Presenter: Ann Bright

Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Land Donation – Anderson, Brazoria, and El Paso Counties
January 2005

I. Executive Summary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has been offered land tracts as gifts in Anderson, Brazoria and El Paso Counties. This item describes the actions taken by staff relative to the donations or are recommended for action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission).

II. Discussion: TPWD has been offered as gifts real property in Anderson, Brazoria and El Paso Counties. Details of the donation offers are identified below.

Two adjacent tracts totaling approximately 862-acres of rolling pine-oak forest habitat in southwestern Anderson County (Exhibit A) have been left to TPWD as directed by the will of Ms. Ann Moore of Houston, Texas along with a direct gift of $300,000 for operation expenses. The site has been evaluated by TPWD for use as an addition or satellite to existing State Park and Wildlife Management Area facilities and as a new facility as a concession-operated recreational vehicle site. Staff found the tracts to contain good quality habitat typical of the area but poorly suited for the proposed uses and therefore inconsistent with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan relative to meeting land acquisition goals. TPWD has rejected the donation offer. As part of the will bequest, the property will now be offered to the Nature Conservancy of Texas.

Approximately 0.1-acre of vacant commercial highway frontage at Levi Jordan State Historic Site (SHS) in Brazoria County has been offered to the Department (Exhibit B). This tract was recommended as an acquisition to protect the Levi Jordan SHS from roadside commercial development but the landowners have since offered it as a gift.

A 0.38-acre vacant commercial lot in El Paso County adjacent to the Magoffin Home SHS has been offered to the agency from the Casa Magoffin Compan?eros friends group (Exhibit C). The legal description of the property is "lots 17 through 21 and the west nine (9) feet of Lot 22, Block 16, Franklin Heights Addition to the City of El Paso, known as 1101 Magoffin Avenue." The site is recommended for development as a parking lot for visitors to the Magoffin Home facility. TPWD staff initially identified the site for potential environmental contamination. Recent extensive testing has confirmed that no contamination exists on the site.

Jobe Concrete Products, Inc. operates a quarry site on the southeast side of Franklin Mountain State Park in El Paso County. The company has offered as a gift in fee 20.00-acres adjacent to the park near Mount Franklin, a 35.886-acre gift tract as a conservation easement near Sugarloaf Mountain, and a 15.00-acre gift tract as a conservation easement near the Aerial Tramway. Acceptance would be contingent upon Jobe Concrete Products, Inc. demonstrating clear title and ownership prior to the transfer. Plats of the tracts are identified in Exhibit D.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Executive Director is authorized to accept land donations of approximately 0.1-acre in Brazoria County as an addition to Levi Jordan SHS, approximately 0.38-acre in El Paso County as an addition to Magoffin Home SHS, and approximately 70.886-acres in fee and conservation easement as additions to Franklin Mountain SP in El Paso County subject to the demonstration of clear and undisputed title prior to transfer."