Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Conservation Committee

Jan. 24, 2001

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


             7             BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 

             8    24th day of January 2001, there came on to be 

             9    heard matters under the regulatory authority of 

            10    the 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 2:45 p.m., to wit:


                  Chair: Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas
            18           Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas
                         Dick W. Heath, Carrollton, Texas
            19           Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas (Absent)
                         Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas
            20           John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
                         Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
            21           Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, Texas
                         Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
            23             Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and 
                  other personnel of the Parks and Wildlife 
            24    Department.


             1                     JANUARY 24, 2001

             2                         *-*-*-*-*

             3              CONSERVATION COMMITTEE MEETING

             4                         *-*-*-*-*

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.  I'd like 

             6    to reconvene after our recess that we took and 

             7    subsequent to our executive session to resume 

             8    public hearings.  And I would yield the floor to 

             9    Ms. Dinkins, Chair of the Conservation Committee. 

            10                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you,

            11    Mr. Chairman.  Our first order of business is 

            12    approval of the committee minutes from the 

            13    previous meeting.  If there are no corrections or 

            14    additions, then I suggest that without objection, 

            15    we let those minutes stand approved as written.

            16                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS: The next item is 

            17    a briefing on the Chairman's charges.

            18       AGENDA ITEM NO. 1:  BRIEFING - CHAIRMAN'S 

            19       CHARGES. 

            20                  MR. SANSOM:  Madam Chairman, I would 

            21    call your attention to the fact that Item 4 on the 

            22    Chairman's charges was to continue to participate 

            23    in the Senate Bill 1, water planning initiative.  

            24    We have recently submitted a series of comments on 

            25    all recent water plans.  That has caused quite a 


             1    bit of debate between us and the members of the 

             2    regional planning committees. 

             3                  I will be meeting with them sometime 

             4    in the next two weeks, meeting with each of the 

             5    Chairs to discuss the specific concerns that our 

             6    staff has raised over the water plans.  And my 

             7    conversations with the Water Development Board 

             8    staff and Board have indicated that they are 

             9    receptive to that. 

            10                  You'll recall also that the seagrass 

            11    conservation plan was a proponent of the 

            12    Chairman's charges.  All phases of that plan are 

            13    all now being implemented.  The water quality 

            14    standards now include provisions to conserve 

            15    seagrass as a result of actions by employees of 

            16    this department.  And the Redfish Bay Scenic Area 

            17    has been designated as part of the Lone Star 

            18    Legacy, and as a matter of fact $12,000 was raised 

            19    to endow management in this area.

            20                  We'll be seeing in this session more 

            21    talk about aquatic vegetation management in the 

            22    Legislature.  You have adopted rules to implement 

            23    the statewide aquatic vegetation management plan 

            24    and to allow for development and adoption of local 

            25    plans.  I would note that these rules go into 


             1    effect February 6th.  Thank you. 

             2                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.  Any 

             3    questions or comments?  

             4       AGENDA ITEM NO. 2: ACTION - NOMINATION FOR OIL 


             6                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Hearing none, 

             7    then our next agenda item is the nomination for 

             8    oil and gas lease at Sheldon.  And you'll find 

             9    that behind Tab 13 in your agenda book.

            10                  MS. BOYDSTON:  Madam Chairman, 

            11    Commissioners, my name is Kathy Boydston, program 

            12    leader for Wildlife Habitat Assessment Program in 

            13    the Wildlife division. 

            14                  The department received a nomination 

            15    for an oil and gas lease on the tracts known as 

            16    Lake Sheldon State Park east of Houston in Harris 

            17    County.  The department owns 100 percent of the 

            18    minerals, approximately 2,219 mineral acres.  All 

            19    seven tracts have been nominated.  Staff 

            20    recommends the Department continue its policy of 

            21    requiring a minimum bonus bid of $150 per acre, a 

            22    fixed royalty of 25 percent and a $10 per-acre 

            23    delay rental.

            24                  This tract has been nominated 

            25    several times in the last few years with a no 


             1    surface occupancy stipulation.  And I understand 

             2    that there's been some discussion about wanting to 

             3    look at possibly locating on the surface.  And I 

             4    have talked to the area manager, and he has 

             5    indicated that there is a site that's suitable at 

             6    the park that is adjacent to the highway in an 

             7    agricultural field that would not interfere with 

             8    park operations, and it could be done very easily 

             9    at that site, if we would want to consider doing 

            10    that. 

            11                  So if we would want to amend the 

            12    motion or the -- to rectify the no-surface 

            13    occupancy, we could do that and send it forward in 

            14    the lease sale -- to the lease sale in the next 

            15    sale, which is April. 

            16                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you, 

            17    Kathy.  Andy, what would be staff recommendation 

            18    on that? 

            19                  MR. SANSOM:  I would recommend that 

            20    we do that.  But certainly, Kathy, develop the 

            21    language such that the potential location of that 

            22    site be incorporated into the master planning 

            23    process at Sheldon. 

            24                  MS. BOYDSTON:   We could do 

            25    something along the line that the site would be 


             1    determined by Parks and Wildlife.

             2                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Did I 

             3    understand you to say adjacent to the highway? 

             4                  MS. BOYDSTON:  Yes.  That's what the 

             5    park manager told me.  There's apparently an 

             6    agricultural field close to the park headquarters, 

             7    and that would be one site that would be suitable 

             8    for an oil and gas well. 

             9                  And we talked about how we could 

            10    also possibly incorporate that into an educational 

            11    aspect, as was mentioned earlier this morning, of 

            12    how oil and gas could be developed in an 

            13    environmentally sensitive manner, and work that 

            14    into the master plan at Sheldon. 

            15                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  What detail 

            16    would we want to get in the lease itself as far as 

            17    the proposal  -- as far as the additions for that 

            18    site are concerned? 

            19                  MR. SANSOM:  Pretty detailed. 

            20                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I would think 

            21    so.

            22                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes, sir.  And we have 

            23    guidelines for that. 

            24                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  We do? 

            25                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes, sir. 


             1                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  We've 

             2    considered things along those lines before when 

             3    they have come before us, and we've put pretty 

             4    strong restrictions on it as I recall. 

             5                  MS. BOYDSTON:  Yes.  One that comes 

             6    to mind right offhand is Tyler State Park.  We 

             7    allowed development in there, but we specifically 

             8    noted certain sites where they could develop that 

             9    were out of sight and away from the normal park 

            10    operations and would not disturb any areas that 

            11    were of low habitat area.

            12                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  And were they 

            13    developed? 

            14                  MS. BOYDSTON:  I don't think anybody 

            15    picked up that nomination.  What the process is, 

            16    is that they asked us if we would be willing to 

            17    nominate the lease, and then we tell them what 

            18    kind of restrictions we will put on it.  And then 

            19    they either put a bid up on it, or they don't put 

            20    a bid up on it when it comes up in the lease sale.  

            21    So a lot of times our tracts are nominated, but 

            22    then they are not picked up for whatever reason.

            23                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  There has been 

            24    a request, to put this up -- 

            25                  MS. BOYDSTON:   Yes.  It has been 


             1    nominated several times in the last three or four 

             2    years.

             3                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  But no one has 

             4    ever bid on it, we think, because there's not any 

             5    real opportunity to gain access.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I would think that 

             7    we -- if we are willing to allow access to this 

             8    particular location or if there are others after a 

             9    study, that it's better to say that on the front 

            10    end, when somebody is thinking of bidding, rather 

            11    than saying, we'll work with you and then they 

            12    come back and say, it's here or nowhere.  It's 

            13    going to be very restrictive to one location. 

            14                  I would think it would be better to 

            15    say that up front and then I -- as she -- I think 

            16    one of the things Mr. Angelo is alluding to is 

            17    that if we do allow them to drill there, there are 

            18    certain restrictions on how they do their 

            19    operations that we would want to implement, such 

            20    as perhaps using portable mud tanks rather than 

            21    digging a pit on site, et cetera, so that it 

            22    minimizes --

            23                  MR. SANSOM:  Impact. 

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  -- surface damages 

            25    and facilitates cleanup. 


             1                  MS. BOYDSTON:   I don't think we 

             2    would be -- that will be in the bid booklet when 

             3    these leases come out.

             4                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I think if we're 

             5    really talking about only one location of the 2200 

             6    acres that we'd be willing to accept as a drill 

             7    site, I think as part of putting it out for bid, 

             8    that it would be appropriate to put that in 

             9    because, frankly, their target may not be 

            10    accessible from that location.

            11                  MS. BOYDSTON:   Right.  And we don't 

            12    want to lead them to believe that they can locate 

            13    anywhere on the area.  That's what we wanted to 

            14    avoid.

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Or leading them to 

            16    believe that they might have a chance to drill on 

            17    the area where they can get to their target zone, 

            18    have them spend the money at the state lease sale, 

            19    and then find out, well, if you told me this six 

            20    weeks ago, I would have never bid on it.  And 

            21    they're angry because they're out of money.

            22                  MS. BOYDSTON: Right.

            23                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  What about 

            24    things like offsets and stuff?  They wanted to -- 

            25    would that be a problem? 


             1                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  If they're 

             2    going to have to directionally drill it, it 

             3    wouldn't matter. 

             4                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  It wouldn't 

             5    matter? 

             6                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  It would work.  

             7    It would probably work well.

             8                  MS. BOYDSTON:   That's been one of 

             9    the stipulations before, the off-site location or 

            10    access by directional drilling or pooling with 

            11    another tract.  And to date nobody has picked that 

            12    lease up.  And so I have a feeling maybe there's a 

            13    problem finding a lease location -- or a surface 

            14    location.

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Or an alternative 

            16    site that provides them access to whatever 

            17    geologic zone they're looking for.

            18                  MS. BOYDSTON:   And I know 

            19    Commissioner Watson had asked about production 

            20    earlier.  The GLO records indicate that there's a 

            21    well south of Sheldon that was drilled in '90, but 

            22    it's not producing anymore.  And there's no wells 

            23    around there that are producing, but I know that 

            24    there is a lot of seismic activity going on east 

            25    of there.  So they think that they may be 


             1    generating some interest in the Yagua formation, 

             2    which is a gas formation.  So they will be coming 

             3    our way with seismic, I think, pretty soon, 

             4    anyway.

             5                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  So the 

             6    suggestion is that we have a -- that we put this 

             7    up for nomination, that we advise interested 

             8    parties that there would be a single drill site 

             9    available, that that drill site would be selected 

            10    by the TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION staff 

            11    and that it would be subject to the standard 

            12    restrictions and conditions that we usually would 

            13    have.

            14                  Have I summarized it fairly?  Are 

            15    there any other questions?  All right. 

            16                  Then the Chair would entertain a 

            17    motion to nominate for oil and gas lease the 

            18    Sheldon State park area described in the agenda 

            19    book. 

            20                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So moved. 

            21                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  And is that 

            22    motion to include with the one drill site? 

            23                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Uh-huh. 

            24                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Okay.  I just 

            25    wanted to make sure.  Any further discussion?


             1                      (Motion passed unanimously.)

             2                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you, 

             3    Kathy. 

             4                  MS. BOYDSTON:   We'd like to also -- 

             5    or recommend that this be put on the consent 

             6    agenda for tomorrow. 

             7                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  All right.  

             8    This is eligible for the consent agenda.  The 

             9    Chair would entertain a motion this be moved to 

            10    the consent agenda.

            11                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  So moved.

            12                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.

            13                      (Motion passed unanimously.) 

            14                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Is there any 

            15    other business to come before the committee?  The 

            16    other agenda items were considered in executive 

            17    session since they involve land acquisition 

            18    matters.

            19                  Hearing none, that concludes the 

            20    hearing of the conservation committee.  Thank you, 

            21    Kathy.

            22                         *-*-*-*-*

            23                   (MEETING ADJOURNED.)

            24                         *-*-*-*-*



             1                 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE

             2    STATE OF TEXAS   )

             3    COUNTY OF TRAVIS )

             4             I, MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, a Certified 

             5    Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do 

             6    hereby certify that the above and foregoing 12 

             7    pages constitute a full, true and correct 

             8    transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks & 

             9    Wildlife Commission on JANUARY 24, 2001, in the 

            10    commission hearing room of the Texas Parks & 

            11    Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis 

            12    County, Texas.

            13             I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic 

            14    record was made by me at the time of the public 

            15    meeting and said stenographic notes were 

            16    thereafter reduced to computerized transcription 

            17    under my supervision and control.

            18             WITNESS MY HAND this the 24th day of 

            19    February, 2001. 

                           MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, RPR, CSR NO. 3226
            22             Expiration Date:  12-31-02
                           3101 Bee Caves Road
            23             Centre II, Suite 220
                           Austin, Texas  78746
            24             (512) 328-5557
            25    EBS NO.         

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