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TPW Commission

Public Hearing, May 25, 2017

Transcript

TPW Commission Meetings

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION

May 25, 2017

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
COMMISSION HEARING ROOM
4200 SMITH SCHOOL ROAD

AUSTIN, TEXAS 78744

COMMISSION MEETING

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Good morning, everyone. I'm going to call our meeting to order May -- sorry -- May 25, 2017.

Before we proceed with our business, Mr. Smith, I believe you have a statement to make.

MR. SMITH: I do. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. Public notice of this meeting containing all items on the proposed agenda has been filed in the Office of the Secretary of State as required by Chapter 551 Government Code, referred to as the Open Meetings Act. I would like for this fact to be noted in the official record of the meeting.

Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, I just want to join y'all in welcoming everybody. We've got folks that have come in from near and far and from all over the state to join us this morning. For those of you that have been to this meeting before, you know that we're going to kick up by some special presentations and recognitions, staff and colleagues from all over the state for their service and contributions to the Department.

After that part of the meeting is over, the Chairman will call a brief break and that will allow those of you who aren't planning to stay for the rest of the meeting to go ahead and leave and then he'll resume the meeting at which we'll take up the various action items.

For those of you who have come to speak on a particular item that the Commission is going to be voting on, I want to make sure that you've had a chance to sign up outside. At the appropriate time and when that action item comes up, the Chairman will call you by name. We'll ask you to come up here to the podium. We'll ask you to state who you are and who you represent and what your position is on that item. The Chairman will give you two or three minutes to address the Commission about that item. Our ladies here will monitor that with a green light/red light system. And so green means go, yellow means start to wind it up, and red means eject. So wrap it up.

So we appreciate y'all being here. Also, just because of the sound in this room, if you've got a conversation you need to have or you've got a cell phone, if y'all can silence that for us and step outside if you need to visit. Thanks for joining us today.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Thank you, sir.

All right. Our next item is the approval of the minutes from the meeting held by the Commission on March 23, 2017. The minutes have been distributed. Do I hear a motion? Commissioner Scott.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: Second.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Second, Commission Morian.

Any opposition to the approval?

Hearing none, the motion carries.

Next item, acknowledge of the list of donations. That, too, has been distributed. Is there a motion for approval?

Commissioner Latimer, second Commissioner Jones.

Any opposition?

Motion carries.

Next item, consideration of contracts. This, too, has been distributed. Is there a motion for approval?

Commissioner Warren, second Commissioner Scott.

Any opposition?

Hearing none -- yes, sir.

COMMISSIONER JONES: Just during the break -- not now -- I would just like to discuss this with Bob, one of -- a couple contracts I just have a question about, but I can go that during the break.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Do you want to hold off on approving the contracts until you have the opportunity to have that discussion?

COMMISSIONER JONES: I would, if that's okay.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. We'll defer then that for a few minutes. Make myself note.

All right. Next on our agenda are special recognitions, retirement, and service awards. Mr. Smith, please make your presentations.

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. For the record, my name is Carter Smith with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We're going to kick it off this morning with a special presentation by our friends at the Whole Earth Provision Company, and we talk a lot about state parks and state park funding with y'all on a regular basis.

We talk about the sporting goods portion of the sales tax and how outdoor enthusiasts that acquire outdoor related equipment and the sales tax that they pay on that, ultimately is collected and is used to help fund our state and local parks and historic sites and where the rubber hits the road on that are outdoor retailers at places like Whole Earth Provision Company and from a business perspective, we couldn't have a better partner than our friends at Whole Earth.

And I think this is the sixth year, Chairman, in which they've done that, in which they've designated April as State Park month and so -- and from top to bottom of that store and their eight stores around the state at South Lake and Dallas and Houston and San Antonio and Austin, they promote state parks up and down. They feature parks. They have special sessions in which park staff come in and folks that come to shop at the store can ask a park ranger about anything and everything.

All of their employees are avid state park users. The Jones family, one of the owners of Whole Earth, their family was in the ranching business out in Del Rio and actually donated the park that we know as Kickapoo Cavern State Natural Area. So there's a deep family tie to state parks, as well. They host a Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is a series of outdoor shorts that they do at the Paramount Theater and that's a two-night special there in which they've got all these outdoor films and they give Brent Leisure and Russell Fishbeck a chance to get up there on stage and dress like John Wayne and quote a little Shakespeare and tell the world about state parks. And so they've just been great friends and they raise funds during the month of May to present to the Department as a donation to support state parks and we've got the Jones family here with us and Walter Wakefield and Bert Peeples here and I think Holland is going to make a little presentation.

And so are you going to say a word or two, Holland or --

MR. HOLLAND JONES: Just a couple.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: -- you weren't planning on it?

MR. HOLLAND JONES: Just a few.

MR. SMITH: All right. Let's practice your extemporaneous speaking. So, Holland, you're up.

(Round of applause)

MR. HOLLAND JONES: I just wanted to say -- kind of mirror what Carter said and that on behalf of our ownership, our staff, and kind of our amazing customers all around Texas and really the whole earth, how much we enjoy this partnership and it really is a partnership; and it's an excellent cause that we're all supporting. Working with Texas Parks and Wildlife has been a great partnership and we've enjoyed every minute of it over, I believe, it is six years. I think that's correct. It's all a lot of hard work, but it's really gratifying. We really look forward to Banff every year and April is State Parks month. It's a lot of fun in the stores. So to all our customers. All the parks users out there, to Carter, the killer staff here at Texas Parks and Wildlife, and to this Board, we just want to say thank you for that partnership and the opportunity for what you do and what we get to do with you. So thank you.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: What a great partnership. Thanks again to our friends at Whole Earth.

I think this Commission knows that Memorial Day marks the -- really the onset of very, very busy water safety season for our Law Enforcement team and so on our State's really a thousand public lakes and 200,000 miles of creeks and rivers and 4 million acres of bays and estuaries, really from Memorial Day to Labor Day, our game wardens are going to be out there making sure that the 600,000 plus boaters and their families, the probably million plus paddle craft operators that are out there, the hundreds of thousands if not millions of swimmers, our two and a half million anglers stay safe out on the waterway and that's a big job when you think about just how diverse and varied the State's waterways and all of the recreational and commercial use that goes on out there.

And so it's fitting that today we have a chance to recognize one of our colleagues, Patricia Vannoy, who's a game warden in Chambers County, with the National Association of Boating Safety Law Administrators Officer of the Year Award. And if you've met Patricia, you don't have to worry about wondering if she's going to get up and go to work in the morning. She has got a lot of initiative. I think you may have had a chance to meet her husband David, who's also a game warden in Chambers County. Occasionally, works up here with us on the Executive Protection Team. But Patricia serves in really one of the busiest places in the state and her job literally is on the water when you think about Galveston Bay and East Bay and the Trinity River and all of the marshes that go with it and so her job is port security and maritime security and dealing with commercial and recreational fishermen and sailboaters and folks that are going out on party boats and duck hunters and on and on and on and she just does a masterful job representing the Department in that very, very busy part of the state from a water safety perspective.

She's very well-embedded there in the community there in Chambers County and represents us well for the Department and talking about water and boater safety things, whether it's Alligator Fest in Anahuac or kind of a mini expo that she and other game wardens have put on there in Chambers County to help every year bring together hundreds of citizens and families to talk about the work of the Department.

She's also one of our really go-to experts on boating investigations; and so if there's a boating accident or a boating crash, we go to Patricia to get her help and expertise. She's a Level 1 and Level 2 certified boat accident investigator. She serves on our State Boating Accident, Reconstruction, and Mapping Team. And so if there's a high profile and significant boat crash in the state, you can bet that Patricia may be one of those that's called there to lend her considerable expertise to investigate it.

Now, recently that team led by Patricia was asked to investigate a very high profile accident down on the Rio Grande involving a boat with the Border Patrol and a Mexican vessel on the river. You can imagine the sensitivities associated with that being on the international border and who all was involved. I know that Craig and his team were very proud of the fact that the Department was asked to lead that investigation and Patricia came in, worked in a very difficult situation right there on the river, on the border, you know, a bi-national investigation, used her considerable technical expertise to help ferret out what had happened and lead the drafting of the report and the investigation to present to the Coast Guard about her -- or the Border Patrol about her findings and she's just done that time and time again and so it's no wonder that this year the National Association of Boating Law Administrators are honoring Patricia Vannoy with their Officer of the Year Award. Let's honor Patricia. Patricia, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: We've got another award that's going to be presented to one of our very own, Wes Hamilton. Wes is our superintendent over at Fort Boggy State Park. We're awfully proud of that and our great partners Texans for State Parks, which is a grassroots group made up of individuals and businesses and community leaders and park friends group from all over the state, work every single day helping to support the state park system. I mean, that is the reason that they exist. And so they help where friend raising and fundraising and all kinds of things behind the system to help make the state park system hum.

And one of the things that they do each year is to present a series of awards to folks that they want to recognize for their exemplary service and one of those awards is the Ranger of the Year Award and nobody embodies that better than Wes Hamilton.

Wes has been our superintendent over at Fort Boggy for -- eight years now, Wes?

That state park is located right off I-45 between Houston and Dallas. And really before Wes got there, it was a sleepy, unknown little jewel of a park. I mean, sitting over there in that Post Oak Country with this beautiful lake and boat house and hiking trails; but it was underutilized, underdeveloped, and really kind of off our radar screen. And Wes, through his vision and leadership and interaction with the community, just worked to build community support and community support for it and helped us to secure funding in the Legislature to help with some park development.

Our Infrastructure team and our Force Account team just finished up the completion of three new cabins, two more on the way. And I've got to tell you, these are fabulous. If you're looking for a cabin to take your family in a state park, look no further than Fort Boggy. They are just terrific nestled there under the woods and the chance to access that lake and really all of that is an artifact of Wes' vision and leadership and what he does every single day at the park and for the system and so very proud of the fact that he's being honored with this Ranger of the Year Award.

I want to ask our friend John Gosdin, the President of the Board for Texans for State Parks, to come and present this award to Wes. So, John, thanks for being here today.

(Round of applause)

MR. JOHN GOSDIN: Two years ago, Texas for State Parks decided, you know, we need to put a spotlight on exemplary service that happens by friends groups, volunteers, and also by the staff of this great Department. So we're here for the second time to make this presentation; and as you've heard, there's no better nominee than Wes Hamilton.

Wes, please come forward.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: We're going to now move into the service awards; and I want you to hear this first one, Betty Johnson with our State Parks team. Betty has been with us 45 years. Isn't that amazing? That's just -- yeah. Absolutely remarkable. Now, Betty didn't think I heard this; but the first time that I met Betty, I had to speak to the State Parks group and, you know, back then I was still a spring chicken. It was before Brent and all these Division Directors had just whipped me into submission. I still had a hair on the back of my head. And I got up there to speak and Betty turned to Justin Rhodes, her boss at the time, and said in something less than a whisper, "I've got shoes older than that boy."

So Betty has just done a masterful, masterful job. She started out working in our finance and accounting -- how do you top that -- finance and accounting branch. She then moved to the San Jacinto Battleground Historic Site, where she was our office manager; and then in 1984, she was promoted to our regional office manager for state parks and at that time, our office was in La Porte and that's before we moved it over to Sheldon Lake State Park.

And so Betty's job is a big one. I mean, she's responsible for all of the administrative support for the roughly 18 or 19 state parks within that region of the state, over 200 state park employees, tons of volunteers and others that help provide services. So she's helping with the administration and paperwork and HR and all of the day-to-day things that make things hum and so while her boss Justin Rhodes is out there shaking hands and kissing babies, Betty is the one who is getting it done every single day and has done so proudly for this Department for 45 years. Betty Johnson, let's give her a big round of applause. Bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Our next colleague is Michele Nations and Michele works for our Inland Fisheries team and has been with us for 30 years. Michele actually started with us -- she was in Corpus and moved to Electra, Texas -- garden spot of Wichita County, Commissioner Scott -- to take a job as a technician there at our hatchery and worked as a technician there up in Electra and, again, the garden spot of the earth. I can say that because my wife is from there. If you've never seen the red brick streets of Electra, put that on the your hit list post haste.

Michele worked up there. Quickly showed her prowess in the computer realm and you remember back in the 90s when there was starting to be that split between are you a Mac guy or gal or an IBM guy or gal and, you know, everybody had a friend who was a Mac person and they were like the green egg devotay today. You know, all they could talk about was Mac computers and you thought, "God, what are all these people doing?" Now, they rule the world of course; and that's where Michele has evolved to.

And she quickly just showed her prowess there from a computer perspective. She ended up transferring over to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and then came back over to Possum Kingdom to work in the hatchery office there as a staff service officer. So again, she's the one behind the scenes doing all of the administrative and management related stuff. Her computer skills are put to work every single day with respect to her expertise and database management and so she's planning everything from the purchase of all the food to feed all the fish in the hatcheries to managing volunteers and scheduling all of the work. She just does a masterful job.

She's a certified Texas procurement manager. So she's responsible for making sure that our colleagues there at the hatchery -- hatcheries get the supplies that she needs. She also lends herself as a volunteer to the Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, helping to serve on their History and Awards Committee. So we're awfully proud of her work. She's been with us for 30 years of service, Michele Nations. Michele, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Our next colleague, Cindy Loeffler, has also been with us for 30 years. And I'll tell you, if you want to know where a raindrop goes once it hits the soil and where it's going to run to, just ask Cindy. She's forgotten more about water than, I think, most people in this state will ever know.

She started out, again, 30 years ago as a hydrologist with this Department; and she worked in the realm of helping the Department understand the impacts of different water regimes on fish and wildlife related population. She was part of an interagency team that looked at the value of freshwater inflows into our bays and estuaries and helping to quantify those enumerable benefits. 1987, she was promoted to become the leader of our water resources team, later became our water resources branch chief; and so all things water essentially fall under her purview and she leads a very, very competent and capable team of water quality specialists and water quantity experts, hydrologists and ecologists and engineers and biochemists that, again, help to support the Department's important, you know, fisheries and wildlife work related to water.

Cindy has been on the front lines for us in all of the State's water planning process from SB 1 to SB 2 to SB 3. She's represented us in the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program, the latest SWIFT funding from the State through the Water Development Board, again, Cindy is on the front lines for this Department. Those of you who've worked in the water world know that Mark Twain was right about what he said about water and Cindy is able to approach all that with an evenness of composure in working through some very, very challenging -- sometimes intractable issues -- with some very colorful stakeholders and just does a masterful job representing this Department and the fish and wildlife resources of our state every single day. Thirty years of service, Cindy Loeffler. Bravo, Cindy.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Our next colleague, Mark Foreman, is a fish and wildlife technician with our Coastal Fisheries Division up at Sabine Lake on the upper coast. Mark started with our Coastal Fisheries team at our Port Arthur Lab, working there primarily on Sabine Lake, working to help our Fisheries team with collecting the Fisheries dependent and Fisheries independent data and y'all know that's a great hallmark of this Agency and our Coastal Fisheries team is their commitment to regular and sustained science and monitoring of our bays and estuaries and our fisheries and Mark's really been on the front line of that.

Started out as a fish and wildlife technician two, was promoted to our fish and wildlife technician three, and then later as the team lead for fish and wildlife technician four, and so Mark leads basically all of that sampling efforts. And so when our Fisheries biologists and technicians are collecting data on fisheries every month, Mark is the one planning for that; making sure all of the gear is in order; the boats are functioning and ready to go out on the water; that our biologists and technicians are appropriately scheduled; all of the data then that is collected, Mark is responsible for assimilating that and making sure that that's reported. He's known far and wide for the accuracy of his reports and just does a tremendous job with that group of biologists and technicians that call themselves the "Lakers" up there in Sabine Lake.

I'll tell this quick story because I think it's emblematic of the commitment of the men and women that work for your Department. During Hurricane Ike -- which as you know, just devastated the upper coast -- we had many, many, many of our colleagues that lost their homes or their homes at the very least were flooded out. Our office up there, Robin, was under -- I don't know -- four, five, or six feet of water. And Mark and his team did not miss a single day of work and made sure that they went out and completed all of their sampling and all of their work no matter what the conditions were and they're just a wonderful embodiment of the commitment to this mission and so we're proud to recognize Mark for his 30 years of service. Let's give him a round of applause. Mark, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Our next colleague is with our State Parks team, Jennifer Estes; and Jennifer has been with us 20 years. Started out as an intern when she was at school at -- what do they call that -- the "holler house" on the Brazos? What's that? A&M? And -- thank you, thank you. The Pavlovian response, as we say, Commissioner.

So a little quieter this morning, Jennifer. You're going to have to wake them up.

But she completed that undergraduate degree at A&M, went on to get her master's at Texas State, and is a GIS Specialist for our State Parks team. And so Jennifer is responsible really for all of that geospatial analysis and mapping with our natural and cultural resources when Brent and his team are looking at various features on parks and planning projects, looking at the impacts of this project or that project. Jennifer is the one that's responsible for putting all that in a geospatial context to help folks understand and interpret that, be able to make management decisions. She just does a terrific job whenever we have some kind of an incident around the state -- a hurricane, a fire, a flood, or a tornado -- and we have facilities impacted, Jennifer is brought into that incident command team because of her mapping skills and ability to produce maps that our first responders need to help them plan the response and recovery on that.

She works very well inside the Agency and is frequently brought in for interdivisional teamwork, again, just because of her great spirit of partnerships and we're awfully proud to recognize her today with 20 years of service, Jennifer Estes. Jennifer, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Brent, I'm glad you put on a tie today. That's kind of come in handy, hadn't it? Don't go far.

So our next colleague, Collis Park, is also with our State Parks Division; and Collis is one of our park police officers. He's had a great career with this Department. He started out as a ranger there at Lake Mineral Wells. Moved over to Dinosaur Valley, where he was our lead ranger and park police officer. Promoted to our superintendent at Cleburne State Park; and then in 2014, Collis moved down to South Texas to serve as our regional lieutenant for that state park region, which basically extends from Rockport down the coast and then all the way across the Valley over to Laredo.

In 2015, when our State Parks team underwent some restructuring of our state park police officer functions, Collis applied for and was promoted to captain; and so in that capacity, he's responsible for overseeing all of our park police officers literally from, you know, Goose Island on the mid coast all the way down to Lake Casa Blanca there in Laredo and all of our parks from Falcon Lake and Bentsen and Estero Llano Grande and throughout South Texas.

He just does a great job and I think it's really important to reflect on the work that Collis and his team of officers do because our state parks, which attract 9 million visitors a year -- and these are families that come out and we want them to be safe and feel secure and Collis and his team's job is to make sure that they do that and that's a very important function because on occasion, we have people that come into parks that we don't want to have in parks and Collis and his team, again, handle that very professionally and very quickly.

He's also been very instrumental in working with our Law Enforcement Division on integrating some of our parks and park security into the Operation Secure Texas at places like Bentsen where we've had issues with drug and human smuggling and Collis has been on the front lines working with the joint command system down there and centered there in the Valley and awfully proud of his leadership. Collis Park, let's recognize him today for 20 years of service. Collis, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Our next couple of honorees are really, in my estimation, just a critical part of the backbone of our state park system; and I want to start of with Norma Rocha, who's been with us for 20 years. She started out in our Customer Service Center. So this a place where people call when they want to make a reservation to go to a state parks and so they're wanting to plan their trip, they're wanting to know about campsite availability, how long they can stay, where they can go, is it going to work, can they get there. And so Norma and her colleagues are really our front line ambassadors for the public.

She started out as a reservation agent, was quickly promoted because of her skills and tact and diplomacy to a customer service agent, which basically means that kind of all of the problems get moved over to you, whether it's, you know, an upset customer or there's a reservation related problem, that got put on Norma's plate. She again continued to work her way up in a variety of positions on up to our team lead supervisor for our group agents; and then in July of 2014, Norma has been serving has our license and permit specialist. And so anybody that wants to get, you know, a gift card, a youth group pass, a state park pass, an OHV pass, Christmas ornaments, you name it, it falls under Norma's team and she's just done a fabulous job.

I want to just tell this little story that, again, I think has been the hallmark of her service to your team here, Brent, and this Department.

When she was working as a customer service representative, there was a family that wanted to go to Garner State Park and they had a reservation issue that was precluding them from being able to go and Norma stepped in and got it untangled and fixed it and their vacation came through and they got to go to Garner State Park. And so every year after that, they call. They only want to speak to Norma, and she arranges it every year. And every year, they send her a thank you card thanking her for her service and for helping them make great memories. It's a wonderful hallmark of customer service. Norma Rocha, 20 years of service. Norma, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Our next colleague, Debbie Mojica, has also been with us 20 years; and she, too, started out as a customer service representative, again, working in our call center. She started out as a temporary employee. Did a masterful job. The leadership of that team quickly recognized her skill set. She was hired on full time in the customer service center, again, dealing with, you know, the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of calls and reservations that come through that center on a regular basis.

She's done many things during her career with this Department working in that center; but she stayed focused the whole time and I love the fact that, you know, she sorts through all of the white noise and her focus every day is to help our state park customers with booking their family vacations and a real focus on making that a meaningful and impactful vacation for families that look forward every year to those trips to our state parks and she wants to make them special. And we're awfully proud of the customer service that she embodies every single day in helping folks make memories that will last a lifetime. Let's recognize Debbie Mojica, 20 years of service. Debbie, bravo.

(Round of applause and photographs)

MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, that concludes my presentation. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you, Carter.

Obviously, everyone is welcome to stay; but at this time, I would like to inform everyone that if you would wish to leave after that presentation, you are most welcome to. We'll take five minutes right now. Thanks.

(Recess taken)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: All right. We're going to go ahead and call a vote on consideration of contracts. I believe a Commissioner had a question. Commissioner Jones had a question. Let's go ahead and wait for him a second. All right. We'll come back to that.

Next up is Action Item No. 1, Commission Meeting Policy Regarding Meeting Procedures, Mr. Bob Sweeney. Good morning.

MR. SWEENEY: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, Mr. Smith. I'm Bob Sweeney, and I'm the Acting General Counsel of the Agency. This is an important item because it deals with the balance between the right of the public to participate in these meetings that we hold and the Commission's obligation as part of its public service that all of you undertake to get the business done, the work done that the Legislature and the people of the State expect you to do.

So staff, at the request of a couple of the Commissioners, took a look at the current public participation policies that we have in place and noticed some opportunities for improvement of those policies to better, I think, strike that important balance between the rights of the public and the obligations and duties of the Commissioners.

The proposed draft was published on the Commission website on May 12th, and included in your materials; and the proposed draft would replace current Commission -- current Commission Policy CP-001 in part just regarding the part of the policy regarding public participation in Commission meetings. The policy as proposed is generally consistent with the current practice that everyone who's participated in these meetings is familiar with. It still includes the work sessions like we had yesterday where the Commission meets and hears from staff and it's a noticed public meeting; but there is, in those meetings, no opportunity for public comment. But then at meetings like today's where we have noticed agenda items, the public does have an opportunity to submit comments to participate orally in the meeting, as well as submitting written comments to the extent are consistent with the Commission's policy. And then we also have these general public comment sessions that occur typically once a year, but we can have them more often, where the public can come and talk about any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction and the Commission is not empowered at those meetings to take action on these items, other than setting them for a future Commission consideration; but it's a good opportunity for the public to come and talk about the issues that concern them.

Continuing on, the proposed policy -- as we do now -- would require prior sign up by anyone who proposes to participate orally in the meeting. On the listed items, as we're considering today, there would be a time limit of three minutes per speaker. On the general public comment items, as we do in the annual public meeting, the limit would be two minutes per speaker. And one thing that would be, I think, a clear improvement over current published policy is that the written public comment opportunity would be more clearly stated and more clearly expressed.

Now, in all these regards, the presiding officer of the Commission can modify the policy for a particular meeting; but in any event, any such modifications have to be reasonable and remain content neutral. Meaning, that they can't favor one particular point of view over another.

Another element that needed some examination and improvement in our current policy was the rules of conduct, and these are very important for allowing the Commission to continue and operate without disruption. The Commission needs to be able to get its business done. So the prohibitions that are contained in the proposed policy are against profane or personally threatening remarks, substantial disruption consistent with the Texas Penal Code, and irrelevant comments which don't contribute to the mission of this Agency or of the Commission; and the presiding officer will have the discretion to enforce those rules of conduct.

Commissioners, we received one comment in writing on these proposed rules; and that was from Ms. Evelyn Merz on behalf of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and Ms. Merz essentially makes two comments. No. 1, she recommends that a more user friendly method of submitting comments on Commission action items be developed, preferably linked to the pages with the Commission agenda items. And the staff response to that is I think it's a well-taken comment; and, in fact, that's what this policy would, to some extent, do. The -- really what Ms. Merz was dealing with was the existing situation, existing policy; and I think that one of the goals is for staff to make the written comment policy opportunity more user friendly.

The other comment that Ms. Merz made was a request that the default time limit for speakers at the public meeting, the annual public meeting, be set at three minutes rather than two; and she makes some more extensive comments in support of that, in support of that position.

So I will -- the motion you can see on the screen. I don't know if anyone else is signed up to comment on this item.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: No, nobody is signed to comment.

MR. SWEENEY: Then, Chairman, Commissioners, Mr. Smith, staff recommends the Commission adopt the following motion: We recommend adoption of revision to Commission Policy CP-001 Rules for public participation in Commission meetings as published on the TPWD website on May 12th, 2017. And I'm available for any questions.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thanks, Bob.

Any discussion? Commissioner Duggins.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: On Ms. Merz second observation about setting the default for general comments at three minutes instead of two, I just wanted to confirm my understanding of the recommended changes, would give the discretion to the presiding officer to raise the amount of time from two to three or even more if the presiding officer determined that's appropriate.

MR. SWEENEY: Yes, Vice-Chairman, assuming that the opportunity is consistently made regardless of the viewpoint being expressed, yes.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Okay. And I would observe that in the past, the Chair has been very reasonable and not enforce -- strictly enforcing that eject button as Mr. Smith sometimes call it. So I appreciate Ms. Merz's suggestion. I do think we need to make certain that the website has a link and an easy way to make written comments through an electronic submission so that the Commission receives those in a timely fashion.

MR. SWEENEY: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: And with that, I move approval.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Motion for approval, Commission Duggins. Do we have a second? Commissioner Warren. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? Hearing none, that motion carries. Thank you.

Let's go back and take a vote, if we can, on consideration on contracts. I know there was a question from Commissioner Jones. Any other comments or thoughts?

COMMISSIONER JONES: No. I got some clarification on a couple of the contracts, and we're going to include a cover sheet on future references to the contract --

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Great.

COMMISSIONER JONES: -- so it's more explained what we're doing and how we're making those determinations.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Okay. So all in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? That motion carries. Thank you.

Item 2 is Disease Detection and Response Rules, Chronic Wasting Disease Zone Rules, Movement of Deer, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes, Mr. Mitch Lockwood. Good morning.

MR. LOCKWOOD: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, my name is Mitch Lockwood. I'm the Big Game Program Director; and this morning, I'm seeking adoption of proposed amendments to our rules concerning the Chronic Wasting Disease zones or CWD zones in the state, as well as an amendment to our rules pertaining to the comprehensive CWD rules that this Commission adopted last June.

As discussed during the work session yesterday, this map before you illustrates the CWD zones that were in effect during the last hunting season. Of course, a surveillance zone was established in that area of concern that encompasses portions of southern Bandera, eastern Uvalde, and western Medina Counties. However, we did not establish a containment zone in this particular area simply because the disease had only been detected in the permitted deer breeding facilities or their associated release sites, all of which had been issued quarantine orders or hold orders, which for all practical purposes served the purpose of a containment zone; but with this surveillance zone in place, staff worked very closely with elected officials.

In fact, the Medina County Judge, Judge Schuchart, is here with us today; and he actually spearheaded an effort working with local landowners and with other interested parties to help us with an aggressive voluntary surveillance effort, testing hunter-harvested deer season. We really appreciate those efforts. In fact, they resulted in 774 tests from hunter-harvested deer within this particular zone, which was a little bit less than 50 percent of what our goal was for that. However, there were also tests that were collected and samples that were collected and tested and submitted by these Class III release sites that were located in this particular area of the state. Those are the sites where CWD had been detected and they were required to test 100 percent of their hunter-harvested deer and there were two sites that fell into that category and those two sites submitted 163 tests of their own. And so if we were to add those to our samples, then we would end up with a little bit more than 50 percent of what our goal was for that particular area.

It was that effort that resulted in the defection of Chronic Wasting Disease in a free-ranging White-tail deer. Now, while there were -- while there were many who participated to ensure that we received a lot of samples in this area, there were some voids. There were some gaps, some areas where we were not able to collect many samples. In fact, some of these voids occurred in this immediate area where the disease was detected. This -- this -- that deer that was harvested and CWD was detected, was in very close proximity to three of those CWD positive captive deer breeding facilities. In fact, it was relativity close to the index facility, as well; and just to the west of where that deer was harvested and then south of that area, we really -- you can see some voids. Even at the scale of this map, you can see some voids where we just don't have the number of samples needed at this time to provide much confidence that the disease is not yet established in that population.

Certainly, we hope this was a very earlier detection of this disease and hopefully we can learn with some sampling in the future that the disease is not established in that population; but it was that finding that resulted in emergency rulemaking last January that made that surveillance zone -- turned that surveillance zone into a containment zone and the voluntary hunter-harvest sampling and carcass movement restrictions became mandatory at that time, which was after the general season had already closed; but those mandatory requirements were in effect for the remainder of that MLDP season.

These immediate and necessary temporary rules were put into place to protect the public resource until we could come to you with a proposal for formal rulemaking, which is what we're doing at this time. Yesterday, I went into more detail than I intend to this morning on these proposed amendments. This morning, I will focus on the last two rows on this table on the slide before you. Of course, if you have any questions or would like a refresher, please let me know. But our proposed amendments are limited to the last two rows of this table, which involve the movement of live -- of breeder deer.

And our current rules basically are limited to -- if you look at breeding facilities that are located within a containment zone, the only movement that is allowed within that zone is facilities with a TC 1 status may release deer only onto their own adjacent properties. That's the only movement that's allowed at this time. We propose to allow more movement as we move forward. We propose to allow TC 1 facilities to move deer to any registered or authorized facility within that same containment zone, whether it be to other deer breeders or to other release sites.

We also propose to allow movement of deer from -- breeder deer from outside of any one of these zones into a surveillance zone or a containment zone. Up until now -- in fact, if we go back to 2012 when our CWD management plan was rewritten following the detection of CWD in the Hueco Mountains -- our CWD task force was always very clear in their recommendation that we not allow for the artificial increase in the number of disease hosts within a containment zone. In fact, we felt that way even for a surveillance zone.

We don't have the same concern for a surveillance zone at this time, and so we do propose to allow breeder deer to be moved into that zone. For a containment zone, we still share the same concern as far as increasing the number of disease hosts out there. And so we believe we can mitigate that concern with the requirement that for at least as many deer that are introduced to that release site, at least that many would be harvested from that release site that following year or even that same season if they happen to be released during a season such as antlerless deer.

We also propose to allow TC 2 facilities to be able to release onto their own adjacent release sites within a containment zone, which is not currently allowed; but we do require -- we propose the requirement of a not-detected tonsil biopsy CWD test result for all deer that are to be released from those TC 2 facilities onto their own release sites and that that test be conducted -- or that sample be collected no more than 60 days prior to the release of those deer.

We also propose to reduce the geographic extent of the containment zone to include only the area within five miles of a free-ranging positive and two miles from the boundary of any property where CWD has been detected in a permitted breeding facility or associated release site. The surveillance zone would include the remainder of the land that lies between Farm-to-Market Road 470, which would be the northern boundary, Farm-to-Market 462, making up the western boundary, U.S. Highway 90 on the south, and the Sabinal River and F.M. 187 making up the western boundary. Just to clarify, F.M. 462 would be the eastern boundary.

Staff believe that it's very, very important to have very easily recognizable boundaries for a surveillance zone, in particular, so hunters will always know whether or not they are hunting in an area in which there are mandatory hunter-harvest requirements or CWD testing requirements rather of hunter-harvested deer and whether they're hunting in a zone that has -- that includes carcass movement restrictions. And so in this case, again, it's very simple for a hunter to know whether or not they're hunting north or south of U.S. Highway 90 or north or south F.M. 470 or east or west of the Sabinal River or 462.

You know, as we discussed yesterday, some may ask, "Well, what about the containment zones? How are hunters supposed to know whether or not they're hunting within a containment zone? Those do not have easily recognizable boundaries."

As I shared yesterday, really the short and simple answer to that is the hunters don't really need to know whether or not they're hunting in a containment zone because the rules that really are affecting those hunters, apply to the whole surveillance zone. So as long as they know they're within that surveillance zone, they know whether or not there's hunter-harvest CWD testing requirements and carcass movement restrictions.

The rules that are unique to that containment zone, which is shaded in red on this map, are specific to permitted activities involving the movement of live deer. Really, the movement of breeder deer. And in this case, we have six permitted individuals. We know who they are. We are in communication with these individuals. We will make sure that they clearly understand what zone they fall within and what rules may be -- or are associated with that.

In fact, Mr. Chairman, as we shared yesterday, staff would suggest a change to the proposed amendment in an attempt to make this rule simpler by drawing attention to a map rather than having readers rely on and make sense of four to five pages of lat/long coordinate pairs. With that, we propose the following language, which is slightly different than the language that I read on record yesterday. And that language is that the containment zone is that portion of the state lying within the area designated as Containment Zone 3, as depicted on Image 1, more specifically described by the following lat/long coordinate pairs -- and then following would be that list of coordinate pairs that is already in the published proposal -- the Department shall also provide additional notice to property and facility owners who are impacted by the rules within Containment Zone 3 regarding the inclusion of their property and/or facility within Containment Zone 3, which again would simply codify our existing practices.

Now, I'll draw your attention to the northwest part of the Panhandle. We propose to slightly extend the eastern boundary of that surveillance to include the cities of Dumas and Amarillo. This would allow hunters to take the whole carcasses of harvested animals directly to their processer or taxidermist. We also propose statewide -- anywhere where there are mandatory CWD testing requirements -- we propose to allow more time to submit those samples or those animals to a check station for CWD sample collection. The current rule allows them 24 hours to do so. Staff recognize that an additional 24 hours would not compromise the integrity of those samples, and so we propose to extend that period of time to 48 hours.

In fact, we even propose to allow additional time with written authorization from the Department, which may be in the form of an e-mail. There's certain times we know when the climatic conditions may be such where the sample could go for even more days than this and not compromise the integrity of the sample.

The final proposed amendment is an amendment to the comprehensive CWD management rules that were adopted last June, and it's in regard to the transfer category status of a facility that had CWD samples that were lost after having been received by an accredited testing facility. And as we discussed yesterday, staff recommend a slight change to the proposed text as published in an attempt to clarify our intent and to ensure that we allow ample time for a permit holder to submit substitute samples to the lab.

Therefore, I will read the proposed language that we recommend be adopted: If a breeding facility that has obtained TC 1 status is unable to satisfy the criteria of this subchapter necessary to maintain TC 1 status by March 31 of any year solely because the tissue samples have been documented by an accredited testing facility as having been received and lost, the breeding facility status will be reduced to TC 2, unless antemortem substitution samples necessary to maintain TC 1 status are submitted to an approved diagnostic laboratory by the latter or the following, May 15th immediately following the report year to which the substitution test results would apply or 30 days after the date on which the breeder is notified by the accredited testing facility that the tissue samples have been lost and the required number of not-detected test results are obtained from the antemortem substitute samples submitted to satisfy Paragraph 1 of this subsection.

To date, we have received 32 comments on this proposal. Yesterday, I shared some outdated numbers with you. Of the 32 comments, 31 were in favor; one was in opposition. I believe Judge Schuchart from Medina County is here today, who I think is going to share some comments with you and his comments were in opposition to this proposal and for the most part, involved opposition to the mandatory testing requirements of hunter-harvested deer and the carcass movement restrictions; but he may want to clarify or elaborate on that.

And so with that, Mr. Chair, staff recommend -- first, I'll also say that in addition to some of the clarification language that I've shared this morning, yesterday we did discuss a few changes -- a few other changes to the proposed rules as published. They were all non-substantive changes that would clarify our intent with this proposal.

And so with that, staff recommend that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt amendments to 65.81, 65.82, 65.85, 65.88, and 65.94 concerning disease detection and response, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the April 21, 2017, issue of the Texas Register.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you, Mitch.

Any questions of Mitch before we hear from those who are signed up to speak on this?

Okay. Thanks, Mitch.

First up is Judge Schuchart. Good morning.

JUDGE SCHUCHART: Good morning. I apologize I couldn't be here yesterday. I chair the AACOG Board of Records in San Antonio, and I had to chair that meeting. So I couldn't be here to speak. And I'm a recovering lawyer, so three minutes is quick for me and I'll have to go as fast as I can.

This letter that you have on file is approved by the judges of Medina, Uvalde, and Bandera County. We -- last year, y'all allowed us to do a voluntary effort to collect samples. We collected close to 800 samples, which was more than five times what you had done the year before. In total, you've got about close to a thousand low-fence tests that have come in. You got one positive out of a thousand. So roughly 99.9 percent of those deer have come back without the disease.

And now you want to implement some mandatory testing rules, mandatory movement or carcass movement rules and you're taking all those people that voluntarily worked so hard to try to avoid this and throwing them in the same bucket of stinky stuff as those people that didn't. So I feel that you've in a sense betrayed their trust. You are now putting them in the same boat as the rest of the people that are out there. I think you're sending a message to the rest of Medina County and the rest of the State of Texas and say, "Hey, don't test your deer because if you find one test, just one, you're going to be in the same boat as that segment of Medina County," and so I think you're sending a terrible message to the rest of the state to not test deer because to be honest with you, I'm a low-fence owner. I'm not in that zone, and I probably won't test any deer just because of that. I can't afford to do that not because of the disease; but more in my county, it's more about the economics.

Two things. The hunting industry is worth millions and millions of dollars in our county and when you do this, you're going to send hunters to other parts of the state, not my part of the state. Secondly, land in my county in that area sells for about $4,000 an acre. So you're going to immediately take that impact and take it down significantly to all those landowners. So the effect of these mandatory rules is critical.

And I guess then going into the second part, since 2012 we've known it's been it's been in the State of Texas. Since 1967, we've known it's been United States of America. We have really, to my knowledge, done not much to advance the science of trying to resolve this issue and putting restrictions on, doesn't advance the science; but you have all these laboratories on the ground that you can go out and use them to test, but you don't do that. Instead, we're going to go out and restrict the landowners further.

We have other disease like anthrax, hemorrhagic disease, blue tongue that we don't do anything about and we do 30-day restrictions on their land or something like that; but we don't overreact, and we know that deer die of those diseases. CWD, we don't have really a whole lot of deaths of deer from that disease.

So that I'm asking you to do, I've also asked five times to genetically test that one low-fence deer to see if it has the genetics of a northern-influenced deer or a southern-influenced deer and that hasn't been done. So with that, I'm just asking y'all don't pass the mandatory rules. It will hurt our county tremendously.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Judge, thank you.

JUDGE SCHUCHART: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Next up is David Yeates and then Devin Ballard after that.

MR. DAVID YEATES: That's not me. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, Mr. Smith. For the record, my name is David Yeates. I work for Texas Wildlife Association. We are in support of these rules.

First, I want to say thank you for the broad stakeholder input that this Commission has directed the Department to include. You don't have to do that, but you chose to and TWA was privileged to be a part of that. So thank you very much for that consideration. We were -- I'll focus my comments on two components. This is a fairly complex rule package; but first, to speak to the mandatory testing component.

TWA was cautiously supportive of voluntary sampling during last hunting season. It mattered not to us, as long as the targets were met, whether they were mandatory or voluntary. Unfortunately, those targets were not met. More unfortunately, we found -- samples that were submitted, detected a free-range positive animal and then another positive captive facility nearby in the zone. We see no other responsible option than continuing the mandatory surveillance in this zone.

We are sympathetic to the potential, yet unknown, impacts to property values. However, it's our belief, my belief, that the declaration of the zone and rules do not change the fact that there are CWD positive animals in this facility. Should we roll over and show belly, it could be argued that property values and wildlife impacts would be further exacerbated. It could be further valued -- or further argued that those property values, if there are buyers that are sensitive to CWD being present, it doesn't matter if there's a zone or not, everyone knows that CWD is there and we're protecting neighboring property values, perhaps protecting Medina County properties and those in that zone by responding to a disease rather than rolling over. So I urge continued vigilance on that front.

I also think it's important that habitat, wildlife range, and property sizes, notwithstanding in the Medina County area zone, it's substantially smaller than the other zones in the state. That's an important fact that seems to get lost in these discussions and I think it's evidence of the temperance of this Department and the Commission and its response.

And that brings me to my last point. That temperance is laudable, but we're still at a very low probability of detection in these -- particularly in permitted movement of animals -- TC 1s, TC 2s. These are not risk-free environments. I'd urge continued vigilance there. I'm all for business continuity and looking out for the interests of trade associations, etcetera; however, we have a narrow opportunity here. We have a collective responsibility to be good stewards of this resource. I know that's not lost on this Commission. Thank you very much for your time and your leadership on a very difficult issue. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Questions for David?

David, thank you very much.

MR. DAVID YEATES: Yes, sir. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Appreciate it.

Devin Ballard, followed by Tim Condict.

MR. DEVIN BALLARD: I would like to reserve my time for --

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Okay. Tim.

And John Shepperd will be last signed up to speak on this topic.

MR. TIM CONDICT: Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission, Mr. Smith, staff of the agencies, and all others concerned with our animals and all wildlife, sometimes the price you pay for integrity and honesty is high. We at the Deer Breeders Corporation have paid that price. The members of our board, staff, and our supporters have paid that price; but we will continue to work honestly, fairly, and in good faith regardless of the consequences. It's who we are, and we expect the same from all parties involved and appreciate and thank those that have. Thank you.

To work honestly, fairly, and in good faith doesn't mean we agree on everything; but simply that we are not attempting to make got-ya moments, make people look stupid, or mislead anyone, including our own members. People's livelihoods are at stake and everything in the world depends upon them being able to have the opportunity to live their dream and we believe as deer breeders in the State of Texas, that people have the opportunity to live that dream.

I will get to the subject in a moment, but I wanted to touch on some of these things because y'all know what we've been through and what's been said about us and said about a lot of you guys and it's time for some of these games to end and some of these fights to end and people work together to do the right thing for the deer breeders in the State of Texas and for the wildlife in the State of Texas. Obviously, y'all know we've always been on that team.

Thank you for working with us. Thank you for the people in this room that have worked with me to try to work out the best solutions possible to the problems we have because when I have a problem, I come to these people and they work with us to try to solve that problem behind the scenes and get the best solution that we can possibly get without having to come to y'all.

I'm going to skip over some of this thing because my printer screwed my deal up; but anyway, I'm going to get down to the stuff that I am opposed to in these rules. Obviously, there's not a lot. But the one-for-one provision will put people out of business we feel. It will create -- it will erode property values in the containment zone and eventually eliminate all hunting facilities. If I put 25 deer on a property and I'm required to kill 25, it would be impossible to kill every deer I released and to kill others inside a facility would eventually lead to eradication of all deer. A better solution would just continue with the testing rate that is applicable to the zone. The TC 2 breeders in the containment zone should be allowed to use the rectal test to move their deer.

We believe every hunting area inside the containment zone, that we should be able to purchase buck deer from outside that containment zone from any TC 1 facility -- okay, I'll skip the rest of this stuff because I want to get down to the couple of gentlemen that I had to come here today. I'd like to address a couple -- two breeders that are caught in situations. While we understand it's our responsibility to know the rules, we also feel that you would agree they are complex. When I came recently to meet staff to help eliminate possible breeder issues, we didn't get all of them.

Although, I did want to thank the gentlemen for the situation that we worked out recently and the help that TPWD staff gave me to work out solving problems before they were created on May the 15th. Okay, there's one gentleman in this room that is -- that was lined up to speak prior to me. He is a -- he tested up last September for TC 1 status. He needed 58 tests. He tested 62 deer with a tonsil test. He got 54 results back. TPWD sent him an e-mail that said he needs 58 good negative CWD tests. It didn't specify to him whether they were antemortem or postmortem, and he just read it that he needed 58 tests. He had 54 good tests. He tested four more postmortem and thought he had made the grade. Well, he didn't find out until May 15th that he didn't.

Okay. There's another gentleman in here that tested up his 25 percent in September, and then he tested the other 25 percent in the first part of April. He got his results back, all non-detected and he had over the 50 percent; but he had tested a few deer that were not 16 months old in September 1, he tested those animals up. We understand that it specifies in the rule they must be 16 months old on the day you start your testing. I understand that. But guys, he only missed it by like three deer and it's a substantial amount of animals. He will have to go completely redo all of his testing over again. Is there some possible solution that you guys can come up with or that we can work out to help solve a couple or three people's issues because this is their life that we're talking about? I appreciate everything that you've guys done. If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them for you. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you. Appreciate your comments.

Any questions?

And I would just like to ask staff -- Clayton, do you want to speak to those now or do you -- okay.

MR. WOLF: So the recommendations that Mr. Condict is suggesting, obviously, are not -- they're not germane to the rule you have in front of you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Right.

MR. WOLF: So no action can be taken. But we do plan to meet with Mr. Condict this afternoon to better understand the situations --

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Better understand.

MR. WOLF: -- and we'll be working with them and if you want us to report the results of that, we will do that, as well.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you. Appreciate it.

MR. TIM CONDICT: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Mr. Shepperd, John Shepperd is last to speak on Item No. 2.

MR. JOHN SHEPPERD: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is John Shepperd. I'm the Executive Director of the Texas Foundation for Conservation; and I am testifying today in support of Agenda Item No. 2.

I want to express my appreciation for the Texas Parks and Wildlife staff and their willingness to continually examine these rules as -- and accommodate as many of the stakeholders as possible in this complicated process. It is often lost in the discussions that we're here to manage these fish and wildlife resources for forever and sometimes that may mean there's a short-term economic impact to some of the stakeholders, whether they be deer breeders or oyster fishermen; but that must be weighed with the interests of all current and future Texans. Again, I appreciate your commitment and your service and happy to answer any questions.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you.

Any questions? Any other -- thank you.

MR. JOHN SHEPPERD: Green light's still on.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Well done. I'm impressed.

Okay. If no other question or discussions on -- or discussion on Item No. 2, a motion for approval?

COMMISSIONER JONES: So moved.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Commissioner Jones. Second? Commissioner Warren. All in favor?

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: I would like to have some discussion, if we could.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Please.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Before we vote, I would like to respond to the Judge's statement that this rule -- these rules -- amendments are passed, that the Commission in some way may be betraying trust. Last year when we were about to implement similar rules, but we backed off and went with the voluntary testing; but it was implicit -- at least to me -- that if the testing reflected the presence of the disease, that we would revisit the situation and mandatory testing and movement restrictions. So I respectfully disagree that we've somehow backed up on the people here.

It is a very difficult situation, and I think we all realize that zone rules will present some challenges; but we have a duty to protect and manage the deer herds, which by law are a resource that belong and are owned by the people. And I think -- at least it's my view -- that the proposed rules are reasonable and necessary and the discharge of our duties.

That said, I would like to ask if the rule passes, that staff schedule an update on the situation for the May 2018 meeting so that the Commission can consider the data that is generated over the next year and decide at that time whether to maintain, change, or rescind the proposed amendments. Thank you.

JUDGE SCHUCHART: May I respond? May I respond to this comment?

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Oh, sure. Please.

JUDGE SCHUCHART: We had a large number of landowners that voluntarily tested. There's a group, as you saw on that map, that did not. I asked the Parks and Wildlife people to allow those people -- instead of throwing them in the same bucket, as I mentioned earlier -- you put in three minutes, I can't even say a lot -- but not to throw them in the same bucket as that group that did nothing. Go after them. Get them to -- make them -- and pass rules on them to make them test. Those people that got together -- and Mr. Smith and everybody was there. We had a lot of meetings. There was a lot of landowners. A lot of them showed up because they want to protect what's theirs. And so now they are getting thrown in the same group.

So, yes, you are betraying that group that tried so hard to pass and get us out of this problem and now they're back in that same group and there's no endgame. We don't have an endgame of when this is going to end. Two years? Three years? It's been going on five years in West Texas. By then, those land values and their investment in land is going to be nothing; and that's my concern. I'm not in the deer business. I'm not in the hunting business. I don't make a dime off any of that stuff. I'm worried about the values of the real estate in Medina County, and I'm worried about the economics of what it's going to do to Medina County.

So I respectfully disagree that you did, in fact, betray those people that worked so hard to try to keep from this happening, sir, in all due respect.

COMMISSIONER JONES: Well, now with mandatory testing, everybody is in the same boat; and unfortunately, you know, the -- when this disease came out, it happened to come out in one county. We have 250 plus other counties that we have to look out for, as well, and we have 27 million plus million people in this state and we have to look out for those people, as well, and we try to do what's fair for everybody and sometimes what's fair for everybody hurts somebody. And so this Commission, I believe, is committed to doing what is right, doing what is fair, doing what we were charged to do when we were sworn in and approved by the Senate. And so with that, I call for the question.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you. Any other discussion on two?

Okay. So we had a motion from Commission Jones. Second, Commission Warren. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? Hearing none, Action Item No. 2 carries. Thank you.

No. 3 is Aerial Wildlife Management Rule Amendments, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes, Mitch Lockwood.

MR. LOCKWOOD: Good morning, again, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, my name is Mitch Lockwood. I'm the Big Game Program Director; and this morning, I'm seeking adoption to proposed amendments to the rules governing the aerial wildlife management permit.

In 2015, this Commission adopted revisions to the rules governing the aerial wildlife management permit, including the elimination of provisions for emergency approval of new LOAs.

We had concluded that emergency approval of new LOAs was no longer necessary because of the transition to an electronic online permit administration process, which provided more of a -- a much more efficient, more of an automated approval of these LOAs. However, we have since become aware that there may be rare instances that are deemed emergency situations in which it is not practical for a permittee to access the Department's online system for approval of an LOA. Therefore, the proposed amendment would provide a mechanism for expedited approval of an LOA in those emergency situations.

We proposed that expedited LOAs may be authorized following the submission of a completed application for an expedited LOA and a map clearly indicating the location and the boundaries of the property. As we discussed yesterday, this is a slight change from the text that was published in the Texas Register. That text specified a map that clearly indicated the boundaries of the property; but based on some input that we received, we agree that the map should also clearly indicate the location of the property.

We also proposed that the permit holder must complete and submit an LOA application to the Department via the Department's online system within 72 hours of completion of the authorized activities. In other words, that the permit holder complete the process as normal within 72 hours of completion of that activity.

We also proposed that the authorization may be provided by the game warden who is assigned to that county where that aerial wildlife management activity is to take place. After receiving some input on this, staff recommend a slight change to that proposal to also allow that game warden's immediate or second-line supervisor to authorize the expedited LOA. Of course, a permit holder would be able to contact our Law Enforcement Communication's Center in case there's ever any trouble on making direct contact with a local Law Enforcement.

You may recall at the March Commission meeting, Mr. Smith briefed this Commission on this item and received permission to publish this proposal in the Texas Register and I believe it may have been Commission Morian who asked Mr. Smith, "What would be considered an emergency? In what cases would we issue an expedited LOA?"

And Mr. Smith was very clear in his response, stating that really what we're talking about here is situations in which livestock are being depredated.

We did not make that clear in the proposal. We have since received some input that that should be clarified in the proposal; and we request that addition to the proposed language, as well. In fact, specifically, we propose that an expedited LOA may be obtained solely for the purpose of preventing the depredation of livestock.

This item has received three comments. One in favor, two in opposition. Those two who were opposed, were really opposed to the shooting of wildlife at all from aircraft. It wasn't really germane -- or those comments really weren't germane to the proposal. So that concludes my presentation.

I may try and step back, Mr. Chairman, to find -- I'm missing a slide in this presentation. And so I need to find my adoption slide. Let me go back to my proposal. I apologize.

Staff recommend that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt amendments to 65.160 concerning permits for aerial wildlife management and wildlife exotic species, with changes as necessary to the proposed text located at Exhibit A, as published in the April 21, 2017, issue of the Texas Register.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Mitch, thank you.

Any questions?

We don't have anyone signed up to speak on Action Item No. 3. So motion for approval?

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: So moved.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Commission Morian.

COMMISSIONER GALO: Second.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Second, Commissioner Galo. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? Motion carries. Thank you.

Item 4 is Public Lands Proclamation, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes, Justin Dreibelbis. How are you?

MR. DREIBELBIS: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, my name is Justin Dreibelbis. I'm the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director in the Wildlife Division. We came to you in -- at the March Commission meeting to present a list of amendments to the public lands proclamation. This morning, I'll briefly go over those amendments and ask for your adoption.

Our list of amendments fall in these four categories. I'll go over each one of them in detail as we go through the presentation. The first amendment is a simple addition of four public properties into our public lands inventory, and we do this simply to be able to enforce existing rules on these public areas. From east to west, there is the East Texas Conservation Center near Jasper; the Nature Center in Tyler; Roger Fawcett WMA in Palo Pinto County; and then Yoakum Dunes Wildlife Management Area in Yoakum in Terry Counties.

The next item is a special access permit and so before we moved to an automated system, public hunting draw system in 2014, it was a paper process. And during this paper process, this special access permit granted access -- public hunting access -- on certain units of the state park system. Now that we've moved to an automated system and we have one permit that is issued for all public hunting lands, the permit is no longer necessary. Rather than completely do away with it, we're purposing that we re-purpose this special access permit to allow nonhunting guests of permitted hunters on these areas during authorized activities -- at the discretion of the hunt manager, of course -- and we feel like allowing these guests to come enjoy a hunting experience on our WMAs or state parks with a permitted hunter is definitely a good step in our recruitment and retention of the next generation of Texas hunters.

The next group of amendments deal with loyalty points. The first amendment that we are proposing is to remove all reference to "preference" points and replace them with "loyalty" points and we ask this for a couple of reasons. One is it's just a more accurate description of what our system actually is. Our loyalty point system is essentially what a lot of western states call a "bonus" point system. Where a hunter accrues a point each year that they're unsuccessful, and then get to a -- then get to use those loyalty points in the next year's draw, in addition to their current year's application. This is consistent with all of our web and printed material. And so it's just a -- basically, a good clean-up item.

Next, is the reinstatement of loyalty points. Currently, our public lands proclamation only allows staff to reinstate loyalty points for two reasons. One is if parks and Wildlife cancels a hunt, which we occasionally have to do because of weather and so that's definitely an important one to keep in there; but the second item deals with human error associated with incorrect hunt assignments. So this goes back to when we had a paper application system where you would fill out a paper application, send it in, data entry specialist would enter it into the program. There was room for human error there. Now that we've gone to an automated system, that human error has been taken out of the equation. So we propose that we pull it.

One thing that we are proposing that we add in, deals with reinstatement of loyalty points for military personnel that are called away on deployment. We currently don't have an avenue to offer that courtesy to members of the military, and we'd ask that we build that in.

The remainder of the items are all housekeeping type items, many of which are striking old language from when we were using a paper application system.

We've received five public comments on this item, all in favor. And at this time, we'd recommend the following motion: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to Section 65.190, 65.191, 65.193, 65.197, 65.199, and 65.204 concerning the public lands proclamation, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the April 21st, 2017, issue of the Texas Register. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any questions? Commissioner Duggins.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Justin, on the slide where you list the four additions to the -- proposed additions to the inventory, it makes me think to ask: Is the Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Area -- I realize the park is not open to the public yet, but is it in the inventory where people can apply for hunts on that location?

MR. DREIBELBIS: Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, I'd have to check our exhibit.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: I thought I saw it in there, but I left my notebook out in the car.

MR. DREIBELBIS: Let me check that for you real fast. I've got it here in front of me.

COMMISSIONER JONES: I don't think it's in there. It's not on the list in the --

MR. DREIBELBIS: We do. We have Palo Pinto Mountains State Park. It's No. 39 on Exhibit A that we'll be covering next. It looks like we have six youth deer permits to be taking place on two separate hunts in December.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any other questions for Justin on this item?

Motion for approval?

So, Commissioner Scott. Second, Commissioner Duggins. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? Motion carries.

Item No. 5 is Public Hunting Program, Establishment of an Open Season on Public Hunting Lands and Approval of Public Hunting Activities on State Parks.

MR. DREIBELBIS: Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Again, for the record, my name is Justin Dreibelbis, Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director. We come to you each May with this item, asking for action on two separate items. One is adopt an open season on public hunting lands, and two is to approve the public hunting activities on state parks for the following year.

In order to provide hunting activities on our public lands, the Commission has to provide for an open season. This open season generally goes from September 1st to August 31st of a given year. The Commission is also asked to approve specific public hunting activities on the units of the state park. Our State Park and Wildlife Division staffs work closely in putting these proposals together, taking into account all types of considerations from range conditions, population levels on certain parks, construction activities, things that might affect public access. And so this year, staff is proposing hunts of 47 units of the state park. That's a total of 1,560 proposed hunt positions, of which 375 are youth positions.

And so at this point, we'd ask the Commission to adopt the following motions: One, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes an open season on public hunting lands to run from September 1st, 2017, to August 31st, 2018; and the second motion is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the public hunting activities contained in Exhibit A to take place on units of State Park system. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Questions for Justin? Commissioner Latimer.

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: So the difference in these two is Item No. 4 was addressing public lands and wildlife management areas and drawn hunts and then this one is for state parks?

MR. DREIBELBIS: Well, the --

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: Or the location?

MR. DREIBELBIS: -- first -- or No. 4 is specifically talking about amendments to the public lands proclamation. It kind of guides how we do our drawn hunts and annual public hunting permits all those kind of things.

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: And the loyalty points?

MR. DREIBELBIS: Correct. And then this is specific -- it's a specific requirement that we have to do each year specifically on state park public hunts.

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any other discussion?

Motion for approval?

Commission Latimer. Second, Commission Morian. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? That motion carries.

Thanks, Justin.

MR. DREIBELBIS: Thanks.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Item 6 is Alligator Farming Rules, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes, Mr. Jonathan Warner. Good morning.

MR. WARNER: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. For the record, my name is Jonathan Warner; and I'm the Alligator Program Leader with the Department's Big Game Program. This morning, I'm seeking adoption to amend the rules pertaining the facility standards of alligator farms in Texas.

The current rules require a farm facility to provide, quote, pooled water sufficient to allow complete submersion of alligators and dry ground sufficient to permit alligators to completely exit from the water. Staff have learned in the past year from those involved in the industry, that this requirement adversely impacts hide quality, as the act of climbing onto dry ground can scratch or otherwise damage the skin. The dry ground requirement also causes territorial disputes and fighting between alligators, which can also negatively impact hide quality.

The end result, is that Texas alligators are less marketable in a highly competitive current international market. Staff believe that skin quality is a good indicator of good husbandry practices and that reducing animal conflicts will produce a more humane environment for farmed alligators, in addition to producing more marketable hides.

Therefore, staff propose to adopt the elimination of the requirement for alligator farming facilities to provide dry ground to allow alligators exit the water. Louisiana recently adopted this very change, and we believe that that puts Texas farms at an economic disadvantage.

For the proposed adoption, there's been five public comments, all in favor. Therefore, TPWD staff recommend that the Commission adopt the following motion: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts an amendment to 65.361 concerning alligator farm facility requirements, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the April 21, 2017, issue of the Texas Register. That concludes my presentation. I'll be happy too entertain any questions if you have any.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any questions, discussion on this item?

Thank you.

MR. WARNER: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: All right. Motion for approval? Commissioner Scott. Second, Commissioner Galo. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Any opposed? Hearing none, motion carries.

Action Item 7 is Texas Statewide Recreation Trail Grants Funding, Recommended Approval of Trail Construction, Renovation, and Acquisition Projects, Mr. Tim Hogsett. Good Morning.

MR. HOGSETT: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission. I'm Tim Hogsett, Director of Recreation Grants from the State Parks Division. This morning, we're presenting to you our annual recommendations for funding through the National Recreation Trails Program for trail projects around the state.

We take annually applications on February the 1st for a deadline of February the 1st for both state park and for local park trail projects. These are federal funds that derived from a rebate from the off-highway vehicle federal gasoline tax. It's an annual apportionment. These are Department of Transportation Funding as part of the Highway Bill. This year, our annual apportionment was 3.9 million. We take a little over $270,000 for program administration and as a result of project savings and some few cancellations of projects from previous years, we have an additional approximately $700,000 available.

We received 75 project proposals for the February 1st annual deadline, totaling 12.99 million. These projects are, as required by the federal act, are reviewed through a commission-appointed statewide trail advisory board. Nine-member board currently made up of trail users and trail experts. That trail committee met in March and evaluated the applications and the main criteria that they used are the quality of the applications, the cost effectiveness of the proposal, the recreation opportunity, impact, and geographic distribution of the funding.

We're proposing to use the $700,000 in savings for trail improvements in our state park system. Primarily this is through a trail crew that -- two trail crews that are developing and redeveloping state park trails through the Texas Conservation Corps. The following parks are proposed for work this year: McKinney Falls, Cooper Lake, Huntsville, Caprock Canyon, Guadalupe River, Palmetto, Monument Hill, Bastrop, Lockhart, and Tyler.

Given that, our funding recommendations before you today based on the review and recommendations by the Trail Committee and staff, funding for 22 projects recommended in Exhibit A in the amount of $3,460,215 and state park trail improvements in the amount of $700,000 is approved. And I'd be happy to answer questions.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Thank you, Tim.

Any Commissioners have questions or comments of Tim?

All right. Thank you, sir.

We have one speaker who has signed up to speak in favor of the item. Mr. Robert Armistead, welcome, sir.

MR. ROBERT ARMISTEAD: Thank you, Commissioners, Mr. Smith. On behalf of Travis County Parks, I want to thank you for consideration for a trail that we are adding to Arkansas Bend Park in northern Travis County out on Lake Travis. We are under construction right now with the project, and this trail grant will be a great benefit to the central Texas users of that. I also want to thank Tim and Carter for the work of the grant staff. It's a great program and really helps communities throughout the state. So thank you very much.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Thank you. And I would say that Commissioner Scott told me he wanted to volunteer for one of your trail crews.

MR. ROBERT ARMISTEAD: Okay. We'll be happy to --

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: And I've got his cell phone if you need it.

MR. ROBERT ARMISTEAD: All right. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Thank you very much.

COMMISSIONER SCOTT: He's crazy.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. Any comments or questions from the Commission? Entertain a motion? Commissioner Scott, motion. Second, Commissioner Morian.

Yes?

COMMISSIONER GALO: On the item for Webb County, I'm going to need to abstain from that particular item. So I don't know how you'd like to handle --

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Just abstain from the vote.

COMMISSIONER GALO: From the whole vote?

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Yes.

COMMISSIONER GALO: Okay.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. So Commissioner Galo has abstained or recused herself form the consideration of Action Item 7. So with that, we have a motion by Commissioner Scott. Second by Commissioner Morian. All in favor, please say aye?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. The motion carries unanimously.

Thank you, Tim. And thanks for the great work you do; I hear from people all over the state how much they appreciate your work and your team's work and help and handling the grant applications.

MR. HOGSETT: I'm blessed to have a great team working with me.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: We're blessed to have you.

All right. Action Item 7, Acquisition of Land, Aransas County, Approximately 1 Acre at Goose Island State Park, Mr. Trey Vick. Welcome, Trey.

MR. VICK: Thank you. Commissioners, for the record, my name is Trey Vick. And today, I'm asking for permission to acquire approximately 1 acre at Goose Island State Park. Goose Island is in Aransas County. It sits about nine miles northeast of Rockport. Goose Island consists of about 409 acres on the Saint Charles and Aransas Bays. It was acquired back in the early 30s, and the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the earliest facilities.

Today, the park is known for its bird watching, fishing, and windswept coastal live oaks. It's extremely popular with winter Texans. It's been a goal to protect scenic drive Park Road 13 and at one point along Park Road 13, our easement -- our right-of-way narrows down to 150 feet and we are looking to acquire a 50-foot strip on a piece of private property. You can see the yellow tract there. Per your direction, we published public notice stating this acquisition is intended to benefit the park, especially by protecting the view corridor of Park Road 13. The sellers are State employees. One is an employee of the State University System, and other is TPWD employee whose job duties do not include participation in state park land acquisitions. We received no comments on this transaction.

So if there are no questions, I would ask that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorize the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to acquire approximately 1 acre in Aransas County for addition to Goose Island State Park.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. Any comments from the Commission or any questions? Commissioner Scott?

COMMISSIONER SCOTT: As we discussed yesterday, I'm assuming we have good and valid and current appraisals on all this -- on this piece and know what -- know what -- how it compares to other land around there?

MR. VICK: We have received an appraisal. We did not order the appraisal. So once we find a funding stream and we know that you approve the -- to go forward with the transaction, we will have an independent appraisal done.

COMMISSIONER SCOTT: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Any other comments or questions?

Thank you, Commissioner Scott.

All right. Motion for approval?

Motion, Commissioner Morian.

Second, Commissioner Latimer.

All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Motion carries unanimously. Thank you.

MR. VICK: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. Action Item 9, Acquisition of Land, Acquisition of Land, Blanco County, Approximately 200 Acres at Pedernales Falls State Park. I'm not sure who you are. Could you please tell us who you are?

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: For the record, my name is Ted Hollingsworth. I am with the Land Conservation Program. Chairman, Commissioners, good morning. I'm delighted to wrap up the program this morning with a discussion of the Pedernales Falls State Park. Certainly, all of our state parks are gems; but this is certainly in terms of its aesthetic, just the beauty of this park and the number of people it attracts, it's certainly one of the gems in the state park system. About 30 miles west of Austin, not far from here.

The park was established in 1970, primarily to protect the namesake falls. A beautiful series of rapids and falls along the Pedernales River. Today, the park consists of over 5,000 acres and about five miles of frontage on the river. Along much of that frontage, the park does consist of both banks, both banks of the river; but on the north part of the park adjacent to those namesake falls, the park only includes the south shore. And for years we've stayed in contact with the owners of the properties on the other sides of the falls, just discussing our mutual interests in protecting those falls in perpetuity from visual impacts and other kinds of impacts.

And one of the owners who owns most of the property that overlooks those falls is now a willing seller of about 200 acres that would protect that -- protect that viewshed and those bluffs overlooking the falls that are visible from really from much of the park. He would retain a portion of that river frontage in place of conservation easement on it, accomplishing our goal of ensuring that buildings aren't built, homes aren't built, that structures aren't built on that bluff overlooking the falls that would significantly compromise the viewshed from the park across that gorgeous just stretch of river.

We do have access to Land and Water Conservation Funds that could close transaction. The landowner's agreed to provide the match in the form of a bargain sale. The park -- this addition could be managed by the existing staff at the park, would not require any additional real operating expenses for the Agency.

You can see from this map where that tract is relative to the park, and you can see just downstream or just to the east of that tract to the portion sandwiched between to the blue and white lines that that would be place in conservation easement.

We did publish this item, and it received no comments from the public. With that, the Parks and Wildlife -- the staff recommends that Parks and Wildlife Commission authorize the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to acquire approximately 200 acres in Blanco County for addition to the Pedernales Falls State Park. There is a representative for the landowner. In fact, the landowner may be here this morning should you have any questions or comments should you like to direct towards the landowner.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Any questions or comments?

All right. Thank you.

I actually do have a question. Who is proposed to hold the conservation easement?

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: Part of that ranch is already held by Mark Steinbach. Carter?

MR. SMITH: The Texas Land Conservancy.

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: Texas Land Conservancy, and they would be the logical holder for this additional portion of the ranch. It would not be Texas Parks and Wildlife for the simple reason that should we acquire the fee ownership in the future, it would be awkward to try and unite those estates.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: All right. Any comments or questions?

MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, if I could, and the landowner is with us today and I just want to comment, he is a wonderful conservationist and wildlife enthusiast. He's been very supportive of conservations efforts on the Pedernales River and candidly, we could not have a better neighbor to the state park. And I just want to publically acknowledge the fact that he and his family are making this opportunity available to us at considerable expense to themselves and we're very, very grateful for this. It's a huge, huge benefit to the public and the park.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: We join that. Thank you.

Thank you, sir or madam.

All right. Call for a motion. Motion by Commissioner Scott. Second by -- I'm sorry?

COMMISSIONER JONES: Can the landowner stand and be recognized?

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: It's not that we don't want to recognize the landowner.

But I assume if you wish to identify yourself, we'd love for you to do so. All right.

(Round of applause)

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Again, on behalf of the Commission, thank you and your family for this very generous effort.

And so we have a motion by Commissioner Scott. Second by Commissioner Jones. All in favor?

(Chorus of ayes)

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Hearing no

opposition, the motion carries unanimously. With that,

I'm going to turn it over to our Chair to --

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: This is going to me a tough one, Carter. Mr. Smith, this Commission has completed its Commission meeting business; and I declare us adjourned.

MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, thank you.

COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thanks.

(Commission Meeting Adjourns)

In official recognition of the adoption of this resolution in a lawfully called public meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, we hereby affix our signatures this _____ day of ______________, 2017.

_________________________________________

T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman

_________________________________________

Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

_________________________________________

Anna B. Galo, Member

_________________________________________

Bill Jones, Member

_________________________________________

Jeanne W. Latimer, Member

_________________________________________

James H. Lee, Member

_________________________________________

S. Reed Morian, Member

_________________________________________

Dick Scott, Member

_________________________________________

Kelcy L. Warren, Member


C E R T I F I C A T E

STATE OF TEXAS ) COUNTY OF TRAVIS )

I, Paige S. Watts, Certified Shorthand Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the above-mentioned matter occurred as hereinbefore set out.

I FURTHER CERTIFY THAT the proceedings of such were reported by me or under my supervision, later reduced to typewritten form under my supervision and control and that the foregoing pages are a full, true, and correct transcription of the original notes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Turn in date _____ day of ________________, ________.

___________________________________

Paige S. Watts, CSR, RPR

CSR No.: 8311

Expiration: December 31, 2018

7010 Cool Canyon Cove

Round Rock, Texas 78681

(512)779-8320

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