Proposed Closing of Devils River

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ldeakman
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Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by ldeakman » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:44 pm

I know a lot of you have probably paddled the Devils River and hooked into some of the giant bass out there. Well, bad news is on the horizon if TPWD has their way. On Nov 4th, they are holding a hearing to approve the transfer of the existing SNA for a piece of property downstream at the mouth of the river into Lake Amistad. This will effectively close off access to the river as the SNA is the only legal place to camp. A short notice period and the conflict of interest with the seller (he's a Board member of the Nature Conservancy) are additional reasons to be concerned that the public's best interests are not being served.

Please consider reviewing the details in the attached press release. The video link also serves as a reminder of how important it is to maintain access to this beautiful water. Please consider a public comment or letter to the TPWD and/or participation in the November 4th hearing.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/r ... =20101012a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubkTBbanoW8

We are seeking to stop the transfer and/or add a permanent easement for camping at the existing DRSNA. Thanks, Lindel Eakman

BigCliff
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by BigCliff » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:17 pm

That was a really great video of a beautiful place.

But even though the SNA works as a great launch/camping point for those of us who want to travel the river, I'm not sure its continued existence instead of creating a State Park near the lake is really in the "public's best interest".

I would prefer they operate both, but a more developed State Park in a more accessible location would almost definitely get more use from the taxpaying public than the very remote and primitive SNA.

I'm just saying that our (anglers who enjoy float trips) best interests and the public's best interest may be different things in this case.
I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer, and I practice moderation in moderation.

daleconnally
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Location: Waco, TX

Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by daleconnally » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:23 pm

With the SNA closing, camping would be relegated to the riverbed as defined by the landowners/sheriff correct?

Also, if I understand your post and the article, the area that is now the SNA would go over to the Nature Conservancy. Is that correct? I do see a concern that there would be no public entry/exit between Baker's Crossing and the new state park.

If so, it seems like we might get a potential win/win if TPWD were able to negotiate some recreational use of the riverfront at the current SNA--maybe camping at least if not entry/exit. It seems that the paddling and angling community are not out of line with part of the Conservancy's intent. "The Conservancy’s Texas Program works with ranchers, timber and oil companies, tourism communities, hunters, anglers and many others to find the balance where people and wildlife thrive."

Dale

pontoonman
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by pontoonman » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:17 pm

Thanks for the information. Here is another link with information about the river:

http://southwestpaddler.com/docs/riogrande9.html

How can they prevent access at Bakers, unless they fence off? It appears there are outfitters that would be able to get to the river somehow, even if it is above, dry and you have wheels to roll or can carry a light boat. Public, longer term primitive camping would appear to be impacted. But, I agree and would like to keep the primitive area open, as I think it is in the best interest to the public with remote area interest. There is no such thing as a private navigable river in Texas, as the water belongs to the state. With the right gear you can access any stream without crossing private land ( backpacking inflatable kayaks, etc.), though you may have to go a little further. Your ability to camp overnight will be affected though, so it might be more of a camping issue than a floating or paddling one.

Pon

BigCliff
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by BigCliff » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:45 pm

daleconnally wrote: If so, it seems like we might get a potential win/win if TPWD were able to negotiate some recreational use of the riverfront at the current SNA--maybe camping at least if not entry/exit. It seems that the paddling and angling community are not out of line with part of the Conservancy's intent. "The Conservancy’s Texas Program works with ranchers, timber and oil companies, tourism communities, hunters, anglers and many others to find the balance where people and wildlife thrive."

Dale
Great idea! I agree that this would be an ideal solution.

I think they might not go for it because they'd view some form of security/rule enforcement necessary for anything open to the public. I'd think a park ranger from the newly nearby SP could swing by on occasion for such needs.
I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer, and I practice moderation in moderation.

castell
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by castell » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:35 pm

BigCliff wrote:I'd think a park ranger from the newly nearby SP could swing by on occasion for such needs.
Did anyone read the comments on the Youtube link about the Game Warden/Ranger @ Devils SWA? From the sound of it, he isn't in favor of anyone being out there.

BigCliff
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by BigCliff » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:00 am

castell wrote:
BigCliff wrote:I'd think a park ranger from the newly nearby SP could swing by on occasion for such needs.
Did anyone read the comments on the Youtube link about the Game Warden/Ranger @ Devils SWA? From the sound of it, he isn't in favor of anyone being out there.
The last thing in the world I'm gonna check to learn about the realities of a situation is youtube comments.
I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer, and I practice moderation in moderation.

daleconnally
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by daleconnally » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:57 pm

TPWD Postpones Devils River Land Acquisition

AUSTIN – Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission consideration of a proposal to buy land for a new state park or natural area on the Devils River has been postponed, pending the outcome of a public briefing to the commission’s Conservation Committee tomorrow.
“This is unquestionably the right and responsible course of action,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “We have heard loudly and clearly from trusted partners, stakeholders, and many interested citizens, many of whom have requested more time to consider this project. Quite simply, we have an obligation to our constituents, who maintain appropriately high expectations about the level of public engagement needed before a decision of this magnitude is reached. We will not compromise that public trust and have advised our commission of the importance of deferring formal action on this proposal.”
The proposal was originally on the commission agenda for both Nov. 3 and 4. But the topic has now been pulled from the Nov. 4 full commission agenda. It will be discussed in executive session and during a public briefing tomorrow to the commission’s Conservation Committee, which will meet along with other committees starting at 9 a.m. Such committee work sessions are not set up to take public comments, but TPWD is continuing to accept comments pending full commission action.
Depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s commission briefing, the department is ready to set more public meetings about the project in coming weeks. These would be similar to previous meetings about the proposal held Oct. 20 in Del Rio and Oct. 26 in San Antonio.
The proposal would result in the exchange of the existing Devils River State Natural Area as partial payment for a privately owned ranch downriver, which would become a new state park or natural area. The department has compiled maps, photos, questions and answers, conservation easement documents and other resources to explain the complex project in a Devils River Land Acquisition News Roundup on its website.
Questions or comments about the proposal can be sent by email to ted.hollingsworth@tpwd.state.tx.us or by regular mail to Ted Hollingsworth, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744.

On the Net: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/r ... quisition/

texasflycaster
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by texasflycaster » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:52 pm

Well, it looks almost too good to be true. The new deal, as I read it, includes the old property and the new property that was originally going to be the "swap." http://texasflycaster.com/devils-river-hot-topic/

Jimbo Roberts
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:34 pm

Let's hope they can pull it off.
Jimbo

Jimbo Roberts
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:40 pm

Reading the local San Antonio Board of Realtors RECON news letter, the news is even better.
There is to be no swap. TPWC purchased the land in question so they now own both tracts on the Devils River as I read the news.....

TEXAS' DEAL WITH THE DEVILS


AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) has purchased the Devil's River Ranch from Dallas-area home builder Rod Sanders for $13 million.

The acquistion added nearly 18,000 acres to the state’s inventory of protected lands. The commission used a fund of private contributions totaling more than $10 million to acquire the ranch.

The tract fronts the east side of the Devil's River in Val Verde County for approximately ten miles and includes a large lodge, several residences and an airstrip.

The TPWC now controls about 38,000 acres adjacent to Devil's River, which is regarded as one of the purest natural waterways in Texas.

Woo Hooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wonder??? This was one of the places Bill Higdon loved to fish, makes you wonder doesn't it?
So it looks like we still will have an opportunity to fish this stretch of Texas River afterall. I need to do this trip for sure now.
Jimbo

LabRat
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by LabRat » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:51 am

I have been wanting to go as well...
Mark Dillow

jolague
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by jolague » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:47 am

exciting news, i have been wanting to fish the devils's river for a long time. i have a chance now. does anyone know the stretch in miles from the state park to the new location?

rivergeek
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by rivergeek » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:38 pm

Yes, keeping both DRR and DRSNA does seem too good to be true, but it is. However, the devils is in the details (PI). :lol:

Recently, I accepted an appointment by TPWD Commissioner to a seat on the Devils River Working Group DRWG, along with other paddlers and Kevin Stubbs, Hill Country guide and owner of Expedition Outfitters. There may be others on the committee with angler interest, but neither Kevin nor I am aware at this time. My appointment came about from paddle group relationships and having served on the defunct Texas Rivers Conservation Advisory Board, but I intend to be a strong advocate for private anglers' access and interests as well. The group is to be comprised of TPWD staff, TNC, landowners, paddlers, law enforcement, local government, possibly Rock Art Foundation, etc. I am excited over this opportunity to help decide how the most beautiful, pristine stream in Texas can both be fairly opened to paddlers and anglers and preserve it for many generations to come. I am cautiously hopeful that new rules can be developed that will serve well the landowners, paddlers/anglers and most importantly, the long term health of the Devils River ecosystem. I will try to keep GRTU apprised of developments throughout the 2011 DRWG sessions, either thru this forum an/or by reporting directly to GRTU board.

I am interested in your suggestions, ideas and thoughts on the subject. The first meeting will be in early February.
Please send email directly to: rgrayson@rivergeek.com

Syotr,
Richard Grayson, Dallas

FYI, here is the Devils River Working Group charter:
Image

rivergeek
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Re: Proposed Closing of Devils River

Post by rivergeek » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:56 pm

I am pleased with how the first DRWG meeting in Austin on Feb 3 turned out. Everybody, landowners included, understands that the DR must be managed or further deterioration of the resource will certainly ensue. A river permit system with controls was discussed in a general way. There will be legislative hurdles to implementation of such a system; landowners and local governments will need to be fully supportive of this approach. I will advocate for a 'leave no trace' ethic for all persons and all craft on the DR. We will next meet on the Rio Diablo in May. I value your feedback. Discussion/questions?

TPWD Devils River Updates / History here: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/r ... quisition/

Rich Grayson

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