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Work Session

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
09:00 a.m.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX  78744

Ralph H. Duggins, Commission Chair
Carter Smith, Executive Director

Approval of the Previous Minutes from the Commission Work Session held January 23, 2019

    Land and Water Plan

  1. Update on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Progress in Implementing the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan – Carter Smith
    • Internal Affairs Update
    • Staff Recognition
    • 2019 Red Snapper Season – Public Input/Executive Summary
    • Big Game Conservation Marketing Efforts
    • Under the Texas Sky Podcast
    • Vistra Energy – Fairfield Lake Lease
    • Land Acquisitions
    • Legislative Update

    Financial

  2. Financial Overview – Mike Jensen
  3. Internal Audit Update – Cindy Hancock
  4. Natural Resources

  5. 2019-2020 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing and Statewide Oyster Fishery Proclamations – Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes – Ken Kurzawski, Lance Robinson (Action Item No. 1)
  6. 2019-2020 Statewide Hunting and Migratory Game Bird Proclamations – Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes – Alan Cain, Shaun Oldenburger (Action Item No. 2)
  7. Deer Breeder Regulations – Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes – Mitch Lockwood (Action Item No. 3)
    • Chronic Wasting Disease Testing Provisions
    • Release Provisions
  8. Disease Detection and Response Rules – Containment Zone Boundaries – Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes in the Texas Register – Dr. Bob Dittmar
  9. Public Lands Proclamation – Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes in the Texas Register – Justin Dreibelbis
  10. State Parks

  11. Local Park Grant Funding – Request Approval of Proposed Funding Recommendations – Dan Reece (Action Item No. 4)
    • Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants
    • Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants
    • Small Community Recreation Grants
    • Urban Indoor Recreation Grants
    • Non-Urban Indoor Recreation Grants

    Land Conservation

  12. Disposition of Real Estate – Brazoria County – Approximately 355-Acre Dredge Placement Area at Bryan Beach – Ted Hollingsworth (Action Item No. 5)
  13. Disposition of Property – Jasper County – Approximately 219 Acres of Land and a Permit for 811 Acre-Feet of Water at the Jasper Fish Hatchery– Request Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process – Ted Hollingsworth (Work Session & Executive Session)
  14. Executive Session

  15. Sunset Advisory Commission Recommended Transfer of Eight State Historic Sites from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Texas Historical Commission – Bob Sweeney, Brent Leisure (Executive Session Only)
  16. Litigation Update – Bob Sweeney (Executive Session Only)
    • Oysters
    • Chronic Wasting Disease
    • Border Wall

Work Session Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Work Session
Update on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Progress
in Implementing the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and
Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith will briefly update the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on the status of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Plan). 

II.     Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that TPWD develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Texas Parks and Wildlife Code section 11.104). In 2002, the Commission adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. In November 2009, the Commission approved a new Plan, effective January 1, 2010, that included broad input from stakeholders and the general public.  Minor revisions continue to be made to the Plan. The 2015 version of the Plan is available on the TPWD website. Executive Director Carter Smith will update the Commission on TPWD’s recent progress in achieving the Plan’s goals, objectives, and deliverables.

The Plan consists of the following four goals:

  1. Practice, Encourage, and Enable Science-Based Stewardship of Natural and Cultural Resources 
  2. Increase Access to and Participation in the Outdoors 
  3. Educate, Inform, and Engage Texas Citizens in Support of Conservation and Recreation
  4. Employ Efficient, Sustainable, and Sound Business Practices

Work Session Item No. 2
Presenter: Mike Jensen

Work Session
Financial Overview
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary:  Staff will present a financial overview of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). 

II.     Discussion: Staff will update the Commission on state park, boat registration/titling, and license fee revenues collected by TPWD for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 and will summarize recent budget adjustments for FY 2019.


Work Session Item No. 3
Presenter: Cindy Hancock

Work Session
Internal Audit Update
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary: The staff will present an update on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and 2019 Internal Audit Plans and ongoing or completed external audits.

II.      Discussion: The staff will provide an update on the TPWD FY 2018 and 2019 Internal Audit Plans as well as a briefing of any external audits that have been recently completed or are ongoing.


Work Session Item No. 7
Presenter: Dr. Bob Dittmar

Work Session
Disease Detection and Response Rules - Containment Zone Boundaries
Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes in the Texas Register
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary:  With this item, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff seeks permission to publish a proposed amendment to rules establishing disease management zones for the control of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed amendment would expand the current Containment Zone (CZ) in Medina, Bandera, and Uvalde counties.

II.     Discussion:  As a result of the confirmation of CWD in a free-ranging white-tailed deer harvested by a hunter in Medina County in 2017, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission promulgated rules to establish a CWD Containment Zone in portions of Medina, Bandera, and Uvalde counties. The rules require CWD testing of all white-tailed deer harvested within the CZ, restrict movement of white-tailed deer under TPWD-issued permits, allow mandatory check stations, and impose carcass-movement restrictions.

On December 31, 2018, staff received confirmation of CWD in another free-ranging white-tailed deer killed by a hunter in Medina County. The deer was killed in a low-fenced environment. Because of the location of this most recent positive confirmation, TPWD staff and Texas Animal Health Commission staff have determined that it is prudent to enlarge the current CZ.

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rules

Work Session Item No. 7
Exhibit A

DISEASE DETECTION AND RESPONSE RULES
PROPOSAL PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

        The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (the department) proposes an amendment to §65.81, concerning Disease Detection and Response. The proposed amendment would enlarge current Containment Zone 3 (CZ 3) in Medina, Bandera, and Uvalde counties in response to the recent detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in additional free-ranging white-tailed deer in Medina County.

        CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects some cervid species, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, red deer, sika, and their hybrids (susceptible species). It is classified as a TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy), a family of diseases that includes scrapie (found in sheep), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, found in cattle and commonly known as “Mad Cow Disease”), and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans.

        Although CWD remains under study, it is known to be invariably fatal to certain species of cervids and is transmitted both directly (through animal-to-animal contact) and indirectly (through environmental contamination).  (There is no scientific evidence to indicate that CWD is transmissible to humans.)  Moreover, a high prevalence of the disease in wild populations correlates with deer population declines and there is evidence that hunters tend to avoid areas of high CWD prevalence. If CWD is not contained and controlled, the implications of the disease for Texas and its multi-billion dollar ranching, hunting, wildlife management, and real estate economies could be significant.

        The department has engaged in several rulemakings over the years to address the threat posed by CWD. In 2005, the department closed the Texas border to the entry of out-of-state captive white-tailed and mule deer and increased regulatory requirements regarding disease monitoring and record keeping. (The closing of the Texas border to entry of out-of-state captive white-tailed and mule deer was updated, effective in January 2010, to address other disease threats to white-tailed and mule deer (35 TexReg 252).)

        On July 10, 2012, the department confirmed that two mule deer sampled in the Texas portion of the Hueco Mountains tested positive for CWD. In response, the department adopted new rules in 2013 (37 TexReg 10231) to implement a CWD containment strategy in far West Texas. The rules established a system of concentric zones within which the movement of live deer under department permits (Deer Breeder Permits, Triple T Permits, and Deer Management Permits) is restricted, and required deer harvested in specific geographical areas to be presented at check stations to be tested for CWD. A CZ is a geographic area in which CWD has been detected or the department has determined, using the best available science and data, that CWD detection is probable, and a surveillance zone (SZ) is a geographic area within which the department has determined, using the best available science and data, that the presence of CWD could reasonably be expected. CWD zone delineations were modified (41 TexReg 7501) in 2015 in response to additional CWD discoveries in the Texas Panhandle and Medina County, creating additional SZs and CZs, and again in 2017 in response to CWD being confirmed in a free-ranging 1.5-year-old male white-tailed deer harvested by a hunter within SZ 3 in Medina County.

        On December 31, 2018, the department received CWD confirmation for an approximately 4.5-year-old free-ranging male white-tailed deer within CZ 3 in Medina County. The deer was harvested by a hunter on a low-fenced property near the perimeter of the current CZ, necessitating an extension of the CZ. In this particular geographic region of the state, because of various factors including white-tailed deer movements and barriers to deer movements (e.g., high fences), it has been determined that a CZ encompassing a radius of five miles from the approximate location of a free-range positive white-tailed deer, and two miles from the boundaries of any premise where CWD has been detected in captive herds, should be sufficient to contain the disease.

        Based on the epidemiological knowledge of CWD and in consultation with TAHC, the department has determined that it is prudent to enlarge CZ 3 in response to the latest discovery.

        Except as provided for certain special situations, it is unlawful within a CZ to conduct, authorize or cause any activity involving the movement of a susceptible species under a permit issued pursuant to Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C, E, L, R, or R-1. Such prohibited activity includes, but is not limited to transportation, introduction, removal, authorization of the transportation, introduction or removal of, or causing the transportation, introduction or removal of a live susceptible species into, out of, or within a CZ. The rules also prohibit the possession of susceptible species within new deer breeding facilities within a CZ, prohibit the recapture of escaped breeder deer unless authorized under a hold order or herd plan issued by TAHC , and limit the transfer of breeder deer from a TC 2 deer breeding facility located within a CZ to immediately adjoining acreage if the release site and the breeding facility share the same ownership; however, a TC 1 deer breeding facility located in a CZ may transfer breeder deer, to other locations within a CZ. Additionally, the CZ designation imposes specific carcass movement restrictions on deer and parts of deer harvested within a CZ.

2. Fiscal Note.

        Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state and local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule as proposed, as department personnel currently allocated to the administration and enforcement of disease management activities will administer and enforce the rule as part of their current job duties and resources.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

        Mr. Lockwood also has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect:

        (A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be a reduction of the probability of CWD being spread from facilities and locations where it might exist and an increase in the probability of detecting CWD if it does exist, thus ensuring the public of continued enjoyment of the resource and also ensuring the continued beneficial economic impacts of hunting in Texas.

        There will be minimal, if any, adverse economic effect on persons required to comply with the rule as proposed.

        (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small and microbusinesses and rural communities. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s direct adverse economic impacts” to determine if any further analysis is required. The department considers “direct economic impact “to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

        The proposed rule would restrict the movement of deer under deer breeding permits issued by the department. The department has determined that most, if not all, deer breeders in Texas meet the statutory definition of a small or microbusiness (Government Code, Chapter 2006). The rule as proposed alters only the boundaries of the current CZ and there are no permitted deer breeders within the area encompassed by the prospective zone expansion. Therefore, the proposed rule imposes no direct costs of compliance on small businesses or microbusinesses. There will be no direct adverse economic impacts on rural communities as a result of the proposed rule. Therefore, the department has determined that neither the economic impact statement nor the regulatory flexibility analysis described in Government Code, Chapter 2006, is required.

        (C) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

        (D) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

        (E) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rule.

        (F) The department has determined that because the rule as proposed does not impose a cost on regulated persons, it is not necessary to repeal or amend any existing rule.

        (G) In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the department has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS).  The rule as proposed, if adopted, will:

                 (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program;

                 (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs;

                 (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding;

                 (4) not affect the amount of any fee;

                 (5) create a new regulation;

                 (6) expand an existing regulation (by enlarging the current CZ);

                 (7) increase the number of individuals subject to regulation (by imposing mandatory check station and carcass movement restrictions in an area where such restrictions are not currently effect, thereby affecting hunters); and

                 (8) not positively or adversely affect the state’s economy.

4. Request for Public Comment.

        Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Mitch Lockwood at (830) 792-9677, email: mitch.lockwood@tpwd.texas.gov. Comments also may be submitted via the department’s website at https://www.tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/.

5. Statutory Authority.

        The amendment is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C, which requires the commission to adopt rules to govern the collecting, holding, possession, propagation, release, display, or transport of protected wildlife for scientific research, educational display, zoological collection, or rehabilitation; Subchapter E, which requires the commission to adopt rules for the trapping, transporting, and transplanting of game animals and game birds, urban white-tailed deer removal, and trapping and transporting surplus white-tailed deer; Subchapter L, which authorizes the commission to make regulations governing the possession, transfer, purchase, sale, of breeder deer held under the authority of the subchapter; Subchapter R, which authorizes the commission to establish the conditions of a deer management permit, including the number, type, and length of time that white-tailed deer may be temporarily detained in an enclosure; and §61.021, which provides that no person may possess a game animal at any time or in any place except as permitted under a proclamation of the commission.

        The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters C, E, L, R, and Chapter 61.

6. Rule Text.

        §65.81. Containment Zones; Restrictions.  The areas described in paragraph (1) of this section are CZs.

                 (1) Containment Zones.

                         (A) – (B) (No change.)

                         (C) Containment Zone 3 is that portion of the state lying within the area designated as Containment Zone 3 as depicted in the following figure, more specifically described by the following latitude-longitude coordinate pairs: -99.29398894600, 29.63445412100; -99.29333570900, 29.63428256500; -99.29198312900, 29.63440193800; -99.28980918200, 29.63446884100; -99.28763488300, 29.63441135200; -99.28546954900, 29.63422971500; -99.28332246100, 29.63392471000; -99.28120282000, 29.63349764500; -99.27911971100, 29.63295034900; -99.27708205900, 29.63228516800; -99.27509859700, 29.63150495200; -99.27317782300, 29.63061304600; -99.27132796700, 29.62961327000; -99.26955695400, 29.62850990900; -99.26787236900, 29.62730769100; -99.26628142900, 29.62601176900; -99.26479094600, 29.62462769300; -99.26340730200, 29.62316139500; -99.26213642200, 29.62161915600; -99.26098374400, 29.62000758500; -99.25995420100, 29.61833358500; -99.25905219600, 29.61660432600; -99.25852828300, 29.61543549400; 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-99.26213642, 29.62161916; -99.26479095, 29.62462769; -99.26787237, 29.62730769; -99.27132797, 29.62961327; -99.2750986, 29.63150495; -99.27911971, 29.63295035; -99.28332246, 29.63392471; -99.28763488, 29.63441135; -99.29198313, 29.63440194; -99.29398895, 29.63445412.] 

Figure: 31 TAC §65.81(1)(C)

zone map

        (D) (No change.)

                 (2) (No change.)

        This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s authority.

        Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Work Session Item No. 8
Presenter: Justin Dreibelbis

Work Session
Public Lands Proclamation
Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes in the Texas Register
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary:  The staff requests permission to publish proposed amendments to the Public Lands Proclamation in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed amendments would make changes to the rules of public conduct regarding the possession, display, and use of pneumatic (air-powered) weapons on public hunting lands.

II.     Discussion:  Under Texas Parks and Wildlife Code chapter 81, subchapter E, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) is authorized to promulgate rules governing access to and use of public hunting lands and specific hunting, fishing, recreational, or other use of wildlife management areas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Code chapter 12, subchapter A, provides that a tract of land purchased primarily for a purpose authorized by the code may be used for any authorized function of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) “if the Commission determines that multiple use is the best utilization of the land’s resources.” Additionally, chapter 81, subchapter E, provides the Commission with the authority to establish open seasons, and authorizes the Executive Director to determine bag limits, means and methods, and conditions for the taking of wildlife resources on wildlife management and public hunting lands, including units of the State Park System designated as public hunting lands.

In 2018, the Commission adopted regulations making certain pneumatic weapons lawful for the take of game animals and non-migratory game birds. The current regulations regarding the possession and display of weapons on public hunting lands do not address pneumatic weapons. The proposed amendments located in Exhibit A would effect the necessary changes.

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rules

Work Session Item No. 8
Exhibit A

PUBLIC LANDS PROCLAMATION
PROPOSAL PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

        The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§65.199, 65.201, and 65.203, concerning the Public Lands Proclamation. The proposed amendments would address the possession, display, and use of pneumatic (air-powered) weapons on public hunting lands.

        In 2018 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission made certain pneumatic weapons (arrow guns and air guns, subject to ballistic restrictions) lawful for the take of game animals and non-migratory birds. In the process of reviewing the potential implications of that action upon other department regulations, the department determined that because the current rules governing the use of public hunting lands are silent on the subject of arrow guns and air guns, modification was necessary with respect to the possession, display, and use of such weapons. The department believes that it is prudent to include arrow guns and air guns in all regulations governing the possession, display, and use of weapons generally, which is necessary for efficient enforcement activities as well as the safety of hunters and the public.

        The proposed amendment to §65.199, concerning General Rules of Conduct, would prohibit the possession of arrow guns and air guns on public hunting lands except for persons authorized by the department to hunt or conduct research and commissioned law enforcement officers or employees in the performance of their duties.

        The proposed amendment to §65.201, concerning Motor Vehicles, would make it unlawful for any person to possess a loaded arrow gun or air gun in or on a vehicle, except as may be otherwise provided (e.g., disabled hunters).

        The proposed amendment to §65.203, concerning Hunter Safety, would require hunters using an arrow gun or air gun to comply with provisions regarding the wearing of fluorescent orange material, the discharge of weapons in certain areas, and the display of weapons.

2. Fiscal Note.

        Justin Dreibelbis, Director of the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the proposed amendments.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

        Mr. Dreibelbis also has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect:

        (A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules will be clear regulations governing the possession, display, and use of pneumatic weapons on public hunting lands.

        (B) There will be no adverse economic effect on persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

        (C) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on such entities. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services. The department has determined that the rules will not directly affect small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. Therefore, the department has not prepared the economic impact statement or regulatory flexibility analysis described in Government Code, Chapter 2006.

        (D) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedure Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

        (E) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

        (F) The department has determined that because the rule as proposed does not impose a cost on regulated persons, it is not necessary to repeal or amend any existing rule.

        (G) In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the department has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS).  The rule as proposed, if adopted, will:

                 (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program;

                 (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs;

                 (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding;

                 (4) not affect the amount of any fee;

                 (5) will not create a new regulation;

                 (6) will expand existing regulations (by including arrow guns and air guns in the effectiveness of current rules) but not limit or repeal an existing regulation;

                 (7) neither increase nor decrease the number of individuals subject to regulation; and

                 (8) not positively or adversely affect the state’s economy.

4. Request for Public Comment.

        Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Justin Dreibelbis, email: justin.dreibelbis@tpwd.texas.gov. Comments also may be submitted via the department’s website at https://www.tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/.

5.  Statutory Authority.

        The amendments are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §81.006, which prohibits the take, attempted take, or possession of any wildlife or fish from a wildlife management area except in the manner and during the times permitted by the department under Chapter 81, Subchapter E, and under  Chapter 81, Subchapter E, which provides the Parks and Wildlife Commission with authority to establish an open season on wildlife management areas and public hunting lands, authorizes the executive director to regulate numbers, means, methods, and conditions for taking wildlife resources on wildlife management areas and public hunting lands, and authorizes the commission to adopt rules governing recreational activities in wildlife management areas.

        The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 81.

6. Text.

        §65.199. General Rules of Conduct.

                 (a) – (c) (No change.)

                         (c) It is unlawful for any person to:

                                  (1) (No change.)

                                  (2) possess a firearm, archery equipment, arrow gun, air gun, or any other device for taking wildlife resources on public hunting lands, except for persons authorized by the department to hunt or conduct research on the area, commissioned law enforcement officers, and department employees in performance of their duties;

                                  (3) camp or construct an open fire anywhere other than in a designated campsite. On the Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Moore Plantation, and Sam Houston National Forest WMAs, this restriction applies only during the period from the day prior to the opening of the archery deer season through the day following the close of the general deer season;

                         (4) – (19) (No change.)

                  (d) (No change.)

        §65.201. Motor Vehicles.

                 (a) (No change.)

                 (b) It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife resource from a motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or possess a loaded firearm, arrow gun, or air gun in or on the vehicle, except as provided for a disabled person.

                 (c) A disabled person may possess a loaded firearm, arrow gun, or air gun in or on a motor vehicle while hunting, [and may hunt from a motor vehicle except] only paraplegics and single or double amputees of legs may hunt migratory birds from a motor vehicle,] provided the motor vehicle is not in motion, the engine is not running, and the motor vehicle is not located on a designated road, designated vehicle parking area, or designated campground. Only paraplegics and single or double amputees of legs may hunt migratory birds from a motor vehicle.

                 (d) – (e) (No change.)

        §65.203. Hunter Safety.

                 (a) It is an offense if a person is within a hunt area during daylight hours at a time when hunting with firearms, arrow guns, or air guns is permitted and fails to visibly wear:

                         (1) – (2) (No change.)

                 (b) (No change.)

                 (c) It is an offense to possess a loaded firearm, arrow gun, or air gun in or on a motor vehicle, except as provided in §65.201(c) of this title (relating to Motor Vehicles) for a disabled person.

                 (d) It is an offense to possess a loaded firearm, arrow gun, or air gun within a designated campsite, vehicle parking area, boat launching facility, or departmental check station.

                 (e) It is an offense to discharge a firearm, [or] archery equipment, arrow gun, or air gun from, onto, along, or across a designated road or designated campsite.

                 (f) It is an offense to use or display a firearm, arrow gun, air gun, or other device in an obviously unsafe or threatening manner.

        This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

        Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Work Session Item No. 11
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Work Session
Disposition of Land – Jasper County
Approximately 219 Acres of Land and a Permit for
811 Acre-Feet of Water at the Jasper Fish Hatchery
Request Permission to Begin the Public Notice and Input Process
March 20, 2019

I.      Executive Summary: The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions have relocated most of their operations from the Jasper Fish Hatchery to other facilities in East Texas and find that Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has little operational use for the hatchery land and facilities and associated water right.

II.     Discussion: The 219-acre Jasper Fish Hatchery was acquired in the 1930s for the construction of a freshwater fish propagation and research facility. Over time, with advances in fishery technology, operations at the Jasper facility were relocated to newer facilities such as the Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens and the John D. Parker Fish Hatchery north of Jasper near Sam Rayburn Lake. In 2012, the property was transferred from the Inland Fisheries Division to the Wildlife Division, which renamed the site the East Texas Conservation Center.  Buildings on the site have been used to house Wildlife Division District 6 administrative offices. Recently those site operations have been relocated to Nacogdoches to be more centrally located to District operations.

The Jasper Fish Hatchery site has approximately 70 acres of mature forest and includes approximately 60 ponds and numerous structures previously used for offices, hatchery buildings, storage, and housing. TPWD also holds a permit to divert and use up to 811 acre-feet of water from Indian Creek annually for agricultural, wetlands, and wildlife management purposes at the site. The water permit is a separate real property right and may be conveyed in whole or in part and may be amended to serve other purposes, such as fish and wildlife protection in Indian Creek.  Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Division staff find that the property no longer serves the operational purposes for which it was acquired and believe that sale of the site and use of the land sale proceeds to achieve strategic land acquisition(s) in East Texas would best serve the mission of TPWD.

The staff requests permission to begin the public notice and input process.

Attachments – 3

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map
  2. Exhibit B – Vicinity Map
  3. Exhibit C – Site Map

Work Session Item No. 11
Exhibit A

Location Map for Jasper Fish Hatchery/East Texas Conservation Center

Location Map for Jasper Fish Hatchery/East Texas Conservation Center


Work Session Item No. 11
Exhibit B

Vicinity Map for Jasper Fish Hatchery/East Texas Conservation Center

Vicinity Map for Jasper Fish Hatchery/East Texas Conservation Center


Work Session Item No. 11
Exhibit C

Site Map for Jasper Fish Hatchery/East Texas Conservation Center

Site Map for Jasper Fish Hatchery/East Texas Conservation Center


Work Session Item No. 12
Presenter: Bob Sweeney

Work Session
Sunset Advisory Commission Recommended Transfer of Eight State Historic Sites from
the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Texas Historical Commission
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary:The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is undergoing its sunset review by the Sunset Advisory Commission (Sunset Commission). The Sunset Commission’s June 2018 report regarding THC recommended, among other things, that Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) transfer to THC “eight remaining historic sites…that are not attached to a state park.” House Bill 1422 (by Representative Chris Paddie) adopts the recommendations of the Sunset Advisory Commission and would transfer eight sites to THC.

II.     Discussion:The eight sites recommended in the report for transfer to THC are:

  • Battleship Texas
  • Fanthorp Inn
  • Fort Leaton
  • Lipantitlan
  • Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery
  • Port Isabel Lighthouse
  • San Jacinto Monument and Battleground
  • Washington-on-the-Brazos

The locations of these sites within Texas are shown on Exhibit A. With the exception of Battleship Texas, these sites include real estate ownership by TPWD.

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Location Map

Work Session Item No. 12
Exhibit A

Location Map for Sunset Commission Proposed Site Transfers

~ALT


Work Session Item No. 13
Presenter: Bob Sweeney

Work Session
Litigation Update
March 19, 2019

I.      Executive Summary:  Attorneys for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will update and advise the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission regarding pending or anticipated litigation, including but not limited to the following pending lawsuits:

  • Potential or pending litigation related to oysters, including but not limited to State of Texas v. Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District, Each in his Official Capacity: Terry Haltom as CLCND Commissioner, Allen Herrington as CLCND Commissioner, Kenn Coleman as CLCND Commissioner, Ken Mitchell as CLCND Commissioner, and Dave Wilcox as CLCND Commissioner, and Sustainable Texas Oyster Resources Management, LLC., Cause No. D-1-GN-15-003093, in Travis County District Court. 
  • Potential or pending litigation regarding disease in white-tailed deer, including but not limited to Ken Bailey and Bradly Peterson v. Carter Smith, Executive Director, Clayton Wolf, Wildlife Division Director, Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Cause No. D-1-GN-15-004391, in Travis County District Court; and Labelleco Whitetail Ranch, Inc., and Ryan Merendino v. Carter Smith, Executive Director, Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Cause No. D-1-GN-18-001480, in Travis County District Court. 
  • Potential or pending litigation regarding TPWD properties in the Rio Grande Valley on which the U.S. Government may build a border wall.