Big Bend Conservancy
2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!
National Park Service may acquire Christmas MountainsSale of public land to private interests may be thwartedBut the General Land Office, which controls the sale, appears unwilling to delay, largely because it wants to ensure that hunters have access to the land.But the General Land Office is unwilling to sell the property if no hunting is allowed on it, said Jim Suydam, a spokesman for the office. (The National Park Service prohibits hunting in its parks.)"Commissioner Patterson's message to Superintendent Wellman was simple: No hunting, no firearms, no deal," Suydam said.
In a telephone interview with The Gazette in 2006, biologist David Riskind, who had recently toured the mountains said, “If you want to look at a piece of Chihuahuan Desert grassland in excellent condition, look there. The grassland community is excellent.”
Suydam also confirmed that the GLO would not sell the property to the National Park Service: “The land office has offered to sell that land to NPS several times now. But yes, Patterson would insist on any buyer allowing public hunting.”
Bill Wellman, Superintendent of Big Bend National Park, said the NPS would accept the 9,000-acre property, under certain conditions: “If the land were offered as a donation, either by the state or a third party, we would be interested, if 1) funds (federal or nonfederal) are available for the [Hazardous Materials] survey, 2) the congressional delegation would support a boundary expansion, and 3) Brewster County does not object to additional NPS land in the county.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Chief Operating Officer Scott Boruff said TPWD was recently approached informally by the GLO regarding the matter, yet the “property does not meet the strategic goals of the TPWD of acquiring either adjacent lands or in holdings.”The department is currently seeking to add properties in various eco-regions throughout the state where it is under-represented, and with over 400,000 acr,es West Texas is “over-represented,” according to Boruff, and the Conservation Easements on the property would make it almost impossible to transform the property into a state park.
So, barring an act of God or Congress, or some other intervention, it seems the Christmas Mountains will again be offered for auction in November. At press time, the GLO did not have specific information regarding the new auction.
The Alamo Sierran had an article on the Christmas Mountains sale in their October issue. It was suggested to write to State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your concerns over the sale. BBH
Thanks...I had missed that in in one of my earlier flyovers...BBH
2. The BBNP had just finished a lenghty and bitter fight over acquiring the Rosillas Mountain Ranch and was not in the mood to take on another fight at the time. The fight was with a Trans-Pecos property owner group. It is a group of ranchers who fight any new acquisitions of public lands.
Neither TPWD or NPS had the time or resources to manage another donation at that time.
What's this all about?TIGUA INDIAN DISCLOSUREThe Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in El Paso, Texas (the Tigua Tribe) has asserted a claim to PSF tracts in Brewster County. The claim was evidenced by a 1983 federal register filing. Court records reflect that the filing (to intervene in a pending suit) was denied; however, as of this date, the State of Texas has no documentation that the claim has been resolved.The whole sale appears to be a cluster.
Quote from: rgibson on October 14, 2007, 08:10:39 PM2. The BBNP had just finished a lenghty and bitter fight over acquiring the Rosillas Mountain Ranch and was not in the mood to take on another fight at the time. The fight was with a Trans-Pecos property owner group. It is a group of ranchers who fight any new acquisitions of public lands.I think TPWD was pretty much in the same fix as they had just acquired BBRSP and were spending a lot of money, etc. getting it shaped up. I think it was around 1991 before either BBRSP or the old Rosillos Ranch were opened to the public. Rosillos Ranch was donated to BBNP by Ed Harte, from Corpus Christi, and I remember him being pretty frustrated by the whole process.Neither TPWD or NPS had the time or resources to manage another donation at that time.
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