent fund raising
      6   efforts TPL is securing funds to cover all but
      7   $500,000 of the total contract price.  TPL is
      8   requesting the department to fund the remaining
      9   500,000.  Staff recommends the adoption of the
     10   motion shown in your agenda item.  And I might
     11   add that Valarie Bristol, the Texas director for
     12   TPL is also available here today should you have
     13   any questions.
     14                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     15   Mr. Herring.  Any questions or comments by any of
     16   the Commissioners?  Hearing none, the Chair would
     17   entertain a motion for approval of the
     18   recommendation.
     19                COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  So moved.
     20                COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.
     21                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.
     22                MR. SANSOM:  Madam Chairman, before
     23   you vote I would just like to say that this
     24   represents an extraordinary effort on the part of
     25   the trust for public land.  All the way from the
      1   beginning, this has been one of the most creative
      2   transactions that has been brought before you in
      3   this decade, and one in which, I would guess the
      4   overall cost of the property there has probably
      5   been somewhere around 15 to 20 cents on the
      6   dollar over the life of the project.
      7                And in addition to that, one of the
      8   things that I think is most significant is that
      9   when the original project was turned over to the
     10   department, the trust created endowments for
     11   friends organizations and natural history groups
     12   on the site.  So we made a commitment beyond just
     13   the acquisition itself but to the ongoing
     14   operation and stewardship, as well.
     15                Ms. Bristol is a former County
     16   Commissioner here in Travis County who has
     17   recently been named to State director.  Anjali
     18   Kaul is with her and also I see Deirdre Hisler,
     19   who is manager of the park.  And so they're all
     20   doing a terrific job down there.  And we
     21   appreciate them.
     22                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     23   Mr. Sansom.  And welcome to all of you.  We
     24   really appreciate the hard work and the good
     25   results from the Trust for Public Lands.  And
      1   it's been a great partnership.  I'm looking
      2   forward to being on that property.  It will be
      3   great.
      4                We have a motion pending, motion by
      5   Commissioner Idsal.  Was the second by
      6   Commissioner Henry?  Thank you.
      7                Any further discussion?  All in
      8   favor say aye; those opposed nay.  Motion
      9   carries.  Thank you.
     10                     (Motion passed unanimously.)
     11      "The Executive Director is authorized to take
     12      all necessary steps to consummate the
     13      acquisition of the 400 acre Gallagher Ranch as
     14      an addition to the Government Canyon State
     15      Natural Area."
     16                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Mr. Herring, do
     17   you have the other item?
     18      AGENDA ITEM NO. 13:  ACTION -  LAND
     20                MR. HERRING:  Yes.  The La Mota
     21   Ranch comprising of approximately 31,000 acres is
     22   located adjacent to the north boundary of Big
     23   Bend Ranch State Park in Presidio County.  The
     24   ranch was owned by the late John W. Rice who died
     25   unexpectedly in September 1999.  In his will,
      1   Mr. Rice left a legal life estate to his
      2   son-in-law, James Donnell, with title then
      3   passing to Texas Parks and Wildlife.  For various
      4   reasons Mr. Donnell does not wish to hold his
      5   portion of the property as a life estate.
      6   Therefore, he has requested that the ranch be
      7   divided in such a way, that he obtains a fee
      8   title ownership to a portion of the ranch equal
      9   in value to his remainder life estate, with the
     10   department receiving fee title to the remaining
     11   acreage.
     12                Based upon Mr. Donnell's current age
     13   and the applicable treasury tables for valuation
     14   of life estates and remainders, the value
     15   attributable to the life tenant is 65 percent of
     16   the value of the property.
     17                The department staff, working with
     18   Mr. Donnell has developed a division of the ranch
     19   whereby Mr. Donnell would receive approximately
     20   18,000 acres and the department would receive
     21   12,747 acres.
     22                The difference between the appraised
     23   value of the 12,000 acres and the department's
     24   entitlement will be paid to Mr. Donnell.  The
     25   12,000 acres is in the southern portion of the
      1   ranch adjacent to Big Bend Ranch and includes the
      2   more scenic portions of Terneros Creek and the
      3   associated canyon lands.  The upland portion of
      4   the 12,000 acres is in good condition and similar
      5   to comparable parts of Big Bend Ranch.
      6                An excellent example of a cottonwood
      7   gallery forest is also included in the 4.7 miles
      8   of Terneros Creek.  The 12,747 acres is a logical
      9   addition of Big Bend Ranch adding significant
     10   habitat and recreational opportunity while not
     11   incurring additional operating expenses.  Staff
     12   recommends the adoption of the motion as shown in
     13   your agenda item.
     14                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
     15   Mr. Herring.  Are there any questions of the
     16   members?  Did you want to add something,
     17   Mr. Sansom?
     18                MR. SANSOM:  Yes.  I would like to
     19   just say, members, that Mr. Rice and his wife
     20   were wonderful friends of our department and
     21   long-time neighbors.  Mrs. Rice was an artist
     22   whose works are displayed in Marfa.  Mr. Rice was
     23   a close associate with our employees out there.
     24   In fact, Luis Armendariz was a very close friend
     25   of Mr. Rice.
      1                I believe that this transaction will
      2   honor his wishes, but at the same time create an
      3   additional opportunity to be good neighbors with
      4   Mr. Donnell, who is also named in the estate.
      5                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Well, it's a
      6   very special gift that Mr. Rice has made to the
      7   people of Texas and one that I think we all
      8   greatly appreciate.
      9                And I think Mr. Donnell has achieved
     10   a good result in his work with the department
     11   here.  And I think that many, if not all of the
     12   commissioners, have been to Big Bend Ranch State
     13   Park and we can appreciate that this will be a
     14   great addition.  Thank you.
     15                Hearing no questions, the Chair
     16   would entertain a motion for approval of this
     17   recommendation of staff.
     18                COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.
     19                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Motion by
     20   Commissioner Watson.  Is there a second?
     21                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.
     22                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Second by
     23   Commissioner Angelo.  Any further discussion?
     24                All in favor say aye; those opposed
     25   nay.  Motion carries.  Thank you.
      1                        (Motion passed unanimously.)
      2      "The Executive Director is authorized to take
      3      all steps to consummate the acceptance and
      4      purchase of approximately 12,747 acres of the
      5      La Mota Ranch, Presidio County, as an addition
      6      to Big Bend Ranch State Park."
      7      AGENDA ITEM NO. 14:  ACTION -  LAND
      9      WMA).
     10                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  And our last
     11   item is an action item.  Land acquisition in
     12   Cameron County.  Mr. Bauer.
     13                MR. BAUER:  Good morning, my name is
     14   Jack Bauer with the Land Conservation Program.
     15   Wildlife division staff of the Las Palomas
     16   Wildlife Management Area manage Resaca de la
     17   Palma State Park and the Brasil Unit near
     18   Brownsville as native brush habitat and
     19   cropland.
     20                A 25-acre adjacent cropland tract
     21   has become available and is recommended as a
     22   white-winged dove habitat addition.  Staff
     23   recommends the Commission consider the motion
     24   before you to acquire the tract as an addition to
     25   the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area using
      1   white-winged dove stamp revenue.
      2                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
      3   Mr. Bauer.  Any questions?  I think a number of
      4   us have seen that tract.  And it's an exciting
      5   prospect for management for the white-winged
      6   dove.
      7                COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval.
      8                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,
      9   Commissioner Angelo.
     10                COMMISSIONER RYAN:  Second.
     11                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  And second by
     12   Commissioner Ryan.  Any further discussion?  All
     13   in favor say aye; those opposed nay.  Motion
     14   carries.  Thank you, Mr. Bauer.
     15                MR. BAUER:  Thank you.
     16                        (Motion passed unanimously.)
     17      "The Executive Director is authorized to take
     18      all steps necessary to acquire approximately
     19      25 acres in Cameron County as an addition to
     20      the Brasil Unit of the Las Palomas Wildlife
     21      Management Area using white-winged dove stamp
     22      revenue."
     23                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  With that, we
     24   conclude the business of the Commission at this
     25   public hearing.
      1                And the Commission yesterday stood
      2   in recess from its committee meetings.  And I
      3   would like to announce that pursuant to the
      4   requirements of Chapter 551 of the Government
      5   Code, referred to as the Open Meetings Law, an
      6   executive session will be held at this time for
      7   the purpose of consideration of land
      8   transactions.
      9                Mr. Sansom, as parliamentarian, is
     10   it appropriate for us now to adjourn the
     11   hearing?
     12                MR. SANSOM:  We would essentially
     13   recess and go into executive session.  And once
     14   you're complete, you will need to come back down
     15   here and adjourn.
     16                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.  I
     17   wanted to be sure we did it in the right order.
     18                We appreciate all of you being here
     19   today.  Thank you.
     20                     (Whereupon, an executive
     21                     session was held, after
     22                     which, the following
     23                     proceedings were had:)
     24                VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  We'll resume
     25   the Commission Meeting, and unless there is an
      1   objection, we'll stand adjourned.  Thank you very
      2   much.
      3                 (HEARING ADJOURNED.)
      4                      *-*-*-*-*
      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 APRIL 6, 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 10TH day of MAY
     20   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
          EBS NO. 40482
                               Carol E. Dinkins, Vice Chair
      6                        Dick W. Heath
                               Nolan Ryan
     11                        Ernest Angelo, Jr.
                               John Avila, Jr.
     16                        Alvin L. Henry
                               Katharine Armstrong Idsal
     21                        Mark E. Watson, Jr.

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