Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Regulations Committee

January 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 2:57 p.m., to wit:


                  Chair: Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas
            18           Dick W. Heath, Carrollton, Texas
                         Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas (Absent)
            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, 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               REGULATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING

             4                         *-*-*-*-*

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Regulations 

             6    Committee.  

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

             8       CHARGES.

             9                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Mr. Sansom, would 

            10    you brief us on Chairman's charges?

            11                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes, sir.  One of the 

            12    charges that you gave this committee was optimized 

            13    license management of the commercial fishery.  And 

            14    I'm happy to report to you as of December the 8th, 

            15    426 commercial fin fish licenses have been issued.  

            16    The records indicate that a thousand individuals 

            17    are eligible to purchase these licenses. 

            18                  As of this date, ten have been sold 

            19    and transferred by the original holder.  Nineteen 

            20    individuals have filed appeals with the Finfish 

            21    Review Board.  The first buyback application 

            22    period for crab licenses resulted in a total of 15 

            23    purchases, ranging from $1500 to $45,000.  An 

            24    eighth round of shrimp license buyback was 

            25    completed.  There were 304 bid applications 


             1    submitted ranging from $2500 to $65,000.  We 

             2    purchased 17 licenses -- excuse me -- 77 licenses 

             3    for $467,000.

             4                  I'd like to point out here that as 

             5    we testified before the Senate Finance Committee 

             6    yesterday, we were caught in a peculiar situation 

             7    in that we had the money to buy another million 

             8    dollars worth of licenses because of the fees that 

             9    we placed on saltwater fisherman.  But we could 

            10    not do it because we didn't have the authority.

            11                   And so one of the things that we 

            12    are seeking from the Legislature is to restore 

            13    what we've called the entrepreneurial rider that 

            14    would allow us to spend revenue that we generate 

            15    and thus avoid this kind of situation.  Because we 

            16    rarely would have the opportunity to purchase that 

            17    many licenses, and we're really sorry to see it 

            18    slip by.  Thank you. 

            19       AGENDA ITEM NO. 2:  ACTION  - EXOTIC SPECIES 

            20       RULES.

            21                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  All right.  Exotic 

            22    species rules. 

            23                  MR. DUROCHER:  Mr. Chairman, 

            24    members, my name is Phil Durocher.  I'm with the 

            25    Inland Fisheries division.  It seems like at 


             1    almost every Commission meeting Mr. Gray comes 

             2    before you with amendments that are harmful or 

             3    potentially harmful to exotic fish, shellfish and 

             4    aquatic plant rules. 

             5                  Several of you have asked questions 

             6    about why these frequent changes are needed.  This 

             7    morning before Mr. Gray -- this afternoon before 

             8    Mr. Gray addresses you on the current proposed 

             9    amendments to the rules, I'd like to spend a few 

            10    minutes talking about this set of rules and how we 

            11    are forced to operate in a reactive as opposed to 

            12    a proactive mode.

            13                  As written, the statute requires us 

            14    to provide a list of harmful exotic organisms.  

            15    Once listed, their possession is prohibited unless 

            16    specifically permitted in the rules.  

            17    Historically, this has not been an issue.  In 

            18    recent times, though, because of technological 

            19    advances and the increased mobility of the world's 

            20    population, we've seen more and more exotic 

            21    organisms, some which have the potential to be 

            22    really destructive have entered our environment.

            23                  For example, within the last few 

            24    years, we've had potentially threatening shrimp 

            25    viruses in aquaculture facilities.  We've noted a 


             1    spread of exotic plants in public waters, and fish 

             2    farmers are continuously looking for new exotic 

             3    species for aquaculture purposes. 

             4                  Now, fortunately, most of these 

             5    exotic species are harmless and listing is not 

             6    required.  Our current rules allow exotics to be 

             7    imported if they are not listed.  Several years 

             8    ago we recognized the potential for serious damage 

             9    to our environment and began looking at ways to 

            10    change the rules to be more proactive.  We formed 

            11    a task force containing fish farmers, members of 

            12    academia, zoo curators and the pet industry to 

            13    look at these issues. 

            14                  One of the options we brought to the 

            15    table was to change from a prohibited list to a 

            16    nonprohibited list.  In other words, we would work 

            17    with the involved participants to develop a list 

            18    of exotics which were allowed in Texas.  Organisms 

            19    not on the list would be prohibited.  Segments of 

            20    the task force, particularly the pet trade 

            21    representatives, opposed the proposal.  They 

            22    argued that there are currently so many tropical 

            23    and exotic fishes on the market, there is no way a 

            24    comprehensive list could be prepared. 

            25                  After considering their concerns, 


             1    the staff backed off from the proposal.  Because 

             2    the industry would be continually asking for 

             3    additions to the new list, which would require 

             4    Commission actions, we felt like we could actually 

             5    be adding to the problem, coming to you more often 

             6    than less frequently. 

             7                  Now, since these earlier meetings, 

             8    our staff has developed an excellent rapport with 

             9    not only the pet industry but all interested 

            10    parties.  We have been promoting public awareness 

            11    concerning the importance of protecting our public 

            12    waters against the release of exotics. 

            13                  However, periodically new 

            14    threatening species will occur that will require 

            15    your approval to add to our list.  Now, we want to 

            16    assure the Commission that we will do everything 

            17    we can to decrease the frequency of these changes.  

            18    And we will continue to explore ways of changing 

            19    these rules to put us in a more proactive mode.  

            20    And with that said, I'll introduce Mr. Gray. 

            21                  MR. GRAY:  Chairman, committee 

            22    members, my name is Joedy Gray, and I'm a staff 

            23    support specialist with inland fisheries.  Staff 

            24    is proposing amendments for the harmful or 

            25    potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish and 


             1    aquatic plant rules.  These amendments are 

             2    intended to clarify the permitting and reporting 

             3    procedures and provide additional protection of 

             4    native aquatic species. 

             5                  The first proposed amendment will 

             6    add the channeled applesnail to the list of 

             7    prohibited shellfish.  Applesnails are medium 

             8    large snails with two to six inches in height.  

             9    Channeled applesnails appear in the pet trade and 

            10    are typically called mystery snails when sold by 

            11    pet stores.  They will feed aggressively on many 

            12    types of aquatic and terrestrial plants including 

            13    commercial crops.  In Hawaii and Southeast Asia, 

            14    they have caused significant damage to rice 

            15    fields. 

            16                  In July of this year a reproducing 

            17    population of channeled applesnails was discovered 

            18    in the American Canal south of Houston.  There is 

            19    concern because this canal is centered in the 

            20    heart of the Texas rice belt. 

            21                  I have personally contacted the pet 

            22    industry in Texas, the Joint Pet Advisory Council 

            23    and all major pet distributors to inform them of 

            24    this potential danger and that we would be seeking 

            25    approval to add this species to our prohibited 


             1    list, and I've received no opposition. 

             2                  The second proposed amendment would 

             3    allow permitted fish farmers to continue to posses 

             4    black carp provided the fish are certified as 

             5    triploids.  Black carp are used to consume snails 

             6    and other mollusks that may be disease vectors in 

             7    hatchery situations. 

             8                  Concerns have been raised recently 

             9    about the potential harmful ecological threats 

            10    these fish would cause should they accidentally 

            11    escape.  By requiring the use of triploids, we 

            12    will assure there will be no reproduction should 

            13    they ever escape into Texas waters.

            14                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Can you tell me the 

            15    differences between the black carp and the grass 

            16    carp? 

            17                  MR. GRAY:  The grass carp is going 

            18    to focus mainly on vegetation.  The black carp is 

            19    used by Mississippi cat fish farmers to control 

            20    vectors which get into the catfish.  So they eat 

            21    snails and things like that.  And our concern 

            22    is --

            23                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  They don't eat 

            24    vegetation?

            25                  MR. GRAY:  No.


             1                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Is a grass carp 

             2    also a triploid? 

             3                  MR. GRAY:  Yes.

             4                  MR. DUROCHER:  Yes.  We require that 

             5    they be triploids only.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

             7                  MR. GRAY:  Following the term 

             8    Aquaculture license will be incorporated into the 

             9    rules to be consistent with the Texas Department 

            10    of Agriculture rules, and we'll correct an 

            11    inadvertent deletion of triploid grass carp in the 

            12    exception section of the rules.  The proposed 

            13    amendments were published in the Texas Register, 

            14    and no public comment has been received to date. 

            15                  Staff recommends the Regulations 

            16    Committee of the Parks and Wildlife Commission 

            17    refer the proposed amendments concerning harmful 

            18    or potentially harmful exotic fish, shellfish and 

            19    aquatic plants to the full Commission for adoption 

            20    and consider placing this item on the consent 

            21    agenda.  We'll answer any questions. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval.

            23                  VICE -CHAIR DINKINS:  Second.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion is seconded.  

            25    Any further discussion?  All in favor?  Any 


             1    opposed?  Thank you, Mr. Gray.

             2                      (Motion passed unanimously.) 

             3       AGENDA ITEM NO. 3:  ACTION - LEGISLATIVE 

             4       REGULATIONS REVIEW.

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  All right.  

             6    Legislative regulations review.

             7                  MR. McCARTY:  Mr. Chairman, 

             8    Commissioners, my name is Gene McCarty.  I'm Chief 

             9    of Staff at Texas Parks and Wildlife.  I've come 

            10    today to introduce the continuation of our 

            11    Regulations Review Program.  If you remember, that 

            12    Senate Bill 178 of the 76th Legislature directed 

            13    all state agencies to review existing regulations 

            14    no later than every four years ever after the rule 

            15    has become final. 

            16                  The review is an assessment of 

            17    whether the reasons for initially adopting the 

            18    regulation has continued to exist.  TPWD currently 

            19    has ten chapters in its Administrative Code.  And 

            20    in November we reviewed or you adopted our review 

            21    of the Executive chapter, Fish and Wildlife 

            22    chapter, Law Enforcement chapter, and design the 

            23    Construction chapter.

            24                  We have today three additional 

            25    chapters that have been reviewed.  That's Chapter 


             1    53, Finance; Chapter 59, Parks, and Chapter 69, 

             2    Resource Protection.  I would like to have Suzy go 

             3    ahead and come up and go through the review of 

             4    Chapter 53, Finance, followed by Walt Dabney, to 

             5    talk about Chapter 59, Parks, and Robert Sweeney, 

             6    to talk about Resource Protection. 

             7                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Staff across all 

             8    the divisions has reviewed Chapter 53 and has 

             9    recommended some fairly minor housekeeping type 

            10    amendments.  And I have some highlights here of 

            11    these changes.  They resulted in very minor 

            12    things, including changes to reflect the new 

            13    license point of sale system. 

            14                  We've updated the text and the fees 

            15    and have eliminated references to surety bonds and 

            16    letters of credit which are not going to be 

            17    required in the new system. 

            18                  Another amendment would require 

            19    senior Louisiana residents fishing in Texas waters 

            20    to possess a valid Louisiana fishing license.  

            21    This change basically reinstates a reciprocal 

            22    fishing agreement for seniors and is something 

            23    that the Commission had already approved. 

            24                  Also eligibility requirements for 

            25    special resident licenses for both hunting and 


             1    fishing are clarified to better reflect the 

             2    eligibility as stated in the statute. 

             3                  For example, general commercial 

             4    fishermen are no longer listed as eligible for the 

             5    discounted special resident fishing license to 

             6    ensure consistency among commercial license 

             7    fishing holders.  Otherwise, the eligibility 

             8    requirements for the discounted licenses are just 

             9    listed.  They're added to the rules in this 

            10    amendment.

            11                  The proposed amendments also add and 

            12    remove references to license, permit and transfer 

            13    fees.  This is basically for housekeeping purposes 

            14    to more accurately reflect the current statutory 

            15    authority.  There are also proposed changes to the 

            16    Lifetime License Endowment Fund, the investment 

            17    policy.  The proposed change specifies that 

            18    investment of the fund will be in accordance with 

            19    the investment policy already approved by the 

            20    Commission. 

            21                  Other changes include changes 

            22    dealing with Subchapter B, stamps.  The previous 

            23    language exempted the nongame and endangered 

            24    species stamps from the provisions regarding the 

            25    sale of obsolete stamps. 


             1                  There are also some changes dealing 

             2    with the Texas Fresh Water Fishery Center.  The 

             3    proposed amendments dealing with the Center 

             4    basically eliminates the specific fee schedule and 

             5    replace it with a not-to-exceed number, $6, as 

             6    determined by the Executive Director. 

             7                  And finally, there were just some 

             8    changes for general cleanup, such as removing 

             9    redundant language, relocating text and other 

            10    minor edits. 

            11                  In addition, just need to mention a 

            12    minor revision to Subchapter B.  This revision was 

            13    not published in the Register, but since it is not 

            14    a substantive change, it can still can be adopted 

            15    today.  The change just clarifies that individual 

            16    stamps and the collectors edition stamp package 

            17    can be sold at different prices.  And that -- for 

            18    example, that they can be sold either at face 

            19    value or at an established fee for the package. 

            20                  And that quickly summarized the 

            21    changes to Chapter 53.  And if there are no 

            22    changes, I can turn it over to Walt. 

            23                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any questions?  

            24    Thank you, Suzy. 

            25                  MR. DABNEY:  Chairman, 


             1    Commissioners, I'm Walt Dabney, State Park 

             2    Director.  I've got a few changes in our 

             3    regulations to share with you today.  The first, 

             4    as it relates to historic structures, generally 

             5    speaking we do not go in and make alterations to 

             6    historic structures for convenience purposes, that 

             7    sort of thing.  What this allows us to do in cases 

             8    of health and safety or ADA, handicapped access, 

             9    this gives us the ability to make some 

            10    modifications.  Is my hair standing up? 

            11                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  We're looking at the 

            12    picture over your -- 

            13                  MR. DABNEY:  I came out a while ago 

            14    and looked like Alfalfa, so I thought it popped 

            15    back up there.

            16                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  We'll let you know 

            17    when it does.

            18                  MR. DABNEY:  And I'll whack it back 

            19    down.

            20                  Section 103, selection of 

            21    concessionaires, this gives us the authorization 

            22    to -- first of all, it removes the automatic right 

            23    of renewal preference which gives us a better 

            24    ability to bid new these contracts.  It creates 

            25    specific process for selection of concessionaires 


             1    which basically describes a panel of folks so that 

             2    we can evaluate each concession bid proposal. 

             3                  The next one, Section 104, types of 

             4    concession contracts, it requires us to have a 

             5    long-term contract for a major concession.  

             6    Secondly, it provides us an option to have a 

             7    two-year contract for small concessions like 

             8    vending machines.  People don't want to bid on a 

             9    one year, so this extends that to a more 

            10    reasonable level.

            11                  Section 105 adds an option for 

            12    extending a major contract.  If somebody comes in 

            13    and has major investment that they're putting into 

            14    a site, we want to give them a reasonable 

            15    opportunity to recoup their costs on that 

            16    investment.  And as I said, on the other one, it 

            17    allows us to go to two years on the smaller -- 

            18    smaller contracts.

            19                  Franchise fee rates.  Currently, we 

            20    cannot assess a penalty.  And we've had problems 

            21    in the past with folks that just did not pay their 

            22    franchise fee.  This gives us the ability to 

            23    collect those fees and assess a penalty on them, 

            24    which is very important.  It also gives us the 

            25    opportunity, if someone is having a legitimate 


             1    problem, a flood situation or something like that, 

             2    it gives us the ability to waive or postpone those 

             3    franchise fees to a more reasonable time.

             4                  We had -- the only thing that may 

             5    come up tomorrow, I think, as we open this up for 

             6    discussion in Part 63 and 64, where it lists the 

             7    activities that you can participate -- participate 

             8    in or do in a state park.  We got 16 comments that 

             9    suggested that folks would like to come and hang 

            10    glide.  And the two places specifically that they 

            11    were talking about are Enchanted Rock in the state 

            12    parks and Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management 

            13    Area out west. 

            14                  Before Enchanted Rock was a state 

            15    park, there was hang gliding.  And of course, 

            16    there wasn't anybody else out there.  Now 

            17    Enchanted Rock is so busy that we're turning 

            18    people away at the gate.  The folks that wrote to 

            19    us said that they need an acre to launch and at 

            20    least five cleared acres to land if they can hit 

            21    the five.  And some probably can, and some 

            22    probably can't.

            23                  Our recommendation is that we don't 

            24    get into that.  Enchanted Rock is already just an 

            25    anthill.  We would have safety problems.  We could 


             1    not keep any particular place cleared for these 

             2    things coming out of the air, assuming that we 

             3    knew where we needed to clear.  And so I think it 

             4    would open a can of worms that we don't have any 

             5    need to get into. 

             6                  I talked to Gary about it at 

             7    Elephant Mountain, and I think the primary issue 

             8    there is not one related to visitor safety.  It is 

             9    truly a recovering big horn sheep population, and 

            10    a hang glider would have a stress effect on the 

            11    big horn sheep population that we don't think is 

            12    appropriate. 

            13                  In addition, Enchanted Rock is a 

            14    natural area.  This doesn't add to that 

            15    experience.  So our recommendation is no changes 

            16    to that.

            17                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Where do people 

            18    that enjoy this go? 

            19                  MR. DABNEY:  There's lots of places 

            20    to go.  It's another issue where probably in many 

            21    cases it's on private land, and they go there.  I 

            22    don't know of any urban parks where that's going 

            23    on.  It's just not very compatible.  It's 

            24    really -- when you have crowded areas, it's a 

            25    tough deal.  I dealt with that in Yosemite years 


             1    ago, and it was just a --

             2                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I don't 

             3    disagree with your conclusions.  I'm just curious, 

             4    where do people go hang gliding? 

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  The Executive 

             6    Director at Chinati, maybe.  A long way out there, 

             7    but you're not going to be in anyone's way.

             8                  MR. DABNEY:  That's true.

             9                  The last group have to do with minor 

            10    language changes.  There's a series of these that 

            11    are in your book.  An example of that would be it 

            12    changes the terminology of rock art, which is not 

            13    acceptable to the Native American population, and 

            14    inserts the words petroglyph or pictograph, which 

            15    are proper archeological terms that are more in 

            16    keeping with where it should be.

            17                  Another example is that it removes 

            18    cultural systems from the terminology that 

            19    describes sustainability.  Sustainability 

            20    generally applies to natural systems.  It doesn't 

            21    apply to cultural resources, so we've simply 

            22    pulled that out.  And I think that's the last one 

            23    we have. 

            24                  And if there are any questions, I'd 

            25    be glad to answer.  You may have someone here 


             1    tomorrow that wants to speak on behalf of the hang 

             2    gliding community.  I don't know that they're 

             3    flying in or driving in, but they may be here.

             4                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  How many spots do we 

             5    have to keep clear in the parking lot for them? 

             6                  MR. DABNEY:  I haven't got that 

             7    request yet.

             8                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Questions?  Thank 

             9    you, Walt. 

            10                  MR. SWEENEY:  Good afternoon, 

            11    Commissioners.  I'm Bob Sweeney.  I am the closer 

            12    on this deal.  I chose a baseball metaphor, but, 

            13    unfortunately, Commissioner Ryan is not here to 

            14    hear it, so...

            15                  This is Chapter 69 that we're doing 

            16    now, review and readoption of.  And there are 11 

            17    subchapters of Chapter 69 that are administered by 

            18    various areas in the agency.  So we're going to 

            19    keep a score card, and I'm going to keep referring 

            20    back to this list and -- as we go through them and 

            21    show you where we're proposing readoption without 

            22    any changes.  And those will be highlighted in 

            23    green.  And where we're proposing readoption with 

            24    changes, those will be highlighted in yellow.

            25                  Moving on to the first kind of 


             1    overview of the situation, we've got six 

             2    subchapters of Chapter 69 that are administered by 

             3    Resource Protection Division.  And one of those 

             4    subchapters, Subchapter B, fish and wildlife 

             5    values, is also administered in part by law 

             6    enforcement.  It says coastal fisheries 

             7    administer, Subchapter F.  That's actually inland 

             8    fisheries even though it's a coastal species, 

             9    native shrimp that's a concern.  So that should be 

            10    inland fisheries administer Subchapter F.  And 

            11    then the Wildlife division administers A, C, J, 

            12    and K. 

            13                  So six resource protection 

            14    subchapters, three of them are for proposed for 

            15    readoption without changes.  So green, those are 

            16    proposed for readoption without changes. 

            17                  Now, there are three other resource 

            18    protection chapters, G, H, and I, that deal with 

            19    sand and gravel permits, shell permits and that 

            20    sort of thing, and those are proposed for some 

            21    changes to correct erroneous cross-references and 

            22    typographical errors and confusing language, 

            23    nonsubstantive changes, no new regulatory 

            24    requirements just some cleanup to correct some 

            25    errors that have crept in over the years.  So G, 


             1    H, and I, readoption with changes.  A little over 

             2    halfway.  No changes proposed to Subchapter F.  

             3    Readopt that one, please, without changes. 

             4                  Now, going to the Wildlife chapters, 

             5    four of them.  Two of those subchapters are 

             6    proposed for readoption.  No changes except for 

             7    changes to 69.8.  And that's just kind off the 

             8    table here.  That's addressing separate 

             9    regulations committee item.  I think it's Item 7.  

            10    So we're just -- the motion that we're going to 

            11    propose doesn't concern 69.8 at all.  Every other 

            12    section of A and K should be readopted with no 

            13    changes.

            14                  So much for A and K.  The other two 

            15    chapters are the subchapters of Chapter 69.  There 

            16    are some proposed changes.  These are Wildlife 

            17    Division matters.  Let me summarize real quickly.  

            18    These are under the authority of the Parks and 

            19    Wildlife Code Chapter 43 and for the purposes of 

            20    scientific research and other purposes.  Changes 

            21    were published in the December 22nd Texas 

            22    Register, and no comments were received in these 

            23    changes.

            24                  To Subchapter C, the changes that 

            25    are proposed are refusal of a permit to any person 


             1    finally convicted of violating a wildlife law; and 

             2    requiring the permittee to release wildlife as 

             3    soon as it is capable of surviving in the wild.  

             4    It's sort of to fulfill the objective of 

             5    rehabilitation, make that clear. 

             6                  The changes they proposed to 

             7    Subchapter J requires applicants for scientific 

             8    permits to document compliance with the Federal 

             9    Animal Welfare Act, by one of two methods, and to 

            10    require smaller caging for smaller raptors because 

            11    they don't need the cages as large as provided for 

            12    currently in the rules.  So we've completed our 

            13    score card.  We've gotten all the readoption 

            14    without changes there and the readoption with 

            15    changes.  So I'll move on to our motion. 

            16                  And as I said, I'm the closer on 

            17    this deal.  So the motion concerns all three 

            18    chapters that you have heard about: Finance, 

            19    Parks, and Resource Protection.  And it asks also 

            20    for consideration of placement on the consent 

            21    agenda.  And I'm available for any questions. 

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:   Any questions?  The 

            23    Chair would entertain -- we have a motion.  The 

            24    Chair would entertain --

            25                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.


             1                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Actually, we have a 

             2    proposed motion.  The Chair would entertain a 

             3    motion and a second.  I have a second.  Do I have 

             4    a motion? 

             5                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So moved. 

             6                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  So moved.

             7                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Motion and a second.  

             8    All in favor?  Opposed?  Thank you, Bob.

             9                        (Motion passed unanimously.)

            10       AGENDA ITEM NO. 4:  ACTION - STATEWIDE HUNTING 

            11       AND FISHING PROCLAMATION 2001-2002.

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  All right.  

            13    Statewide hunting and fishing proclamation, next.

            14                  MR. HAMMERSCHMIDT:  Mr. Chairman, 

            15    Commissioners, my name is Paul Hammerschmidt, 

            16    Program Director for the Coastal Fisheries 

            17    Division. 

            18                  Today I will review regulatory plans 

            19    of the Coastal Fisheries Division for statewide 

            20    hunting and fishing proclamation.  During this 

            21    regulation cycle, Coastal staff will propose an 

            22    increase to the daily bag limit of Spanish 

            23    Mackerel in State waters from seven fish to 15 

            24    fish.  This increase has already been implemented 

            25    in federal waters by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery 


             1    Management Council. 

             2                  Certainly, establishing rules 

             3    consistent with those in federal waters will 

             4    enhance law enforcement and reduce angler 

             5    confusion.  Moreover, recent stock assessment have 

             6    showed that Spanish mackerel populations in the 

             7    Gulf are fully recovered from their previously 

             8    depleted state and are at a level where the 

             9    available harvest is not being taken.  In Texas 

            10    waters our routine monitoring data also echo these 

            11    improvements as you can see in the graph. 

            12                  This tremendous improvement in the 

            13    surplus of Spanish mackerel gives fishery managers 

            14    a rare occasion to increase fishing opportunities 

            15    to anglers in the state.  And in addition, we get 

            16    a secondary benefit by redirecting anglers to 

            17    focus on Spanish mackerel, we might be getting 

            18    them to focus off of fish that are still of 

            19    concern, which are king mackerel and red snapper.

            20                  Finally, we have a housekeeping 

            21    issue.  Staff proposes new language regarding the 

            22    color of floats required on commercial crab traps 

            23    used by commercial finfish fishermen.  The color 

            24    of the float is currently yellow, and it's 

            25    supposed to be white.  It was inadvertently made 


             1    the same color as what is required on trot lines.  

             2    And so at that I'd be happy to answer any 

             3    questions.  Thank you. 

             4                  MR. KURZAWSKI:  Good afternoon, 

             5    Commissioners.  My name is Ken Kurzawski.  I'm 

             6    Regulatory Coordinator for Inland Fisheries 

             7    Division, and today I'd like to review with you 

             8    the freshwater fishing regulation proposals that 

             9    we're presenting to you for your approval to take 

            10    to public hearing. 

            11                  We have three areas that are the 

            12    focus of our proposed changes.  First is improving 

            13    and maintaining fishing quality.  The second deal 

            14    with some regulation simplification, and the final 

            15    one deals with regulation standardization.  

            16    Starting out with proposals to improve or maintain 

            17    fishing quality, these deal with harvest 

            18    regulations for large-mouth bass on three 

            19    reservoirs.  And our goal there is to improve or 

            20    maintain some excellent and above average fishing 

            21    that we already have in these reservoirs. 

            22                  The first concern is Lake 

            23    Sweetwater, a 630-acre reservoir in Nolan County.  

            24    It currently has a 14-inch minimum length, and we 

            25    are proposing to change it to a 14-to 18-inch slot 


             1    limit.  The reservoir currently has a decent 

             2    population of largemouth bass, exhibits some 

             3    excellent growth, and it's producing some good 

             4    fishing.  It is one of the best bass spots near 

             5    Abilene.  And staff there recognizes that it has 

             6    potential to possibly produce even some better 

             7    quality fishing for these anglers.

             8                  What I'd like to review with you is 

             9    what the population looks like currently.  It's 

            10    typical of what we see in our population, 

            11    reservoir populations of largemouth bass with the 

            12    14-inch limit.  We'll see a pretty good group of 

            13    fish around ten inches.  These are usually age 

            14    zero or some one plus fish.  Moving up closer to 

            15    the minimum length limit, I still have a pretty 

            16    good abundance of fish.  These fish usually range 

            17    in age from age one to two plus. 

            18                  Once we exceed that minimum length 

            19    limit, the numbers of fish are greatly reduced.  

            20    Even though catch and release is very popular 

            21    among anglers, we still do see some -- a number of 

            22    fish leaving due to harvest.  It really doesn't 

            23    matter where that minimum length limit is.  If 

            24    it's 14 inches, 16 or 18, we see a similar type 

            25    population structure where we have a buildup of 


             1    fish below the minimum length limit, depending the 

             2    number of fish we have exceeding that 14 inches 

             3    depends on a number of factors, such as growth 

             4    rate of the fish, productivity of the reservoir. 

             5                  Also in some of our larger 

             6    reservoirs, such as Rayburn or Falcon or on the 

             7    border, when it was full, larger reservoir, we 

             8    seem to see a few more fish escaping, so to speak, 

             9    across that 14 inches, and anglers are catching a 

            10    few more fish.  But in a smaller reservoir such as 

            11    Sweetwater, it usually requires a little bit more 

            12    protection to enhance that good quality fishing.

            13                  What we would hope to produce here, 

            14    when we put that 14 to 18 inch slot, we want to 

            15    see a reduction in the number of fish below 14 

            16    inches.  We want anglers to remove some of those 

            17    fish, protect those fish within the slot, 14 to 18 

            18    inches, sort of an overall reduction in bio mass 

            19    with the fish removed below the slot, and it will 

            20    maintain good growth through the slot and then 

            21    hopefully produce some fish above the slot for 

            22    those anglers to catch. 

            23                  So our goals there at Lake 

            24    Sweetwater is to restructure that population with 

            25    the slot and then increase abundance of those 


             1    quality sized bass, those bass a few more inches 

             2    and produce a few more fish even up to trophy size 

             3    for the anglers. 

             4                  The next regulation change we have 

             5    is on Pinkston Reservoir which is in Shelby 

             6    County.  It currently has a 14-to 18-inch slot, 

             7    and we are proposing to move it to 14-to 21-inch 

             8    slot with a restriction that only one bass over 21 

             9    inches can be harvested.  The overall bag of five 

            10    fish will remain for both, from the previous slot 

            11    limit.  This reservoir also has the potential to 

            12    produce some big fish. 

            13                  The fish pictured here is a 16.9 

            14    pound bass that was caught in '86 which was for a 

            15    short while a state record fish.  So staff there 

            16    recognized that this reservoir has produced and 

            17    has the potential to produce some excellent 

            18    fishing for bigger bass.

            19                  What we see there currently in that 

            20    population is similar to what we were shooting for 

            21    in Lake Sweetwater.  We see an abundance of fish 

            22    within the slot and some fish being produced over 

            23    that 18-inch limit.  What we're hoping to do, by 

            24    moving that length limit up to 21 inches, is to 

            25    produce a few more fish to provide some protection 


             1    for some fish under that slot and also produce -- 

             2    allow a few more fish to be caught above the slot. 

             3                  So what we're going to do there is, 

             4    again, restructure that population and increase 

             5    the abundance of quality and trophy-sized bass.  

             6    The last bass regulation we have, largemouth bass 

             7    regulations is for O.H. Ivie which when at full 

             8    pool, which it is not at now, is around 19,000 

             9    acres.  It currently has an 18-inch minimum length 

            10    limit which it has had since 1990, when it was 

            11    first opened.  We're proposing sort of a 

            12    modification of that to a no minimum length limit 

            13    and only allowing -- and allowing anglers to 

            14    harvest two fish less than 18 inches of the total 

            15    five fish bag. 

            16                  This reservoir also has been 

            17    producing some excellent fishing.  It produced 

            18    three share lunchers in spring of 2000.  Those are 

            19    fish 13 pounds and over.  So it does have the 

            20    potential to produce some good quality large size 

            21    fish.  But what we're seeing there the last few 

            22    years is an overabundance of 14 to 18 inch bass, 

            23    and we're seeing some very slow growth among that 

            24    group of fish.  And this is sort of heightened by 

            25    the low water conditions, and it is currently at 


             1    about 58 percent of capacity. 

             2                  What the population looks like out 

             3    there now is a good group of fish, as I said, 

             4    between 14 to 18 inches.  And we're seeing fish in 

             5    that group that range in age from age two up to 

             6    age eight.  Typically, we wouldn't see fish much 

             7    over five years of age in that group.  And what 

             8    we're hoping to do by allowing to harvest some of 

             9    those fish less than 18 inches is overall reduce 

            10    the abundance of the population, increase the 

            11    growth of these fish below 18 inches and maintain 

            12    movement of fish above that 18-inch minimum as we 

            13    had before. 

            14                  So our goals there, as I said, is to 

            15    remove some of those fish, improve the growth of 

            16    remaining fish and maintain that high quality 

            17    angling that we have there now. 

            18                  Under regulation simplification, we 

            19    are proposing to change regulations for smallmouth 

            20    bass on seven reservoirs.  We currently have an 

            21    18-inch minimum which we've had on them since 

            22    1994, and we're proposing to roll that back to the 

            23    statewide limits for largemouth and smallmouth 

            24    bass of 14 inches and five fish. 

            25                  Since we've had that 18-inch minimum 


             1    on these reservoirs, we've been surveying them, 

             2    looking to see if we were seeing any gains under 

             3    the 18-inch minimum, and we just haven't seen any 

             4    benefit.  We were hope ing to see an increase in 

             5    population abundance out there, and we were hoping 

             6    that would lead increased angler catch and also 

             7    with a larger sized population and improved 

             8    reproduction in the population.  We just haven't 

             9    seen that.  They are acting just like they did 

            10    before, under the 14-inch limit.  So we don't see 

            11    any reason, since we're not getting the benefit of 

            12    that, we can simplify the regulations here and 

            13    move back to the 14-inch limit. 

            14                  The final category, regulation 

            15    standardization, we have two small reservoirs in 

            16    the Caddo National Grassland.  We've proposed to 

            17    prohibit the use of trotlines, throw lines and jug 

            18    lines.  Our staffs there are working with the 

            19    National Grasslands' staff which is administered 

            20    by the U.S. Forest Service to improve catfish 

            21    angling.  They have had some regulations 

            22    prohibiting certain means and methods. 

            23                  And we want to go in there and 

            24    standardize those between the two agencies and 

            25    also add the benefit of reducing some of the 


             1    harvest for catfish, restricting it to pole and 

             2    line only and hopefully build up that catfish 

             3    population.

             4                   As far as the public input so far, 

             5    mostly it's been favorable.  For the bass 

             6    regulations, we've contacted the local groups, 

             7    bass groups in these areas.  We've also done some 

             8    mailout survey work for Inks and Sweetwater to get 

             9    a little larger sample of input.  That all was 

            10    mostly favorable. 

            11                  Overall, O.H. Ivie probably has the 

            12    highest profile.  It's one of the better bass 

            13    lakes out in West Texas.  It gets a lot of 

            14    attention.  Anglers will be looking to see what we 

            15    do there. 

            16                  I think most of them recognize we 

            17    need to do something.  They see the problems we're 

            18    having with the small, the slow growing fish.  And 

            19    they think a change certainly is needed there.  We 

            20    may receive some comments on the smallmouth bass 

            21    change. 

            22                  Some anglers may interpret that that 

            23    we're lessening our protection for these fish.  

            24    But I think our rationale has found there that we 

            25    really aren't seeing any benefits from that 18 


             1    inch so we can achieve the same biological 

             2    objectives with the 14 inches. 

             3                  Those are all the changes we are 

             4    proposing.  Now, if you have any questions, I'd be 

             5    certainly happy to answer them. 

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any questions? 

             7                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  You may have 

             8    said and I missed it.  How long has that 18-inch 

             9    been in on the smallmouth --

            10                  MR. KURZAWSKI:  Since 1994.  We do 

            11    have a special project to evaluate that to make 

            12    sure we kept a close look at it. 

            13                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I think it's 

            14    interesting that at the same time we have lakes 

            15    proposing to become more restrictive or in a 

            16    sense, we have some proposed -- we have an 

            17    instance where we've seen it.  It didn't work the 

            18    way we thought it would, so let's go back to being 

            19    more --

            20                  MR. KURZAWSKI:  Over the last few 

            21    years, we've had a number of lakes, some slot 

            22    limit lakes that we've returned to statewide for 

            23    that reason.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I think it's an -- 

            25    interesting that it's all in the same presentation 


             1    that we're trying things, if they don't work, give 

             2    up on them and go back and try it somewhere else.  

             3    Active management.  Good.  Thank you. 

             4                  DR. COOKE:  Mr. Chairman and 

             5    members, my name is Jerry Cooke, Game Branch Chief 

             6    of the Wildlife Division, and I will be presenting 

             7    to you the recommended changes for the statewide 

             8    hunting and fishing proclamation.

             9                  Our normal process in the Wildlife 

            10    division during the summer months is to identify 

            11    issues for your consideration in November.  These 

            12    are issues that we feel are related to the 

            13    Chairman's charges in maximizing hunting 

            14    opportunity, land owner flexibility while 

            15    protecting the wildlife resources for which we are 

            16    all responsible. 

            17                  We've presented these issues to you 

            18    in November to ensure that the changes that we're 

            19    developing were those that you consider 

            20    appropriate and to allow you the opportunity to 

            21    identify issues important to you that would be 

            22    further developed. 

            23                  Also, we will be meeting with the 

            24    MLD TTT Task Force February 5th to continue those 

            25    discussions.  And we hope to continue to use this 


             1    group along with the Hunting Advisory Committee 

             2    and the Private Lands Advisory Committee for 

             3    sounding boards for issues in the future.

             4                  Our first proposal was the result of 

             5    a petition for rule making by ^ Mr. Rampor who 

             6    opened the quail season one week earlier.  We feel 

             7    this will have no either positive or negative 

             8    impact biologically on the quail population.  And 

             9    we would recommend that we place this before the 

            10    public for comment. 

            11                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I would expect that 

            12    will generate some comment in that there is a 

            13    Cadre that is very concerned about quail 

            14    populations, et cetera.  I'm not saying that I 

            15    agree with them, but I'm just saying --

            16                  DR. COOKE:  The substantial fraction 

            17    of the comments that I've had in the X number of 

            18    years that I've been here is that it opens too 

            19    early now.  But rather than tell the petitioner 

            20    that, we'll let the public tell him that. 

            21                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Well, you 

            22    know, the primary argument in favor of doing it 

            23    was to prevent the quail season and the deer 

            24    season from opening on the same weekend which 

            25    occurs every maybe three or four years and 


             1    prevents the quail hunters from being -- or people 

             2    from being able to do both on opening day.

             3                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Two-day weekend.

             4                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  One on one day 

             5    and one on the other.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  One before noon and 

             7    one after.  I've done that.  Anyway, I think -- I 

             8    guess one thing that we should -- I know we've 

             9    talked about this before.  When we go forward with 

            10    the things such as this, make it clear that this 

            11    is, you know, not necessarily a position the 

            12    Department is taking but a topic for discussion.

            13                  DR. COOKE:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  

            14    A proposal that is part of the rule review process 

            15    but one that would potentially affect many hunters 

            16    is changing the proof of sex of the turkeys.  And 

            17    this was another comment from the public, but it 

            18    sounds like a good one. 

            19                  A beard on a turkey is not a good 

            20    indicator of sex.  There's a substantial fraction 

            21    of hens who will have a beard.  And maintaining 

            22    the beard intact makes it difficult to maintain a 

            23    turkey in a very sanitary condition following 

            24    cleaning.  So to address this, we would propose to 

            25    change the proof of sex, very similar to what we 


             1    have for a pheasant, which is to have one leg and 

             2    a spur attached to the turkey and accompanying the 

             3    turkey would be a patch of skin with breast 

             4    feathers attached to the skin because this would 

             5    be proof positive.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  What does the skin 

             7    with feathers accomplish? 

             8                  DR. COOKE:  Jakes sometimes don't 

             9    have a spur developed very well at all, but the 

            10    breast feathers will positively identify it as a 

            11    gobbler or a hen.  We could probably do it with a 

            12    spur alone.  But if we're going to lay it out to 

            13    change it, let's change it ideally and see what 

            14    the comments are, if you agree.

            15                  In Houston, Rusk, Smith, Upshur and 

            16    Wood --

            17                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Maybe that could be 

            18    an alternative to just having the beard attached?  

            19    Never mind. 

            20                  DR. COOKE:  You have very broad 

            21    flexibility, sir, in your adoptions.

            22                  In Houston, Rusk, Smith, Upsher and 

            23    Wood Counties, we propose a standard spring season 

            24    for eastern wild turkeys.  This would be the 

            25    Monday nearest April 14th, for 14 days, one 


             1    gobbler in the bag, shotgun, archery or crossbow 

             2    would be the only legal means, no baiting would be 

             3    allowed and check stations would be required in 

             4    the counties. 

             5                  This would raise to 37 the number of 

             6    counties that have an Easter wild turkey season 

             7    should it be adopted.  We propose a Javelina 

             8    season in Archer County.  It would be October 1 

             9    through the last Sunday in February two Javelina 

            10    in the bag.  All other aspects of the regulation 

            11    would be similar to surrounding counties that have 

            12    an open Javelina season. 

            13                  Currently, antlerless and spike-buck 

            14    control -- deer control permits are a valid during 

            15    the period in which any regular season is open on 

            16    a property.  The purpose of ADCP is to allow a 

            17    landowner to reduce a deer herd that imminently 

            18    endangers or itself or its habitat and where 

            19    conventional hunting would not be effective to 

            20    accomplish the reduction. 

            21                  Because this focus in most instances 

            22    is at cross-purposes for the focus of Level 2 and 

            23    Level 3 MLDPs where these population conditions 

            24    would not be expected to exist, populations with 

            25    the greatest need for harvest are provided only in 


             1    the county's general season, which is much 

             2    shorter, to accomplish a much more difficult 

             3    harvest goal at a time later than would be optimal 

             4    for maximizing the benefit of the habitats.  This 

             5    proposal would establish a period in which ADCPs 

             6    are valid, which would be the Saturday nearest 

             7    September 30th through the last day of any open 

             8    season on the property. 

             9                  In November we discussed with you 

            10    the possibility of proposing that muzzle loaders 

            11    using U.S. Forest Service lands, Corps of 

            12    Engineers, Trinity River Authority lands or Sabine 

            13    River Authority lands would be required to have an 

            14    MLD permit for their hunts. 

            15                  Subsequent investigations by our 

            16    staff and the staffs of those agencies that I just 

            17    mentioned and our law enforcement Division has 

            18    determined that this is not a problem.  It was a 

            19    concern beforehand, but they believe that it would 

            20    be inappropriate for the restriction on them at 

            21    this time.  And we would withdraw this proposal to 

            22    be included in January. 

            23                  In Fannin, Hunt and Rains County, we 

            24    would provide LAMPS permits for landowners in 

            25    those counties, there being no other change in the 


             1    regulations.  Fourteen counties north of the 

             2    Edwards plateau we would add one doe to the bag 

             3    and provide them a 14-day antlerless and 

             4    spike-buck season following the general season.  

             5    These counties were previously four deer, no more 

             6    than two bucks.  So we will be adding one doe.

             7                  We have two proposals from South 

             8    Texas in the 12 counties in yellow will be moving 

             9    to a five-deer no more than a three-buck bag and 

            10    provide the South Texas 14-day antlerless and 

            11    spike-buck late season in those counties.  And 

            12    also in all the counties in yellow, we would 

            13    change the opening date to the first Saturday in 

            14    November, which would provide a statewide opener 

            15    for white-tailed deer in Texas.

            16                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Whereas, currently 

            17    there's two different opening days? 

            18                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  This would 

            19    also include turkeys, not just white tail but 

            20    everything that's valid in fall season.

            21                  This proposal would ensure that 

            22    landowners and hunters are equally protected from 

            23    risk if they are not in violation.  Currently, a 

            24    hunter is required to have an MLD permit to hunt 

            25    deer on an MLD property. 


             1                  This proposed change would make it a 

             2    violation for a landowner to allow hunting on a 

             3    property, an MLD property without issuing the 

             4    permits to the hunters and would require a daily 

             5    log to be kept, which is basically a receipt, so 

             6    that if the permits had been issued to the hunter, 

             7    the hunter is liable for not using; if the permits 

             8    were not issued to the hunter, then the landowner 

             9    would be liable for the lack of issuance. 

            10                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Let me ask on this.  

            11    Is it -- refresh my memory.  Is it only the 

            12    landowner that can apply for an MLD or --

            13                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  Or his agent. 

            14                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Or his agent.

            15                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  And the 

            16    wording of the regulation is landowner or agent.

            17                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So it's a lessee.  

            18    It's something that would be -- basically, it 

            19    would be the permit holder rather than landowner.  

            20    Is that --

            21                  DR. COOKE:  The person in violation 

            22    would be the one liable.

            23                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  The permit holder? 

            24                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  Thank you.  

            25    That was a part of the proposal. 


             1                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Now, Jerry, is 

             2    this --

             3                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Actually your 

             4    wording in the slide is different than your 

             5    proposal.  Because the permit holder is not the 

             6    landowner, it will not be the landowner that's in 

             7    violation? 

             8                  DR. COOKE:  It would be whoever is 

             9    responsible for the property.  If you as a 

            10    landowner have assigned an agent to run the hunt, 

            11    they have signed fir the permits.  They're 

            12    responsible for issuing them to the hunters.

            13                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  The permit holder.

            14                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  So in that 

            15    instance, this slide is incorrect as compared to 

            16    the actual proposal.

            17                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Is this a 

            18    different log than we have to keep now? 

            19                  DR. COOKE:  Yes.  This would 

            20    basically be a receipt so the landowner could 

            21    prove he's issued a permit to the hunter or the 

            22    hunter could prove that one was not issued.  

            23    Otherwise, it would never even come into play 

            24    unless a violation took place.

            25                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So it's the log -- 


             1    there's a log for issuance and then a log for use 

             2    of the permit? 

             3                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  I mean, 

             4    there's a log currently.

             5                  DR. COOKE:  David?  I don't believe 

             6    so.  There's not a log required.  That was 

             7    required by statute, but it was repealed in '97.  

             8    I mean, routinely landowners maintain a log of 

             9    their own, but it's not required by our 

            10    regulations or by our law.

            11                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So this log, it 

            12    would not be a log of actual kill,.  It would be a 

            13    log of issuance? 

            14                  DR. COOKE:  Permit issuance.  

            15    Correct. 

            16                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Okay.  Now, would 

            17    that, therefore, mean that once it's issued, the 

            18    permit could no longer be transferable? 

            19                  DR. COOKE:  No.  It could be 

            20    returned to the landowner.

            21                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  If you issue it to 

            22    me, I can't give it to him?  I'd have to give it 

            23    back to you? 

            24                  DR. COOKE:  I don't think that I've 

            25    thought about that, to be very fair.  We were 


             1    making provisions for the hunter to return the 

             2    permit to the landowner or the agent, whoever that 

             3    may be, through the log, so it's essentially a 

             4    receipt arrangement.

             5                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  So I 

             6    understand, a lessee would be an agent?

             7                  DR. COOKE:  Only if the landowner 

             8    appointed him to be so. 

             9                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Whoever applies for 

            10    the permit and receives it is the person we're 

            11    talking about having this burden?

            12                  DR. COOKE:  Of issuing to the 

            13    hunter. 

            14                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Permit holder.

            15                  DR. COOKE:  The permit holder.

            16                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And what would be 

            17    the penalty?  What kind of violation would it be?  

            18    What kind of penalty? 

            19                  DR. COOKE:  David?  I'm sorry, Jim.

            20                  MR. ROBERTSON:  Jim Robertson, 

            21    Director of the Law Enforcement Division.  Of 

            22    course, the violation would be a Class C 

            23    misdemeanor, maximum fine of $500. 

            24                  But what we're seeing here and what 

            25    we've dealt with in the past is lessees that have 


             1    permits that do not issue them to hunters.  

             2    Hunters leave the property, not knowing that they 

             3    should have had an MLD.

             4                  What this process will do will 

             5    absolutely show that the person responsible for 

             6    the MLD program on that property will issue the 

             7    permit.  If it's not utilized, the hunter will 

             8    give it back, and there will be a transaction 

             9    there.  But if the hunter does use it, then he's 

            10    got the MLD permit in hand.  And he attaches it to 

            11    the deer, and everything is fine, so you don't 

            12    have this unsuspecting person that could violate a 

            13    regulation, not knowing that he should have had 

            14    that.  And that's the purpose of the law. 

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I'm aware of one 

            16    case where that's happened rather egregious, that 

            17    it was numerous transgressions by the same permit 

            18    holder in the same year.  Have we had other 

            19    problems with this elsewhere? 

            20                  MR. ROBERTSON:  We have had other 

            21    cases where other people have harvested deer on 

            22    MLD properties without the permits but not near as 

            23    heinous as the one case that you've mentioned.  By 

            24    the way, that one is still being adjudicated.

            25                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Well, Jerry, you 


             1    have a meeting February 5th with the task force? 

             2                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  I'm sure we'll 

             3    have input.

             4                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  That's the perfect 

             5    time for enlightenment.

             6                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Will that 

             7    meeting be here? 

             8                  DR. COOKE:  It will be here in this 

             9    room. 

            10                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thanks.

            11                  DR. COOKE:  Thanks, Jim.

            12                  At the November Commission meeting 

            13    we were directed to investigate the possibility of 

            14    allowing hunters to take more than one buck from 

            15    the one buck limit compartment in Texas.  This 

            16    compartment exists because of severe harvest 

            17    pressure on bucks.  For example, it's not unusual 

            18    in counties for -- from 50 to 65 percent of the 

            19    bucks harvested in a given year to be yearlings, 

            20    which is a very intensive harvest rate.  In the 

            21    past providing another buck in the bag has been 

            22    linked to reductions in buck harvest rates. 

            23                  For example, in those 11 counties in 

            24    southeast Texas, when their harvest rate fell 

            25    below 25 to 30 percent, we allowed another buck in 


             1    their bag.  However, staff proposes an experiment 

             2    which may increase opportunity without 

             3    significantly impacting harvest rates.  IH-35 will 

             4    be shown on the following maps because it provides 

             5    a natural break between the peaks and spatial 

             6    distributions. 

             7                  The map shows two circles.  These 

             8    circles are common, whether you're looking at a 

             9    map of a number of hunters in Texas in this 

            10    compartment, the number of hunter days, the buck 

            11    harvest, or the white-tailed deer population.  

            12    Using these data as a guide and --

            13                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I'm sorry.  Go back 

            14    to your circles.  Tell me again what they 

            15    represent. 

            16                  DR. COOKE:  If you're looking at a 

            17    spatial distribution, these circles represent 

            18    hills in that spatial distribution.  In other 

            19    words, a very high concentration of hunters, 

            20    hunter days, bucks harvested in the white-tail 

            21    deer population itself.

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So within the red 

            23    counties those are the two hot zones for those 

            24    statistics? 

            25                  DR. COOKE:  Hot zones.  And there's 


             1    a very distinct deep valley between them that I-35 

             2    essentially runs through.  What we would propose 

             3    is to create two one-buck compartments using the 

             4    counties that lie along I-35, the entire county, 

             5    and those counties east would represent one 

             6    compartment, and the counties west of those 

             7    counties would represent a second.  This would 

             8    allow a hunter to take one buck from the western 

             9    zone, for lack of a better term, and take one buck 

            10    from the eastern zone.  And we'll see what the 

            11    comment is from there.

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And you would 

            13    propose to use entire counties rather than east 

            14    and west of I-35? 

            15                  DR. COOKE:  Correct.  There are 

            16    counties in the Edwards plateau where west of the 

            17    county are four/two -- well, five now -- five/two.  

            18    Excuse me.  I'm having trouble getting my own bags 

            19    straight -- and a one buck limit to the east.  And 

            20    in those counties only the eastern portion would 

            21    go into the compartment.  That's why we chose to 

            22    go east because we could use all the counties on 

            23    I-35 to go into a reasonably consistent 

            24    compartment.

            25                  Another proposal is the potential to 


             1    expand the youth-only season for deer and turkey 

             2    for modern firearms during the weekends of October 

             3    and January.  Currently youth hunts can be 

             4    conducted by archers during October, muzzle 

             5    loaders during January and with modern firearms on 

             6    Level 2 and Level 3 MDL properties during both 

             7    periods and, of course, during any weekend in the 

             8    general season. 

             9                  This proposal would not affect any 

            10    of these opportunities currently available.  

            11    However, there are -- there is no potential for 

            12    landowners who are not participating in any of 

            13    these special seasons or permit options to expand 

            14    youth hunts during October and January. 

            15                  The original treatment of this issue 

            16    identified all weekends of October and three 

            17    weekends of January as potentially available for 

            18    this expansion.  The purpose of the public 

            19    comment -- for the purposes of public comment nd 

            20    to provide the Commission the broadest latitude 

            21    for possible adoptions, we will leave this 

            22    proposal as it is unless you otherwise direct us. 

            23                  There is concern among some field 

            24    staff that overharvest of either bucks, does, or 

            25    both could result in parts of Texas where deer 


             1    populations are not strong or where hunting 

             2    pressure currently is intense, depending, of 

             3    course, on how the proposal is eventually adopted. 

             4                  Also, there will probably be 

             5    opposition to expansion -- to expanding the youth 

             6    season to additional weekends in October by 

             7    archers.

             8                  To show the impact of the current 

             9    youth weekend, shows in 1996 -- and this is the 

            10    chronology of license purchases by individuals 

            11    younger than 17 because this is the year before 

            12    there was any organized youth hunting at all in 

            13    Texas.  You'll see there's a peak at the dove 

            14    opening -- just before the dove opening, and 

            15    there's a peak in the north zone deer opening. 

            16                  In 1999, you'll see there's still a 

            17    peak for the doe opening.  There's still a peak 

            18    for the north zone opening, but there's a distinct 

            19    peak, it's actually stronger, just before the 

            20    opening of the current youth season.  This 

            21    difference represents about 17.7 percent increase 

            22    in the sale of licenses to youth.  They don't just 

            23    buy licenses.  They use them. 

            24                  You can see the peaks of the harvest 

            25    reported by youth in our big game survey to show 


             1    the opening of the youth season, the opening of 

             2    the north part of the deer season, Thanksgiving, 

             3    Christmas are all heavily used. 

             4                  At the November meeting, we 

             5    discussed migratory proposals, however, at that 

             6    time, we were simply asking permission --

             7                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Can we back up 

             8    before we move on?  Basically, on this what we're 

             9    proposing is, rather than having one weekend of a 

            10    youth season, having as much as -- as many as 

            11    seven or -- I guess, if October falls right, you 

            12    would have five weekends? 

            13                  DR. COOKE:  Up to that.  In other 

            14    words, the proposal, the proposal is to expand the 

            15    youth weekend.  And these are the potential areas 

            16    for expansion, up to that maximum.

            17                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Okay.  Up to that.  

            18    I guess my gut instinct is going from one youth 

            19    weekend to seven or eight is probably too big a 

            20    jump.  I don't know.  I don't know whether there 

            21    is any discussion from anyone else.  But as 

            22    opposed to it kind of becoming an annual 

            23    traditional event, it becomes so diluted that it 

            24    kind of loses some meaning.  But maybe that's too 

            25    big an increment to take on some something that 


             1    we're not sure where the right place is. 

             2                  DR. COOKE:  If --

             3                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I'd almost be in the 

             4    position of having not done enough than saying, 

             5    oops, now I feel like we need to take -- as a 

             6    Department, take something back from the youth. 

             7                  DR. COOKE:  Right.  The spirit of 

             8    the proposal would be if you added one weekend, it 

             9    would have to be one of those in order to provide 

            10    this new opportunity.

            11                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So once again, the 

            12    slide is not really reflective because it says 

            13    include all of the weekends --

            14                  DR. COOKE:  As potential for 

            15    expansion.  Correct.  In that instance -- if I can 

            16    figure out how to make this work --

            17                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  What you're 

            18    saying is we could pick any one of those weekends 

            19    or all of them.

            20                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  We could add from 

            21    those or add all of them? 

            22                  DR. COOKE:  Yes.  Or do nothing. 

            23                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  That's the way 

            24    it will be published? 

            25                  DR. COOKE:  That's the way it will 


             1    be published. 

             2                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Well, you 

             3    know, Jerry, I don't think that you can have too 

             4    many because I think these kids are our future.  

             5    And we had three youth hunts this year, and I wish 

             6    we had had more, but we just ran out of time.  And 

             7    there's so much competition for the kids' time 

             8    that if -- I'm sure TWA would echo that, too, that 

             9    anything we can do to get these kids set, I'm 

            10    totally in favor of that. 

            11                  DR. COOKE:  At the November 

            12    Commission meeting, we laid out migratory changes 

            13    as well.  But at that time we were asking 

            14    permission to take those proposals to public 

            15    hearing for comment.  And there will not be 

            16    discussion at this time unless you wish to discuss 

            17    any items of those.

            18                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  The only thing of 

            19    that regard I think I'd add is, as I recall that 

            20    particular discussion, the potential change of the 

            21    dove late season was adding some days at the front 

            22    of end of it, is what the slides read.  And I 

            23    think on further thought on my part, as well as 

            24    all the feedback I've gotten from two dozen 

            25    different comments just casually to me, is that 


             1    strong support but preference for the extra days 

             2    to be added on the end of the late season, 

             3    especially in South Texas, where people feel it 

             4    would be more beneficial and in lean quail years 

             5    and provide -- take some pressure off in corporate 

             6    hunting situations where they're committed to 

             7    entertain people for a weekend, but it gives them 

             8    something to focus them on other than only quail. 

             9                  In fact, over half the people that 

            10    have said something to me positive about expanding 

            11    the late dove season, it's been because they see, 

            12    as much as it increased hunter opportunity, a way 

            13    to alleviate pressure on quail populations in 

            14    years that they're worried about them.

            15                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I want to add 

            16    something to that because it's a little different.  

            17    The parents and children that I've talked to 

            18    regarding the change asked if -- I thought it was 

            19    a pretty good question.  Why don't they do the 

            20    dove season and the late season according to what 

            21    the public school Christmas vacation is, or more 

            22    or less what the public school Christmas vacation 

            23    is?

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Is that uniform 

            25    statewide? 


             1                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Within a few 

             2    days, I'd say so.  And the private schools kind of 

             3    track with that, not perfectly, but close. 

             4                  DR. COOKE:  Again, this proposal was 

             5    related to south zone only.  Is that still --

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I believe that's 

             7    what -- I don't remember whether that proposal was 

             8    related to south and central zone. 

             9                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I think it was. 

            10                  DR. COOKE:  It was for only the 

            11    south zone.  It could be published more generally 

            12    if you desire.

            13                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Obviously, we don't 

            14    have a late season in the north zone.  We do in 

            15    the central zone, and I don't remember what the 

            16    November proposal was in that regard.

            17                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I think it 

            18    was -- I think I remember the proposed change 

            19    being roughly December 15th to January whatever it 

            20    is currently, wasn't it? 

            21                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Well, it currently 

            22    starts December 26th.

            23                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Right. 

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  The day after 

            25    Christmas.


             1                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Right. 

             2                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And as I recall, in 

             3    November the proposal to take to the public for 

             4    comment was that it go from the 60 days/15 bag to 

             5    70 days/12 bird bag, take the extra ten days and 

             6    add them on the front end of that, in other words, 

             7    start the 16th.  And all the comment I've had is 

             8    don't do that, start on the 26th and add them in 

             9    January.  That's just the feedback I've gotten. 

            10                  MR. SANSOM:  I agree with that.  The 

            11    other issue that I think that we need to consider 

            12    here is that if you don't propose it uniform, then 

            13    you could end up in a situation where you have 

            14    different bag limits and seasons for the different 

            15    zones.  And we discussed ideally having the same 

            16    number of days in the same bag statewide if we 

            17    could. 

            18                  DR. COOKE:  It could be taken for 

            19    public comment in that way, any way you choose 

            20    because it has not been published as of yet.  

            21    Okay. 

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And I'd be 

            23    interested in what the Hunting Advisory Committee 

            24    feedback on these issues was. 

            25                  DR. COOKE:  We intend to bring this 


             1    up to the Hunting Advisory Committee later.

             2                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And private lands, 

             3    too. 

             4                  DR. COOKE:  The recommended motion 

             5    is the Regulations Committee of the Parks and 

             6    Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish 

             7    the proposed 2001-2002 Statewide Hunting and 

             8    Fishing Proclamation contained in Exhibit A, with 

             9    changes, in the Texas Register for public comment. 

            10                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval 

            11    of the recommendation. 

            12                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Second.

            13                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Further questions, 

            14    discussion?  All in favor?  Any opposed?  Thank 

            15    you.

            16                      (Motion passed unanimously.)

            17       AGENDA ITEM NO. 5:  ACTION - AMENDMENTS TO THE 


            19       ACTIVITIES ON STATE PARKS.

            20                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Public Lands Hunting 

            21    Proclamation.  Herb? 

            22                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Good afternoon, 

            23    Mr. Chairman and members of the Regulations 

            24    Committee.  My name is Herb Kothmann, and I'm the 

            25    Director of Public Hunts.  I will be presenting 


             1    proposed changes to the Public Lands Proclamation 

             2    and the 2001-2002 public hunts on state park 

             3    lands. 

             4                  The first portion of this 

             5    presentation deals with the proposed changes to 

             6    the Public Lands Proclamation.  Staff proposes to 

             7    update the application section to clarify the 

             8    units of public hunting land to which the rules 

             9    apply.  This would include adding two recently 

            10    acquired units, Lake McClellan Recreation Area 

            11    which is a U.S. Forest Service area in the 

            12    Panhandle and the Nannie Stringfellow WMA near 

            13    Houston in East Texas near the Peach Point area. 

            14                  Current rules waive the access 

            15    permit requirement for a nonhunting adult who is 

            16    assisting a permitted minor in a youth-only hunt.  

            17    This waiver of access permit requirement for an 

            18    adult is not in compliance with the terms of our 

            19    public hunting lease agreements with cooperating 

            20    landowners.  The discrepancy in the access permit 

            21    requirements has become a problem with a 

            22    significant expansion of the youth-only hunting 

            23    seasons and the youth-only hunt days on the public 

            24    hunting lands. 

            25                  Staff proposes to standardize the 


             1    access permit requirement on our public hunting 

             2    lands for adults supervising minors in youth-only 

             3    hunts.  The proposed change would require all 

             4    supervising adults to possess a valid access 

             5    permit.

             6                  Staff proposes a change which would 

             7    allow the Department to retain application fees 

             8    submitted with invalid applications for a special 

             9    permit.  This change is needed to defray the costs 

            10    of handling applications and be more compatible 

            11    with the current procedures for processing 

            12    applications and handling revenue received in the 

            13    mail. 

            14                  Revenue is now removed from the 

            15    incoming mail in the mail room and immediately 

            16    deposited; therefore, it is no longer possible to 

            17    return the personal checks along with the invalid 

            18    applications to the applicant.  The cost of making 

            19    a refund under the current system is generally 

            20    several times larger than the $2 for individual 

            21    application fee.

            22                  Some public hunts for small game are 

            23    conducted by regular permit, which means a daily 

            24    permit.  The $10 regular permit fee is waived for 

            25    youth and for persons who possess the $40 annual 


             1    public hunting permit.  However, current rules 

             2    require that all participants in these hunts be 

             3    issued a regular permit.  This delays the check-in 

             4    procedure and creates unnecessary paperwork. 

             5                  Consequently, staff proposes to 

             6    waive this requirement for issuance of a regular 

             7    permit to individuals who already possess the 

             8    annual public hunting permit on these hunts and to 

             9    the youth under their supervision.  The proposed 

            10    change would streamline the check-in procedures by 

            11    eliminating the need to unnecessarily issue a 

            12    second permit to many participants.

            13                  Staff proposes a change to clarify 

            14    that preference points of a selected applicant 

            15    will not be reinstated if, due to an error in 

            16    processing applications, an application should be 

            17    awarded a public hunt other than the one they 

            18    applied for and chooses to participate in that 

            19    hunt.  On occasion, an error is made in computer 

            20    entry of the hunt category code or the hunt date 

            21    code from the handwritten applications we process. 

            22                  However, the applicant often wishes 

            23    to accept the hunt that they were drawn for in the 

            24    majority of cases.  Our current rules state that 

            25    if they were awarded a hunt other than the one 


             1    they had indicated on our application as 

             2    acceptable, we have to reinstate their preference 

             3    points.  This would allow us to award that 

             4    selected hunter the hunt he was erroneously 

             5    awarded.  These would be just a few cases, but it 

             6    would keep our customers happy.

             7                  Staff proposes to clarify that all 

             8    participants in public hunts conducted under the 

             9    streamlined regular permit issued procedures must 

            10    comply with the check-in and check-out 

            11    requirements.  This is just a tweaking of a 

            12    verbiage here.  Our current rules state that 

            13    everybody hunting under a regular permit must 

            14    check in and check out.  We have some people with 

            15    the APH permit and not the regular permit.  We 

            16    simply want everybody to participate in the 

            17    check-in and check-out. 

            18                  Staff proposes to establish hunter 

            19    education training requirements for youth under 

            20    age 17 who participate in public hunts by special 

            21    permit.  These are our drawn hunts.  Staff has 

            22    become concerned with the increasing number of 

            23    very young children, some as young as two years of 

            24    age who apply and are selected in the public hunt 

            25    drawings.  For instance, this past season we had 


             1    198 applicants for drawn hunts that were under 

             2    eight years of age.  Thirty-three of those youths 

             3    were drawn for a hunt, five of which were under 

             4    six years of age. 

             5                  Approximately only 6,000 big game 

             6    hunt positions are awarded each year through the 

             7    public hunt drawings, among over 70,000 

             8    applicants.  To promote the safety of all 

             9    participants in these drawn hunts and more 

            10    effectively utilize the limited number of special 

            11    permits, staff proposes to require youth to 

            12    possess documentation of successful completion of 

            13    hunter education training.  That would be either 

            14    the full certification of going through the hunter 

            15    safety training course, or, if they're under 12 

            16    years of age, they get and -- and they 

            17    successfully complete it, they can get this 

            18    certificate of successful completion.  This is not 

            19    certification, but this authorizes them to hunt 

            20    without adult supervision under our state laws.

            21                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Herb, let's stop 

            22    here and talk about this, please.  If a child gets 

            23    that second permit, he can get it -- back up.

            24                  In order to be certified, you have 

            25    to be 12 to take the course? 


             1                  MR. KOTHMANN:  That's correct.

             2                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So children under 12 

             3    cannot be certified.

             4                  MR. KOTHMANN:  That's correct.

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  But what you just 

             6    showed us is an alternative that a child under 12 

             7    can do.  But once he reaches the age of 12, he 

             8    still has to go take that course to get to be --

             9                  MR. KOTHMANN:  To be certified.

            10                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  To be certified, 

            11    which he has to be certified by the time he 

            12    reaches age 18 to legally hunt.

            13                  MR. KOTHMANN:  That's correct.

            14                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  With or without an 

            15    adult?  Is that --

            16                  MR. KOTHMANN:  I'm told by our 

            17    hunter education folks that generally kids that 

            18    are issued this certification of successful 

            19    completion are probably nine years of age or 

            20    older.  There is not a fixed age minimum here.

            21                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I'm -- yeah.  One 

            22    thing that's interesting to me is, I have three 

            23    kids under 15, and this is the first time I never 

            24    knew that existed.  But it's kind of one thing 

            25    that's -- I don't think it's well publicized at 


             1    all.  I think most people, should we pass this, 

             2    will say, well, then the kid has got to be 12 

             3    years old because they won't know that exists.  

             4    And we'll be throwing out of the youth deal all 

             5    the kids that are under 12.

             6                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Is the concern 

             7    that some of these that are not really being drawn 

             8    for youth, and it's a subterfuge, or is it you're 

             9    concerned about the safety? 

            10                  MR. KOTHMANN:  We're concerned about 

            11    having kids out there that are not of the physical 

            12    development or hand-eye coordination to be 

            13    responsible for handling a large caliber rifle 

            14    that they're supposedly using on that drawn hunt.

            15                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Do we know that 

            16    they're out there, Herb, or is it because -- go 

            17    back to Ernie's question.  Do we think that 

            18    someone is trying to get a permit for somebody 

            19    that, as I see here, is one year of age?  Do we 

            20    really think that one-year-olds are out there 

            21    or --

            22                  MR. KOTHMANN:  We've had a 

            23    two-year-old out.  I don't know that we've had a 

            24    one-year-old.  But currently there is no minimum 

            25    age applied.


             1                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  But are they 

             2    there, is my question.  I understand they're 

             3    selected.  Are they physically there?  Do we know 

             4    that? 

             5                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Yes. 

             6                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  They are? 

             7                  MR. KOTHMANN:  This proposal was 

             8    developed by the area manager in our Chaparral 

             9    Wildlife Area that brought it to my attention and 

            10    asked for it.

            11                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Are all of these 

            12    drawn hunts deer?  Are some of them smaller game? 

            13                  MR. KOTHMANN:  All of these are big 

            14    game, either deer, feral hog, alligator.  

            15    Alligator, I think you'd have as much concern 

            16    about as youth as anything.  Turkey would be the 

            17    only what you might call small game.  Basically, 

            18    you're talking big game. 

            19                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Is there a 

            20    problem?  And if so, what is the problem? 

            21                  MR. KOTHMANN:  The problem is an 

            22    increasing number of very small kids that, for all 

            23    appearances sake, are not capable of utilizing 

            24    that opportunity that we're awarding, a very 

            25    limited opportunity. 


             1                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  As a result of 

             2    that, what has happened to make it a concern, I 

             3    guess is what I'm asking? 

             4                  MR. KOTHMANN:  We've had more 

             5    applying in the drawings, more being selected.  I 

             6    think one of the reasons, possibly, we're seeing 

             7    more applicants is that the preference points 

             8    interest.  People, almost from the date of birth, 

             9    are trying to get their kids on the applications 

            10    with them, accrue preference points so when they 

            11    get into their teens --

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  When they get old 

            13    enough, they have a chance to get drawn, increased  

            14    chance to get drawn.

            15                  MR. KOTHMANN:  And we may want to 

            16    consider some way to allow that youth to continue 

            17    to accrue preference points but not be eligible 

            18    until they qualify.

            19                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  If we do want to 

            20    create an age cutoff, I'd rather just go ahead and 

            21    do it by saying you have to be X years old to 

            22    apply rather than saying that you have to get this 

            23    secondary Hunter Education Certificate.  Because 

            24    that's just an impediment to getting the kid -- am 

            25    I going to find a class, haul my kid to it and in 


             1    two years are going to have to go back and do it 

             2    again with him because then he's 12, and he can 

             3    get the real thing? 

             4                  I think that's a barrier to entry.  

             5    I agree.  Two years old is a little over the top.  

             6    But if we want to say you have to be six or seven 

             7    or eight or whatever it is, I think it would be 

             8    far better to just straightforward say you cannot 

             9    apply for deer, alligator, feral hog until you're 

            10    eight years old or whatever the right number is. 

            11                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Incidentally, this 

            12    bar chart shows from the past years of public hunt 

            13    drawings the number of applicants that were under 

            14    age 17 by year of age.  And you can see that it's 

            15    very small until you get up to about the eight or 

            16    nine years of age, and then it really picks up. 

            17                  This -- there were a total of 3,625 

            18    youths under age 17 that applied in our public 

            19    hunt drawings this past year.

            20                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  How many? 

            21                  MR. KOTHMANN:  3,625.  They were 

            22    ages two through 16.  We did not have a one year 

            23    old this year.

            24                  Restriction of these applicants to 

            25    those age eight or older would have kept 198 or 5 


             1    percent of these youth from entering the drawing 

             2    this year.  And 33 of those youths were drawn this 

             3    year of those 198 that were on -- that were eight 

             4    or -- restriction to age nine would have kept 366 

             5    or 10 percent of the youth from entering the 

             6    drawing. 

             7                  So you're speaking about a fairly 

             8    small section of the youth, but it's important, 

             9    with all the emphasis on attracting youth to 

            10    hunting, that we study, I think very closely, 

            11    before we step into this thing.

            12                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Are they now 

            13    required to be with an adult?  They are, are they 

            14    not? 

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Yes, they are. 

            16                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  There's a lot 

            17    of fathers that take six and eight-year-olds out 

            18    and hunt, so I mean I don't think you want to make 

            19    it any lower than -- I mean any higher than eight. 

            20                  MR. KOTHMANN:  The original proposal 

            21    that was sent in from the field from Chaparral did 

            22    suggest a fixed age of eight.  The person read our 

            23    news release yesterday and phoned me back and was 

            24    quite dissatisfied with the proposed tack that we 

            25    have taken because he thought it would be a 


             1    restriction on kids coming down and participating 

             2    without having that certification or that 

             3    documentation of successful completion, for what 

             4    it's worth. 

             5                  I mean, this -- the proposal we put 

             6    forth, keying on hunter certification or 

             7    documentation is virtually exactly what Louisiana, 

             8    the State of Louisiana has in their public 

             9    requirements.

            10                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  That's enough reason 

            11    to do it different.

            12                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Well, why not 

            13    make it eight years and have anybody below that be 

            14    able to earn points but not to get drawn, if 

            15    they're doing it for that reason, to earn 

            16    preference points?  I mean, if there is any 

            17    advantage to that.  I don't know if there is or 

            18    not, any desire for that. 

            19                  MR. KOTHMANN:  And it would be eight 

            20    at the time of application in order for our 

            21    computer to check if it's valid or invalid. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Seven is first 

            23    grade, more or less? 

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Six is first grade.  

            25    Seven is second grade, typical. 


             1                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  But this is 

             2    only applicable to hunts on public --

             3                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Only to our 

             4    departmental drawn public hunts.  This restriction 

             5    would not apply to our APH permit hunts, Type 2 

             6    hunts as some people call them, under the annual 

             7    permit or the daily permitted hunts.  These are 

             8    only the 6,000 drawn positions, roughly, that we 

             9    award each year.

            10                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Herb, excuse 

            11    me.  But would you just give me, then, what would 

            12    be the publicly-stated reason for us making this 

            13    restriction? 

            14                  MR. KOTHMANN:  I think certainly 

            15    safety is something that we could put at the very 

            16    top when we're having very young kids out there 

            17    handling large bore rifles and a group of people 

            18    who report to these check stations for these 

            19    hunts.  To me, utilization of a precious, limited 

            20    commodity, the only 6,000 positions that we have 

            21    to somebody that we feel is really capable of 

            22    utilizing those. 

            23                  I would say that we question the 

            24    veracity of some of the hunt members, but it 

            25    appears that our four and five-year-olds have had 


             1    equally good marksmanship to what the elder --

             2                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Now, you get 

             3    to the subterfuge that I was wondering about to 

             4    begin with. 

             5                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  My concern just 

             6    is impression, just what the impression is.  As 

             7    the Chairman said earlier, having another 

             8    certificate, I think, is confusing.  And I just 

             9    think we want to be real careful in what we say.  

            10    Granted, it's for the -- for public lands.  But I 

            11    think we want to be very careful that we're not 

            12    sending a message that we don't want youth 

            13    involved.  And I think we're all having a 

            14    challenge here trying to grasp just what this is 

            15    and what the purpose is.

            16                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Is anyone 

            17    uncomfortable with the approach of saying seven or 

            18    eight years and older, you have to be at least 

            19    that age to apply for a big game hunt? 

            20                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I just can't 

            21    imagine being -- and I shot at a very young age.  

            22    Seven is as young as I would be comfortable with. 

            23                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  That's how old I 

            24    was.

            25                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Most of the 


             1    programs I'm familiar with and have been over the 

             2    years sort of use eight as a breaking point.  I've 

             3    worked and handled youth programs for 30 years, 

             4    and generally this is the break that was used as 

             5    far as program activities are concerned.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  If we say eight and 

             7    older, we're cutting, what, maybe 6 percent of the 

             8    number out. 

             9                  MR. KOTHMANN:  5 percent.  If you 

            10    had a minimum of eight to qualify, you would 

            11    eliminate 5 percent of what we had apply this year 

            12    under these -- this circumstance.

            13                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  When is the 

            14    application made? 

            15                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Applications are made 

            16    in late summer, generally starting about the 

            17    middle of July.  And they will continue up 

            18    until -- well, for deer hunts, up until about the 

            19    first of September or early September.  Of course, 

            20    some of the later hunts, feral hog and such that 

            21    occur in the spring, turkey hunts, and you have 

            22    Christmas. 

            23                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Let me tell you 

            24    something.  David Langford?  David?  I don't know 

            25    whether you just walked in the room or you've been 


             1    listening to this. 

             2                  MR. LANGFORD:  I've been.

             3                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Since TWA is so 

             4    closely involved in Texas Youth Hunting 

             5    Association, I'd be interested if you have any 

             6    input in this or an opinion.

             7                  MR. LANGFORD:  It's a little bit 

             8    different than the public hunt drawing situation.  

             9    The youth hunting program, since it concentrates 

            10    on safety and mentoring and education, I mean, 

            11    it's about the things that hunting is about as 

            12    much as it is about hunting, if that makes any 

            13    sense.  We require either of the two permits for 

            14    liability considerations and for safety 

            15    considerations and for education considerations. 

            16                  So they have either got to be 

            17    certified or they have to have the other permit 

            18    that they have actually been through the class.  

            19    But it's a whole different deal than --

            20                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Right.  You're 

            21    dealing with liability taking them on private 

            22    lands instead of -- thank you.  Do we need to 

            23    discuss this more, or do I have --

            24                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Just one more.  

            25    Do our hunter ed people have any thoughts on this, 


             1    on what's an appropriate age for a young girl or 

             2    boy to start shooting a rifle? 

             3                  MR. LANGFORD:  I've got one more 

             4    thing.  We do have a minimum of nine in the youth 

             5    hunting program.  They have to have both 

             6    certificates, and they cannot be younger than 

             7    nine.

             8                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Okay.  Thank you.

             9                  MR. LANGFORD:  We occasionally have 

            10    eight and six years old, but they kind of come 

            11    help.  They are there to help lift and tote to be 

            12    a part of the experience.

            13                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

            14                  I'm sorry.  Katherine, your question 

            15    was? 

            16                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Whether our 

            17    hunter education people had any thoughts on this, 

            18    what's an appropriate age to start. 

            19                  MR. KOTHMANN:  They will couch it 

            20    with the preceding statement that all kids develop 

            21    at a slightly different rate. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Right. 

            23                  MR. KOTHMANN:  And of course, 

            24    training has a lot to do with it.  But of course, 

            25    eight is pretty well the level at which the 


             1    physical development, the hand-eye coordination 

             2    gets to the point where you would feel fairly 

             3    comfortable with most children, kids being able to 

             4    handle a firearm.  Some kids, at age nine, some, 

             5    unfortunately, never achieve that level.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Okay.  I would 

             7    propose that we use an eight or older cutoff for 

             8    this rather than the staff proposal.  And if --

             9                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Could we say at the 

            10    time of application, Mr. Chairman?

            11                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  When does the 

            12    application period close? 

            13                  MR. KOTHMANN:  The deer hunts close, 

            14    like I said, about the first part of September.

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:   Yeah.  I think 

            16    that's fine.  Eight or older at the time of 

            17    application.

            18                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  TWA uses nine?

            19                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  They use nine, but 

            20    that's a different program, as he pointed out.  

            21    They use nine. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I know.  But 

            23    that has to be --

            24                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I'm comfortable 

            25    with eight. 


             1                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  I think eight 

             2    is okay. 

             3                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I am, I must 

             4    say.

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Everybody 

             6    comfortable with eight?  Please proceed. 

             7                  MR. KOTHMANN:  Thank you.  The 

             8    second portion of this presentation deals with the 

             9    proposals for the 2001 and 2002 public hunts on 

            10    state park lands.  A total of 45 units of the 

            11    state park lands have been identified as candidate 

            12    sites of those public hunts during the 2001-2002 

            13    season.  This is three more than the 42 units 

            14    which were approved by the Commission for public 

            15    hunts last season. 

            16                  This includes two new sites, Cooper 

            17    Lake State park, the South Sulphur Unit, which has 

            18    not been hunted as a public hunt area before and 

            19    the Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, which has not 

            20    been in the public hunt program before.  Also 

            21    Dinosaur Valley State Park has proposed to come 

            22    back into the program for deer hunts which it 

            23    hasn't been previous years. 

            24                  The following is a series of three 

            25    slides which lists the names in alphabetical order 


             1    of the 45 state park units recommended as 

             2    candidate sites.  I will not belabor you and go 

             3    through the reading of this as I made the mistake 

             4    of doing in prior years.  But this first slide 

             5    shows 14 of those 45.  Cooper Lake, the South 

             6    Sulphur Unit shown in yellow is one of the 

             7    proposed new units. 

             8                  The second slide shows the next 17 

             9    candidate parks.  This includes Dinosaur Valley in 

            10    yellow and Lake Bob Sandlin is listed here.

            11                  The third slide lists the final 14.  

            12    You might notice here that Pedernales Falls Annex 

            13    is listed as a separate site from Pedernales Falls 

            14    State Park proper.  I don't want to be accused of 

            15    subterfuge of artificially listing too many parks.  

            16    But we hunt these two portions of Pedernales Falls 

            17    as two separate units.  The portion north of the 

            18    park is a walk-in event, that they walk in and 

            19    camp, and they camp there.  And we draw for a 

            20    whole different area as opposed to the hunts on 

            21    the developed park proper.

            22                  Staff recommends the following 

            23    two-part motion:  First is the regulations 

            24    committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 

            25    Commission authorizes staff to publish the 


             1    proposed amendments to 31 TAC Subsection 65.190, 

             2    65.193, 65.197, 65.198  and 65.202 concerning the 

             3    Public Lands Proclamation in the Texas Register 

             4    for public comment.

             5                  The second part would be the 

             6    Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and 

             7    Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to solicit 

             8    public comment concerning the hunting activities 

             9    proposed for units of the state park system 

            10    contained in Exhibit B, which would be the listing 

            11    of the 45 parks that are shown on the screen.  Is 

            12    there any questions? 

            13                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Yeah.  You're 

            14    not putting the dates on this.  Is that right?

            15                  MR. KOTHMANN:  The dates are, 

            16    frankly, being developed as we speak still.  We're 

            17    doing some fine-tuning to resolve differences 

            18    between parks that are in the same geographic area 

            19    to try to avoid overlaying those on concurrent 

            20    dates as much as possible.  This is a big chore, 

            21    frankly, in the Hill Country, where we have Inks 

            22    Lake, Pedernales Falls, Enchanted Rock, that we do 

            23    not hunt these areas on weekends of developed 

            24    parks.  We do not hunt them on major holiday 

            25    dates. 


             1                  So if you're targeting weekday dates 

             2    during the fall and winter season that meet that 

             3    criteria, you have very few dates to fit those in.  

             4    And I think we've done a quite good chore of doing 

             5    that.  In some cases we may have, say, three out 

             6    of five, six, or seven parks that actually will 

             7    have hunts on the same date in a geographic area.  

             8    But there will be usually at least as many or more 

             9    parks that will be open.

            10                  I did get several comments this past 

            11    year, again, primarily Enchanted Rock, Inks Lake, 

            12    Pedernales Falls, that people were frustrated 

            13    during that week after Christmas that they found 

            14    that those had hunts ongoing and were not open to 

            15    general visitation. 

            16                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Was that 

            17    Pedernales Falls? 

            18                  MR. SANSOM:  All at the same time. 

            19                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Yeah.  Well, 

            20    that's what my concern was.  I've expressed it 

            21    before because I heard a lot of grumbling in the 

            22    Hill Country when I was visiting parks at that 

            23    same time, and I thought it was quite valid. 

            24                  MR. KOTHMANN:  It is.  Like I say, 

            25    it's a big chore.  And when we have these folks 


             1    develop their recommendations and send them in, 

             2    number one, they will indicate that they have the 

             3    resource and the opportunity to provide a hunt, 

             4    what type, where they say a deer, exotic, feral 

             5    hog or whatever, where they say firearms hunt, an 

             6    archery hunt.  And then we go to trying to fit the 

             7    dates into a schedule that will not block out 

             8    geographic regions on certain calendar dates.

             9                  We do have -- I do have a draft as 

            10    it exists at this time.  And this will probably 

            11    evolve as soon as I get back to my desk.  If 

            12    you're interested at looking at seeing where we're 

            13    at right now, just -- just hand it to her?  But I 

            14    was on the phone with some of the park 

            15    superintendents this morning, and we're still 

            16    working to resolve this schedule.  We feel we know 

            17    probably where most of them are. 

            18                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  Thank you.

            19                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Any further 

            20    discussion?  The Chair would entertain a motion.

            21                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So move.

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Second? 

            23                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Second.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  All in favor?  Thank 

            25    you, Herb.


             1                      (Motion passed unanimously.)

             2       AGENDA ITEM NO. 6:  BRIEFING - SEVENTY-SEVENTH 

             3       LEGISLATURE OVERVIEW.

             4                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Legislative 

             5    overview.

             6                  MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, Mr. Park 

             7    is in the back, and I would like to introduce him 

             8    to you.  We also have now working with us a 

             9    gentleman named Harold Stone.  I don't believe 

            10    Harold is in the room, but some of you have met 

            11    him.

            12                  My purpose in discussing the 

            13    Legislative session is twofold, one to give you a 

            14    glimpse as to what our principal objectives are in 

            15    the Legislature and, two, is to try to get some 

            16    feedback from you as to how you would like for us 

            17    to provide you with legislative information during 

            18    this session. 

            19                  Obviously, I think the most -- the 

            20    biggest issue that we're facing in this session is 

            21    the successful passage of our sunset bill which 

            22    would reauthorize the Department.  As you all 

            23    know, the Sunset Commission came out with a very 

            24    favorable report on the Department.  And our goal 

            25    principally will be to make sure, if we can, that 


             1    there are not more onerous things attached to it 

             2    as it goes through the session. 

             3                  Beyond sunset, the second issue that 

             4    will occupy virtually all of our time is the 

             5    appropriations process.  As I mentioned to you 

             6    earlier, we did appear, along with Commissioner 

             7    Henry and Commissioner Watson, before the Senate 

             8    Finance Committee yesterday.  I've been informed 

             9    in the last hour that our appearance before the 

            10    House Appropriations Committee will be February 

            11    the 1st.  And so if any of you can possibly attend 

            12    that, that would be most helpful.

            13                  Our appropriations objectives are 

            14    very simple.  First, we have asked for an 

            15    additional $8 million per year for our maintenance 

            16    program.  And as I -- you recall, I mentioned this 

            17    morning that would put into our base an amount of 

            18    money necessary to bring our annual repair program 

            19    up to a level that would keep us from sliding back 

            20    into a significant backlog situation.

            21                  We have also asked for an additional 

            22    $5 million per year for operation of state parks.  

            23    This number represents the balance of the 

            24    shortfall identified by the State Auditor prior to 

            25    the last legislative session, which was $10 


             1    million.  And this would -- this would take care 

             2    of the balance of that and provide some much 

             3    needed support in parks, particularly those that 

             4    are underutilized.

             5                  The second principal objective is 

             6    the restoration of what we call the 

             7    Entrepreneurial Rider, or Rider 17.  Rider 17 was 

             8    a function of our appropriations pattern for most 

             9    of this decade.  And what it did was, it allowed 

            10    us that if we could issue a license plate and 

            11    successfully generate income on that or use other 

            12    techniques to become entrepreneurial and thus 

            13    increase our revenues, then we could capture the 

            14    benefit of that.  The rider was removed from our 

            15    bill pattern in the last session, and so we seek 

            16    to restore it. 

            17                  Once again, I think I can point to a 

            18    couple of situations within the last 12 months in 

            19    which we could have really used it.  The first, of 

            20    course, being the opportunity to purchase a whole 

            21    lot of shrimp boat licenses when we had the funds 

            22    to do it but we did not have the authority. 

            23                  Just as significant, as you-all 

            24    recall, last summer our state park revenues were 

            25    substantially above what our projections have 


             1    been.  And we desperately wanted to put that money 

             2    to work in state parks where we had -- we had some 

             3    operating deficiencies.  And once again, we were 

             4    unable to do it because of the lack of that 

             5    entrepreneurial flexibility.

             6                  We have a request specifically to 

             7    restore -- or to get the authority to spend the 

             8    money that we would -- that comes from the 

             9    increases in recreational and commercial fishing 

            10    licenses specifically for the buyback program.  If 

            11    the Entrepreneurial Rider passed, that would be 

            12    unnecessary.  But we must have the ability to buy 

            13    those shrimp licenses back because that's why we 

            14    passed the extra fees, for that purpose.

            15                  We have a couple of other riders 

            16    that are not so significant, but that I would 

            17    provide you in written form so you can take a look 

            18    at it.  I want to call your attention to the fact 

            19    that one of the issues that we have been facing in 

            20    previous sessions that you-all are familiar with 

            21    is the -- we get into these discussions, sometimes 

            22    very contentious, with the staff members of the 

            23    Legislative Budget Board and the Comptroller over 

            24    our balances. 

            25                  I do not believe that will be the 


             1    case this year.  First and foremost because Suzy 

             2    Whittenton and her staff have worked very 

             3    diligently with those organizations to try to 

             4    reconcile the conception of our balances; but 

             5    secondly, because they're simply not there. 

             6                  That we have been much more 

             7    efficient in expenditures in this biennium than 

             8    previously because, as you-all recall, our culture 

             9    here for most of this decade was to reward 

            10    managers for saving money. But when the 

            11    Legislature began to look at those balances as an 

            12    opportunity, we kind of switched gears, and, 

            13    frankly, we were successful.  And so I believe 

            14    that that will not be as much of an issue as 

            15    before.

            16                  We -- a couple items of note.  You 

            17    recall in the last session the Legislature 

            18    appropriated a $5 million item in our bill pattern 

            19    which was called Conservation Education Projects.  

            20    They viewed that at the LBB as a one-time 

            21    expenditure, and so it was removed from the bill 

            22    pattern this time. 

            23                  So we were restricted from spending 

            24    $5 million in Fund 9 that we had available to us 

            25    in the last session.  I believe that it will be 


             1    necessary to try to recapture that money just from 

             2    the standpoint of increased operating costs, 

             3    increased salaries and other costs that have been 

             4    incurred on us since that time. 

             5                  During our Finance Committee hearing 

             6    yesterday, it became apparent that, number one, 

             7    there are a number of constituencies from 

             8    various -- that represent various state parks, 

             9    hatcheries and wildlife management areas and other 

            10    facilities around the state that are going to be 

            11    coming to the Legislature and asking for specific 

            12    line items for those communities. 

            13                  In some cases, we've actually 

            14    visited with one delegation that will be seeking 

            15    direct appropriations through Parks and Wildlife 

            16    for local parks within that community.

            17                  It is our hope and I believe the 

            18    hope of at least those members of -- that have 

            19    considered it, that if there is some consideration 

            20    of substantial capital expenditures, that they do 

            21    not go back and do that by line item, but that 

            22    they give us some increased bonding authority or 

            23    other capacity so that you-all could set the 

            24    priorities for what those expenditures would be.

            25                  I'd be happy to answer any 


             1    questions.  I just want to reiterate again how 

             2    helpful it is to us if those of you who can be 

             3    there when these critical hearings take place, 

             4    it's an immense help to us, and also say that 

             5    we're tracking now, Joey, how many bills? 

             6                  MR. PARK:  Two hundred. 

             7                  MR. SANSOM:  Two hundred pieces of 

             8    legislation, which of which affect us 

             9    substantially and others which affect us very 

            10    minimally. 

            11                  In times past, you know, we have 

            12    provided you-all with updated material on every 

            13    single bill, including the amendments, you know, 

            14    that have been added to them.  I don't know 

            15    whether that's helpful or not.  But at the same 

            16    time, I would like to find some comfortable level 

            17    for you so that we can provide you with 

            18    information that's timely.

            19                  One of the things that we could do 

            20    is on about a weekly basis we could distribute to 

            21    you a list of legislation that we're tracking by 

            22    title.  And so if you saw something there that was 

            23    of interest to you, you could get in touch with us 

            24    and we could provide you with greater information.  

            25    But I'll be happy -- we'll be happy to do it any 


             1    way you like.  We are in the process of tracking, 

             2    as you say, over 200 pieces of legislation.

             3                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Andy, I think it is 

             4    something we've struggled with getting right, of 

             5    how to get information in a usable form to the 

             6    Commission.  In my time here we've swung from no 

             7    information to so much that it was effectively no 

             8    information because it was just too much to wade 

             9    through.  And I'm not sure exactly what the best 

            10    way is. 

            11                  Some Commissioners may wish to have 

            12    more than others.  I think if we were to provide 

            13    everybody with something that basically, you know, 

            14    had a -- an ID like House Bill 1 --

            15                  MR. SANSOM:  Sponsor --

            16                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  As short as 

            17    possible, what it pertained to, like, you know, 

            18    pertaining to hunting in state parks or pertaining 

            19    to whatever else it might be, that could be 

            20    something that might be concise enough that 

            21    everybody could sit down and in a short amount of 

            22    time look at it, then get to, get back to your 

            23    office -- you know, I want more on these 14.  You 

            24    could then send some kind of an -- I assume we 

            25    have kind of an ongoing bill analysis --


             1                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes, we do.

             2                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Or something that 

             3    Joey has that we could --

             4                  MR. SANSOM:  Provide.

             5                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  -- provide and then 

             6    go from there.  That might be a usable approach.  

             7    And I'd be --

             8                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  That sounds 

             9    good to me. 

            10                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  One thing I'd 

            11    be particularly interested in -- I think most of 

            12    us would -- bills that would directly affect our 

            13    budget.  

            14                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes, sir.

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And I think that's 

            16    basically going to be the appropriations bill.

            17                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Can you send 

            18    out some sort of a legislative alert on things 

            19    that there is no question that it should be of 

            20    interest to us?

            21                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes.

            22                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  And then fax 

            23    them to us with an alert on top? 

            24                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes.  And I'm going to 

            25    work with Lydia to sort of tailor the Commission 


             1    brief on Mondays to the session as well, so that, 

             2    you know, you're getting a regular weekly fax 

             3    that's kind of newsy. 

             4                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  If you are 

             5    doing any of it electronically, it's --

             6                  MR. SANSOM:  We can do that. 

             7                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  It's an easy 

             8    way to get it and to respond to it. 

             9                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And I think there is 

            10    an electronic way to access the text of all the 

            11    bills that are filed.  I'm sure Joey or someone 

            12    can provide us with that -- that address so that 

            13    when we got your list, if we just wanted to see 

            14    the bill instead of get in-house analysis of it or 

            15    something, we could just go straight to the 

            16    capital Web site and read it.  Why don't we 

            17    proceed that way? 

            18                  MR. SANSOM:  Sounds good, starting 

            19    next week.

            20                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I imagine to do the 

            21    initial list will take a few days.  It's just 

            22    going to take some time.

            23                  Anything else on that, Andy? 

            24                  MR. SANSOM:  Nope.  I appreciate it.

            25       AGENDA ITEM NO. 7:  ACTION - ENDANGERED, 



             2       REGULATIONS.

             3                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Endangered, 

             4    Threatened and Protected Native Plant Regulations.  

             5    Jerry Cooke, could you come here for a moment, 

             6    again, please?  I have one more question.  I will 

             7    just ask you.  I won't interrupt the proceeding.  

             8    Go ahead.

             9                  MR. HERRON:  Chairman Bass and 

            10    Commissioners, my name is John Herron.  I am the 

            11    Branch Chief of Wildlife Diversity.  Today I'm 

            12    going to present you with some changes we're 

            13    proposing to the threatened and endangered plant 

            14    regulations.  This is an action item.  I'm 

            15    requesting the adoption of these regulations at 

            16    the full Commission meeting tomorrow. 

            17                  This is going to be a very brief 

            18    item because actually the Commission has heard 

            19    this briefing before.  We brought this before you 

            20    all in August and asked you for an adoption then.  

            21    We thought we had adopted it, but afterwards we 

            22    realized this item had not been properly published 

            23    in the Texas Register.  Since then we have 

            24    republished the item, reopened the public comment 

            25    period and are bringing it back to you basically 


             1    for consideration again today. 

             2                  We did hold the public hearings 

             3    required by law this past summer and did properly 

             4    notice that meeting.  We did not receive any 

             5    written comment at the time and to date we have 

             6    not received any other comment on these 

             7    regulations, either.

             8                  The changes we're proposing 

             9    basically mirror changes that the Fish and 

            10    Wildlife Service has already done to their 

            11    threatened and endangered species list.  Very 

            12    briefly, we're proposing to remove from our 

            13    threatened plant list the McKittrick pennyroyal 

            14    and to add the Pecos sunflower to the threatened 

            15    species list.  We're also proposing two changes to 

            16    the endangered plant list, removing the Lloyd's 

            17    hedgehog cactus and adding the Zapata bladderpod. 

            18                  With that, I'd be very happy to take 

            19    any questions.  I basically request that the 

            20    committee forward this to the Commission tomorrow 

            21    for consideration and also add it to the consent 

            22    agenda for consideration tomorrow as well.

            23                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  John, do you 

            24    and your people do the research on this for the 

            25    feds, or do they do it for you, or do you 


             1    cooperate?  How does that work? 

             2                  MR. HERRON:  It's a combination, 

             3    sir.  We rely on each other quite a bit, 

             4    particularly in regards to threatened and 

             5    endangered plants.  Neither this -- the Department 

             6    nor the Fish and Wildlife Service really have very 

             7    many botanists on staff. 

             8                  Our three botanists are very active 

             9    doing field surveys on a number of these species, 

            10    and those surveys are really matched up with the 

            11    surveys being done by the federal government as 

            12    well.  We share our data with both the Fish and 

            13    Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy and 

            14    use whatever other academic sources we can, as 

            15    well, for current data. 

            16                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  I move approval 

            17    that it go to the consent agenda. 

            18                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second. 

            19                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  All in favor?

            20                        (Motion passed unanimously.)

            21                  MR. HERRON:  Thank you very much. 

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  The only other item 

            23    I have is -- that concludes this.

            24                   CHAIRMAN BASS:  But I'll go back to 

            25    the Commissioner Avila license plate.  And since 


             1    he had to depart for another meeting, in his 

             2    stead, I think what he discussed with me was in 

             3    some form or fashion having on here Parks and 

             4    Wildlife. 

             5                  You know, with our current horned 

             6    frog plate, you know, there's no real connection 

             7    to the casual observer that it's this Department 

             8    or our mission that they're supporting, unlike 

             9    University of Texas license plates or even state 

            10    of the arts license plates. 

            11                  His initial thought was taking 

            12    something such as this little logo and putting it 

            13    up here or something.  But he and I quickly 

            14    determined that the car behind couldn't read it 

            15    any better than you can, Lydia, from there.  The 

            16    thought we then progressed to was down here, 

            17    change this verbiage to Parks and Wildlife.  You 

            18    see, you've got Texas Parks and Wildlife, with the 

            19    icon and the plate number or letters. 

            20                  And that way people start saying, 

            21    "Oh, there's the Parks and Wildlife horned frog.  

            22    There's a Parks and Wildlife bluebonnet.  There's 

            23    a Parks and Wildlife largemouth bass or whatever."  

            24    And there might be people who buy it, instead of 

            25    for the logo, the icon, they're buying it for 


             1    Parks and Wildlife. 

             2                  But it helps identify it with the 

             3    Department and -- well, I like Keep Texas Wild, 

             4    too.  But we're just kind of -- where do we run 

             5    out of places to put something.  So that was the 

             6    thought, in his absence, that I'll pass on or open 

             7    for discussion. 

             8                  MS. SALDANA:  We're limited on the 

             9    design portion to that to the four-inch corner.  

            10    So that was the one issue.  We also, in the 

            11    research that we did, we actually tested the tag 

            12    lines, and we tested Texas State Parks, and Keep 

            13    Texas Wild came up very high because I think it's 

            14    a call to action.  It's catchy.  But certainly, I 

            15    think that's something we could look at, is going 

            16    ahead and identify --

            17                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I wonder if the 

            18    people that we tested already knew it was Parks 

            19    and Wildlife; whereas, the car behind you at the 

            20    stoplight doesn't have a clue. 

            21                  MS. SALDANA:  That's true. 

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So as we go forward 

            23    with this design, we can discuss that further or 

            24    talk to Commissioner Avila or --

            25                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Our marketing 


             1    genius. 

             2                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Parks and 

             3    Wildlife.

             4                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  We've heard from our 

             5    marketing guy.  Pass that thought on.  Any other 

             6    business?  We stand adjourned until in the 

             7    morning.  Thank you.  

             8                         *-*-*-*-*

             9                   (MEETING ADJOURNED.)

            10                         *-*-*-*-*

















             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 96 

             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.