Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

Aug. 29, 2002

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


           6             BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 29th

           7   day of August, 2002, there came to be heard matters under

           8   the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife

           9   Commission of Texas, in the Commission Hearing Room of the

          10   Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin,

          11   Texas, beginning at 9:00 a.m., to wit:


          13   APPEARANCES:


          15   CHAIR:    Katharine Armstrong, Austin, Texas
                         Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas
          16             Philip Montgomery, III, Dallas, Texas
                         Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas
          17             John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
                         Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
          18             Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
                         Joseph Fitzsimons, San Antonio, Texas
          19             Kelly M. Rising, M.D., Beaumont, Texas



               Robert L. Cook, Executive Director, and other personnel of
          23   the Parks and Wildlife Department



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           1   OTHER APPEARANCES:

           2   Mr. Greg Westmoreland, Matagorda County
               1700 7th Street, Room 301
           3   Bay City, Texas  77414
               Matter of Interest:  No. 6-Regional Park Grant Funding
               Ms. Donna Brasher
           5   LCRA
               Austin, Texas  78620
           6   Matter of Interest:  No. 6-Regional Park Grant Funding

           7   Mr. Jonathan Schulz, City of Karnes City
               218 East Calvert
           8   Karnes City, Texas  78118
               Matter of Interest:  No. 4-Local Park Grant Fund Outdoor
           9   Recreation Grants

          10   Mr. Randy Truesdell, City of Lubbock Parks and Recreation
          11   P.O. Box 2000
               Lubbock, Texas  79424
          12   Matter of Interest:  No. 4-Local Park Grant Fund Outdoor
               Recreation Grants
               Mr. Hollis Rutledge, City of Pharr
          14   Pharr, Texas
               Matter of Interest:  No. 4-Local Park Grant Fund Outdoor
          15   Recreation Grants

          16   Mr. Leo "Polo" Palacios, Mayor, City of Pharr
               205 West Park
          17   Pharr Texas,  78577
               Matter of Interest:  No. 4-Local Park Grant Fund Outdoor
          18   Recreation Grants

          19   Mr. Tony McGee, City of Wimberely
               P.O. Box 2027
          20   Wimberley, Texas  78676
               Matter of Interest:  No. 4-Local Park Grant Fund Outdoor
          21   Recreation Grants

          22   Mr. Hector Palacios, Hildago County
               301 Estate
          23   Pharr, Texas  78589
               Matter of Interest:  No. 4-Local Park Grant Fund Outdoor
          24   Recreation Grants


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           1   OTHER APPEARANCES (Continued):

           2   Mr. Curtis Schrader, City of Marfa
               Box 787
           3   Marfa, Texas  79843
               Matter of Interest:  No. 5-Small Community Grants
               Ms. Wanda Herd, City of Wheeler
           5   Box 98
               Wheeler, Texas  79096
           6   Matter of Interest:  No. 5-Small Community Grants

           7   Mr. Dock Jackson, City of Elgin
               Box 591
           8   310 North Main
               Elgin, Texas  78621
           9   Matter of Interest:  No. 5-Small Community Grants

          10   Ms. Sheila Childs, City of Woodway
               924 Estates Drive
          11   Woodway, Texas  76712
               Matter of Interest:  No. 5-Small Community Grants
               Ms. Jeanne Patterson, Texas Bicycle Coalition
          13   8301 Bobwhite
               Frisco, Texas  75034
          14   Matter of Interest:  No. 7-Recreational Trails Grants

          15   Mr. Kirby Brown, Texas Wildlife Association
               402 Isom Road, Suite 237
          16   San Antonio, Texas  78216
               Matter of Interest:  No. 9-FY03 Operating and Capital
          17   Budget and Texas Parks and Wildlife Investment Policy,
               Budget Policy
          18   No. 12-Scientific Breeder Regulations-Disease Testing and
               Monitoring Measures
          19   No. 13-Migratory Game Bird Proclamation-Late Season
               No. 14-Nongame Commercial Permit Regulations
          20   No. 15-Land and Water Resources Conservation and
               Recreation Plan Resolution





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           1   OTHER APPEARANCES (Continued):

           2   Mr. Ellis Gilleland, Texas Animals
               P.O. Box 9001
           3   Austin, Texas  78766
               Matter of Interest:  No. 12-Scientific Breeder
           4   Regulations-Disease Testing and Monitoring Measures
               No. 14-Nongame Commercial Permit Regulations
           5   No. 15-Land and Water Resources Conservation and
               Recreation Plan Resolution
           6   No. 16-Nomination for Oil and Gas Lease-Harris County
               No. 17-Land Sale: Tarrant County; Harris County; Austin
           7   County

           8   Mr. Karl Kinsel, TDA
               5413 Bandera, Suite 408
           9   San Antonio, Texas  78209
               Matter of Interest:  No. 12-Scientific Breeder
          10   Regulations-Disease Testing and Monitoring Measures

          11   Mr. J.W. Vanderpool, Vanderpool Exotics, Inc.
               75048-15 Road
          12   Meade, Kansas  67864
               Matter of Interest:  No. 14-Nongame Commercial Permit
          13   Regulations

          14   Mr. Perry Hounshell
               6701 S. FM 1788
          15   Midland, Texas  79706
               Matter of Interest:  No. 14-Nongame Commercial Permit
          16   Regulations

          17   Mr. David Langford, Texas Wildlife Association
               Matter of Interest:  No. 15-Land and Water Resources
          18   Conservation and Recreation Plan Resolution

          19   Mr. Brian Sybert, Sierra Club
               P.O. Box 1931
          20   Austin, Texas  78767
               Matter of Interest:  No. 15-Land and Water Resources
          21   Conservation and Recreation Plan Resolution

          22   Ms. Mary Lehmann, Keep the Land
               116 East 37th, Suite 210
          23   Austin, Texas
               Matter of Interest:  No. 15-Land and Water Resources
          24   Conservation and Recreation Plan Resolution


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           1   OTHER APPEARANCES (Continued):

           2   Mr. Wesley C. Stripling, IV, William Lloyd Walsh and
               Richard Walsh
           3   6100 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Suite 77
               Fort Worth, Texas  76116
           4   Matter of Interest:  No. 17-Land Sale:  Tarrant County,
               Harris County, Austin County
               Mr. Jon Ed Robbins, Tarrant County
           6   401 Roberts
               Saginaw, Texas  76179
           7   Matter of Interest:  No. 17-Land Sale:  Tarrant County,
               Harris County, Austin County
               Mr. Les Breeding, Representative Lon Burnam
           9   P.O. Box 2910
               Austin, Texas  78767
          10   Matter of Interest:  No. 17-Land Sale:  Tarrant County,
               Harris County, Austin County















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           1                       (9:00 a.m.)

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Good morning,

           3   everyone.  Welcome.  The meeting is called to order.

           4   Before proceeding with any business, I believe Mr. Cook

           5   has a statement to make.

           6                  MR. COOK:  Madame Chairman, thank you.  A

           7   public notice of this meeting containing all items on the

           8   proposed agenda has been filed with the Office of

           9   Secretary of State as required by Chapter 551 of the

          10   Government Code referred to as the Open Meetings Law.  I

          11   would like for this action to be noted in the official

          12   record of this meeting.

          13             So that everyone will have a chance to address

          14   the Commission in an orderly fashion, the following

          15   grounds rules will be followed today.  The Chairman is in

          16   charge of this meeting and by law it is her duty to

          17   preserve order, direct the order of this hearing and

          18   recognize persons to be heard.  I will be assisting the

          19   Chairman today as Sergeant at Arms.  We have sign-up cards

          20   out front here for everyone wishing to speak and the

          21   Chairman will call names from those cards one at a time.

          22             Each person will be allowed to speak from the

          23   podium here at the front one at a time.  When your name is

          24   called, please come to the podium, state your name, who

          25   you represent, if anyone other than yourself.  Then state

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           1   your purpose on the agenda item under consideration and

           2   ask for any facts that will help the Commission understand

           3   your concern.  Please limit your remarks to the specific

           4   agenda item under consideration.  The person who wants to

           5   address the Commission will have three minutes to speak.

           6   I will keep track of the time on this handy dandy little

           7   thing.  It goes through a series of green when you've got

           8   about a minute left, yellow when you've got about 30

           9   seconds left and red when your time is up.  So I hope you

          10   will help me stay on time.  Your time may be extended if

          11   one of the Commissioners has a question for you or if the

          12   Commission gets into a discussion about the -- about the

          13   item that you're bringing up.  And that time will not be

          14   counted against you.

          15             Statements which are merely argumentative or

          16   critical of others will not be tolerated.  There is a

          17   microphone at the podium, so it is not necessary to raise

          18   your voice.  I also ask that you show proper respect for

          19   our Commission as well as other members of the audience.

          20   You will not be recognized out of turn by raising your

          21   hand or interrupting others.  Disruptive or offensive

          22   behavior will be grounds for immediate ejection from the

          23   meeting.  If you would like to submit written materials to

          24   the Commission, please give them to Ms. Lori Estrada, who

          25   is seated to my right here.  Ms. Estrada will pass the

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           1   written materials out to the Commission.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you, Mr. Cook.

           3   Next is the approval of the minutes which have already

           4   been distributed.  Is there a motion for approval?

           5                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  So moved.

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have a second.

           7                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Second from

           9   Commissioner Watson.  All in favor?

          10                  ("Aye.")

          11                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          12   carries.  Next is the acceptance of gifts which have also

          13   been distributed.  Is there a motion for approval?

                          TPWD DONATIONS OF $500 OR MORE

          16   (1)  HEB; CASH; Coastal Expo-Kidfish
               (2)  Wal-Mart; CASH; Fisheries Management-Signs
          17   (3)  Estate of Beatrice Payne; CASH; Texas Freshwater
               Fisheries Center
          18   (4)  Texas State Bank; CASH; Coastal Expo-Kidfish
               (5)  Carl Zeiss Optical; CASH; Great Texas Birding Classic
          19   (6)  Carl Zeiss Optical; Binoculars, Scop; Great Texas
               Birding Classic
          20   (7)  Swarovski Optik North America; CASH; Great Texas
               Birding Classic
          21   (8)  Swarovski Optik North America; Binoculars; Great
               Texas Birding Classic
          22   (9)  Leica Camera; Inc.; CASH; Great Texas Birding Classic
               (10)  Leica Camera; Inc.; Scopes; Great Texas Birding
          23   Classic
               (11)  Sheltered Wings/Eagle Optics; CASH; Great Texas
          24   Birding Classic
               (12)  Sheltered Wings/Eagle Optics; Binoculars; Great
          25   Texas Birding Classic
               (13)  Travis Audubon Society; CASH; Great Texas Birding

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           1   Classic
               (14)  The Brunton Co; CASH; Great Texas Birding Classic
           2   (15)  Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce; CASH; Great
               Texas Birding Classic
           3   (16)  Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau; CASH;
               Great Texas Birding Classic
           4   (17)  Scott and Joan Holt; CASH; Great Texas Birding
           5   (18)  Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce; CASH; Great Texas
               Birding Classic
           6   (19)  Theodore G. Cleveland; CASH; Great Texas Birding
           7   (20)  Reliant Energy; CASH; Great Texas Birding Classic
               (21)  Fancy Publications; CASH; Great Texas Birding
           8   Classic
               (22)  Coastal Conservation Association; CASH; Crab Trap
           9   Removal Program
               (23)  Dallas Safari Club; CASH; Duck Blind-Hunter Safety
          10   Trail
               (24)  Quail Unlimited Texas Council; CASH; Montezuma Quail
          11   Research at Elephant Mountain WMA
               (25)  Sportmen's Club of Fort Worth; CASH; Montezuma Quail
          12   Research at Elephant Mountain WMA
               (26)  Cross Timbers Chapter of Quail Unlimited; CASH;
          13   Montezuma Quail Research at Elephant Mountain WMA
               (27)  Austin Chapter of Quail Unlimited; CASH; Montezuma
          14   Quail Research at Elephant Mountain WMA
               (28)  The CH Foundation; CASH; High Plains Wildlife Trail
          15   (29)  David Kline; CASH; Becoming an Outdoor Woman
               (30)  Silencio/Safety Direct, Inc.; Hearing/ Eye
          16   Protection; Hunter Education
               (31)  Henry Repeating Arms Company; .22 Rifles; Hunter
          17   Education
               (32)  Highland Industric, Inc.,; Hunter Orange Vests;
          18   Hunter Education
               (33)  MDI Productions; Hunting/Fishing Videos; Hunter and
          19   Angler Education
               (34)  Walls Industries, Inc.; Hunter Orange Vests; Hunter
          20   Education
               (35)  Rattlesnake Racing, Inc.; Canoe and Equipment;
          21   Recreational Opportunities
               (36)  Friends of Fairfield Lake State Park; 2-way Radios;
          22   Communication-Park Police
               (37)  U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground; Low-light
          23   Imaging Device; Law Enforcement-Counter Drug
               (38)  Coastal Conservation Association; Night Vision
          24   Monocular; Coastal Law Enforcement
               (39)  Victor Emanuel Nature Tours; CASH; Great Texas
          25   Birding Classic
               (40)  Tyler Audubon Society; CASH; Prairies & Pineywoods

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           1   Wildlife Trail
               (41)  Mullen Insurance Agency; Office Furnishings; Lake
           2   Tawakoni State Park
               (42)  Wildlife Research Center; Inc.; Educational Packets;
           3   Hunter Education
               (43)  Winchester Ammunition; Ammunition and Literature;
           4   Hunter Education
               (44) Mrs. Pat Spain; Interpretive Collections; State Parks
           5   (45)  Haruko Sakai & Michiko Sakai Smart; Interpretive
               Collections; State Parks
           6   (46)  Howard Patton; Interpretive Collections; State Parks
               (47)  Elizabeth Van Dorn, Sarah Smith, Frances Zehmer;
           7   Interpretive Collections; State Parks
               (48)  Michael & Elizabeth Lynott; Interpretive
           8   Collections; State Parks
               (49)  George J. Ciancio; Interpretive Collections; State
           9   Parks

          10                       TOTAL               $306,748

          11                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

          12                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          13                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion by Commissioner

          14   Watson, second by Commissioner Ramos.  All in favor?

          15                  ("Aye.")

          16                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          17   carries.

          18             Next, we're going to make a special presentation

          19   before we get into the retirement and service awards.

          20   Mr. Cook, would you meet me or join me down here?

          21             I have a -- I have a very special treat,

          22   personal treat that I get to do today.  We're here to

          23   honor a great friend of Texas Parks and Wildlife

          24   Department, a great friend to the State of Texas, a great

          25   friend to conservation.  We're here to honor George C.

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           1   Hixon, known as Tim Hixon to all of us.

           2             Tim was a Commissioner of the Texas Parks and

           3   Wildlife Commission and so many of you here know Tim.  I'm

           4   going to go over some information on Tim to maybe many of

           5   you all already know, but I think is worth going over

           6   again today.  Tim is married to Karen Carter Johnson, who

           7   is also a great friend to conservation and a great friend

           8   to Texas.  He is the father of two sons, Bryan Simpson

           9   Hixon and Bryan -- George Simpson Hixon and Bryan Simpson

          10   Hixon.  He attended Hotchkiss school in Lakeville,

          11   Connecticut, Washington & Lee University in Lexington,

          12   Virginia, and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

          13   He has received many awards.

          14             The San Antonio Anglers' Club named him

          15   conservationist of the year in 1984.  He's been made

          16   conservationist of the year by the Game Conservation

          17   International.  He received the Good Scout Award for the

          18   Alamo Boy Scouts.  He's received the Harvey Weil

          19   Sportsman/Conservationist Award, the Chevron Conservation

          20   award, the Boone and Crockett Club Sagamore Hill award and

          21   the Hotchkiss School Alumni award.  He has been a member

          22   of many conservation organizations and I'll mention just a

          23   few, the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas as

          24   chairman and member, the Texas Parks and Wildlife

          25   Commission from 1989 until 1995, past president of the

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           1   Boone and Crockett Club, past director of Game

           2   Conservation International, Trustee Emeritus of the

           3   Dallas -- of the San Antonio Zoological Society.  He is

           4   currently on the advisory board of the Caesar-Kleberg

           5   Wildlife Research Institute.  He's a past director of the

           6   Nature Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy of Texas.

           7             Tim, in describing his tenure as Commissioner of

           8   the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says it's the best

           9   job he ever had.  Now that I've been on the Commission for

          10   three years, I understand exactly what he's talking about.

          11   I feel precisely the same way.  As Commissioner, he helped

          12   to establish Texas Wildlife Expo, he approved the

          13   construction of Sea Center in Texas and the Texas

          14   Freshwater Fisheries Center.  He convinced the Commission

          15   at a time when Texas Parks and Wildlife was hesitant to

          16   acquire new land that there was some land just outside of

          17   San Antonio that beared acquiring, and it was the

          18   beginning of what has become Government Canyon.  And as

          19   you will hear probably today in our presentation on the

          20   Land and Water Conservation Plan, Government Canyon which

          21   has been such a -- a great accomplishment for both Tim and

          22   Karen is going to be used as a model for our future parks.

          23   When we decide whether we need to acquire in a certain

          24   area and for what purposes, we will be looking to

          25   Government Canyon to achieve those goals that we believe

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           1   the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is charged with

           2   fulfilling.  So the example you've set with Government

           3   Canyon will not only affect the San Antonio area but many

           4   of our urban areas for many, many years to come.  Thank

           5   you, Tim.

           6             As chairman of the Parks and Wildlife Foundation

           7   of Texas, he has increased the assets to $7.5 million.  In

           8   the last seven years, Parks and Wildlife Foundation has

           9   received over $30 million in donations.  He began the Lone

          10   Star Legacy campaign and with Karen committed to help fund

          11   endowments for every Texas Parks and Wildlife site.  Since

          12   their 1996 gift of $200,000, the number of site endowments

          13   has grown from three to 183.

          14             I could go on and on, but there just isn't

          15   enough time.  So I'm going to read you a letter that we

          16   received just yesterday that kind of sums it all up and

          17   expressions for me at least and I'm sure for others our

          18   feelings for George C. Hixon.

          19             "Dear Tim, Congratulations as you retire as

          20   chairman of the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas.

          21   Throughout your career, your hard work and determined

          22   efforts have promoted the conservation of natural

          23   resources in the State of Texas.  In establishing the

          24   Texas Wildlife Expo, promoting public and corporate

          25   partnerships, supporting conservation, helping fund site

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           1   endowments and helping manage effectively the natural

           2   resources of Texas, you have provided a model of

           3   outstanding leadership.  Your devotion to protecting and

           4   preserving the natural beauty of Texas is an inspiration

           5   to so many.  We know how proud your family, friends and

           6   colleagues are of your record of accomplishments.  Thank

           7   you for your many years of dedicated public service.  We

           8   send our best wishes for an enjoyable retirement.

           9   Sincerely, President George W. Bush."

          10                  (Applause.)

          11                  MR. HIXON:  Thanks everybody.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Tim, we would love to

          13   have you say a few words.

          14                  MR. HIXON:  I will say three or four words.

          15   I'm not very good as a speaker.  But as Katharine said,

          16   this is the best job I've ever had.  I've been involved in

          17   conservation for 36 years now, basically all my adult

          18   life, mainly wildlife conservation.  It's given me such

          19   pleasure.  There's almost never been a bad moment, a few

          20   tense moments, yeah.  Bad ones, I can't think of one.

          21   I've been involved here with the Department in one fashion

          22   or another for I think it's 13 years now, and I miss it

          23   and I miss a lot of the friends I've made here.

          24             Now, as I told the group last night, traveling

          25   around the world I hear the comments time after time after

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           1   time, "I wish our department was like the Texas

           2   Department."  Everybody says this.  I've never heard

           3   anything else but this, and it's -- it's a special place

           4   and a special bunch of people, and I'm thrilled to have

           5   been part of it.  And everybody knows where to find me if

           6   I can ever help.  Thanks.

           7                  (Applause.)

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thanks, again, Tim,

           9   for everything.  I think it's appropriate now for me to

          10   just quickly introduce the soon-to-be Chairman of the

          11   Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation who has also come

          12   today, Patrick Oles, an old friend of mine and an old

          13   friend of the Department's.  I don't have his bio in front

          14   of me, so I'm going wing it a little bit.

          15             I've known Patrick since he was -- we were both

          16   very callow youngsters.  He worked for my father in

          17   Governor Clement's appointments office, and even at that

          18   age, it was clear that Pat was one of those old souls that

          19   had a sort of prenatural amount of wisdom at a very early

          20   age.  He went on to become the Chairman of the Lower

          21   Colorado River Authority.  He's been involved in various

          22   conservation groups.  I trust Patrick.  He is a person

          23   that we all rely on for guidance.  I know that he cares

          24   deeply about these issues, and I think he will be a

          25   wonderful chairman and hopefully Patrick, you will live up

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           1   to the example that went before you.

           2             Would you please stand.

           3                  (Applause)

           4                  MR. OLES:  Following in Mr. Hixon's

           5   footsteps and leadership, I'm going to keep -- I have two

           6   words.  Thank you for the opportunity.  I look forward to

           7   working with my great friend Tim, who has left a huge

           8   hurdle and a big footprint for all of us to follow.  I did

           9   have the opportunity to serve on the original -- the

          10   original board of the Foundation, and I can tell you

          11   it's -- it's tremendous progress and a great deal of pride

          12   to see how far you brought the foundation over the last 11

          13   years, I believe now.

          14             So I'm anxious to work with Tim and the other

          15   trustees as well as the Commission.  I have a lot of

          16   friends here, just like Tim, lots of good memories from

          17   our years at the LCRA working with Parks and Wildlife.  So

          18   I look forward to -- to getting to work, and thanks very

          19   much for the opportunity.

          20                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

          21                  (Applause.)

          22                  MR. COOK:  Mr. Hixon, it would be -- I

          23   would be remiss in not expressing something that I have

          24   heard to you and Karen from all of the employees at Texas

          25   Parks and Wildlife Department and all of our constituents.

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           1   Thank you very much.  We appreciate you.  You're a great

           2   man and have helped us so much, and we appreciate it.

           3             With that, let's get down to our service --

           4   retirement certificate service awards.  First of all, I

           5   believe we have Mr. Terry Cody.  Terry is a Manager II

           6   Coastal Fisheries, Rockport, Texas.  Terry's retired with

           7   over 32 years of service.  He has worked all these years

           8   for the Coastal Division at Rockport Marine Lab, with only

           9   a brief stint in Brownsville to study pink shrimp.

          10   Starting as a seasonal Fish and Wildlife Technician I in

          11   1969, he quickly rose through the ranks.  As he gained a

          12   wealth of knowledge and experience of shrimp and fish

          13   management and research in the Gulf of Mexico.  In May, he

          14   retired as a Manager II, Ecosystem Leader for the Corpus

          15   Christi Bay system.  For many years, Terry served on the

          16   several committees for the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries

          17   Management Council and the Gulf State Marine Fisheries

          18   Commission.  During his tenure, he worked in almost all of

          19   the bay systems on the Texas Coast.  He was the lead

          20   author of the 1989 Shrimp Fisheries Management Plan by

          21   which TPWD received regulatory authority from the

          22   legislature for shrimp management.  This document, as well

          23   as sound scientific data that Mr. Cody has been

          24   responsible for collecting during his entire career, was a

          25   backbone for our recent shrimp management recollections.

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           1   It is the dedication and integrity of biologists like

           2   Terry Cody that make the Coastal Fisheries Division and

           3   this agency respected in the field of fisheries

           4   management.  Terry Cody.

           5                  (Applause.)

           6                  MR. COOK:  The next gentleman is receiving

           7   both his Retirement Certificate and Service Award.  David

           8   McDonald came to TPWD after having worked five years as a

           9   research translator for the Texas Antiquities Committee on

          10   the 1554 Spanish shipwreck project team that was

          11   instrumental in locating and microfilming documents

          12   pertaining to the wrecks in the Spanish and Mexican

          13   archives.  He subsequent served as chief translator for

          14   the project and published translations of selected

          15   documents pertaining the wrecks.

          16             David began his employment with TPWD in 1978 as

          17   a manager in park historian for Casa Navarro State

          18   Historical Park in San Antonio, Texas.

          19             During his tenure with the Department, he has

          20   made many presentations to college classes and at

          21   historical conferences in addition to translating,

          22   annotating, and publishing the Historical Writings of Jose

          23   Navarro, the first Tejano to write about the history of

          24   Texas.

          25             Most recently he has been a consultant on Fight

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           1   for Texas, a forthcoming PBS American Experience

           2   documentary that will focus on Tejanos and the Texas

           3   Revolution featuring Jose Antonio Navarro and his

           4   important role in Texas history.

           5             David McDonald Program Administrator II with the

           6   State Parks Division, 25 years of service and his

           7   retirement certificate.

           8                  (Applause.)

           9                  MR. COOK:  Next, we have Nancy Ziegler in

          10   Coastal Fisheries Division, Administrative Tech IV,

          11   Rockport, Texas, with 21 years of service.  She is

          12   retiring at this time.  She has served at the Coastal

          13   Fisheries Division Rockport Marine Lab since starting with

          14   the agency as a secretary in 1981.  She has advanced up

          15   the career ladder rapidly during her tenure.  She has been

          16   nominated for employee performance recognition and awards.

          17   She is responsible for assisting the regional director and

          18   regional staff with a diverse range of administrative

          19   challenges, ranging from routine monthly employee time

          20   sheets to the more complex purchasing regulations and

          21   insurance issues.  She is well known for her friendly

          22   telephone voice, positive attitude and outstanding

          23   helpfulness.  Nancy Ziegler retiring with 22 years of

          24   service.

          25                  (Applause.)

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           1                  MR. COOK:  Thank you very much.

           2                  MS. ZIEGLER:  Thank you.  Thank you.

           3                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Congratulations.

           4                  MR. COOK:  Now receiving service awards,

           5   first we have Norman Anthony, Game Warden V in the Law

           6   Enforcement Division, Falfurrias, Texas, with 35 years of

           7   Texas.  Norman began his employment with TPWD in July,

           8   1967 as a cadet in Zapata.  After completion of the 21st

           9   Game Warden Academy, he was assigned to Jim Hogg County

          10   and lived in Hebbronville until June of 1974 when he was

          11   transferred to Brooks County and has lived in Falfurrias

          12   for the last 28 years, giving us a great service and a

          13   great amount of work and effort and we appreciate it.

          14   Norman Anthony, 20 -- 30 -- 35 years of service.

          15                  (Applause.)

          16                  MR. COOK:  Next person many of you will

          17   recognize.  We've all encountered Sam Center, I think, at

          18   one time or the other in our careers, and it's always been

          19   with a pleasure.  Sam Center, Captain in our Law

          20   Enforcement Division, headquartered now out of Llano,

          21   Texas, with 35 years of service.  Sam began his employment

          22   with TPWD in June, 1967.  He graduated from the Game

          23   Warden Academy in February, 1968 and was Game Warden at

          24   Eagle Lake until November, 1980 when he was promoted to

          25   District Supervisor in Region 9, District 2.  He stayed in

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           1   Eagle Lake until he transferred to Llano in January of

           2   1994 as District Supervisor in Region 7.  With 35 years of

           3   service, Sam Center.

           4                  (Applause.)

           5                  MR. COOK:  Another employee with 35 years

           6   of service, Robert Colura, Coastal Fisheries Division,

           7   Manager III at Palacios.  Robert Colura began his career

           8   with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as an Area

           9   Biologist stationed in Palacios, Texas, where he was

          10   responsible for sample collections in Matagorda Bay.  In

          11   1972, he accepted a position in the Department's Perry R.

          12   Bass Marine Fisheries Research Station where he began

          13   research on pond culture of red drum and spotted seatrout.

          14   In 1974, he became project leader for these studies.  This

          15   work led to the development of the Department's stocking

          16   program for these species.

          17             In addition to culture research, he has also

          18   been involved in studies of red drum and spotted seatrout

          19   age, growth, and reproductive biology.  Life history

          20   studies were expanded in 1988 to include southern

          21   flounder, snook, tarpon, black drum and Atlantic croaker.

          22   In 1993, Bob became the Director of the Science Program at

          23   the Perry R. Bass laboratory responsible for the life

          24   history and genetics programs at the facility.  He is

          25   currently serving as Acting Science Director for Coastal

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           1   Fisheries Division.  Robert Colura, Manager III, Palacios,

           2   Texas, 35 years.

           3                  (Applause.)

           4                  MR. COOK:  Thanks, Robert.

           5             Lawrence Barrientes with the State Parks

           6   Division, Park Ranger V in Stonewall, Texas, with 30 years

           7   of service.  He began his career at the LBJ State Park in

           8   March of 1972 as a seasonal technician.  One of his

           9   initial duties was transplanting approximately 500 sapling

          10   trees, the bulk of which are now mature and doing well.

          11   Lawrence has been a very important contributor to the

          12   development and success of the LBJ State Park.  He has

          13   been employed at the park almost since it's beginning in

          14   1970.  He wears many hats and is a multitalented

          15   individual.  In his capacity as a Lead Ranger, he has

          16   effectively supervised other employees.  His loyalty, work

          17   ethic, and dedication have consistently been above

          18   reproach and he has been a tremendous asset not only to

          19   the park but to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as

          20   well.  Congratulations and appreciation goes to Park

          21   Ranger V, Lawrence Barrientos, Sr., for 30 years of

          22   dedicated service as a public servant at the LBJ State

          23   Park.  Lawrence Barrientes.

          24                  (Applause.)

          25                  MR. COOK:  This next employee is one that

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           1   we all know and love, Shirley Hoes in Land Conservation

           2   Division, Administration Tech II here in Austin with 30

           3   years of service.  Shirley began her employment with TPWD

           4   in August of 1970 as a secretary in the Parks Division,

           5   working for Bill Collins, George Adams and John Prater.

           6   She transferred, within the Parks Divisions to Special

           7   Studies working for Mark Gosdin and Mike Herring, before

           8   spending 16 years as Parks Division secretary, retiring in

           9   1993.  Couldn't stay away, though.  She returned to work

          10   part-time/seasonal in the Executive Office in June of '94;

          11   then in January, 1996, she began working with the Land

          12   Conservation group and has been there since.  Shirley

          13   Hoes, Administrative Tech II in our Land Conservation

          14   group with 30 years of service.  Shirley.

          15                  (Applause.)

          16                  MR. COOK:  Mary-Love Bigony, managing

          17   editor on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine has

          18   enjoyed a 25-year career at the magazine.  She handles

          19   coordination of the production schedule with the magazine

          20   staff and vendors, as well as the layouts.  She writes and

          21   edits manuscripts, oversees fact-checking, caption writing

          22   and proofreading, and supervises the magazine interns.

          23   She has won numerous writing awards from the Association

          24   of Conservation Information, Regional Magazine

          25   Associations, International Regional Publishers

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           1   Association and the National Weather Association.  With

           2   her many years with the agency, Mary-Love brings to the

           3   magazine extensive knowledge of the mission and scope of

           4   the agency and numerous personal contacts in other

           5   divisions and field offices.  Mary-Love Bigony,

           6   Communications Division, 25 years of service.

           7                  (Applause.)

           8                  MR. COOK:  Well, this next person, the

           9   Commissioners know well and I have -- I have learned to

          10   appreciate very much, Michelle Klaus, Executive Assistant

          11   with the Executive Office with -- you're probably not

          12   going to believe this, 25 years of service.  She told me

          13   she began her tenure here when she was, like, seven or

          14   eight years old.  But it says right here Michelle began

          15   her employment in June of 1997 [sic] in the Inland

          16   Fisheries Division as a Secretary III.  In 1980, she

          17   transferred to the personnel office as a personal clerk --

          18   personnel clerk and worked for the director of personnel

          19   for ten years.

          20             In 1990, she landed her "dream job" in the

          21   Executive Office.  I'm not sure that she described it that

          22   way, but she currently serves as Executive Assistant to

          23   the Executive Director.  She enjoys working with the

          24   Commission, appreciates the wonderful people she has a

          25   privilege to work with in the past and looks forward to

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           1   more opportunities in the future.

           2             As you know, Commissioners, and staff, I -- I

           3   moved to the Executive Office a few months ago.  And I

           4   will tell you without a shadow of a doubt, there has been

           5   absolutely no point in time where Michelle didn't do

           6   everything she could to keep me out of trouble and to

           7   assist me in every way.  I really appreciate it.  Michelle

           8   Klaus, 25 years of service.

           9                  (Applause.)

          10                  MR. COOK:  Kim Ochs, in the State Parks

          11   Division, began working for TPWD during the summers of

          12   1976 and '77 at the Goose Island State Park in Rockport

          13   and at Brown -- Lake Brownwood State Park in Brownwood

          14   while attending college at Texas A&M.  He began full-time

          15   employment in February, 1978, at Lake Livingston.

          16             In August of 1981, Kim was promoted to the

          17   Assistant Manager at Lake Corpus Christi, and in July,

          18   1986, was promoted to the Manager at Dangerfield State

          19   Park, where he remains today.  Kim Ochs in the State Parks

          20   Division, Program Administrator IV with 25 years of

          21   service.  Kim.

          22                  (Applause.)

          23                  MR. COOK:  Thank you, Kim.  Thank you very

          24   much.

          25                  (Applause.)

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           1                  MR. COOK:  Next we have Floyd D. Randolph,

           2   a Park Ranger V in the State Parks Division at Livingston,

           3   Texas, with 25 years of service.  Floyd began his

           4   employment with TPWD in June of 1977 as a seasonal

           5   part-time employee at Lake Livingston State Park.  He has

           6   moved up the ladder from Park Ranger I to Park Ranger V

           7   and has remained at Lake Livingston throughout his tenure.

           8   Floyd Randolph, State Parks Division with 25 years of

           9   service.

          10                  (Applause.)

          11                  MR. COOK:  Ronnie Gallagher, State Parks

          12   Division, Maintenance Specialist in Lubbock, Texas, with

          13   20 years of service.  Ronnie began his career with TPWD in

          14   June of 1982 at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park as the

          15   Assistant Park Manager.  He served five years at that

          16   location.  Then he was promoted to Park Superintendent II

          17   at Matagorda Island State Park in June of 1987.  While

          18   there, reclassified to a Conservation Outdoor Recreation

          19   Specialist VI.  He is currently the Region 6 Maintenance

          20   Specialist at the Lubbock office.  Ronnie Gallagher, State

          21   Parks Division, with 20 years of service.

          22                  (Applause.)

          23                  MR. COOK:  Next we have a gentleman in our

          24   Resource Protection Division that we all care a lot about,

          25   John Rollin Macrae in the Resource Protection Division, 20

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           1   years of service, Manager III here in Austin, Texas.  In

           2   his 20 years at the Parks and Wildlife Department he has

           3   been in the Resource Protection Division.  Rollin has been

           4   instrumental in establishing all of the large wetland

           5   mitigation banks and other conservation initiatives across

           6   Texas.  His tireless efforts toward wetland conservation

           7   have inspired many, inside and outside the Department.

           8   And he is considered by many of the biologists as a

           9   mentor.

          10             He has set standards for conservation that are

          11   known and respected within the Department as well as in

          12   other state and federal agencies.  His dedication to

          13   scientific facts has led to a consistent direction toward

          14   conservation that is recognized statewide.  He has led the

          15   team that reviews 404 permits for urban and industrial

          16   development in wetlands, to assure conservation

          17   regulations are satisfied.  His team looks at all Corps.

          18   of Engineers permits and federal projects like the Gulf

          19   Intra-coastal Waterway.  So far, they have resulted in

          20   over 30,000 acres of mitigation land.  Rollin Macrae,

          21   Resource Protection Division, with 20 years of service.

          22                  (Applause.)

          23                  MR. COOK:  Brent Ortego in the Wildlife

          24   Division and stationed in Victoria, Texas, he's a Program

          25   Specialist V.  Brent began working for TPWD in 1982 in the

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           1   Jasper office as a Liaison to the U.S. Forest Service.

           2   Then he game became the Region 3 Technical Guidance

           3   Biologist in 1985 and Nongame Biologist in 1988.  Brent

           4   transferred to the Nongame program in Austin in 1990 and

           5   the Planning Program in '91.  He served as area manager at

           6   Mad Island Wildlife Management Area starting in 1992,

           7   moved to Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area in 1996.

           8   Since 1999, he has held his current position, Wildlife

           9   Diversity Biologist in Region 4.  He is a past president

          10   of the Texas Organization of Endangered Species and the

          11   current president of the Texas Ornithological Society.

          12   Brent Ortego, Wildlife Division, Victoria, Texas, with 20

          13   years of service.

          14                  (Applause.)

          15                  MR. COOK:  Richard Adam Ott in the Inland

          16   Fisheries Division joined Texas Parks and Wildlife

          17   Department in 1982.  His first assignment was as the

          18   Assistant Project Leader in Tyler where he worked with

          19   Charlie Inman.  He refers to this as attending the

          20   University of Inman and feels that his time with Charlie

          21   was instrumental in the development of his career.

          22   Following Charlie's retirement in 1988, Richard competed

          23   for and was promoted to Project Leader where he has been

          24   since.  In addition to acting as a fisheries manager for

          25   major East Texas reservoirs, Rick has also been an active

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           1   researcher.  Rick's research has resulted in authorship

           2   and co-authorship of nine scientific papers.  In recent

           3   years, Rick has become more interested in development of

           4   aquatic plant communities for fish habitat.  He has

           5   assisted in the development of a statewide aquatic habitat

           6   initiative and has been active in the development of an

           7   on-line habitat development manual through the Southern

           8   Division American Fisheries Society Reservoir Committee.

           9   Since 1998, Rick has been activity pursuing his Ph.D. in

          10   Environmental Science through the Forestry Program at

          11   Stephen F. Austin University.  Richard Ott, Inland

          12   Fisheries Division with 20 years of service.

          13                  (Applause.)

          14                  MR. COOK:  Ricky W. Weinheimer in State

          15   Parks Division, Exhibit Technician at Stonewall, Texas,

          16   has been with the agency for 20 years.  He began his

          17   career at LBJ State Park 1982 as Park Ranger I.  In

          18   December, 1984, Ricky advanced to a Park Ranger II

          19   beginning his career as an interpreter at the

          20   Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm.  In April of 1987,

          21   Ricky was promoted to Park Ranger III, as lead interpreter

          22   at the Living History Farm.  Currently Ricky is an Exhibit

          23   Technician III and as an interpreter at the Sauer-Beckmann

          24   Living History Farm, one of the premiere historic sites in

          25   this Agency.  Throughout the years as an interpreter,

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           1   Ricky has mastered many of the historic demonstrations

           2   seen on a Hill Country farm at the turn of the century.

           3   His last venture is learning the art of blacksmithing and

           4   has made exceptional strides in this endeavor.

           5             Ricky has played an integral part in the

           6   development and success of the Sauer-Beckmann Living

           7   History Farm and to the overall development of LBJ State

           8   Park.  He has provided valuable interpretive experience to

           9   literally thousands of park visitors, both on and off

          10   site, skillfully sharing pertinent information about our

          11   culture and natural resources.  His loyalty, work ethic,

          12   and dedication have been consistently above reproach and

          13   he is truly an ambassador for TPWD in its mission as a

          14   conservation agency.  In the year 2000, Ricky received the

          15   award as "Employee of the Year in Region 7," a feat that

          16   he is most proud of.

          17             Ricky has worked in all areas of the park,

          18   including park maintenance and visitors services at the

          19   front desk.  He always accepts any type of assignment and

          20   gives it his best.  Congratulations to Ricky Weinheimer,

          21   20 years of exceptional service for TPWD.  Ricky.

          22                  (Applause.)

          23                  MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

          24                  (Applause.)


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           2                  MR. COOK:  Thank you.  Madame Chairman,

           3   Commissioners, in May, Communications Director Lydia

           4   Saldana briefed the Commission on the water communications

           5   initiative that we're calling, "Texas, the State of

           6   Water."

           7             The July issue of the magazine was the first

           8   volley in this effort and is the most comprehensive

           9   publication we've ever produced on this important topic.

          10             Today, we celebrate the publication of "Texas

          11   Rivers," published by the Texas Parks and Wildlife

          12   Department Press, this beautiful book features the prose

          13   of legendary author John Graves and the wonderful

          14   photography of Texas State photographer Wyman Meinzer.

          15             Outside the Commission Hearing Room in the

          16   lobby -- down at this end of the lobby, is a photo

          17   exhibit, which I hope everyone will have a chance to look

          18   at, which will travel to such high profile locations as

          19   our State Capitol, the Texas Book festival, the Houston

          20   Arboretum and to similar sites across the state.  The

          21   exhibit has been paid for by sponsor Brazos Mutual Funds,

          22   which is also underwriting a PBS documentary which will

          23   air next spring.

          24             Wyman Meinzer joins us today to tell us a little

          25   more about the book and to make a special presentation to

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           1   the Commission.  Wyman.

           2                  MR. MEINZER:  I want to take this

           3   opportunity to thank the members of the Commission for

           4   having me here this morning, giving me the opportunity to

           5   be here and speak on behalf of the book.  I also - I think

           6   that John couldn't be here, but I would like to say on his

           7   behalf that we owe you guys everything for supporting this

           8   project.  This endeavor would have been completely

           9   impossible without your input and your support and there

          10   are so many people - I can't name them all, but Susan

          11   Ebert, Larry Hodge, Dr. Larry McKinney, Lydia Saldana -

          12   everyone has been so good and has really kept this ball

          13   rolling.  It's been a long project, I know at times it

          14   probably strung out to where everyone thought it would

          15   never end, but I think that in light of the water issues

          16   in Texas I think this was a time when the project ended at

          17   a good point.  So hopefully that it will be a positive

          18   influence on people of the State and how they perceive the

          19   water and our natural resources in Texas.

          20             I will go into some slides here and a - or power

          21   point and kind of give you a rundown of some of the things

          22   that happened along the way.  This first image is a shot

          23   that I took on the Pecos River and I couldn't devote - I

          24   think - it's like seven days on the river whenever you put

          25   in -- it pandale (phonetic) in a canoe so I had a friend

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           1   of mine fly me in the helicopter and he flew from Dallas

           2   and met me there.  This is sort of a bittersweet moment -

           3   actually this was - the moment that I took this shot, I

           4   was kind of thrilled because previous to this I thought my

           5   wife and my friend, the helicopter pilot, and his wife

           6   probably had been killed in a crash because they said they

           7   would be back in 45 minutes and I didn't see two of them

           8   for two weeks.  They flew over about 10 hours later and

           9   dropped a message from an aircraft and let me know that

          10   they were all okay.  And so for the rest of the day I was

          11   very happy very elated and took a lot of good images.

          12             The Sabinal River - you know - it's a very

          13   small, very short in the state - only about 60 miles in

          14   length, but I tell ya, it's probably the cleanest river

          15   and it's lined with cypress trees, it's a gorgeous stretch

          16   of water.  Definitely one that's a jewel for the State.

          17   And I remember on this particular shot, I was headed to a

          18   ridge above the Sabinal valley that morning with a rancher

          19   and as we crossed the river on his ranch, I just said stop

          20   here Billy, this is the place - we'll go to the high

          21   country some other time.  So this particular shot is on

          22   private land holdings.  And I might mention also before we

          23   go further that everywhere we went in the State where we

          24   described the purpose -- I don't know what's happening

          25   here, Lydia.  It's going crazy.  I'm going to put it down

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           1   just for a moment.  But everywhere that we went - and

           2   described the purpose of our endeavor that people embraced

           3   us - everywhere.  And they love the idea of Texas Parks

           4   and Wildlife was supporting this and they thought it was

           5   for a great cause because of the water issues that we're

           6   faced with.  And so - I felt like that John Graves and I

           7   were more or less sort of like embassadors for Texas Parks

           8   and Wildlife and everywhere that we encountered

           9   individuals along the rivers never were we met with a

          10   negative approach - no one ever considers anything but --

          11   but there for a good cause.  So I just thought you might

          12   be interested in that.

          13             And I tell you working with John Graves was an

          14   absolute pleasure.  He is an icon of Texas writers, a

          15   gentleman of the highest order.  My wife says I didn't

          16   take any of that from him, but I tried.  I was with him

          17   for three years up and down these rivers.  Boating, and

          18   flying and walking and whatever, but John is just a great

          19   person and his writing style is just -- I don't know - it

          20   sets a mood for the book. it just makes you - you know -

          21   really appreciate it even more.  I mean - I say - you know

          22   -- the photographs people say well, the photographs are so

          23   great.  I say - read the words, the words really tell the

          24   story.  I mean John Graves in his voice is unparalleled.

          25   So when you take the work and you flip through it,

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           1   visually you - I hope you'll be impressed, but take those

           2   words and take them to heart because John Graves wrote

           3   from the heart on this one.  As we does always.

           4             Here we are with Jack Scowles who is an author

           5   and a rancher on the Pecos River.  We're above a location

           6   there way far in the outback.  I might mention that I

           7   wanted, in photographing the river, I wanted to cover

           8   mainly private land holdings to show people that great

           9   areas still exist along our rivers that's not necessarily

          10   within the realm or within the parameters of the public

          11   where they can actually get to them.  I have a tendency to

          12   believe that sometimes people say - well, all we got left

          13   are the parks and that's wonderful, but beyond the parks

          14   there are fabulous places and I think this might enhance

          15   people's appreciation for the rivers beyond what they see

          16   along the roadways.  And so we sought out locations on

          17   these private ranches and to show that the ranchers are

          18   great stewards of the land.

          19             This is a special moment on the Llano River with

          20   John Graves as he's tying a fly.  I savor these memories.

          21   And here I am at pontoon crossing with John as he is

          22   GPSing the location where there was an old stage stop and

          23   an old bridge there (pointing) in the 1800s where soldiers

          24   from Fort Lancaster would come often to try to protect the

          25   people passing through to the gold fields in California -

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           1   try to protect them from Indian attacks.

           2             And here is what I would call the Kit Carson de

           3   Plains.  That's John talking to Alvin Lynn.  Alvin Lynn is

           4   the geologist, an archaeologist, an educator from Amarillo

           5   and one of the things I found early on in this project was

           6   that - and - I wasn't familiar, except for the Canadian, I

           7   wasn't familiar with any of these areas of the State - you

           8   know - in-depth - you know intimately.  So I had to find

           9   someone in each location that knew the land and the people

          10   and the river and so the first guy I came upon the

          11   Canadian was Alvin Lynn and he knew every trail from the

          12   1840s, Kit Carson up to the present day and he was a

          13   priceless individual to have there - a source of

          14   information and so my friend Kanut Millhouse offered his

          15   services of the helicopter to take us to some of the

          16   wilder and woollier places along the rivers and it was

          17   just a tremendous experience all the way.

          18             Here we are on the Neches River after checking a

          19   little throw line.  James Smith, he was my Kit Carson on

          20   the Neches River.  James, since this picture was taken,

          21   has since lost his wife unfortunately and I talk to him

          22   frequently.  The beauty of this also, sort of an ancillary

          23   positive note on this book is that I made a lot of friends

          24   along the way on these rivers.  Lots of friends that I'll

          25   always remember and I'll keep in contact with.  James so

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           1   graciously allowed us - John and I to stay in his river

           2   house and cooked his catfish and told us some good stories

           3   about the big thicket country in East Texas.  And here is

           4   John sharing some - or actually Greg - I don't recall his

           5   last name, but on the Sabinal River he's sharing some

           6   information about the river.  He was our guide there on

           7   the Sabinal.  We were sitting at a park, their city park

           8   studying maps.  And Greg and John strolling down the side

           9   of the river there beneath the canopy of cypress trees.

          10             And then John Graves taking a little respite

          11   from the canoe trip on the Llano to do a little fly

          12   fishing.  We had a lot of people really support us along

          13   the way.  Furnish canoes, food - we just had a lot of

          14   support from all over the state.  And it just shows that a

          15   lot of people really consider this a wonderful project.

          16   John writing notes - you know - I guess if I live to be

          17   125 years old - I'll always regret one photograph that I

          18   missed along the way and we were sitting on the banks on a

          19   cliff about 300 feet above the Pecos River and it was late

          20   in the afternoon and I had three cameras set up.  I had

          21   one on the River and two on some Indian rock art.  And

          22   that's all the cameras I had with me that day and I looked

          23   over and John was sitting on a big boulder with his legs

          24   hanging off and the river stretching in the distance at

          25   sunset and I started to grab one of those cameras and I

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           1   didn't do it, to take a picture of that, and every time I

           2   see a photograph that I've taken of John, I will always

           3   regret that one that I missed.  I guess that's the way we

           4   photographers are, though.

           5             And here's John and Susan Ebert doing a little

           6   fishing, canoeing on the Sabinal.  She took some time to

           7   spend with us along the river there a day.  Had a great

           8   time.

           9             And you know, it's really funny.  I wanted to

          10   really cover the personalities along the river - each

          11   river - and believe me I saw some real neat people.  And

          12   especially on the Neches.  I'm a plains person.  I love

          13   the wide open country and I was a little apprehensive

          14   about going to the big thicket in East Texas, but once I

          15   got there I realized that people there are Texans just

          16   like they are in Presidio, just like they are in - you

          17   know - Brownsville and in Amarillo.  But I heard about

          18   this guy who lived way out on the river about 10 miles

          19   from the closest bridge and so one of the game wardens

          20   there took me to this fellow's house and he lived there

          21   and lived off of a trout line.  And he so graciously let

          22   us come into this little house here.  This was what he

          23   lived on besides his fish.  And he let me come inside and

          24   photograph him sitting at this table by his bed.  I might

          25   mention that the game wardens and biologists along the way

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           1   - helpful as they could be.  Fabulous.  When I couldn't

           2   find the local, when I first went in to a river sometimes

           3   I couldn't find a local - you know - that I could work

           4   with - you know - I had to spend several days - and the

           5   game warden would pick me up and say hey I can take you to

           6   some places and let you meet some people.  So they were

           7   there at every turn and I really appreciate it.  This is

           8   on the Neches River.

           9             Here is Mr. Lloyd Goodrich.  He's a Pecos River

          10   man.  Lloyd - when I first drove up to his house there on

          11   the Pecos - I thought my goodness - you know - I really

          12   found a character here, but looking at Lloyd - you know -

          13   I learned right then you don't ever underestimate anyone.

          14   This man has two degrees in engineering, but he chooses to

          15   live on the Pecos River in a real forbidding land - almost

          16   inhospitable land.  And just a gracious person spent time,

          17   let me photograph all I wanted to and just shared some

          18   good moments with me.  I really appreciate Lloyd and all

          19   the people like little Patty Brooks - 92 years old and

          20   beautiful and spent an afternoon with her.  She lives in

          21   ______.  Her life also being shaped by the Pecos River.

          22   This is my wife - sometimes she accompanied me on these

          23   trips.  On this particular one, we were on historically

          24   one of the most evil crossings on the Pecos River - Horse

          25   Head crossing.  So when as I was waiting for the sun to

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           1   set and a Comanche moon to rise and I said, "Go over there

           2   and pick up that pistol and puff on that cigar for me and

           3   let's get a picture of a tough woman on a tough river

           4   crossing."  She'll kill me when she finds out I did this.

           5   I'm dead meat.  But this is one of our camps also along

           6   the Pecos.  This is where we flew into with the

           7   helicopter.  Actually what happened, my friend dropped me

           8   off at this camp - said, "I'll be back in 45 minutes" and

           9   I saw him two weeks later.  So you can imagine my

          10   apprehension all night long as I lay in my sleeping bag

          11   and literally cried.  I cried, I prayed, the only thing I

          12   could see in my mind was them piled up somewhere with a

          13   buzzard in the cockpit.  We saw a lot of them coming in,

          14   but the next morning I heard the drum of a plane as it

          15   came over and I thought - you know - no one can navigate

          16   but Kanut Millhouse like that, come right to this camp and

          17   sure enough came up the river, threw out a milk jug with a

          18   message in it and said we're okay, we'll pick you up this

          19   afternoon.  So - and here's John again on the Sabinal

          20   writing.  Writing notes.  And John and I just taking a

          21   little respite on the banks of the river.

          22             I'll cherish this time.  Again I want to thank

          23   you for making it possible for me to do this with John

          24   Graves and to work with all of you people and to work with

          25   the State of Texas.  It was an honor that highlights my

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           1   career.

           2             One more real neat individual, Mr. Dude

           3   Fountain.  Dude lives on the Angelina, but was raised on

           4   the Neches.  And, Dude - one of the game wardens there

           5   when we drove by and saw Dude sitting on the porch and

           6   said - let me go talk to Dude.  He might not want anybody

           7   around today and then he waved me over and said

           8   everything's okay.  And so we went in and shot Dude and

           9   had a good visit and found out some neat things about the

          10   life of Dude Fountain and the Neches River.  James again

          11   on the Neches.  John again late in the afternoon on the

          12   Pecos.  Another good helper on the Pecos.

          13             Thank you so much, I can't express my

          14   appreciation enough.  Thank you.

          15                  (Applause.)

          16                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  On behalf of the

          17   Commission, I want to thank Wyman and John Graves for this

          18   spectacular effort.  You've done a great honor to Texas

          19   beauties - our rivers.  And I also want to say that both

          20   you and Mr. Graves are also Texas treasures and we're so

          21   fortunate to have the two of you express this very

          22   important subject matter.  I don't think anyone in this

          23   room doubts the importance of the water issue.  We're

          24   going to all have to work together.  Government agencies,

          25   our leaders, industry, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and

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           1   citizens to be sure and express with a firm and coherent

           2   voice the importance of these natural treasures and the

           3   importance of plentiful and clean water to the state, to

           4   its citizens, and to its wildlife.  Thank you, Wyman.


           6   AWARD

           7                  MR. COOK:  Madame Chairman, Commissioners.

           8   There are five species of sea turtle that live in the Gulf

           9   of Mexico.  Four of these are on the threatened species

          10   list and the other - the ridley - the Kemp's ridley is

          11   actually considered the most endangered seat turtle in the

          12   world.  The Department has a long history of active

          13   conservation efforts to recover this species.  Those

          14   efforts include support of the "head-starting" program in

          15   the late 1980's which released over 15,000 Kemp's ridleys

          16   off Padre Island to help create a secondary nesting site.

          17   The Commission has also adopted conservation measures to

          18   balance sea turtle protection with shrimp industry needs.

          19   Lastly, we have provided direct funding in support of

          20   turtle nest protection on both Padre Island and Ranch

          21   Nuevo, Mexico, the primary Kemp's ridley nesting site in

          22   the Gulf.

          23             I'm happy to introduce to you today three

          24   gentlemen who have also contributed significantly to sea

          25   turtle conservation efforts:  Mr. Dick Gutting with the

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           1   National Fishing Institute in Washington, D.C., Mr. Les

           2   Hodgsen with Marcos Seafood in Brownsville, and Mr. Pat

           3   Burchfield with the Glady's Porter Zoo in Brownsville.

           4   They are here to present the Department with an award for

           5   some of our conservation efforts.  I'll now ask these

           6   gentlemen and Hal Osburn, the coastal Fisheries Division

           7   Director, to join me at the podium.

           8                  MR. HODGSEN:  Madame Chairman and

           9   Commissioners, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and

          10   friends.  In 1983, the Kemp's ridley sea turtle hit the

          11   lowest point, the fewest number of nesting females on

          12   record and in that year the decision was made to do

          13   everything possible to try and keep from losing this

          14   magnificent species.  There were times when some of the

          15   laws came into direct conflict with the fishing industry.

          16   As a representative of the seafood industry here in the

          17   United States, we were more than concerned about what was

          18   happening.  We went to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's

          19   international coordinator for the project and asked him to

          20   come to speak to our association which he did and he

          21   explained to us that the problem with the Kemp's ridley

          22   sea turtle was that there has been almost a one hundred

          23   percent take of the eggs off the nesting beach in Mexico

          24   and that efforts were being made worldwide to try and help

          25   out that situation, but if we wanted to really recuperate

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           1   the species, we had to do it where the problem existed.

           2   And that was on the beaches in Mexico.  So the National

           3   Fisheries Institute, the Texas Shrimp Association, and the

           4   Commande Duestre Pescada (phonetic) actually bought land,

           5   constructed a camp at Tepe Quajes (phonetic).  Then we

           6   went to the National Marine Fisheries here in the United

           7   States and got support for building other camps on the

           8   Mexican coast and what we have realized is that with the

           9   success that we have enjoyed with this project also goes a

          10   lot more expense and we couldn't do it alone.  We have had

          11   to go out and look for other partners that would help with

          12   the bi-national project.  The last award that we presented

          13   went to Honda America for helping us with the motor breaks

          14   down on the beach and this year we're very honored to

          15   present our award to Texas Parks and Wildlife.  To tell

          16   you exactly what your money has gone to, your significant

          17   contributions, I'd like to ask the U.S. Coordinator for

          18   the bi-national project, Dr. Patrick Burchfield to explain

          19   a little bit about what your money's gone to and how the

          20   project is coming along.

          21                  DR. BURCHFIELD:  Thank you, Les, and thank

          22   you for inviting us here today.  It's really an honor to

          23   be here and going back to 1978 when the bi-national

          24   program began, Texas Parks and Wildlife was one of those

          25   agencies instrumental in creating the bi-national effort

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           1   to save the world's most endangered seat turtle.  As

           2   Mr. Hodgsen mentioned, by 1985 Kemp's ridley turtle had

           3   reached a low point with only 702 nests for an entire

           4   season as opposed to 40,000 plus turtles that crawled to

           5   shore one day in 1947.  But despite the early losses and

           6   the fact that it seemed as though the turtle was in

           7   absolute danger of becoming extinct, with time and

           8   perseverance and more partners and more participation of

           9   more agencies, we're on the road to recovery.  This year

          10   we protected 6,436 nests on the Mexican coast line and I

          11   just got the data yesterday, we so far this year have

          12   released 402,969 Kemp's ridley hatchlings back into the

          13   Gulf of Mexico.  And inasmuch as sea turtles know no

          14   boundaries, they are a shared species.  Texas and

          15   Tamaluipas have been critical partners in the effort to

          16   recover this species.  We now have instead of the original

          17   31 kilometers that we patrolled for three months, we have

          18   a hundred miles of beach from La Pesca all the way into

          19   Vera Cruz, six camps and for nine months out of the year,

          20   we have more than 35 biologists plus volunteers working in

          21   all of those camps.  In large part, it's thanks to the

          22   participation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife in the last

          23   several years in particular that we've even been able to

          24   make a beginning of the season in order to try and help

          25   this species to recover.

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           1                  MR. GUTTING:  Madame Chairman and members

           2   of the Commission, I know you and certainly the audience

           3   knows that this is a very strange moment in tome.  Too

           4   often when shrimp fishermen come here, people are fearful,

           5   worried, angry.  We know you have a very tough job.  We

           6   know you have to balance interests.  But what we

           7   unfortunately forget to do sometimes is to say thank you.

           8   That's why I came from Washington, D.C., to say "thank

           9   you."  The destiny of our shrimp is linked to the future

          10   of the turtles.  And it took vision on your part to see

          11   that the solution - part of the solution was on the

          12   beaches in Mexico.  Your support has made a real

          13   difference, you have made a real difference.  I travel

          14   around the world and meet with many, many people, you

          15   should take pride, you have done something here - reached

          16   out beyond your borders, something extraordinary and you

          17   have made a difference and we're very grateful and thank

          18   you very much.

          19                  (Photographs were taken.)

          20                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  You're right indeed -

          21   it does feel a little strange three years ago when I first

          22   came on the Commission this was - needless to say a very,

          23   very contentious subject.  We appreciate your kind words.

          24   All too often I think - we don't recognize the success

          25   stories when groups can come together and cooperate to the

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           1   benefit of, in this case, the turtle, and the shrimping

           2   industry participating.  Thank you so much for being here

           3   today.  It's great.  Thank you.

           4                  (Applause.)


           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Gene McCarty, could I

           7   have clarification as to the order that we will be

           8   following?

           9                  MR. McCARTY:  We should start with the

          10   Action Item - Approval of the Agenda and then move Item 6

          11   to the top of the agenda and then go back in order.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All right. I don't

          13   think I have that in front of me if you could get it for

          14   me, please.  But first I'll go ahead and ask for approval

          15   of the agenda.

          16                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  So moved.

          17                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  So moved.

          18                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          19                  ("Aye.")

          20                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          21   carries.

          22             We will be moving Item 6 to -- is that correct?

          23   Here we go.  Sorry about that.  We're going to be moving

          24   Item 6 which is an action item, Regional Park Grants to

          25   the next item on the agenda and then we'll go back to the

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           1   normal order.  Tim Hogsett, please.


           3                  MR. HOGSETT:  Good morning.  Members of the

           4   Commission, I'm Tim Hogsett, Director of Recreation Grants

           5   Program in the State Parks Division.  We're proposing

           6   funding for Regional Park Grants this morning.

           7             The program is designed to support

           8   multijurisdictional projects of regional significance in

           9   those serving Metropolitan areas.  The kinds of projects

          10   typically that we fund are intensive-use recreation or

          11   regional conservation and recreation projects.  The Vice

          12   Chairman asked me yesterday in the briefing that we gave

          13   to give you a little more information about the scoring

          14   criteria for this program.  We look first at compliance on

          15   any existing grants and then additional priority is given

          16   for acquisition that involves either intensive recreation,

          17   linear greenways or conservation acquisitions.

          18             We give additional priority when there are

          19   partnerships involving the match between political

          20   jurisdictions and where there are comprehensive plans in

          21   place that show the need for the regional park.  We give

          22   additional priority for projects that involve multiple

          23   jurisdictions in programming of the use of the site.

          24             We give additional priority for match from the

          25   private sector, where there is a partnership -- public and

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           1   private partnership.  Dedication of publicly-owned

           2   nonparkland.  We give additional priority for projects

           3   that involve acquisition and/or development of water

           4   access, water-based recreation or aquatic habitat

           5   conservation.

           6             We also give additional priority to projects

           7   that involve the preservation of natural resources that do

           8   not involve water.  Linkages between political

           9   jurisdictions, such as trails or waterways and, finally,

          10   we give additional priority to projects that involve

          11   conservation of natural resources such as green

          12   construction-type projects.

          13             We received five applications for the June 1st

          14   deadline requesting $7.2 million.  We have scored the

          15   applications using the criteria that I just showed you

          16   that the Commission has adopted and we're recommending

          17   funding for one project in the amount of $2 million.

          18             So the recommendation I bring forward to you is

          19   funding for the projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount

          20   of $2 million is approved as described for individual

          21   projects in Exhibit B.  I think you may have some

          22   testimony, and I would also be happy to answer any

          23   questions.

          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have some

          25   testimony.  Do you -- does the Commission have any

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           1   questions or comments of Mr. Hogsett?  We'll hear the

           2   testimony then.  First is Greg Westmoreland.  But before

           3   Mr. Westmoreland comes over here -- you can come on up.  I

           4   want to recognize Representative Uher who is here today.

           5   Thank you for coming.  Would you stand up.

           6                  (Applause.)

           7                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Would you like to make

           8   a comment and we can put you on the list.

           9                  REPRESENTATIVE UHER:  You can put me behind

          10   the fine judge of Matagorda County.

          11                  MR. WESTMORELAND:  Thank you,

          12   Representative.  Thank you, Madame Chairman.  I'm Greg

          13   Westmoreland.  I'm the county judge of Matagorda County.

          14   It's a pleasure to speak to you today.  I will tell you

          15   this project is very, very important to Matagorda County.

          16   LCRA has done us a great favor by coming down and choosing

          17   our county to put in this nature park.  We know that this

          18   grant is a very important part of that project.  We're

          19   here to enthusiastically support it and thank you and

          20   thank the staff very much for their high scoring.  I

          21   congratulate them and thank them for recognizing a good

          22   project when they see it.  It's going to be a great

          23   regional project, seriously.  It's good for our county,

          24   but it's good for the whole region.  We unfortunately

          25   suffer from flat growth in our county.  We had less than 3

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           1   percent growth in the last census from 1990.  We do have

           2   double-digit unemployment.  So quite frankly, we could use

           3   the business.  We appreciate it very much and thanks for

           4   letting me talk.

           5                  (Applause.)

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Representative Uher.

           7                  REPRESENTATIVE UHER:  Madame Chairman, I'm

           8   Tom Uher.  I'm the speaker pro temporary of the Texas

           9   House and then the Dean of the House, and I want to tell

          10   you I've spent many a year where you are, behind committee

          11   hearings, knowing the effort that you put in.

          12             My first term of office there was an attempt to

          13   split Parks and Wildlife back to two separate agencies.  I

          14   was one of those that believed that the Parks and Wildlife

          15   mission was important to the future of this state.  So

          16   1969, we didn't change that.  We've kept it in place and

          17   over the years, your predecessors where you sit have done

          18   a wonderful job of preserving the wildlife of this state

          19   and providing recreation for many, many Texans.

          20             When I first got elected there were about

          21   9 million Texans in this great wonderful state of ours and

          22   today we're on the 22 million.  Lot of changes.  As a

          23   result of lot of changes today, we have a different

          24   mission as we approach what our role might be through this

          25   agency office and what we might do to compliment your

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           1   efforts and your direction and your vision for the people

           2   in this great state.

           3             This project at the mouth of the Colorado is

           4   going to be one of those exceptional projects that will

           5   serve not just our immediate region, but it will also

           6   serve the Metropolitan areas of Harris County, Fort Bend,

           7   Brazoria, Montgomery Counties.  About one-fourth of the

           8   population will be within about an hour-and-a-half drive

           9   to this new park site.

          10             Interestingly, the Matagorda County has been the

          11   number one birding center for the past four years.

          12   There's an interest in birding that as a country boy I was

          13   more interested in hunting and animal husbandry than

          14   anything else, but I see today that we have a different

          15   type of population with different interests.  So the work

          16   that you do and the recognition that you have for this

          17   project is -- to me is very outstanding.

          18             My first year or so I attempted to get the Parks

          19   and Wildlife to buy some of this same land that is now

          20   this LCRA 1,600-acre preserve.  It will be a very positive

          21   effort for our region.  But it's going to do a lot for our

          22   immediate area of Matagorda County.  We're an interesting

          23   county because we're primarily agricultural and oil and

          24   gas, but we also have the nuclear plant there.  We have

          25   almost pristine beaches compared to other places in the

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           1   state that's available for this.  This project will bring

           2   that part of our state, that nature to people of all walks

           3   of life.  So this project that has been recommended by

           4   your very capable and able staff will compliment that and

           5   supplement that in so many ways and certainly will give to

           6   young school children the opportunity to come and have

           7   almost a hands-on approach to that part of our wildlife,

           8   this great center of nature.  It will also be a place for

           9   adults to come and study what we have.

          10             And so I see that it's going to do a lot for our

          11   region.  It will create almost $8 million in economic

          12   activity.  It will create over 100-plus jobs.  We think

          13   that over the years once it's operational that we'll see

          14   anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 visitors each year.  So

          15   the prospects of this and so hopefully you will approve

          16   this project and help the program move along and get it

          17   into operation.

          18             Again, I want to thank you for your service,

          19   because you spend many long hours up here, and I know it

          20   sometimes gets awfully tiring, some of the challenges that

          21   you have.  So thank you from the bottom of my heart for

          22   the years of service that you've given here, Madame

          23   Chairman, and also the leadership and direction that you

          24   provide for the future in this state.

          25                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

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           1                  (Applause.)

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Donna Brasher.

           3                  MS. BRASHER:  Good morning, Madame Chair,

           4   and members of the Commission.  I wanted to let you now

           5   how much LCRA appreciates the opportunity to work with you

           6   once again on a large regional project.  Just to let you

           7   know, the $2 million should, you approve it today, will be

           8   leveraged into a $15 million project.  You know as well as

           9   I do that the -- the business of providing parks and open

          10   spaces for our public constituents in the State of Texas

          11   is not business as usual.  So it's going to take these

          12   kinds of creative partnerships in order for us to provide

          13   what we lack so desperately and what we're behind at

          14   providing.  So thank you very much for your consideration.

          15                  (Applause,)

          16                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Angelo,

          17   do you have a question or comment?

          18                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I would like to ask

          19   Tim a question.  It was discussed yesterday, there's

          20   been -- some of the folks that have applied for this grant

          21   have at least been a little concerned about some of the

          22   criteria and whether or not the -- particularly the water

          23   aspect of it is totally fair since a fair part of the

          24   state is not blessed with water resources.  Do you -- do

          25   you feel that the guidelines need to be tweaked a little

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           1   bit, or are you satisfied that they really give a fair

           2   opportunity to everybody?

           3                  MR. HOGSETT:  Well, we really don't have

           4   enough mileage in this program for me to make a real

           5   precise judgment on that.  I will say that the scoring

           6   system that you adopted was different from the scoring

           7   system that we used in our two pilot reviews that we did,

           8   two pilot awards in that as a result specifically of some

           9   testimony that we heard out in Midland at our public

          10   hearing, we added the criteria -- a ten-point criteria for

          11   the conservation of natural resource sites that don't

          12   involve water.  So I hope that that will be sufficient.

          13   It might be that we may need to consider raising the point

          14   value there some -- somewhat.

          15                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Well, there's no

          16   question that this project today that you're recommending

          17   is a superb example of what the whole program is about.

          18   But I think since this a fairly new program for us, we

          19   need to keep on top of the scoring system and make sure

          20   that you all are satisfied that it's -- that it is fair

          21   and that the comments you're receiving from people that

          22   are making applications, if they have some ideas that need

          23   to be incorporated that we -- we look carefully at doing

          24   that.

          25                  MR. HOGSETT:  Absolutely.  We will.

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           1                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Thank you.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any comments

           3   or questions from any of the other Commissioners?  If

           4   there are not, do I have a motion?

           5                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  So moved.

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Second?

           7                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

           9                  ("Aye.")

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

          11                  MR. HOGSETT:  Thank you.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you, Tim.

          13   "Funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount of

          14   $2,000,000 is approved, as described for individual

          15   projects in Exhibit B."


          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  The next item, Item

          18   No. 2 is a briefing, Texas wildlife Expo.  Ernie Gammage

          19   will present.

          20                  (Whereupon a briefing was presented to the

          21                  Commission, the following proceedings were

          22                  heard:)


          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  The next item on the

          25   agenda is also a briefing item, Texas Parks and Wildlife

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           1   Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Relations.

           2   I want to welcome Dale Hall, our Regional Director for

           3   Fish and Wildlife based in Albuquerque.

           4                  (Whereupon a briefing was presented to the

           5                  Commission, the following proceedings were

           6                  heard:)



           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  The next item is an

          10   action item, Local Park Funding Outdoor Recreation Grants,

          11   Tim Hogsett.

          12                  MR. HOGSETT:  Good morning, again.  We're

          13   presenting for your consideration today grants under the

          14   Outdoor Recreation Grant portion of the Texas Recreation

          15   and Parks Account.

          16             We received 38 applications for our January 1st

          17   deadline requesting approximately $15.7 million.  All the

          18   applications were reviewed, site visits performed and

          19   scored according to the criteria that you've adopted for

          20   the program.  These are rank ordered and can be found in

          21   Exhibit A of this item, and we're recommending funding for

          22   the top 15 projects for $6.6 million in matching funds.

          23   The highest scoring project is a record high score and the

          24   lowest scoring project that we're recommending is also a

          25   record bar if you are -- our recommendation that we bring

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           1   before you is funding for the projects listed in Exhibit A

           2   in the amount of $6,607,022 is approved as described for

           3   individual projects in Exhibit B.  And I'll be glad to

           4   answer any questions that you have.

           5                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Any questions before

           6   we take public testimony?  Thank you, Tim.  We'll maybe

           7   get back to you.  Jonathan Schulz, I believe, would like

           8   to speak on this item.

           9                  MR. SCHULZ:  Yes, sir, Thank you.

          10   Commissioners, we're grateful to be here today.  I am the

          11   mayor of the City of Karnes City.  We are in contention

          12   for the grant today for half a million dollars to build a

          13   park in our city.  We haven't had a park there since I was

          14   a young man, and we have quite a few business people and

          15   individuals who have donated their time and their property

          16   to build a beautiful 23-acre park in the City of Karnes

          17   City.  One that I know the City of Karnes City and Texas

          18   Parks and Wildlife will be proud to be a part of, and we

          19   appreciate your consideration.  Thank you.

          20                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Thank you for being

          21   here.  Randy Truesdell.

          22                  MR. TRUESDELL:  Good morning,

          23   Commissioners.  My name is Randy Truesdell.  I'm the

          24   Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Lubbock.

          25   I wanted to come down today and just express our

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           1   appreciation for your consideration of this grant funding.

           2   This funding will be used to develop McAlister Park which

           3   is in southwest Lubbock.  It's a 270-acre park.

           4             We've developed many partnerships to bring this

           5   park into existence.  One of those is with U.S. Fish and

           6   Wildlife in developing a habitat for burrowing owls.  That

           7   will be a place for many people to come out and enjoy the

           8   activities of the burrowing owls.  I would also like to

           9   recognize and thank you Hogsett and Jeff Hauff and Elaine

          10   Dill for their assistance.  They've been very professional

          11   and they've answered all our questions and very willing to

          12   work with us in this process.  I want to thank you again

          13   and invite you to come to Lubbock and enjoy our open

          14   spaces, our parks and we would certainly welcome a visit

          15   from you.  Thank you.

          16                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Hollis Rutledge.  I

          17   should say my good friend Hollis Rutledge.

          18                  MR. RUTLEDGE:  I wish to yield, if I may,

          19   Mr. Angelo, to our mayor who will be speaking on behalf of

          20   the City of Pharr, and I thank you all very much for

          21   considering our application.

          22                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Very good.

          23                  MR. PALACIOS:  Good morning, Madame

          24   Chairman, members of the Board, Executive Director and

          25   Staff.  My name is Leo Palacios, mayor of City of Pharr.

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           1   I'm here for the City of Pharr.  I would like at this time

           2   to extend a -- my most sincerest appreciation for the

           3   consideration you have given to our application for a

           4   project that we have been trying to get approved for the

           5   last few years.  We appreciate it very much.  We want to

           6   thank you all for taking time to consider this

           7   application.  This grant will help the City of Pharr,

           8   change the quality of life of, many, many people in our

           9   area.  And again, we want to extend our appreciation for

          10   allowing to us to participate in this grant and hopefully

          11   that you will grant us this application, this grant, and

          12   you will help us to make this project a reality.  If not

          13   so, we'll probably have to put it back on the back burner

          14   for another couple of years.  So thank you again on behalf

          15   of the City of Pharr and God bless you.

          16                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Thank you.

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Tony McGee and Hector

          18   Palacios.

          19                  MR. McGEE:  Chairman Armstrong and members

          20   of the Commission, I'm the mayor of Wimberley.  With me

          21   here today is our former major, Linda Hewlett, a member of

          22   our City Council, Martha Niece, and chairman of our parks

          23   and recreation board, Chris Kusak (phonetic), all of whom

          24   have put in a tremendous amount of work on the application

          25   that you're considering on behalf of Wimberley this

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           1   morning.  I hasten to add that Linda is our former mayor,

           2   because she chose not to seek re-election to the office,

           3   not because the voters swept her out and swept me in.

           4             Wimberley wishes to express its appreciation to

           5   the staff of the Parks and Wildlife Commission that helped

           6   us with this, and particularly Elaine Dill.  Wimberley is

           7   a newly incorporated city and this for us was an initial

           8   endeavor and so we -- we appreciated it very much the help

           9   that we got.  We scored very high on -- from our

          10   application, and I believe that our high score, while

          11   there was a great deal of effort put into it, I believe

          12   the reason we scored so high was because of the uniqueness

          13   of this parkland that will be possible with your grant.

          14   It's located in the geographic and population center of

          15   Wimberley.  It is a virgin stand of cypress trees along a

          16   natural creek that flows from Jacob's Well, which is a

          17   spring -- spring-fed creek.  It will provide access to the

          18   beauty and naturalness of the Hill Country to the tourists

          19   that come to our area from not only the whole State of

          20   Texas, but from all over the United States and, for that

          21   matter, the world.

          22             It -- it has a more -- I believe a more

          23   significant reason for being considered for a grant.

          24   Those of us that live in the Hill Country always

          25   appreciate its beauty, but we sometimes don't realize that

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           1   most of the people that see that beauty, they see it from

           2   a car kind of driving through.  They see it from a

           3   distance.  Unless they're fortunate to be invited by a

           4   private landowner, they don't get to see it up close.

           5             This is a pristine area of the Hill Country that

           6   has not ever been developed, and it will be made available

           7   on a close inspection basis to all of the public.  We

           8   placed the nature -- a conservation easement on it which

           9   will ensure that it will always remain in its natural

          10   state for the benefit of -- of generations to come.  And

          11   so we would -- we would very earnestly request that --

          12   that this grant be -- be approved and that we pledge

          13   ourselves to very wisely and -- and diligently to spend

          14   this grant in accordance with your guidelines.  Thank you.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Hector

          16   Palacios.

          17                  MR. PALACIOS:  Madame Chair, Commissioners,

          18   good morning.  If you see any resemblance between Mayor

          19   Palacios and myself, he is my brother.

          20                  MR. LEO PALACIOS:  I'm the old one.

          21                  MR. HECTOR PALACIOS:  Yes, you are.  I'm

          22   here on behalf of Hidalgo County.  We have submitted an

          23   application and this is the second time we've gone through

          24   the process.  I certainly appreciate any consideration and

          25   ask for your approval.  This particular facility will sit

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           1   in an area that has about 40, 45 colonias within a

           2   two-mile area and it's north of the City of San Juan which

           3   has a population of -- of about 25, 30,000 people.  Some

           4   of you are familiar with Hidalgo County.  It's right on

           5   the border, and consequently, we have the distinction or

           6   misfortune having most of the colonias in South Texas in

           7   our area.  This area has been grossly unserviced in the

           8   past, not necessarily from your department, but I'm

           9   talking local folks and we're gone a long ways, come a

          10   long ways.  And I think this will continue to allow to

          11   improve the quality of life for a lot of people in the

          12   area.  And I certainly ask for your blessings and your

          13   approval of this application.  Thank you.

          14                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

          15                  MR. HECTOR PALACIOS:  Are there any

          16   questions?

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any

          18   questions from the Commission or comments?  Mr. Ramos?

          19                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  The only comment that

          20   I have is I admire you for coming back.  This should be an

          21   example, that just because you don't get your application

          22   granted the first time, if you're persistent and you work

          23   with staff, you have a good shot at it.  And again, I

          24   thank staff not only with your project, but others and

          25   this should be an example of persistence and additionally

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           1   for taking the initiative to identify areas like what you

           2   have.  I'm from Laredo and I'm very sensitive to and very

           3   much aware of the colonia issues, so I admire you all for

           4   doing that.

           5                  MR. HECTOR PALACIOS:  Thank you,

           6   Commissioner.  By the way, the staff has been great.  They

           7   have been very helpful.  So thank you again.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any further

           9   comments or questions from the Commission?

          10                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Excuse me.

          11                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Excuse me.

          12   Commissioner Fitzsimons has a comment or question.

          13                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I wanted to also,

          14   after Commissioner Ramos' comments, I think more than any

          15   other item I get calls on are local park grants maybe

          16   that's because I'm from South Texas in a rural part of the

          17   state.  And like Commissioner Ramos I have a lot of

          18   friends in that part of the world.  And I tell them all

          19   the same thing.  You do a great job, Tim, and I just tell

          20   them follow the guidelines of the scoring and keep on

          21   keeping on.  And I know it's tough, but for those of you

          22   that -- that may not have it approved this time, stay with

          23   it and there's just nothing more to it than following

          24   those guidelines.  And thank you, Tim, for doing that good

          25   job.

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           1                  MR. HOGSETT:  Thank you.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Any further comments

           3   or questions?  If not, do I have a motion?

           4                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Move.

           5                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Angelo

           6   has moved approval.  Do I have a second?

           7                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Second from

           9   Commissioner Ramos.  All in favor.

          10                  ("Aye.")

          11                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          12   carries.

          13   "Funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount of

          14   $6,607,022 is approved, as described for individual

          15   projects in Exhibit B."


          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  The next item, Action

          18   Item No. 5, Small Community Grants.  Mr. Hogsett again.

          19                  MR. HOGSETT:  The Small Community Grant

          20   Program is a new program, as you know.  We did a pilot

          21   test of it and received about 60 applications in just a

          22   matter of a month or so.  You've made this program

          23   permanent recently.  And once again, it was very

          24   successful in -- in terms of the numbers of applications.

          25   The program is designed for government -- local

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           1   governments of 20,000 population or less.  It is a

           2   50 percent matching grant program, grant ceiling of no

           3   more than $50,000.  And we hope that we've developed

           4   what's a simple application process.  It doesn't take a

           5   lot of time and necessarily professional skill to put

           6   together.  We received 62 applications for our April 30th

           7   deadline requesting $2.7 million in matching funds.  We

           8   have rank ordered and scored -- we've scored and rank

           9   ordered all of the applications received and are

          10   recommending approval for the first 22 of those 62

          11   applications.

          12             The staff recommendation therefore is that

          13   funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount of

          14   $980,293 is approved as described for individual projects

          15   in Exhibit B.  I'll glad to answer any questions, if

          16   you...

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any

          18   questions of comments of Mr. Hogsett?  We do have some

          19   people signed up.  Curtis Schrader and Wanda Herd.

          20                  MR. SCHRADER:  Good morning, Madame

          21   Chairman and Commissioners.  I'm Curtis Schrader, the city

          22   administrator for the City of Marfa, which is in West

          23   Texas.  And the gentleman that -- that presented the Texas

          24   River said that the Pecos was in the outback.  Well, Marfa

          25   is west of the outback, west of the Pecos.

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           1             I'm sorry that the staff did not recommend

           2   approval for our project.  The Marfa swimming pool is the

           3   only public swimming pool within Presidio County and so

           4   many of our -- of our kids will not be able to partake of

           5   that -- what some would consider a simple pleasure.

           6             A couple of years ago, the Texas Department of

           7   Health came up with some new guidelines for public pools,

           8   and that's the reason for our request is to meet those new

           9   guidelines that the Department of Health has.  I would

          10   like to also comment on the -- the program itself.  The

          11   Small Community Grant Program is a new project, and I

          12   would ask you to continue to increase the funding level

          13   for this program.  There were more than -- or almost

          14   double the number of applications for this program than

          15   any of the other programs and for -- percentage-wise, a

          16   small additional amount of money, an additional

          17   $2 million, all 64 of these applications would get some

          18   money.  Small communities are the heart and soul of Texas.

          19   There are more small communities of less than 10,000 in

          20   Texas than there are any other size community.

          21             Fifty thousand dollars or $40,000 or $20,000 in

          22   a -- in a community like Marfa with a population of 2,121

          23   according to the census has a great, great impact, much

          24   more so than that same 40 or $50,000 in a community of

          25   even 10 or 20,000.  We have a very limited tax base.  We

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           1   have high unemployment and projects like this are really,

           2   really important to us.  And, again, I'm sorry that

           3   there's not enough money to go around, but I would urge

           4   you to apply more money to this program and continue

           5   funding it.  Thank you.

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Wanda Herd followed by

           7   Dock Jackson.

           8                  MS. HERD:  Madame Chairman and Commission,

           9   good morning, and staff.  I'm Wanda Herd, mayor of the

          10   City of Wheeler, and I want to thank you for recommending

          11   us for a small communities grant program.  We have a city

          12   park that is still the center of our town, which is not

          13   heard of in a lot of places.  We still gather every week

          14   for community ice cream suppers and family reunions and

          15   picnics.  And what I have learned in the last few years

          16   with grandmother of triplets, it is a very good place to

          17   take your little young grandchildren so that they can

          18   play.  We just want to say thank you for recommending us

          19   and for the wonderful job you all do.  Thank you.

          20                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Dock Jackson and

          21   Sheila Childs.

          22                  MR. JACKSON:  Good morning, Madam

          23   Commissioner -- Madame Chairman, I mean, and Commissioners

          24   and staff.  I am Dock Jackson.  I'm the Director of Parks

          25   and Recreation for the City of Elgin.  I have with me

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           1   today, I'm honored, in fact, to bring with me the mayor of

           2   the City of Elgin, Mayor Eric Carlson and the mayor pro

           3   tem Gladys Ward with us.  And we are just thrilled at your

           4   recommendation or the staff's recommendation for the small

           5   parks and communities grant.  We think it's a wonderful

           6   program and we hope that you will continue to fund the

           7   program.

           8             The project that we brought forward is the

           9   Thomas Memorial Park, which is a park that we have long

          10   wanted to -- it's been a dream for many years to try to

          11   renovate and do some work with.  This funding, if it's

          12   granted will allow us to bring that dream to its fruition.

          13   Elgin has been known far and wide as the sausage capital

          14   of Texas and now we want it to be known for its parks and

          15   recreation.  Thanks to your foresight and hopefully your

          16   approval today, there's a new saying going around in Elgin

          17   and that is that the parks and recreation, the benefits

          18   are endless.  We would just like to thank you for your

          19   foresight and hopefully your continued support of the

          20   small communities, because they are the life blood off our

          21   state and without this funding we would not be able to do

          22   some of the projects that we would like to do.  And

          23   hopefully, we will be able to move up to some of the

          24   larger projects later on.  We have a new department and we

          25   are moving in the direction.  And with your guidance and

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           1   the guidance of the staff, we would really appreciate your

           2   support.  And we thank you again.

           3                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you and welcome,

           4   his honor.

           5             Do we have any questions from the Commission or

           6   any comments?  No comments, no questions.  Do I have a

           7   motion?

           8                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  You do.

           9                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          11                  ("Aye.")

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          13   carries.

          14   "Funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount of

          15   $980,293 is approved, as described for individual projects

          16   in Exhibit B."


          18   GRANTS FUND AWARDS

          19                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Next item is Item No.

          20   7, Recreational Trails Grants, Tim Hogsett.

          21                  MR. HOGSETT:  This is a pass-through

          22   federal aid program.  The Department receives funds

          23   through gasoline tax on offroad vehicles.  We received 83

          24   applications, which is a record number of applications,

          25   for this program, requesting approximately $6.6 million.

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           1   Our State Trails Advisory Board has reviewed these

           2   projects and together with staff are recommending funding

           3   for 32 of the projects.  And the recommendation we would

           4   bring forward to you today is funding for 32 projects

           5   listed in Exhibit A in the amount of $2,072,937 is

           6   approved.  I would be glad to answer any questions.

           7                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Any questions for

           8   from the Commission?  I'm not sure if we have anybody

           9   registered.  Yes.  Jeanne Patterson.

          10                  MS. PATTERSON:  Good morning.  It's so nice

          11   to come to a podium and say thank you to people for a

          12   change instead of having a complaint.  I'm with the Texas

          13   Bicycle Coalition and one of the recommended grants this

          14   year is for a Texas Trail Care Crew.  We are so excited

          15   about this project, because for 24 months we will be

          16   traveling around the state teaching sustainable trail --

          17   natural trail construction, design and maintenance to

          18   trial users.  We will be meeting with equestrians, hikers,

          19   even motorcycle people.  So we are really thrilled about

          20   this and really looking forward to the opportunity to work

          21   with the Texas Parks and Wildlife as well as community

          22   parks, county parks in this great state.  But that's all I

          23   have to say.  Thank you very much.

          24                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Appreciate you being

          25   here.  Thank you.  There's no other public comment.  Do we

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           1   have any questions or comments from the Commission?  If

           2   not, do we have a motion?

           3                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

           4                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

           5                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It's been moved and

           6   seconded.  All in favor say aye.

           7                  ("Aye.")

           8                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Motion carries.

           9             Thank you, Mr. Hogsett.

          10   "Funding for 32 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the

          11   amount of $2,072,937 is approved."


          13                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We have one more for

          14   you, Item No. 8, Target Range Granted.

          15                  MR. HOGSETT:  These are recommendations for

          16   funding from the National Recreation Hunter Education and

          17   Target Range Program.  These are again pass-through

          18   federal funds that are administered by the Department

          19   passed through from the Wildlife Restoration Act.  Those

          20   are 75 percent matching grants.  We are recommending

          21   funding for two projects, for the total of $120,000.  Two

          22   projects at $60,000 each.  And I would be glad to answer

          23   any questions that you have.

          24                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We do not have any

          25   members of the public registered to speak on this item.

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           1   Are there any questions or comments from the Commission or

           2   do we have a motion?

           3                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Motion.

           4                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  Second.

           5                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Motion by

           6   Commissioner Montgomery, second by Commissioner Rising.

           7   Do we have any discussion?  All in favor say aye.

           8                  ("Aye.")

           9                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  All opposed?  Motion

          10   carries.  Thank you Mr. Hogsett.

          11   "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the

          12   Executive Director to execute contracts funding the

          13   projects at Exhibit B and C pending availability of

          14   federal funds."



          17   BUDGET POLICY

          18                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Another action item

          19   Fiscal '03 Operating and Capital Budget and Parks and

          20   Wildlife Investment Policy and Budget Policy.  It will be

          21   presented by Suzy Whittenton.

          22                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Thank you.  We'll quickly

          23   run through the recommended operating budget.  The

          24   operating budget consists of salaries, fringe benefits,

          25   other operating expenses and the minor repair program and

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           1   state parks.  Staff is recommending a $203.2 million

           2   operating budget as well as $53.9 million capital budget.

           3   Capital budget consists of vehicles, equipment, computers

           4   and construction and repair.  Construction, of course, is

           5   the large item there due to the Proposition 8 bonds

           6   available.

           7             Grant budget is recommended at $29.5 million,

           8   most of which is in the local parks.

           9             Total operating budget -- total operating

          10   capital and grant budget along with debt service for

          11   revenue bonds is recommended at $292.2 million.  The

          12   budget also includes full-time equivalent employees of

          13   3,148 which is about 3.7 percent higher than our

          14   Legislatively mandated cap.  The budget also includes an

          15   allocation of overhead costs between funding sources as

          16   outlined in the document and methodology.

          17             Super Combo revenues are allocated to the stamp

          18   funds at the same level as in the previous year.  We're in

          19   the second year of our data collection through surveys and

          20   plan to lay out any necessary changes to the allocation

          21   next August.

          22             The budget policy this time includes a change

          23   that will allow us to incur construction expenditures

          24   related to Proposition 8 bonds prior to the issuance of

          25   those bonds.

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           1             And the investment policy which is statutorily

           2   required must be reviewed by the governing body each year.

           3   There are no changes recommended this year to that policy.

           4             We are in the process of submitting our

           5   Legislative appropriations request for the next biennium,

           6   fiscal years '04 and '05.  We are asking for additional

           7   funding from the Legislature for that biennium.  The

           8   request includes $7.4 million per year for the 2002

           9   unfunded pay raise as well as $4 million per year and 43

          10   FTEs for state park operations.  We're also asking for

          11   general revenue funding for an additional game warden

          12   cadet class and an exemption from the capital budget

          13   limitations for land acquisitions where there's no cost to

          14   the state.  We're including a request for $350,000 per

          15   year to replace the amounts cut last session for capital

          16   budget -- capital project-related salaries and authority

          17   to be reimbursed for law enforcement costs related to boat

          18   sales and used tax collections derived from dealer fraud

          19   investigations.

          20             And finally, we're asking for clarification,

          21   clean-up of technicalities on the floating cabins

          22   accounts.  And that concludes my presentation.  I'll be

          23   happy to take any questions.

          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any

          25   questions or comments from the Commission?  We have -- we

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           1   have one person signed up to speak, Kirby Brown.  Is that

           2   correct?

           3                  MR. BROWN:  I have nothing to say.  Thank

           4   you.

           5                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Are there

           6   any comments or questions from the Commission?  If not...

           7                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Move approval,

           8   Madame Chairman.

           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do I have a second?

          10                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

          11                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Second from

          12   Commissioner Watson.  All in favor?

          13                  ("Aye.")

          14                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          15   carries.

          16   "The Executive Director is authorized to expend funds to

          17   operate the Parks and Wildlife Department in accordance

          18   with the Proposed FY2003 Operating Budget (Exhibit A), the

          19   Proposed FY2003 Capital Program (Exhibit B), and the

          20   Proposed FY2003 Grant Budget (Exhibit C)."


          22                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Action Item No. 10,

          23   License Legibility Rules.  Suzy.

          24                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Thank you.  Madame

          25   Chairman, Commissioners.  I think we had -- before we get

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           1   into that some copies of the new license that we were

           2   wanting to let you take a look at if you haven't seen it.

           3   This is -- what the new license looks like.  If you buy a

           4   license off of the P.C. version of the WorldCom

           5   application.  If you buy it through the hypercom

           6   terminals, it looks a little different, it doesn't have

           7   the little pictures on it, but I wanted you to see what it

           8   looks like.

           9             And also, yesterday I reported that sales were

          10   down about 21 percent from last year because of the

          11   promotion, and as of today we're only down 19 percent, so

          12   the gap is closing.  We had a big day yesterday.  We sold

          13   over 33,000 licenses and we're expecting over 50,000

          14   today, so we're getting ready for a big weekend.

          15             Section 30 of the Sunset Bill, Senate Bill 305

          16   requires Parks and Wildlife rules to specify standards for

          17   licenses including the legibility.  Proposals were laid

          18   out at the May Commission meeting.  The proposed changes

          19   to Chapter 53 Subchapter K include that licenses must be

          20   printed on durable paper, be waterproof, tear resistant

          21   and that the print must be indelible.  The print must be a

          22   reasonable size given constraints of the overall size of

          23   the license and in no case less than six-point font.  The

          24   print must be a color that contrasts with the background.

          25   These provisions do not apply to licenses sold over the

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           1   Internet and printed directly by customers.

           2             Also, the Executive Director may waive

           3   provisions in case of unforeseeable events or emergencies.

           4   These rules were posted on the Texas Register on July the

           5   12th and no comments have been received to date.

           6             I recommend -- staff recommends the Commission

           7   adopt 31 TAC 53.100 concerning license format and

           8   legibility with changes to text as published in the

           9   July 12th issue of the Texas Register.

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any

          11   comments or requests for Suzy?  We have no one signed up

          12   to comment no.  Do I have a motion?

          13                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Motion for approval.

          14                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  Second.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          16                  ("Aye.")

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          18   carries.

          19   "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts new 31 TAC

          20   53.100 concerning License Format and Legibility, with

          21   changes to text as published in the July 12, 2002 issue of

          22   the Texas Register (27 TexReg 6236)."


          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  No. 11, Alternative

          25   Licensing Rules, Jerry Cooke.

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           1                  DR. COOKE:  Madame Chairman, members, my

           2   name is Jerry Cooke.  I'm Game Branch Chief for the

           3   Wildlife Division presenting these proposed changes to the

           4   statewide hunting and fishing proclamation related to

           5   alternative license.  A substantial fraction of the total

           6   operating funds of this agency come from licensed sales.

           7   While our automated point of sales system provides good

           8   utility for selling licenses, monitoring revenues and

           9   providing realtime access to licensed buyer information,

          10   like all automated systems it is subject to catastrophic

          11   failure.  During the five years that we have issued

          12   licenses through a POS system, we have not needed an

          13   alternative to the automated system.  However, there was

          14   no provision in our rules should that need have arisen.

          15   The proposal in essence will -- will be an optional rule

          16   in the sense that it will be determined by the type of

          17   license held by a hunter.  A hunter who holds a license

          18   from a point of sale system has no rule change at all

          19   proposed in this -- in this proposal.

          20             However, if one is holding the alternative paper

          21   license, this rule change would remove the requirement for

          22   tagging.  It would broaden the use of the resource

          23   documents so that it could be used in lieu of a tag and it

          24   would expand the license log to include all species that

          25   were tagged through the POS license.

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           1             The recommended motion to the Commission is the

           2   Texas Parks and Wildlife Department adopts 31 TAC 65.7 and

           3   65.8 concerning alternative licenses and harvest log,

           4   respectively, with changes to the proposed text located in

           5   Exhibit A as published in the July 19, 2002, issue of the

           6   Texas Register.  If you have any questions, I would be

           7   happy to try to answer them for you.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any

           9   questions of Dr. Cooke?  Do I have a motion.

          10                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

          11                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Second.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          13                  ("Aye.")

          14                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          15   carries.  Thank you, Jerry.

          16                  DR. COOKE:  Thank you, ma'am.

          17   "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts 31 TAC

          18   Sections 65.7 and 65.8, concerning alternative licensing

          19   and harvest log, respective, with changes to the proposed

          20   texas (located at Exhibit A) as published in the July 19,

          21   2002, issue of the Texas Register (27 TexReg 6490)."



          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  No. 12, Scientific

          25   Breeder Regulations Disease Testing and Monitoring

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           1   Measures.  Jerry Cooke, again.

           2                  DR. COOKE:  Madame Chairman and members, my

           3   name is Jerry Cooke, Game Branch Chief for the Wildlife

           4   Division presenting you these proposed changes to the

           5   Scientific Breeder Proclamation.  Chronic waste and

           6   disease has developed into a national issue of public

           7   concern.  The proposal before you was initially presented

           8   during your January 2002 meeting.  Action on this item was

           9   postponed both at the April and the May Commission

          10   meetings and was republished to allow the Texas Deer

          11   Association more time to develop a voluntary program

          12   adequate to address the state's concern for monitoring of

          13   this disease.  The goal for -- for a voluntary monitoring

          14   program to detect a 2 percent prevalence of the disease in

          15   Texas was 126 facilities.  Since the last meeting, this

          16   Department has -- our department have finalized our plans.

          17   We're on the verge of completing our management plan for

          18   the disease.  But this plan includes testing all clinical

          19   animals that are encountered in the wild.  To date, we've

          20   tested 11.  All of them have been negative.  We also plan

          21   to test deer taken from our State Park and Wildlife

          22   Management Area public hunts this fall which will number

          23   between 500 and 1,000 animals.

          24             As of yesterday morning at 8:10, and I haven't

          25   bothered the lady since then, there was 170 applications

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           1   from scientific breeders to establish this voluntary

           2   program.  And certainly the Texas Wildlife Association and

           3   Texas Deer Association, all of those who worked toward

           4   this are to be complimented on this action.  Because of

           5   this, the proposal to define in a healthy condition within

           6   a context of an obligatory testing and monitoring program

           7   is not needed and we recommend that it not be adopted at

           8   this time, nor the provisions that would establish certain

           9   prohibitions for breeders who do not comply with there

          10   definition.  However -- and as long as the monitoring is

          11   adequate in this state, we all believe that it should be a

          12   voluntary program and -- and we all should work toward

          13   continuing that in that context.

          14             There are other provisions that are also

          15   proposed in this same proclamation, but I do believe that

          16   you should seriously consider adopting.  One is the

          17   November 1 farm report which was adopted by a previous

          18   Commission, but for whatever reason we never got it

          19   published with the Secretary of State.  Therefore, it's

          20   never really become a rule.  And because -- I don't think

          21   anybody sitting on this Commission actually voted on that

          22   item, we thought we would bring it back to you for

          23   consideration, rather than handle it as a housekeeping

          24   measure.  Also, we wish to clarify in the rules, that when

          25   you temporary transfer an animal, the animal cannot leave

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           1   the state.  That's not temporary as far as our

           2   jurisdiction is concerned.  Also to clarify that deer

           3   released into the wild from a scientific breeder facility

           4   would require written approval from the Department and

           5   that approval can come in many forms.  We didn't really

           6   plan to complicate this measure very much.

           7             Also, as we discussed yesterday, you adopted a

           8   suspension on importation into Texas.  We believe that at

           9   this time that it's -- we should consider removing that

          10   prohibition because the Texan Animal Health Commission has

          11   completed and adopted their rules for entry requirements

          12   into Texas, which has been heavily reviewed, heavily

          13   complimented.  I think it's one of the best in the state

          14   and probably serve as the model for other states.  Those

          15   entry requirements are basically if an animal -- if a

          16   facility that's going to be importing animals to Texas is

          17   in a state where chronic waste and disease has never been

          18   found and that state has a monitoring program and the

          19   monitoring program is defined in their rule, then a

          20   facility would have to be under that monitoring program

          21   for at least three years before we would consider allowing

          22   the deer to come into Texas.

          23             If the state has no monitoring program, it has

          24   no state-sponsored monitoring program, a facility may

          25   bring their records had to the Animal Health Commission

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           1   for certification to show that they have, in fact, placed

           2   on themselves a monitoring program that matches the

           3   description in the rules, but they would have to have been

           4   under that program for at least five years in order to

           5   comply with their entry requirements.

           6             And, finally, any state in which chronic wasting

           7   and disease has ever been found would have to be part of a

           8   state monitored program and have been monitoring for five

           9   years successfully before they would be allowed to be

          10   brought into the state.

          11             So the staff's recommended motion is the Texas

          12   Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts TAC 65.602, 65.608,

          13   65.610, and 65.611 concerning Scientific Breeder Permits

          14   with changes to the proposed text located in Exhibit A as

          15   published in the July 19, 2002, issue of the Texas

          16   Register.  If you have any questions, I would be happy to

          17   try to answer them for you.

          18                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Does the Commission

          19   have any questions or comments?  I would like to mention

          20   that Ken Waldrop from the Texas Animal Health Commission

          21   is here and very generously has offered to answer any

          22   questions that we might have.  But do you have any

          23   questions now of -- of Jerry Cooke?  Commissioner Ramos?

          24                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I have a few.  Jerry,

          25   you mentioned the release of animals from a scientific

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           1   breeder facility into the wild?

           2                  DR. COOKE:  Yes, sir.  Yes, sir.

           3                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Can you be more

           4   specific as to what exactly would happen if a breeder

           5   wanted to release an animal?

           6                  DR. COOKE:  Basically, this is done in the

           7   context of our disease concerns in this state.  Basically,

           8   parts of this provision has been in the rules forever that

           9   has actually not been exercised by us.  The option of

          10   making inspections beforehand.  What we are proposing is

          11   basically this:  If there is an animal in a facility that

          12   is overtly showing signs of disease, animals should not be

          13   released from that facility until that disease condition

          14   is clarified.  Basically, we have no personal concerns if

          15   the breeder chooses to use a licensed veterinarian to sign

          16   a certificate of inspection certifying that no overt

          17   disease is in this facility at the time release is being

          18   considered.

          19             Alternatively, one of our biologists or one of

          20   our Game Wardens could look and say, "There's no animals

          21   obviously ill here," sign the back of his own business

          22   card with the date and time and say it's been inspected

          23   for release and hand it to them for their records.  In

          24   other words, we're not talking about a huge new series of

          25   permits and purchasing of permits or keeping big data

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           1   logs.  We just want either a veterinarian or one of our

           2   people to look at the facility and certify that there's no

           3   animals that are overtly ill at the time of release.

           4                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  So that at the point

           5   that the animal were to be released into the wild you

           6   would have a level of comfort as to the health of that

           7   animal basically?

           8                  DR. COOKE:  The health of the animal and

           9   the fact that there's obviously not something else in that

          10   facility that could have infected him at the time.

          11                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Yeah.  We had

          12   substantial discussion yesterday, Jerry, regarding, you

          13   know, the interstate regulations and the monitoring with

          14   the Texan Animal Health Commission.  A concern that I have

          15   is in addition to that, and I think you've touched on it,

          16   you're currently acquiring data that eventually will give

          17   you a basis or a level of confidence that, in fact, we

          18   don't have health issues with chronic waste disease within

          19   the State of Texas?

          20                  DR. COOKE:  Yes.

          21                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Correct?

          22                  DR. COOKE:  That's correct.

          23                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  And I think -- what is

          24   your target number of carcasses, as you might say, or

          25   animals that you want to test would give you some comfort?

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           1                  DR. COOKE:  We have several levels of

           2   comfort.  Obviously, we have 14 counties that are -- that

           3   are -- have been identified as counties of high risk,

           4   because lots of animals have been imported and released

           5   into those counties and there's lots of deer that were

           6   already there.  Those identify those.  And we have

           7   sampling requirements for each of those counties that will

           8   cover over the next several years, next two to four years

           9   to get that covered.  There are breeder facilities in all

          10   but three of those counties.  So we're going to have some

          11   secondary monitoring from that facility.  It's like a

          12   canary in the mine sort of a thing.

          13             Also, we're concerned specifically with region

          14   by region and I'm talking ecoregion here, which --

          15                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Within the state?

          16                  DR. COOKE:  Within the state.  Basically we

          17   have eight regulatory districts.  We've kind of aimed our

          18   sampling at those eight regulatory districts.  We're

          19   looking at between 125 and 200 deer per ecoregion

          20   distributed through the region as an adequate sample to

          21   cover that.

          22             And additionally, we'll be taking animals from

          23   our Wildlife Management Area and State Park Public Hunts

          24   which will augment this to be a certain extent.  But we

          25   actually are using those as much to satisfy or to show the

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           1   breeders that we're also trying to examine our own

           2   properties.  That's the A part.  But the B part is it

           3   gives our guys an opportunity to put their hands on a lot

           4   of animals in a short period of time and train our guys do

           5   this right.  Nothing would be worse than to have submitted

           6   300 samples to the TVDML and find that they were all done

           7   wrong.  So we want to be sure our guys are up to speed.

           8                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Is there a magical

           9   percentage or an ideal percentage that you would like to

          10   achieve before you would have the -- the satisfaction or

          11   the comfort that, in fact, we're safe within the state,

          12   and there's no obvious evidence of chronic waste disease?

          13                  DR. COOKE:  That -- that sample size is our

          14   goal.  That will -- that -- according to Dan Baca who is

          15   an epidemiologist and STAT person for the Animal Health

          16   Commission has calculated that sample size aimed at being

          17   able to detect a 2 percent prevalence of the disease in

          18   Texas, which is a little tighter even than you normally

          19   encounter.  Most of the time across the United States when

          20   they've encountered a disease, it's been about 5 percent

          21   incidence.  So this gives us a little bit tighter than

          22   tight.  And I can't say that when we get half of that

          23   done, we'll be good.  You know, that's our sample size.

          24   And we will, as I said, be testing, clinical animal right

          25   along.

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           1                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  And from a time-wise,

           2   in order for you to achieve the 2 percent level that

           3   you're comfortable with, would you be able to give us any

           4   idea as to how long, based on your current projections,

           5   how long it will take to reach that level?

           6                  DR. COOKE:  We will aim at two years.

           7   Realistically it may be three, because as I said, we've

           8   got this first year we're going to have to spin up and see

           9   where -- you know, how much effort -- we're trying to

          10   solve as many problems as we can.  But there's two that we

          11   don't want to tackle the first year.  One is animals that

          12   are in a locker plant or private property, just like a

          13   cow.  You can't just go in there and take a sample off a

          14   cow without permission of the owner.  And also private

          15   property issues related to our confidentiality statutes.

          16   Those are two complications that I think we don't need to

          17   attack the first year, but we will certainly have them

          18   solved by the second year.  And if that's necessary --

          19   those are necessary to complete our sample size, then we

          20   on could do it in two years.

          21                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  It seems to me and

          22   this is just my opinion, that in order to expedite the

          23   gathering of the data that perhaps we ought to look at

          24   other options or other procedures to where we can get to

          25   the 2 percent and give us that level of comfort at a much

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           1   quicker time, perhaps than the time table that --

           2                  DR. COOKE:  I concur.  I concur.

           3                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Could you work on

           4   something along that?

           5                  DR. COOKE:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

           6                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Madame Chair.

           7                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Fitzsimon

           8   s?

           9                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Jerry, thanks

          10   for all your hard work on this.  I know this has taken up

          11   the better part the year it seems like.  Two questions,

          12   first, yesterday, we mentioned the Texas Veterinary

          13   Diagnostic Lab at College Station.

          14                  DR. COOKE:  Yes, sir.

          15                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Do you have any

          16   idea the capacity is for the number of carcasses they can

          17   test?

          18                  DR. COOKE:  We had an opportunity to talk

          19   to the director of TVDML, they met with us and the Animal

          20   Health Commission.  He was -- of course, this was the

          21   first year they've ever had it and he's making estimates

          22   based on not really being overloaded yet.  He estimated in

          23   the neighborhood of 100 to 125 per day once the samples

          24   were preserved and formalized and ready to go through the

          25   process.

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           1             When the samples were adequately preserved and

           2   formalized, that's with formalin, not as in formal

           3   presentation, once those samples were formalized, it would

           4   take about 48 hours to do the cycle for the final

           5   examination.  So, you know, it depends on how high it gets

           6   stacked.

           7             This is also a USDA sponsored sampling site,

           8   therefore USDA samples get first call if they're sent from

           9   elsewhere in the United States.  He said comfortable he

          10   thought he could get from a raw sample into the lab

          11   probably get it out in two weeks.

          12                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  A two-week

          13   response time?

          14                  DR. COOKE:  Uh-huh.  Even under pressure.

          15                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  And the cost?

          16   And the cost.

          17                  DR. COOKE:  The cost -- all the costs that

          18   we calculated was in terms of both TB and chronic wasting

          19   and disease.  And that -- that combination came to $55, as

          20   I recall, for a single sample.  I think the CWD test is

          21   $25 if I'm not mistaken.  I can get you the accurate

          22   figures.  I'm sorry I'm having to estimate here.  That was

          23   one of the notes I did not bring.

          24                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  And in reviewing

          25   the minutes from our last meeting, I noticed that we

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           1   discussed not only the number of breeders that the TDA and

           2   the TWA would help to get signed, but also the population

           3   of animals.

           4                  DR. COOKE:  Uh-huh.

           5                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I represented

           6   that and at one time we talked about that minimum of 127

           7   was it representing roughly 5,000 animals?

           8                  DR. COOKE:  Uh-huh.

           9                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Could you tell me

          10   where we are today?

          11                  DR. COOKE:  The total animals held in

          12   breeder facilities is between 19 and 20,000 animals.

          13   Those that signed up for this program so far with the

          14   Animal Health Commission is about half that number.  It's

          15   right at 10,000 animals in those that have signed up for

          16   the voluntary program.  We also looked at how they were

          17   distributed across the state and the geographic

          18   distribution of those who had volunteered very closely

          19   matches the distribution of the composition of breeders in

          20   the state.

          21                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So this may be

          22   for Ken Waldrop or Dan Baca, but the Animal Health

          23   Commission I would guess is more than satisfied for that

          24   sample?

          25                  DR. COOKE:  Yes.  I won't speak for him,

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           1   but I think we can hear his head rattling.

           2                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I think that's

           3   all I have.  Thank you.

           4                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I would like -- I have

           5   a question for Ken Waldrop please.

           6                  DR. WALDROP:  Yes, ma'am.

           7                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Ken, thanks again for

           8   your help and for being here today.  I would like you to

           9   express to us your level of comfort with Parks and

          10   Wildlife's lifting of the importation restrictions that we

          11   implemented back in the spring.  Could you address that

          12   from the Texan Animal Health Commission point of view?

          13                  DR. WALDROP:  Yes, ma'am, I would be glad

          14   to.  As Dr. Cooke has already mentioned, there were a

          15   number of parties that were involved in -- in producing

          16   these new entry requirements as implemented by the Texas

          17   Animal Health Commission, including representatives from

          18   Parks and Wildlife.  We felt that it was important to go

          19   ahead and maintain a level of commerce or to have door

          20   open to individuals and operations that were interested in

          21   that, but we certainly wanted to raise the bar.  And now

          22   in addition to burcilosis testing and tuberculosis

          23   testing, we've added this CWD requirement.  And again,

          24   this was basically a unanimous agreement about -- within

          25   all the groups that were involved, elk breeders,

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           1   scientific breeders, exotic operations, that these were

           2   very workable, you know, business-type dealings that they

           3   could live with.  From a disease point of view, I actually

           4   am very comfortable with this.  There are states right now

           5   that can meet that five year entry, including states that

           6   have had CWD in the past.  South Dakota would be the most

           7   shiny example of that, and I know the program they've had

           8   there.  So I'm very confident, you know, with these entry

           9   requirements that have been formulated.  So, again, my own

          10   personal level of confidence and that of the agency is

          11   that this is a good thing.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  So you're confident

          13   that the protected afforded the state in deer herds of

          14   this state based on the monitoring requirements that you

          15   are now going to insist upon are equal to the total

          16   suspension of importation?

          17                  DR. WALDROP:  Well, I think, Madame

          18   Chairman, there are actually two -- two different areas

          19   here.  There is -- one area is we want to prevent the

          20   importation of this disease.  If it's outside, we don't

          21   want it brought in.  That's where the entry requirements

          22   come in.  I cannot tell you that that's absolutely risk

          23   free, but we do feel confident that this is certainly an

          24   acceptable level of risk management.

          25                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  There's no --

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           1                  DR. WALDROP:  The other thing is -- the

           2   other area would be if we have CWD within the state we

           3   need to find it.  We do feel like certainly the

           4   participation of the scientific breeders within our

           5   monitoring program has been very good and we can indeed

           6   find it if it's here.

           7                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have they other

           8   comments from the Commission?

           9                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I just have one.

          10   Doctor, I don't know if you recall my questioning of

          11   Jerry, but would you agree the more aggressive we can

          12   become in assimilating the data to acquire the 2 percent,

          13   the sooner and the better we'll know if in fact it's here

          14   in the state?  Otherwise, until we reach that level,

          15   there's going to be some degree of uncertainty as to

          16   whether it's here or not.

          17                  DR. WALDROP:  Certainly, Commissioner

          18   Ramos, I agree with that.

          19                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.

          20                  DR. WALDROP:  The difficulty is in some

          21   ways the logistics of it.

          22                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I guess that's our

          23   problem.

          24                  DR. WALDROP:  Well, we have some of that --

          25   own some of that problem, you know, my agency does as

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           1   well.

           2                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Certainly, the Texas

           3   Animal Health Commission would support any effort that we

           4   would take in that regard to try and achieve that goal as

           5   quickly as possible?

           6                  DR. WALDROP:  Absolutely, sir.

           7                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Thank you very much.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

           9                  DR. WALDROP:  Thank you.

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Any other questions?

          11   We have some people signed up to comment on this.

          12   Doctor -- okay.  Kirby Brown and then Ellis Gilleland.

          13                  MR. BROWN:  Madame Chairman, Commissioners,

          14   I just want to comment on behalf of the Texas Wildlife

          15   Association that we deeply appreciate the concern and the

          16   hard work and involvement of the Commission as well as the

          17   staff in this activity.  Appreciate Ken Waldrop and the

          18   Texas Animal Health Commission also in working through

          19   this and in making significant progress toward determining

          20   of CWD is in Texas and what we would do next if it is.

          21   And I think that's important.

          22             Also look forward to working with staff and

          23   Commission on approaches to Triple T permitting that

          24   allows reasonable transplant activities that continues to

          25   protect deer herds from the disease.  Thank you again for

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           1   your help on this and we support the recommendation.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Karl Kinsel, you're up

           3   after Mr. Gilleland.

           4                  MR. GILLELAND:  I have three -- three

           5   handouts.  My name is Ellis Gilleland.  I'm a private

           6   citizen representing myself and Texas Animals which is an

           7   animal rights organization on the Internet.  I've given

           8   you three handouts, the first of which is a copy of the

           9   Texas Register from the 19th of July, 2002.  This is a

          10   publication that you're dealing with or the resolution

          11   that you're dealing with to pass today.  There are three

          12   or four things I find trouble -- I have trouble with on

          13   this, indicated in yellow, marked.

          14             The first is you still -- you're in denial.  You

          15   have no testing program.  You had no testing program at

          16   the last meeting.  You have no testing program now.

          17   There's no testing in this document.  There's no testing

          18   program in writing.  There is no testing program for

          19   Wildlife Management Area, state park hunting, nothing.

          20   It's just an old dream that Jerry has and some day it may

          21   be reduced to writing and put into effect.  There's no

          22   testing program for the deer in the pens.  If you believe

          23   there is or you have it, will you please publish it and

          24   put it out so the public can see it.  You have no testing

          25   program.

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           1             The second thing you have here, prior written

           2   authorization for release of the deer.  They call over the

           3   telephone and Jerry gives them okay over the telephone?

           4   No.  The deer should be inspected before they are released

           5   physically by somebody.

           6             The third thing is you're saying that monitoring

           7   allows the health status of the captive deer to be

           8   monitored or this rule does.  The only thing you're

           9   monitoring is the deer that exits the pen and goes out in

          10   the wild.  You're not monitoring the herd.  The only

          11   monitoring being down is being done by the Animal Health

          12   people.  The only thing you're monitoring are the fawns,

          13   the number of fawns produced every year, they mail a

          14   report to you, that's it.  That's the only thing you're

          15   monitoring is somebody in the office is monitoring a piece

          16   of paper that comes in, 39 fawns this year.  That's all

          17   you're monitoring.  You're in denial.  You're doing all

          18   this oral dreaming and some day it may come to pass.  You

          19   are republishing a definition of why you approved this

          20   definition exactly verbatim last meeting.  You're now

          21   publishing it again.  You published it on the 3rd of May.

          22   We approved it.  It was published the 1st of March.

          23   You're now publishing again, 19th of July.  Healthy

          24   condition, exactly the same thing we had before.  And the

          25   last you have an ambiguous statement that says what is a

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           1   healthy condition of a deer?  Okay.  Here's your rule is

           2   what's published.  It says, "The deer can be released in

           3   healthy condition into the wild in this state if the deer

           4   are in -- not in a healthy condition."

           5             That's an ambiguous statement.  Which means in

           6   legalese -- you lawyers, it means the deer can be released

           7   whether it's in or not in a healthy condition.  That's

           8   what you published.  You lawyers can verify whether I'm

           9   lying or not.  Thank you.

          10                  MR. KINSEL:  Madame Chairman,

          11   Commissioners, I'm Karl Kinsel, Executive Director of the

          12   Texas Deer Association.  Two issues and I'll be very brief

          13   on them.  One is a thank you and two is an invitation.  To

          14   save time I'll simply yet strongly say that I second all

          15   the words and comments voiced mainly by Kirby Brown,

          16   Derrick Gardner yesterday and add to that a little bit

          17   that I also think the Texas Animal Health Commission and

          18   Ken Waldrop.  We've remained -- started out friends,

          19   remained friends, we're still friends through all the

          20   trials and errors and we've accomplished Mission

          21   Impossible, I believe.  In gratitude I would like to

          22   invite and be honored if each and/or all of you could be

          23   our guest at our annual membership meeting which is in San

          24   Antonio on the 13th and 14th.  Certainly you'll be

          25   welcomed and honored free of charge, needless to say, as

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           1   our guests to see some great examples of some superb

           2   animal husbandry that's being done by the producers and

           3   exhibit of our suppliers.  This is a great outdoor effort

           4   that's being held under your direction.  We're doing

           5   great.  There's no doom and gloom here as old -- sometimes

           6   it seems like that's all you get to hear.  I want to tell

           7   you the deer industry is alive and doing well and doing

           8   well to promote hunting in this great state.  We're

           9   expanding, we're improving the quality and the quantity of

          10   the state-owned deer as well as the privately-owned deer

          11   and said I want to thank you for that.

          12             One special note and that is that having started

          13   with this a year ago, being hit with it very early on in

          14   January and looking at it in March and May, in March

          15   specifically, when Chairman Idsal made a comment at the

          16   Texas Cattle Raisers.  I took that to heart and kind of

          17   held her to her word and it proved to be extremely

          18   fruitful.  She said joint effort on behalf of regulatory

          19   agencies that allows producers to do that what they knew

          20   its best initially without having to respond to imposed

          21   regulations.  I felt strong about that and I think the

          22   positive response of the producers especially in the

          23   limited time proves that when regulatory agency provides

          24   reasons and tools with which producers can operate, then

          25   cooperation can exist between producers, associations, and

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           1   regulatory agencies.  Thank you.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Thanks to

           3   everybody involved in getting this done.  I know it was a

           4   tremendous amount of work.  Another wonderful example of

           5   industry groups and government and the like working

           6   together to do a voluntary monitoring program which is

           7   always preferred.  Now let's make sure it works and we

           8   keep a healthy deer herd.  Thank you.

           9             Do we have any other comments from the

          10   Commission on this or questions?  Do we have a motion?

          11                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So moved.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion by Commissioner

          13   Fitzsimons.  Do I have a second?

          14                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Second by Commissioner

          16   Ramos.  All in favor?

          17                  ("Aye.")

          18                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          19   carries.

          20   "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts 31 TAC

          21   Sections 65.601, 65.602, 65.608, 65.610, and 65.611,

          22   concerning Scientific Breeder's Permits, with changes to

          23   the proposed text as published in the July 19, 2002, issue

          24   of the Texas Register (27 TexReg 6492)."


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           1   AGENDA ITEM NO. 13:  ACTION - 2002-2003 MIGRATORY GAME


           3                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Item No. 13, Migratory

           4   Game Bird Proclamation - Late Season Provisions, Vernon

           5   Bevill.

           6                  MR. BEVILL:  Madame Chairman, members of

           7   the Commission, my name is Vernon Bevill.  I am the Game

           8   Bird Program Director.  We are here today to finalize the

           9   regulatory cycle for migratory game birds for season of

          10   2002, 2003.  There are a couple of changes that I would

          11   like to highlight for you very briefly.  The federal Fish

          12   and Wildlife Service has approved an extension of

          13   frameworks from the Saturday nearest September the 24th to

          14   the last Sunday in January for duck season if the -- if

          15   the package is liberal or moderate.  That extension goes

          16   away if it's a restrictive package.

          17             Canvasback breeding population this year did not

          18   reach the threshold that we have established for a

          19   nationwide season, so the Fish and Wildlife Service has

          20   opted to close that.

          21             Pintail breeding population was again below what

          22   we would like to see and the Fish and Wildlife Service

          23   with the support of the flyways agreed to a 39-day season

          24   with a one bird bag for pintail.

          25             The east goose zone of Texas we have divided

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           1   into northern and southern sections to accommodate the --

           2   the framework extension for ducks as well as a deal with

           3   the light goose conservation order.

           4             And the bag limit for Canada geese in the east

           5   goose zone has been increased from one to two.

           6             For duck, geese and mergansers -- I mean, for

           7   ducks, mergansers and coots the High Plains Mallard

           8   Management Unit will have a 98-day total regular season.

           9   The other 9 days are taken up with the September teal

          10   season.  We're proposing a youth hunt October 19th and

          11   20th.  We are also proposing a little change there to take

          12   advantage of early arrival of both teal and other species

          13   by extending the -- the hunting opportunity immediately

          14   after the special teal season closes for one week,

          15   September the 23rd through the 29th when the regular first

          16   segment of the duck season will begin.  And that will

          17   allow some additional opportunity that we've got a lot of

          18   positive feedback on from the high plains hunters.

          19             Then the regular long split of the duck season

          20   would begin on October the 26th and extend to

          21   January 22nd, which laps over into the middle of the week.

          22             The north zone would have a 76-day season with

          23   the youth hunt on the weekend of the 26th of October for

          24   two days.  Then we would have that short split that we've

          25   traditionally had there November the 9th and 10th followed

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           1   by the long split, November the 16th, through January the

           2   26th, taking advantage of the other end of the framework

           3   extension for ducks.  So for Texas, it's probably the only

           4   state in the country that will have taken advantage of

           5   both ends of this framework extension.  I can't wait to

           6   see what some of my friends to the north have to visit

           7   with me about that.

           8             The south zone we are proposing a season similar

           9   to last year.  The first split would run from November the

          10   2nd to December the 1st.  However, due to some survey work

          11   we've done recently, the south zone hunters tell us very,

          12   very, very vividly that they would like more of their

          13   hunting days in December, so we are proposing instead of

          14   having a 12-day split in early December to shorten that to

          15   five days and reopen the second split on the 7th of

          16   December and run it through January the 19th.  And we're

          17   not proposing to take advantage of the later framework in

          18   the south zone because of our commitment to the snow goose

          19   conservation effort to reduce that population to more

          20   manageable levels.

          21             For the bag limit on -- on ducks, it will be

          22   similar to last year with similar restrictions with these

          23   additions, again, the pintail will be a one bird bag but

          24   will be reduced to a 39-day period during the season that

          25   we would set basically the last 39 days of the north zone,

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           1   the last 39 days of the south zone and then the High

           2   Plains Mallard Management Unit would be -- mirror the

           3   south zone period of time for -- for pintail.

           4             And again, we're opting to close the canvasback

           5   season statewide.

           6             For geese in the western goose zone, basically

           7   it will be some similar to last year with calendar shift,

           8   and so you're already familiar with that, I think.

           9             For the eastern goose zone, for dark geese,

          10   white-fronted geese, again a two bird bag this year,

          11   October the 26th to January the 19th.  Canada geese and

          12   Brant we are increasing that bag to two birds October 26th

          13   to January the 19th, but the aggregate bag can be 3, 2 of

          14   either species, primarily Canada and we hardly ever take a

          15   Brant in Texas.

          16             Light geese in the eastern goose zone.  That's

          17   where we're splitting to the north and south segments.  In

          18   the north segment it will be October 26th to January 26th

          19   and then in the south segment it would be October the 26th

          20   to January the 19th.

          21             In the south segment we then immediately go to

          22   the extended light goose conservation order that would

          23   begin on -- or on the 20th, Monday the 20th, and extend to

          24   March the 30th.  And in the north portion of that same

          25   zone it would -- it would initiate after the duck season

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           1   closes on the 27th and run through March the 30th.  High

           2   Plains Mallard Management Unit would be similar to last

           3   year beginning on February the 10th and running through

           4   March the 30th with the extended shooting hours, no limit

           5   and the use of electronic callers being available.

           6             We have the opportunity for falconry -- an

           7   extended falconry season in both the north and south duck

           8   zones with those dates being in the north January 27th to

           9   February 17th and in the south January 20th to February

          10   the 10th.

          11             The crane season, similar to last year, although

          12   we have a potential of a 37-day crane season in Zone C,

          13   because of our institution of the light goose conservation

          14   order early, that restricts the number of days in that

          15   crane season.  We're proposing December the 21st to

          16   January the 19th there, and then closure so we can go do

          17   the light goose conservation rules.

          18             Public comments have been pretty good this year.

          19   We've had 77 total at this time.  We've had support for

          20   the High Plains Mallard Management Unit extension, the

          21   framework.  I would draw your attention to the south zone

          22   where we've had the significant number of 32 commenting in

          23   opposition to closing on the 19th which they had basically

          24   said they wanted us to go to the end of the framework

          25   opportunity there, which was the 26th.  Again, our reason

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           1   for not -- not proposing that relates to our commitment to

           2   the light goose conservation season and trying to reduce

           3   that population down.  We feel like that's the paramount

           4   conservation issue that we must deal with, and so we're

           5   not recommending that to the Commission today.

           6             We've had a scattering of comments on other

           7   parts of the proposal, some -- some pintail hunters,

           8   enthusiasts would like to see the 39 days set at the

           9   beginning of the season, but we think that -- that

          10   probably the smarter approach is the end of the season,

          11   which was similar to what we did last year when we had

          12   that same situation with the -- the canvasback.  And you

          13   can look at the -- the scattering of comments there for

          14   your review.

          15             The adoption motion that we are recommending to

          16   the Commission is that Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

          17   adopts the amendments to 31 TAC 65.314, 65.317, .318, .320

          18   and .321 concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation

          19   with changes to the proposed text (located in Exhibit A)

          20   as published in the April 27, 2002 issue of the Texas

          21   Register.  There's a typo in that recommendation that I

          22   just caught.

          23                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I have a question for

          24   you.  Could you go over -- I was away and I was listening

          25   to this over the intercom.  Could you go over the split --

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           1   the mourning dove split season in the south zone real

           2   quick?

           3                  MR. BEVILL:  The mourning dove.

           4                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  The mourning dove

           5   south zone split season.

           6                  MR. BEVILL:  You asked me for the dates I

           7   don't have in front me of me but basically.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Yeah.  Let's go over

           9   the basics.  You said that the public comment was strong

          10   that we lengthen the split season --

          11                  MR. BEVILL:  No, not mourning dove.  For

          12   the duck season.

          13                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Oh, duck.

          14                  MR. BEVILL:  Did I say mourning dove?

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I thought I heard

          16   mourning dove.  And I thought I don't remember covering

          17   this yesterday.

          18                  MR. BEVILL:  We're done with the mourning

          19   dove.  I may have said mourning dove.

          20                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  That's what I heard

          21   and I thought I missed something.

          22                  MR. BEVILL:  We have the opportunity to go

          23   to January the 26th which is the last Sunday in January.

          24   We are utilizing or proposing to utilize that opportunity

          25   in the north zone.  Our north zone hunters always say they

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           1   want the latest season possible.  The south zone, we're --

           2   we're getting some comments that they also would want to

           3   have --

           4                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  But they want

           5   December 8th.

           6                  MR. BEVILL:  -- that late split going to

           7   the end of the framework.  But we're opting not to

           8   recommend that to you although it's your prerogative to

           9   change that if you like because of our commitment that

          10   we've consistently made to try to deal with reducing this

          11   light goose population.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.  No, it was just

          13   a plan old misunderstanding.

          14                  MR. BEVILL:  Okay.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have -- do we have

          16   any comments from the Commission?  Dr. Rising?

          17                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  Vernon, I was

          18   reviewing this Exhibit A and I notice -- there's a -- in

          19   the adoption for the types of ducks and the numbers,

          20   there's a -- it does state one canvasback in the thing,

          21   and I wanted to make sure we --

          22                  MR. BEVILL:  When we -- when we published

          23   that exhibit back in April --

          24                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  Uh-huh.

          25                  MR. BEVILL:  -- the Fish and Wildlife

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           1   Service had not met and reviewed all their numbers and

           2   made their decisions.  So basically we published what

           3   we -- we brought forward what we had from last year and

           4   then later in the summer they make their final rules and

           5   that's when that changed.  So --

           6                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  So this .318 is not

           7   what we're adopting here --

           8                  MR. BEVILL:  Yeah.  You're adopting the

           9   proclamation with changes as proposed.

          10                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  This exhibit is

          11   not --

          12                  MR. BEVILL:  That exhibit is --

          13                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  Not exactly what --

          14                  MR. BEVILL:  -- goes back to the April --

          15                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  Got you.  Okay.

          16                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have one person

          17   signed up for this one.  Kirby Brown.

          18                  MR. BROWN:  My name is Kirby Brown with

          19   Texas Wildlife Association.  Madame Chairman,

          20   Commissioners, we support the staff proposal as it

          21   is.  Thank you.  Wouldn't change it.

          22                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you Kirby.  Are

          23   there any other more questions or comments or from the

          24   Commission?  If not, do I have a motion?

          25                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Move for approval.

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           1                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Second.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I have a motion by

           3   Commissioner Angelo, second by Commissioner Avila.  All in

           4   favor?

           5                  ("Aye.")

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

           7   carries.

           8   "The Texas parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments

           9   to 31 TAC Sections 65.138, 65.320, and 65.321, concerning

          10   the Migratory Game Bord Proclamation, with changes to the

          11   proposed text (located at Exhibit A) as published in the

          12   May 3, 2002, issue of the Texas Register (27 TexReg

          13   3707)."


          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Action Item No. 14.

          16             Nongame Commercial Permit Regulations, John

          17   Herron.

          18                  MR. HERRON:  Thank you, Madame Chairman and

          19   Commission.  My name is John Herron.  I'm the Chief of the

          20   Wildlife Diversity Branch in Wildlife Division and I'll be

          21   briefing you today on two different regulatory items.  The

          22   first concerns a change in nongame regulations.  Fairly

          23   simple change.  We are proposing to amend the regulation

          24   to allow individuals to temporarily possess and move

          25   threaten endangered species when those are threatened by

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           1   construction, right of way maintenance or similar

           2   activities.  We've had many requests for this kind of

           3   authorization but do not currently have a permit that

           4   covers the activity.  The regulation would allow the

           5   Department to authorize temporary possession and take by

           6   letter rather than creating a new permit.  It would also

           7   allow us to determine when to issue that permit to an

           8   individual based on their qualifications.

           9             The second item which is, as we discussed

          10   yesterday, more complex, concerns the revisions to our

          11   nongame collection and sale regulations.  These are

          12   regulations that the Commission considered back it 1998

          13   and became effective in '99.  At that time we promised to

          14   come back to the Commission after three years and tell you

          15   how well things had worked and propose any changes that we

          16   felt were necessary.

          17             As I mentioned yesterday, too, we do have some

          18   changes that I'll be highlighting from what was published

          19   in the Texas Register during the summer based on public

          20   comment and staff input.  Overall, the permit system I

          21   think has been a tremendous success.  There was a lot of

          22   trepidation when we put these in place several years ago,

          23   but it seems to be humming along fairly well right now.

          24   To date this table shows permits we've issued over the

          25   past three years, roughly 400 collector permits each year

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           1   in between 120 and 174 dealer permits.  Of course, the big

           2   thing we were looking for with the regulation was data,

           3   having some handle on what the level of commercial trade

           4   and take of these species were.  As this slide shows these

           5   are the top three species in regards to take, black-tailed

           6   prairie dogs, spiny softshell turtles and western

           7   diamondback rattlesnakes.  The first two takes for the

           8   three years exceeded 50,000 animals and for the

           9   rattlesnake we are just under 30,000 animals reported

          10   taken and sold during the three-year period.  Overall, we

          11   had 19 species that were reported with trade exceeding

          12   2,000 animals over the three-year period.  And of course,

          13   the data has been very helpful to us.  And based on that

          14   data, we've realized that we can now focus the regulations

          15   more on those species that we're most interested in.

          16             So the changes we're proposing, first

          17   simplifying the requirements of the permit.  Currently one

          18   has to have this permit if one has ten or more of one

          19   species, 25 in aggregate or for commercial sale.  We're

          20   going to simplify it and just have either sale or

          21   possession of 25 or more of a listed species.  Those

          22   listed species we're proposing to reduce from 210 that are

          23   currently in the regulation to 40.  These are the 40 that

          24   seem to be most common in trade and those that we feel we

          25   need to monitor.  We're simplify, the reporting

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           1   requirements requiring only dealers to submit an annual

           2   permit.  Collectors will no longer have to submit an

           3   annual report -- I'm sorry, I meant report to us.  We feel

           4   we're getting the data we need from the dealers alone.

           5   And then other changes we are proposing to prohibit

           6   certain means and methods of take and we're clarifying

           7   that anybody who collects for commercial export purposes

           8   has to have a permit even if they're not selling the

           9   animals within Texas.  Some minor changes, we propose to

          10   change the permit names, the public was having trouble

          11   distinguishing between what a commercial and a dealer

          12   permit were.  We are proposing now just to refer to the

          13   permits as a nongame permit and a dealer's nongame permit.

          14   This is a change from what was published.  The first

          15   permit originally we were still calling a nongame

          16   commercial permit.  Based on a public comment we're just

          17   now stating it will be a nongame permit.  What we

          18   published also clarifies that the difference between a

          19   dealer and collector is a dealer is an individual who can

          20   sell these animals to the public.  The other permit, the

          21   nongame permitee you can only sell to dealers, so

          22   basically if someone wants to sell to the public, they'll

          23   need to become a dealer.  Also, there is a -- an exception

          24   in the existing regulation if somebody was selling

          25   processed products, for example, leather goods or other

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           1   things made from animals, they would not need a permit,

           2   but we were missing people who were collecting animals and

           3   immediately processing them.  So we now require that

           4   anybody who collects and then processes those animals

           5   themselves must still have a permit and report to us.

           6             Means and methods, we discussed this yesterday.

           7   Currently what we proposed would prohibit the use of

           8   vacuum-powered devices.  Largely the consideration here is

           9   the take of prairie dogs for the pet trade.  We're

          10   requiring that traps be tagged.  One minor change from

          11   what was published is what was published said only

          12   unattended traps would have to be tagged.  We are

          13   proposing that all traps would now have to be tagged which

          14   alleviates having to figure out if something is really

          15   attended or not.  Then we're proposing that turtle traps

          16   must have an opening above the water so the that the

          17   animals that are caught are not drowned.

          18             Regarding vacuum-powered devices, as I explained

          19   yesterday, the original intent that -- the reason we

          20   proposed this was at the time we started this regulation

          21   in draft about a year ago, the U.S. Department of

          22   Agricultural was also prohibiting the use of vacuum

          23   devices.  We felt we should change our regulation for

          24   consistency purposes.  Since then, the USDA has revised

          25   their policy.  They are now allowing the use of vacuum

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           1   devices on a case-by-case basis and have authorized, I

           2   think, two individuals to use these devices in Texas.  We

           3   have still maintained in it our proposal because one of

           4   our other concerns is take of nontarget species since a

           5   vacuum device is rather nonspecific and as we talked about

           6   yesterday, it's very similar to the buy-catch concerns we

           7   have for commercial fisheries.

           8             I mentioned reporting already.  As I said, some

           9   changes to the reporting, as well.  We're now requiring

          10   dealers to record the permit number of anybody they buy

          11   from.  We're changing the reporting period.  We have a

          12   problem right now where a person has to renew their permit

          13   before we've received their permit from the previous year.

          14   Changing these dated will allow us to assure they've given

          15   us the report before we authorizes renewal of their

          16   permit.  And then finally we're requiring that records be

          17   maintained for two years.  This is different than what was

          18   proposed in the Texas Register.  We said one year there,

          19   but we realized with our changing and reporting we have an

          20   overlap there.  We really need them to retain two years of

          21   records so that we can go back and check what happened

          22   during that August to September time frame the year

          23   before.

          24             I mentioned the species effected.  As I said, we

          25   reduced the number of species down to 40, focusing more on

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           1   getting the data on commercial harvest and sale as those

           2   species we're most concerned with.  One thing I didn't

           3   mention yesterday but I want to mention today is really

           4   the success of this regulation is no small part due to the

           5   cooperation we've had from permitees and the people out

           6   there, their advice and their participation has been a big

           7   help in making this a success.

           8             And in one final note, we are removing bats from

           9   the list of species and the reason we are is because they

          10   are now protected by statute based of Legislative action

          11   during the last Legislative session.

          12             Just to quickly review the species that will

          13   still on be on the list, these toads, salamander and box

          14   turtles will remain on the list requiring a permit.  In

          15   addition, as I was mentioning yesterday one of our big

          16   concerns is the take of the aquatic turtles for Asian food

          17   market.  They will remain on the list.  The banded gecko

          18   and several lizards remain on the list as well, and the

          19   diamondback rattlesnake, the jackrabbit and the prairie

          20   dog.  Again species we've seen a lot of trade in and we

          21   feel we need to continue to monitor.  These six species we

          22   had included on the list in what we published in the Texas

          23   Register; based on public comment it was suggested we

          24   could drop these.  Let me have my slides catch up with me,

          25   because they are just very abundant in the wild and in

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           1   some cases, the take of these is not really very

           2   significant.  There.  We're caught up again.

           3             In addition, due to public comment we're

           4   proposing to add back several species we had thought about

           5   deleting them from the regulation.  Most of these for

           6   aquatic turtles, as I explained yesterday.  One of the

           7   concerns brought up to us if we only list one or two

           8   aquatic turtles, we may find a situation where trade

           9   shifts to related species.  So clearly it was a good

          10   point, so we decided to add these species back onto the

          11   regulation as well as the diamondback terrapin which is a

          12   species of concern, the spade foot toad which is similar

          13   to another species we already have on the list, and then

          14   the other rattlesnakes, again concern being that trade may

          15   shift from western diamondbacks to some of these other

          16   species some of which are relatively rare.  With that, I

          17   would be happy to answer any questions the Commission may

          18   have.

          19                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Questions before we

          20   go to public comment?  We have several people registered.

          21   Mr. J.W. Vanderpool.

          22                  MR. HERRON:  I don't think Mr. Vanderpool

          23   heard you.

          24                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Is he here?

          25                  MR. HERRON:  Yes.  I saw him in back here.

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           1                  MR. VANDERPOOL:  Am I the only one?

           2                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We have a couple

           3   others.

           4                  MR. VANDERPOOL:  I have a handout.  Madame

           5   Chairman and Commissioners, I'm J.W. Vanderpool from

           6   southwest Kansas and I am the one that kind of originated

           7   the vacuum machine method of prairie dog collection.

           8   Because of the bad publicity of my competition, the USDA

           9   shut down the collection of prairie dogs by water and by

          10   vacuum two years ago.  The water people got together and

          11   threatened a lawsuit and so they turned them lose

          12   individually inspected.  Then the next year, I talked the

          13   USDA into inspecting the vacuum machines.  Dr. Elizabeth

          14   Pannell (phonetic), the USDA inspector for Big Spring,

          15   Texas, area came out and inspected me for two days.  She

          16   brought her supervisor, Dr. Hamile (phonetic) out of Fort

          17   Worth.  They video filmed everything from vacuuming them

          18   and from the baby prairie dogs how we took care of them.

          19   And took four of them down to Texas A&M for necropsies and

          20   could find nothing wrong with them.  So they could find

          21   nothing wrong with the animals that I had collected at the

          22   time they were there inspecting them.  So they reversed

          23   the policy on the back -- the back two pages of that

          24   handout I gave you is the revised policy that is presently

          25   in date.

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           1             The vacuum method is, to my opinion, absolutely

           2   the most humane way of catching prairie dogs.  And the way

           3   I target the young prairie dogs only instead of getting

           4   other species of critters is looking with binoculars out

           5   on the field and you have to see the baby pups on the

           6   mound and if you see baby pups on the mouth, there's not

           7   any owls or rabbits or anything else it that hole.  That's

           8   the den that they were born in and the mother prairie dog

           9   keeps everything run off from that hole.  If there's a

          10   snake or something in there, the baby prairie dogs won't

          11   go in there.  And so it's a matter of the method and

          12   experience you keep from getting other targeted species.

          13   And it works so efficient and so quickly that I can catch

          14   more prairie dogs.

          15             The numbers you see in there, most of them are

          16   from Texas Parks and Wildlife and it's just easier to

          17   catch them with a vacuum, it's faster and more humane.

          18   I'd like to urge you to keep the collecting methods the

          19   same as they are right now.  That's the reason I'm here.

          20   I heard of my opposition, some of my competitors was going

          21   to be here and that's the reason I'm here.  Thank you.

          22                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Kirby Brown.  And

          23   Ellis Gilleland.

          24                  MR. BROWN:  Madame Chairman, my name is

          25   Kirby Brown with Texas Wildlife Association.  And we just

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           1   support the staff proposal as it stands.  It's an

           2   interesting comment by Mr. Vanderpool if there are

           3   guidelines that could be incorporated, we would be

           4   interested it that, because I believe there -- there are

           5   occasions where the capture and transplant of prairie dog

           6   populations is something we should be interested in aside

           7   from the trade.

           8             Also I want to echo what was said yesterday that

           9   the staff has done a great job in implementing these

          10   regulations and moving them forward and proving that the

          11   permitting can take place that both protects the private

          12   landowner and the collectors out there and gathers the

          13   information in a reasonable way.  Thank you.

          14                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Ellis Gilleland.

          15                  MR. GILLELAND:  I have a two handouts.  My

          16   name is Ellis Gilleland speaking for Texas Animals, an

          17   animal rights organization on the Internet.  I want to

          18   refer you to the publication in the Texas Register,

          19   because that's the legal presentation that we're dealing

          20   with.  Is the 23rd May, 2002, Texas Register which

          21   publishes a list of the animals that have been removed.

          22   Out of a total of 209 animals on the list, which are being

          23   tracked and dealt with by Parks and Wildlife, you only

          24   kept 28.  So that's what has been published.  There's

          25   nothing about adding and subtracting all these things that

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           1   Mr. Herron's down up and down, up and down, up and down.

           2   That's not in the Texas Register.  The legal publication

           3   was 209 and of the 209 you struck them all expect 28.

           4             So now my request to you is if you want to do

           5   this add, subtract, add, subtract, sideways, up and down,

           6   diagonal, please republish it so the public can see what

           7   is happening, because there's only 28 animals left on the

           8   list.

           9             The second thing is on your biodiversity, I feel

          10   it's important to track them all.  And the reason why is

          11   that biodiversity is important.  I've given you a real

          12   short article.  You can grasp -- even our corporations are

          13   getting on the biodiversity.

          14             And the last thing I would like to touch upon,

          15   the handout I gave you is from a newspaper in Live Oak

          16   County, The Progress dated the 1st of March, 2000, it

          17   says, "Attention snake owners, ranchers, deer horns, began

          18   3rd of March we will be making weekly stops throughout the

          19   brush country in South Texas.  We're buying live

          20   rattlesnakes, dead rattlesnakes, rattles, exotic snakes,

          21   live litters, box turtles, water turtles, centipedes,

          22   vinegarones, skulls, bones, horns of ram, billy goat, wild

          23   boar, et cetera, et cetera, and more," that they don't

          24   list.  And then it says in big bold capital letters, "If

          25   it's in the woods and there is a legal market on it, we

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           1   buy it."

           2             Ladies and gentlemen, will you please keep all

           3   nine -- all 209 on the list.  Add another 209, great, I

           4   don't care how many you add.  But please keep the 209 and

           5   republish this whole can of worms so the public can know

           6   what's on the list and what isn't on the list.  The public

           7   throughout Texas doesn't have access to all this oral

           8   fantasies I hear.  Thank you.

           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Perry Hounshell?  I

          10   apologize if I butchered your last name.

          11                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Perry Hounshell.  Madame

          12   Chairman, staff, the USDA came and inspected my method of

          13   collection, which is modified grain vacuum and found that

          14   it was the most humane way that they could see of

          15   collecting prairie dogs.  And the only thing that I can

          16   see wrong with it is people could -- people could see

          17   wrong with it is my competitors saying bad things about

          18   it, which aren't true.  If you all have got any questions

          19   about it, how it works or anything, I'd -- I'd like to

          20   answer them.  That's fine.

          21                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Mr. Angelo, do you

          22   have a question?

          23                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  How does yours

          24   differ from the other gentleman that spoke or does it?

          25                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, whenever I started

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           1   using my vacuum was the first year that he got his shut

           2   down.  And the way I had mine set up was different and so

           3   we got them to come and look and he changed his to where

           4   we can't catch adults, just the babies.

           5             And as far as catching anything other than

           6   prairie dogs, we don't, because like he said, you check

           7   the hole, the prairie dogs are on the hole.  And if they

           8   go deep in the hole, you don't get them.  They go down

           9   about 3-foot, you'll get them.  If they go on down any

          10   deeper, you don't get them.  I mean, you don't suck out

          11   every prairie dog that you see.  It's kind of like water.

          12   Whenever you put water in a hole, you don't get every

          13   prairie dog out of there.

          14                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  What kind of

          15   mortality do you have --

          16                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  I have zero mortality.

          17                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  How much?

          18                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Zero.

          19                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  How much --

          20                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  In my exports, I have in

          21   seven years, I've had eight deaths and I've shipped all of

          22   the world.  I've had eight deaths in seven years.

          23                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  If you didn't use

          24   the vacuum, what other method would you catch them.

          25                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  I wouldn't, because I go

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           1   behind people using water and I suck up dead prairie dogs.

           2                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  When they use water,

           3   if they don't get out, they drown.  Is that right?

           4                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Right.  But, you know, I

           5   don't want to say anything about the way other people

           6   collect them.  One guy might put too much water in a hole

           7   and then another guy might not.  So, you know, you

           8   can't -- you can't just shut down everybody because of

           9   what one person does.  That's like putting soap in and

          10   stuff in, you know, people that love animals wouldn't do

          11   that.

          12                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  How many people do you

          13   know that operate the vacuum machines?

          14                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Me and Mr. Vanderpool.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  And can you address

          16   the concerns about what we are calling buy-catch.

          17                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  The burrowing owl?

          18                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, the burrowing

          19   owl or snakes, rabbits, things that go into the vacuum

          20   that you're not looking for.

          21                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, the first time

          22   Mr. Vanderpool was -- they came and inspected him; the man

          23   came up and said, "I want you to get prairie dogs out of

          24   this hole right here."  And he said," Well, that's not the

          25   way I do it."  And he said, "Well, that's the way I want

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           1   you to do it so I can watch how you do it."  Well, you

           2   don't do it that way.  You look through binoculars, you

           3   see the pups at about 100 yards, you drive up to the hole,

           4   you suck on it for a few seconds and either you get them

           5   or you don't.  But there wouldn't be any burrowing owls or

           6   snakes or rabbits in that hole because that's where the

           7   babies are living and the mama keeps everything run out of

           8   there.  And the burrowing owl doesn't stay in the holes

           9   with babies.

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Do you

          11   have any questions?  Commissioner Ramos.

          12                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I just have a couple.

          13   How does the design of your machine differ from the other

          14   one to where it can distinguish between a baby and an

          15   adult.

          16                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, it's -- we use a

          17   bigger hose, a six-inch hose.  It's bigger, and the

          18   suction is not that great.  And whenever the pups come up

          19   out of the hole, they don't come up fast.  They float into

          20   a holding.  Those pictures that you had of my machine are

          21   from four years ago.  Last year I spent $70,000 redoing my

          22   whole operation.  So, you know, I've got a lot of money

          23   invested.

          24                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  So it's not the size

          25   of the hose as much as the amount of suction that you're

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           1   applying?

           2                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, it's both.  It's the

           3   size of hole and amount of suction.  The bigger the hole,

           4   the less suction you get.

           5                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  But what I'm saying is

           6   if a larger -- if an adult for example, were to come up,

           7   would it go through your system?

           8                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  It would go up just like

           9   the babies do, but you don't have the suction on the hole

          10   in order to get the adults up.  You're dealing with a

          11   little bitty baby that doesn't weigh hardly anything.

          12                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  No, I understand that.

          13   The only distinction you have is the amount of suction --

          14   you're saying you don't apply enough suction to where the

          15   large ones can't float out.

          16                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Exactly.

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Have these pups been

          18   weaned?

          19                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Oh, yes, ma'am.

          20                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, what about the

          21   very small pups that -- do you pull them up by mistake

          22   or --

          23                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  No.  The very small ones

          24   are still in the nest down in the hole.

          25                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Deep down?

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           1                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Yeah.  And the suction --

           2   the vacuum won't suck them up.  You don't get pups that --

           3   unless their yea eight deep (indicating).  They go any

           4   deeper than that, you won't get them.

           5                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I think I would like

           6   to have Mr. Herron answer some of these questions if you

           7   don't mind?

           8                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Uh-huh.

           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do you have any other

          10   questions of --

          11                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  How deep are the

          12   nests where the small left babies are?

          13                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, they'll go on down

          14   and there might be two or three different chambers, but

          15   they go down and then turn and then go way back and then

          16   down again, so.

          17                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  When they get a

          18   little older they go higher up closer to the surface.

          19                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, what they do is when

          20   they wean them, they're not getting milk from that mama,

          21   so their out eating.

          22                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  So you can see them

          23   out on the mound?

          24                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Yes.

          25                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  That's what you're

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           1   talking about.  You're spotting the babies on the mound

           2   with the mother.

           3                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Yes.  After they're weaned.

           4                  COMMISSIONER RISING:  But the little bitty

           5   ones are down in the nest.

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  At what age do they

           7   leave the nest totally?

           8                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Well, after six weeks the

           9   mama kicks them out.  And then a bunch of them will all go

          10   to one hole and sometimes there will be 15 or 16 in a hole

          11   and then they spread out and that's how the town grows.

          12   They kick them out and they push them all to the outside

          13   and then they start having babies there and then they push

          14   them out.  And that's how it grows.  And the big -- like

          15   Big Springs we collect the babies from that every year.

          16   And they have a big problem with it, digging under the

          17   airports and that's all -- only place that I -- I collect

          18   from is the airport there.  And they have a big problem.

          19                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Pretty prolific.

          20                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  If it wasn't for me and

          21   Mr. Vanderpool, they would have to shut don't the Big

          22   Spring Airport or go in and kill all the prairie dogs.

          23   It's just that -- they're there by the tens of thousands.

          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I would like to hear

          25   from Mr. Herron.

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           1                  MR. HOUNSHELL:  Okay.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

           3                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Thank you.

           4                  MR. HERRON:  Thank you, Madame Chairman.

           5   Yes.  As we're learning, we continue to learn in this

           6   whole process.  And I do not doubt the fact that both

           7   Mr. Hounshell and Mr. Vanderpool are telling -- they know

           8   more about catching these animals probably than anybody

           9   else in this room.  Just to get some perspective, you

          10   know, as I recollect, I think we have anywhere between

          11   eight and ten individuals -- you all have a handout that

          12   Mr. Vanderpool gave you from our data that are actually

          13   involved in the collection of prairie dogs.  Two of those

          14   individuals use vacuums, the others are using other means.

          15   And so as I was saying, this has been a learning

          16   experience for us as well.  I think what's been described

          17   to you in regards to that life habits and the fact that

          18   the vacuum is apparently only effective for those that are

          19   really in the first part of the tunnel, there's usually a

          20   couple small side chambers there, as well, is undoubtedly

          21   correct.  And honestly, you know, in regards to the

          22   regulation, this is not a -- there is certainly not the

          23   most important part of this regulation.  I did not mention

          24   to you before that we have had other public comment asking

          25   us to address other means and methods which we chose not

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           1   to bring to the Commission at this time; such things as

           2   the use of gasoline in rattlesnake roundups, the use of

           3   not just water in prairie dogs but also the additives of

           4   soap, ammonia and other things to get animals out of

           5   there.  I think it's an issue we're going to have to come

           6   back and look at again in regards to means and methods of

           7   take.  Certainly, if it's the Commission's preference, we

           8   can come back and revisit the vacuum issue at another time

           9   as well.

          10                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I would move

          11   approval of the recommendations made by Mr. Herron with

          12   the exception that the vacuum method be continued to be

          13   approved and monitored.

          14                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I would second that.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          16                  ("Aye.")

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          18   carries.

          19                  MR. HERRON:  Thank you very much.

          20   "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts 31 TAC

          21   Sections 65.173 and 325-65.331, concerning Nongame permits

          22   and Special Provisions, with changes to the proposed text

          23   as published in the May 3, 2002, issue of the Texas

          24   Register (27 TexReg 3710)."


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           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Action No. 15, Land

           3   and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan

           4   Resolution, Emily Armitano and Jeff Francell.  Is that

           5   everyone?

           6                  MR. FRANCELL:  Chairman Armstrong,

           7   Commissioners, I promise this is the final presentation on

           8   the land and water plan.  We'll be able to move on after

           9   today.  We're here today to present the plan.  You have

          10   copies of it.  There were some red line changes this week

          11   that have you copies of.  And the presentation we're going

          12   to run through quickly, but there is a little bit of new

          13   information here from the plan.  The plan was a

          14   requirement of our Sunset Bill.  We were required to

          15   develop a ten-year statewide strategic plan.  The

          16   Commission is required to adopt this plan by October 15 of

          17   this year.  It's important to know that this plan will

          18   also serve as the Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan required

          19   by the National Park Service for land and water

          20   conservation funds.  This is a strategic plan that

          21   analyzes conservation and recreation needs, identifies

          22   threatened land and water resources and establishes

          23   priorities.  The Department will use this plan in

          24   decisions on acquisitions, divestiture, private landowner

          25   programs, local park grants and other conservation

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           1   partnerships and programs.

           2             We analyzed Texas from an ecoregion standpoint

           3   looking at threats, looking at conserved lands, lands

           4   under wildlife management plans, and biodiversity and

           5   prioritized the South Texas Plains, the Gulf Coast and the

           6   Black Land Prairies as our highest priority ecoregions.

           7             This is a map that you probably haven't seen

           8   before.  It's a map that we can use to locate State Parks

           9   or Wildlife Management Areas in the future.  Shaded in the

          10   light green up in the High Plains and the cross timbers

          11   are on the two ecoregions that do not have adequate

          12   wildlife management areas.  This plan recommends that we

          13   create wildlife management areas in those two ecoregions.

          14   The areas around Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio

          15   and the Lower Rio Grande Valley are highlighted.  That

          16   will be the acquisition or partnership approach to

          17   developing these larger parks over the next ten years.

          18             Other important data to be factored in will be

          19   rivers.  The plan recommends that state parks, wildlife

          20   management areas wherever possible be located on major

          21   waterways.  We also named some priority state parks and

          22   wildlife management areas for expansion in the plan.  The

          23   criteria involved was the location of the site for state

          24   parks, natural and cultural recreational resource value,

          25   the ability to expand the site, whether there's

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           1   undeveloped land around it or whether it's surrounded by

           2   an urban area, the current size of the site, whether it is

           3   relatively large already or whether the site had proven

           4   through visitation to be a destination.  We also have

           5   prioritized some wildlife management areas for expansion.

           6   The criteria we used was the natural and recreational

           7   value, the ability to expand again, its current size and

           8   whether or not acquiring more land would improve access.

           9   These are the wildlife management areas listed in the

          10   plan.  We also dealt with a tough issue in this plan of

          11   divestiture of state parks and wildlife management areas.

          12   This was required by the Sunset Bill.  We developed

          13   criteria for state parks, whether the site functioned more

          14   as a local park than a state park, whether it was small,

          15   whether it was undeveloped, or whether it was adjacent to

          16   another entity who might manage it better.  We also listed

          17   criteria for divestiture of wildlife management areas

          18   slightly different, whether it was adjacent to another

          19   organization who can manage this site, whether it was too

          20   small for research and demonstration, whether it was

          21   isolated or presented other management issues.  It's very

          22   important to know and to let all the public know that

          23   parks and wildlife will operate all the open state parks

          24   and wildlife management areas and historic sites listed in

          25   this plan until an appropriate owner can be found.

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           1             On our historic sites list, I presented that

           2   list yesterday of low and high priorities.  Just to let

           3   you know the criteria that went into that evaluation,

           4   whether it was important to cultural themes in Texas or

           5   our national heritage.  Probably the thing that was

           6   weighted the most was interpretive value of the site,

           7   whether somebody could go there and learn something about

           8   history.  The integrity of the site was a factor, whether

           9   it was important to Texas history or an outstanding person

          10   or event was there, whether it had significant

          11   architecture, archeology or scientific value as well as

          12   other factors.  This all went into that ranking process.

          13   We also did a gap analysis in the plan.  The main

          14   recommendation here is that we need to work with the

          15   Historic Sites Advisory Committee, the Texas Historical

          16   Commission and other experts, academics to further refine

          17   this process and give us strategies for selecting new

          18   historic sites in the future.

          19             You've seen this slide before.  I won't spend

          20   much time on it, but it is important that rivers are a

          21   focus in this plan.  We talk about how we've -- Parks and

          22   Wildlife has had an effort over the last 12 years to

          23   determine the water needs of our bay and estuary systems.

          24   The focus of this plan is really to take that to our

          25   rivers, our 15 major river basins in Texas.  And over the

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           1   next ten years determine their water flow needs for fish

           2   and wildlife and recreation.  We also looked at all our

           3   major bay and estuary systems on the coast.  All our major

           4   bay and estuary systems are important but we did

           5   prioritize them and rank them one through nine.  The

           6   Galveston Bay system was at the top.  The key priorities

           7   from this plan, the key goals that we set, were to provide

           8   more large recreation areas within 90 minutes of our your

           9   major metropolitan areas.  That we need to expand our

          10   efforts with landowners to include water quality and

          11   quantity, to continue to conserve wildlife habitat and

          12   also to increase our efforts to provide public recreation

          13   on private land with those landowners what are willing to

          14   enter into those kinds of agreements.  We also talked

          15   strongly in this plan about how we need to effective

          16   communicate to state leaders, to citizens and to

          17   regulatory agencies the value of ensuring that there's

          18   adequate fresh water in Texas rivers and bays not only for

          19   fish and wildlife but also for humans.  And one final note

          20   much the plan does talk about how the longer we wait to

          21   act, the more of an impact all of these issues will have

          22   on Texas' quality of life and also its economy.

          23             Public comment was taken the plan, the draft has

          24   to been on the with web site since June 20th.  Eight

          25   public meetings were held across the state, we've had

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           1   1,200 e-mails, 200 letters and a petition drive.  The

           2   draft that's on the Internet now was placed there Friday

           3   and then you have some small changes in red lined with you

           4   now.

           5             So the staff recommends to the Texas Parks and

           6   Wildlife Commission that they adopt the following motion

           7   that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt by resolution

           8   which is in an exhibit the land and water resources

           9   conservation and recreation plan.

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you, Jeff.  It

          11   indeed has been a tremendous effort and a great

          12   accomplishment.  I'm very proud of the staff and you and

          13   Emily and all the others involved in this great effort.

          14   As I said yesterday, I'll say it again today, there will

          15   be those who say that this plan does not go far enough and

          16   those that will say that this plan goes too far in some

          17   instances.  I asked you all and the ad hoc committee to

          18   come up with a plan of achievable goals.  I think the plan

          19   does that.  The good intentions or nice, but achievement

          20   is better.  And I think that going forward we have a solid

          21   plan that we can -- that can guide us for the next ten

          22   years and I want to thank the entire department, because

          23   everybody got involved in this, for this tremendous

          24   effort.  And I think we've got some comments and that some

          25   people on the Commission would like to ask questions and

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           1   comment, as well.

           2             Our first person is David Langford.  And that

           3   followed by Kirby Brown.

           4                  MR. LANGFORD:  Madame Chairman, members of

           5   the Commission, I'm David Langford, Texas Wildlife

           6   Association.  I would like to comment on the plan and make

           7   sure it's on the record here at this particular hearing.

           8   In the plan, it calls -- mainly because I want to

           9   emphasize a couple things.  In the plan, it calls for

          10   getting together with the Private Lands Advisory Committee

          11   to brainstorm ideas and to come up with new ideas and I

          12   wanted to briefly talk about one of those ideas that we've

          13   mentioned in comments and at the public hearing, but I

          14   sure want to make sure that I enlist your help in this.

          15   And two things happened in the last couple weeks that I

          16   think exemplify the need for this.  And it's a

          17   clearinghouse for information about landowners who are

          18   willing to provide access and those people who want

          19   access, which is an awful lot.

          20             A couple weeks ago, or every year, I participate

          21   in the Prop 11 seminars where the people who are trying to

          22   either get or keep the wildlife management tax valuation,

          23   they put on seminars three Saturdays in a row at the

          24   Cibolo Wilderness Area in Boerne.  This time there were 18

          25   landowners and you know, these people, everyone of them

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           1   had -- they owned property in northern Bexar County and

           2   southern Kendall County.  So there they are trying to hold

           3   off asphalt from covering them up.  And they are all

           4   interested in wildlife.  I think only two of them had

           5   houses on the property.  The rest of it was, you know,

           6   places for reflection and to get away.  And then yesterday

           7   at this hearing there was a couple right here.  The

           8   gentleman had a very strong accent and then I think it was

           9   his wife testified right after that and they talked about

          10   needing and wanting to find places where they could go

          11   read a book, just be quiet and still for a while.

          12             Well, you know, there's 18 landowners that are

          13   wanting to do that and then here's a lot of people that

          14   also want to do that and they've got no way to find each

          15   other.  So I understand the devils and the details.  How

          16   do we work that out?  There's got to be, especially now

          17   with the digital age and, you know, it seems to be we can

          18   work out a way where a lot of these nonconsumptive,

          19   nonhunting recreational opportunities can be provided if

          20   people can but find one another.  So I want to commit that

          21   we'll definitely help you all work with that.

          22             Listen, I am to close by saying I was very

          23   interested in the comments from Mr. Hall of the Fish and

          24   Wildlife Service a minute ago.  I think there's only two

          25   or three people in the room that sat here and listened to

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           1   Dave Frederick when he came here and he said the exact

           2   same things.  And it didn't work out that way.  Nobody

           3   wants to see it work out, as Mr. Hall said, more than the

           4   Texas Wildlife Association and more than me.  But we've

           5   heard it before, and I would ask everybody, once again the

           6   devils and the details.  Let's see what happens.  And I

           7   certainly hope it happens this time.  Nobody would be

           8   happier than me.  Thank you.

           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Ellis Gilleland, you

          10   will be after Kirby Brown.

          11                  MR. BROWN:  Madame Chairman, Commissioners,

          12   my name is Kirby Brown with the Texas Wildlife

          13   Association.  We want to thank you for the opportunity to

          14   provide input on the land and water conservation plan.  It

          15   looks like a very good plan.  I think this is a great

          16   step.  It's a dynamic document.  As we get into it if we

          17   see problems it gives us an opportunity to change those

          18   things.  I think that's good too.  I applaud you on this

          19   approach and applaud the staff for the tremendous amount

          20   of work they've done pulling that together.  I think it's

          21   going to be a good plan and we support the process that

          22   was involved in it.  Thanks so much.

          23                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Brian Sybert you will

          24   follow Mr. Gilleland.

          25                  MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland

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           1   speaking for Texas Animals.  I've given you four handouts.

           2   The first one is Hunting Declines as Social Landscape

           3   Shifts.  And the reason why I've submitted this to you is

           4   because the emphasis in your plan on the Internet is

           5   hunting.  It does not show up in these slides that were

           6   presented today.

           7             The hunting is declining because your sales

           8   yesterday we saw because of the social landscape.  Even

           9   your Mr. Doodo (phonetic) says the trend has been taking

          10   place for the last 20 years.  It reminds me of the wet

          11   noodle and water running upstream.  You are not going to

          12   win it.  And then the other underlined, losing licenses

          13   has a revenue impact is one of the reasons I would have

          14   been very interested in exploring avenues of other

          15   funding.  Your emphasis on hunting, I give you a clipping

          16   from The Progress newspaper again, entitled, "Texas Parks

          17   and Wildlife Working to Build More Support for Hunting."

          18   And this goes in the future of hunting in Texas and so

          19   forth.

          20             You've done a multiplicity of studies over the

          21   last five years.  I don't know how many millions of

          22   dollars have been spent.  The A&M study in '98, Texas

          23   Outdoors, '98, Future Hunting, A&M 2000, Ms. Dinkins

          24   Taking Care of Texas, Smidley Texas Tech, Texas Parks and

          25   Wildlife 21st Century.  You've probably got about 4 or

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           1   $5 million worth of surveys here.  Now, none of them have

           2   an emphasis on hunting.  They're almost void.  They're all

           3   on parks near the urban areas.  That's what it boils down

           4   to.  People don't want to hunt, folks.  I've given you a

           5   printout.  This is from your own future of hunting.  A&M,

           6   Hunting is way down at the bottom of the list.  Close to

           7   home, fishing, walking, park visits, hiking, camping.  Far

           8   away from home fishing, camping, hiking and then hunting

           9   down at the bottom with boating 6 percent and 5 percent.

          10   You're forcing hunting.  Look at your wall.  Are there any

          11   fish out there on the wall, ATVs on the wall, bird

          12   watching on the wall, no.  It's all big rack deer.  Those

          13   are your deer because you make your money off of them.

          14   You're pushing deer on the public.  The public doesn't

          15   want them.

          16             I've given you a deal -- alternate funding.

          17   There's alternate funding.  These people here this is a

          18   Houston Chronicle Monday 17 June, 2002, City Wants

          19   Visitors to Flock there Naturally.  There are alternate

          20   means of funding, Ms. Madame Chairman, if you open your

          21   eyes and look for them and stop looking at the big racks.

          22   There's dollars out there and there are people that want

          23   to spend them and they want to go and get green.  They'll

          24   love you and they'll go with you, but you're not going to

          25   push big racks on them because they're thinking people,

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           1   they're intelligent people.  Thank you.

           2                  MR. SYBERT:  Madame Chairman, members of

           3   the Commission, my name is Brian Sybert.  I'm representing

           4   the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club.  Thank you for

           5   the opportunity to speak.  Before my comments I would like

           6   to just take the opportunity to thank Jeff and Emily and

           7   everybody who put a lot of work into the plan.  A lot of

           8   time went into it and definitely they deserve our thanks.

           9   In terms of the plan itself we would have liked to have

          10   seen -- more -- seen the recommendation include more

          11   acquisition of park land in those recommendations.  But

          12   having said that, we feel that the plan makes many

          13   important recommendations for meeting both conservation

          14   and recreation needs in the state.  So we do think there's

          15   a lot of important things that the plan addresses.  And

          16   it's a very important starting point.  At this point, once

          17   the plan is adopted, we really need to make implementation

          18   of the plan a top priority and securing the financial

          19   resources to make the plan a reality, a top priority and

          20   that's for the Commission, for the citizens of the state

          21   and everybody.  That's going to be extremely important as

          22   we go obviously into these upcoming session and sessions

          23   after that.  And I would also want to point out that the

          24   Commission and the Department on the emphasis that's been

          25   placed on water and we need to continue to keep a large

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           1   focus on water especially going into the Legislative

           2   sessions where there's going to be a lot of hard decisions

           3   made on the water issue and that's going to be extremely

           4   important.

           5             Again, I would just like to say thank you.  And

           6   that concludes my comments.

           7                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

           8                  MS. LEHMANN:  Thank you for this

           9   opportunity to speak.  I'm just a private citizen and I do

          10   agree very much with what Brian Sybert said about the

          11   importance of water.  As a matter of fact, the very report

          12   says that the most common concern no matter what our level

          13   of income, no matter where we live in Texas is the quality

          14   and quantity of water.  So I looked through this plan, got

          15   some things off of the web -- your web site last night and

          16   I have some suggestions.

          17             First, I read on Page 61, "Strategies for

          18   meeting the conservation and recreation needs on water as

          19   follows:  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has

          20   responsibility for maintaining healthy bays, adequate fish

          21   populations, productive commercial fisheries and excellent

          22   recreational fisheries."

          23             In this same report I read our bays are getting

          24   saltier, our fish populations, some of them have dropped

          25   drastically, some of them are in danger of extinction.  I

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           1   read that the shrimp fishery has overfished.  And as far

           2   as excellent recreational fishing, when you need inflows I

           3   read even the Colorado River can't make it to Gulf of

           4   Mexico.  Something is not right, and I don't think we're

           5   addressing this.

           6             I wish we could have some teeth.  You're

           7   responsible.  You've listed the responsibilities and

           8   you've listed your failures, but you haven't asked for

           9   some kind of teeth so you can carry out your

          10   responsibilities.  I've heard very great accounts of how

          11   well you are doing in so many fields, but in this one of

          12   water this is vital.  We have wrangled over land, over oil

          13   and more and more we'll be wrangling over water and this

          14   will rest with you, because what fish need, people need.

          15   Please put this at the top of your priority.  Please.

          16             And I thought that not only demand teeth but as

          17   the environmentalists have asked you, please buy land

          18   connected with the sources of pure water.  It's going to

          19   be a fight more and more over the whole globe and in this

          20   state.  Please get the sources of water protected over our

          21   aquifers, our springs, our head waters.  Please do this.

          22   Put it at the top of the list, because whatever else you

          23   do in recreation, it's very important and you're doing a

          24   fine job, if you don't protect our water, same as the

          25   fish, it's going to be at your door.  So I'm just asking

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           1   you as a private citizen please to put this condition of

           2   water, it's quality and quantity at the very top of your

           3   program.  Thank you very much.

           4                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Do we have

           5   any comments or questions from the Commission regarding

           6   the land and water conservation plan?

           7                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I do.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commission Avila.

           9                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I just want to say

          10   that -- commend both Jeff and Emily an outstanding job and

          11   they certainly represent the next generation of our

          12   department for young people and did a tremendous job as we

          13   all reminded them as we get to talk to them.  And for the

          14   public, we look to divest ourselves of properties that

          15   we've had in the inventory for a long, long time that over

          16   time have become nothing more than small parks in some of

          17   our rural cities or lessor historical sites that take

          18   money from the Department to operate to maintain and to

          19   have staff on -- on location and -- and as we give these

          20   things to the local governments, that helps us do -- it

          21   will help us do in the future the mission that they've

          22   outlined in their program.

          23             Small acreage, undeveloped land holdings, we

          24   receive because we have purchased over years, they've been

          25   bequeathed to us in Wills, they come to us as gifts or we

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           1   just simply horse trade with other agencies or entities in

           2   the state that do not fit what this plan now describes.  I

           3   just ask that we do the study to see what the best usage

           4   is as we look to administer the disposition and -- and

           5   that's all I have, Madame Chairman.

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you,

           7   Commissioner Avila.  Do we have any questions or comments?

           8                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I do.

           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner

          10   Fitzsimons.

          11                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I want to join

          12   the Chairman and the other members of the Commission in

          13   commending Jeff and Emily on their work.  There is a very

          14   tough, big job.  As Bob Cook said yesterday, when it

          15   started it looked really insurmountable, impossible.  You

          16   pulled it off, did a great job.  We have information now

          17   we've simply never had before to make some decisions that

          18   will be tough, but I would like to respond to the comments

          19   regarding, I think, primarily water.

          20             I represent the Commission on the Texas Water

          21   Advisory Council which the last session of the Legislature

          22   created to identify water issues during the interim and to

          23   make recommendations to the next Legislature and to the

          24   leadership.

          25             I don't think there's any coincidence that two

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           1   of the three stated priorities in the conclusion of our

           2   land and water conservation plan deal directly and

           3   precisely with water.  That's at Page 71.  The only real

           4   difference of opinion that I think I have, and I can't

           5   speak for all of the Commission, but it's certainly my

           6   philosophy, is that to protect something does not mean

           7   that it is owned by the public.  We learn today from

           8   Mr. Hall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service what many of us

           9   already knew, that private stewardship is why we have so

          10   many of our natural resources in the good shape they're

          11   in, and that's where some of the final remnants that

          12   Mr. Hall talked about are.  And there is -- it is

          13   hydrologically, practically impossible for the public

          14   like -- for the Parks and Wildlife Department surely, to

          15   buy every acre of recharge, every acre of watershed that's

          16   necessary to protect our water.  It has to be done through

          17   partnerships with the private landowners that own those

          18   watersheds.  The watershed; if you will look at the

          19   millions of acres of watershed in our various streams,

          20   it's just -- it's huge.  And that's where we're directing

          21   a lot of our interests in this plan.  And the plan very

          22   specifically sets out goals.  For instance, not to belabor

          23   by pet issue of watershed management, but the wildlife

          24   management plans if they're going to be doubled in the

          25   next ten years to include watershed management, that's

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           1   clearly a specific monitorable goal.  So I want to commend

           2   the team, the ad hoc committee.  I was not on the ad hoc

           3   committee.  But I can tell you every Commissioner had an

           4   opportunity to participate and I certainly took mine.  So

           5   don't think there's any doubt that water is at the top of

           6   the priority list.  Matter of fact, it is mentioned as two

           7   of the three priorities on Page 71.  Thank you.

           8                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  For the record, I

           9   would like to thank the ad hoc committee.  They -- the

          10   committee was made up of myself, Commissioner Henry,

          11   Commissioner Montgomery, Commissioner Ramos, Dealey

          12   Herndon, Barry Miller and Chairman Emeritus Bass.  Did I

          13   get everyone?  They did a tremendous job.  We met

          14   regularly and wrestled with all these issues and we're

          15   proud of the work that's been accomplished here.  Now

          16   let's go out and implement this plan and see what the

          17   results are.  We're very, very pleased.  Are there any

          18   other questions regarding this?  If not, do I have a

          19   motion?

          20                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Move for approval.

          21                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Second?

          22                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Second.

          23                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I have a motion by

          24   Commissioner Ramos, second by Commissioner Avila.  All in

          25   favor?

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           1                  ("Aye.")

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

           3   carries.

           4   "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts by

           5   resolution (Exhibit A) the Land and Water Resources

           6   Conservation and Recreation Plan."


           8   LEASE - HARRIS COUNTY

           9                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  No. 16, Nomination of

          10   Oil and Gas Lease Harris County, Ronnie Ray.

          11                  MR. RAY:  Madame Chairman and

          12   Commissioners, my name is Ronnie Ray.  I'm with the Land

          13   Conservation Program.  This item is the recommend --

          14   consideration of the nomination for oil and gas lease at

          15   Sheldon Lake State Park in Harris County.  The nominated

          16   acres is 1,303 acres.  Minimum bid would be $150 per acre,

          17   the royalties would be 25 percent with a $10 per acre

          18   delayed annual rental.  The restrictions would be

          19   offshore -- I mean, I'm sorry, off site operations only.

          20   The motion recommended is "The Executive Director is

          21   authorized to nominate for oil and gas lease to the board

          22   for lease for Parks and Wildlife lands, four tracts of

          23   property consisting of 1,303.31 mineral acres out of the

          24   Sheldon Lake State Park at $150 per acre with a 25 percent

          25   royalty, $10 per acre rental, and a three-year term,

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           1   incorporating the restrictions set out in Exhibit A.  The

           2   income from the bonus bid and delayed rentals will be

           3   dedicated to Sheldon Lake State Park.  This action will

           4   not be considered a precedent."

           5             Any questions?

           6                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have -- do we have

           7   any questions or comments from the Commission?  Because we

           8   have one person signed up on this issue, Mr. Gilleland.

           9                  MR. GILLELAND:  There's one handout.  My

          10   name is Ellis Gilleland speaking for Texas Animals.  If

          11   water is so important, why do you keep drilling oil wells

          12   in the middle of them -- middle of it.  I beseeched you

          13   last meeting to please not drill oil in Sea Rim State

          14   Park, marshlands, wetlands, practically on my knees,

          15   begging you.  Oh, water is so important.  Hollow words.

          16   Hollow words.  Your actions do not match your words.

          17   You're now going to drill in another wetlands area,

          18   Sheldon Lake.  It's not alligators this time.  It's

          19   people.  It's young people, little guys we're talking

          20   about, because it is an environmental education center.

          21   Those of you from Houston know it to be a popular place

          22   for school kids.  Teachers take bus loads of kids out

          23   there.  I've given you an article on it.  It's published

          24   in the Amarillo Globe News about this fantastic

          25   educational facility next to Houston 16 miles from

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           1   downtown Houston.  It's an outdoors classroom, a teaching

           2   vehicle for all the kids in Houston.  Texas voters

           3   approved -- on the second page, "Texas voters approved the

           4   $2.5 million bond issue for Sheldon Lake to begin the

           5   first phase of multiphase development plan that would

           6   include construction and offloading plaza for school,

           7   scout groups, new interests, new park complex, classrooms,

           8   additional nature trails, et cetera, et cetera."

           9             That's where you want to drill your next oil

          10   well.  It seems like ever since we got a petroleum

          11   engineer on the Commission, we seem to be having a

          12   plethora of oil drilling projects in State Parks.  Oh,

          13   it's okay.  We're going to do directional drilling.  Well,

          14   it isn't okay, because accidents happen, pipelines cross

          15   wetlands, dry lands, everything else.  And once those

          16   lands are soiled and sullied we ought to ship a bottle of

          17   water to Mr. Fitzsimons and let him drink his oily water.

          18   Thank you.

          19                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any comments

          20   or questions from the Commission?  We have a motion by

          21   Commissioner Angelo and a second by Commissioner Henry.

          22   All in favor?

          23                  ("Aye.")

          24                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed.  Motion

          25   carries.

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           1   "The Executive Director is authorized to nominate for oil

           2   and gast lease to the Board for Lease for Parks and

           3   Wildlife Lands, four tracts of property consistent of

           4   1303.31 mineral acres out of Sheldon Lake State Park, at

           5   $150.00 per acre with a 25 percent royalty, $10.00 per

           6   acre rental, and a 3-year term, incorporating the

           7   restrictions set out in Exhibit A.  The income from the

           8   bonus bid and delay rental will be dedicated to Sheldon

           9   Lake Stare Park.  This action will not be considered a

          10   precedent."

          11                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Let me mention for the

          12   general public, this particular lease does not give the

          13   operator the right to access the surface for drilling

          14   purposes, so it's clearly a -- it has an express

          15   restriction and we've been very careful to preserve the

          16   surface in all these state parks and sites for oil and gas

          17   purposes.

          18                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you,

          19   Commissioner Ramos.



          22                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Item No. 17, land

          23   sale, Jack Bauer.

          24                  MR. BAUER:  Good afternoon, Madame Chairman

          25   and Commissioners.  My name is Jack Bauer, Director of

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           1   Land Conservation.  As follow-up from yesterday's

           2   Executive Session, we have land sale proposals that was

           3   heard in the Conservation Committee Executive Session.

           4   And I have them summarized for your consideration today.

           5   They will include the sale or proposed sale of 400 acres

           6   in Tarrant County of Eagle Mountain Lake State Park.

           7   Revenue from this presumably would go for the -- for the

           8   purchase of other lands that could be converted to

           9   available park lands for the public.

          10             Also under consideration is the sale of

          11   facilities on four lots in Seabrook, the Seabrook Marine

          12   Lab.  It's excess property now.  Staff that use these

          13   facilities is now at the Dickinson site.

          14             And we have the lands associated with a golf

          15   course at Stephen F. Austin proposed for sale to the

          16   Stephen F. Austin Golf Association.

          17             And the proposal that we are recommending would

          18   read, "The Executive Director is authorized to take all

          19   necessary steps to sell, at or above fair market value the

          20   400-acre Eagle Mountain Lake State Park in Tarrant County,

          21   property associated with the Seabrook Marine Lab to the

          22   City of Seabrook in Harris County and approximately 95

          23   acres associated with the golf course at Stephen F. Austin

          24   State Park in Austin County to the Stephen F. Austin Golf

          25   Association.  In the case of Eagle Mountain Lake State

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           1   Park, preference will be given to accommodate sale of the

           2   property to a local governmental entity."

           3             I would be happy to answer any questions.

           4                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any

           5   comments from the Commission?

           6                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Madame Chairman, I

           7   might ask, we mentioned yesterday that we had

           8   correspondence from the comptroller's office concerning

           9   the golf course at the Austin park.  And I'm sure there

          10   was some misunderstanding there and I know that that's

          11   going to be clarified with her office if this action is

          12   taken today, but I wanted to make sure there that was a

          13   matter of record that we're going to take care of that.

          14                  MR. BAUER:  Yes, sir.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any other

          16   questions.

          17                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Just one.  We also

          18   indicated that we may want to ask the general counsel to

          19   take a look at this overall issue with regard to accepted

          20   bids and whether or not we are required in all instances

          21   to accept the high bid or higher price.

          22                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Avila.

          23                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  With regards to the

          24   Eagle Mountain Lake and Jack you can answer this, do we

          25   need to add to that property to a local government entity

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           1   or a public privatization entity that would use it as a

           2   park?

           3                  MR. BAUER:  I think that certainly takes

           4   the sentiment of staff and obviously of the Commission.

           5   So if you wanted the motion expanded further, I would --

           6   you know, whatever recommendation you would have.

           7                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I think we may very

           8   well see some of that together.  It might be

           9   public/private.

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are you saying that we

          11   should add to the language something about public, private

          12   or some combination thereof type thing?

          13                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Yes, ma'am.

          14                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Can we do that?

          15                  MR. BAUER:  Yes, ma'am.

          16                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I agree.

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Did I -- Commissioner

          18   Fitzsimons did you want to make a comment?  No.  We have

          19   two people signed up to speak on this one.  Ellis

          20   Gilleland, Wesley Stripling.

          21                  MR. GILLELAND:  Who's going first?

          22                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  You go first,

          23   Mr. Gilleland.

          24                  MR. GILLELAND:  I don't have a handout.

          25                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Old habits.

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           1                  MR. GILLELAND:  Ellis Gilleland speaking

           2   here from Texas Animals.  I am very much opposed to the

           3   400 acres of Tarrant County being sold off to the highest

           4   bidder.  That's a beautiful spot on the lake, and why are

           5   you selling it, oh, it's 400 and not 4,000.  How big is

           6   Central Park?  Madame Chairman probably knows.  I venture

           7   to guess off the top of my head, it's probably 400 acres.

           8   Okay.  Let's get rid of it.  It's not 4,000.  Do you see

           9   the absurdity of that?  Do you see the absurdity of your

          10   thinking?  400 acres in Tarrant County is gold, because in

          11   your lifetime, not in mine, because in your lifetime

          12   Tarrant County will be all concrete, Dallas county and

          13   Tarrant County and you'll benefit from it, but you'll die

          14   with a load on your heart if you get rid of that

          15   400 acres.  Save that for the people on the lake.  The let

          16   400 acres go around that lake.  That's -- let's make a

          17   Central Park in Tarrant County.  All your studies -- all

          18   your studies say metropolitan areas and parks.  Now you

          19   want to sell this one off.  No justification given, no

          20   reason.  Oh, let's hit sale.  We don't need a reason.  You

          21   need a reason with me.

          22             Item C, sale of 95 acres of golf course.  Do not

          23   sell the golf course.  Make a contract like you did at

          24   Bastrop.  Bastrop State Park contract is in this

          25   gentleman, Cook's office, go look at it.  You can grab

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           1   that contract, ring them, twist them, move them, eject

           2   them, shake them down, anything you want to do, kick them

           3   out on the contract, but if you sell that -- if you sell

           4   that golf court in the middle -- in the middle of the

           5   Stephen F. Austin State Park, you've had it forever and

           6   you're probably throwing the mineral rights to boot,

           7   knowing you folks.  Do not sell the golf course.  Make a

           8   contract like you did at Bastrop.  Get some money out of

           9   it.  You want money.  You're after money.  Make a high

          10   buck contract.  That ought to appeal to you.  Do not sell

          11   the land.  That will -- the ladies that just testified,

          12   she'll love that.  The old folks are smart enough to see

          13   that, see the concrete coming.  You young folks are not.

          14   Hold onto the land.  Thank you.

          15                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have a Lon Burnam

          16   signed up to speak.  And Jon Robinson.

          17                  MR. BREEDING:  Yeah.  Actually it's Les

          18   Breeding for Lon Burnam, sorry.

          19                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.  Go ahead.

          20                  MR. BREEDING:  My name is Les Breeding.

          21   I'm the Legislative Director for State Representative Lon

          22   Burnam and I have a letter from him that I would like to

          23   read and then just a couple of quick comments.  And this

          24   is from the Representative, "I would like to join my

          25   colleague, Representative Charlie Geren in expressing

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           1   concerns regarding the proposed sale of the Eagle Mountain

           2   Lake State Park by the State Parks and Wildlife.  The park

           3   has the potential of providing recreational opportunities

           4   for my constituents in District 90 -- Representative

           5   Burnam represents a district within the confines of the

           6   City of Fort Worth -- because it's location is so near the

           7   City of Fort Worth.  Other options at a greater distance

           8   from the city, such as 90 miles, for instance, would not

           9   be nearly as useful for them.  Additionally the value of

          10   preserving this park cannot be underestimated.  I

          11   appreciate the work of the Texas Parks and Wildlife

          12   Conservation Committee in responding to their charge to

          13   maximize efficient use of public land.  Although the Eagle

          14   Mountain Lake State Park would likely be a valuable piece

          15   of property on the market, it's even more valuable to the

          16   citizens of Texas from a recreational and conservation

          17   standpoint.  In light of these thoughts, I urge the

          18   Commission to develop the Eagle Mountain Lake State Park

          19   as part of the TPWD system or transfer it to another

          20   governmental entity for local management as recommended by

          21   your Land and Water Resources Conservation Plan.  And

          22   thanks for your time and assistance, and we look forward

          23   to working with you."

          24             And I think that we're generally going in the

          25   right direction.  I think the many thing that causes us

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           1   concern is just a straight sale to a private entity.  That

           2   situation I think would really be difficult for us to --

           3   to contemplate.  If you are able to find a local entity

           4   that is able -- that you're able to transfer to, you know,

           5   those options make sense.  I think that we have a little

           6   bit of concern in being careful that that time line is not

           7   too expedited, though.  You know, if we are thinking that

           8   this is going to turn over fairly quickly and the private

           9   market would really love, I'm sure, for that land to turn

          10   over quickly.  It's valuable property.  And it -- if that

          11   forces you all to move too quickly, it will be quicker

          12   than what the local entities can move.  They need to think

          13   about making the decision.  It's a commitment on their

          14   part.  They need to raise monies.  All of those things are

          15   going to take time as we all know.  And the private sector

          16   can move a lot more quickly than what they can.  So I hope

          17   that you all are planning on, you know, this being a good

          18   long-term decision that's going to be the best for the

          19   state and particularly for the folks there in Tarrant

          20   County.  If you all could keep us informed, our office,

          21   and I'm sure that Representative Geren's office would like

          22   that too, of any progress that's happening on the

          23   particular site, that would really be helpful.  And if we

          24   can do anything for you, we would want to do that.

          25                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

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           1                  MR. BREEDING:  Sure.

           2                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Jon Ed Robbins.

           3                  MR. ROBBINS:  Madame Chair, Commissioners.

           4   I'm Jon Ed Robbins.  I'm Precinct Administrator for

           5   Tarrant County Precinct 4 Commissioner, J.D. Johnson.  I'm

           6   here this afternoon representing the Commissioner's Court

           7   of Tarrant County.  Only after signing up to speak this

           8   morning did I become aware of yesterday's actions and

           9   certainly the Commission's Court will applaud the

          10   opportunity that you're providing for our local

          11   governments to acquire this -- this park.  The park is

          12   located in Precinct 4, and it is a very beautiful piece of

          13   land.  The -- I guess in a perfect world, we might be

          14   allowed a little bit more time.  This -- I understand the

          15   appraised value of this park is in excess of $6 million

          16   and as Mr. Gilleland commented I think it's already turned

          17   to gold, that's land in Tarrant County.  Fort Worth and

          18   Tarrant County, we're all but have our final budgets

          19   approved, so it's going to be rough getting that $6

          20   million together in such a short time.  We might be back

          21   asking for a brief extension if we get close.  But we

          22   appreciate your thoughts.  Thank you.

          23                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Do we have

          24   any comments or questions from the Commission?

          25   Commissioner Fitzsimons?  I'm sorry.

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           1                  MR. STRIPLING:  I'm Wes Stripling and I was

           2   signed up to speak.

           3                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Oh, my goodness.  I'm

           4   so sorry.  Yes, sir.  Wesley Stripling.  So sorry.

           5                  MR. STRIPLING:  Madame Chairman,

           6   Commissioners, my name is Wes Stripling.  I'm an attorney.

           7   I'm here today representing Lloyd, Walsh -- that would be

           8   William Lloyd Walsh and Richard Walsh.  William Lloyd

           9   Walsh was the original owner of approximately 100 acres of

          10   the for 400-acre property in Tarrant County.  He sold that

          11   property to the Parks and Wildlife approximately in 1980,

          12   retained 50 percent of the minerals.  Richard Walsh is an

          13   adjoining landowner.  We're here today to oppose any type

          14   of sale to a private development.  I would echo

          15   Commissioner Avila's sentiments of that.  You all reflect

          16   carefully on the proper disposition of these properties.

          17   The purpose of the acquisition originally was for public

          18   convenience, necessity and other purposes, and it was

          19   acquired under threat of eminent domain.  And I have a

          20   letter from the Commission that will confirm that.  And

          21   certainly an eminent domain, the only purpose for eminent

          22   domain is indeed the public convenience and necessity or

          23   other public purpose.  I would suggest that sale to a

          24   private enterprise would not satisfy that.

          25             I would also suggest that a sale of a property

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           1   of this size would be in conflict with the mission

           2   statement of the Commission, and that is to conserve and

           3   manage natural resources and to provide outdoor recreation

           4   and manage historical sites.

           5             In the overall conservation water plan, this

           6   area is a Tier 2 priority and I would suggest that to sell

           7   this to a private developer, simply would be more

           8   condominiums, more boat ramps, more boat traffic and in an

           9   area that is already widely overdeveloped in the Eagle

          10   Mountain area.  I also suggest that there has been

          11   insufficient public information on the impact that this

          12   sale would have on the area and that that's something that

          13   I would think that you all would want to consider.

          14             The only public notice regarding the sale of

          15   this property pertained to the public notice and public

          16   comment on the plan in its entirety and those hearings

          17   were conducted in Plano and -- Plano north of Dallas and

          18   in Amarillo.  And so I would say that the Commission has

          19   been deprived of any meaningful comment from the people

          20   who would be most impacted from the sale.  And so,

          21   therefore, we would respectfully request that you deny the

          22   approval of the sale today until you get -- put some

          23   safeguards in place to assure that this would not fall

          24   into the hands of a private developer.  Thank you very

          25   much.

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           1                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Do we have

           2   any comments or questions from the Commission?

           3                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I do.  Sir, counsel,

           4   Mr. Stripling.

           5                  MR. STRIPLING:  I'm sorry.

           6                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I just have a

           7   question.  Have you looked at the deed to determine

           8   whether or not there's any express restrictions or

           9   limitations in the deed?

          10                  MR. STRIPLING:  I have.  There is not.

          11   There's a reservation of 50 percent of the minerals.

          12                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  And that's it?

          13                  MR. STRIPLING:  Uh-huh.

          14                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  But there is no

          15   limitation on sale or for future use or anything?

          16                  MR. STRIPLING:  There is no restriction.  I

          17   do have, however, the letter from the Texas Parks and

          18   Wildlife Commission which I would be happy to make a copy

          19   available to the Commission which indicates -- I can read

          20   it to you.  It's quite brief.

          21                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Do you know if that

          22   letter was incorporated into the deed?

          23                  MR. STRIPLING:  I do not know the answer to

          24   that question.  The truth of the matter is my clients

          25   had -- only became aware of this issue just a few days ago

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           1   and really have had insufficient time to properly evaluate

           2   it.  Would you like for me to read the letter?

           3                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  If you would like to.

           4                  MR. STRIPLING:  This is from the Executive

           5   Director, Charles Travis, to Mr. Walsh, "I wish to advise

           6   you that the Parks and Wildlife Commission authorized

           7   acquisition of your 99.66 acres in Tarrant County for

           8   public convenience necessity and other purposes.  Although

           9   the property was acquired by negotiation, it was

          10   negotiated and acquired under the threat of the

          11   Department's power of eminent domain.  Sincerely," and

          12   then it's not only signed by the Executive Director but

          13   also approved by Les King, who was at that time Assistant

          14   Attorney General.

          15                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.  Thank you.

          16                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any

          17   comments from any of the other Commissioners?

          18   Commissioner Avila?

          19                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  The only comment I

          20   would add to this and obviously I think everybody knows

          21   this, it's been very well and thoroughly discussed.  In

          22   regards to moving forward, I would bow to the sentiments

          23   of my fellow Commissioners as such action is, you know,

          24   commensurate with what our plan is in terms of acquiring

          25   land in larger amounts within a 90-minute area and so

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           1   forth.  Yesterday we talked about a time frame and

           2   deliberately didn't put this in Jack's motion, because it

           3   actually gave more time.  I mean, so the way I'm

           4   interpreting this is we're going do give every preference

           5   to the local government, local communities in putting this

           6   together assuming we move forward in some steadfast way

           7   and that there is no time frame.  Am I right on that,

           8   Jack?

           9                  MR. BAUER:  I think in my interpretation of

          10   being a land person, I think that that in general is true.

          11   I think the other factors that would be involved in this

          12   from a decision of all of us would be, of course, we're

          13   trying to find a suitable replacement and so there are

          14   other lands and other components of the transaction in

          15   general that would be in consideration, but I think, yeah

          16   you have heard from staff and certainly the sentiment of

          17   staff is that the opportunity for this facility to stay

          18   available and open to the public for the people of Fort

          19   Worth is what everyone would like to have.  And to the

          20   extent that we can use the values that we have invested in

          21   this property convert to another place also for the people

          22   of Fort Worth, could very possibly create a situation

          23   where everybody comes out of this in a very positive way.

          24                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I think that's

          25   important for everybody to realize, that this is a -- the

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           1   direction we're talking here is we're going to get a

           2   two-fer out of this.  We're looking for nondeveloper

           3   public privatization use of that area and still get an

           4   area of 4 or 5,000 acres within 90 minutes is what you're

           5   saying.

           6                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Madame Chairman.

           7                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Ramos?

           8                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Just for the record,

           9   Jack, if we were to pass this motion we would be

          10   authorizing staff to sell it, but obviously staff will

          11   make the decision as to whether it should be sold at some

          12   point?  You're really asking for the authority to pursue

          13   the sale of these tracts.  Correct?

          14                  MR. BAUER:  Yes, sir, that's correct.

          15                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  But if for whatever

          16   reason the price or for whatever reason it does not

          17   happen, you're not mandated to sell it, in other words,

          18   and you're not asking that it be mandated for sale; you're

          19   just asking for authority to sell.

          20                  MR. BAUER:  Yes, sir, that's correct.

          21                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  That's fine.  Thank

          22   you.

          23                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Avila, do

          24   you have any more further questions or comments?  Do we

          25   have any further questions or comments?

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           1                  MR. STRIPLING:  This is the only property

           2   of three properties that are being proposed for sale right

           3   now where even though the Commission is expressing good

           4   intentions as to what the disposition of that is, there

           5   actually is no restriction on who that would be sold to

           6   and indeed there -- if the staff is authorized to sell

           7   that, then the way that I understand the resolution that

           8   is a cart blanche to sell it and if they determine at that

           9   time that they can raise the money to sell it to a private

          10   enterprise that it could therefore be sold to a private

          11   enterprise without further comment.  Would that be

          12   correct?

          13                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I don't believe that's

          14   correct.  I believe that they would have to come to us for

          15   approval for the sale before that sale could be

          16   consummated.  Is that correct?

          17                  MR. BAUER:  That would be the way that we

          18   would feel a comfort level in doing it.  We might have

          19   greater authority than that, but I don't think we would

          20   have the comfort level to do that without assuring that

          21   the Commission knew what the -- what the technical

          22   components of the transaction were to be.

          23                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Donato?

          24                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I want to suggest in

          25   view of that statement that we amend your proposed

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           1   recommendation and that the staff as it relates only to

           2   the Eagle Mountain Lake State Park that you come back to

           3   the Commission for express authority to consummate the

           4   sale.  In other words, you have the authority to proceed

           5   with it, but before that sale would be consummated that

           6   would you come back to the Commission with the details and

           7   subject to Commission approval.

           8                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I second that.

           9                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Only as to that with

          10   one Eagle Mountain Lake State Park.

          11                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Angelo?

          12                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Is that a motion to

          13   adopt it with that change?

          14                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Yes.

          15                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I would second that

          16   motion.

          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          18                  ("Aye.")

          19                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?  Motion

          20   carries.

          21   "The Executive Director is authorized to take all

          22   necessary steps to sell, at or above fair market value,

          23   the 400-acre Eagle Mount Lake State Park in Tarrant

          24   County, property associated with the Seabrook Marine Lab

          25   to the City of Seabrook in Harris County, and

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           1   approximately 95 acres associated with the golf course at

           2   Stephen F. Austin State Park in Austin County to the

           3   Stephen F. Austin Golf Association.  In the case of Eagle

           4   Mountain Lake State Park, preference will be given to

           5   accommodate sale of the property to a local governmental

           6   entity or governmental/private partnership and the

           7   Executive Director is directed to bring a sale

           8   recommendation before the Texas Parks and Wildlife

           9   Commission for final approval."

          10                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  Okay.

          11   Thank you.  Mr. Cook, do we have any further business?

          12                  MR BAUER:  Ma'am, we have one more item.

          13                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Oh, I'm sorry.  Oh, my

          14   goodness.  Go ahead.  Sorry.  Yeah, but do it quickly.



          17                  CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Action Item No. 18

          18   Land Acquisition.

          19                  MR. BAUER:  We're obviously all quite ready

          20   to be done.

          21                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Move approval.

          22                  MR. BAUER:  The other component of land

          23   actions is -- are the proposals for land acquisitions and

          24   we have three.  This is again a very brief summary from

          25   discussions yesterday in Executive Session.  The lands are

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           1   that are considered for acquisition include a 600-acre

           2   habitat tract in Smith County as a habitat addition to Old

           3   Sabine Bottom Wildlife Management Area and the purchase of

           4   a perpetual lease on 40 acres of land in Willacy County

           5   that would be, again, a habitat addition to the Arroyo

           6   Colorado Unit of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area

           7   and at the Longoria Unit of Las Palomas in Cameron County

           8   a habitat addiction of farmland adjacent to that tract.

           9             And the motion that we have before you would

          10   give staff authority to take the actions to acquire these

          11   three tracts as briefed.  And I would be happy to answer

          12   any questions on this item.

          13                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Are there any

          14   questions or comments from the Commission?  Do we have a

          15   motion?

          16                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Moved.

          17                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Second.

          18                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.

          19                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Discussion?  All in

          20   favor say aye.

          21                  ("Aye.")

          22                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Opposed?  Motion is

          23   adopted.

          24   "The Executive Director is authorized to take all

          25   necessary steps to acquire approximately 600 acres in

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           1   Smith County as an addition to Old Sabine Bottom Wildlife

           2   Management Area, approximately 40 acres in Willacy County

           3   as a perpetual lease addition to the Arroyo Colorado Unit

           4   of the Las Palomas Wildlife Manage Area, and approximately

           5   117 acres in Cameron County as habitat additions to the

           6   Longoria Unit of the Las Palomas Wildlife Management

           7   Area."

           8                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Is there any other

           9   business before the Commission?

          10                  MR. COOK:  No, sir.

          11                  VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  If not, this meeting

          12   is adjourned.














                            ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES
                          3101 BEE CAVES ROAD, SUITE 220
                               AUSTIN, TEXAS  78746
                       PH (512) 328-5557  FAX (512) 328-8139

           1   THE STATE OF TEXAS )

           2   COUNTY OF TRAVIS  )

           3        I, Rhonda Howard, a Certified Court Reporter in and

           4   for the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the above

           5   and foregoing pages constitute a full, true, and correct

           6   transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks and Wildlife

           7   Commission on August 29, 2002, in the Commission hearing

           8   room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters Complex,

           9   Austin, Travis County, Texas.

          10        I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic record was made

          11   by me at the time of the public meeting and said

          12   stenographic notes were thereafter reduced to computerized

          13   transcription  under my supervision and control.

          14        WITNESS MY HAND this ____ day of

          15   ____________________, 2002.



          18                       ___________________________
                                   Rhonda Howard, Texas CSR 4136
          19                       Expiration Date:  12/31/2002
                                   3101 Bee Caves Road
          20                       Suite 220, Centre II
                                   Austin, Texas  78701
          21                       (512) 328-5557





                            ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES
                          3101 BEE CAVES ROAD, SUITE 220
                               AUSTIN, TEXAS  78746
                       PH (512) 328-5557  FAX (512) 328-8139




           4   ___________________________

           6   ___________________________

           8   ___________________________
               JOSEPH FITZSIMONS

          10   ___________________________
               KELLY W. RISING, M.D.

          12   ___________________________
               PHIL MONTGOMERY

          14   ___________________________
               JOHN AVILA, JR.

          16   ___________________________
               ALVIN L. HENRY

          18   ___________________________
               DONATO D. RAMOS

          20   ___________________________
               MARK E. WATSON, JR.





                            ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES
                          3101 BEE CAVES ROAD, SUITE 220
                               AUSTIN, TEXAS  78746
                       PH (512) 328-5557  FAX (512) 328-8139