Commission Agenda Item No. 19
Presenter:  Corky Kuhlmann

Tramway Easement, Land Trade – El Paso County
January 24, 2013

I.       Executive Summary:  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff has a request for a Tramway easement and land trade at Franklin Mountains State Park (Park).

II.      Discussion:  TPWD staff has received a request from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) for an easement and land trade to construct a new Lower Terminal Building at Franklin Mountains State Park.  The FAA has operated a tramway within the interior of the Park prior to TPWD acquiring the property.  The FAA tramway is for the purpose of transporting FAA personnel from a conventional vehicle access point at the lower terminal to mountain top communication towers.  The lower terminal facility needs to be replaced without disrupting the FAA’s tram service to the top of the mountain.  This can only be accomplished by building on a new site a short distance from the existing facility which will require additional easement area from TPWD and a land trade of approximately one acre of FAA land for the same of Park land.

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

“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”

Attachments – 4

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution
  2. Exhibit B — Location Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 19
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission regarding an Exchange of Approximately One Acre of Real Property and the Granting of an Easement or Easements for the Replacement of a Tramway in Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso County


Whereas, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) owns and operates a tramway at Franklin Mountain State Park for the purpose of providing access to a mountaintop communications tower site; and,

Whereas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) owns and operates Franklin Mountains State Park (the Park) to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for the public; and,

Whereas, in order to replace outdated tramway facilities at the base of the tramway to provide safe access to its communications facilities without any interruption in service, the FAA needs to construct new facilities on land owned by TPWD; and,

Whereas, the FAA proposes to abandon certain existing facilities and clear them from land owned by FAA; and,

Whereas, the FAA requests an exchange of FAA land for an equal amount of TPWD land on which to place new FAA facilities (Exchange), and requests an associated easement or easements as needed for the relocated aerial portion of the tramway (Easement); and,

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) finds that as required by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, notices of today’s hearing of this matter were published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in newspapers of general circulation which are published at least six days a week in the communities nearest to the Park in which such newspapers are published (the El Paso Times in El Paso County), with the last day of publication being not less than one week or more than two weeks before the date of today’s hearing; and,

Whereas, staff of TPWD have worked with the FAA to minimize impacts to wildlife, habitat and the operations of the Park during construction and transition of operations to the new facilities; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, that (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use or taking of such land (Exchange and Easement); (2) the program or project that requires the use or taking of land (Exchange and Easement) includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land (Park); and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Section 13.009 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code that Exchange of land and conveyance of the Easement(s) subject to conditions that will minimize the overall impacts of the Exchange and Easement(s) on the Park is in the best interest of TPWD; and,

Now, therefore, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to negotiate terms and conditions under which an Exchange and Easement may be granted, and to grant an Exchange and Easement(s) to the Federal Aviation Administration for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approving this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 24th day of January 2013.

T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman

Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

Antonio Falcon, M.D., Member

Karen J. Hixon, Member

Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

Bill Jones, Member

Margaret Martin, Member

S. Reed Morian, Member

Dick Scott, Member

Commission Agenda Item No. 19
Exhibit B

Location Map
El Paso County

Commission Agenda Item No. 19
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map
Franklin Mountains State Park

Commission Agenda Item No. 19
Exhibit D

Site Map
Franklin Mountains SP