Presenter: Jack Bauer

Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Land Transfer – Brazoria and Jefferson Counties
May 2005

I. Executive Summary:

  1. Jefferson County (County) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) have assembled ownership of lands associated with coastal waters and wetlands of Keith Lake in Jefferson County over the past decade. Both the County and TPWD have encouraged conservation of wetlands and public use on these lands in a cooperative way. Additional recreational development and implementation of a broad wetland conservation strategy of all County and TPWD lands associated with the Keith Lake Fish Pass could further enhance the public recreation opportunity. This proposal recommends specific real estate transactions between the County and TPWD that would provide the legal framework to accomplish the wetland conservation and public use strategy desired by these parties.
  2. The donors of two tracts of land associated with the John McCrosky Log House, a historic structure associated with Stephen F. Austin settlement in Brazoria County has requested the return of the property. This item summarizes the proposed transactions in Jefferson and Brazoria County for consideration by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission).

II. Discussion:

  1. TPWD owns 12.6-acres at the east end of Keith Lake Fish Pass, the Calloway tract, managed as part of the Salt Bayou Unit of the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area (JDM WMA). The County recently acquired approximately 110-acres, the SEMPRA tract, adjacent to the TPWD Calloway tract that lies along the remainder of both sides of the Keith Lake Fish Pass. The County has secured grant funding to provide new boat ramp and parking facilities on the newly acquired SEMPRA tract through a TPWD grant program. TPWD is assisting the County in the permitting to allow for the proposed development. TPWD desires to manage the wetland habitats on County property adjacent to the Keith Lake Fish Pass in a manner consistent with wetland habitat management of the Salt Bayou Unit of JDM WMA and provide hunter/fisher access from the proposed County boat ramp/parking facilities.
    Under Parks and Wildlife Code § 13.008, TPWD proposes the following real property transactions between TPWD and the County.
    1. TPWD transfer fee ownership but reserve a conservation easement of the 12.6-acre Callaway tract to the County;
    2. The County transfer a conservation easement on the 110-acre SEMPRA tract to TPWD, and,
    3. The conservation easement of both the SEMPRA and Callaway tracts held by TPWD would be structured to allow for public use and recreation to the benefit of TPWD and Jefferson County.
  2. Two tracts of land associated with the John McCrosky Log Home in Brazoria County were donated by heirs of the Nannie M. Stringfellow estate in January 2001. The intent of the donation at that time was for the development of the interpretation of the site of the early Stephen F. Austin settlement as part of the Varner Hogg State Historic Site (SHS). With the purchase of the Levi Jordan property nearby, the direction of interpretation development by TPWD has changed and the McCrosky structure and grounds are no longer desired. The donors of the property have requested the property be returned to their 501 (C)3 foundation for preservation and conservation. Under Parks and Wildlife Code § 13.008, two tracts of land are recommended for transfer back to the donors foundation for public purposes described as:
    1. Being 11.06 acres of land situated in the John McCrosky Survey, Abstract 84 in Brazoria County, an
    2. Being 1.006 acres of land situated in Outlet No. 1 of the Brazos Valley Plantation Company Orchard Tracts, same being located in the John McCrosky Survey, Abstract 84, Brazoria County.

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

"Under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code § 13.008, the Executive Director is authorized to take all steps necessary to transfer approximately 12.6-acres to Jefferson County reserving a conservation easement in return for acceptance of a conservation easement on approximately 110-acres from Jefferson County and transfer two tracts of land totaling 12.060 acres to the Beacroft Foundation out of the Nannie M. Stringfellow WMA and Varner Hogg SHS in Brazoria County for public purposes."

Attachment - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Property Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit A

Jefferson County Propertymap