State Parks Advisory Committee Readies Final Report

Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453,

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AUSTIN, Texas — On the morning of Aug. 24, Texas State Parks Advisory Committee Chairman John Montford will present the committee’s final recommendations regarding state park funding to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department headquarters at 4200 Smith School Road in southeast Austin.

Streaming audio from the commission briefing will be broadcast via the TPWD Web site. Immediately following the briefing, Montford and other advisory committee members will be available on site to answer news media questions.

TPW Commission Chairman Joseph Fitzsimons appointed the advisory committee, seeking recommendations on four topics. These charges include exploring funding options for the state park system; considering whether any existing units of the state park system might be operated by more appropriate entities; the role of public-private partnerships in parks, including concessions, sponsorships and incentive based solutions; and options to accomplish goals for state and local parks in the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan, TPWD’s 10-year operating plan.

Committee members and their subcommittee assignments are listed below.

Committee Chairman: John Montford of San Antonio. Regional Vice-President, AT&T; former Texas Tech University chancellor; former state senator from Lubbock who cosponsored legislation that switched state park funding from the state cigarette tax to a portion of the state sales tax attributed to sporting goods in 1993.

Funding Subcommittee. Chair: Andrew Sansom of Austin, Director, River Systems Institute at Texas State University; former TPWD executive director; former Nature Conservancy of Texas executive director. Members: George Bristol of Austin, Texas Coalition for Conservation president; former member, National Parks Foundation; Farms & Ranch Lands Conservation Program steering committee. Hector Gutierrez of El Paso, El Paso Electric executive vice-president-external affairs; former Managing Director of HILLCO PARTNERS; senior marketing and sales executive for SBC Corporation for 19 years; served as then-Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry’s Senior Advisor for Legislative Affairs during the 1999 session. Brad Locker of Brownwood, sporting goods manufacturer representative with W.L. Carter Company.

Legislative Subcommittee. Chair: Clyde Alexander of San Antonio, former state representative from Athens. Members: George Bristol. Brad Locker. Al Henry of Houston, former TPW commissioner. Ann Lents of Houston, president, Park People (Houston); Center for Houston's Future president and CEO; serves on boards of Scenic America and Houston Wilderness; former partner with Vinson & Elkins, practiced antitrust, securities, and commercial trial law. Michael Massey of Richardson, City of Richardson parks and recreation director.

Third Party and Private Donations Subcommittee. Chair: Sandy McNabb of San Antonio, businessman, interested in historic resources, past service to the Rock Art Foundation and Witte Museum in San Antonio. Members: Carter Smith of San Antonio, Nature Conservancy of Texas director, former TPWD staff. Beth McDonald of Austin, Texans for State Parks president, long involvement with the National Association of CCC Alumni. Ann Hamilton of Houston, Houston Endowment grants manager. David Woodcock of College Station, Texas A&M University professor of architecture, long involvement with Texas historic sites.

Publicity/Marketing Subcommittee. Chair: Jeff Rogers of Dallas, partner in Hampton/Rogers, a media relations and production company. Members: Paul Serff of Austin, president of three Texas travel organizations: Texas Travel Industry Association, Texas Festivals and Events Association and Texas Nature Tourism; board member of Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) and serves on its Legislative Affairs Committee and serves as vice-chair of the Tourism Works for America Committee. Dianne Schoch of Austin, extensive fundraising experience with the University of Texas and Austin area nonprofits.

A new fact sheet on state park funding is available on the TPWD Web site.

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