Big Bend Chat

Other Parks of the Big Bend Region => Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A => Topic started by: RichardM on February 08, 2007, 10:56:34 PM

Title: Public Use Plan Meetings
Post by: RichardM on February 08, 2007, 10:56:34 PM

I'm not sure if the time is correct, but here's what Shane originally posted about the Houston meeting coming up next week:

Thursday Feb 15th 2007
Hosted by the Houston Sierra Club
Judson-Robinson Community Center
2020 Herman Drive 713/284-1997
Corner of Herman Park & Almeda
(edge of Herman Park)
7:00pm - 7:30pm refreshments
7:30pm - 9:00pm presentation and Q&A
If you have any questions about this meeting,
contact Evelyn Merz @ 713-644-8228 or
Chris Beckom, TPWD Sr. Planner, will present the plan.
Mike Hill, TPWD Region 1 State Parks Director, will faciltate the meeting.
Title: HOUSTON BBRSP Meeting
Post by: SHANEA on February 09, 2007, 10:12:30 AM
PLEASE take the time to read the plan first and also attend the meeting.

Big Bend Ranch State Park Public Use Plan Houston Meeting Reminder...

It Does NOT appear that I ShaneA will be there.  I've got a HUGE job interview scheduled late that afternoon and will run into the evening with a number of people and committees in Lufkin Texas.   I don't think there is anyway I can make a mad dash down to Houston and be there in time for the meeting.  BUT, please go in my place.  I've reviewed the public use plan multiple times and the only three comments I have about it are (1) I want the Rancho Viejo campsite to stay put as it is close to the gate and makes it easier to make a run into Presidio for provisions or gasoline w/o having to traverse the entire park for 45minutes to an hour and (2) I'm concerned about possible loss of "old structures" out there that might be razed if they are not on the preservation list.  Big Bend National Park did the "razing" at the inception many years ago.  I'd like to see them stay as they are.  (3) with my off-road pop-up camper, I rely on a Honda Generator EU3000is for power/AC/heat and it is super super quiet - coming in at something like 48db - which is the sound of normal conversation.  The Public Use Plan calls for the banning on use of generators.  I'd like to see the ban on generators provisioned with those above 50db - ie. the big hunking industrial models.   Overall, I think that the public use plan is outstanding and that the staff of TPWD did a superb job on it and should be congratulated on opening up Big Bend Ranch State Park for more usage.  I'm especially happy that TPWD did not attempt to create "mega campgrounds" with full hook-ups, utilities, etc. and force everyone into these.  The Big Bend Ranch State Park public use plan is in many respects very close to that of Big Bend National park.  

Do you remember 2005 when the quiet move to sell approximately 45,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park to the adjacent private landowner sparked outrage across the state of Texas?  The public backlash forced the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission to reverse course.  Now we have an opportunity to show our concern for how this premiere state park is developed.  
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has issued a draft of its “Big Bend Ranch State Park Public Use Plan”.  A complete copy of the draft plan in PDF format can be downloaded from the following web address:
The big news for Houston lovers of the Big Bend region is that TPWD has agreed to have a public meeting on the plan in Houston on Thursday, February 15th.  The meeting will be hosted by the Houston Sierra Club at the Judson Robinson Community Center located at the corner of Hermann Drive and Almeda at the edge of Hermann Park.  The street address is 2020 Hermann Drive; Houston, TX  77004.
Plan to arrive at 7:00 PM to check out the displays and for refreshments.  The presentation will begin at 7:30 PM and be followed by a Q&A session, concluding at 9:00 PM.  The Houston Parks & Recreation Department has graciously agreed to make its facility available free of charge.  
Chris Beckcom, TPWD Senior Planner, will present the plan and Mike Hill, Region 1 State Parks Director, will facilitate the meeting.  Additional meetings are being held in Marfa and Austin.  Following the series of public meetings and comments, the TPWD will begin preparing the final plan in March.  
If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Evelyn Merz at 713-644-8228 or .
Title: Houston Public Use Plan Meeting...
Post by: SHANEA on February 13, 2007, 03:41:21 PM
Final chance...

Public meetings set for Big Bend Ranch state park

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold public meetings Feb. 8 in Alpine and Feb. 15 in Houston to seek public comment about how Big Bend Ranch State Park should be accessed and used for recreational purposes in the future.

Alpine's Thursday meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kokernot Lodge, 1101 North Loop Road just west of the Sul Ross University campus. The Houston meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Judson Robinson Community Center at the corner of Hermann Drive and Almeda at the edge of Hermann Park. Public meetings on the plan already have been held in Marfa and Austin.

A draft of the Public Use Plan calls for retaining two of the 12 existing campsites in the park's interior, 67 miles of trails, roads and river campgrounds, and access points. The initial phase of development would add 24 primitive campsites, 13 trailheads, 83 miles of trails and 44 miles of four-wheel drive roads that would make more of the park's interior accessible.

At roughly 300,000 acres, Big Bend Ranch State Park, located just outside Presidio, is by far the largest in the Texas state park system, stretching from the Rio Grande well into the Chihuahuan Desert's numerous mountain ranges and canyon lands.

Unlike Garner, Inks Lake and most state parks, Big Bend Ranch is minimally developed, offering visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy an uncrowded wilderness experience. Just how to expand park access without negatively impacting its fragile resources is what the public use plan will address, said Mike Hill, TPWD's West Texas regional state parks director.

"Big Bend Ranch is both ecologically sensitive, and archeologically and geologically significant, with 134 free-flowing, fresh water sources and riparian areas that are home to unique plants and animal species," Hill said. "Therefore, careful planning for the expansion of public use is essential and candid public input is imperative."

The public meetings are the continuation of a planning process TPWD began in 2004, but was put on hold by a variety of reasons, including a continuing budget squeeze that forced staffing cutbacks, Hill explained. The park's size is so huge, he said, that it has been divided into nine management zones for planning purposes, each of which is larger than almost any other state park.

For more information, or to comment on the plan, visit the TPWD Web site public comment page, or call (512) 389-4661.