Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., April 4, 2001

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Water Policy
Staff: Larry McKinney
Committee Only
3. Land Acquisition – Uvalde County (Garner SP)
Staff: Karen Leslie
4. Land Acquisition – Randall County (Palo Duro Canyon SP)
Staff: Karen Leslie
5. Land Acquisition – Brewster County (Black Gap WMA)
Staff: Jeff Francell
6. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Conservation Committee
January 24, 2001

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 24th day of January, 2001, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 2:45 p.m., to-wit:


Carol E. Dinkins, Chair
Lee M. Bass
Dick Heath
Nolan Ryan (Absent)
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Alvin L. Henry
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Mark E. Watson, Jr.

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of the last committee meeting were approved.


Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Item No. 4 of the Chairman's Charges was to continue participation in Senate Bill 1, the Water Planning Initiative. Mr. Sansom explained that a series of comments the agency submitted on the recent water plans have caused quite a bit of debate between staff members and members of the regional planning committees. His plans are to meet with each of the Chairs in the next two weeks in order to discuss specific concerns.

Regarding the Seagrass Conservation Plan, Mr. Sansom stated that all phases of that plan are now being implemented. The water quality standards now include provisions to conserve seagrass. Also, Redfish Bay Scenic Area has been designated as part of the Lone Star Legacy with $12,000 being raised to endow management of that area.

Mr. Sansom reminded the Committee that the rules they adopted to implement the statewide aquatic vegetation management plan, as well as those allowing for development and adoption of local plans, go into effect on February 6, 2001.


Presenter: Kathy Boydston

Ms. Boydston stated the department received a nomination for oil and gas lease on seven tracts known as Lake Sheldon State Park east of Houston in Harris County. The department owns 100 percent of the minerals, approximately 2,219 mineral acres. Staff recommendation is to continue the policy of requiring a minimum bonus bid of $150 per acre, a fixed royalty of 25 percent and a $10 per-acre delay rental.

Ms. Boydston then discussed the fact that these tracts have been nominated in the past with a no-surface occupancy stipulation; however, this time a request has been made to locate on the surface. The Park Manager has indicated there is a suitable site adjacent to the highway in an agricultural field that would not interfere with park operations.

Mr. Sansom made the suggestion that language be developed to incorporate the location of this potential site into the master planning process at Sheldon. There was discussion regarding what detail and how many restrictions to put in the lease proposal. Ms. Boydston advised that GLO records indicate there's a well south of Sheldon drilled in 1990, that's not producing anymore, as well as a lot of seismic activity east of there.

Commissioner Avila moved to put these tracts up for nomination with a single well site to be selected by department staff, subject to the standard restrictions and conditions. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Avila then moved to place the item on the consent agenda of the public hearing on January 26, 2001, and this passed unanimously.

IV. ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Conservation COMMITTEE
Chairman's Charges
April 2001

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Larry McKinney

Conservation Committee
Water Policy
April 2001

I. Discussion: Water continues to be an important focus for Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW).

Following the completion of the sixteen regional plans mandated by SB-1, Executive Director Andrew Sansom initiated a series of meetings with chairs of those regional committees in coordination with the Texas Water Development Board. Chairman Lee Bass and Commissioner Mark Watson supported the effort to make sure that the regional committees understood agency concerns and to express support and appreciation for their work. Thanks to that effort TPW will have a much more defined and contributory role as the next five year planning cycle begins in earnest this summer.

SB-2 and other water-related legislation, if passed, will greatly affect the fish and wildlife resource for which TPW has responsibility. Groundwater management, freshwater inflows to estuaries, instream flows, spring flows, and a proposal to establish a Texas Water Policy Council are just some of the issues being considered by the 77th Legislature.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Karen Leslie

Conservation Committee
Land Acquisition – Uvalde County (Garner SP)
April 2001

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 13.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Karen Leslie

Conservation Committee
Land Acquisition – Randall County (Palo Duro Canyon SP)
April 2001

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 14.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Jeff Francell

Conservation Committee
Land Acquisition – Brewster County (Black Gap WMA)
April 2001

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 15.)