TPW Commission

Work Session, November 9, 2020


TPW Commission Meetings


November 9, 2020






CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Okay, good. Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Sorry we're starting a little late, but I think we have it all worked out. Before I begin, I'll take a roll call. I'm the Chairman, and I'm present.

Vice Chairman Aplin?



Commissioner Abell I know is present.


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Bell just arrived.

Commissioner Galo?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Hildebrand?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Latimer?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Patton?

COMMISSIONER PATTON, JR.: Hello. I'm present. Can you hear me?

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: I can hear you.


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: And I know Commissioner Scott is here, so.

This meeting is called to order November 9th, 2020, at 10:05 a.m. But before proceeding with any business, I believe Mr. Smith has a statement to make.

MR. SMITH: I do. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners.

A 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'd like for this fact to be noted in the official record of the meeting.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Thank you, Carter.

And just to remind everybody, when you -- when you do make a comment or speak, please announce your name for the record here.

All right. The first item of business is approval of the minutes of the previous Work Session held August 26, 2020, which have been distributed. Is there a motion for approval?

Commissioner Scott.

Is there a second?

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: Second Commissioner Latimer.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Latimer, thank you.

And again we're going to have to roll call on the vote, so apologize we have to do it this way, but -- all right, I vote yes.


VICE-CHAIRMAN APLIN, III: Vice-Chairman yes.








CHAIRMAN MORIAN: All right. Are there any opposed? Hearing none, the motion carries.

Next, we have Work Session Item No. 1, Updated on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's progress in Implementing the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreational Plan -- Recreation Plan, Mr. Carter Smith.

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, my name is Carter Smith with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Andra, would you change the slide, please?

Just as a point of departure, as I think all of you know, as required by law we're required to provide a quick update on our Internal Affairs related program and at this juncture, I simply want to call your attention to the FY20 annual report that I believe has been distributed to the Commissioners. Mike and team did a really good job encapsulating all of the team's activities for the last fiscal year, and so I want to ask that the Commissioners have a chance to take a look at that.

If you have any questions about any of the summations of activities or findings, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or Mike.

Andra, if you could change the slide, please?

Also I want to just share with the Commission an update on a few of the additions to the senior leadership team. One of which is not a familiar face to all of you, James Murphy, our new General Counsel who has stepped in a role that Bob had prior to James. James brings a litany of experience to the job. All of you know him, of course, as our lead attorney, Chairman, for the Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program. He was the lead attorney for the Department on the Deepwater Horizon related efforts and did a terrific job on that, the Bastrop fire litigation, and a number of very high-profile pieces of policy and litigation and matters of law that James has very capably led for the Department.

He brings also with him experience from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. He was Assistant Attorney General in Oregon, also clerked for a federal judge in bankruptcy law. So we're excited about James assuming the role. Congratulations, James, and he's already stepped into his new job.

Also I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge Colette Barron Bradsby, who did a magnificent job in the interim between Bob's retirement and James' selection as our General Counsel. Colette was just so steady and so helpful, as she always is. And so I'm very grateful for her taking on that role in the interim.

Okay. All right, Andra, next slide, please?

The next individual is probably new to many of you, Mischelle Diaz. Mischelle is our new Communications Director and she brings just a wealth of public and private sector experience to her job as Director Communications team, as you can see by her experience, everything from being a TV reporter to the Director of Communication over at St. Edward's University to working for Governor Bush, working for the Wildflower Center. She brings a good mix of experience both internal and external communication-related priorities and lots of depth in news media and marketing and communication as a whole.

There was a very talented group of applicants, just like the General Counsel position, and really all of our positions throughout the Agency, and so excited about Mischelle's tenure as our new Director of Communications. And so look forward to all of you having a chance to meet and work with her.

Andra, next slide.

Also want to announce John Silovsky as our Wildlife Division Director. John brings with him 30 plus years of applied field-based wildlife management experience. Of course, a lot of that was in Kansas, a state from a private lands perspective, very similar to Texas. He came to the Department about six years ago to be our District Leader over in the Pineywoods and most recently John was our Deputy Director of the Wildlife Division and he's just done a terrific job in that capacity and we're excited about John assuming this role.

He too faced a stiff group of candidates for this position. So look forward to all of you working with John in this new capacity. So welcome, John.

Okay. Andra, next slide, please?

I want to give the Commission just a quick update on where things stand with the Sunset Commission and their activities. I think as we reported out to the Commission, Chairman Morian and I had a chance to testify before the Sunset Commission back in late September and we fielded lots of questions from Sunset Commission members about the Sunset staff report.

Commission members have been sharing their ideas with the Sunset Commission staff and this Thursday, we are expecting the Commission to formally vote on the series of statutory management recommendations that will ultimately be the basis for the legislation that will be filed in January that will call for the reauthorization of the Department. So come Thursday, we'll know a whole lot more as to where the Sunset Commission actually landed with respect to the recommendations and obviously that will be something that we will keep you closely apprised of.

But also just as a reminder, you know, this is half of the process, so to speak. And when the Legislature starts, obviously the Legislature as a whole will have a chance to take a look at those recommendations affecting the Agency and we'll continue to work on this with the Legislature throughout the -- throughout the session.

Andra, if you could change the slides?

As y'all know, we are going -- undergoing a comprehensive rule review of all of the rules governing the Parks and Wildlife Department. We're on the last batch of rules, as I understand it, and consistent with the others, really this just it is to serve as an announcement that we are taking a look at these three chapters affecting fisheries and wildlife and oysters, shrimp, and finfish.

After the team has a chance to take a look at the existing rules, any recommendations for sunsetting or revising those rules will be brought back to the Commission at a subsequent meeting and at that time, if you choose to go forward with any changes in the rules, then those will need to be directed by the Commission to go out for public comment and then at a third meeting, the Commission will need to take action to adopt those with or without any changes. So, again, this is just a notice that we've started this rule review process on these three chapters and want to make sure that the Commission is aware of that.

Andra, next slide.

Obviously, Legislative session is slated to start in January and things have started to get a little busier on that -- on that front. In October, we submitted the Agency's Legislative Appropriations Request, consistent with the direction from the Governor's Office and the Legislative Budget Board. We were given a base budget number to start with over the -- over the -- over the biennium, which by and large for all agencies was consistent with the existing base less the required 5 percent that we had been asked to reduce budgets by and that was the starting point.

You know, I'll simply remind the Commission that I will not expect this to be the ending point. I expect this to evolve and change quite a bit, but this is the opportunity for the Agency to present our proposed budget based on the base numbers and reflect what we believe to be the highest priorities for the Department.

You know, in preparing the Legislative Appropriations Request we were very mindful of really two things. One, obviously the overarching fiscal climate of the state; but secondly, just the critically important role that the outdoors have played for the health and welfare of Texans during the pandemic and so making sure that we are continuing to invest appropriately in providing, you know, safe and quality and affordable and accessible outdoor activities for the public in urban and nonurban areas is essential inside and outside the pandemic.

And so with kind of those two overarching sentiments in mind, we went about prioritizing the Agency's need. We put really a premium -- kind of three key strategies. One, making sure that we were going to meet all legislatively directed expenditures or those that were required by law. You know, examples of those would be making sure that we're investing funds in oyster cultch recovery or using Managed Lands Deer Permit proposed fee-related revenue to invest in hiring biologists who have the say to help serve that program and work with private landowners or making sure that we are investing dollars from the Bastrop Fire settlement in the recovery and restoration of the park.

Secondly, wanted to make sure that consistent with that overwhelming public mandate with the passage of Proposition 5, that all dollars coming to the Agency from that portion of the sales tax that we know as the sporting goods sale tax, be directed to specific needs for state park operations, capital equipment, capital construction, as well as local park grants. So making sure those dollars are going where the public most wants them to go. And then last, but not least, again being mindful of the fiscal climate, we have proposed to finance or fund all of the priorities or the needs to be able to grow in certain areas within the base budget.

We didn't ask for any special exceptional item requests. Again, we're trying to live within the means as we understand them and so through method of finance changes and re-purposes of authority, we proposed to address a number of critical needs that we believe are essential going forward.

Andra, if you'll change slides, please?

So what are some of those priorities? And I'll pick out a few just to -- just to highlight out of this list and if any of the Commissioners have any questions or want to come back and talk about any granularity in any of these, we certainly can. But, for instance, in the Law Enforcement operations equipment and transportation, we have proposed to reallocate an additional 15 plus million over the biennium to support our Law Enforcement needs, primarily in the realm of ensuring that we've got enough capital and operational dollars, capital to support transportation needs like new boats, replacement trucks. But one of the bigger ticket items is something that we've talked a lot about with the Legislature last time is the critically important need to acquire a new helicopter.

We have one helicopter that we purchased about ten or eleven years ago. It's already pretty much approaching end of life because of the hours invested in that helicopter with search and rescue and emergency-related operations and it's critical that we add a new helicopter to our LE Aviation related team to address, again, the range of needs for which it's called very frequently across the -- across the state.

On the fish and wildlife resources-related fronts, there's a number of important needs there that we captured with additional authority. Including, again, making sure that we have appropriate authority targeted to invest in oyster cultch recovery or the Managed Lands Deer Permit Program; but also things like creating more access for anglers to be able to get out and fish. Again, very important during this time, as well as any time.

We propose to increase our local park grants, given the demand for the recreational needs in communities big and small across the state.

On the capital construction front, something that obviously the Commission is very well versed in and we spent a lot of time working with the Legislature to address deferred maintenance inside the state parks, that is well encapsulated within that $84 million. But we've also proposed to shift some additional authority to make sure that we have more funding that can be directed at our fish hatcheries and our wildlife management areas and our Law Enforcement offices. Those also are critically important facilities.

We have lots of fencing needs across our wildlife management areas that we've got to finance and pay for. We've got pond liners and work that we've got to do at the hatcheries and so it's really important that more of that capital authority be directed at those needs as well.

Andra, next -- next slide.

I'm wanted to provide an update to the Commission on guide licensing in Texas. And this is an issue that has come up through a smattering of sources and feedback that we've gotten over the years about questions about, you know, why we have guide licenses for fishing guides, but not hunting guides. There was a question that came up here in the Sunset process as they looked at our license-related permitting and so really just more informational by way of background for the Commission.

Like really every state across the country, we have requirements for fishing guides to be licensed. And if they're fishing in saltwater, they have to have an all-water license. If they're fishing in freshwater only, they have to a freshwater guide license. The Commission recently authorized a guide license for paddle craft related guides. There's some additional, as you can see, education and safety-related requirements that come with that. The same is true for any guide that's operating in any border-related water state or international waters. It's also under the purview or jurisdiction of the Coast Guard and so additional safety-related requirements come with those guide specific requirements.

But there is no guide license required for hunting guides. Really not any kind of an analog in Texas. You know, we have a hunting lease license that landowners are required to have if they lease out their land for a fee for hunters; but there's no -- there's not hunting guide license in Texas.

Andra, next slide.

Other states do require it. Not all of them, but some and it tends to be a very mixed and eclectic bag. And so very variable across the U.S. The western states are fairly homogenous. Some make distinctions between licenses for outfitters versus guides again. And, again, we see these differences fall out by and large with public land states, you know, having hunting guide license requirements and private land states being a mixture of some do and some don't. And, again, they're very variable.

Andra, next -- next slide.

Obviously a map of the United States. Everything there in red or orange are states that have requirements that hunting guides be licensed in some form or fashion. Those states shaded in gray do not have any such requirement. So that just kind of gives you a big picture look at how this breaks down. So really up the central fairway, except for North Dakota there are no requirements for hunting guide licenses and throughout the deep south there are not requirements there as well.

Next slide, Andra.

So just picking a few states to kind of give you a sense of some states that are, you know, kind of east of the hundredth meridian and would be considered more private land states, how do they approach it. Arkansas, they've got this bifurcated approach that largely is stratified based upon whether or not a resident or nonresident is guiding on public or private land. And, again, most states differentiate between residents and nonresidents with respect to the fees that are charged and that's also true of Texas if you look at the all-water guide license and the fee that's paid by resident guides versus nonresident guides.

Kentucky does it a little bit differently. They have a little bit more extensive requirements for the guides in terms of criminal background check and, again, the kind of first aid related expectations that the Coast Guard has of guides that are fishing in waters under the purview of the Coast Guard, as well as the state. You can see again the stratification between residents and nonresidents. And they also break it down depending on what species of game the guides are pursuing with their -- with their hunters.

Next slide.

Again, just a couple of more. Here's Illinois and, again, you can see the stratification, again, residents/nonresidents. Also depends upon the game that they're guiding. They also have some more rigorous standards that guides are expected to meet to meet legislative expectations regarding business practices.

Tennessee, another strongly private lands state. Different in and of itself in that those licenses encompass both fishing and hunting. So there's really very little standardization across the private land states, with some states having guide license requirements, others not. Those that do, they tend to be very variable based again upon resident versus nonresident guides, some distinction for public and private lands and some distinction for what species of game is being pursued.

And, of course, were there to be any changes in Texas, that would have to be a legislatively directed change.

Next slide, Andra.

I wanted to just give the Commission a quick update on one of the activities that the Commission was very involved in and, of course, that involved the utility line easement through the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area in an exchange for the Commission granting that easement, along with a number of other important provisions that were made and directed by the Commission to ensure that the habitat was protected at the WMA.

There was a requirement that the utility company acquire 1,200 acres of adjacent habitat and convey that to the Department and I just wanted to, Chairman, let you and the Commission know that that has been completed.

Next slide.

And so you can see that area shaded in black there in the northwest corner of the WMA, 1,200 acres of what believe to be very high-quality coastal prairie, live oak mottes, freshwater depressional wetlands. Also the remnants of a 19th century plantation there. So it's important cultural resources. We're really excited about the addition to the wildlife management area and, again, just important to make sure the Commission knows the rest of the transaction that was completed here and I'm pleased to report that it has been.

Next slide.

I think last, but not least, I just want to call the Commission's attention to the fiscal year 2020 stocking report. And our the Fisheries and Wildlife biologists literally for decades have been doing an extraordinary job helping to stock fish and game and other wildlife species across our private and public lands and water -- waters. This stocking report provides a summation of those activities and whether it's, you know, growing Largemouth bass to put out in freshwater lakes across the state or Guadalupe bass to put in Hill Country streams or Redfish and trout or flounder along the coast or Bighorn sheep and Eastern turkeys and Horned lizards in places. Our biologists have really done a phenomenal job here. It's so important to wildlife enthusiasts of all kinds and this stocking report provides a high-level overview of their activities and I encourage you to read that to, again, just get more familiar with some of the important work of our Fisheries and Wildlife biologist across the state.

Chairman, I -- let's see.

Next slide, Andra.

I think that's the last slide and if any Commissioner has any questions about any of these slides, I'm happy to answer those or I'm happy to circle back at another time to visit more in depth about anything.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my --

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: The only -- the only comment I have is I would still like to pursue the prospect of licensing hunting guides. I mean, just what would that look like, recognizing that it would be a couple years from now before we would be prepared; but do some work and see what you -- how you would propose doing it.

MR. SMITH: Okay. I think, you know, in terms of thinking about tackling that issue, one of the first things we'd probably want to do, Chairman, is visit with all of our advisory committees.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Yeah, absolutely.

MR. SMITH: And get a -- get a sense from them. You know, really if we've gotten any feedback at all on this topic -- and there's not been a lot -- but where we've gotten it, it's really been two-fold. You know, one, guides that have been concerned about the behavior or activities of other guides in terms of illegal or unethical behavior or sometimes we hear from guides up in the Panhandle that feel like this might be an issue that could help address having to acquire hunting lease licenses for all the perm -- all the properties they're having to hunt when they're pursuing Sandhill cranes or waterfowl that are obviously moving around quite a bit. But why don't we -- why don't we have this conversation with our advisory committees just to --

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Yes, I would get -- I would think that would be first step and --

MR. SMITH: Step.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: -- and then talk to -- to --

MR. SMITH: Talk to other guides and get their --


MR. SMITH: -- feedback and landowners, et cetera, and come back with whatever feedback we get on that question to you.


MR. SMITH: Okay. Thank you, Chairman.

COMMISSIONER BELL: Mr. Chairman, I have one question.

Carter, in regard to the request that we're looking at for the Law Enforcement dollars --

MR. SMITH: Uh-huh.

COMMISSIONER BELL: -- did any of that include -- or I guess on that equipment side, are we also looking at maybe the use of drones for -- or, you know, unmanned vehicles as --

MR. SMITH: Yeah.

COMMISSIONER BELL: -- far as surveillance and things like that?

MR. SMITH: You know, I don't believe that plus-up included that. But I will say we have upwards of 70 drone pilots, UAV pilots --


MR. SMITH: -- right now inside our Law Enforcement Division. We've had a lot of support from the Gear Up for Game Warden related initiative that's run by the Parks and Wildlife Foundation. And so we've had a lot of donors that have purchased drones for use by the Department. And Colonel Jones and I had a conversation about this a couple of weeks ago as to, you know, whether or not we were, you know, saturated in meeting the needs right now or if we needed any more drones to add to it.

We certainly have found it to be a very helpful tool, as you might imagine, for our Law Enforcement related activities on, you know, search and rescue, emergency response, and a range of activities. So I think we're in pretty good shape. You know what we've been most focused on, you know as I said, obviously the helicopter. Making sure that we have a replacement schedule of our vehicles. We're replacing our Game Warden trucks roughly every 110,000 miles and then we have got to get on more regular replacement schedule with motors in boats for our Law Enforcement teams out there just because of the water-based activities and the age of that part of the -- part of the fleet.

So those have -- at least our current priorities in terms of what we've -- what we've looked at. I feel like we're in a pretty good spot on the UAVs; but I will dig in deep on that and come back to you. Does that work? Okay, thanks.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Thank you, Carter.

MR. SMITH: All right. Thank you, Chairman.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Any other questions or comments?

If not, we'll move on to Work Session Item No. 2, Internal Audit Update. Ms. Brandy Meeks, please make your presentation.

MS. MEEKS: Good morning, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Commissioners. Is everything working right? Okay, thank you.

All right. For the record, my name is Brandy Meeks. I'm the Internal Audit Director. This morning I would like to update you on the status of our fiscal year '20 and '21 internal audit plans and external audits and assessments.

Next slide, please?

So the next two slides are going to show you the status of our fiscal year '20 internal audit plan. As you can see, all of our performance audits have been completed with the exception of our mobile devices cybersecurity audit and our contract close-out audit. Those two have already gone through the fieldwork phase and they are currently in the quality assurance phase.

Next slide, please?

So this slide shows the status of our 25 fiscal control state park audits on our fiscal year '20 audit plan. As of today, all of our audits have been started. Fifteen are complete. Five are in the fieldwork phase, and five are in the quality assurance and reporting phases. We hope to have all of the state park audits that are currently in the quality assurance and reporting phases complete by the end of this quarter and we hope to have our entire fiscal year '20 audit plan, including the two performance audits on the previous slide, complete during the second quarter of fiscal year 2021.

Next slide, please?

So the next three slides are going to show you the status of our fiscal year '21 audit plan. This slide shows you the status of our performance, IT, advisory, and follow-up projects. And as you can see, we have just barely gotten started on our fiscal year '21 audit plan. We are in the planning phase with our boater/hunter education system, IT project, and of course we have started our Q1 follow-up project.

Next slide, please?

So as far as the fiscal year 2021 fiscal control audits are concerned, we do have 18 on our plan this year. Fourteen are for the state park audits, and four are for our Law Enforcement offices. We have started two of our fiscal control state park audits. One is in the fieldwork phase and one is currently in the quality assurance phase.

Next slide, please?

So we have also completed a couple of our special projects. Those are number one and two under special projects above, and we are currently also working on responding to the SAO follow-up request. And under administrative duties, you can see that we have completed the fiscal year '20 internal audit annual report. We are also currently undergoing a peer review, as you know, and I just want to say a special thank you to all of the Commissioners who have been contacted by the peer review team, as well as the Executive Management and our Division Directors in responding to their request for interview or survey. So thank you. That peer review should be completed by the end of this quarter.

And then one of the most important things I wanted to point out to you is that we are currently filling an auditor vacancy. We are hopeful that we can fill this vacancy as quickly as possible, with minimal impact to the fiscal year '21 audit plan.

Next slide, please?

So we do have three external audits in process or soon to be in process. The Comptroller of Public Accounts is currently doing an overpayment recovery audit. The entrance for that was June of this year, and that's currently in process. We will also be -- the -- we will also be conducting a Deepwater Horizon restoration natural resource damage funds audit and the Texas trustees are the General Land Office, TCEQ, and TPWD. That audit is currently -- they're finalizing the contract for that audit, but that should be started soon.

And then also the OIG will be conducting an audit of the fiscal year '19 and '20 Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and the entrance for that audit is scheduled for January of 2021.

Next slide, please?

And then lastly, I'd just like to discuss an SA audit that was completed in October of this year. It was an audit on the state's position classification plan for the 2022-23 biennium. The SAO did have some recommendations to the state's position classification plan which could affect TPWD. Those changes or those recommendations, I should say, are bulleted on this slide. But because this plan is part of the General Appropriations Act, it will take legislative action.

Next slide, please?

So this concludes my presentation, and I'm available for any questions.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: All right. Any questions or comments by the Commission?

All right. Well, thank you very much.

MS. MEEKS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: With regard to Work Session Item No. 3, Designation of Nonprofit Partners, does any Commission -- Commissioner have any questions or comments?

If not, I will place the Designation of Nonprofit Partners on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

No questions or -- Work Session Item No. 4A, Rule Review, Request Permission to Publish Proposed Changes in the Texas Register, Chapter 53 Finance, Chapter 59 Parks, Chapter 69 Resource Protection. Mr. James Murphy, please make your presentation.

MR. MURPHY: Good morning, Chairman Morian and Commissioners. I'm James Murphy, General Counsel for the Department and I'm here today to present on our rule review, which will I present in two parts. Our first part today is permission to publish changes in Chapter -- Chapters 53, 59, and 69.

Next slide, please?

I will begin today by describing the rule review process. You did hear an item on this in Carter's update under the bullets. I'll just give you a brief rundown of this process that comes from Texas Government Code Section 2001.039. All state agency regulations must be reviewed no less frequently than once every four years. We have a three-part process for that.

Review must include an assessment of whether the reason for initially adopting a rule continue to exist, that the notice of the proposed rule must be published in the Texas Register for public comment, and regulations must be readopted, adopted with changes, or repealed based upon the review.

Next slide, please?

As I mentioned before, our rule review occurs on a chapter -- chapter-by-chapter basis over three Commission meetings. The first meeting is notification to the Commission of the beginning of the rule review process. This is then published in the Texas Register. On our second meeting, we seek permission to publish any proposed rule changes or any repeals resulting from the review. This goes into the Texas Register for a comment -- public comment period. And then on our third meeting, we seek adoption of any proposed rule changes and repeals. We also seek at that time adoption of the completed rule review, which means retention of the remaining rules that have not been changed.

Next slide, please?

This is just a glimpse of our rule review schedule. As you see, we're on permission to publish here for Chapters 53, 59, 69.

Next slide, please?

And we propose no changes to the following chapters: Chapters 59 and 69.

Next slide, please?

We have several changes in Chapter 53 to propose. The first is in Section 53.100 regarding bonded title and acceptable situations. This is just a very minor deletion of an inaccurate internal reference.

Next slide, please?

Our next one is in Section 53.16 on vessel motor and marine licensing fees. We have two components to this. The first is a clarification that a replacement marine dealer, manufacturer, or distributor card does not include a decal. This is a card that a marine dealer or manufacturer or distributor can carry with them at events. What we've done here is essentially just decoupled that from the decal that goes on the vessel. We did not need to issue a replacement decal with the replacement card because that decal may not be damaged and you can get a replacement decal separately for an $11 fee if needed. We also removed one unnecessary word there in the rule.

Next slide, please?

This is in Section 53.60 for stamps. We have two components here. The first is eliminating an exemption from the upland birds stamp requirement for persons hunting under a nonresident spring turkey license and looking at the list of exemptions, the nonresident license did not seem to fit. These are largely exemptions for veterans, the disabled, and youth. The second changes here is removal of a reference to a discontinued collector's edition stamp package that we no longer sell.

Next slide, please?

Staff request permission to publish the proposed amendments to Title 31 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 53 in the Texas Register for public comment. And that's all I have.

Next slide.

And, Chairman, if you would like, I'm certainly happy to entertain any questions on this first component of the rule review or move on to the second component if you'd like.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Thank you. If no other questions, we'll authorize staff to publish the proposed changes in the Texas Register for the required public comment period. And move on to Work Session Item No. 4-B, Rule Review, Recommended of Adoption of Proposed Changes and Completed Rule Review of Chapter 51 Executive, Chapter 52 Stocking Policy, Chapter 55 Law Enforcement, Chapter 60 Maintenance Review, Chapter 61 Design and Construction. Mr. Murphy, please make your presentation.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Chairman Morian, Commissioners. This is James Murphy, General Counsel for the Department. And I'm presenting today on the second part of our rule review, which is adoption of proposed changes and completed rule review.

Next slide, please?

We've just heard a description of the process. I will just, for the record, quickly run through this. But all state agencies must review their rules at least every four years. This review includes an assessment of whether the reasons for initially adopting the rule continue to exist. A notice of the proposed review is published in the Texas Register and the proposal, if any, is published for public comment and then regulations must be readopted, adopted with changes, or repealed based upon the review.

Next slide, please?

Again, this is a three-meeting process. The first meeting is initiation of the rule review process. Notice of this is published in the Texas Register. The second meeting is permission to publish the proposed changes or repeals resulting from the review. This goes in the Texas Register for a public comment period. Then the third meeting we seek adoption of any proposed rule or change or repeal and the adoption of the completed rule review, which means retention of the remaining rules.

Next slide, please?

Here's our schedule for this grouping of chapters. We are adopting changes on Chapters 51, 52, 55, Chap -- 60 and 61.

Next slide, please?

We have no changes to the following Chapters: Chapters 52, 60, and 61.

Next slide, please?

And you have seen these before. These were in the August meeting for proposal to be published and so I will go just quickly through these. We do have a change in Section 51.141 for a sick leave pool. This is removal of requirement that donations to the pool be made in writing and that those are now made online.

Next slide, please?

This is a repeal of the San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board since the transfer of the site to the Texas Historical Commission.

Next slide, please?

This is a amendment to Section 51.80 for mandatory hunter education. This is a amendment reflect the duplicate certificate of completion of hunter education may be obtained online and allows saving of that certificate on a wireless communication device that will be accepted as proof of completion and a change of some internal references to hunter education deferral.

Next slide, please?

We have some changes to Chapter 55 on boat speed limits and buoy standards in Sections 55.302 and 55.303. This is a terminology change from slow no wake zones to broaden that out, recognizing that some of these rules are broader than just slow down and no wake.

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This is some changes to our party boat rules in Section 55.401. Just tweaks the definition of -- removal of the definition of livery vessel and then in Section 55.402, we added a generic description of the types of rental craft that are exempt from the provisions of the subchapter and the clarification that party boat operators are not exempt from the Texas Water Code licensing and titling requirements for livery vessels.

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This is some changes to our marine safety enforcement training and certification standards. Some changes to Section 55.805. We now have TPWD led courses and so we are no longer requiring these instructor course standards. On Sections 55.802 and 803, we've just changed the acronym for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to TCOLE. In Sections 55.804 and 55.807, we have some language addressing the online course providers and provide provision of payment for online courses.

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And then we have a conforming amendment to Section 53.50 and Chapter 53. This is separate from the rule review proposal that we have today. This was just inline with some of the changes to the online course, the TPWD led course, changing those fees.

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No public comments were received on any of these rule changes.

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And tomorrow, staff will present to you -- or I will present to you two motions to adopt the following changes and for brevity today, I will not read out these rather lengthy motions; but they will be presented in full to you tomorrow when you approve or you consider for approval adoption of these changes.


MR. MURPHY: You're welcome.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Are there any questions from the Commission?

If not, then we'll place the Rule Review, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes and Completed Rule Review on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

And move on to Work Session Item No. 5, Deer Breeder and Other Permitting Rules, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes. Mr. Mitch Lockwood, please make your presentation.

MR. LOCKWOOD: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, my name is Mitch Lockwood. I'm the Director of the Big Game Program and tomorrow I will recommend adoption to proposed amendments to rules governing our deer breeding, DMP, and Triple T permitting activities, as well as amendments to the comprehensive CWD rules.

As we discussed last August, these proposed amendments are in response to a compilation of issues that have surfaced over the years. Some of them are simple. Some of them are not so simple. As we discussed in August, I presented -- discussed a number of these issues with our Breeder User Group last July, just -- and presented some potential rule amendments at that time. As you can imagine, I received quite a bit of feedback to those suggested amendments at that time.

Also received quite a bit of feedback from leadership of the Texas Deer Association, the Deer Breeders Corporation. Had conversations with the Governor's office, Chairman Cyrier's office, Chairman Perry's office, Representative Darby, and received again quite a bit of feedback and as a result of that feedback, actually made amendments to that proposal prior to publishing in the Texas Register.

And since then, since it was published, I've had some conversations with some of those same stakeholders and if this Commission chooses to adopt this proposal tomorrow, I will recommend actually some amendments to that adoption and I'll discuss those -- I mean, amendment to that proposal and I will discuss some of those amendments today. Again, in response to some feedback that we received from these various stakeholders.

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I'll begin with some of the simpler amendments here. Some of what I consider to be housekeeping amendments. First, we would propose to eliminate some superfluous language. Some of it's redundant. In some cases, there's actually some inconsistencies now with some of our other rules. But in the case of redundant language, we would propose to remove the term "accredited test facility," since this is defined in our comprehensive CWD rules. In fact, if I jump down to the second main level bullet here, we would actually propose to remove all the language that's currently in the disease monitoring section of these deer breeding rules and simply reference our comprehensive CWD rules.

We also propose to replace the terms "sale and release" with the term of "transfer," because the rules are designed to mitigate risks associated with the transfer of deer, regardless of the reason for those transfers. We use this term "transfer" to encompass all situations in which a transfer permit is required, which includes the purpose of release or sale. Of course, if adopted, the rules would clearly reference Parks and Wildlife Code 43.357 where these permit privileges are codified.

We also propose to clarify that both movement qualified status and the transfer permit are required to transfer breeder deer to or from a registered facility. Now, there is one exception to this.

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The current rules already allow for the transfer for emergency medical treatment to a licensed veterinary facility without activating a transfer permit for obvious reasons and we do not propose to change that. However, in the event that the deer actually must leave the trailer and be housed in a room or a pen or a location that has housed other species susceptible to Chronic Wasting Disease, then we do propose that a transfer permit be activated prior to those deer or that deer returning to the source deer breeding facility. That, of course, would assist in the event of a -- would be very important in the event of an epidemiological investigation.

Now, one of the comments that we received actually from both the Deer Breeders Corporation and the Texas Deer Association would be to make sure that if mortalities occur, if a deer dies at that veterinary facility, that that mortality be credited, if you will, to the source breeding facility as opposed to the vet facility; so that any CWD test requirements would be placed on the person who shipped the deer to the veterinary facility as opposed to the vet, veterinarian. And staff certainly concur with that and that is the intention with this proposal.

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We also propose to clarify that breeders may acquire breeder deer from locations other than deer breeding facilities. For example, it's not uncommon for a breeder buck to be used in a DMP facility and then returned back to their breeding facility. We also propose to alter the definition of unique number and simply reference again the statutes that reference Parks and Wildlife Code. The identification of breeder deer laws were changed, were modified in the last legislative session. Our rules now are inconsistent with those new statutory requirements and we propose to simply reference those statutes. And, again, we propose to reference the comprehensive CWD rules with regard to the transfer of deer and, again, to remove redundant or unnecessary language.

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Now, moving on to some of the proposed amendments that have generated more interest, I'll start with the definition of a facility. We propose that a facility be defined as one or more contiguous enclosures in the aggregate. As I shared with y'all with an example in August, there are some facilities or some deer breeders rather, that have disjunct sets of pens. And they may have, say, two or three different sets of pens on one property. In fact, there's a little more than a hundred deer breeders who have disjunct sets of pens at one location. About a third of those have those separated into separate permits. In other words, a permit per contiguous set of pens, which is exactly what we're proposing here for all such scenarios with disjunct sets of pens.

And the reason for that is, is as long as different sets of pens can move deer to and from these pen -- to and from one set of pens to another set of pens. In other words, they must be loaded into a trailer to be transferred to another location. As long as they're under one permit, there's -- there's no record of that transfer because there's no transfer permit required if it's all within the same facility. And so you can imagine in the event of an epidemiological investigation, how this could really complicate matters when there is no transfer history between these locations.

And, you know, on top of that, this could have ramifications or one of the ramifications would be unnecessarily tying many, many breeders into an epidemiological investigation. More -- many more than are necessary. In other words, they would be traced to or from a CWD positive facility, for example, and unnecessarily so. So with that, we propose that, again, a facility be one or more contiguous enclosure.

Now, some of the comments that we received on this -- again from Deer Breeders Corporation, Texas Deer Association -- have to do with a concern for the permit fee. There's currently a fee of $200 for a deer breeder permit and if you have two disjunct sets of pens on your property and they're set up with separate facility IDs, that would require two $200 permit fees. As we discussed in August, it would be quite costly for the Department to -- to do the programming to our computer database that would be required to allow some different fee structure, if you will, such as a reduced fee for multiple facilities and, quite frankly, as important as it is to be able to track the transfer of deer from one of these facilities to another, it does still require administering two different herd inventories, it does require twice the effort, twice the work. And so as long as the Commission still has a desire for a permit fee to recover the cost in administering and enforcing the program, then it would be necessary for each one of those facilities to have a separate permit with a separate permit fee.

One of the specific comments that we did receive from Deer Breeders Corporation would be to perhaps just have one facility ID such as Facility 1,001, for example, but with a suffix at the end of that to where if there were three sets of pens, it would be 1,001-A, 1,001-B, 1,001-C, for example. But really what that results in is three separate facility IDs. That's still three separate herd inventories that we would be monitoring. So I think that would not achieve the objectives there.

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With regard to mortality reporting, currently mortalities only have to be reported by the end of the report year, which is March 31st. And so one could go up to 12 months without reporting mortality in a facility. Likewise, one could actually store CWD samples that are collected from deer that die in a facility and store them for several months, potentially until the end of the report year before they are submitted to the diagnostic lab.

As you can imagine, this is not a recipe for early detection of CWD. You could have a mortality that occurs. The deer is positive for CWD. It's stored and not shipped for seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven months to the diagnostic lab, all the while before we ever know CWD is in that facility, deer could have been transferred to many different deer breeding facilities in the state and to release sites around the state, potentially spreading this disease.

And so staff initially proposed an amendment to these rules to require reporting mortalities within 48 hours of detection and also submission to the lab within that timeframe. After getting some feedback from our Breeder User Group -- again we amended this proposal prior to publishing it in the Texas Register -- the feedback we received from them resulted in proposed language that states that mortalities should be reported within 14 days of discovery and those samples should be submitted to the laboratory within 14 days of collection.

We have since received some feedback. In fact, I received some consistent feedback from Texas Deer Association, more recently from Deer Breeders Corporation, requesting a longer period of time to submit samples to the lab. Texas Deer Association suggested that 14 days is reasonable to report those mortalities in TWIMS; but requested a 30-day window to submit those samples, any CWD samples that were collected, to the diagnostic laboratory. Now, the main reason I've heard for this request is because some people choose or prefer to drive those samples to the lab in College Station, as opposed to relying on U.S. Postal Service or some other shipping method.

Deer Breeders Corporation actually requested quite a bit more time. They requested 60 days to report those mortalities in TWIMS and 60 days to submit those samples to the laboratory. Now, again, as we've discussed many times, I think everybody who has been involved at all in the management of Chronic Wasting Disease agrees that early detection is critical. This is a disease that is difficult to detect. This is a disease that is difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. There's no treatment for this disease. This is very, very -- a disease that's very difficult to contain and more so if detection is not early.

And so with that, staff do recommend that we make -- that we go ahead -- and tomorrow we'll recommend that the Commission adopt this proposal as published in this regard with the 14-day mortality reporting requirement and requiring 14-day submission to the laboratory.

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For the past few years, we have responded to an Opens Record -- an Open Records request, which has resulted in these two tables on this slide. The table on the left, it is a report of the number of breeder deer that have escaped from deer breeding facilities and were not recaptured. This is reported to us by the permitted deer breeders. And so you can see there's close to -- through 2019, close to 3,000 deer that were reported escaped and not recaptured. The table on the right shows the number of deer that our Department staff actually have determined were missing from facilities when conducting inspections at the facility. And, you know, not too far shy of 10,000 deer have been determined missing from facilities.

And, Mr. Chairman, this is -- this is an area where you have asked us to pay close attention, to put focus on this and try to address these issues.

And so I think with regard to that table on the right, the deer that are missing from these facilities, I believe the proposed change to mortality reporting on that previous slide of 14 days is going to go a long way towards addressing this. Because in reality many, many of these deer that are missing are really dead deer. We've been able to determine over the years. And so the deer that perhaps had died not just months before, but even years before, were never reported. But with more timely mortality reporting, I believe we can really begin to get a handle on this and have a much lower occurrence of these deer missing from facilities.

With regard to the escaped deer -- next slide, please -- we propose that a permittee notify the Department not only of the escape occurring, but also what the intended actions are to recapture those deer and also to notify the Department daily of the efforts to capture those deer until those deer have been captured and this can continue on for ten days we propose. If not recaptured after ten days, then we propose those deer not be able to be recaptured again and they'd be considered free-ranging deer at that time. But we would also propose that the deer breeder provide evidence of facility enhancements to prevent subsequent escapes.

Now, in the event that deer escape from a facility that is not movement qualified, we have significant concerns. They're not movement qualified most likely because of inadequate surveillance for Chronic Wasting Disease. And so for those situations, we would propose if the deer are not recaptured, then we would propose that the Department issue a disease testing plan for that site, which may include some testing of hunter-harvested deer on the property and/or may require some antemortem testing for the deer breeding facility.

Now, some of the comments we received from stakeholders -- specifically, Texas Deer Association and Deer Breeders Corporation -- were -- were to have some objective standards or requirements with this herd plan, if you will. Kind of have some: What are the specific requirements? What sort of testing would be required? What intensity of testing would be required?

And we understand the desire for that; but, quite frankly, there's just too many variables out there. Too many different possible scenarios and many different responses to those different scenarios. Some would require more surveillance than others. Keep in mind that this proposal would be only for facilities that are not movement qualified. We originally proposed something similar just for any facility that was not able to recapture those escaped deer; but after taking feedback from the stakeholders last July, we did amend that proposal and focused just on those facilities that are not movement qualified.

And I'll remind the Commission that with few exceptions, it's -- it's really, really easy to recatch these escaped deer. Now, I have been reminded of some situations in which it can be difficult; but the Department has a good bit of experience at recatching deer that escape from deer breeding facilities and we've had a lot of success to do that with very little effort.

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Now, we also propose to limit residency within a deer breeding facility to only to the White-tailed deer or the Mule deer that are included in the current herd inventory. So this would mean there would be no co-mingling or interbreeding of White-tailed deer and Mule deer. And as a side note or a separate part of this proposal, there would also be a prohibition on the cloning of White-tailed deer and Mule deer. As I shared in August, we believe that these already are not authorized activities. Nonetheless, it's come to our attention that the rules should be clear that this is not authorized and, in fact, it's a prohibited activity.

Now, with regard to the residency of being limited to only White-tailed deer and Mule deer, we had -- we did receive quite a bit of feedback here, again, from some of the same stakeholders that I've repeated quite a few times this morning. And the biggest concern would have to do with facilities that do have mixed species. There may be -- well today, the -- one of the more common practices with, say, nonnative cervids in facilities is the farming of Fallow deer. In fact, farming Axis deer is growing in popularity I understand.

And so there may be -- let me just give the example that was provided to me by industry representatives. You may have, say, an east set of pens holding White-tailed deer; a west set of pens holding, say, Fallow deer; and a barn in the middle. And that barn would have the working facility. It would have a squeeze shoot, they run animals through there, they tag the deer, and, of course, what all they do as they're working these deer in the facility. And considering all the investments that have been made up to this point to have that sort of facility design, they have requested that those other species -- Fallow deer in this example -- be allowed access to that working facility.

Now, after giving this quite a bit of thought and kind of quite a bit of discussion with others, staff would recommend tomorrow if these rules -- if this proposal is adopted, that there be amendments to allow these other species to have access to that working facility, provided that they are not CWD susceptible species. They're not known to be CWD susceptible species. And that would be consistent with a request that we've received from our stakeholders.

There was one other comment from one individual to request that nanny goats be allowed access to these deer breeding facilities to nurse fawns. After discussing this with some leadership within industry, we -- that seems to be a very, very uncommon practice in this state and, quite frankly, that's -- that is one of the practices that proposal intends to -- intends to avoid.

Now, it was brought to my attention last week that there are probably more hybrid White-tailed/Mule deer hybrids currently in facilities than we realized. In fact, I'm not sure we realized that there were any hybrids standing in a facility. The permits clearly do not authorize the possession of hybrids. The permit -- the deer breeder's permit is very specific as to the species and number of species that may be possessed. And so I was bit surprised to learn about this last week; but with that, there is a request that the Department develop a transition plan for any hybrids that may be in existence and I do think that's a reasonable request, for the record, that staff would recommend that hybrids not be released to native range; but we do agree that we need to visit with individuals that may possess these and come up with a transmission -- excuse me -- transition plan.

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We have also proposed regarding the transfer of White-tailed deer and Mule deer that the transfer permit be activated prior to those deer being loaded into the trailer. We also would propose in some cases that a transport manifest accompany that transfer permit and that would be in situations where you have multiple vehicles that are needed to transport deer to a destination or if you have a single vehicle that is employed for multiple trips to a single destination.

Our proposal also stated that it may be necessary where there's a single instance of a transport that involves stops at multiple destinations. And so with regard to that last instance, I need to visit with our Legal team and that may not be necessary to include in the adoption preamble if, indeed, this is adopted. The idea here is that a transfer permit already does list these specific deer that are being transferred; but, again, in the event that multiple trips are needed or multiple trailers are needed to make that transfer, then the transfer permit could be quite confusing because it could include more deer than are physically in the trailer that is being inspected at that time. And so this transport manifest would be very clear as to these exact, these specific deer that are in the trailer at that time.

Now, industry feedback on that was positive. And finally on this slide, we propose that White-tailed deer and Mule deer be transferred only to counties with an open season for that species. In other words, only to counties within the historic or native range of that species.

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We also proposed that the facility diagram or the facility plat for a deer breeding facility clearly define each distinct encloser within that facility boundaries to include interior fencing and gates. And we have also proposed that any enclosures that are added to a facility after the initial permit issuance be approved by the Department prior to being utilized.

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We also propose to clarify that facility standards for deer breeding facilities apply to nursing and medical facilities, as well; and that these facilities all have infrastructure appropriate for the humane treatment of deer. Regarding nursing facilities, we propose to limit the amount of time that a fawn may remain in a nursing facility to 120 days following a deer's birth.

Now, we received some feedback on this proposal last week again from Texas Deer Association and Deer Breeders Corporation and they requested that the proposal be modified to allow the Department under extraordinary circumstances to authorize a period beyond that 120 days and staff have no concerns of that request. In fact, we could see where there may be some situations where that would be necessary and, again, that would be an amendment that we would request prior to adoption.

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Getting close to the end with regard to the deer breeder rule amendments. We have -- we require any -- any facility that's included on a new deer breeding permit application to be inspected prior to that permit being issued. And the current rules require that that facility be inspected by a certified wildlife biologist, which may be confused with a biologist that's certified by the Wildlife Society that has specific education and experience requirements and isn't necessarily the most qualified individual to carry out these duties.

And so we have proposed to change that term or the name of the person or title rather, the person conducting this activity to an "Authorized Pen Inspector" and we also propose to codify the required qualifications for these pen inspectors with regard to education and experience and also to state that such a person cannot have demonstrated noncompliance with our deer breeding rules if they're going to conduct this activity.

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Now, moving on to the proposed amendments to the deer breeder rules -- I'm sorry -- to the DMP rules.

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We propose to eliminate the language that's currently in the disease detection section of the DMP rules in reference to the comprehensive CWD rules.

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We also propose to change -- to correct some gross errors in the Texas Administrative Code for our DMP permit. There's some language that states that breeder deer that are used in a DMP facility and released -- so breeder deer can then be released from a DMP facility or in the case of breeder bucks, they can be returned to a deer breeding facility and the rules state basically -- and I'll paraphrase here -- if they're released from the DMP facility, they become wild deer and if those bucks return to a breeding facility, they remain private property. And both the terms "wild" and "private property" are erroneous in this context.

All White-tailed deer and Mule deer in the State of Texas are wild by definition in statute and so we -- we have proposed to modify that term and replace that term "wild" with "free-ranging." If they're released, they become free-ranging deer. And then we have proposed to just simply strike the phrase "remain private property" and just simply state that these breeder bucks after being used in a DMP, may return to a breeding deer breeding facility because as we all know, all White-tailed deer and Mule deer in the State of Texas belong to the people of the State of Texas.

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And finally, we propose some amendments to our Triple T rules.

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Again, similar to what you've seen with deer breeding and DMP proposed amendments, we propose to eliminate this -- the current language in the disease detection Section 65.102 and reference the comprehensive CWD rules. We also propose to incorporate game bird Triple T into the rules. Let me clarify. We already authorize the Triple T of game birds. That's a permitted activity, but the rules are pretty silent to that and so we want to make sure that the rules do address that current practice.

More substantive than that would be to allow aggregate acreages to apply as a trap site or a release site. It's common knowledge that when you're trying to restore wildlife populations, typically there's -- there -- I'll say there's a linear relationship with, say, the size of the area that you're managing to restore these populations and the success of that restoration effort. And so allowing these acreages, these aggregate acreage to apply can improve the -- can increase the success of these restoration efforts.

And then with regard to permit denial, as you know with many of our other permits, there is -- there is -- there are provisions that allow -- authorize the Department to deny permit issuance for certain violations. They're specific to that particular activity. For example, for most of our deer permits violations and convictions of violations to Parks and Wildlife Code Chapter 43 Subchapter C, E, L, or R could be grounds for permit denial. Those subchapters that I just rattled off to you are those subchapters that authorize the possession of wildlife.

In the case of the Triple T rules, we would propose that same language; but add three additional subchapters that could be grounds for a permit denial. In other words, convictions of violations of those subchapters. And that would be Subchapters E, F -- excuse me -- E -- I need my bifocals here. That would be Subchapters F, G, or H, which are the subchapters governing the aerial wildlife management depredation permit and private bird hunting areas.

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Mr. Chairman, to date we've received 12 comments. There is an error on this slide, and then an update also to this slide. This slide shows seven opposing comments. I actually double counted one when I created this slide. So to date, we have six opposing comments. We have six supporting comments of -- with an exception of two or three individuals, those comments have come in from, again, Texas Deer Association, Deer Breeders Corporation, the Wildlife Society, Texas Chapter Wildlife Society, Texas Wildlife Association, and Humane Society, and then Texas Foundation for Conservation.

I would say some of these six opposing arguments, based on the comments I received, they would not be in opposition to what I presented today, the amendments that I have offered today, with maybe one exception. And finally, I did fail to note one of the recommendations from the Humane Society. Again, they were suppositive overall of this proposal; but they did make a request that deer breeding facilities be required to be double fenced. That is not part of this proposal, and I would have to defer to Legal on that. I'm not sure that that even could be adopted with that change since we didn't propose any changes with regard to fence height or that sort of fencing requirement, if you will.

And so, Mr. Chairman, with that, that concludes my presentation. I'll be glad to answer any questions that y'all might have.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: All right, thank you.

I have -- go back to the slide with the deer that have escaped because that -- I'm still -- it astounds me, but -- the -- the left column -- the left slide has 2,943. That's a couple more years, but that's part of the 9,687?

MR. LOCKWOOD: No, sir. That is a separate number. The left table and the right, there's no overlap in numbers between the table on the left and table on the right. Again, the table on the left reflects the number of deer that deer breeders have reported to the Department as having escaped and not recaptured. Whereas the table on the right shows the number of deer that the Department has determined were just missing from these facilities when we conducted inspections. Some of them undoubtedly -- in fact, we know a lot of them have died and were just never reported.

It's possible some of them are escapes that were not reported. It's possible that -- in fact, we do know that some of them have been released without a transfer permit. There's probably a lot of different reasons why they're missing. Based on our experience, we would think that the vast majority of those are actually mortalities. Mortalities and then the next -- the close second to that would be, it seems based on information we received, released without activating transfer permits.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: And those mortalities would not have been tested.

MR. LOCKWOOD: That is correct. But I want to be very clear that that number -- 9,687 missing deer -- we treat every one of those as a mortality, which is very important because that means now there's a testing requirement for that mortality. So the deer is gone. You're probably thinking, "Well, how are you going to test it?" But you might remember that for missing mortalities, we have antemortem testing, that three-for-one substitution, that will allow for to make up that surveillance. And so we would use antemortem testing. And you may also remember there are circumstances in which remember the mousetrap that we've dealt with the deer breeders who get stuck in the mousetrap where they need more live samples than they have deer standing in the facility and this Commission provided a means for them to get out of that mousetrap, so to speak, through two rounds of whole herd testing at 12-month intervals.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Well, just -- I mean, an escaped breeder deer, like you pointed out, is not hard to recapture in most cases because I've seen them go up and down the fence trying to get back in. So then I go over here where you've got 9,687 that are just missing. So they either died or were released without proper paperwork, so.

MR. LOCKWOOD: Those -- it's been our experience those have been the two most common reason.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Yeah. That's an enormous amount of money. I mean, that -- at $200 a head and that's $2 million. I don't think a business would allow slippage or leakage of $2 million. Anyway, it just baffles me. But we're tightening that up. So appreciate it.

Any other questions or comments?

Well, hearing none, I'll place the Rule Review, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes and Completed Rule Review on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment.

MR. LOCKWOOD: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: All right. With that, we'll move on to Work Session Item No. 6, Statewide Oyster Fishery Proclamation, Temporary Closure of Oyster Restoration Areas in Galveston Bay and Aransas Bay, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes. We've talked about this. Are there any questions or comments?

If not, I'll place the Statewide Oyster Fishery Proclamation, Temporary Closure of Oyster Restoration Areas in Galveston Bay and Aransas Bay, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Move on to Work Session Item No. 7, Exotic Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants and Fee Rules, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes. Ms. Monica McGarrity, please make your presentation.

MS. MCGARRITY: Apologies. For the record, my name is Monica McGarrity I'm a Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species Management in the Inland Fisheries Division. Today I'll be presenting the proposed amendments to the exotic harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants rules and the associated fee rules.

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Today I'll give a brief review of the proposed rule changes presented to the Commission in August and a summary of the public outreach and public comment received.

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These changes to the exotic species rules were proposed to improve organization and accessibility and address changing needs of the regulated community, recent introductions, and potential threats. The proposed rules were also updated to accommodate the permit fee structure for key changes to the rules.

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Seven species were proposed for addition to the controlled exotic species list. Four fishes and two shellfish were added proactively. These species are not yet present in the state and some are not yet present in the U.S. Two plant species were proposed for addition that have been introduced in Texas and become problematic.

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We propose several key changes to the rules pertaining to aquaculture of exotic species, including the creation of multiyear permit renewals, elimination of the reporting requirement for Tilapia, allowance for culture of an additional Tilapia species, and elimination of the permit requirement for noncommercial home aquaponics.

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We also proposed to create a new permit for sellers of Tilapia and Triploid Grass carp for pond stocking, who do not culture the fish, along with an allowance for all species of Tilapia used in aquaculture to be stocked. We proposed a zonal strategy to protect against the impacts of escapes of stocked Tilapia on imperiled fishes, with Department approval for stocking requirement in a designated conservation zone. In the remainder of the state, the stocking zone, an area with high economic importance of the Tilapia pond stocking trade, such approval would not be required and we also propose fast-tracking of permits for ten or fewer Triploid Grass carp in this zone.

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We also propose changes to the rules regarding possession of controlled exotic species to allow fish and shellfish other than oysters may be possessed if they were killed by several additional means and to allow landowners to possess exotic plants, Zebra mussels and Apple snails removed from shorefront property for the purposes of disposal without a permit.

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Additional proposed changes clarified rules relating to disposition of unlawfully possessed exotic species, established a new permit for biological control production, and created an exemption for partners actively engaged in Department-led efforts to monitor or manage exotic species.

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Proposed changes to the fee rules would establish fees for the two new permits and update aquaculture permit fees to accommodate new multiyear renewals and a five-year inspection interval.

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Early in the rule revision process, we obtained feedback from the Texas Aquaculture Association. Following the August Commission Meeting, we conducted additional outreach, including a presentation to the Texas Freshwater Fishery Advisory Committee. We also sent out e-mails to exotic species permit holders and Zebra mussel and conservation partners, described key changes of relevance to them and provided public comment.

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We received seven public comments with six in agreement. Three of the individuals in agreement specifically supported rule revisions that make it easier for people in West Texas to get Triploid Grass carp, purchase Triploid Grass carp from out-of-state sellers because Texas sources are not available to them. One commenter disagreed with the proposed rule changes.

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Specifically this individual, a longstanding aquaculture permit holder, disagreed with the proposed changes to the permit fees to include a prorated inspection fee, while agreeing on other streamlining measures. The proposed fee changes are related to the need to inspect these aquaculture facilities more frequently. While this individual has remained in good standing during the course of the permit without violations, staff have encountered other instances where the facilities were found to be in violation of the measures that need to be in place to prevent escape and many facilities have not been reinspected in some time.

We believe that the need for inspections is justified for the permitting program to be effective and that a five-year interval is a balanced approach to insuring compliance and a standard that must be applied equitably to all permit holders for these permission purposes. The proposed rule changes prorate a current inspection fee to account for the five-year inspection interval, to aid in recovering costs to the Department of staff time and staff travel.

For a longstanding permit holder eligible for a five-year renewal permit, the increased cost per year would be $25.60.

Next slide, please. This concludes my presentation, and I'll be happy to answer any questions.


MS. CLARK: Chairman, unmute your mic.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Any questions or discussion by the Commissioners?

If no further discussion, I'll place the Exotic Harmful or Potentially Harmful Fish, Shellfish, and Aquatic Plants and Fee Rules, Recommended Adoption of Proposed Changes on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

With that, we'll move on to Work Session Item No. 8, 2021 to 2022 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Proclamation Review. We've got -- is that -- Mr. Ken Kurzawski and Mr. Dakus Geeslin, please make your presentation. There you are.

MR. KURZAWSKI: Good morning, Commissioners. My name is Ken Kurzawski with -- of the Inland Fisheries Division and today I'll be reviewing -- previewing our potential changes to the freshwater fishing regulations. With this regulatory cycle, we are focusing on catfish.

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Catfish are one of our most important game fish in Texas. They are distributed statewide and we have three primary species that anglers fish for: Blues, Channels, and Flatheads. They're the second most preferred fish when we've surveyed Texas anglers over the years. Catfish have been the focus of our attention recently. We have conducted numerous studies on how to improve sampling and data collection for catfish populations and we surveyed anglers to see what they value about catfish. What we found there, many do fish from boats; but we do -- some do fish from sore -- shore. Most use rod and reel, but juglines and trotlines are also important.

Harvest is important with catfish. It's always been a species that people like to catch and eat; but there has been increased interest in catching larger fish. Because of that interest in catching larger fish, some anglers are more interested in restrictive harvest regulations.

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We worked on developing a statewide catfish management plan, which we released in 2015. Our overall vision there was to provide a diversity of high quality angling opportunities for Blue and Channel and Flathead catfish and specifically we were looking to increase fishing opportunities and access for catfish anglers and develop and implement best practices to manage those populations.

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That led us to direct a team of our biologists to look at how we manage catfish, which they worked on over the last two years. We focused for this exercise on Blue and Channel catfish. We incorporated that statewide survey of catfish anglers and also direct and input from anglers. We went into that recognizing that there was an increased interest in catching large catfish and the continued importance of harvest.

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Simple regulations don't always provide the best angling. We have a variety of catfish populations with different characteristics and we always look to take advantage of that diversity. We do need to consider how easily anglers can understand the regulations both on a statewide basis and with individual exceptions. Those regulations should be biologically sound and should be accepted by anglers.

Harvest regulations most directly impact fish populations, but they also impact anglers. That's why obtaining angler feedback is an important component of this process.

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As I said, an important part of this process is obtaining angler feedback on the changes we were considering. We conducted some online live seminars during the summer. We recruited participants statewide, people we knew were just in catfish angling. We followed up with a news release, and published that webinar on the website. We did get lots of input, a lot of questions on life history and biological questions; but what we found was that there is that desire to protect catfish populations, but to still harvest some fish.

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Our current regulations, statewide regulations for Blue and Channel catfish consist of a 12-inch minimum length limit and a 25-fish daily bag -- bag limit, which that means it combines both Blue and Channels. That's been in place since 1995. We do have multiple exceptions in place on the border waters with Louisiana and Oklahoma. You might remember that last year, we came before you to make some changes on Lake Texoma and the Red River on catfish regulations to make those the same on each side of the border.

We do have some reduced bag limits, five fish per day on community fishing lakes and those smaller waterbodies. Those lakes we are -- many of those lakes, we are doing stocking of catfish and we want to -- those fish are in limited supply and we want to spread those -- the harvest of those on as many people as possible, so we reduced the bag limit there. And we also have some specific exemptions, exceptions to the statewide and specific populations around the state to address certain population characteristics in those areas.

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What are we thinking about for our potential statewide regulations is to, one, remove the 12-inch minimum length limit on Blues and Channels. We would retain the 25-fish combined daily bag limit; but of those 25 fish, no anglers could harvest no more than 10 that could 20 inches or longer. Few anglers harvest 25 fish and even fewer harvest more than 10 catfish over 20 inches. Impacts on anglers of the graduated bag restriction will be minimal. And our statewide catfish angler survey, catching big fish was not a major desire of most anglers, although some do have that desire. They would rather catch catfish to eat, and this regulation is designed for that.

The current statewide 12-inch minimum length limit does not provide much protection for larger catfish and angler attitudes have changed to focus on catching and keeping those larger fish. This regulation would be appropriate for most of our waters statewide. Additionally, for newer potential anglers, the rule for the minimum length limit will aid their understanding and compliance of this regulation.

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We are looking at some -- some exceptions to this. Starting out, some of our larger reservoirs which would be more of a harvest-oriented exception, we would -- this regulation is similar to the statewide. We wouldn't have a minimum length limit. We'd still have a 25-fish daily bag; but on these reservoirs, they -- you -- anglers would be confined to limit -- to harvesting no more than five catfish 30 inches or larger. This is -- this regulation is designed to protect some -- provide some protection from incidental overharvest of large catfish, not necessarily to improve the overall quality of those populations.

We have a somewhat similar regulation on our border waters such as Toledo Bend that we share with Louisiana and local anglers have supported this type of regulation. We are looking to apply this regulation to some of our larger reservoirs, especially in East Texas.

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Next potential exemption would be, once again, somewhat similar to the statewide; but we have modified the number of larger fish that can be harvested into two categories: Five fish over 20 inches and then of those five fish, only one can be 30 inches and longer. This regulation directs harvest to smaller, easily replaceable fish and protects larger fish while allowing the harvest of one large fish. This regulation would primarily impact Blue catfish anglers, especially those using trotlines and juglines. But catfish populations and these anglers would benefit by the reduction in the harvest of larger fish.

While it is designed to improve Blue catfish populations, it will also improve quality in cat -- Channel catfish populations. We have identified some anglers who desire to improve quality and big fish opportunities and this regulation addresses that. We currently have some reservoirs -- three reservoirs -- with 30- to 45-inch slot and one with a similar graduated bag which would be looking to move these -- those reservoirs into this regulation.

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And the final exception to statewide that we're looking at would be a 14-inch minimum length limit and a 15-fish combined daily bag. This regulation will only be used in situations where there are concerns that excessive harvest could damage the population due to factors such as limited spawning or reservoirs that have experienced a catastrophic event, such as a fish kill, and the population needs to be rebuilt. We are considering a couple power plant reservoirs for these limits.

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That concludes the -- all the potential changes that we're considering for the upcoming regulatory cycle. We did present these changes to the Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee, and they supported moving forward with them. I'd be happy to answer any questions or take any comments that you have.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Are there any questions or comments?

All right. Thank you for your presentation.

Move on to Work Session Item No. 9, 2021-2022 Statewide Hunting and Migratory Game Bird Proclamation Preview, Shawn Gray and Shaun Oldenburger and Mr. Alan Cain.

MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, Dakus Geeslin still has got a couple of things to present on the coastal fisheries side.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Oh, I missed that. Sorry. We'll go back --

MR. SMITH: No worries.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: We'll go back to the second half of Work Session Item No. 8.

MR. SMITH: Great. Thank you, Chairman.


MR. GEESLIN: Yes. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, fellow Commissioners. For the record, this is Dakus Geeslin. I'm with the Coastal Fisheries Division. Today I'll be presenting our statewide saltwater proclamation preview for license year 2022. This is including potential regulation changes regarding crab trap fishing in Aransas Bay.

Next slide, please, Andra?

Just as a refresher, our current regulations in Aransas Bay include prohibitions to both commercial and recreational use of crab traps. This regulation appears to have been in place since the early 1960s. We're not exactly sure of its origins, but we do know the current regulation prevents waterfront homeowners and shore-based recreational crabbers from fishing for crabs with crab traps from the following: Private and public piers, docks, and bulkheads. And our statewide crab regulations include for recreational crab -- recreational crab trap limit of six traps per license for recreational use. It also restricts that limit of checking the traps during what we know as legal shooting hours. That same period of the day applies to the removing of the traps and removing crabs from the traps.

Now, you can -- anglers can soak their traps overnight. They just can't move the traps, and they can't remove the crabs from the traps. Along with that regulation, they must use a valid gear tag attached to a buoy or to a pier.

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This map shows the restricted crab trap fishing area indicated in orange. This area begins in the north at Hail Point and extends a half mile from the shoreline down around Goose Island, moving southward past Fulton, past Rockport and Nine Mile Point and ending near Talley Island and Aransas Bay.

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Now, our intent with this potential regulation change this year, would be to create a bit more recreational opportunity for crab trap fishing, as long as folks are doing that from the shore, from the docks, piers, or bulkheads in a recreational fashion. The recreational harvest from this additional opportunity is expected to be limited and we don't anticipate this would impact local crab population.

This would not open the restricted area to commercial crabbing. Consequently, there is no loss of opportunity for the commercial crab fishermen because the area -- the area's already closed. Our Regional Director there in Rockport has received support from various community members, including many residents, Mayors of both Rockport and Fulton, the Aransas County Judge, and the Aransas County Navigation District.

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So our next steps are to conduct a localized scoping there in Aransas County and return to you-all in January with a more refined recommendation. And this concludes my presentation today. I'm happy to answer any questions if you have any for me. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Now, do we have any questions or comments?

Thank you very much for your presentation.

And we'll move on to -- now, we'll move on to Work Session Item No. 9, 2021-2022 Statewide Hunting and Migratory Game Bird Proclamation Preview, Mr. Gray, Mr. Oldenburger, and Mr. Cain.

MR. GRAY: Andra, are you ready?

MS. CLARK: Yes, go ahead.

MR. GRAY: Okay. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission. For the record, my name is Shawn Gray and I'm the Mule Deer and Pronghorn Program Leader and today I'd like to provide an update on the experimental Pronghorn buck season in the Panhandle and brief the Commission on potential proposals to Pronghorn regulation changes in -- coming up this January.

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As some of you may remember, the Commission adopted new Pronghorn regulations in March 2013, to allow landowners to determine their own harvest strategy for bucks through an experimental system in the northern Panhandle. This was a novel approach when it comes to Pronghorn management. As in other areas, we use a limited quota system where permits are issued to landowners. Therefore, these regulations were proposed and adopted as a pilot project.

In March 2017, the Commission expanded and extended the experimental season for another four years because staff believed that more data were needed over a larger area to better examine the impacts of the experiment. TPWD has conducted this pilot project over the last eight hunting seasons and staff have monitored populations through annual aerial surveys and mandatory harvest check stations.

Staff have also used hunter and landowner opinion surveys to gauge support for continuing and expanding the experimental system.

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Since these rules were adopted in 2013, I'd like to provide some background on the logic for proposing the experimental system for bucks. Staff reason that because herds in the northern Panhandle are healthy and have stable reproduction, that a landowner-controlled system for bucks could work in these areas. Such a season could decrease workforce commitments and increase hunter opportunity by allowing landowners to determine their own harvest strategy.

Another benefit of the experimental season is that it has allowed landowners and hunters to book hunts earlier in the year. Permits are currently issued no earlier than mid August, following the annual summer population surveys.

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Staff believed after the experiment if data suggested minimal or no decline in Pronghorn numbers, sex ratios, average buck age structure, and hunter success, then no negative biological impacts would occur with a landowner-controlled system for bucks.

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This map demonstrates current Pronghorn herd units in the northern Panhandle. The herd units in red are where the experimental season was initiated in 2013. The herd units in blue were added to the experiment in 2017. These experimental herd units were near Dalhart in the northwest Panhandle and Pampa in the northeast Panhandle. The experimental areas were representative of habitat, landownership, Pronghorn population parameters, and permit demand and utilization throughout the northern Panhandle.

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In order to effectively monitor and assess hunter behavior and harvest impacts during the pilot project, as well as to facilitate compliance with proof of sex and tagging requirements, the rules required hunters to obtain a Department issued experimental permit. Since the annual person bag limit is one Pronghorn, only one experimental permit was issued to each licensed hunter.

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Staff used mandatory check stations located in Dalhart and Pampa to collect harvest data on the total harvest, age structure, and horn growth of harvested bucks. Hunters were required to present their Pronghorn at a check station within 24 hours of harvest. Also, annual population surveys occurred in these herd units to acquire population trend, reproduction, and sex ratio data, which we compared to other similar herd units to help determine effects of the experimental season.

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This bar graph illustrates the number of Pronghorn bucks harvested in each experimental area from 2013 to 2020. In Dalhart, permit use was significantly higher than Pampa; but dropped considerably after 2013, the initial year of the experiment.

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Due to thick harvest intensity in each area, in Dalhart and Pampa, the orange bars indicate the number of permits staff would have issued based upon summer aerial surveys and the limited quota system. The green bars show the actual buck harvest that occurred with the experimental season in each year from 2013 to 2020. In most years, harvest with the experimental season was higher than what staff would have recommended within both experimental areas.

Staff believe that the greater harvest in the Dalhart area is because there are smaller properties and more farmland compared to the Pampa area.

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The population estimates for the Dalhart experimental area and surrounding herd units are shown in this graph. The gray lines shows the population estimate for herd units surrounding the Dalhart experimental area with a left Y axis depicting Pronghorn numbers for this line. The yellow line represents years prior to the experiment, and the purple line signifies years during the experiment with the right Y axis depicting Pronghorn numbers for this line.

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The trend line for the surrounding herd units in Dalhart experimental area, symbolized by the white lines, have a similar trend. However, in the experimental area, the population declined significantly from 2019 to 2020.

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Formatted the same as the previous graphs, the population estimates for the Pampa area are shown in this slide. The gray line signifies the population estimates for herd units surrounding the Pampa experimental area, with the left Y axis depicting Pronghorn numbers for this line. The yellow line designates years prior to the experiment, and the purple line represents years during the experiment with the right Y axis showing Pronghorn numbers in the Pampa experimental area.

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The trend lines for the surrounding herd units in the Pampa experimental area, again symbolized by the white lines, have a slightly different trend; but are both declining. Similar to Dalhart, the population in the Pampa experimental area decreased more severely from 2019 to 2020, compared to the surrounding herd units.

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Staff used population sex ratios as one guide to harvest intensity. During the experiment, only bucks were harvested. So higher buck harvest rates have the potential to reduce buck numbers within these areas. This higher buck harvest can cause sex ratios to become more skewed towards does. Sex ratios are estimated when staff conduct aerial surveys in June and July of each year. The 2011 and 2013 average sex ratio, represented by the dark bars, was estimated prior to initiating the experiment in the fall of 2013.

The light bars represent the average sex ratio from 2014 to 2020, seven years after the start of the experiment. In both experimental areas, the sex ratio has increased with a more drastic rise in the Pampa area. The PH category embodies all other herd units in the northern Panhandle not included in the experiment. These areas have a more limited harvest because TPWD determines harvest quotas and issues buck permits for surplus Pronghorn. Because of this system, sex ratios were more stable and natural in these areas during the same timeframe as the experiment.

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As part of the mandatory check stations, staff collect data regarding hunter information, harvest location, basic horn measurements, as well remove one to two incisors from harvested Pronghorn for aging purposes.

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Age structure of harvested animals can be another measure of harvest intensity. Ages are estimated by using the cementum-annuli method on the pulled incisors. This graph illustrates the average age of harvested animals in each area, in Dalhart and Pampa, as well as other areas in the Panhandle symbolized by PH. The dark bars indicate the average age structure of bucks harvested within each area one year prior to the experiment. The light bars show the average age of bucks harvested during seven years of the pilot project.

The age structure in both experimental areas is becoming younger with more severity in Dalhart than Pampa. In addition, the average age structure of harvested bucks in both areas is younger than other areas of the northern Panhandle within this same timeframe.

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Since 2015, staff have had all successful hunters that come to the check stations complete a very brief series of questions to evaluate their support for the experimental season and the potential for expanding the concept to other areas of the Panhandle. In addition, staff have sent out questionnaires to hunters who participated in the experimental season and landowners in the northern Panhandle in 2016 and 2020.

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Successful hunters that have brought their Pronghorn to our check stations were asked if this was their first time hunting Pronghorn and about their overall hunting experience. Data from 2015 to 2020 show that most people using the experimental system are hunting Pronghorn for the first time and that the successful hunters are decidedly happy with their hunting experience.

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To gauge support of hunters and landowners in the northern Panhandle for the experimental season, staff sent out questionnaires to these constituents. Hunters were identified as those who picked up experimental permits during the 2015 and 2019 hunting seasons and landowners were anyone who had received Pronghorn permits from TPWD in the past that had property in the northern Panhandle. These questionnaires were sent to 267 hunters in 2016 and 229 hunters in 2020.

In 2016, 672 landowners received the questionnaire, with 698 landowners being sent a questionnaire in 2020. Response rates ranged from 42 to 48 percent for hunters and 64 to 66 percent for landowners.

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Hunter satisfaction in the experimental area was high when comparing hunter opinions for both years. However, hunters who were very satisfied or satisfied, decreased from 77 percent in 2016 to 68 percent in 2020.

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Over 80 percent of hunters responded in both years that they support continuing the experimental season concept in the current areas.

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From 2016 to 2020, hunters that supported expanding the experimental season to new areas in the northern Panhandle decreased from 83 percent to 71 percent; but most still liked the idea.

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In the 2020 opinion survey, staff also asked hunters if given a choice would they rather hunt for nine days under the -- under the experimental season concept or go back to TPWD issuing permits to landowners with a 16-day season, which would extend the current season by one week. Not a majority, but 48 percent of hunters liked continuing the current 9-day season with the experimental concept.

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In contrast to hunters, landowner satisfaction within the experimental areas has decreased from 47 percent in 2016 to 37 percent in 2020. In addition, more hunters were neutral in 2000 -- I'm sorry, more landowners were neutral in 2020 compared to 2016.

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Landowner support within the experimental area decreased from 65 percent in 2016 to 57 percent in 2020, when asked if they would like to continue to experiment in the current areas.

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When asked, "Do you support expanding the experimental concept to other areas of the northern Panhandle," landowners within the experimental areas showed less support for this idea in 2020 compared to 2016.

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As with hunters in the 2020 opinion survey, landowners were asked if given a choice, would they rather have a 9-day season with the experimental concept or return to TPWD issuing permits to landowners and extend the current 9-day season to 16 days. The majority of landowners within the experimental area wanted TPWD to issue permits and extend the season to 16 days.

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Data indicate that the experimental concept seem to have little to no impact on Pronghorn sustainability. However, the intensive buck harvest for seven hunting seasons has had a negative impact on buck age structure and sex ratios within the experimental areas. With impacts to buck age structure and fewer bucks on the landscape, hunter satisfaction is decreasing; but hunters still like the concept. This is contrasted to landowners whose satisfaction and support for the experimental concept are declining.

When given the option, the majority of landowners prefer a 16-day season with TPWD issuing permits and setting quotas over a 9-day season using the experimental concept.

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Staff have intensively monitor -- monitored populations and believe canceling the experimental season for the buck -- for bucks in the northern Panhandle is warranted based upon excessive buck harvest causing younger buck age structure and more skewed sex ratios. The opinion surveys show that landowner and hunter satisfaction has decreased within the experimental areas, as well as landowner support for continuing in the current areas or expanding the season to new areas.

Also when given a choice, the majority of landowners would rather use a 16-day season with TPWD setting quotas than the 9-day season with the experimental concept. Last year, this Commission adopted rules to allow for the administration of Pronghorn permits into the Land Management Assistance Program or LMA. This has significantly reduced staff's administrative burden of issuing these permits each year.

Remember, staff time spent on the administration of these permits was the primary reason staff developed the experimental season. Prior to the initiation of the experimental season concept, staff were contemplating extending the 9-day season to 16 days since TPWD sets harvest quotas by issuing permits to landowners. If the Commission decides to propose to cancel the experimental concept, then staff would like to propose to extend the season from 9 days to 16 days statewide. And if the Commission supports the proposal to extend the current date -- or current season to 16 days, staff will send out another opinion survey to help determine how the extra week would fit into the current season, either by extending the week before or after the current start or end. Staff have no concrete biological justifications on where this extension should occur.

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And I'd like to take any questions that the Commission might have at this time before I turn it over to Shaun Oldenburger.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Thank you, Shawn.

Any questions? I just have one --



COMMISSIONER LATIMER: This is Commissioner Latimer. Is there a fee associated with the LMA Program?

MR. GRAY: No, ma'am, not at this time.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Shawn, what -- what were landowners' complaints? Why were they dissatisfied?

MR. GRAY: I think it -- I think it was mostly buck quality.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Okay. Thank you.

MR. GRAY: Uh-huh.

COMMISSIONER BELL: Mr. Chairman? Question.


COMMISSIONER BELL: This is Commissioner Bell, Shawn. I'm trying to understand at least in part from the briefing, it didn't sound like you actually made a recommendation to go one way or another. Did I -- did I miss that or are you recommending we go back to the 16-day season or are you recommending we continue with the experiment? It sounded like at the end we were in brackish water there on what you're suggesting.

MR. GRAY: Yes, sir. Good -- good question. Yeah, staff's recommendation would be to propose to cancel the experimental season in the Panhandle and then extend the season to six -- from 9 days to 16 days statewide.


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Good. Thank you.


MR. GRAY: Uh-huh. Thank y'all.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Any other questions?

Then we'll move on to Mr. Oldenburger.

MR. OLDENBURGER: Good afternoon, Chairman, fellow Commissioners. For the record, my name is Shaun Oldenburger. I'm the Small Game Program Director. And today I will presenting a preview 2021-2022 statewide hunting and migratory game bird proclamation.

Next slide, please, Andra?

We'll start first with upland game bird regulation proposed changes. Staff has discussed considerably a number of changes that may occur for the next hunting season. The first being a simplification. With regards to Chachalaca seasons, and we currently have a disjunct opener between quail and Chachalacas, with quail season starting Saturday closest to October 28th, whereas Chachalacas open Saturday nearest November 1st. And that few days between them, what that creates is just basically flipping the opening day to be the same every other year. So we just mismatch every other year. So just for simplification's sake, we would probably err on putting those equal to quail on the Saturday closest to October 28th at this time when we go forward in January to the Commission.

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Moving on to further recommended proposed recommendations, the next one would be to close spring Eastern turkey seasons Panola County. Once again, as in the past with our Eastern turkey restoration in East Texas, we have a history of closing a number of counties when we meet certain decision variables. Panola County has met those staff decision variables. On average, less than one bird has been reported harvested over the past three spring seasons.

This is very similar to what we did a few years ago with San Augustine and Upshur Counties. Also additionally since then, staff have also completed a grid system looking at occupied habitat in East Texas to get some more information. And currently within this county, we have fewer than 50,000 continuous acres occupied by wild turkeys.

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Moving on to the next possible proposal, it would be in regards to mandatory reporting in the one-gobbler counties. You can see a map in front of you with this slide. As you see there in South Central Texas with those darker gray counties, that's what we call the one-gobbler counties. That is a spring-only season. The season runs from April 1st to April 30th. Currently, our small game harvest survey, we have very limited information that comes from those counties. We do have very limited harvest in those counties and as such, we send out our 25,000 mail surveys to hunters across Texas. We get pretty limited responses from hunters in those counties and so we do have some fair amount of uncertainty with regards to harvest in those respective counties. And similar to what we did with -- the Commission did with antlerless deer in some of those counties, we would recommend going to mandatory reporting to get some more harvest information.

Currently across the state, we have no population mechanism to monitor wild turkeys and so really we use harvest to do so. And just in these counties, we have limited information to make good, sound decisions and so we'd be requesting to go to mandatory reporting.

Once again, also in the past couple years we have gone to various wildlife management associations and cooperatives in those respective counties and received support. So, thank you.

And next slide.

And the next one is kind of an old proposed change. We've been discussing it for a number of years. We do have counties in this odd area, this mismatch area within south -- well, West Central Texas where the North/South Turkey Zone boundary is now consistent across spring and fall seasons. Previously, the previous Commission Chair, Mr. Duggins, requested this change. It's taken a few years to get a little bit more information in this area and right currently, it's following the fall boundary along Highway 90.

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And so here's the current fall zones. As you can see there, with North being in that lighter green, the South being in the light yellow.

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And so the proposed fall zones to make the North and South the same, we'd be switching a number of counties from basically the North to the South Zones for the fall seasons: Bexar, Gonzales, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad, as you see there. Basically, what that would do is give them a couple extra weeks of hunting with regards to the fall season and as across Texas, most of our fall harvest for wild turkeys does occur during deer hunting. So this change would be minimal as far as biological, more social.

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Moving on to a little bit bigger of a change for current spring zones, as you can see here, that has changed from the fall -- current fall zone. There in light green being our Spring Zones and the North Zone in yellow being our South Zone counties.

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So basically what this would do, is this would shift 22 counties from the South Zone to the North Zone. What this does biologically is this actually aligns more so with basically the Southeastern Wild Turkey Working Group white paper on basically hunting season dates. And so what that means is basically spring initiation and nest initiation happens later in these counties and so that would align more where we're basically harvesting birds only when those hens have started initiating nests. So that would be very similar to the change that we actually made in East Texas recently with the timing of seasons there. So that would follow that biologically.

Now, probably more of a social issue here just for the fact that a lot of these folks have known these season dates for quite some time; but once again, these North Zones, basically, boundaries don't align. So, therefore, there would be differences in seasons.

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And just a reminder as well before I go into migratory game birds, just with these recommendations in regard to basically resident game birds, currently both the Resident Game Bird Technical Committee within TPWD's staff and also the Upland Game Bird Advisory Committee has actually reviewed and endorsed these potential changes that will go in front of you in January.

Moving on to migratory game bird regulations proposed changes. Once again, as always an annual process with Fish and Wildlife Service, we would be required to do federal framework changes. This year being with COVID-19 being a very odd year, most of the annual monitoring that goes with migratory game birds was not completed in the field this last year due to various issues. As in the past, you may recall me discussing about various population sizes across the Prairie Pothole Region, Boreal and Alaska, obviously with this monitoring going across nations, a lot of that basically didn't happen due to COVID-19 restrictions to go across borders, United States and Canada. So we'll update that a little bit further in January when we come to you and give you a little bit more information on how the decision was made for the Service to move forward with setting regulations this year.

And just once again, calendar progression from season days for all migratory game bird seasons as we've done in the past. Currently, both the Migratory Game Bird Technical Committee and the Migratory Game Bird Advisory Committee have met and basically endorsed moving forward, just mostly calendar progressions with regards to potential seasons for next year.

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Probably the biggest change with regards to migratory game birds is we did a request through the Central Flyaway Council to the Service Regulations Committee, two extra days during the Special White-winged dove days in the South Zone. As you can see the map in front of you, the South Zone being there on the end south of Texas obviously. So over the last eight years, we've actually substantially increased harvest opportunity for White-winged doves across Texas in this area. We've had a couple zone boundary changes, some daily bag limit changes; but the main part of this is we continue to expand opportunity as these White-winged doves continue to expand across South Texas and beyond, as well.

And so obviously in January, we'll bring forward to you where those two days will lie with the extra four days. This is preliminary, but the Service Regulations Committee did approve that change. So that's a big win obviously for Texas hunters and we'll look forward to discussing further down the road as far as where those days may go and obviously some commitments from the Department for monitoring these populations as we move forward.

Next slide, please?

And once again, I'd be happy to take any questions with regard to the preview for next hunting season and thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Thank you, Shaun.

Any questions? Comments? Suggestions?

All right, then we'll move on to Mr. Alan Cain.

MR. CAIN: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, I'm Alan Cain, White-tailed Deer Program Leader. This morning I'll be briefing the Commission on a preview of possible changes to the statewide big game harvest regulation.

Next slide.

The first change staff are considering is adding the definition of crossbow under Chapter 65.11 regarding lawful means. Advances in new technology and design have changed how crossbows look and on the screen are a couple of examples. The image on the bottom right is what most hunters would consider the more traditional looking crossbow, with limbs out to the side. It looks like a bow on a firearm or rifle stock. The crossbow on the top looks more like a traditional firearm, but it's actually a crossbow. As designated by the (inaudible) there, the limbs are actually coiled rather than straight like in the crossbow on the bottom. Both versions function as archery equipment by use of the limbs and the string propel an arrow or a bolt.

Next slide.

With the changes in this technology and appearances of crossbows, staff are considering defining a crossbow to specify key components such as limb, strings, or discharge of an arrow or bolt by release of a trigger and that the arrow is propelled by a string. The definition would ensure crossbows meet specific criteria to be considered archery equipment and prevent the use of hunting equipment that looks like a crossbow, but does not function as an archery device, i.e. something that would propel an arrow or a bolt by a string.

Staff are also considering adding crossbows to the definition of lawful archery equipment, primarily as a housekeeping change. The definition of lawful archery equipment currently includes compound bows, longbows, and recurve bows, but not crossbows. However, in the archery section under lawful means, that regulation refers to lawful archery equipment and crossbows, rather than a single reference to all legal archery equipment. So in order to simplify regulations and provide clarity as it relates to all lawful archery equipment, staff are considering this change.

Next slide.

The next change being considered is the modification of the definition of a muzzleloader to clarify that a bullet or projectile may only be loaded through the muzzle. Current definition defines muzzleloader as any load -- firearm loaded through the muzzle. While this includes the projectile, it also infers that powder is also loaded through the muzzle. By amending the definition, the Department could allow for the use of new muzzleloader technology and improved hunter safety.

Earlier this summer, the Federal Firearms Corporation approached the Department about use of a new muzzleloading system called a FireStick. This technology allows a column or coated capsule enclosed with pow -- with enclosed powder to be loaded through the breech and the primer placed in the end, as illustrated by the photo on the top left and then you can see them actually placing the FireStick, the capsule, in the muzzleloader on the lower right there.

The bullet, however, has to be loaded through the muzzle and is seated against a shelf in the barrel, as illustrated in the photo on the lower left. And because there's this shelf and the restriction there, it prevents the use of fixed ammunition from being used because there's such a constriction there. So it would be difficult to modify a firearm -- or this muzzleloader in such a manner that somebody could use centerfire or rimfire ammunition.

The benefit to this system is to allow -- allows hunters to safely load and unload the firearm without having to fire it each time you wish to unload it. Once -- on the traditional firearm, once that powder and then the bullet are shoved down in the barrel, it's difficult to unload that.

So upon review of the new system, staff felt it would be necessary to modify the definition to clarify what needs to be loaded through the muzzle to ensure there's not misinterpretation of what would be considered a muzzleloader.

Next slide.

The next change staff would like to consider involves the trailing of wounded deer with dogs. Before we discuss the potential changes, I thought it might be helpful to review a little bit of history with regards to laws pertaining to trailing deer with dogs. So in 1990, the Commission adopted rules prohibiting the use of dogs to trail wounded deer in 34 East Texas counties. That change was necessary because dogs were being used to unlawfully to hunt deer in those counties, which was ultimately causing a depletion of resources. And so in the 80s and early 90s, dog hunting was still pretty pervasive in East Texas.

Next bullet.

So by 2000, the Department determined that the fact of using dogs to hunt deer declined to the point of being nonexistent and some of those counties had removed the prohibition on trailing wounded deer with dogs in ten of those counties in that red or pink color. And in 2005, removed the prohibition to hunt in Washington County, which are the counties in blue, and in 2013 removed the prohibition in 12 additional counties there in purple in East Texas since dog hunting was no longer widespread or problematic and that dog culture that was present 20, 30 years ago had largely died out and it left just a remaining ten counties with prohibition on trailing deer with dogs.

Next slide.

Over the last several years, staff continued to receive requests to allow the use of dogs to recover wounded deer in these counties and after further review, staff no longer consider illegal dog hunting to be an issue. In fact, in the last ten years, there have been three incidences statewide with a total -- resulting in a total of eight charges for hunting deer with dogs. Only one of those incidences occurred in San Augustine County in 2011, which is one of the counties in the green there and that actually resulted in one conviction. The other charges were in Duval County and Grayson County.

Therefore, staff believe it would be appropriate to consider removing the prohibition on trailing wounded deer with dogs in these remaining ten counties.

Next slide.

The next possible change staff are considering concerns the proof of sex or a modification of the proof of sex for deer. Now, I suspect the Commission is -- with all the presentations of CWD in the last several years -- is aware that infectious prions of CWD positive deer persist throughout the body and they tend to accumulate in nervous tissue, including brain and spinal cord, as well as the lymphatic system and other tissues such as the eyeballs or spleen.

So precautions that limit the movement of these specific carcass parts, can help minimize the spread of CWD by unnatural means and further reduce the chance of environmental contamination.

Next slide.

Although the Department encourages hunters to leave some of these most infectious parts, including the head and brain, at the site of harvest to minimize risk of spreading CWD, current regulations for proof of sex require a hunter in Texas to retain the head of the deer as proof of sex. Acceptance of this proof of sex requirement would be a TPWD issued CWD receipt that a hunter would receive from a CWD check station where our biologists issue those after they collect a sample or a properly executed MLD tag or a signed statement from a landowner or a taxidermist with specific information about the harvested deer. These three other proof of sex forms are not always available to hunters, and so many retain the heads to meet the proof of sex requirements.

Next slide, please?

So staff would like to consider changing the proof of sex requirement to include the unskinned skull plate with antlers naturally attached for buck deer and for antlerless deer, the udder or vulva accompanying the carcass or person of carcass. By doing so, this gives hunters the option to leave these high risk parts of the deer at their hunt location rather than transporting them back home where they could be discarded, you know, across the landscape, in the bar ditch, and the back pasture. And so the Department believes -- and so staff believe this change will be responsible CWD management strategy for the Department, but also a tool to help hunters aid in the management of CWD in Texas. And that concludes my presentation.

Next slide.

And I'll be happy to answer any questions.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: I've got just one comment and I voice this to Carter, that when is a muzzleloader not a muzzleloader? It's when you load it at the breech and it even looked like that had a primer in the center of that cartridge; is that correct?

MR. CAIN: Yes. If you go back to that slide, it's got a little hole there where it places that primer in there. But most modern firearms, even if you have the powder there, you still will place the primer in the breech there. It really does provide a level of improvement in hunter safety because you don't have that powder and that bullet sitting in there and it still can't be -- you know, that bullet still has to be loaded through the barrel, which is essentially the function of a muzzleloader.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Okay. I'm just not ready to accept that at this moment.

COMMISSIONER BELL: I had one question.

MR. CAIN: So do you want us to -- so if we come back in January, then at that point would you not want to see a proposal?

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: No, I want to know more about it between now and January.

MR. CAIN: Okay. Okay. We can certainly provide that information to you.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Yeah. It just seems like it kind of defeats the purpose. If you're going to shoot a muzzleloader, load it by the muzzle.

MR. CAIN: Sure.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Or get a centerfire. Okay. I heard somebody else had a --

COMMISSIONER BELL: I have one question, Mr. Chairman.


COMMISSIONER BELL: Just on the -- similar question along the lines of technology. Is there a -- is -- when you reference the crossbows -- and I'm not a crossbow fanatic or anything like that, but is there a big opinion out there amongst folks that use crossbows whether this new technology -- what I will apparently say spring activated versus the side lever, is there -- is there a big controversy in that community or discussion about that?

MR. CAIN: Not that I'm aware of. You know, we can -- between now and then, we can try and reach out to some folks in the industry or in the archery community and ask about that. There's -- I don't know of anything, so.

COMMISSIONER BELL: I mean, obviously they look very different and --

MR. CAIN: Yeah.

COMMISSIONER BELL: -- you know, one you can say you can at least relate to the appearance historically, of the one where you can't the other. But functionally they seem to be similar. So I would just be interested in what the comment might be from participants in that segment.

MR. CAIN: Sure. We can certainly reach out to some folks in the archery community and maybe our advisory committee can find out some of their thoughts. But the crossbow on the top, it's by a company called Lancehead Archery out of California and one of the things they claim the safety features is that you don't have those limbs sticking out like you do on traditional crossbows and so if that limb were to shatter, it's a lot less dangerous, you know, if you had versus the one on the bottom where if that limb shattered, you've got pieces going everywhere and that string is exposed. And so on theirs, the string actually runs down the center part of the -- of the -- what you might consider the forearm or stock of that contraption there, but we can certainly reach out to those folks.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Alan, is a crossbow -- can you currently legally hunt with a crossbow?

MR. CAIN: Yes, during archery season. The exception being four counties in North Texas. You would have to an upper limb disability, like Grayson, Collin, Rockwall, and Dallas to hunt with a crossbow during archery.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: But otherwise you can?

MR. CAIN: Yes.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: You're free to -- okay. Thank you.

MR. CAIN: Yes.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: I think somebody else had a question. Mr. Scott, did you -- no? Okay.

All right. Well, if there are no other questions, thank you all for your presentation.

MR. GRAY: Mr. Chairman, this is Shawn Gray again. Hey, I wanted to clarify on your question regarding the questionnaire, if I could.


MR. GRAY: About dissatisfaction of landowners. I looked those numbers back up again and the top three were increased poaching, increased trespassing, and not enough quality bucks. And those -- and those added up to about a little over or real close to 60 percent.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Okay. Thank you.

MR. GRAY: No, thank y'all.

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: All right. Well, if there are no other questions about the presentation, we'll go on to Work Session Item No. 10, Grant of Pipeline Easement, Brazoria County, Approximately 30 Acres at the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area, does any Commissioner have any questions or comments?

If not, we'll -- this item will be heard in Executive Session.

Work Session Item No. 11, Acquisition of Land, Presidio County, Approximately 60 Acres in the Chinati Mountains State National Area, does any Commissioner have any questions or comments?

If not, this item will be heard in Executive Session.

Work Session Item No. 11, Acquisition of Land, Presidio -- I'm sorry, not 11. Work Session Item No. 12, Acquisition of Land, Galveston County, Approximately 3.7 Acres at Galveston Island State Park, does any Commissioner have any questions or comments?

If not, we'll hear this in Executive Session.

Work Session Item No. 13, Acquisition of Land, Marion County, Approximately 745 Acres at Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area, does any Commissioner have any questions or comments?

If not, this item will be heard in Executive Session.

With regard to Work Session Item No. 14, Acquisition of Land, Bastrop County, Approximately 44 Acres at Bastrop State Park, does any Commissioner have any questions or comments?

Hearing none, we'll hear this at -- hear this in Executive Session.

Work Session Item No. 15, Litigation Update, Oysters, Chronic Wasting Disease, and Red Snapper, this will also be heard in Executive Session.

If I don't hear any other comments or suggestions, I'd like to announce that pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 551 of the Government Code, referred to as the Open Meetings Act, an Executive Session will be held at this time for the purpose of deliberation of real estate matters under Section 551.072 of the Open Meetings Act and seeking legal advice under Section 551.071 of the Open Meetings Act, including advice regarding pending or contemplated litigation.

And we will now recess for the Executive Session at 12:33.

(Recess taken for Executive Session)

CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Okay. We will now reconvene the Work Session on November 9th, 2020, at 1:47 p.m.

Before we begin, I'll need to take a roll call again. Chairman Morian is present.



CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Abell?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: I can see him.

Commissioner Bell is --


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Galo?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Hildebrand? Commissioner Hildebrand, are you with it us yet? Okay.

Commissioner Latimer?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: Commissioner Patton?


CHAIRMAN MORIAN: And Commissioner Scott I can see, so.

Okay. I'm just going to read all this. Regarding the Work Session Item No. 10, Grant of Pipeline Easement, Brazoria County, Approximately 30 Acres at the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area, this item was heard in Executive Session. If there's no further discussion, I will place the Grant of Pipeline Easement, Brazoria County, Approximately 30 Acres at the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Regarding Work Session Item No. 11, Acquisition of Land, Presidio County, Approximately 60 Acres at Chinati Mountains State National Area, this item was heard in Executive Session and unless there is further discussion, I will place the Acquisition of Land, Presidio County, Approximately 60 Acres at Chinati Mountains State National -- Natural Area on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Regarding Work Session Item No. 12, Acquisition of Land, Galveston County, Approximately 3.7 Acres at Galveston Island State Park, this item was heard in Executive Session and if there's no further discussion, I will place the Acquisition of Land, Galveston County, Approximately 3.7 Acres at Galveston Island State Park on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Okay. Regarding Work Session Item No. 13, Acquisition of Land, Marion County, Approximately 745 Acres at the Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area, this item was heard in Executive Session and unless there's further discussion, I will place the Acquisition of Land, Marion County, Approximately 745 Acres at the Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Regarding Work Session Item No. 14, Acquisition of Land, Bastrop County, Approximately 44 Acres at Bastrop State Park, this item was heard in Executive Session. If there's no further discussion, I will place the Acquisition of Land, Bastrop County, Approximately 44 Acres at Bastrop State Park on the Tuesday Commission Meeting agenda for public comment and action.

Work Session Item No. 15, Litigation Update on Oysters, Chronic Wasting Disease, and Red Snapper, this item was heard in Executive Session and no further action is required at this time.

Mr. Smith, this Commission has completed its Work Session business and I declare us adjourned at 1:53 p.m.

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

(Work Session Adjourned)



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

CSR No.: 8311

Expiration: December 31, 2016

7010 Cool Canyon Cove

Round Rock, Texas 78681