|  TPWD News Releases About State Parks and Destinations Dated 2012-11-08 |
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Brian Van Zee, (254) 867-7974, brian.vanzee@tpwd.texas.gov or Mike Cox, (512) 389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Nov. 8, 2012
Emergency Zebra Mussels Order Made Permanent
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to make permanent an emergency order adding Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Lewisville and the section of the Elm Fork of the Trinity that connects the two reservoirs to the list of water bodies under special regulations intended to control the spread of zebra mussels.
The emergency order had been signed by TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith at the end of July following the discovery earlier that month of the destructive invasive species in Lake Ray Roberts, which is north of Denton.
Earlier this year, the commission amended TPWD's regulations that impact anglers and boaters on a section of the Red River including Lake Texhoma and Lake Lavon. All water needs to be drained from boats (this includes live wells and bilges) before leaving any water body with the special regulations in order to comply with rules prohibiting the transport of harmful exotic species. Taking this precaution is crucial in efforts to slow the spread of zebra mussels, since contaminated boats are one of the primary ways this happens. Draining water from boats prevents the spread of a microscopic form of the zebra mussel called a veliger, which is invisible to the naked eye.
The rule approved by the commission Thursday does allow a person to travel on a public roadway via the most direct route to another access point located on the same body of water without draining water from their boat.
The zebra mussel is a small, non-native mussel originally found in Eurasia. It has spread throughout Europe, where it is considered to be a major environmental and industrial menace. The animal appeared in North America in the late 1980s and within 10 years had colonized in all five Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Tennessee, Hudson, and Ohio river basins. Since then, they have spread to additional lakes and river systems, including in North Texas.
Zebra mussels live and feed in many different aquatic habitats, breed prolifically, and cannot be controlled by natural predators. Adult zebra mussels colonize all types of living and non-living surfaces including boats, water-intake pipes, buoys, docks, piers, plants, and slow moving animals such as native clams, crayfish, and turtles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the potential economic impact of zebra mussels to be in the billions of dollars.
For more information on zebra mussels and how to clean, drain and dry a boat, visit http://www.texasinvasives.org/.

[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Nov. 8, 2012
TPW Commission Okays Pursuit of Government Canyon Land Deal
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Thursday meeting authorized Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith to take all necessary steps to finalize a land purchase that would add roughly 461 acres to the Government Canyon State Natural Area at the northwestern edge of San Antonio.
TPWD staff has been working with the City of San Antonio, The Nature Conservancy and the owner of the MaBe Canyon Ranch that adjoins the northeastern boundary of the 8,623-acre state natural area to acquire the additional acreage in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone in a rapidly developing part of the city. Pending an approval vote from the San Antonio City Council, $7 million in Edwards Aquifer Protection Program bonds would be applied toward the $8.8 million purchase price.
Though the contract is still pending, ranch owner Stephen Lowder has agreed to a bargain sale of the property that shares a two-mile common boundary with the state natural area. Other funds for the purchase consist of a $1.59 million endangered species grant from the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, $150,000 in federal Land and Water Conservation funds and a matching $150,000 in donations.
MaBe Canyon Ranch has long been identified as a high priority for acquisition to expand recreational opportunities and to protect land in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, as well as habitat for endangered golden-cheeked warblers and karst invertebrates. The property also includes a limestone ridge that sits at the second highest elevation in Bexar County.
In other action, the commission directed TPWD's director to take steps needed to purchase 120 acres of the Copeland Ranch adjacent to Palo Pinto Mountains State Park to add to the not-yet-open 3,300-acre state park located in the Cross Timbers region west of Fort Worth.