Palo Pinto Mountains State Park to Grow by More Than 100 Acres
May 22, 2014
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HOUSTON — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday gave a green light to accepting a donation of 120 acres that will expand the size of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park near Strawn west of Fort Worth.
The Palo Pinto County tracts being donated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department comprise 120 acres surrounding much of city-owned Tucker Lake within the boundaries of the more than 4,000-acre park. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, which is not expected to open to the general public for at least several years, encompasses former ranch land in southeast Stephens and southwest Palo Pinto counties just north of Interstate 20.
Although the donated land does not include Tucker Lake, which serves as a drinking water source for nearby Strawn, the new acquisition will add recreational value to the state park by providing future park users access to the lake. The City of Strawn will retain all water rights and control of the dam and spillway structure.
“The acquisition of this additional and important acreage is yet another indication of our strong partnership with the City of Strawn for creation of a new state park and illustrates the trust city leaders have placed in our agency to manage public access and provide recreational use of the lake,” says Rodney Franklin, Texas State Parks regional director. “Tucker Lake represents a central feature in the opportunities to be offered at the park.”
“The City of Strawn couldn’t ask for better stewards to take care of our watershed and our drinking water source. We are very excited about the future economic and recreation opportunities that will open up in our own back yards when Palo Pinto Mountains State Park opens to the public,” says Danny Miller, Strawn city secretary.
The Palo Pinto Mountains State Park property was originally purchased in 2011 with money from TPWD’s sale of an undeveloped 400-acre Eagle Mountain Lake site near Fort Worth. A public use plan is being drafted to determine the best use of the Cross Timbers Region property that will provide recreational opportunities, while conserving the site’s natural and culture resources.