Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Public Hearing

November 7, 2002

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

           7        BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on  the 7th day of

           8   November, 2002, there came on to be heard matters under the

           9   regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission

          10   of Texas, in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks

          11   and Wildlife Headquarters Complex, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

          12   to wit:

          13   APPEARANCES:

          15             Katharine Armstrong, Austin, Texas
          16             Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons, San Antonio, Texas
          17             Ernest Angelo, Jr., Vice Chairman, Midland,
          18             Texas
          19             John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
          20             Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
          21             Philip Montgomery, Dallas, Texas
          22             Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas
          23             Kelly W. Rising, M.D., Beaumont, Texas
          24             Mark W. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas

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

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1    SPEAKERS:


           3   Marty Berry, Berry Ranches, 601 Louisiana, Corpus

           4        Christi, Texas 78404

           5   Karl Kinsel, Texas Deer Assn & Private Landowner, 5413 

           6        Bandera Road, Ste 408, San Antonio, TX  78238

           7   Kirby Brown, Texas Wildlife Assn, 401 Isom Rd, Ste 237, 

           8        San Antonio, TX  78216

           9   Ellis Gilleland, Texas Animals, POB 9001, Austin, TX 

          10        78766

          11   Charles Edwards, City of Lakeway, 104 Cross Creek,

          12        Lakeway, TX  78734

          13   Dave Benson, City of Lakeway, 104 Cross Creek, Lakeway, 

          14        TX  78734

          15   Harold Burris, Town of Hollywood Park, #1 Mecca, 

          16        Hollywood Park, TX  78232

          17   Gene Riser, Texas Deer Assn 

          18   Tony D. Holt, 501 Highlander Blvd, Lakeway, TX  78734

          19   Jerry Johnston, POB 1203, Castroville, TX  78009

          20   Bruce Picker, 777 Main St., Suite 1295, Fort Worth, TX  

          21        76102

          22   Tom Nezworski, 6600 Mira Vista Blvd, Fort Worth, TX  

          23        76132

          24   Amy Morris, The Trust for Public Land, 815 Brazos #400, 

          25        Austin, TX  78701

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Good morning.  The meeting

           2   is called to order.

           3             Before proceeding with any business, I believe

           4   Mr. Cook has a statement to make.

           5             MR. COOK:  Mr. Chairman, thank you, sir.

           6   A public notice of this meeting containing all items on

           7   the proposed agenda has been filed in the Office of the

           8   Secretary of State as required by Chapter 551 of the

           9   Government Code, referred to as the Open Meetings Law.  I

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

          11   record of this meeting.

          12             So that everyone will have a chance to address

          13   the Commission in an orderly fashion, the following

          14   ground rules will be followed.  The Chairman is in charge

          15   of the meeting, and, by law, it is his duty to preserve

          16   order, direct the order of hearings and recognize persons

          17   to be heard.  I will be assisting the Chairman today as

          18   Sergeant at Arms.

          19             We have sign-up cards for everyone wishing to

          20   speak, and the Chairman will call names from those cards

          21   one at a time.  Each person will be allowed to speak from

          22   the podium one at a time.  When your name is called,

          23   please come to the podium, state your name and who you

          24   represent if anyone other than yourself.  And we'll also

          25   have an on-deck person coming up -- named and coming up.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             State your position on the agenda item under

           2   consideration and add supporting facts that will help the

           3   Commission understand your concerns.  Please limit your

           4   remarks to the specific agenda item under consideration.

           5             Each person who wants to address the Commission

           6   will have three minutes to speak.  I will keep track of

           7   the time and notify you when your three minutes is up on

           8   this handy-dandy little traffic light here.  So when that

           9   light turns red, please stop so that we can move on to

          10   the next person.

          11             Your time may be extended if a Commissioner has

          12   a specific question for you.  And if Commissioners ask

          13   you a question or get into a discussion among themselves

          14   about the topic, that time will not be counted against

          15   you.

          16             Statements which are merely argumentative or

          17   critical of others will not be tolerated.  There's a

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

          19   your voice.  I also request that you show proper respect

          20   to the Commissioners, as well as the other members of the

          21   audience.  You will not be recognized out of turn by

          22   raising your hand or interrupting others.  Disruptive or

          23   offensive behavior will be grounds for immediate ejection

          24   from the meeting.

          25             If you would like to submit written materials

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   to the Commission, please give them to Ms. Lori Estrada,

           2   here on my right, or Michelle Klaus.  Ms. Estrada will

           3   pass that written material out to the Commissioners.

           4             Thank you, sir.

           5             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you, Mr. Cook.

           6   Next is the approval of the minutes from the previous

           7   meeting which have already been distributed.  Is there a

           8   motion for approval?

           9             COMMISSIONER WATSON:  I move approval.

          10             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          11             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I have a motion and a

          12   second.  All in favor, please say aye.

          13             (A chorus of ayes.)

          14             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Opposed?

          15             (No response.)

          16             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Hearing none, the motion

          17   carries.

          18             Next is the acceptance of gifts which have been

          19   distributed, also.  Is there a motion for approval?

          20             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I move approval.

          21             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I have a motion by

          22   Commissioner Montgomery.

          23             Commissioner Ramos:  Second.

          24             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Seconded by Commissioner

          25   Ramos.  All in favor please say aye.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             (A chorus of ayes.)

           2             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Any opposed?

           3             (No response.)

           4             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Hearing none, the motion

           5   carries.





          10             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Next are the retirement


                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   certificates and service awards.

           2             MR. COOK:  Mr. Cook, would you please make

           3   these presentations?

           4   MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

           5             Commissioners and guests, Russell Downey began

           6   his employment with TPWD in October as a regional

           7   maintenance specialist in the Waco Regional State Parks

           8   office.  He later became a project manager for TPWD

           9   Engineering Division at Austin headquarters.  He was

          10   later transferred to the Construction, Design and

          11   Management Branch, which became the Infrastructure

          12   Division.

          13             As a project manager, he was involved in

          14   overseeing the design and construction of the following

          15   parks:  Possum Kingdom State Park, Lake Arrowhead State

          16   Park, Dinosaur Valley, Abilene and Sheldon Lake Fish

          17   Hatchery.  Russell was transferred to the Grants-in-Aid

          18   Office; there he reviewed hundreds of designs for local

          19   park grants for a number of communities across the state

          20   and from Texas' largest to smallest communities until his

          21   retirement.

          22             Celebrate with me today Russell Downey in the

          23   State Parks Division, Engineer III, with 34 years of

          24   service.

          25             (Applause.)

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             MR. DOWNEY:  Thank you, sir.

           2             MR. COOK:  Another retirement certificate: 

           3   Jorge Zapata, Park Ranger IV, State Parks, Falcon

           4   Heights, Texas.  Jorge began his employment in 1971 as a

           5   part-time, and, after three or four years, he became a

           6   full-time employee.  Jorge has worked at Falcon State

           7   Park for more than half of his life, and thanks to the

           8   people that gave him the opportunity to work in one of

           9   the best parks in the state of Texas.

          10             Jorge Zapata, Park Ranger IV, Falcon Heights,

          11   Texas, with 31 years of service.

          12             (Applause.)

          13             MR. ZAPATA:  Thank you, sir.

          14             MR. COOK:  Our last retirement certificate: 

          15   Larry J. Shahan, Park Ranger IV, State Parks, Wichita

          16   Falls, Texas, with 26 years of service.

          17             Larry began working for the Texas Parks and

          18   Wildlife Department in December of 1976 at Lake Arrowhead

          19   State Park, where he spent his entire career.  He became

          20   interested in the water and wastewater treatment plants

          21   at Lake Arrowhead and soon became the backup operator. 

          22   After the retirement of the utility plant operator, Larry

          23   was promoted into that position.  Larry plans to leave

          24   behind the park where he grew up and move on to Seguin,

          25   an area of the state where he has long wanted to live.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             Retiring with 26 years of service, Larry

           2   Shahan.

           3             (Applause.)

           4             MR. SHAHAN:  Thank you, very much.

           5             MR. COOK:  Now, in our service awards, with 30

           6   years of service:  Cullen S. Reeves, State Parks Manager

           7   I, Rockport, Texas.  Stormy Reeves began his employment

           8   with TPWD in the summer of 1970 as an intern at

           9   Washington-on-the-Brazos.  In 1972, he became the park

          10   manager at Palmetto State Park and, in 1973, became the

          11   park manager at Goose Island State Park.

          12             Goose Island State Park has helped lead the

          13   state parks system into the information age.  In 1995,

          14   Goose Island was chosen as one of the four beta parks to

          15   utilize and evaluate the park office program.  Goose

          16   Island was also the trial park chosen to accept credit

          17   card payments for camp sites, park store merchandise and

          18   licenses.  He works there today.

          19             Please welcome Stormy Reeves, with 30 years of

          20   service.

          21             (Applause.)

          22             MR. REEVES:  Thank you, sir.

          23             MR. COOK:  Next, Jerry D. Hearn, Game Warden V,

          24   Law Enforcement, Roby, Texas, with 30 years of service.

          25             Game Warden Jerry Hearn began his employment

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   with TPWD in August of 1972.  He graduated from the 28th

           2   Texas Game Warden Academy class at Texas A&M University

           3   and was assigned to Tom Green and Irion Counties.  In

           4   July 1980, Jerry transferred to Fort Davis, Texas.  Since

           5   1993, he has been stationed in Fisher and Stonewall

           6   Counties.  Jerry has been a participant in the Shikar-

           7   Safari Award of the Year.

           8             Welcome for me Jerry D. Hearn, 30 years, Law

           9   Enforcement, from Roby, Texas.

          10             (Applause.)

          11             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Seconded by Commissioner

          12   Ramos.  All in favor please say aye.

          13             (A chorus of ayes.)

          14             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Any opposed?

          15             (No response.)

          16             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Hearing none, the motion

          17   carries.

          18             Next are the retirement certificates and

          19   service awards.

          20             Mr. Cook, would you please make these

          21   presentations?

          22             MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

          23             Commissioners and guests, Russell Downey began

          24   his employment with TPWD in October as a regional

          25   maintenance specialist in the Waco Regional State Parks

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   office.  He later became a project manager for TPWD

           2   Engineering Division at Austin headquarters.  He was

           3   later transferred to the Construction, Design and

           4   Management Branch, which became the Infrastructure

           5   Division.

           6             As a project manager, he was involved in

           7   overseeing the design and construction of the following

           8   parks:  Possum Kingdom State Park, Lake Arrowhead State

           9   Park, Dinosaur Valley, Abilene and Sheldon Lake Fish

          10   Hatchery.  Russell was transferred to the Grants-in-Aid

          11   Office; there he reviewed hundreds of designs for local

          12   park grants for a number of communities across the state

          13   and from Texas' largest to smallest communities until his

          14   retirement.

          15             Celebrate with me today Russell Downey in the

          16   State Parks Division, Engineer III, with 34 years of

          17   service.

          18             (Applause.)

          19             MR. DOWNEY:  Thank you, sir.

          20             MR. COOK:  Another retirement certificate: 

          21   Jorge Zapata, Park Ranger IV, State Parks, Falcon

          22   Heights, Texas.  Jorge began his employment in 1971 as a

          23   part-time, and, after three or four years, he became a

          24   full-time employee.  Jorge has worked at Falcon State

          25   Park for more than half of his life, and thanks to the

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   people that gave him the opportunity to work in one of

           2   the best parks in the state of Texas.

           3             Jorge Zapata, Park Ranger IV, Falcon Heights,

           4   Texas, with 31 years of service.

           5             (Applause.)

           6             MR. ZAPATA:  Thank you, sir.

           7             MR. COOK:  Our last retirement certificate: 

           8   Larry J. Shahan, Park Ranger IV, State Parks, Wichita

           9   Falls, Texas, with 26 years of service.

          10             Larry began working for the Texas Parks and

          11   Wildlife Department in December of 1976 at Lake Arrowhead

          12   State Park, where he spent his entire career.  He became

          13   interested in the water and wastewater treatment plants

          14   at Lake Arrowhead and soon became the backup operator. 

          15   After the retirement of the utility plant operator, Larry

          16   was promoted into that position.  Larry plans to leave

          17   behind the park where he grew up and move on to Seguin,

          18   an area of the state where he has long wanted to live.

          19             Retiring with 26 years of service, Larry

          20   Shahan.

          21             (Applause.)

          22             MR. SHAHAN:  Thank you, very much.

          23             MR. COOK:  Now, in our service awards, with 30

          24   years of service:  Cullen S. Reeves, State Parks Manager

          25   I, Rockport, Texas.  Stormy Reeves began his employment

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   with TPWD in the summer of 1970 as an intern at

           2   Washington-on-the-Brazos.  In 1972, he became the park

           3   manager at Palmetto State Park and, in 1973, became the

           4   park manager at Goose Island State Park.

           5             Goose Island State Park has helped lead the

           6   state parks system into the information age.  In 1995,

           7   Goose Island was chosen as one of the four beta parks to

           8   utilize and evaluate the park office program.  Goose

           9   Island was also the trial park chosen to accept credit

          10   card payments for camp sites, park store merchandise and

          11   licenses.  He works there today.

          12             Please welcome Stormy Reeves, with 30 years of

          13   service.

          14             (Applause.)

          15             MR. REEVES:  Thank you, sir.

          16             MR. COOK:  Next, Jerry D. Hearn, Game Warden V,

          17   Law Enforcement, Roby, Texas, with 30 years of service.

          18             Game Warden Jerry Hearn began his employment

          19   with TPWD in August of 1972.  He graduated from the 28th

          20   Texas Game Warden Academy class at Texas A&M University

          21   and was assigned to Tom Green and Irion Counties.  In

          22   July 1980, Jerry transferred to Fort Davis, Texas.  Since

          23   1993, he has been stationed in Fisher and Stonewall

          24   Counties.  Jerry has been a participant in the Shikar-

          25   Safari Award of the Year.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             Welcome for me Jerry D. Hearn, 30 years, Law

           2   Enforcement, from Roby, Texas.

           3             (Applause.)

           4             MR. HEARN:  Thank you, sir.

           5             MR. COOK:  Raymond Kosub, Law Enforcement

           6   Division, from Kirbyville, Texas, is a Game Warden V with

           7   30 years of service.  Game Warden Raymond Kosub began his

           8   employment with TPWD in August of 1972.  He also

           9   graduated from the 28th Game Warden Academy class at

          10   Texas A&M University.

          11             He was assigned to Kirbyville, Texas, in Jasper

          12   County, and has been there his entire career.  Raymond

          13   was the 1999 recipient of the Texas Officer of the Year

          14   Award for the Southeastern Association of Fish and

          15   Wildlife Agencies.

          16             Raymond Kosub, Law Enforcement Division, 30

          17   years of service.

          18             (Applause.)

          19             MR. KOSUB:  Thank you, sir.

          20             MR. COOK:  Tim Moorman, Game Warden V in the

          21   Law Enforcement Division, works in Brady, Texas, and has

          22   30 years of service.  Game Warden Tim Moorman, another

          23   graduate of the 28th Texas Game Warden Academy class at

          24   Texas A&M University, was assigned to Liberty County.  In

          25   1975, Tim transferred to McCulloch County and has been

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   there since.

           2             One of Tim's most significant contributions to

           3   the law enforcement division was the creation of law

           4   enforcement's Wildnet site this past year, which is

           5   bringing game wardens electronically into the 21st

           6   century.  This internet/intranet site enables wardens to

           7   stay apprised of the latest events in the division as

           8   well as retrieve electronic forms created by Tim for

           9   routine enforcement duties.

          10             With 30 years of service, Tim Moorman, Brady,

          11   Texas.

          12             (Applause.)

          13             MR. MOORMAN:  Thank you.

          14             MR. COOK:  That 28th game warden class must

          15   have been a pretty rough bunch.  John Muery was also in

          16   that class.

          17             John is a Captain Game Warden in Law

          18   Enforcement Division at Rockport, Texas, and another

          19   graduate of that 28th academy class at Texas A&M

          20   University.  His first assignments included Jefferson and

          21   Palo Pinto Counties.  John was promoted to Lieutenant

          22   Training Officer at the Game Warden Training Academy and

          23   was there until 1992.  He is currently the district

          24   supervisor in Rockport, Region 10.

          25             John Muery, Law Enforcement Division, with 30

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   years of service.

           2             (Applause.)

           3             MR. MUERY:  Thank you, sir.

           4             MR. COOK:  David Perry in the Law Enforcement

           5   Division, with 30 years of service, is a Game Warden V

           6   from Plum, Texas.  Game Warden David Perry is another

           7   graduate of the 28th academy class.  His first duty

           8   station was at Freeport, Brazoria County, and he remained

           9   there for 14 years.  In 1987, he transferred to Colorado

          10   County, where he worked for almost 13 years.  And in

          11   December of 2000, he transferred to Fayette County, where

          12   he serves today.

          13             With 30 years of service, David Perry, Game

          14   Warden V, Plum, Texas.

          15             (Applause.)

          16             MR. PERRY:  Thank you, sir.

          17             MR. COOK:  This next gentleman I want to --

          18   sometimes I regress and get into telling stories on some

          19   of these gentlemen, but I'm going to be good today and

          20   not do that.

          21             David Sinclair I have known a long time, and he

          22   is a good friend.  David Sinclair in the Law Enforcement

          23   Division, with 30 years of service, began his career with

          24   TPWD in August of 1972; he is another graduate of the

          25   28th Game Warden Training Academy class at Texas A&M

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   University.  He was a field game warden for three-and-a-

           2   half years in Crockett and Houston Counties and 16-1/2

           3   years in Kerrville in Kerr County.

           4             In 1989, while in Kerr County, David was

           5   selected as the Texas Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer

           6   of the Year, an award presented by the Southeastern

           7   Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

           8             In 1993, David was promoted to captain on the

           9   staff at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

          10   headquarters here in Austin and, in March of 1994, to

          11   assistant commander.  On January 1, 1997, he assumed the

          12   role of chief of wildlife enforcement, where he serves

          13   today.

          14             With 30 years of service, David Sinclair.

          15             (Applause.)

          16             MR. SINCLAIR:  Thank you, sir.  If you don't

          17   tell, I won't tell.

          18             (Laughter.)

          19             (Applause.)

          20             MR. COOK:  Royce Wells, Chief of Training, Law

          21   Enforcement, Austin Texas, with 30 years of service,

          22   again from the 28th Game Warden Academy class at Texas

          23   A&M.  His first duty station was in El Paso County.  He

          24   also served in Hudspeth and Brewster Counties prior to

          25   coming to Austin, where he was promoted to lieutenant

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   instructor at the game warden academy; from there, he was

           2   promoted to district supervisor at the Temple regional

           3   office.

           4             Then, in 1992, Royce promoted to chief of

           5   training at the game warden academy and served there for

           6   ten years.  Royce retired after 30 years of dedicated

           7   service as a Texas game warden, but he has recently

           8   returned to work as a recruiter for the law enforcement

           9   division.

          10             With 30 years of service, Royce G. Wells,

          11   Austin, Texas.

          12             (Applause.)

          13             MR. COOK:  Just when you think you've gotten

          14   rid of them, they come back.

          15             (Laughter.)

          16             MR. WELLS:  Thank you, Bob.

          17             MR. COOK:  Page Campbell in the Coastal

          18   Fisheries Division has 25 years of service.  Page started

          19   her career with the Coastal Fisheries Division in 1997

          20   [sic] as a fish and wildlife technician in Seadrift,

          21   conducting interviews at boat ramps.  Within two years,

          22   she was promoted to biologist and quickly rose through

          23   the ranks.

          24             Today, she is a program specialist with

          25   expertise in recreational and commercial fisheries in

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Texas bays and the Gulf of Mexico.  She represents our

           2   Agency on several committees of the Gulf of Mexico

           3   Fisheries Management Council and the Gulf States Marine

           4   Fisheries Commission.  She is also involved in fishery

           5   program design, cost estimates, data collection and

           6   analyses, report writing and presentations.  She has

           7   truly been an asset to the Coastal Fisheries Division and

           8   to our Agency.

           9             With 25 years of service, Page Campbell,

          10   Rockport, Texas.

          11             (Applause.)

          12             MR. COOK:  Thank you, very much.

          13             MS. CAMPBELL:  Thank you.

          14             (Applause.)

          15             MR. COOK:  Johnny Dominguez with the State

          16   Parks Division in West Columbia, Texas, has 25 years of

          17   service.  Johnny began his employment with TPWD in

          18   October 1977 at Goose Island State Park.  During his

          19   tenure, he has been at Goliad State Historical Site and

          20   at Varner-Hogg State Historical Park.  He is currently at

          21   Varner-Hogg and has been there since 1991.

          22             With 25 years of service, Johnny Dominguez,

          23   West Columbia, Texas.

          24             (Applause.)

          25             MR. DOMINGUEZ:  Thank you.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

           2             Daniel A. Flores, Game Warden IV from

           3   Huntsville, Texas, in our Law Enforcement Division has 25

           4   years of service.  Game Warden Flores began his

           5   employment with TPWD in 1978 in Noxious Vegetation

           6   Control, then transferred to Austin in 1980, working at

           7   the game warden training academy.

           8             In 1987, he was accepted to the game warden

           9   academy, and he graduated in February of 1987.  His first

          10   duty station was in Galveston County.  He is currently

          11   stationed in Walker County, where he serves today.

          12   With 25 years of service, Daniel Flores, Law Enforcement

          13   Division, Huntsville, Texas.

          14             (Applause.)

          15             MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

          16             MR. FLORES:  Thank you.

          17             MR. COOK:  John Thompson, with 25 years of

          18   service, works here in Austin in Executive Administration

          19   as an Auditor IV.  John began his employment with TPWD in

          20   1975.  He served in various positions throughout the

          21   finance division, beginning as an accounting clerk in the

          22   accounting branch.  In 1979, he became chief accountant

          23   in the accounting branch.

          24             In 1991, he was promoted to director of

          25   accounting and payroll.  John is currently an auditor in

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   our Internal Audit Branch.

           2             With 25 years of service, John Thompson,

           3   Austin, Texas.

           4             (Applause.)

           5             MR. THOMPSON:  Thank you.

           6             MR. COOK:  Keith L. Ahrens, State Parks

           7   Division, Somerville, Texas, has 20 years of service.  He

           8   has spent his entire 20-year career with TPWD taking care

           9   of Birch Creek State Park on Lake Somerville.  He was

          10   hired as a seasonal employee in the summer of 1977 and,

          11   except for a short period when he left to go to college,

          12   has been there since.

          13             Keith currently serves as Park Ranger V and

          14   utility plant operator, but, over the years he has served

          15   in many capacities.  He has done everything from general

          16   maintenance and repairs to registering campers to playing

          17   grim reaper on the park's haunted Halloween hayrides. 

          18   Keith also serves the public as a volunteer fire fighter

          19   EMT first responder.

          20             Keith is described by his co-workers as

          21   dedicated, dependable and a team player who always looks

          22   out for the park's best interests.  We commend Keith for

          23   a job well done and wish him another great 20 years at

          24   Birch Creek State Park.

          25             Keith Ahrens, Somerville, Texas.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             (Applause.)

           2             MR. AHRENS:  Thank you.

           3             MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

           4             Rocky Alba in our Law Enforcement Division has

           5   20 years of service.  Rocky's a Game Warden V.

           6             Game Warden Rocky Alba began his employment

           7   with TPWD in September of 1982.  He graduated from the

           8   37th game warden training academy in January of 1983, and

           9   his first duty station was at Matagorda Island, where he

          10   worked until 1985.

          11             In 1985, Rocky transferred to Cameron County

          12   and has been there until -- and was there until 1984 --

          13   excuse me -- 1994.  He then transferred to Comal County

          14   as a water recreational specialist on the Guadalupe

          15   River, where he works today.

          16             Rocky Alba, Game Warden V, New Braunfels,

          17   Texas, with 20 years of service.

          18             (Applause.)

          19             MR. COOK:  Randy Bell, Manager V in our State

          20   Parks Division, Waco, Texas, has 20 years of service.  He

          21   began his employment with TPWD in 1979 as a volunteer and

          22   seasonal worker at Lake Brownwood State Park.

          23             In 1983, he was hired full time as Park Ranger

          24   III at Lake Livingston State Park.  From 1987 to 1995,

          25   Randy's managerial positions have included assistant park

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   manager at Martin Dies, park manager at Copper Breaks

           2   State Park, park manager at Ray Roberts Lake State Park,

           3   and he currently serves as the Regional Director for the

           4   State Parks Division in Waco, Texas.

           5             Randy Bell, with 20 years of service.

           6             (Applause.)

           7             MR. BELL:  Thank you.

           8             MR. COOK:  John N. Bonham, Junior, Game Warden

           9   V, from Floresville, Texas, with 20 years of service. 

          10   John Bonham graduated from the 37th game warden training

          11   academy in 1983 and was stationed in Aransas Pass until

          12   1990.  He then transferred to Floresville, where he

          13   remains today.

          14             John Bonham, Game Warden V, Floresville, Texas,

          15   with 20 years of service.

          16             (Applause.)

          17             MR. BONHAM:  Thank you, sir.

          18             MR. COOK:  Jerry Delgado, Game Warden V from

          19   China Springs, Texas, with 20 years of service.  Game

          20   Warden Jerry Delgado began his employment with TPWD in

          21   September of 1982.  He is also a graduate from the 37th

          22   game warden training academy and was first stationed in

          23   McLennan County and remains there today.

          24             During his tenure with the Agency, he has

          25   received several awards for rescue and recovery efforts

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   and awards for outstanding contributions to local water

           2   safety programs and has been recognized by the National

           3   Water Safety Congress.

           4             Jerry Delgado, Game Warden V, China Springs,

           5   Texas, with 20 years of service.

           6             (Applause.)

           7             MR. DELGADO:  Thank you, sir.

           8             MR. COOK:  Catherine Flores in the State Parks

           9   Division at Port Aransas, Texas, has 20 years of service. 

          10   Catherine first went to work for Texas Parks and Wildlife

          11   Department at Goose Island State Park in June of 1975. 

          12   She worked as a Clerk III for Stormy Reeves and was there

          13   for five years.

          14             She left the Agency for a short while and

          15   returned to work in the Region II headquarters office as

          16   an hourly worker.  In 1988, she was hired at Mustang

          17   Island State Park, where she serves today as an

          18   Administrative Tech III.

          19             Catherine Flores, State Parks Division, Port

          20   Aransas, Texas, with 20 years of service.

          21             (Applause.)

          22             MS. FLORES:  Thank you, very much.

          23             MR. COOK:   Howard L. Fluitt, Game Warden V in

          24   the Law Enforcement Division in Bacliff, Texas, has 20

          25   years of service.  Game Warden Rip Fluitt graduated from

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   the 37th game warden training academy and was assigned to

           2   Galveston County and continues to work there today.

           3             Howard L. "Rip" Fluitt, Game Warden V, Bacliff,

           4   Texas, 20 years of service.

           5             (Applause.)

           6             MR. FLUITT:  Thank you.

           7             MR. COOK:  Thomas R. Gallenbach, Game Warden V,

           8   Tenaha, Texas, with 20 years of service.  Game Warden Tom

           9   Gallenbach was also a graduate of the 37th game warden

          10   training academy.   He was assigned to St. Augustine

          11   County and was there for nine years.  He is currently in

          12   Panola County, where Tom has been stationed for 11 years.

          13             Thomas R. Gallenbach, Law Enforcement Division,

          14   with 20 years of service, Tenaha, Texas.

          15             (Applause.)

          16             MR. GALLENBACH:  Thank you, sir.

          17             MR. COOK:  Keith W. Gerth, Game Warden V,

          18   Kingsland, Texas, with 20 years of service, also

          19   graduated from the 37th game warden training academy.  He

          20   was first assigned to Cameron County at Port Isabel.  He

          21   later moved to Los Fresnos in Cameron County.  And after

          22   ten years on the lower coast, he transferred to Burnet

          23   County, at Kingsland, where he serves today as a Game

          24   Warden V.

          25             Keith Gerth, Law Enforcement Division,

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Kingsland, Texas, with 20 years of service.

           2             (Applause.)

           3             MR. GERTH:  Thank you, sir.

           4             MR. COOK:  Kenneth R. Jackson, Lieutenant Game

           5   Warden from Rusk, Texas, has 20 years of service.  He

           6   graduated from the 37th game warden training academy.  He

           7   served at his first duty station, in Moore and Sherman

           8   Counties, for nine-and-a-half years.  In 1992, Ken

           9   transferred to Nacogdoches County for six-and-a-half

          10   years, promoted to lieutenant game warden and was

          11   assigned to the Rusk Regional Office, where he currently

          12   serves.

          13             Kenneth R. Jackson, Lieutenant Game Warden from

          14   Rusk, Texas, with 20 years of service.

          15             (Applause.)

          16             MR. JACKSON:  Thank you, sir.

          17             MR. COOK:  Jim Lundberg, Game Warden V in Era,

          18   Texas, with 20 years of service.  Game Warden Jim

          19   Lundberg also graduated from the 37th game warden

          20   training Academy.  His first assignment was Cold Springs

          21   in San Jacinto County.  In 1987, he transferred to Denton

          22   County, and, in 1998, he transferred to Cook County,

          23   where he serves today.

          24             Jim Lundberg, Game Warden V, 20 years of

          25   service, Law Enforcement Division.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             (Applause.)

           2             MR. LUNDBERG:  Thank you.

           3             MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

           4             Rex Mayes, Captain Game Warden, Victoria,

           5   Texas, with 20 years of service.  Captain Rex Mayes

           6   graduated from the 37th game warden training academy. 

           7   His first duty station was in Victoria County.  In June

           8   1997, he was promoted to captain and continues to serve

           9   in Victoria County.

          10             With 20 years of service, Captain Game Warden

          11   Rex. L. Mayes.

          12             (Applause.)

          13             MR. MAYES:  Thank you.

          14             MR. COOK:  Ralph Montemayor, Game Warden V,

          15   Groveton, Texas, with 20 years of service.  Ralph

          16   graduated from the 37th game warden training academy and

          17   was assigned to Trinity County and has been there his

          18   entire career.  He's an active participant with the Texas

          19   Game Warden Association and their fund-raising efforts.

          20             Ralph Montemayor, Game Warden V, Groveton,

          21   Texas, with 20 years of service.

          22             (Applause.)

          23             MR. MONTEMAYOR:  Thank you.

          24             MR. COOK:  Bobby Schumacher with the -- is a

          25   Park Ranger III at the Somerville State Park with 20

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   years of service.  Bobby began his 20-year career with

           2   the Department as a summer seasonal employee at Birch

           3   Creek State Park on Lake Somerville in August of 1982.

           4             Bobby currently serves as a Park Ranger III

           5   with additional duties as a park safety officer and as a

           6   backup utility plant operator.  Bobby has served in

           7   numerous capacities, including maintenance and repairs,

           8   prescription burning, customer service and interpretive

           9   programs.  Bobby is described by his co-workers as

          10   dedicated, dependable and a team leader through his

          11   positive outlook.  We commend Bobby for a job well done.

          12             Bobby Schumacher, Park Ranger III, Somerville,

          13   Texas, with 20 years of service.

          14             (Applause.)

          15             MR. SCHUMACHER:  Thank you.

          16             MR. COOK:  Congratulations.

          17             Gary W. Voges is a Game Warden V at

          18   Goldthwaite, Texas, with 20 years of service.  Game

          19   Warden Gary Voges also graduated from the 37th game

          20   warden training academy.  His first assignment was in

          21   Reeves County, and his assigned area of responsibility

          22   also included Ward, Winkler and Loving Counties.

          23             In 1989, he transferred to Bell County, at

          24   Temple.  And in 1993, he transferred to his current

          25   assignment in Mills County, at Goldthwaite.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             With 20 years of service, Game Warden V, Gary

           2   Voges from the Law Enforcement Division, Goldthwaite,

           3   Texas.

           4             (Applause.)

           5             MR. VOGES:  Thank you, sir.

           6             MR. COOK:  That concludes our retirement and

           7   service awards, sir.

           8             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you, Mr. Cook.

           9             At this time, I would like to inform the

          10   audience that everyone is welcome to stay for the

          11   remainder of the meeting; however, if anyone wishes to

          12   leave, now would be an appropriate time to do so.  Please

          13   be reminded to move away from the doorway as you are

          14   leaving so as to let everyone through the doorway.  And

          15   thank you for being with us.

          16             (Pause.)

          17             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you, again.

          18             Mr. Cook, would you continue, please?

          19             MR. COOK:  Thank you, sir.

          20             Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, each year, the

          21   Shikar-Safari International recognizes game wardens from

          22   North America as wildlife conservation officers of the

          23   year.  This marks the 23rd year this award has been

          24   presented to a deserving Texas game warden.

          25             The Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year for 2002

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   is Brent Isom, a Texas Tech-ex who graduated from the

           2   Texas Game Warden Academy in October of 1992.  His first

           3   and only duty station has been Young County in Graham,

           4   Texas, where he excels in all areas of game, fish and

           5   water safety enforcement through education, deterrence

           6   and apprehension.

           7             During Brent's career, he has had an excellent

           8   work record and has displayed a positive and willing

           9   attitude.  He has a background in emergency medical

          10   treatment as a field paramedic and a flight medic and has

          11   initiated a remarkable plan and a team in responding to

          12   emergency incidents.

          13             He has organized and managed several search and

          14   rescue operations.  In December 2001, Brent led one of

          15   the largest search and rescue operations in north-central

          16   Texas involving a six-year-old child who became missing

          17   while on an outing with his family.

          18             He works on Possum Kingdom, one of the highest-

          19   profile lakes in the state.  Brent and his wife, Drew,

          20   open their lake home to game wardens that work the lake

          21   while on boating-while-intoxicated task forces, saving

          22   the state commercial lodging costs.

          23             Brent is certified as a marine safety officer

          24   instructor and a boater, angler and hunter education

          25   instructor and a life-support provider and instructor. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   He is always the first choice as a training officer

           2   because of how he positively impacts less-experienced

           3   officers.

           4             Warden Isom projects self-confidence, authority

           5   and enthusiasm.  He is the ultimate team player and has

           6   displayed a strong personal commitment to his profession

           7   and goes beyond what is expected.  It is the action and

           8   results like these that give me great pleasure in

           9   recognizing Game Warden Brent Isom as the Shikar-Safari

          10   International 2002 Texas Wildlife Conservation Officer of

          11   the Year.

          12             We have several members of the Shikar-Safari

          13   group with us here today.  I hope they will join me at

          14   the microphone for this presentation and welcome Texas

          15   Game Warden Brent Isom.

          16             (Applause.)

          17             MR. COOK:  Congratulations, Brent.

          18             MR. STUMBERG:  I'd like to introduce who's

          19   going to make the award.  Mark Barron is head of this

          20   program for this year, as each of our president-elects --

          21   and he'll be president next year -- of Shikar-Safari. 

          22   Mark's a rancher and oil producer, but, more than that,

          23   he's a great conservationist.

          24             And I'm really pleased to introduce our

          25   president-elect and head of this program, Mark Barron.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             Mark?

           2             MR. BARRON:  Thank you, Luis.

           3             Luis is our past president and, of course, a

           4   past commissioner in this body.  And as -- since I've

           5   been doing this program this year -- I've been in it for

           6   about six months -- and seeing the quality game wardens

           7   from all over our country and Canada being awarded --

           8   going through the program, it's just amazing to me how

           9   much of the fabric of our country and the world the game

          10   wardens make up -- and hold everything together.

          11             And Texas always seems to have a very good

          12   quality candidate, and Brent is obviously very well

          13   qualified.  And we're just honored to have such a good

          14   guy be the award winner.

          15             Thank you.

          16             (Pause.)

          17             MR. ISOM:  Thank you.

          18             MR. COOK:  I suggest let's move right back

          19   here.  We've got several people who want to get pictures. 

          20   You all come on up -- the ones who would like to get

          21   pictures.

          22             (Pause.)

          23             (Applause.)

          24             MR. COOK:  I know that all of us -- we all

          25   assume that we know Commissioner Luis Stumberg, but I

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   want to make sure that the audience recognizes that the

           2   gentleman who introduced this program, one of our former-

           3   and-always commissioners, I believe, Luis Stumberg, a

           4   gentleman who has been of incredible assistance and help

           5   to this Agency for his entire life and continues to

           6   support us.  And we appreciate him very much.

           7             Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, our next award

           8   is for the Texas Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the

           9   Year.  The National Association of State Boating Law

          10   Administrators is comprised of 50 U. S. states and the U.

          11   S. territories.  This association was created to achieve

          12   uniformity in boating laws from state to state and to

          13   ensure enjoyment of the waters for all boaters.

          14             Each year, the association recognizes an

          15   enforcement officer from each state as a State Boating

          16   Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.  The Texas Boating

          17   Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the year 2002 is

          18   Game Warden Bill Jones.

          19             Bill Jones is a 19-year game warden with the

          20   Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and has been an

          21   outstanding water safety enforcement officer.  Bill is

          22   stationed in Palo Pinto County and has enforcement

          23   responsibility for one of the highest boating volume

          24   boating lakes in Texas.  He assisted in setting up one of

          25   the first BWI task force operations, involving local law

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   enforcement and game wardens from Region II and Region

           2   IV.

           3             As a certified Intoxilyzer operator, and

           4   trained in field sobriety, Bill began research methods

           5   for instruction of law enforcement officers in these

           6   techniques.  He developed a hands-on training course

           7   designed to empower game wardens and other Agency

           8   officers to perform at a high level of self-confidence

           9   and assure that they do it correctly.

          10             First year results contributed to an over-400

          11   percent increase in boating-while-intoxicated cases in

          12   his district.  Bill's belief in the work-harder-and-

          13   smarter work ethic has impacted his fellow enforcement

          14   officers to excel in providing protection to the public

          15   on our waterways.

          16             It is my honor and privilege to present to you

          17   the 2002 Texas Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the

          18   Year, Texas Game Warden William "Bill" Jones.

          19             (Applause.)

          20             MR. JONES:  Thank you.

          21             MR. COOK:  Congratulations, sir.

          22             (Pause.)

          23             MR. COOK:  Mr. Chairman, I believe that

          24   concludes our awards and recognition ceremonies.

          25             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you, very much, Mr.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Cook.

           2             Our first order of business is the approval of

           3   the agenda which we have before us.  And as was noted

           4   yesterday, because of the conflict, I'm proposing that we

           5   move Dr. Brown's briefing item on the future of hunting

           6   and place it on the agenda after Agenda Item 9.

           7             Is there a motion for approval?

           8             COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

           9             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  A motion by Commissioner

          10   Watson.

          11             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          12             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  A second by Commissioner

          13   Ramos.  All in favor?

          14             (A chorus of ayes.)

          15             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Any opposed?

          16             (No response.)

          17             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Hearing none, the motion

          18   is carried.  This brings us to Agenda Item 2, the

          19   briefing on the Texas Wildlife Expo.  Ernie Gammage will

          20   make that presentation.

          21             (Whereupon, a briefing ensued.)

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  The next item of business

          23   is a presentation by Mr. McCarty on the Commission Policy

          24   Resolution.

          25             MR. McCARTY:  Chairman and Commissioners, I'm

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Gene McCarty, Chief of Staff for the Department.  The

           2   item before you today is a resolution to amend two

           3   Commission policies:  Commission Policy 5, which is the

           4   travel policy, and Commission Policy 9, which is the

           5   budget policy.

           6             The current Commission travel policy provides

           7   for reimbursement of explains incurred while attending

           8   meetings.  This is consistent with the statute.  However,

           9   the current policy also requires Commission approval for

          10   any additional travel pertaining to Department programs,

          11   and this is more restrictive than the statute.  The staff

          12   would propose the removal of this restriction in an

          13   effort to make the Commission policy consistent with

          14   statute.

          15             The proposed amendment to Commission Policy 9,

          16   the budget policy, is a revision to clarify that

          17   additional federal funds and interest on bond funds are

          18   exempt from the requirement of a budget adjustment

          19   approval from the Commission.  This is as it was

          20   presented verbally to the Commission in August -- and

          21   adopted -- but the printed copy that was signed had this

          22   omission, and we propose to put it back the way it was

          23   verbally presented to the Commission in August.

          24             Staff would recommend that the Commission adopt

          25   the following motion:  The Parks and Wildlife Commission

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   adopts by resolution the revised travel of Commission

           2   members and the revised budget policy.  Do you have any

           3   questions?

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Is there any discussion

           5   from the Commission?

           6             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I move approval.

           7             COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Second.

           8             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

           9             (A chorus of ayes.)

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?

          11             (No response.)

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

          13             Thank you.

          14             Agenda Item Number 4:  Artwork approval.

          15             Ms. Frances Stiles, will you please make your

          16   presentation?

          17             MS. STILES:  Good morning.  My name is Frances

          18   Stiles, and I'm with the Administrative Resources

          19   Division.  I have an action item for your consideration.

          20             Under the terms of the contract with Collectors

          21   Covey for artwork design and marketing of the print

          22   program, the Commission reviews the artwork each year for

          23   the waterfowl, the saltwater, the turkey and the non-game

          24   stamps.  Yesterday, we had the original artwork here, and

          25   today, we have the artwork on the monitors.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             This year, for the waterfowl, we have a Mottled

           2   Duck by Sherri Russell Meline.  The saltwater artwork is

           3   the Speckled Trout by Mark Sussino.  The turkey artwork

           4   is the Rio Grande Turkey by Reggie McLeRoy, and,

           5   actually, this one has probably had our most positive

           6   comments out of all the artwork that we've had.  And the

           7   non-game is the Green Jay by John Dearman.  And staff

           8   recommends approval.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Is there any discussion

          10   from the Commission -- or comments?

          11             (No response.)

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I think they're beautiful. 

          13   And I agree.  I love the turkey.  I think that's

          14   spectacular.

          15             We don't have anyone signed up on this item. 

          16   Do I have a motion?

          17             COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  A second?

          19             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.

          20             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  A second by Commissioner

          21   Henry.  All in favor?

          22             (A chorus of ayes.)

          23             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?

          24             (No response.)

          25             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             Thank you, Ms. Stiles.

           2             MS. STILES:  Thank you.

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Agenda Item Number 5, Crab

           4   trap season.

           5             Mr. Robin Reichers?

           6             MR. REICHERS:  Madame Chairman and

           7   Commissioners, my name is Robin Reichers, and I'm the

           8   Management Director of the Coastal Fisheries Division. 

           9   And I'm presenting to you a proposal regarding the

          10   abandoned crab trap removal program, which is in the

          11   statewide hunting and fishing proclamation.

          12             This item proposes final adoption of amendments

          13   to Chapter 65 Section 78, Crabs and Ghost Shrimp.  In the

          14   77th Legislature, Senate Bill 1410, of course, granted

          15   the authority to create the closed crab trap season for

          16   the purpose of removing abandoned traps.

          17             Closure could range from ten to 30 days.  And

          18   after the first seven days, the traps were declared as

          19   litter, and that's when we could use volunteer help in

          20   that regard.

          21             In quickly reviewing the 2001 abandoned trap

          22   clean-up, we were able to pick up over 8,000 traps during

          23   the week.  We had over 550 volunteers, using over 200 of

          24   their own vessels, to help us collect those traps.  In

          25   all, we had over 58 companies, municipalities,

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   organizations and government entities who donated

           2   resources ranging from tarps and gloves and grappling

           3   hooks to pick up the traps, as well as their time and

           4   effort.

           5             Again, as we had in a more lengthy review

           6   earlier in the year, we had help from almost all of the

           7   divisions who were within reach of the coastal areas of

           8   the state in the Commission, as well.

           9             Based on input from the Crab Advisory Committee

          10   and a review of last year's closure, the Department again

          11   proposed in The Texas Register a 16-day coast-wide

          12   closure, which would range from March 1 to March 16.  And

          13   that  differed from last year's closure in that it was

          14   actually the first two weeks in March instead of the last

          15   two weeks of February.

          16             We held four public hearings along the coast. 

          17   We had 41 people in attendance, and we received 22

          18   comments at those hearings.  I might add, since that

          19   slide and since yesterday evening, we've received an

          20   additional seven comments, as well.

          21             In general, most of the comments directly

          22   related to the closure were about the timing of the

          23   closure; most of those comments basically wanted us to

          24   move the closure back  up into the last two weeks of

          25   February.  Based on those comments, staff concurs and

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   proposes that we move the closure back, and it would

           2   actually start on February 15 and run through March 2,

           3   with re-opening of the fishery on March 3.

           4             If you look at the calendar there, it --

           5   basically, the red or pink-type coloring starts the first

           6   seven days of the closure, when law enforcement officials

           7   can actually pick up traps.  And then our major event day

           8   would be on the 22nd of February, and then we would have

           9   the backup weekend of March 1 and 2 if, for some reason,

          10   we have weather difficulties on the first weekend.

          11             Staff recommends adoption of the following

          12   motion which reflects the change in the item, as proposed

          13   in The Texas Register, in Chapter 65 Section 78 changing

          14   the timing of the proposed time frame from March 1 to 16

          15   to February 16 through March 2.  I'd be happy to answer

          16   any questions.

          17             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any comments or

          18   discussion by the Commission?

          19             (No response.)

          20             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I hope that this year's

          21   event is as wonderful as last year's and that we're

          22   blessed with as perfect weather as we had.  And I

          23   encourage any Commissioners that can do it to do it. 

          24   It's a lot of fun, and we get a lot of good stuff done.

          25             MR. REICHERS:  Thank you, Madame Chair.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do you have a motion?

           2             COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  A second?

           4             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

           6             (A chorus of ayes.)

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All opposed?

           8             (No response.)

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

          10             Agenda Item Number 6 is a briefing item:  Texas

          11   Coastal Paddling Trails.

          12             Dr. Bill Harvey?

          13             (Whereupon, a briefing ensued.)

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Agenda Item Number 7 is an

          15   action item:  The scientific breeder proclamation -

          16   importation.

          17             Dr. Jerry Cooke, will you please make your

          18   presentation?

          19             DR. COOKE:  Madame Chairman and members, my

          20   name is Jerry Cooke, Game Branch Chief of the Wildlife

          21   Division.  I'll be presenting to you the proposed changes

          22   to the scientific breeder proclamation for action.

          23             If you'll recall, at the last meeting, there

          24   was a number of adoptions that you made, and then we were

          25   directed to publish so that the suspension that we placed

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   on the importation of white-tailed and mule deer could be

           2   repealed.  Unfortunately, some of the sections that were

           3   adopted had to be withdrawn in order to accomplish the

           4   adoption at this time.  So there's two items that need to

           5   be re-adopted from the last meeting if you choose.

           6             Obviously the Number 1 issue is removing the

           7   prohibition of importation so that animals imported into

           8   the state would fall under the Animal Health Commission's

           9   entry requirements.  Second, we thought it was relatively

          10   clear before that a temporary transfer of an animal from

          11   a scientific breeder facility could not leave the

          12   jurisdiction of the state, but it was not clear to

          13   everyone.  So we wish to clarify that issue, that

          14   temporary transfers cannot leave the state of Texas.

          15             And the final part was -- it was also not clear

          16   who should or could buy a purchase permit when animals

          17   were being transferred in ownership.  And we're

          18   clarifying in the rules that either party could in fact

          19   make that purchase.

          20             Staff's recommended motion is that the Texas

          21   Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt 31 TAC 65.609, 610

          22   and 611 concerning scientific breeder permits with

          23   changes to the proposed text as published in the

          24   September 27, 2002 issue of The Texas Register.  If you

          25   have any questions, I would be happy to try to entertain

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   them for you at this time.

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any comments or

           3   discussion from the Commission of Dr. Cooke?

           4             (No response.)

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have a few people

           6   signed up to speak.

           7             DR. COOKE:  Yes, ma'am.

           8             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  So if we don't have any

           9   comments or discussion, would Marty Berry come up to

          10   speak, followed by Karl Kinsel?

          11             (Pause.)

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Marty Berry?

          13             MR. BERRY:  Yes.

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  You are up to speak on

          15   scientific breeder proclamation - importation.

          16             Is Karl Kinsel here?  He's next?

          17             MR. BERRY:  I just walked up, Chairman.  I

          18   think it must be perfect timing.  Good morning.

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Good morning.

          20             MR. BERRY:  How are you all doing this morning? 

          21   I guess, to keep it real brief and allow the other ones

          22   to also speak, that -- I'm Marty Berry.  I'm from Corpus

          23   Christi, Texas.

          24             I have breeder pens, and I have land in about

          25   five counties.  And it scares me to think that -- under

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   the circumstances that exist to the north with the CWD

           2   and while it's still shaking out, how this Commission

           3   would allow deer to be brought back in under any

           4   circumstances.  And I'd like for you all to keep the

           5   borders closed until we know a little bit more about this

           6   disease.  Thank you.

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Following Karl will be

           8   Kirby Brown.

           9             MR. KINSEL:  No comment necessary on behalf of

          10   TDA at this time.  I just want to thank the Commission

          11   and especially Jerry Cooke for the work well done.  Thank

          12   you.

          13             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Kirby, followed by Ellis

          14   Gilleland.

          15             MR. BROWN:  Thank you, Madame Chairman and

          16   Commissioners.  I just want to say that we appreciate the

          17   task force coming together and working on this.  It

          18   was -- we were able to work out any problems.  And this

          19   is great.  We fully support the staff's proposal.  Thank

          20   you.

          21             MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland; I'm

          22   a private citizen representing Texas Animals, an internet

          23   organization.

          24             Since your secret meeting in San Antonio last

          25   year a year ago with the Texas Deer Association, you

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   have -- at almost every meeting, you've talked about the

           2   need for testing and monitoring of deer in Texas for CWD. 

           3   It has been all talk, smoke and mirrors.

           4             The publication here of your new scientific

           5   breeder -- your publication says, quote, "We do not adopt

           6   the proposed provision for mandatory testing and

           7   monitoring protocols."  That's a lie, because there were

           8   no proposed protocols presented.

           9             The second thing that I'd like to bring to your

          10   attention:  September 27, in The Texas Register, you say,

          11   quote, "The Department strongly believes that vigilance

          12   and early detection are crucial to minimizing CWD," et

          13   cetera.  So you recognize all this verbally, but you do

          14   not take any action to institute a testing and monitoring

          15   program.

          16             The third item I've given you -- these are

          17   handouts I'm reading that I've given you.  The third item

          18   I've given you is from the "Target Talk," Texas Parks and

          19   Wildlife's newsletter, dated summer of 2002, in which

          20   Director Cooke says, "We plan to detect and control it

          21   quickly."  Well, you've been planning for a year now. 

          22   Will you please get off the dime and please do something

          23   on getting testing and monitoring of deer?

          24             I've also indicated in yellow on this handout

          25   that the Texas -- it's your publication, not mine.  The

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Texas Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in College Station, your

           2   words, says it can handle, quote, "500 animal tissues per

           3   week," unquote.  You have not implemented one tissue

           4   under any provision or rule or plan that you have. 

           5   You've never published anything.  You've orally, every

           6   meeting, yak, yak, yak by Jerry Cooke, and nothing ever

           7   gets done in terms of a concrete proposal for testing.

           8             I am very much opposed to importing deer into

           9   Texas, more because we have 500,000 hunters and 4 million

          10   deer.  According to my high school mathematics, that's

          11   eight deer per hunter.  That's far in excess of what your

          12   bag is.

          13             The excess deer every year goes up.  A couple

          14   or three years ago, it was 3-1/2 million.  A couple or

          15   three years before that, it was 3 million.  Next year, it

          16   will be 4-1/2 million deer.  So there's no reason to

          17   bring in more deer from Illinois or Missouri or wherever.

          18             The second thing is Lakeway is just overrunning

          19   with deer.  Anything between Austin and San -- if you've

          20   ever driven from Austin to San Angelo at night, you've

          21   hit a deer.

          22             MR. GILLELAND:  If you bypass and go to San

          23   Antonio and you go from San Antonio to Junction to Menard

          24   up there, you will see if you don't hit one -- on I-10,

          25   if you don't hit one, you'll see six or eight, I

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   guarantee you, dead deer.  They're just all over the

           2   place.  Why bring in more?

           3             The third thing I'd like to bring to your

           4   attention in combating this bringing in of more deer is

           5   that the incubation period is years and years.  Everybody

           6   finesses an exact number, but it's years.  I've heard

           7   five, and I've heard ten, or whatever.

           8             So bringing them in and -- under the assumption

           9   that, "Oh, animal health commission has a plan" -- well,

          10   their plan is predicated on something that happens in

          11   another state in terms of herd monitoring.  That's

          12   something they have no control over.

          13             And the last thing I'd like to say is:  I would

          14   ask you to hold off on this for one year -- bringing in

          15   deer.  Allow the Texas veterinary diagnostic lab to

          16   examine these deer on your management areas and park-life

          17   areas for one year.  If they can do 500 a week, god, you

          18   could do an ungodly number in a year.

          19             And then, at the end of the year, tell Karl and

          20   all these other people that are chomping at the bit,

          21   "Okay, you can bring in deer," or, "You can't bring in

          22   deer."  But why do it now, in the midst of trying to

          23   determine what the parameters are?  Thank you.

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Is there any discussion by

          25   the Commission?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             (No response.)

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  That concludes the public

           3   comments on this issue.

           4             Commissioner Rising?

           5             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Mr. Cooke, could you kind

           6   of go over what the Texas Animal Health Commission has

           7   done, the safeguards that have been put in place?

           8             DR. COOKE:  The entry requirements -- I almost

           9   said they're simple.  They are not simple.  They're

          10   simple when you're used to dealing with it.  But,

          11   basically, what is required is a monitoring program which

          12   is defined in their rules as to what they consider to be

          13   an acceptable monitoring program in another state.

          14             Basically, if a facility is in a state that has

          15   never had a positive case of CWD and has a state-

          16   sponsored monitoring program and the facility has been in

          17   that monitoring program for three years, those animals in

          18   that facility would be eligible for importation into

          19   Texas.  Now, the TB testing requirements and those kinds

          20   of things would still be applied, but as far as CWD would

          21   be concerned, they would be qualified.

          22             Any state that does not have a state-owned

          23   monitoring program or state-supported monitoring program

          24   or has had CWD found in the state, a facility would have

          25   to be in a monitoring program for a minimum of five years

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   with no positives during that period in order to qualify

           2   for entry into the state of Texas.  So that's basically

           3   their entry requirements --

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Angelo --

           5             DR. COOKE:  -- for white-tailed --

           6             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Oh, I'm sorry.

           7             Commissioner Angelo?

           8             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  How many facilities would

           9   you think around the country would meet the requirements

          10   today?  Are --

          11             DR. COOKE:  Not many.

          12             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  --  these things -- these

          13   requirements going to mean that for most of them, there's

          14   going to be a significant delay before they can be

          15   imported from them?

          16             DR. COOKE:  There's only a couple of states

          17   that actually have had a state-sponsored monitoring

          18   program for the adequate amount of time.  So the number

          19   of facilities that would be eligible would be few.  I

          20   don't know how many that would be.

          21             Basically, a facility operator has the

          22   opportunity to come before the Texas Animal Health

          23   Commission and lay out their monitoring program that they

          24   have applied on their facility to clarify their

          25   qualifications, but it's not going to be a vast number of

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   facilities at this time.

           2             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So that should be a

           3   pretty significant limiting factor as to how many imports

           4   there are going to be in the next year or two?

           5             DR. COOKE:  All by itself, it would be.  And

           6   basically, if someone would qualify we should be

           7   relatively comfortable with those kinds of facilities, I

           8   would think.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Is it accurate to say that

          10   we are working very closely with the Texas Animal Health

          11   Commission and that the Texas Animal Health Commission is

          12   very comfortable with these guidelines?

          13             DR. COOKE:  Absolutely.  We've -- I mean, from

          14   the very get-go, I mean, our suspension of importation

          15   was for the purpose of assisting the Animal Health

          16   Commission in gaining the time necessary to work through

          17   the process of developing an acceptable entry requirement

          18   that addressed the issues and also could be accommodated

          19   by the industry.

          20             Basically, they -- at their meeting, when they

          21   placed those entry requirements in place, they lifted

          22   their importation suspension on elk and their suspension

          23   on white-tailed and mule deer, although ours remained in

          24   place because we couldn't act without a 30-day comment

          25   period.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             So basically, what we're doing is completing

           2   the cycle in that respect of addressing the issues and

           3   ensuring the public safety for many animals that may come

           4   in under this -- under these requirements.  And so this

           5   action is brought to you today for that purpose.

           6             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Madame Chairman?

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Rising?

           8             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Jerry, are our wardens

           9   able to enforce the rules -- the TAH rules?

          10             DR. COOKE:  Texas -- that's a good question,

          11   and I'm glad you asked it.

          12             Agencies have different enabling acts.  With

          13   our Agency, basically, any rule that you adopt can be

          14   enforced by any peace officer in the state of Texas. 

          15   Certainly, our enforcement division is in the lead on

          16   those items, but any peace officer could enforce them.

          17             As I understand the Animal Health Commission's

          18   authority, basically, their commission has the authority

          19   to deputize anyone to specifically enforce their

          20   regulations.  And, for instance, when the importation

          21   suspension was put in place, they identified our

          22   enforcement division as being actors in their behalf,

          23   which helped our guys and helped their guys, too.

          24             So I think that those still apply.  I'd have to

          25   re-read their last adoption, but I think it was their

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   intent that we and our enforcement division be in a

           2   position to assist them in enforcing those kinds of

           3   rules.

           4             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Thank you.

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any further


           7             (No response.)

           8             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do I have a motion?

           9             COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  A second?

          11             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Second.

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          13             (A chorus of ayes.)

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Any opposed?

          15             (No response.)

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

          17             Thank you, Dr. Cooke.  And you may still be up.

          18             Agenda Item Number 8 is an action item:  Trap,

          19   transport and transplant of game animals and game birds.

          20             Dr. Cooke, will you please make your

          21   presentation?

          22             DR. COOKE:  Madame Chairman and members, my

          23   name is Jerry Cooke, Game Branch Chief of the Wildlife

          24   Division, presenting you this proposed change to the

          25   trap, transport and transplant proclamation.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             As you will recall, the publication of the

           2   proposed change was very straightforward.  It was rather

           3   rigid, but that was to provide you all with the greatest

           4   opportunity for taking action if you choose to do so. 

           5   And the proposal was basically to remove white-tailed

           6   deer and mule deer from the trap and transport

           7   proclamation.

           8             I'd like to present to you a brief presentation

           9   to, first of all, bring you up to date as I did

          10   yesterday.  But, again, we'll be a little quicker than we

          11   were yesterday.

          12             To bring you up to date, the Animal Health

          13   Commission has placed in their rules their entry

          14   requirements.  Our action that you just took addresses

          15   that, as well.  The scientific breeder community has

          16   established a voluntary monitoring program with the

          17   Animal Health Commission.  And, also, we have initiated

          18   testing in Texas and, as you saw yesterday, have been

          19   briefed on the developing chronic wasting disease

          20   management plan that has been developed by us and the

          21   Animal Health Commission.

          22             Updating the map even from yesterday, since the

          23   first time I presented this to you, new outbreaks have

          24   been found in free-ranging white-tailed in Wisconsin and

          25   mule deer in New Mexico and white-tailed in Illinois. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   And we just found out this morning, also, in -- I think

           2   it's Saskatchewan or one of the provinces of Canada.  It

           3   has been found in a confinement facility there.  Also, it

           4   has been found in elk -- confined elk in Minnesota and

           5   confined white-tailed in Wisconsin, as well.

           6             So briefly, let's look at the potential impact

           7   of the disease on the state.  And you've seen some of

           8   these maps before.  We have approximately 4 million

           9   white-tailed deer in Texas, and about a third of those

          10   deer are found in 25 percent of the state which is there

          11   in the center of the Edward's Plateau.

          12             Hunting brings about $1.6 billion in to Texas

          13   annually; about 640 million of that can be attributed to

          14   white-tailed deer only as it is applied to rural

          15   economies.  Now, half of that money goes to the Edward's

          16   Plateau, Piney Woods and South Texas with fully a quarter

          17   of it going to the Edward's Plateau alone.

          18             This graph is to show you that we've had

          19   permits for trapping and moving deer before the Triple-T

          20   program came along, but it was relatively small in

          21   number.  And the number of deer moved grew pretty

          22   dramatically through '97, and it dropped in '98 when the

          23   Commission adopted their position that a wildlife

          24   management plan was required for a release site and

          25   adequate habitat be clearly shown to be in place before

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   animals could be released.

           2             The rise in 2000/2001 was a reflection of your

           3   identification that if there is a release, it would be so

           4   small as to not be a resource issue.  And those numbers

           5   have increased.

           6             To put in context the number of animals moved

           7   under this program, in 1939, the Game and Fish

           8   Commissioner or Game and Fish and Oyster Commission, or

           9   whatever its name was at that time, began restoring

          10   white-tailed deer into Texas.  Between 1939 and the early

          11   '80s, when this restoration effort was complete, the

          12   Department trapped and moved about 31,000 white-tailed

          13   deer to accomplish the distribution of animals that we

          14   have today.  Since 1993, 38,000 deer have been trapped

          15   and moved under this program.

          16             The map on your left shows where deer were

          17   trapped over the last two years, and the map on the right

          18   shows you where those deer were released over the same

          19   period of time.  We placed both of those maps on one map. 

          20   The yellow counties are those in which only trap sites

          21   were found, the green counties were where only release

          22   sites were found, and the red counties were where both

          23   trap and release sites were found.

          24             The Animal Health Commission, in the exercise

          25   and development of the management plan, did what is

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   called a risk assessment.  That's an unfortunate use of

           2   terms, but there it is.  They looked at the number of

           3   white-tailed, mule deer and elk brought into the state,

           4   where they were delivered and what population sizes were

           5   in the counties at the time of those releases.  And this

           6   was used to develop an index to relative risk within the

           7   state.

           8             These 14 identified counties are those who are

           9   prioritized because they were so high on the list and so

          10   different than the other counties that we want to be sure

          11   that any sampling that we do over the next year or so

          12   certainly includes those counties.  The assessment itself

          13   identified 84 counties in the assessment, of which 64 had

          14   a relatively significant value; the other 20 were, you

          15   know, like one introduction or two introductions, nothing

          16   of great importance in that respect.

          17             The potential impact as it applies to the

          18   Triple-T program is shown on these two maps.  On the map

          19   on the left are the counties that were identified among

          20   the 64 as being trap sites over the last two years.  The

          21   map on the right shows where the deer trapped were

          22   released.  Over the two-year period, this represented

          23   about 2,200 deer, which was about a quarter of all the

          24   deer that were trapped and moved in this state during

          25   that period of time.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             The Department has used a task force -- we call

           2   it the Triple-T MLD task force -- to help us work through

           3   very prickly issues.  And they've been very, very

           4   successful in the past.  And because of the reactions to

           5   the proposal, we thought it would be a good idea to bring

           6   this task force together again and help us work through

           7   this particular issue.  They did meet.

           8             There was an interesting conversation because,

           9   as the initial introductions took place and initial

          10   positions were clarified, it seemed that the table was

          11   quite polarized when it began.  But when it came to the

          12   end of the day, they in fact had reached a compromise

          13   that I think everybody at the table was nodding at at the

          14   time.

          15             I redistributed these conclusions to the

          16   members and -- to make sure that we had not

          17   misrepresented the conclusions in our report to you and,

          18   also, to Mr. Cook.  The recommendation of the committee

          19   as it relates to the Triple-T proposal was this:  That

          20   rather than remove white-tailed and mule deer from the

          21   proclamation, allow some trapping to take place in this

          22   year and in the coming years; however, in order to

          23   qualify for a trapping permit, a testing requirement

          24   would be in place.

          25             In other words, if I intended to trap deer on

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   my property and I knew the number of animals that I

           2   intended to trap, during the preceding hunting season --

           3   in other words, the hunting season that is corresponding

           4   to the same trapping season -- I would be asked to take a

           5   number equivalent to 10 percent of the animals that I

           6   intended to move during my normal hunting season from my

           7   hunter-killed animals to be tested for CWD.

           8             However, this number should not be less than

           9   ten in order for it to be a useful sampling on the

          10   property.  But it need not be more than 40 lets it weight

          11   our own survey efforts in the state.    If a negative

          12   animal -- excuse me.  If a positive animal was returned

          13   in any of these samples, then, simply, the permit would

          14   be denied.  Also, for trace-back purposes, any animal

          15   trapped and moved under this program should be

          16   permanently tattooed with a number identifiable and

          17   presented by us probably to link it to a permit, a

          18   specific permit.

          19             Also, one final recommendation of the committee

          20   was to consider setting a deadline for submissions, for

          21   example, December 10, in which, if samples were presented

          22   to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab for

          23   testing, should a problem arise either in the test

          24   facility because there was -- they were swamped or their

          25   equipment went down, or whatever, that would satisfy the

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   requirement for issuing a permit by January 15, whether

           2   or not all the tests were completed by that date.

           3             The recommended motion is that Texas Parks and

           4   Wildlife Commission adopt 31 TAC 65.102 concerning

           5   permits to trap, transport and transplant game animals

           6   and game birds with changes to the proposed text as

           7   published in the September 27, 2002 issue of The Texas

           8   Register.  If you have any questions, I would be happy to

           9   try to entertain them at this time.

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Is there any discussion by

          11   the Commission?

          12             (No response.)

          13             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have quite a few public

          14   comments on this item.

          15             Marty Berry and Karl Kinsel.

          16             MR. BERRY:  Good morning.  I'm Marty Berry. 

          17   I'm from Corpus Christi, Texas.

          18             I participate in the Triple-T program.  I've

          19   received, and I've also trapped off our properties and

          20   sent to other properties.  It's probably the most

          21   valuable tool or one of the most valuable tools that the

          22   legislature has given us, as ranchers and managers.

          23             The proposal today as it exists -- although the

          24   MLDP Triple-T committee has met before, I will point out,

          25   contrary to what was just said -- that nothing was worked

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   out in those meetings -- they were worked out after that

           2   meeting, if I remember correctly, and, although, with

           3   some of the same participants.

           4             The people in that committee this past week

           5   obviously did not understand all that was up for grabs

           6   when they talked about sampling the deer and getting a

           7   permit based on the sample.  For example, if you sample a

           8   ranch and it becomes a positive, you become a liability

           9   if you're within three to four miles of the fence-line of

          10   your neighbor.  I predict there will be lawsuits and

          11   you're going to cause them problems because then they're

          12   going to have to sample.

          13             Any ranch that has transported to you in the

          14   past or you've transported to -- they're going to be

          15   sampling on those ranches.  They'll do what they call a

          16   trace-back.

          17             At this time -- basically, you know, just a few

          18   weeks ago, we were told that -- we asked -- I asked --

          19   personally asked that let's do a sampling across the

          20   board.  Let's take the leaseholders that get lease books,

          21   and we'll get all them to sample.  And it wasn't based on

          22   science; it was based on money.  We said we didn't have

          23   enough money to do that.

          24             We said -- you said, But, Marty, you know, if

          25   we just sample our wildlife management areas, those areas

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   will be enough, and that'll be fine.  We'll know; we'll

           2   get a feel for what's going on in those areas; we've got

           3   the scientific breeders testing; we've got the wildlife

           4   management areas testing.  A good plan -- I like that

           5   plan.

           6             I'm totally against this plan because it

           7   singles out one certain type of permit that people do and

           8   you're going to make those people test.  You're going to

           9   make -- for the people that get a positive, it's going to

          10   devalue their land.  You think through it if you don't

          11   think it will.  With the CWD hysteria that's out there

          12   today, it will devalue their land, and it will hurt

          13   anybody they've done business with in the past.

          14             I don't -- the reason I don't feel like the

          15   Committee represented me?  I don't think they realize

          16   what will happen when there is a positive.

          17             And if Ken Waldrup's here, maybe somebody will

          18   ask him about how the positives will be worked out.  I

          19   think they were told on the committee there wasn't a

          20   plan.  There is a plan.  It may be not USDA-approved, but

          21   there is a plan that at the Animal Health Commission that

          22   if there's a positive on your land, you will do more

          23   sampling.  And it will be quarantined for live deer

          24   movement for sure.

          25             I would suggest personally that -- I wish that

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   we could have a cooling-off period for a year.  Let's let

           2   the Triple-T flow as it flowed this -- in the past.  The

           3   deer have been moved.  You saw the counties.  They're

           4   just -- it's red and green and all kinds of colors and is

           5   a nice map.  It shows they've been moved and they're all

           6   mixed.

           7             If we have it here, because it's naturally

           8   occurring, it's going to show up in one of your wildlife

           9   management areas.  If we don't see it there, maybe we

          10   don't have a problem.

          11             I think what we have -- if we say we really

          12   don't have a program for what we're going to do when we

          13   find it, then we're saying, "We're going to do surgery on

          14   you, and we're going to look for cancer."  "What are you

          15   going to do, doctor, when you find it?"  "I don't know." 

          16   "I'm not going to let you do surgery."

          17             So, you know, basically, what a number of staff

          18   members and this staff -- regardless of what you think --

          19   because they do not like Triple-Ts, they know they're

          20   killing it by putting this on there.  And on that little

          21   chart that shows 5,000, it will be about 200 next year,

          22   animals total, if any are moved.

          23             And the cities -- I can't even think about

          24   these poor cities that were at these different hearings. 

          25   I went to two hearings and heard over 150 people say they

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   were opposed to any changes to the Triple-T.  I hope you

           2   all have looked at that and listened to their reasonings.

           3             It also is affecting -- because of this, when

           4   you put this on here and there will not be Triple-10 --

           5   because the risk is on the landowner with the deer, the

           6   trap site.  There's going to be land values that decrease

           7   in Valverde County, where there was a huge die-off due to

           8   anthrax.

           9             There's people that were at the meetings that

          10   spoke and said, I've already built fences; I have no

          11   deer.  Are you telling me that you're not going to be

          12   able to get me deer.  Tell me what I need to do.  And

          13   you're not going to be able to get people willing to give

          14   up their deer based on this type of sampling.  So I

          15   would -- I'm totally against it.  Thank you.

          16             MR. KINSEL:  Good day to all again.  It has

          17   been a beautiful day inside here with all of the awards

          18   and a beautiful day outside.  I'm Karl Kinsel, Executive

          19   Director of TDA.

          20             I've come before you for over a year as

          21   executive director of TDA.  And I come before you again

          22   today as that, but, also, I'm going to take a few minutes

          23   before the light turns red and let you know a little bit

          24   more about me because the statements I'm going to make

          25   today with regard to Triple-T deal with my own landowner

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   rights, my own abilities and my own concerns.

           2             I'm a fourth-generation rancher.  Primarily,

           3   our cattle business is our business.  We're sizable

           4   LaSalle County landowners, and we're large cow/calf

           5   stocker operators.  And I'm a strong supporter of TSCRA

           6   and the ADEFA.  I'm on the board of EWA and TWA.  My

           7   ranch property is low-fenced, high-fenced, traditional

           8   livestock, native livestock, and I do deal some in the

           9   exotic wildlife management.

          10             In essence, I take a very broad aspect of all

          11   proposed actions.  And I'm going to address to you today

          12   what I'm talking about as Karl Kinsel, not as TDA-

          13   responsible wildlife management, regarding also our

          14   landowner ecosystem enhancement concerns.

          15             Dr. Waldrup says -- and he and I have a great

          16   relationship, and I certainly appreciate that -- that

          17   more testing is always better.  That is a great statement

          18   and a true statement, but, "At what cost," is what I'm

          19   going to ask you.  And I will ask you also to question

          20   Dr. Waldrup, as Marty Berry brought forth, what is that

          21   cost if we do possibly more surveillance than is

          22   necessary.

          23             And when I say, "More than is necessary," I

          24   applaud you, and I applaud the landowners, and I applaud

          25   the deer enthusiasts.  We're doing more as a state than

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   any other state has even considered when we don't have

           2   such a disease as that here at present.  And we are

           3   extremely responsible.  Let's not go past responsibility

           4   into irrationality.

           5             Let's look at this phrased real simply:  Let us

           6   not look for a cure that is worse than the disease

           7   itself.  Surveillance can be worse than a disease itself

           8   in a situation in which we don't know yet.  If we're

           9   going to Triple-T, then let's not change a lot of the

          10   Triple-T, because it is a valuable resource.

          11             Maybe we could consider warden inspection.  I'm

          12   going to get a little deeper into this in just a little

          13   bit, but maybe we could also mark permanently those deer

          14   for identification.   But, certainly, we can already

          15   stand up and say we are doing a lot as a state, as the

          16   state of Texas, as a TPW, as a responsible landowner.

          17             With all that we're doing, why take on another

          18   task that -- I offer for your consideration this:  It's a

          19   valuable tool; if we change that tool in any form or

          20   fashion at this point, it could cause, as Marty said,

          21   landowner problems, landowner against landowner, neighbor

          22   questioning neighbor.  We're asking for a civil war here

          23   that we certainly don't need at a time when we're trying

          24   to stay together to fight public hysteria.

          25             For an example, what is the financial benefit

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   to a deer trading hands?  There is none, with the

           2   exception of the landowner in Karnes County that has got

           3   600 acres and no deer, and then it's significantly more

           4   valuable.  And it mirrors the mission statement of Texas

           5   Parks and Wildlife to manage and conserve the natural

           6   resources of Texas and to provide hunting and fishing and

           7   outdoor recreation.  It does do that in the long term.

           8             Going a little faster, let's also be sure that

           9   we look at the relevance of CWD with regards to TAHC -- I

          10   mean, with regards to blue-tongue and a lot of the other

          11   diseases, including anthrax.  So, in other words, let's

          12   be sure that we measure twice before we cut once.

          13             And I believe we need a little more time. 

          14   Jerry Cooke did accurately present.  We went fast on a

          15   task force that was fast brought into place.  I do not

          16   say that that was a consensus amongst everybody.  That

          17   was a consideration, and we tried to look at it in a

          18   hurry.  Only Monday did we look at it for the last time. 

          19   There is a little more that needs to be looked at to

          20   that.

          21             Last but not least, this response plan is more

          22   important than dealing with Triple-Ts and all these other

          23   issues.  We're already extremely responsible.  Let's go

          24   to the next step.  That's the TRC plan.  That's what

          25   we're dealing with, and we are doing so.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             In summary, I'll stop and I'll say this, two

           2   issues:  One, let not surveillance for a ghost disease

           3   causes us more political and media harm and, therefore, a

           4   reduction in hunters and hunter opportunity than dealing

           5   with just the disease, if we have it or even if we don't

           6   have it, as though we're dealing with any other disease.

           7             Secondarily, please postpone and wait until we

           8   can at least measure twice before we cut once.  Thank

           9   you.

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Kirby Brown and Charles

          11   Edwards.

          12             MR. BROWN:  Madame Chairman and Commissioners,

          13   I represent the Texas Wildlife Association, a group that

          14   represents about 30 million acres in Texas of

          15   landowners'.  We have concerns, but we're here to support

          16   the staff proposal as it is, as worked out in the Triple-

          17   T task force.

          18             I appreciate the Commission's comments

          19   yesterday in discussion and recognize that you have

          20   concerns.  And certainly, if you all make changes, that's

          21   your prerogative, and I understand that, but I did want

          22   you to know that the task force was evenly split -- very

          23   evenly.

          24             We had people who wanted to completely suspend

          25   Triple-T.  There were people who wanted to leave it open

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   as a good wildlife and habitat management tool.  And we

           2   at TWA had initially proposed and still -- I think, you

           3   know, we all still think that Triple-T activities should

           4   be placed within the CWD action plan, the response

           5   plan -- we think that's a reasonable place for that --

           6   and that Triple-T would continue until a CWD positive was

           7   found.

           8             We think that's a reasonable course, but, at

           9   the same time, we understand that this is the deal we

          10   cut.  We got together Thursday.  We had a lot of people

          11   and a lot of different positions, and we talked about it. 

          12   And a deal's a deal.

          13             It was a good group, good representatives of

          14   hunters, landowners and wildlife managers.  And TWA has

          15   members on both sides in this issue.  And on the

          16   committee, we had members on both sides.  So we were well

          17   represented with our directors.

          18             But the staff proposal today is where we

          19   arrived at consensus, and we're going to support that

          20   consensus.  We had talked about sampling within the

          21   committee, but the concerns of the unknown of the lab --

          22   the timing at the lab and the turn-around at the lab --

          23   was a problem.

          24             And, basically, as we talked through it, we

          25   thought that the best thing was to go ahead and sample

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   and turn in samples 30 or 35 days out, as proposed, and

           2   proceed if no reporting had been delivered, using January

           3   15 as that time line, that reporting deadline, so that

           4   anyone submitting samples after December 10 -- they would

           5   have to wait, but anyone submitting samples within the

           6   time line would be okay.  And that was what broke the

           7   log-jam.

           8             That was where the compromise was actually

           9   made.  So I would encourage you to consider that as you

          10   go through that.

          11             There's a lot of landowners that have plans out

          12   there, and they're in place.  They're in the hunting

          13   season right now.  Their manpower and everything that

          14   they have is already working in this regard, and they're

          15   expecting to use Triple-T.  And I think sampling is

          16   something people can do.  I think it's difficult, but

          17   it's something they can do.  So that January 15 date is

          18   important.

          19             Finally, I want to say that I appreciate the

          20   scoping; it allowed discussion and give and take on the

          21   issue.  And I appreciate that the proposed changes in the

          22   statewide proclamation are going to be scoped prior to

          23   public hearings.

          24             And I understand, you know, that the Triple-T

          25   issue came up in August.  But -- the Commission wanted to

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   be prepared for action at this November meeting, but it

           2   was short on our part.  It was short to scope this --

           3   there's no question about it -- because of the time frame

           4   that we had.  And I appreciate that issues are going to

           5   be scoped, and I appreciate the Chairman's comments to

           6   that regard.  I think that's important.

           7             The last thing is that we also need to work on

           8   that CWD response plan ASAP.  And I appreciate that the

           9   staff and Chairman asked that the MLD Triple-T task force

          10   do that again.  I think that's very important, because we

          11   are really stepping out in good faith on it right now,

          12   because this regulation will pull us into that, and we

          13   understand that.  And so we want to just work with you as

          14   we go through that.

          15             Thank you.  And I appreciate it, and I would

          16   answer any questions.  Thank you.

          17             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  May I just ask some

          18   questions?

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Sure, Commissioner Henry.

          20             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Kirby, did you indicate

          21   that the association was in favor of the staff's

          22   suggestion itself?

          23             MR. BROWN:  We think that the staff --

          24             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  You're not on one side and

          25   Gary on the other?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             MR. BROWN:  Well, no.  The association is

           2   there. We're going to be in a position to support this as

           3   the compromise that's out there.  We think it's a prudent

           4   compromise.  We have a lot of landowners who are going to

           5   have concerns, and we have a lot of members who are going

           6   to have concerns -- in either camp.  So it's -- it is a

           7   compromise.  We recognize that.

           8             And we recognize that there will be people who

           9   won't want to sample.  And so they won't be able to

          10   participate in this activity because of that decision,

          11   but it is a decision on their part.

          12             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you.

          13             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Angelo?

          14             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Kirby, I've got a major

          15   concern, as I expressed yesterday, with the waiver that

          16   would apply if the testing didn't come back.  And my --

          17   first of all, my thinking is that we don't have any

          18   reason to believe that the tests won't come back in time.

          19             MR. BROWN:  That's correct.

          20             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  And the second is that,

          21   in any case, if we're just going to waive the testing

          22   because of the time situation, then there's not much

          23   point in putting the testing in.  If this is removed from

          24   the final action by the Commission, does that adversely

          25   affect your organization's support for the proposal or --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   how adversely does it affect it, I guess I should say.

           2             MR. BROWN:  Well, you know, as I expressed, the

           3   compromise -- the log-jam was broken by having a date

           4   assurance.  And I think we believe, you know, according

           5   to what the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab has

           6   said, that those samples will be done on time.

           7             I think the concern is that you have to do so

           8   much work ahead of time and be prepared, and your dates

           9   are set -- and your manpower and the helicopter time and

          10   all the scheduling that goes on and the landowner's crew

          11   and his part.  It's all set ahead of time.  And it just

          12   gives assurance out there to that trapper that this is

          13   all going to occur if they meet that December 10

          14   deadline.

          15             And I fully believe that the samples will be in

          16   place.  I fully believe that, you know, regardless of

          17   which side that falls, the samples will be done.  But it

          18   did break the logjam, and it does give assurance to those

          19   folks who are going forward and who are doing the thing

          20   that's required.  So that was part of the process.

          21             Thank you, very much.

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

          23             Charles Edwards?

          24             And Dave --

          25             MR. EDWARDS:  Good morning, Madame Chairman and

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Commission members.

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  And then we'll have Dave

           3   Benson.

           4             MR. EDWARDS:  My name is Charles Edwards; I'm

           5   mayor of the City of Lakeway.  We appreciate this

           6   opportunity to speak about this.

           7             We would like to urge at least an avenue for

           8   the municipalities such as Lakeway to be able to trap and

           9   transport deer as we have in the past three years in the

          10   interest of public safety.  I'm strictly speaking from a

          11   public safety point of view here.

          12             In 1999, we were killing approximately 70 deer

          13   per month on the streets in Lakeway.  We have less than

          14   5,000 acres in the city, and we estimate that we have

          15   more than 3,000 deer.  Since that time, we have moved

          16   over 1,500 deer through the trap and transport program. 

          17   This has decreased our accident rate, or our dead deer

          18   removal -- that's the way we gauge it -- to approximately

          19   15 per month.  But, of course, we're -- the herd is

          20   building back up with each year that we can't trap and

          21   transport, of course.

          22             So therefore, we're urging at least an avenue

          23   be available for us to move a significant number of deer. 

          24   We need to move a thousand deer this year, and we need to

          25   do it through the trap and transport program, where we

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   believe there are plenty of rancher interests to take on

           2   our Lakeway deer, as there has been in the past.

           3             And it significantly reduces the economic

           4   impact on the city so that we don't have to go into a

           5   depredation program.  We'd rather see the deer go out to

           6   the ranchers that actually need the deer, as you've heard

           7   in some testimony here this morning already.

           8             So we would like to urge at least an avenue

           9   still be available to those communities like us who have

          10   a desperate need to get the deer out of our

          11   municipalities.  Thank you.

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Harold Burris.

          13             MR. BENSON:  Madame Chair and members of the

          14   Commission, I'm Dave Benson; I'm the city manager in

          15   Lakeway.

          16             The mayor has pretty much said it all.  I just

          17   wanted to take you back in history a little bit and

          18   remind -- certainly, Parks and Wildlife understands that

          19   we've been in the trap and transport business almost from

          20   the very beginning.

          21             The progress that we've made over the last

          22   couple of years going into this last winter has been

          23   pretty remarkable.  The ground that we will lose if there

          24   is a suspension in trap and transport, as the mayor said,

          25   is going to have implications both from a traffic and

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   public safety perspective to perhaps, if there's any

           2   extensive suspension period, a public health factor, as

           3   well.

           4             I was disappointed in the proclamation when we

           5   got our hands on it that there was no impact -- negative

           6   impact addressed about the municipalities in the central

           7   Texas area and in the hill country who are fighting these

           8   over-populations of urban deer.  We think it definitely

           9   should have been addressed to your attention, as well,

          10   because they are many and significant.

          11             I think there are a whole lot more communities

          12   out there with deer problems that have even approached

          13   trap and transport and, certainly, we have been in the

          14   lead.  We would hope to be able to continue this, and we

          15   ask for your consideration in this regard.

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Manager Burris [sic], how

          17   many deer did you say you transported last year?

          18             MR. BENSON:  Well, last year, we had a very

          19   small program.  We only were able to move, I think, less

          20   than 100, and I'm going to say about 85.  Obviously,

          21   that's a very bad winter for us in terms of trap and

          22   transport.  Obviously, we needed to do a big program this

          23   year.  And in that regard, obviously a suspension is just

          24   moving us backwards at warp-speed in terms of our being

          25   able to deal with the over-population that currently

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   exists.

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Have you utilized other

           3   management tools, such as sharp-shooters or bow hunters

           4   or the like?

           5             MR. BENSON:  Two years ago at about this time,

           6   we had a -- the second referendum -- non-binding

           7   referendum in the city of Lakeway, and the referendum was

           8   whether or not to use lethal means.  This is a pretty

           9   provocative vote in an urban community growing as fast as

          10   the city of Lakeway.  The vote was close.  The vote was

          11   51 to 49 in terms of percentage in favor of lethal means.

          12             As a matter of fact, we had begun the process

          13   of a depredation permit through the administrative

          14   channels and actually were within weeks.  And should not

          15   the Mexican trap and transport program have come along,

          16   we would have implemented a lethal depredation program in

          17   the city of Lakeway with professional sharp-shooters.

          18             And at 51 to 49, you'd say, well, that's a

          19   split.  But what I say is it's a very strong message by

          20   those people who came to vote that they would use lethal

          21   means in an urban environment to take care of what they

          22   saw clearly as a continuing public safety problem and,

          23   certainly, a nuisance and, in many cases, concerns of a

          24   public health problem, as well.

          25             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I've got one question

           2   for the city manager.

           3             Can you characterize the data on public safety

           4   a little more clearly in terms of what types of

           5   accidents, whether there were fatalities or injuries? 

           6   Could you just give us a little more data on that?

           7             MR. BENSON:  We only started keeping this

           8   record about two years ago.  And the mayor touched on

           9   numbers a little bit.  We were averaging 365 dead deer

          10   removal statistics at the time we started.  And we

          11   started -- the main months of mortality are right in this

          12   time period, obviously, with the rut in progress and the

          13   activity involved.  It's very difficult for us to --

          14   there have been no fatalities to our knowledge in the

          15   city of Lakeway.

          16             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I'm talking about

          17   people, not on deer.

          18             MR. BENSON:  Pardon me?

          19             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I meant the impact on

          20   the people in the city.

          21             MR. BENSON:  Yes.  I understand.  We've had no

          22   fatalities -- no human fatalities.  We've had major car

          23   crashes out on 620, which is our state highway that runs

          24   through town, in which there have been major car damages

          25   and some injuries.  We have had any number of smaller --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   in fact, it occurs daily right now.  If we produce the

           2   police logs to show the indications of the vehicles-

           3   versus-deer incidents at this particular point, it's

           4   almost on a daily basis during the rut period.

           5             The good news about trap and transport -- and

           6   believe me, nobody particularly cares about it.  We're

           7   certainly not in the business.  We're in the business of

           8   dealing with what we consider a very serious problem from

           9   a public safety perspective and, certainly, which could

          10   be a public health problem.  We're not crazy about having

          11   to do it.

          12             We've never come to Parks and Wildlife and

          13   asked for a dime; we're doing this on our own and at

          14   major expense.  Even your staff has presented you with

          15   the statistics of what it costs to trap and transport a

          16   deer.  We've been lucky.  We've also had wonderful

          17   cooperation from your staff and been able to do it for

          18   much less.

          19             The Mexican program was a wonderful boon to us

          20   at very little cost, and it helped a lot.  But if we stop

          21   Triple-T right now and if you don't give us another

          22   avenue to use and even if we went to depredation, the

          23   costs per deer are going to go off the charts for us, and

          24   it probably will become too expensive for us to do.  That

          25   kind of -- we were willing to attempt that a couple of

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   years ago, but there's no question about it that when

           2   you're talking about in the neighborhood of 2- or $300 a

           3   deer what that can impact the city budget in these days,

           4   when city budgets are tough things to do, anyway.

           5             So Triple-T, as distasteful as it is for many

           6   of us, is the only really economical process that we have

           7   found where we can afford to do things without asking for

           8   anybody else to assist us in a financial way.

           9             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I have one more quick

          10   question.  When you say, "Public health," are you talking

          11   about Lyme Disease?  And have you had any incidences of

          12   Lyme Disease in your city?

          13             MR. BENSON:  There was one instance of it way

          14   back.  I've been in the city for eight-and-a-half years. 

          15   There was one report of a Lyme Disease victim way back --

          16   and I would say six or seven years ago -- and, to my

          17   knowledge, none since that time.

          18             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Do you have any

          19   evidence of a public health issue other than that?

          20             MR. BENSON:  It -- actually, no, we do not. 

          21   But on the other hand, it's almost a psychological fear. 

          22   A lot of people know of Lyme's Disease.

          23             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.

          24             MR. BENSON:  Thank you.

          25             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I had a question --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I --

           2             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  -- Madame Chairman.

           3             Well, go ahead.

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  A question from

           5   Commissioner Fitzsimons.

           6             MR. BENSON:  Yes, sir?

           7             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I just want to be

           8   clear.  You're testifying against the suspension of the

           9   program but not against or -- are you testifying against

          10   the compromise that would allow the program to continue?

          11             MR. BENSON:  Our -- I think the mayor said it

          12   best.  If we can find another avenue for Triple-T for

          13   cities with urban deer over-populations, we'd be very

          14   grateful.

          15             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So what -- so you are

          16   in favor of the compromise that allows the program to

          17   continue, or not?  I'm not clear on where you are.

          18             MR. BENSON:  Well, I'm not sure what the

          19   compromise is, either.

          20             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  You saw what was

          21   reviewed by the staff that would require the testing and

          22   identification of the deer and allow you to continue the

          23   program?

          24             MR. BENSON:  Absolutely.

          25             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Okay.  So you're in

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   favor of that?

           2             MR. BENSON:  We're in favor of that.

           3             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  All right.  I'm clear

           4   now.  Thank you.

           5             MR. BENSON:  Yes.

           6             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I had a question in that

           7   regard, but I guess maybe it's for Dr. Cooke.

           8             How would the testing work with the

           9   communities?

          10             DR. COOKE:  The technical question is --

          11   basically, as long as an animal's head is placed on ice,

          12   you know, within like 24 hours, the test can be

          13   completed.  So, basically --

          14             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So the deer that are

          15   killed by automobiles would be --

          16             DR. COOKE:  Could certainly be qualified. 

          17   Because this is not -- you know, it's not a structural

          18   diagnosis using the histo-immunochemistry.  So it would

          19   be --

          20             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  You've got a problem with

          21   where these deer come from, do you not, when you're

          22   dealing with a city?

          23             AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We can't hear.

          24             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Is it on now?  I turned

          25   it off.  I guess that light's not working.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             It seems to me that you've got or we've got

           2   some significant problems in dealing with a residential

           3   situation or an urban situation, as opposed to a ranch. 

           4   Do we not?

           5             DR. COOKE:  Yes.

           6             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Have we addressed that? 

           7   Or --

           8             DR. COOKE:  Not --

           9             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  -- what's your thinking

          10   on that?

          11             DR. COOKE:  It has not been singled out in the

          12   proposal as being a separate item.  In other words --

          13             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  And, of course, as the

          14   population density is so great in some of those areas,

          15   that possibly, the dangers of a disease of any kind would

          16   seem to me to be higher than it would be on a free-

          17   ranging ranch situation.  So --

          18             DR. COOKE:  Intuitively, one would expect that.

          19             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  -- if you've got half-a-

          20   dozen communities that have the problem, this is

          21   something we probably ought to be looking at specifically

          22   as opposed to just kind of a sideline to the overall

          23   recommendation.  Is that not correct?

          24             DR. COOKE:  I would agree.

          25             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I have the same

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   concern.  I'd like to see some follow-up of how we

           2   address that specific circumstance.

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well --

           4             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  But I intend to

           5   support the staff resolution.

           6             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  We're discussing, Madame

           7   Chairman, the problem with the residential urban deer as

           8   opposed to those on a ranch from the standpoint of

           9   testing them and obtaining samples to test and so on.

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Dr. Cooke, I was not

          11   present.

          12             DR. COOKE:  That's okay.

          13             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I am unclear as to why --

          14   so if the city of Lakeway moved 100 deer last year, they

          15   would have to test 1 percent of that number?

          16             DR. COOKE:  10 percent.

          17             MR. BENSON:  10 percent.

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  10 percent?

          19             DR. COOKE:  Yes.

          20             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Excuse me.

          21             DR. COOKE:  No less than.

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Ten deer --

          23             DR. COOKE:  No less than ten.

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  -- and no more than 40?

          25             DR. COOKE:  Yes.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  At their highest number,

           2   did I hear 1,500 in a year?  Is that correct?

           3             MR. BENSON:  1,500 total.

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Total?

           5             DR. COOKE:  Yes, total.

           6             MR. BENSON:  850 --

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  850?

           8             MR. BENSON:  -- in one year.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  In one year.

          10             Would the actual testing of those deer be any

          11   different or pose any difficulties to a city that are any

          12   more onerous than they would be to a landowner?

          13             DR. COOKE:  Only through municipal regulations

          14   related to firearms use and archery equipment use.  I

          15   think that -- I can't speak for their rules, because I'm

          16   not familiar with them, to be very frank with you.  The

          17   use of a sharp-shooter, as an example, would be one.  But

          18   use of -- animals that were already killed by traffic

          19   certainly could be used within a testing context here.

          20             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  If you are telling me that

          21   a road-killed deer can be tested -- and how many road-

          22   killed deer did they have last year?

          23             DR. COOKE:  I believe it was --

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Seventy?  Did I hear --

          25             DR. COOKE:  I believe the testimony that I

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   heard earlier was that they were approximating like 15 a

           2   month --

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Fifteen a month?

           4             DR. COOKE:  -- during the high -- during their

           5   peak.

           6             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  That's a pretty good

           7   sampling.

           8             (Laughter.)

           9             DR. COOKE:  But I don't want to misrepresent

          10   what was said.  I don't want to testify for them.

          11             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, we're just getting a

          12   rough idea --

          13             DR. COOKE:  Yes, ma'am.

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  -- of what we're talking

          15   about here.

          16             DR. COOKE:  Yes, ma'am.

          17             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.  Thank you.

          18             DR. COOKE:  Thank you.

          19             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Excuse me, Madame

          20   Commissioner.

          21             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Rising?

          22             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Jerry, I had another

          23   question.

          24             DR. COOKE:  Yes, sir.

          25             COMMISSIONER RISING:  If I understand -- who

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   will bear the cost of testing the animals?

           2             DR. COOKE:  The landowner.

           3             COMMISSIONER RISING:  The landowner?

           4             DR. COOKE:  Yes.

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Or the city?

           6             DR. COOKE:  Or the --

           7             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Or the city?

           8             DR. COOKE:  -- city.  In our case, any animals

           9   that we take on our state-owned management areas or our

          10   parks hunts or any clinical animals that we place our

          11   hands on, we pay those costs directly to TVMDL.  However,

          12   these testings as described under the Triple-T would be

          13   at the cost of the landowner.

          14             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Do we know how much each

          15   testing of each animal would cost?

          16             DR. COOKE:  If you present a fixed brain stem

          17   for testing, it's $25 a pop.  If you present a head for

          18   testing, there's a $15 disposal fee on top of that.  So

          19   it would be like $40.

          20             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Have we looked at

          21   possibly establishing some type of collecting permit for

          22   cities maybe or some special thing for --

          23             DR. COOKE:  It -- that could be accommodated. 

          24   It's really not necessary so long as you're during an

          25   open season.  In other words, you know, weren't

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   prescribing a new season for the landowners elsewhere

           2   under the Triple-T program.  If there's an open season,

           3   it's an open season in the county; only restrictions

           4   related to the municipality itself would restrict take

           5   during that period of time.

           6             COMMISSIONER RISING:  Okay.  Thank you.

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Ramos?

           8             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I wanted to ask the city

           9   manager.

          10             How many animals do you anticipate would be --

          11   you would attempt to move this year?

          12             MR. BENSON:  To anticipate as opposed to a

          13   desire are two different things, but --

          14             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Well -- but I mean --

          15             MR. BENSON:  -- if we could, we'd love to move

          16   a thousand deer this year if we could find relocation

          17   sites suitable.

          18             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  With the exception of your

          19   movement of deer to Mexico, on an average, how many deer

          20   were you moving per year for the last ten years?

          21             MR. BENSON:  It has not been static; it has

          22   varied from year to year based on the availability of

          23   receiver sites.  We had a previous year prior to the 850

          24   that went to Mexico in which we relocated, I think,

          25   somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 to 450 to a national

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   forest.  And we would hope to be able to explore those

           2   areas again.

           3             But, obviously, the wildlife management plan

           4   and even your own slides showed that when the wildlife

           5   management plans went into place, the ability to get

           6   permits dropped rather dramatically.  And that is -- one

           7   of the restrictions that we face right now today that

           8   hampers us in trap and transport is the inability to --

           9   on our own, by the way -- find relocation sites that

          10   qualify.

          11             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Yes.  And, of course, if

          12   you were to move 400 deer this year and we approved the

          13   10 percent, that would be an additional cost to you of

          14   $1,000 for the movement of all the deer.  At $40 -- that

          15   would be 40 animals at $25 each.  So that would be

          16   $1,000.

          17             MR. BENSON:  Well, we would take on the cost if

          18   we could find suitable places to move the deer at a

          19   reasonable price.  The cost of testing -- we would assume

          20   that burden.

          21             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Yes.  But what I'm saying

          22   is that the cost of testing -- your cost of trapping is

          23   going to be a fixed cost, anyway.  The only additional

          24   burden to the city would be $1,000.

          25             MR. BENSON:  That's satisfactory.  We --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.  That's acceptable

           2   for --

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  You should have no trouble

           4   then?

           5             MR. BENSON:  Our only trouble is finding places

           6   to take them.

           7             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.

           8             MR. BENSON:  Okay.

           9             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  But that's --

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  That's another issue.

          11             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  That's another issue.

          12             MR. BENSON:  Yes.

          13             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Thank you, very much.

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Next is Harold Burris and,

          15   after Mr. Burris, Gene Riser.

          16             MR. BURRIS:  Good morning, Chairman Armstrong

          17   and members of the Committee.  My voice doesn't carry

          18   very well; I may have to speak loudly.  I stand with the

          19   city of Lakeway.  I'm Harold Burris, the mayor of the

          20   town of Hollywood Park.  And we are one of those small

          21   cities who are, I think, more severely impacted with the

          22   over-population of the white-tailed deer.

          23             For example, we have approximately 1,000 acres

          24   and 3,500 residents.  We are located at the intersection

          25   of 1604 and 281, surrounded by the city of San Antonio. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Okay?

           2             I am shocked at their numbers.  Sometimes we

           3   average as many as 25 dead deer per week by car strikes. 

           4   If I walked up to the average citizen and said, "What do

           5   you think about this CWI [sic] disease" -- big question

           6   marks -- they don't know what you're talking about. 

           7   According to the information I've gotten from Karl Kinsel

           8   and others, there is not one single case in the state of

           9   Texas.

          10             You know, this reminds me of the walking

          11   catfish scare back in the early '70s.  We were told that

          12   the walking catfish were going to crawl into every lake

          13   and every stream in the state of Texas and kill all our

          14   fishes.  Okay?  Well, I think that's where we are today

          15   with the CWI [sic].

          16             I am against taking them in -- bringing them

          17   into the state of Texas.  All right?  I don't think we

          18   need to import a disease.  But if you all do decide to

          19   eliminate the Triple-T as it presently stands or if you

          20   decide to alter it, you will severely impact the health,

          21   safety and welfare of our citizens.

          22             As the mayor of a small town, everybody has my

          23   number.  Two days ago, I got a crying call from a widowed

          24   lady.  She said, I can't take it any more.  These deer

          25   are eating me out of house and home, all of my garden and

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   all of my yard.  Okay?  And it goes on and on.

           2             We have permission from our citizens to trap

           3   deer in their yards.  90 percent-plus support our

           4   trapping efforts and the Triple-T that you gave us as a

           5   vehicle for removing the excess deer.  Okay?  We have

           6   according to, I'd say, conservative estimates 900 deer in

           7   the town of Hollywood Park.  That equates to one deer per

           8   acre.  The average size of our lot is about a-third of an

           9   acre.  So that tells you the over-population problems we

          10   have.

          11             Last year was our first year to trap.  Mr. Karl

          12   Kinsel did a beautiful job.  We trapped approximately 115

          13   deer.  We had one deer fatality out of that total group. 

          14   We have no disease deaths to my knowledge.  We have

          15   poachers our citizens are concerned about.  People --

          16   they know it's a haven for hunting.  They come in at

          17   night in our drainage areas and kill deer and leave the

          18   deer carcasses headless.  Not a pretty sight.  It costs

          19   us a lot of money to get rid of these deer, the dead

          20   carcasses.

          21             So we appeal to the state, to the Texas Parks

          22   and Wildlife Commission.  Please don't take away our

          23   vehicle that controls the population to some extent of

          24   our white-tailed deer.  And we love the deer; they're

          25   beautiful animals.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I have a question.  Have

           2   you used lethal means to control as a management tool?

           3             MR. BURRIS:  We have not.  Our people -- we

           4   have such a small, you know, lot size that they're

           5   very -- they're terrified of using lethal weapons.  And I

           6   don't know if I could get that through city council or

           7   not for approval; as do most cities, we have firearms

           8   codes.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  It sounds like you had one

          10   citizen that might vote for it.

          11             MR. BURRIS:  Yes, ma'am.  Well, we are

          12   representing the maximum, the greatest percentage.  We

          13   have a few people that don't want this, but over 90

          14   percent of the population supports it.  In fact, we have

          15   been threatened by lawsuits by citizens:  "We're going to

          16   sue the city if you don't do something about the deer." 

          17   You see?  That's our problem.

          18             And so is it true, Commission, that the deer

          19   belong to the citizens of the state of Texas?  Is that a

          20   true statement?

          21             Is that right, sir, Mr. Montgomery?

          22             (No audible response.)

          23             MR. BURRIS:  Now, if that's so, then it looks

          24   to me like we are harboring a problem that belongs to the

          25   citizens of the state of Texas.  So why should we have to

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   foot the expense, whether it's testing -- and,

           2   incidentally, $25 per head will not do it.  That's only

           3   for the stem cell test.  There's other costs.  You didn't

           4   say anything about the cost -- you mentioned $1,000 for

           5   100 deer?  Did you --

           6             DR. COOKE:  No.  For 40 deer.

           7             MR. BURRIS:  For 40 a deer?

           8             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Mr. Burris, I have to call

           9   your attention to the time.

          10             MR. BURRIS:  Okay.  That's -- I'm sorry.  I

          11   didn't see the light.

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.

          13             MR. BURRIS:  But, anyway --

          14             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Could I ask a --

          15             MR. BURRIS:  -- thank you, very much.

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have one follow-up

          17   question.

          18             MR. BURRIS:  Okay.

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  But please keep your

          20   answer brief.

          21             MR. BURRIS:  Yes, ma'am.

          22             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Just to know -- I

          23   want to understand, Mayor --

          24             MR. BURRIS:  Yes, sir.

          25             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- that you

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   understand that we're not taking away the right to ship;

           2   we're simply requiring test -- we're considering

           3   requiring testing.

           4             MR. BURRIS:  Yes, sir.

           5             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And I want to

           6   understand.  If you will -- the same question that Mr.

           7   Fitzsimons asked:  Are you supportive of our staff

           8   recommendation if you can ship if you will test?

           9             MR. BURRIS:  I would have to say no to that.

          10             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And why?

          11             MR. BURRIS:  For the simple reason that I

          12   believe in conservation of the public funds.  And I think

          13   that's money expended unwisely given the fact that we

          14   have no cases of CWD in the state of Texas to my

          15   knowledge.  And so I believe I'm correct in that, sir.

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

          17             MR. BURRIS:  Thank you.

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Gene Riser and Tony Holt.

          19             MR. RISER:  Good morning, Madame Chairman and

          20   members of the Commission.  I'm very pleased to be here

          21   and represent the Texas Deer Association.

          22             And I'd like to say very clearly that I'm 100

          23   percent against any further restrictions of the Triple-T

          24   movement of deer in Texas, which, again, as other people

          25   have testified today, we find to be a very, very valuable

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   tool for wildlife managers in Texas as well as some of

           2   our urban people that have needs, as well, to move deer. 

           3   This is a very successful program that has been used for

           4   several years, and I wish that you would not put further

           5   restrictions on them.

           6             I believe that some of -- in our MLD task force

           7   meeting that was recalled on very short notice recently,

           8   some of our esteemed members, very important members of

           9   the TDA and, if I may say, the TWA, offered a compromise. 

          10   And I think they did that under a certain amount of

          11   duress that they were led to believe that you as the

          12   Commission saw it as something that you should do in

          13   restricting Triple-T's this year.  It -- we knew that

          14   there was a staff recommendation coming forward.

          15             And I would suggest that they should not have

          16   made that compromise but, rather, have stood strongly and

          17   said, No; we think Triple-T is very good; we want to

          18   continue Triple-T's.

          19             And we already are involved in cooperation with

          20   the state in the monitoring program that we believe will

          21   work, but we have to give this program time to work.  And

          22   we don't need to keep adding layer upon layer upon layer

          23   of testing and surveillance and time constraints, and so

          24   forth, to something that, as has already been mentioned

          25   today, is in process now.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             We're in hunting season.  Right after that,

           2   we're going to -- and we're making decisions during the

           3   hunting season about how many deer we have to take off

           4   our properties.  And if we're anticipating moving some to

           5   other people that want them very bad, we don't need to

           6   kill them.

           7             So all this ties together.  And we're -- I

           8   think we're having rather a rushed judgment to think that

           9   we have to jump on this and make some very basic and far-

          10   reaching changes on a very short notice.  We do have a

          11   monitoring program, and all of the deer people in Texas

          12   are trying very hard to cooperate with the state, and we

          13   believe in it.

          14             We are the ones that have something at stake. 

          15   We appreciate your interest that you're showing in the

          16   CWD monitoring program, and we want to cooperate with

          17   that, but we are very much against complicating the

          18   Triple-T program.  Let's stay with the programs that we

          19   already have going.  And thank you, very much.

          20             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Tony Holt?

          21             MR. HOLT:  Madame Chairman and Commissioners,

          22   my name's Tony Holt; I am a resident of Lakeway, Texas,

          23   as well.

          24             And first I want to say to Mayor Edwards and

          25   Mr. Benson that if we do have to take up lethal means, I

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   have the pleasure of looking at a 160-class buck every

           2   day, and I'll get involved, and I'll charge you only a

           3   nominal fee.  So --

           4             (Laughter.)

           5             MR. HOLT:  But that's not why I'm here today. 

           6   I'm a ranch owner in Milam County, and I've owned the

           7   ranch a year.  It has been a life-long dream of mine.  As

           8   Karl stated earlier when he talked about with 600 acres

           9   with no deer, well, that person has a face, and it's me. 

          10   I've got two deer on my property.  I've done the work. 

          11   I've done the planning.  I've done the wildlife

          12   management.  I've prepared the habitat.  I've spent a lot

          13   of money.  Triple-T is part of my plan, and I need it.

          14             I have a permit, issued this week.  I think I'm

          15   one of the only ones, because I was fast, efficient and I

          16   did the right work.  So this throws a major kink in my

          17   plans as a landowner.

          18             I understand that testing is important, and God

          19   forbid that we ever have a case of CWD; as a landowner,

          20   I'd never want it.  I do also want to state that I think

          21   if you make changes to the Triple-T, I'm in full

          22   agreement that you'll kill it.

          23             As you stated earlier, a landowner is not going

          24   to want to test deer coming off their property.  They're

          25   going to find every means available to take care of that

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   problem other than going through Triple-T and testing

           2   their deer proactively.

           3             Let's talk about the logistics about this plan

           4   which you're talking about implementing in the middle of

           5   hunting season, in the middle of a Triple-T move season. 

           6   Assume it take seven days to get the changes that the

           7   Commission decides to make today written up and sent to

           8   the registrar's office.  It then takes 20 days, as I

           9   understand, which is an official waiting period before

          10   it's implemented.

          11             And let's talk about trap site landowners. 

          12   What's the plan and the logistics around sending all

          13   those animals to be tested?  We have to educate the

          14   landowners.  They have to understand it.  There'll be

          15   many, many questions, and it's going to take time.

          16             Then it's going to take time to test, three to

          17   four weeks at best, then it's going to take one to two

          18   weeks to get permits issued.  That's a best-case

          19   scenario.  Any logistical kinks in that is going to put

          20   you at the end of the Triple-T season, thereby

          21   effectively killing it this year.

          22             Landowners have prepared -- not just myself --

          23   trap sites.  They've put together numbers of -- the

          24   numbers of deer they need to take off this year.  And

          25   Triple-T is part of that program, and I think you're

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   going to negatively impact them.

           2             If we do have to implement testing in the

           3   Triple-T, which I don't agree with, let's do it for next

           4   season's permits.  Let's take the time over the summer

           5   and all the coming months to put the logistical issues in

           6   place or -- the solutions, I should say.  We're still

           7   testing in the wildlife management areas.  We can still

           8   find other ways to test other than doing this in the

           9   Triple-T.

          10             And if you are going to implement it now,

          11   exempt the people that have currently approved permits. 

          12   And that's a selfish request for me, but I have an

          13   approved permit.  I don't have it in my hand, but I have

          14   it, and I need to use it.  Thank you.

          15             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Questions?

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Questions?

          17             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  As I understand it,

          18   you intend to import deer to your property.

          19             MR. HOLT:  Correct.

          20             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And just out of

          21   curiosity, where -- you were saying you were willing to

          22   import deer that have not been tested?

          23             MR. HOLT:  Currently, yes, I am.

          24             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  You are?

          25             MR. HOLT:  Yes, absolutely.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Would you not rather

           2   have import deer that have been tested?

           3             MR. HOLT:  Well, sure.  That's -- yes.

           4             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And so --

           5             MR. HOLT:  I mean, if you're giving me those

           6   two options, yes, I would.  But I'm not a believer that

           7   we have a case.  There's no proved cases of CWD in the

           8   state.

           9             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I understand.

          10             MR. HOLT:  So I'm not worried about it, if

          11   that's what you're saying.  It would be a financial ruin

          12   to my property, obviously, if I moved in a deer with

          13   CWD -- and to landowners around me.  So no, I'm not

          14   worried about it.

          15             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Well, one point I

          16   wanted to make was that one of our responsibilities is --

          17   although we don't have a case is to consider the

          18   potential of what happens to landowners who are in not

          19   only the immediate area and make their own choice to

          20   import but in the immediate surrounding area if infected

          21   deer are moved into their areas.  So I think that's part

          22   of our responsibility and part of our decision.

          23             And for those of you who spoke against this,

          24   one of the things that we've got to consider is that

          25   possibility.  Are you -- do you believe that no one will

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   test if we pass this resolution, or do you believe there

           2   will be sellers of deer that will test?

           3             MR. HOLT:  Within the Triple-T?

           4             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Uh-huh.

           5             MR. HOLT:  I think you'll have people that

           6   will, but I think they'll be extremely reluctant to it. 

           7   I think they're going to look for every other alternative

           8   method.  And what's the effectiveness of a program if

           9   it's the very last choice of things that they have to do? 

          10   I think it's not going to --

          11             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  But you do believe

          12   there will be sellers who will test.  So there will be a

          13   market still out there.

          14             MR. HOLT:  I think for people that don't have

          15   any other alternatives, yes, that's correct.  But I want

          16   you to understand what my position is.

          17             I believe that testing needs to be done; I just

          18   think this is being done very quickly, and you're talking

          19   about implementing this in the middle of the season. 

          20   When I think -- I mean, obviously, there's much concern

          21   about CWD, and it's -- I wouldn't want to call it a

          22   hysteria, but it's definitely being talked about.  And I

          23   think it's -- this move this quickly is being done a

          24   little bit in haste.

          25             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Have you talked to Mayors

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Benson and Burris?  Have you talked to them?  They don't

           2   want deer, and you want deer.  They're going to test. 

           3   You want tested deer that test free.  I know that the

           4   mayors have had difficulty finding locations to send

           5   their deer.  If they --

           6             MR. HOLT:  Yes.  The city of Lakeway has even

           7   done advertising looking for ranchers that want to take

           8   deer.  I have called that number and spoken with the

           9   trapper for the city of Lakeway.  It happens to be in the

          10   ending stages of my planning; given the time frame that

          11   we have here around the Triple-T and the potential

          12   changes, I couldn't afford to back up and, therefore, go

          13   through all the approval cycles again.  So I went with

          14   the current plan, the current trap site, that I have.

          15             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, maybe next year?

          16             MR. HOLT:  Yes.  I'd be willing to do that,

          17   yes.

          18             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Madame Chair, may I?

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Fitzsimons?

          20             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I'm a little confused

          21   here, and I want to connect the dots.  You say you'd

          22   rather have deer that were tested.  Right?

          23             MR. HOLT:  If you're giving me those -- yes.  I

          24   mean, anybody, I think, if -- you know --

          25             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Right.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             MR. HOLT:  -- in a best-case scenario would

           2   sure like --

           3             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So there's a demand

           4   for that from people who need deer.  And you're saying

           5   that people who are going to trap won't do it, yet you're

           6   telling me there's going to be a demand by the people who

           7   want to receive deer for deer that have been tested, and

           8   I'm not able to connect those two thoughts.

           9             MR. HOLT:  I'm not sure exactly how to answer

          10   that question other than the fact -- I think I mean if I

          11   could have all the 160-class deer on my property, I

          12   would, if you're giving me that as an option.  But --

          13             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Well, that wasn't the

          14   question.

          15             MR. HOLT:  I know it wasn't the question.

          16             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Yes.

          17             MR. HOLT:  Your question was around CWD.  Sure,

          18   I'd love to have deer that were tested for CWD, but my

          19   concern over CWD is not so much that I would demand that

          20   to happen currently.  I think we're already doing things

          21   currently to find cases of CWD -- if they are here and

          22   present in Texas -- enough currently, rather than going

          23   through and expanding and implementing this in the

          24   Triple-T program.

          25             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Would you agree with

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   the Animal Health Commission that you don't know whether

           2   or not you have CWD --

           3             MR. HOLT:  Sure.  We don't know.

           4             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  -- unless you're

           5   testing?

           6             MR. HOLT:  Sure.  We don't know.

           7             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And I'd like to

           8   mention one thing that's more than to just your comments

           9   but just as a personal note.  From the reading I've done

          10   in the sort of thoughtful pieces that follow up on how

          11   these problems, prion-based disease management problems

          12   have been dealt with in other places, one fundamental

          13   recurring criticism of the areas where they've been

          14   handled poorly is that the regulatory and governmental

          15   agencies responsible for management of them did not

          16   anticipate them and did not deal with them early enough.

          17             We all hope to God that we don't have that

          18   problem here, but we would be really remiss if we were

          19   not anticipating this.  So I appreciate that this may

          20   have a big impact on landowners, but it might have a very

          21   large impact if we're wrong and we don't test on

          22   landowners who receive diseased deer or deer imported.

          23             And I hope you all appreciate that we're also

          24   trying to pay attention to the lessons that have been

          25   learned around the world here with a still unknown

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   disease, a prion-disease.  We believe we've got to

           2   anticipate and pay attention and be responsible to all

           3   the citizens of Texas.

           4             MR. HOLT:  I understand completely.  And I

           5   understand we are implementing a testing program in the

           6   WMA, this year -- the wildlife management areas.

           7             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  (No audible

           8   response.)

           9             MR. HOLT:  Okay.  Thank you.

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I think that concludes all

          11   the -- okay.  I've got two more now?  Oh.

          12             Ellis Gilleland and Jerry Johnston.

          13             (Pause.)

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Mr. Gilleland, you're up.

          15             MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland. 

          16   I'm speaking for Texas Animals and Animal rights, an

          17   organization on the internet.

          18             I've given you a handout which is the proposed

          19   rules in the 27 September, 2002 Texas Register.  What is

          20   at issue is one line which says, quote, "Until this

          21   section is repealed, no permits to trap, transport and

          22   transplant white-tailed deer or mule deer will be issued

          23   by the Department," unquote.  It's one line.  There is no

          24   reference or word in here about testing.

          25             There is no reference about 10 percent deer, 40

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   percent deer, and there's no monitoring or testing.  And

           2   what you have published, what you're going to vote on, is

           3   what I just quoted you.  Now, if you publish something

           4   next time about testing and monitoring as related to

           5   Triple-T, fine.  We'll deal with it.  But that is not the

           6   legal issue which is here today.

           7             The second thing I'd like to mention to you is

           8   that you are attaching a testing program -- and testing,

           9   by the way, means killing the deer.  It's 40 deer that

          10   will be killed.  You're attaching a testing program to a

          11   trapping program, and there's no correlation that I can

          12   see between the two.

          13             CWD is coming from Karl's yahoos, who are

          14   bringing deer -- CWD deer from Colorado.  There are 467

          15   greedy guys that will bring it in just to make a buck, no

          16   pun intended.

          17             (Laughter.)

          18             MR. GILLELAND:  Now --

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well done that was.

          20             (Laughter.)

          21             MR. GILLELAND:  There are 500,000 deer killed

          22   every year in Texas.  You are not testing those, those

          23   that -- because that's where the CWD is.  You're testing

          24   the Lakeway deer, where there's no CWD.  Very smart.

          25             (Laughter.)

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             MR. GILLELAND:  So you're never going to find

           2   CWD.  Yea for the Parks and Wildlife Commission. 

           3   Brilliant.

           4             Now, the Vietnam veterans in this audience will

           5   appreciate what I'm going to say.  For three years, '65

           6   to '68, we knocked the jocks off of the Vietcong because

           7   we searched and we made contact and we killed them. 

           8   After Tet, from '69 on for five years or six years until

           9   that debacle ended, we did search and avoid.

          10             I didn't send my men in where they were going

          11   to be killed for some political reason, and nobody else

          12   did, either.  But for the first three years, we killed

          13   them by the bucket full.  And the last few years, we

          14   avoided it.  And that's exactly what you're doing.  Think

          15   about it.  You're searching and avoiding.  You're

          16   avoiding CWD because you're afraid it will kill your

          17   profits.

          18             (Pause.)

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Mr. Johnston?

          20             MR. JOHNSTON:  That's a pretty hard act to

          21   follow.

          22             (Laughter.)

          23             MR. JOHNSTON:  Commissioners, Executive

          24   Director Bob Cook and Madame Chairman, first of all, I'm

          25   Jerry Johnston.  I have about two or three well-designed

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   paragraphs here that I was going to read, but I don't

           2   think I'm going to do that.

           3             You know, one of the worst car wrecks I ever

           4   had was on the way to work one morning because I was

           5   late.  And the point is:  Sometimes when you get in too

           6   big of a hurry, you can make a mistake and have an

           7   accident.  And where I'm leading here is I think we're in

           8   an awfully big rush over this deal.

           9             When I look back on when this process started,

          10   it was the public hearings.  And we had a notice that was

          11   mailed out by the Department that was supposed to go to

          12   everybody that either trapped -- was a trap site or a

          13   release site.  A list of people that came out of the

          14   Department were the people that were invited to those

          15   initial public hearings.

          16             And the notice that went out went out on a

          17   Wednesday, if I'm not mistaken, and the first meeting --

          18   the first public hearing meeting was on a Monday.  I

          19   guess you got to report on how many people showed up on

          20   Monday.  There was two people.

          21             The Wednesday meeting was in Cotulla.  And, of

          22   course, all of these deer people like me -- they're like

          23   a bunch of washer-women; they get on the phone at night. 

          24   And so I'd say that more than 50 percent of the people

          25   that was at Cotulla were there because somebody called

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   them, not because they got the notice.

           2             And then the last meeting was in Kerrville on a

           3   Friday night in the middle of football season.  So I

           4   think they had seven or eight people turn out there.

           5             And then we got the -- we nicknamed it -- the

           6   blue-ribbon committee together here last week.  And I

           7   asked for a list, because it had been so long since we

           8   had had a meeting, of who was on the committee, and I got

           9   it.  And one of the key people that should have been

          10   there was Robert Saunders, but he didn't receive an

          11   invitation and didn't even know about it.  Another one

          12   was David Hayward; he didn't know about it.

          13             And all I'm saying is the horse is out of the

          14   gate.  We've been Triple-T'ing for years.  These deer are

          15   mixed up here and there, and you name it.  What is the

          16   rush here?  That's all I'm asking.  What's the rush? 

          17   We've got some things in place.  Why don't we go through

          18   this season and see what kind of reading we get?

          19             And let this committee get back together

          20   because there are several of them, including myself, that

          21   didn't feel like we gave it enough time to do a little

          22   talking with people.  I visited with several landowners

          23   after that meeting, and some of them were pretty irate. 

          24   And I don't think that end of it was thought out very

          25   well.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             So I think we're in a little bit too much of a

           2   rush, and I think that maybe we ought to put this thing

           3   off until next year.  Thank you.

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

           5             Do we have any questions or comments of Mr.

           6   Johnston or of staff on this issue?

           7             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I've got a couple.

           8             Thank you, Jerry.

           9             Do you have a question of Jerry?

          10             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I -- it's more or less

          11   general, I think.

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.

          13             Well, thank you.

          14             MR. JOHNSTON:  I've got one more thing I'd like

          15   to say if you don't mind.  All of you all know how I feel

          16   about CWD and how serious it is, and so forth, and I'm

          17   going to state it again.  The only disease that we have

          18   in this state right now is hysteria.  And I'm violently

          19   opposed to the people that are stirring the pot and

          20   stirring up the media.

          21             And I'm not sure -- with no cases in Texas, I'm

          22   not sure how good of an idea this was.  This is going to

          23   scare the devil out of a bunch of housewives right here.

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Angelo?

          25             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I guess I'm not sure that

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   I understand everything that we've been hearing this

           2   morning.  First of all, it seems to me that if we were

           3   going to be hysterical, what we'd do is go back and ban

           4   any imports and shut down Triple-T and lock the gates. 

           5   So I don't believe the Commission's being hysterical. 

           6   That's the first thing.

           7             But the problem that I'm having in

           8   understanding this whole situation is -- it seems to me

           9   that what I'm hearing is that people are -- really, what

          10   they're concerned about is -- they're afraid that we're

          11   going to find CWD, and so they don't want to look for it. 

          12   And if we don't look for it, we're not going to find it. 

          13   That's -- we know that.

          14             So I have -- the concern about -- that has been

          15   expressed about this testing program doesn't make sense

          16   to me.  If I -- unless I misunderstand something, all

          17   we're adding here is a fairly insignificant expense and

          18   some inconvenience to the people that want to move deer. 

          19   And if that's the case, then the only fear they've got is

          20   that we'll find CWD, and I would assume that our

          21   responsibility is either to find it or to prove that it's

          22   not there.  And we can't do that if we don't test.

          23             So it seems to me that it's not an unfair

          24   obligation to those that want to move deer that they be

          25   obligated to do some testing before those deer are moved. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   And to say that we've already been moving deer for ten

           2   years?  All that says is that we may in the past have

           3   already created the problem; we ought to be looking today

           4   for ways to either find out that we have the problem or

           5   prove that we don't.

           6             So unless I'm missing something, this seems to

           7   me to be a reasonable and not a hysterical approach to

           8   solving or to approaching the problem.  Am I missing

           9   something?

          10             DR. COOKE:  I was hoping that was a rhetorical

          11   question.

          12             (Laughter.)

          13             DR. COOKE:  I don't think you're missing

          14   anything, sir.  That's the way I read it myself.

          15             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I'd like to ask Dr. Cooke.

          16             Would you briefly review the time lines that

          17   the recommendation talks about?  I've heard various

          18   comments made this morning regarding when this program

          19   would be implemented and the impact it would have on --

          20             DR. COOKE:  I understand.

          21             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  -- hunting, et cetera. 

          22   So --

          23             DR. COOKE:  Can I speak to that --

          24             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Would you please?

          25             DR. COOKE:  -- or would you rather?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             Okay.  I discussed that with our general

           2   counsel this morning specifically because of the

           3   expectation of the Commission taking some kind of action

           4   and how it might be applied.

           5             Basically, any application that arrives in this

           6   Agency is going to be treated under the rules within

           7   which it's found.  In other words, these requirements,

           8   unless you take some other kind of action that would be

           9   rather complicated in my mind, that a permit that exists

          10   today would operate under the rules under which it was

          11   reviewed and applied, you know, in terms of granting the

          12   permit.

          13             So an application that arrived after the

          14   effective date of this rule, whatever that may be,

          15   whether it's 20 days following filing or some other date

          16   that you designate -- applications that arrive after that

          17   effective date would be the ones for which these rules

          18   would apply.  So in other words, if a permit's already in

          19   hand, it's in hand.  These rules would not affect those

          20   permits at all.

          21             Is that what -- is that the question you were

          22   asking, sir?

          23             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  That's part of it.  So the

          24   question that was raised --

          25             DR. COOKE:  By Mr. Holt?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  -- from Lakeway is -- are

           2   you saying is not an issue since he already has his

           3   permit in hand?

           4             DR. COOKE:  Mr. Holt has a permit.  And

           5   that's -- and the rules under which it was reviewed and

           6   granted are the rules that he will operate under.  It

           7   will not affect him at all.

           8             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  A question for Jerry.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  A question from

          10   Commissioner Montgomery.

          11             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Two thoughts.  One, I

          12   agree completely with what Commissioner Angelo said.  I

          13   think that's exactly the right way to look at it, and I

          14   would only add that I think the Triple-T permit holders

          15   really have the incentive to prove that the disease isn't

          16   there.  If we test and don't find it, they're clean --

          17   those holders are clean, and they can then sell not only

          18   in good conscience but at a ready market, and they've got

          19   a more valuable asset.

          20             If the disease is found and we had allowed the

          21   movement, we would have been, I think, highly responsible

          22   to landowners in the area where the deer ended up.  I

          23   think that's another responsibility we've got to consider

          24   and that I hope you all understand.

          25             My question, Jerry is still on the issue. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   There's sort of a fairness issue that rattles around in

           2   these discussions of why only test the Triple-T; why

           3   don't we test WMAs, and why not test a lot of other

           4   places during the hunting season.  And I'd like you to

           5   address that --

           6             DR. COOKE:  Okay.

           7             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- if you could for

           8   us.  And what are the ins and outs?  And particularly, if

           9   you could, address -- as I have understood the

          10   presentations and the reading I've done of the science --

          11   that the disease is far more likely to occur and be

          12   transmitted where there are concentrations of animals. 

          13   And that, as I understand it, is part of the reasoning

          14   here.  If you could, address that question, as well.

          15             DR. COOKE:  I'll start with the last one

          16   because it's fresh on my mind.  Intuitively, one would

          17   expect the transmission of disease between individuals to

          18   be more readily transmitted when high concentrations of

          19   animals are available, not because of any reason other

          20   than -- not every animal is susceptible.  Not everyone is

          21   proximal enough to actually acquire an organism, whatever

          22   that may be.  But the more contacts you have between a

          23   sick individual and individuals that are not sick, the

          24   greater the probability of transmitting a disease.  Okay?

          25             So even with the limited amount of knowledge

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   related to how CWD might be transmitted, there's nothing

           2   that would suggest to me or anyone that I've discussed it

           3   with to think that CWD would operate in any different

           4   fashion than any other disease that you normally

           5   encounter.

           6             The question of why we would only be testing

           7   where we're testing is fairly straightforward.  The

           8   wildlife management areas and state parks belong to us. 

           9   And by testing all of the animals that we take from those

          10   management -- from those properties, I believe, we're

          11   being very responsible, just as we've asked the

          12   scientific breeders to be responsible, in testing where

          13   we can readily do so.

          14             We also will test every single clinical animal

          15   that we can encounter.  Any hunter -- I spent three years

          16   on the wildlife disease project.  We got 90 percent of

          17   our calls during hunting season because there were lots

          18   of eyes out there.  We have tested nine animals up until

          19   now that were clinical and we knew were possibles for

          20   this disease, and none of them have been positive to this

          21   date.  But I routinely expected calls to increase

          22   significantly during the hunting season, because you have

          23   lots of eyes, again.

          24             The issue of why we would test only on our

          25   properties is a good question.  We're not intending to

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   test only on our properties.  However, we do require

           2   landowner permission in writing to enter onto a tract of

           3   land, in writing to record data in any database that we

           4   collect there and in writing if we make that data public.

           5             So there's a confidentiality issue that we have

           6   to deal with on going onto private property.  There's no

           7   problem.  We have a number of private landowners who have

           8   already stepped up and said, I want you to test animals

           9   here, you know.  And we are going to do that.

          10             There's also a question of sample size and how

          11   you distribute it across the state of Texas.  If we took

          12   2,000 animals from one county, that would not be of as

          13   much value as if those same 2,000 animals were stratified

          14   across the state of Texas.  For an initial survey, the

          15   intent is to determine an index to find an individual

          16   animal somewhere in the state if the disease actually

          17   occurs.

          18             And so the best way we can stratify that is,

          19   first of all, using our own properties.  Second of all,

          20   utilizing any hunter-submitted animals and, certainly,

          21   dealing with any clinical animals, we'll be going to

          22   high-risk beasties, you know, for testing.

          23             Did you have another question?  Did I miss one

          24   in that mix?

          25             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  No.  Thank you.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             DR. COOKE:  Thank you, sir.

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Are there any further

           3   questions from the Commission?

           4             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Could we see the

           5   recommendation again on the screen?

           6             DR. COOKE:  I hope so.

           7             (Pause.)

           8             DR. COOKE:  No, you can't.  I'm sorry.  They've

           9   already changed the program.

          10             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Well, that's all right.

          11             Are we ready for a motion?

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, why don't you

          13   read -- could you read it?

          14             DR. COOKE:  I can read the motion.

          15             The motion before you is, basically, that the

          16   Texas Parks and Wildlife Department adopts 31 TAC 65.102

          17   concerning permits to trap, transport and transplant game

          18   animals and game birds with changes to proposed text as

          19   published in the September 27, 2002 issue of The Texas

          20   Register.  What that basically means is you can adopt it

          21   as written or you can amend it so long as your amendment

          22   is less restrictive than the proposed regulation.

          23             So in other words -- and, again, I don't want

          24   to speak for our general counsel.  But as we discussed it

          25   before, your proposal is removing white-tailed deer and

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   mule deer from anywhere in the state of Texas to be

           2   trapped.  That's pretty easy to come off of and be less

           3   restrictive.

           4             To allow them to remain and place conditions on

           5   that trapping so long as we're not bringing in new

           6   individuals or new geography is allowed as I understand

           7   it.  So if you were to adopt something other than what

           8   was published, those would be the conditions under that

           9   adoption, I think.

          10             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Does the motion have to

          11   include an effective date, or is that automatic?

          12             DR. COOKE:  There's a 20-day delay for a rule

          13   to become effective -- 20 days following the filing of

          14   the adoption with the secretary of state.  You can make

          15   that longer or you can make that shorter, I believe.

          16             MS. BRIGHT:  There are some additional

          17   procedural requirements you have to have --

          18             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  We can't hear you.

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Introduce yourself,

          20   please.

          21             MS. BRIGHT:  I'm Ann Bright.  I'm the General

          22   Counsel.

          23             There are some additional procedural

          24   requirements that you have to do in order to make it a

          25   sooner effective date; otherwise, making it later is not

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   a problem.

           2             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Are those procedural

           3   requirements that we have not met already or that --

           4             MS. BRIGHT:  We --

           5             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  -- in other words, could

           6   not be met?

           7             MS. BRIGHT:  I don't know.  There are some

           8   special findings that would have to be made in order to

           9   make it effective earlier.  I believe they have to do

          10   with basically imminent danger and that sort of thing.

          11             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Okay.  Thank you.

          12             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  What about the matter of

          13   testing not being specifically mentioned?  Is that a

          14   concern?

          15             MS. BRIGHT:  Right.  There are a couple of

          16   cases about changes between the proposal and the

          17   adoption.  And I think Jerry Cooke accurately stated it. 

          18   As long as it doesn't affect additional subject matters

          19   or additional people, additional individuals, then you

          20   can change the proposal in the adoption process.  You can

          21   make changes.

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  When it's less

          23   restrictive?

          24             MS. BRIGHT:  When it's less restrictive, as

          25   long as it's not affecting, again, additional people or

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   additional subject matter or if, for example, you wanted

           2   to affect some other type of wildlife or something that

           3   wasn't actually addressed in the proposal.

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

           5             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Well, Madame Chairman,

           6   I'd move approval of the recommendation with the

           7   condition that the last three sentences or three lines,

           8   or whatever, which were the provision that the testing be

           9   waived if the test results had not been received -- I

          10   would move the adoption of it without that provision.

          11             DR. COOKE:  I'm sorry.  I misunderstood what

          12   you were asking me to do earlier.  I mean, basically, the

          13   proposal from the advisory committee, the task force, was

          14   to test a number equivalent to 10 percent of the number

          15   of animals to be trapped, but that sample would be no

          16   less than ten and no more than 40, and any positive

          17   animal in the testing sample would prohibit a permit from

          18   being issued and that animals trapped under these

          19   provisions would be permanently marked for a potential

          20   trace-back.  Any other --

          21             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I move approval of that

          22   portion of the recommendation.

          23             DR. COOKE:  Thank you, sir.

          24             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Second.

          25             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, I have a motion from

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Commissioner Angelo.  Do I have a second?

           2             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Could I have a

           3   clarification?  I'm in favor of --

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Wait.

           5             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I'm sorry.

           6             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We've got to undo it.

           7             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I'll remove my

           8   second.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We'll just -- we won't ask

          10   for a motion just yet.

          11             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Just a clarification.  Is

          12   your proposed motion, Commissioner Angelo, that we accept

          13   the staff recommendation with the exception that as it

          14   relates to the January 15 deadline, it would be a

          15   condition of a Triple-T permit that the testing be done?

          16             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Yes, that the testing be

          17   done, period.

          18             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  It's mandatory?

          19             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  It's mandatory.

          20             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.

          21             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  That there would be no

          22   exception --

          23             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  No exception.

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  -- to testing?

          25             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  To testing.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             DR. COOKE:  Completed testing?

           2             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So if I can be clear,

           3   there are six recommendations, and you're taking out the

           4   last one?

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Fitzsimons,

           6   would you speak into the microphone, please?

           7             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I counted it as six

           8   recommendations on your presentation.  And it's the final

           9   one, the January 15 assurance of a permit if it's not

          10   tested by the 15th, that we're removing?

          11             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  The motion includes all

          12   but that provision.

          13             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Okay.  I second that

          14   one.

          15             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Now do we need a motion

          16   for your recommendation?

          17             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  That's what we just did.

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  You have -- have you just

          19   made a motion again?

          20             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Yes.

          21             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.

          22             And I have a second from --

          23             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I second.

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  -- from Commissioner

          25   Fitzsimons?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Yes.

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.

           3             All in favor?

           4             (A chorus of ayes.)

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Opposed?

           6             (No response.)

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

           8             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Madame Chairman,

           9   could I ask you one correction?  I apparently made the

          10   comment that the deer are sold, and I know better than

          11   that.  And I was thinking about something else when I

          12   said that.  So I'd like to correct the record if I could.

          13             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  What did he say that we

          14   missed?

          15             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  I didn't hear that.

          16             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Well, two other

          17   people heard it because -- I got notes on it.  And I know

          18   better.

          19             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  What did you say?

          20             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Apparently, I said

          21   the deer were being sold.

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Oh.

          23             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And I understand

          24   that's not the case.

          25             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Oh, yes.  That's not the

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   case.

           2             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I was thinking in

           3   market terms.  So if I could correct the record, I would

           4   appreciate it.

           5             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Demand.

           6             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Demand.

           7             We are on Agenda Item Number 9.  It's a

           8   briefing item on our quail plan.

           9             Mr. Vernon Bevill, will you please make your

          10   presentation?

          11             (Whereupon, a briefing ensued.)

          12             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We have -- did we have a

          13   future of hunting?  That was supposed to be --

          14             MR. COOK:  Bob Brown is here.

          15             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Yes.  Is it before, or

          16   after the quail plan?

          17             MR. COOK:  After.

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Okay.

          19             Could we have Mr. Brown up here to do a

          20   briefing on the future of hunting?

          21             (Whereupon, a briefing ensued.)

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Our next agenda item,

          23   Number 10, is again a briefing item:  Lake Austin Aquatic

          24   Vegetation Plan.

          25             Phil Durocher, will you please make your

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   presentation?

           2             (Whereupon, a briefing ensued.)

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Agenda Item Number 11: 

           4   Land Sale, Tarrant County.

           5             Jack Bauer, will you please make your

           6   presentation?

           7             MR. BAUER:  Madame Chairman and Commissioners,

           8   my name is Jack Bauer; I'm Director of the Land

           9   Conservation program.  This presentation summarizes

          10   discussions in the executive session Conservation

          11   Committee of the Commission yesterday, and it's

          12   summarized below for your consideration and action.

          13             The sale of the 400-acre Tarrant County

          14   property is recommended to allow Texas Parks and Wildlife

          15   to re-invest the proceeds of the sale of Eagle Mountain

          16   Lake to acquire other real estate property dedicated to

          17   public use.  Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife

          18   Commission adopt the following motion:  The Texas Parks

          19   and Wildlife Commission rescinds the portion of its

          20   motion regarding Eagle Mountain Lake State Park made

          21   August 29, 2002.  The Executive Director is authorized to

          22   negotiate an exclusive option contract for the sale of

          23   this property to the Trust for Public Lands for public

          24   use.

          25             The terms of the agreement shall be as follows: 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   A six-month option period renewable at Texas Parks and

           2   Wildlife Commission's discretion; the sale price of $6

           3   million for the entire property; the Department will

           4   reserve mineral interests; the Trust for Public Lands

           5   will secure the option with $10,000 in earnest money; the

           6   Department will retain the right to independently market

           7   the property to other public or public/private entities

           8   whose use upon acquisition would be in accordance with

           9   the mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

          10             And I would be happy to answer any questions.

          11             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Mr. Chairman?

          12             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Mr. Montgomery?

          13             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I'd be happy at the

          14   end of the discussion to make a motion to approve this

          15   with one modification if it's all right with everybody

          16   else, and that is that we get -- apparently, we have had

          17   some discussions both in our negotiations and in our

          18   executive session.  And our staff and even some

          19   Commission members have indicated that we would give this

          20   group about a year to get this put together.

          21             And I think we want to maintain our credibility

          22   and consistency.  And what I'd like to suggest is a

          23   modification here that we include in this measure an

          24   option on the buyer's part to extend the right to close

          25   the contract through August of '03 provided that at the

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   six-month interval, they meet certain mutually-agreed-

           2   upon performance criteria which we and they negotiate.

           3             So that we -- I guess the spirit of what I'm

           4   looking for if it's, again, satisfactory to the

           5   Commission is if we see that there is not just an

           6   intermediary but there is an entity with the funding

           7   capacity to close this that's committed morally, if you

           8   will, to do this -- to pursue this transaction and to

           9   close it subject to whatever due diligence or other

          10   performance criteria that it has got to have, but that

          11   the six-month interval or something like a letter of

          12   intent from an entity who intends to fund this to allow

          13   the purchaser to get that full year of time that we

          14   discussed with them and with the various groups that are

          15   interested in pursuing this.

          16             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Is that maybe making it

          17   more complicated than just saying to extend it to -- give

          18   it August as opposed to six months?

          19             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I just -- my concern

          20   here is that we -- well, it's an intermediary with a

          21   great track record -- we have an intermediary that -- who

          22   does not have a source of funding nailed down; the

          23   various funding sources are working on it -- and simply

          24   that we set up a transaction in which if the full time is

          25   taken, we have some assurance that there's a high

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   likelihood of this succeeding and that if we're -- well,

           2   we would like them to tell us if it's not working -- that

           3   we have a contractual arrangement which gives us some

           4   assurance that it is working and, if it's not working,

           5   that we don't go forward and we look for other avenues to

           6   move this property.  Rather than just give the full time,

           7   I'd like to see that performance criteria put in there.

           8             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Do you have a comment?

           9             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Jack, do you think

          10   that would allow and --

          11             Bob, would that allow us to be consistent with

          12   the spirit of what we've discussed --

          13             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Well, before we --

          14             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- with the various

          15   interested parties?

          16             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Excuse me.  Before -- I

          17   was going to suggest maybe before we get too far into

          18   that if -- we do have some people that would like to

          19   speak to it from the public, some public comment.  If the

          20   Commission doesn't have any other questions for Mr. Bauer

          21   at this point, we'll go ahead and --

          22             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  I do.

          23             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Mr. Ramos?

          24             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  What is the intent of that

          25   very last sentence, "The Department would retain the

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   right to independently market"?  Are we saying there that

           2   subject to the option, we would continue to look for a

           3   prospective purchaser?

           4             MR. BAUER:  Sir, my interpretation of the

           5   discussion yesterday is that what that would mean is that

           6   if we secured an option contract with the Trust for

           7   Public Lands, we could market the property to other

           8   potential buyers, but only if at the end of the option

           9   period Trust for Public Lands could not execute that, we

          10   would then have a backup contract.

          11             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.  So to the extent

          12   that we would pursue that, whatever new contract quote we

          13   might have would obviously be subject to the option that

          14   we would be granting here?

          15             MR. BAUER:  That's my understanding --

          16             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.

          17             MR. BAUER:  -- yes, sir.

          18             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.  Because that

          19   language --

          20             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  That was intended to keep

          21   us from wasting six to nine months, or whatever the term

          22   was, if they were not able to meet the terms.

          23             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  My suggestion is if that

          24   is the intent -- I think that's correct -- we add

          25   language to the effect that subject to the existing --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   subject to the rights granted --

           2             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Subject to the

           3   option?  Is that --

           4             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  To the option, yes, to

           5   clarify that.

           6             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Any other questions for

           7   Mr. Bauer at this point?

           8             (No response.)

           9             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Let's see what public

          10   comment we have.  First we have Mr. Gilleland, and then

          11   Mr. Bruce Picker.

          12             Ellis Gilleland?

          13             MR. GILLELAND:  My name is Ellis Gilleland,

          14   speaking for Texas Animals.  I've pretty well said what I

          15   wanted to say at the last meeting about my comments on

          16   the sale of this jewel.  I wish Mr. Avila was here to

          17   hear this and to make a decision on this.

          18             And I wish Mr. Watson were here, because I want

          19   to make sure I quoted him correctly.  Mr. Watson said

          20   earlier or this was attributed to him -- his motto was,

          21   quote -- I'm reading it so I don't mess it up, quote,

          22   "Weekend in the park," unquote.  Well, you cannot have a

          23   weekend in the park if there is no park.  And so that is

          24   the wisdom that Mark Watson has imparted to all of us: 

          25   That in order to have a weekend in a park, we must have a

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   park.

           2             That's the first point.  And so I encourage you

           3   very strongly to maintain this park in the public system

           4   of government.  And this leads me to my second comment.

           5             And the second comment is that there's all

           6   sorts of legalese written into this statement, this

           7   motion, that you're talking about here, but, as you

           8   lawyers have discerned already, you're talking about

           9   options.  You people retain options, discretion, to do

          10   this and that.  And, hopefully, your heart is in the

          11   right place, because you did not pass it last time.

          12             So there's a glimmer -- down at the far end of

          13   that 100-mile tunnel, there's a glimmer.  I can see it. 

          14   So I'm flinging my trust onto your backs.  I'm before you

          15   and asking you to -- not only to exercise good faith if

          16   this thing goes forward with the options and discretions,

          17   but I would like to see and which I know you will

          18   probably not even consider -- I would like to see some

          19   prohibitive language, one sentence, written into it: 

          20   This property shall not and will not be sold to a private

          21   entity, but will be sold only to a government entity, a

          22   city, county or state, period.  In other words, you

          23   prohibit it.

          24             Suppose this matter doesn't get settled and you

          25   all die and we have nine new people come in at the next

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   meeting.  Well, these next people will be bound to follow

           2   your decision which had been made, that it would only be

           3   sold to a public entity, and keep it in the public trust,

           4   so that we can all adhere to the Watson dictum, a weekend

           5   in the park.  Thank you.  See you in the park.

           6             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Bruce Picker, and then Tom

           7   Nezworski.

           8             MR. PICKER:  Good afternoon.  My name is Bruce

           9   Picker; I'm a resident of Tarrant County.  I have lived

          10   there and worked there for over 13 or -- for nearly 13

          11   years.  I'm here today to oppose specifically the request

          12   to have this property placed under this option agreement

          13   as discussed.

          14             We've just had a chance to really review this

          15   language for the first time here at the meeting.  We

          16   appreciate the Department's and Commissions concerns for

          17   a responsible sale, but what I think in essence is

          18   happening is that there is clearly in essence a decision

          19   to be -- that's being made right now that $6 million is

          20   acceptable but with no guarantee that it will ever close.

          21             For a very nominal deposit, an assurance that

          22   this transaction would go forward and -- what I think you

          23   are precluding yourselves from doing is really

          24   identifying, What's the true value of this property.  And

          25   for that, what I think you need to re-assess is, What are

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   the long-term goals of this Department.

           2             Under the conservation plan and recreation plan

           3   that was just approved a couple of months ago, there are

           4   25-plus projects of priority that have been identified

           5   for expansion within the parks system and wildlife

           6   management areas.  You want four 5,000-acre parks, and

           7   you don't have the funds to do that admittedly within the

           8   plan.

           9             And this is -- there's only three properties

          10   that have been identified for potential sale, and this is

          11   one of the most valuable ones.  And so as a

          12   responsibility to the citizens of the state, I think you

          13   need to allow yourselves the ability to really see what

          14   this property is worth before you make a decision right

          15   now that, in essence, you're tying it up at below

          16   appraised value.

          17             It's probably understood that right now, the

          18   trust doesn't have the funds tied up.  Local governments,

          19   as we all know, are under very dire fiscal

          20   responsibilities such that they don't have the capacity

          21   to go out.  But if you give opportunity for others to

          22   come in and make responsible proposals and work with the

          23   Department, they're not going to want to do that and

          24   spend their own money and so forth if this option is tied

          25   up -- if this land is tied up under an option, assuming

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   that they have the right to extend it at their own will

           2   for at least some period of time and not knowing if in

           3   fact the funds that are spent to investigate the due

           4   diligence process to make a proposal and it might all be

           5   wasted.

           6             And so I think that you're immediately blocking

           7   out any other creative idea that could come to the table

           8   and, very likely, a significantly higher price.  But no

           9   one knows that yet without having had the opportunity to

          10   really do their homework.  And so I would just submit to

          11   you to reconsider that you go back to the original

          12   resolution that was approved in August, and let's work

          13   together with the Department to see what we could do

          14   that's really a win/win for everybody and to allow the

          15   Department to maintain and achieve their long-term goals.

          16             I'll be happy to take any questions.

          17             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Any questions?

          18             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Are you representing

          19   any particular organization, or just representing

          20   yourself?

          21             MR. PICKER:  Myself, yes.

          22             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Amy Morris, would you get

          23   ready?

          24             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I would say, "Good morning,"

          25   but I think it's now afternoon.  So we've been here

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   awhile.  I'll try to be brief; although I am an attorney,

           2   I'll try to be done in five minutes.  I promise.

           3             So my name's Tom Nezworski; I'm an attorney

           4   that has been licensed by the state since 1981.  I'm a

           5   life-long resident of Fort Worth; I call it my home town,

           6   and I grew up there.  I live and work in the community,

           7   and I've always strived to improve and enhance Fort Worth

           8   in whatever business objective we try to pursue.

           9             In the last ten years, I've been associated

          10   with a group of very talented individuals and financial

          11   partners who have created and developed really unique and

          12   innovative recreational facilities in some of the most

          13   sensitive areas in the United States:  The mountains of

          14   Colorado, the deserts of Arizona and, most recently, a

          15   project in Lake Tahoe, which has very, very sensitive

          16   environmental issues.

          17             Most of the projects vary in style and in

          18   scope, but most of them have significant open space, they

          19   preserve animal habitat, are low-density, environmentally

          20   responsible and are negligible impact on the neighboring

          21   property such as the lake in this situation.  Because

          22   Eagle Mountain is in Fort Worth, a group of people that

          23   I'm involved with are interested in evaluating it and

          24   trying to determine what type of innovative plan can best

          25   serve the needs of the local community.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             This is 400 acres which is in Fort Worth's

           2   extra-territorial jurisdiction.  It's very close to the

           3   current city limits under annexation.  It's going to be

           4   in the city of Fort Worth at some point in time.

           5             I want to touch briefly on a couple of points

           6   which -- I've tried to read the transcript from the

           7   August meeting to understand the kind of environment, but

           8   we're just learning about this.  What are really the

           9   responsibilities and the goals of this Commission with

          10   respect to this piece of property?

          11             Mr. Picker just talked about -- and Mr.

          12   Picker's an associate of mine.  So I'm not trying to hide

          13   any of that.  There seems to be an implied duty for this

          14   Commission to maximize the return of the taxpayer dollars

          15   that were invested in this property 22 years ago and then

          16   to re-invest those dollars into a large recreational site

          17   that you guys have identified.

          18             The history of this property -- as you guys are

          19   aware, the 400 acres wasn't donated to the state.  It was

          20   actually purchased with taxpayer money back in 1980 from

          21   private landowners and private developers.  No useable

          22   park has ever been created or opened for public use. 

          23   That surprised me when I first read about this in the

          24   newspaper back in August.  I thought that, you know, for

          25   some crazy reason, we were going to dispose of a park

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   that was being used.

           2             But when I got out there and actually learned

           3   what was going on -- there is no park there.  It is a

           4   piece of open space.  And it -- basically, I asked Jack

           5   Bauer, Why hasn't it been developed.  And he said,

           6   There's no money; and really, the neighbors around that

           7   area didn't want to see it developed into a park; they

           8   didn't want to see the congestion, and they didn't want

           9   to see the usage.  And that was actually in the

          10   transcript from the August discussion by Mr. Stripling on

          11   behalf of one of the neighboring property owners.

          12             They didn't want to see usage, such that the

          13   public has never enjoyed this piece of property.  In

          14   essence, it has only been a buffer and an open spaces. 

          15   Now, there's something to be said for buffers and open

          16   spaces in urban areas -- I'll grant you that -- but

          17   nothing in this new resolution that Jack read today

          18   refers to how the public will be ultimately provided

          19   access to this piece of property if you enter into this

          20   option agreement.

          21             Previously, in August, you talked about how the

          22   criteria for distribution or -- disposition of this

          23   property was to get at or above fair market value and

          24   then try to slow down this process and see if you could

          25   come up with the best proposal that would try to meet

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   your goals, your original mission statement.

           2             And it is somewhat ironic that the original

           3   mission statement of this Commission hasn't been

           4   implemented over the 22 years; we haven't been able to

           5   let the public enjoy this property.

           6             If I could have another minute, please?

           7             For us to determine what type of innovative

           8   plan can happen here, we asked for access on September 16

           9   in writing to Jack, but we only got on the property

          10   yesterday for about six hours for the first time for

          11   really any lengthy evaluation of the piece of property. 

          12   We've got a significant interest in this property, but we

          13   need some time to talk to the local government, which is

          14   the city of Fort Worth in our minds.

          15             We want to understand the concerns of the

          16   people there and their needs.  We need to meet with the

          17   city -- I've only had a couple of preliminary

          18   conversations with the city council people there -- to

          19   come up with this alliance that you guys have said is the

          20   criteria we need to satisfy, find out what sort of joint

          21   development or annexation or donation plan needs to be

          22   created here, and just see if we can go forward.

          23             Once we've had that opportunity, we will bring

          24   to you a specific written proposal with a specific price

          25   that I think would be in excess of the fair market value,

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   probably substantially in excess of the fair market

           2   value, and with a specific date for performance and with

           3   true earnest money.  In my mind, 2 percent or less than 2

           4   percent earnest money is really very deficient in this

           5   kind of proposal.

           6             The last thing I want to say is if this is the

           7   best proposal that's before this Commission -- this one

           8   with the Trust for Public Lands -- if it's the best

           9   proposal today, it will be the best proposal in three

          10   months or six months.  But if it's not the best proposal,

          11   that will also become aware of if you give other people

          12   the opportunity to look at this seriously.

          13             If -- as Bruce said, if you enter into this

          14   option, I think you're going to have a chilling effect on

          15   this piece of property.  People aren't going to want to

          16   keep spending time and energy and money in evaluating

          17   whether there's something to do here, something that's

          18   innovative that can be done with the property.

          19             So it's certain that if you do this, I think,

          20   you'll never know if this is the best offer.  If you are

          21   patient, which is what you expressed in August, you may

          22   find definitely what the best proposal is.

          23             And I'll answer any questions if there are any.

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have any comments or

          25   discussion or questions from the Commission?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Who do you represent?

           2             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I work for a lot of different

           3   people, but I -- there's a group out of Arizona that's

           4   called Highlands Management Group.  I also work for a

           5   company, a real estate investment trust, that's located

           6   in Fort Worth, which is Crescent Real Estate Equities.

           7             And then I'm in a project that has multiple

           8   facets of operations that's called Mira Vista.  And it's

           9   a community in Fort Worth that's a pretty nice community. 

          10   If you ask anybody in Fort Worth --

          11             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Today -- are you

          12   representing one group in particular today?

          13             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Technically, I'd probably have

          14   to say that I'm representing Crescent, because I have a

          15   fiduciary obligation to them initially.  We've just

          16   briefly talked to them about this project.  Once again, I

          17   don't have enough information to say they'd ultimately be

          18   interested.  If they're not, then I think there are other

          19   people that we would go to with a substantial interest in

          20   this project.

          21             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Have you been engaged

          22   by one prospective purchaser to appear here, or are you

          23   simply appearing believing one of your clients would

          24   pursue it if we give them the opportunity?

          25             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Well, let me clarify my status. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Although I am an attorney, I am no longer actively

           2   practicing in Texas; I'm in the real estate business.  So

           3   the people I've referenced are people I'm in partnership

           4   with.  So I'm here representing myself as an interested

           5   party, as well as the different groups that I have

           6   alliances and associations with.  So --

           7             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.

           8             MR. NEZWORSKI:  -- I think it's very clear I

           9   can find somebody that'll finance this project and

          10   whatever we can come up with that the city of Fort Worth

          11   thinks are their needs or their concerns, but we've got

          12   to talk to a lot of people.  And that's going to take

          13   some time.  I've started talking to a few people.  But

          14   without access and information about the property, it's

          15   kind of hard to talk about it and say, well, what can you

          16   do with this thing.

          17             The same thing's true with the Trust for Public

          18   Land.  We're not certain what they're going to do with it

          19   yet or who's going to be the ultimate end user.  But I

          20   think to have a level playing field here and get the best

          21   offer, you ought to just say, What are we in a hurry for.

          22             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Well, I just --

          23   again, my question was simply to understand --

          24             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Yes, sir.

          25             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- who we're speaking

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   with and who's speaking with us --

           2             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I understand.

           3             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- because you're a

           4   prospective purchaser.

           5             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Absolutely.

           6             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.  That's --

           7   which is great, you know.

           8             MR. NEZWORSKI:  But I --

           9             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  We're glad to hear

          10   you're interested and hope you maintain your interest.

          11             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Well, I'd love to spend more

          12   time.  I'd like -- I think we're going to try to go

          13   finish some stuff Friday subject to what you decide here. 

          14   But if you decide here that you've already figured out

          15   what the best offer is, then I'm not sure if there's any

          16   reason for us to keep going forward.  So thank you for

          17   your time.

          18             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Madame Chair?

          19             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Yes, sir?

          20             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Excuse me.  Would you be

          21   envisioning something that would have some public usage

          22   of at least part of the property --

          23             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I think --

          24             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  -- or a significant part

          25   of it?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I think you've already

           2   established that some part of it -- and my conversations

           3   with Jack have centered around that there needs to be

           4   some public feature to it.  Now, what the public feature

           5   is right now I'm not certain, because I don't know enough

           6   about it.  And I don't know what the city might want and

           7   what the local people might want there and what they

           8   would tolerate and what they wouldn't tolerate.  I'm

           9   just -- I'm not certain, and I need some time to figure

          10   that out.

          11             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Based on some of the

          12   other projects you've been involved in, would you

          13   envision that being a significant portion of it as a

          14   percentage of the land, or a minor portion, or what?

          15             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Well, I think that right now,

          16   it's fair to say that I think half of it would be open

          17   space.  It wouldn't be covered with houses and those

          18   kinds of things.  What type of use that open space might

          19   be?  It could be golf.  It could be -- we've got a

          20   project in Lake Tahoe where we've actually got an outdoor

          21   concert venue for the symphony to play in, you know, four

          22   or five times a summer.

          23             So I don't know if -- I don't know what the

          24   community wants or what they need, but I'd like to

          25   investigate that because that's ultimately, I think, what

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   we're trying to do here, which is to, one, maximize how

           2   much money this Commission gets to go re-invest.  And

           3   really, what do the local people there want?

           4             If they just want a buffer because there's a

           5   few neighbors that are very powerful in Fort Worth and

           6   they say, "We don't want to see any development at all,"

           7   then let's face facts.  That's what it's going to be. 

           8   But that doesn't necessarily serve the community very

           9   well.

          10             So I just think we're -- we've kind of sped up

          11   this process based on what happened in August.  And, you

          12   know, we've only had 60-plus days happen since August,

          13   when we said -- everybody that was here -- even

          14   Commissioners on this panel -- were saying, Let's slow

          15   this process down and find the best proposal.  Well, now

          16   we've got it all sped up again.  I'm not certain of what

          17   has changed since last August, when you were being asked

          18   to slow the process down.

          19             And from my perspective, I'd like to see the

          20   process kind of go its natural course.  And let's get the

          21   best offers in front of you and then let you guys make

          22   the intelligent decision.  So thank you.

          23             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I've got a discussion

          24   point with the Commission.  I think that the assumption

          25   behind the resolution is that there's some public use by

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   the purchasers that are working here, and that is the

           2   justification for a negotiated rather than an auction or

           3   appraised price.

           4             And I wonder whether we ought not to include in

           5   this resolution some acknowledgment or confirmation that

           6   there will be some public use -- appropriate public use

           7   which fits with the original intention of the funding,

           8   because I believe that is the basis for a negotiated

           9   price in this case.

          10             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I think that's a very

          11   good point.  And I think it's a concern that -- it was

          12   somewhat expressed in our executive session because at

          13   this point, we don't have any idea what they're talking

          14   about using it for.

          15             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Right.

          16             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  And I think the gentleman

          17   has made a point that certainly occurred to me yesterday,

          18   that it may well be that they're talking about using

          19   this -- making this a buffer or a watershed protection,

          20   or whatever, which doesn't give it any more public access

          21   than it has today in reality.  I have to say that I'm a

          22   little uncomfortable with proceeding with the motion or

          23   the resolution that has been proposed to us, frankly.

          24             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I'm comfortable

          25   proceeding with the negotiated deal provided we have some

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   assurance and the approval right that we do have a public

           2   use, which is consistent with our mission.  I think then

           3   we are well within our policy-making prerogatives, since

           4   we intend to use this money to further the land and water

           5   conservation plan.

           6             And if we ensure there's some public use, to

           7   the extent there is any -- and we don't know right now

           8   whether there is -- between this price or an appraised or

           9   competitive market price, we're still achieving the same

          10   public purpose, which is our mission.  So I would be open

          11   to some suggestions from either staff or other Commission

          12   members as to how to craft that language.

          13             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I would just point

          14   out that all your suggesting -- and I agree with you --

          15   is making the option consistent with the exception, which

          16   is --

          17             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Right.

          18             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  -- that you can

          19   continue to market.

          20             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Right.

          21             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  But if you read that,

          22   it says, To other public or public/private entities whose

          23   use upon acquisition would be in accordance with the

          24   mission of TPWD.  I think you just need to make the

          25   option consistent with the exception, and then it's

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   uniform.

           2             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We do have one more

           3   speaker that -- I think it would be correct to have Amy

           4   Morris speak.  And then we can continue this discussion.

           5             Amy Morris?

           6             MS. MORRIS:  Thank you, and pardon my

           7   chattering.  I'm so cold that I may be shaking, and it's

           8   not from fear; it's from being cold.  Anyway, my name is

           9   Amy Morris; I'm with the Trust for Public Land.  Thank

          10   you for the opportunity to speak today, and I know it's

          11   at the end of the day.

          12             We were in attendance at the meeting several

          13   months ago where the results of the land and water

          14   conservation study showed that there was a lack of

          15   available park space in Texas.  And we think that Eagle

          16   Mountain Lake -- the property represents an ideal

          17   opportunity to keep the property and make it available to

          18   the community.

          19             If you've not been there, the rolling terrain

          20   and this waterfront property which is unique to the area

          21   represents a truly unique opportunity for connection to

          22   the land in an area of rapidly diminishing open space. 

          23   Although Eagle Mountain Lake is only several miles from a

          24   major metropolitan area, it would provide an active

          25   nature retreat for many urban dwellers.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             Trust for Public Land, as a conservation buyer,

           2   is charged with and our mission is providing land for

           3   public use.  We are a 30-year-old organization.  We have

           4   offices throughout the United States.  We are highly

           5   capitalized in that we buy property and we're

           6   available -- able to buy property, but we don't hold it. 

           7   So although we can buy the property, we want to make sure

           8   that we have the right take-out agent to buy the property

           9   back from us.  So it's kind of a unique role.

          10             We value our relationship that we've had with

          11   other partnerships with Texas Parks and Wildlife.  And I

          12   want to make sure that we manage expectations by not

          13   promising to deliver something that we're unable to do

          14   so.  We do utilize option agreements to place property

          15   under option, although a lot of times we just call that a

          16   purchase and sale agreement with some earnest money.

          17             And as a part of that, I -- along those lines,

          18   I have, I guess, a modification to the recommendation

          19   that Jack made.  And that was that we -- I propose that

          20   we stick with the original option time period that was

          21   discussed in the August meeting, which was a year from

          22   this most recent August, which would be -- the option

          23   period would extend until August of 2003, and that this

          24   option period be an exclusive right to market the

          25   property, as well, as opposed to an open right to market

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   the property.

           2             And the reason that we've found this works best

           3   is that it's hard to garner the coalition and the public

           4   support if you don't have an exclusive right to market

           5   the property.  If you're generating activity and you're

           6   soliciting funds and you're talking to the city and

           7   you're talking to the foundations and you're talking to

           8   the local representatives, if you say that we are one of

           9   many that may or may not have the right to close on the

          10   property, it dilutes your ability to generate those funds

          11   to buy the property.  So we feel that's really important.

          12             So our first proposal to or -- amendment to the

          13   recommendation is to keep the option period the same as

          14   it was before, to grant an exclusive right and to provide

          15   some option at fair market value for the landowner to --

          16   the new landowner, which, again, would allow public

          17   access to the property, but to allow the option for them

          18   to purchase or -- us to purchase the mineral rights at

          19   fair market value.

          20             Finally, we fully realize and can appreciate

          21   the realities of Texas Parks and Wildlife's financial

          22   obligations and opportunity to utilize the funds from the

          23   sale of Eagle Mountain Lake to buy a larger park while,

          24   at the same time, we feel that there are options for

          25   compromise that are available in order to obtain the best

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   possible stewards of this property.  And that's all I

           2   had.

           3             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  May I address some of

           4   those points?

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Montgomery?

           6             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Ms. Morris, thank

           7   you.  I think what we're proposing is that the time frame

           8   would be allowed -- the modification would allow the year

           9   time frame but would require a performance measure as a

          10   check-point.  I think we don't want to be tied up and

          11   have a deal happen, and we do want to pursue other

          12   options.

          13             I'm speaking my own opinion, but I think that's

          14   consistent with the executive session discussions the

          15   Commission has had.  I certainly as a buyer would want

          16   the exclusive right to market, and I respect you for

          17   asking for it.  I think we do want to retain -- feel very

          18   strongly -- and we had a strong discussion on that --

          19   that we want to retain the right to market the property

          20   if we see a deal that's not going to happen.

          21             I think what you're seeing, though, is that we

          22   do intend to proceed in good faith if we enter into this

          23   agreement to help you all and assist you and make it

          24   happen.  But we're as a group very determined to move

          25   this property into some other hands which keeps some kind

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   of purpose consistent with our mission but which pays us

           2   a reasonable price for it and allows us to execute our

           3   strategic plans we have.

           4             So chilling the market, as the first gentleman

           5   alluded to, I think, is a real issue.  If we absolutely

           6   lock ourselves up and take ourselves off the market with

           7   no conditions, no rights or anything else for a full

           8   year, I don't think we're going to do that.  And I don't

           9   think we should do that.

          10             So with that spirit of it, I think what I would

          11   like to move when everyone's ready is that we make the

          12   modification Commissioner Fitzsimons said, which is that

          13   we have some check-point and approval that the use is

          14   consistent with our mission as it's outlined there and

          15   that we have an ability of the buyer to extend -- the

          16   prospective purchaser to extend through August, but

          17   subject to performance criteria and perhaps an option

          18   payment that's more substantial than this at that point.

          19             I'd like to see us go that route so that we

          20   have a check-point and we know that we've got a high

          21   likelihood of making a deal and, otherwise, that we're

          22   free to pursue other options.

          23             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Madame?

          24             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Fitzsimons?

          25             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Just as a

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   clarification, the option is exclusive.  When you read

           2   the motion, everything is subject to your exclusive

           3   option.  So I think that satisfies or should your concern

           4   about having people going around you or not being able to

           5   negotiate in good faith with these partners.

           6             Also, it -- again, Jack has done a very good

           7   job in the drafting.  It does state that it is for public

           8   use, "Trust for Public Land for public use."  And I don't

           9   know that -- Donato may disagree with me.  I don't know

          10   that you need to be any clearer than that.

          11             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Well, let me express my

          12   comments.  I feel that we ought to maximize the value of

          13   this property but, in the same breath, maximize the value

          14   with a dedicated public use.  And I personally at this

          15   point am not satisfied that we're at that level.  So I

          16   personally would rather have us maximize the value and

          17   perhaps grant some first right of refusal.

          18             But I still think that this is a very valuable

          19   asset.  I would like to see us maximize that value,

          20   again, and be satisfied that there's some public use in

          21   there.  And that's my concern.

          22             MS. MORRIS:  Well, as a part -- when we're a

          23   buyer of the property, as the buyer of the property,

          24   we -- there must be public access to a property that we

          25   buy.  So that's a part of our --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Could I ask the gentleman

           2   that addressed us?  I forgot your name.

           3             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Mine, or Mr. Picker's?

           4             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  You or either one of you.

           5             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Yes?

           6             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Assuming that -- just

           7   theoretically assuming that you -- that a first right of

           8   refusal were to be granted here, do you feel that that

           9   would impede your efforts to attempt to maximize the

          10   value assuming that that was just theoretical?

          11             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I understand the question.  And

          12   I --

          13             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Mr. Nezworski, could you

          14   please step up to the microphone and re-introduce

          15   yourself?

          16             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I'm Tom Nezworski.

          17             I understand your question, Commissioner Ramos. 

          18   If -- I'll put my lawyer hat back on.  I never ask a

          19   client to try to put a right of first refusal on

          20   something, because it also chills the interest.  And

          21   that's just what happens with people.

          22             Now, as it relates to us, I think if we have

          23   any encouragement from this Commission that you want to

          24   see competing offers and you want to try to, as you've

          25   just said, maximize the value of this piece of property,

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   then we'll work very hard and very diligently, and I'll

           2   try to be back here at the January meeting with something

           3   specific to show this Commission in terms of the things I

           4   said earlier.  Now, that's --

           5             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  But it's not only

           6   maximizing the value of the property.

           7             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I understand.

           8             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  It's maximizing the value

           9   but still having a public use inherent in that

          10   transaction.

          11             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Yes.  And all I can do is

          12   commit to you that I'll work hard with the public partner

          13   I've got to locate, which may be the city of Fort Worth,

          14   which is my  best guess right now, and say, What -- can

          15   we come forward to you in January and say we're going to

          16   make this commitment to you at this price, and this will

          17   be the public aspect to it.  We understand that that's

          18   very important to this Commission.

          19             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Right.  But a first right

          20   of refusal would not chill the transaction as much as an

          21   option would.

          22             MR. NEZWORSKI:  I think they're basically the

          23   same because, you know, if I'm behind her with respect to

          24   a right of first refusal, then this organization has the

          25   ability to, I guess, take that down -- at least, that's

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   what she's telling this Commission, although they seem to

           2   not be putting up their money where their mouth is.

           3             If I were in their position, I would say, I'll

           4   show you my money where my mouth is by putting up 10

           5   percent of the purchase price, whatever that might be, as

           6   a performance of showing that I'm serious about closing

           7   on this thing at the time frame that you give me to close

           8   it.  Obviously, due diligence has to be done.  Obviously,

           9   information has to be gathered, and alliances have to be

          10   formed.  She's talking about doing the same thing.

          11             If I'm behind her and she's working hard, then

          12   I suspect I'm always going to finish in second place. 

          13   And I just want an equal chance to participate.  And that

          14   seemingly is the best thing for this Commission.

          15             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay.  Thank you, very

          16   much.

          17             MR. NEZWORSKI:  Yes, sir.

          18             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I think if we're

          19   going to ask the land -- Trust for Public Land to work on

          20   it, they need a clear contract that they can close on,

          21   period.  So I think you have -- we're -- that proposal

          22   gives you that.  And while I understand, because I've

          23   been in both positions, it's far better to have

          24   exclusivity, I don't think that's something we're willing

          25   to grant.

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             So I would like to see us have some approval

           2   right that -- some approval that the public use is

           3   something we're happy with and it's not just a nominal

           4   public use, because I think that's a critical point in

           5   this.  Beyond that, I'd like to perhaps modify the

           6   language, Joseph, if you'd give us a little detail.  And

           7   I'm ready to make a motion that we move in this

           8   direction.

           9             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Madame Chairman, I'm

          10   concerned as to whether or not we really have a clear

          11   consensus from the Commission on what we ought to do on

          12   this and wonder what problems it would create for the

          13   Trust for Public Lands and other interested parties if we

          14   were to delay further action on this until January, the

          15   January meeting.

          16             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  If we do that, we

          17   should decide whether we're going to encourage proposals

          18   or simply give them time to put theirs together.  If

          19   we're -- I mean, we're -- I think to delay for the sake

          20   of delay only hurts our prospects --

          21             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Well --

          22             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- of getting it

          23   sold.

          24             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  It would be with the

          25   understanding that anyone that has -- any other --

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   anybody that has proposals would have an opportunity to

           2   make them.

           3             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  And our previous

           4   motion will stand -- correct -- from August?

           5             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Yes.  It wouldn't change

           6   the motion in August.

           7             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Ms. Morris, could you

           8   answer a question for me?

           9             MS. MORRIS:  Certainly.

          10             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Would you step up to the

          11   microphone?

          12             MS. MORRIS:  Yes, ma'am.

          13             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.  I think the

          14   previous speaker made a point about the deposit that is

          15   hard to ignore.  Would you --

          16             MS. MORRIS:  We can certainly increase our

          17   deposit, our earnest money deposit.  That's not a problem

          18   at all.  We have revolving funds that we can access

          19   immediately once we have an acceptable purchase and sale

          20   agreement or option agreement and proceed with that.

          21             One more thing I did want to add about, again,

          22   non-exclusive or creating partnerships and coalitions is

          23   that we are in the stages of creating this coalition to

          24   bring the groups together to buy the property.  We've

          25   talked to several private organizations and the Tarrant

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   Regional Water District.  We've made some inroads with

           2   the city of Fort Worth, and we're talking to foundations.

           3             So, again, I think it's important to get -- in

           4   order to get their commitment, we have to have or we --

           5   it's important to have the exclusive right to market -- I

           6   mean, to have control of the property; otherwise, again,

           7   everybody's going to be talking to the same people to get

           8   the same thing.

           9             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I need to ask staff a

          10   question if -- and the Commission, too.  If we wait until

          11   January, it seems to me we're saying we're open to all

          12   comers, but we're going to make a decision on price and

          13   on use combined.  If we do that, it seems to me -- there

          14   are potential purchasers that are not in the room, and

          15   we've got to really open it up and make it clear that

          16   we're opening it up -- that we're really talking about a

          17   quasi-auction or an advertised RFP process.

          18             I think we get right back into the same

          19   argument.  If we just delay and say to the people here

          20   today, Come back with proposals.  I'm not sure we're

          21   solving our problem if we do that.  I'm not necessarily

          22   opposed to it.  The other solution would be to take this

          23   amendment and say, "Its appraised value," and have an

          24   appraisal ordered right now so that in January, we have

          25   an appraisal and we have a price and it's at appraised

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   value.

           2             And, you know, the Trust for Public Land may

           3   not like that, and that may kill the deal with them, in

           4   which case, we'd know where we are.  But that's the other

           5   solution to this riddle that we're dealing with.

           6             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Well, if you -- I'm

           7   very hesitant to ever disagree with my fellow

           8   Commissioner Montgomery.

           9             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Well, I'm just

          10   raising questions right now.

          11             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I -- maybe I need

          12   some guidance from Jack Bauer on this, but my

          13   understanding is if you table, then you're at status quo;

          14   you're where you were before.  That's -- Jack could maybe

          15   help me with that, but --

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Jack, could you answer

          17   that question, please?

          18             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  And then we're under

          19   the terms of our previous motion.  Correct?

          20             MR. BAUER:  It would be --

          21             Where's Ann Bright?

          22             I think we have an existing motion.  You have

          23   told us what to do, and we're operating under the

          24   existing motion of August.

          25             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Right.  And that

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   limits it to the sort of proposals we're looking at right

           2   now.  So the only thing -- I disagree with you, Phil --

           3   is that it doesn't really open it up to some sort of

           4   general bidding process; it's still open space, public

           5   use, public/private partnerships and public entities, if

           6   I remember our previous motion.  So I don't think it

           7   throws us all the way back.

           8             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Doesn't the previous

           9   motion say, "Preference," though?

          10             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I think you're right. 

          11   Preference is --

          12             MR. BAUER:  Yes, sir, it does.  It says, To

          13   sell at or above appraised value, give preference to a

          14   public or a public/private partnership with the

          15   anticipation that it would be available for public use.

          16             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  To me, the extent of the

          17   public use will impact the appraised value.  And I

          18   thought the motion's intent was that there would be a

          19   preference but not an exclusivity.

          20             So it seems to me that if -- and just

          21   theoretically, if there were four offers, one of which

          22   incorporated a much larger park area or a much greater

          23   public use area at a stipulated price -- I think part of

          24   the exercise is weighing how much of the acreage will

          25   actually be dedicated to the public.  Obviously, the more

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   that's dedicated to the public, I would think the buyer

           2   would probably feel that there's less property available

           3   for other uses, and the appraised value would drop.

           4             So that's what I'm struggling with.  And I just

           5   feel that we owe it to the citizens of this state to

           6   maximize the value but ensure as great a public access as

           7   possible at the same time.

           8             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Consistent with our

           9   mission.  Right.

          10             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  That's exactly the way I

          11   feel about it.

          12             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  If --

          13             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  And I don't think we're

          14   there today.

          15             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Nor do I, sir.

          16             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  If we delay until

          17   January, let's be sure we're going to make a decision in

          18   January.  We really need to resolve that we're going to

          19   make a decision and stay on this time schedule.  That's

          20   my biggest concern.

          21             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I agree with that.

          22             COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  So I think we really

          23   need to look each other in the eyes and say, We're going

          24   to step up here if the Commission's not ready to do

          25   something today.  I'd be ready to do something today,

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   personally, but I think consensus is important and

           2   unanimity is a worthy goal for us to be sure that we're

           3   acting as a group.

           4             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Jack?

           5             MR. BAUER:  Madame Chairman and Commissioners,

           6   in listening to Mr. Picker and Mr. Nezworski, would it

           7   not be in the sense of the existing motion if between now

           8   and then they would make a proposal under the intent of

           9   the existing motion?  I think that would be -- in my

          10   view, that would be very consistent with what you -- the

          11   direction you gave us in August.

          12             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  They and anyone else that

          13   you're --

          14             MR. BAUER:  Or anyone else.

          15             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Or -- yes, or anyone

          16   else.

          17             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do I understand clearly

          18   that what we're discussing here is opening up a two-

          19   month -- three-month period where we would entertain

          20   proposals from other groups consistent with our mission

          21   and that we would examine those proposals and come to

          22   some kind of a firm decision in January that would

          23   then -- we would then adopt some sort of an agreement

          24   along the lines we've discussed if that's appropriate or

          25   if that's the way it works out -- at the January meeting?

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Well, we're extending

           2   really for two more months our August motion.  Correct?

           3             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  That's --

           4             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Technically, isn't

           5   that what we're doing?

           6             MR. BAUER:  That's what I'm interpreting.  If

           7   you will, give me that confirmation.

           8             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Yes.

           9             COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I'll make the motion.

          10             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Can we have the minutes

          11   reflect that it was requested that -- with the intention

          12   that we'll make a final decision at the January meeting?

          13             COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I'll second that.

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All in favor?

          15             (A chorus of ayes.)

          16             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All opposed?

          17             (No response.)

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

          19             Agenda Item Number 12 is an action item:  Land

          20   Acquisitions, Cameron County, Somervell County.

          21             Jack Bauer?

          22             MR. BAUER:  Madame Chairman and Commissioners,

          23   the proposed land acquisition transactions heard by the

          24   Conservation Committee of the Parks and Wildlife

          25   Commission yesterday are summarized below for action. 

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   The purchase of approximately 72 acres in Cameron County

           2   is recommended as a habitat addition to the Longoria Unit

           3   at Las Palomas, and the purchase of approximately 60

           4   acres in Somervell County is recommended as a natural

           5   resource addition to Dinosaur Valley State Park.

           6             Staff recommends you consider the motion before

           7   you to acquire these sites.  And I'll be happy to answer

           8   any questions.

           9             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  So moved.

          10             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          11             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We may have -- is there an

          12   Agenda Item Number 13?

          13             (Pause.)

          14             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Is -- Ellis Gilleland, did

          15   you sign up to speak to this issue, or not?

          16             MR. GILLELAND:  I did not sign up to speak on

          17   the acquisition issue, only on the Tarrant County sale.

          18             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Thank you.

          19             Do we have a motion?

          20             COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I moved.

          21             MR. BAUER:  Commissioner Henry moved approval

          22             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          23             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Do we have a second?

          24             COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          25             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Ramos has

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1   seconded.  All in favor?

           2             (A chorus of ayes.)

           3             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  All opposed?

           4             (No response.)

           5             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Motion carries.

           6             Mr. Cook, is there any other business to come

           7   before this Commission today?

           8             MR. COOK:  No, ma'am.

           9             CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Meeting adjourned.

          10             (SESSION ENDS.)

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           5        APPROVED this the 23rd day of January 2003.
           8                         _________________________________
           9                         Katharine Armstrong, Chairman
          12                         _________________________________
          13                         Ernest Angelo, Jr., Vice Chairman
          16                         _________________________________
          17                         John Avila, Jr., Member
          20                        _________________________________ 
          21                         Joseph B. C. Fitzsimons, Member
          24                         _________________________________

          25                         Alvin L. Henry, Member
          28                         _________________________________
          29                         Philip Montgomery, III, Member
          32                         ________________________________

          33                         Donato D. Ramos, Member
          36                         ________________________________
          37                         Kelly W. Rising, M.D., Member
          40                         ________________________________
          41                         Mark E. Watson, Jr., Member

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342


           1                     C E R T I F I C A T E
           5   MEETING OF:     Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
           6                   Public Hearing
           8   LOCATION:      Austin, Texas
          10   DATE:          November 7, 2002
          14             I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages,
          15   numbers 1 through 169, inclusive, are the true, accurate,
          16   and complete transcript prepared from the verbal
          17   recording made by electronic recording by Penny Bynum
          18   before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
          24                                            12/10/02
          25                       (Transcriber)         (Date)
          27                        On the Record Reporting, Inc.
          28                        3307 Northland, Suite 315
          29                        Austin, Texas 78731

                                ON THE RECORD REPORTING
                                    (512) 450-0342

Top of Page