Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


National Park Service may acquire Christmas Mountains

  • 66 Replies
  • 14740 Views
*

SHANEA

  • Guest
"Maybe we’ll keep it.”
« Reply #60 on: February 05, 2008, 02:12:15 PM »
A visit to the Christmas Mountains and Big Bend National Park with Jerry Patterson

Quote
When I first met Patterson and interviewed him at Panther Junction in Big Bend National Park, I asked him if he was “packing.”

“Of course,” he replied, nonchalantly. Patterson, who wore a National Rifle Association ball cap during his visit, sums up his views on the right to bear arms by stating simply, “The Second Amendment defends all the others.”

Quote
Within 10 minutes of landing at the ranch, Patterson is checking in at the front desk of the Terlingua Ranch lodge.

Quote
Patterson and the GLO are well known to West Texans. In 2003, a group of well- connected Midland oilmen and Austin residents formed Rio Nuevo, Ltd. Their plan for Rio Nuevo was to contract with the GLO to tap and sell billions of gallons of groundwater from state lands.

The resulting furor over the proposal led the GLO to schedule a public hearing in Alpine where Patterson faced a standing-room-only crowd of over 500. During one exchange during the 5-hour meeting, Patterson quipped, “We’re not here to nuke you; we’re here to take your water.”

Quote
At the conclusion of our sojourn into the Christmas Mountains both Patterson and I dismount the ATV. Patterson takes a sweeping look around and says, “Maybe we’ll keep it.”
Quote
While recent media accounts have portrayed the deal as a win-win situation and have described the other two members of the School Land Board as amenable, it is Patterson who holds the golden key. If the other two members vote against Patterson on an agenda item, their votes carry the issue.

However, according to Patterson, it is he as Chairman of the SLB who decides what items make it to the agenda, and in the event of an item like this, if Patterson does not like the idea and does not recognize it for the agenda, the item will never be voted upon.

Gwynne expresses shock to Patterson over this, saying if Patterson does this he will unleash a torrent of negative reaction far greater than anything Patterson has yet seen.

Patterson is unfazed.

Quote
At the end of the hike Patterson says he has gotten what he wanted from the hike and that “it is a graphic example of access.” While he thinks few hikers will make such a trip he says some still will.

Quote
It is possible the General Land Office will do as it has done since 1991 and as Patterson said, “maybe we’ll keep it.”

*

SHANEA

  • Guest
State board rejects private bid for Christmas Mountains
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2008, 02:23:15 PM »

State board rejects private bid for Christmas Mountains


Quote
The next step for the board is to either accept the NPS proposal, re-open the bidding process, or reject the NPS proposal and keep the land. They also must decide whether to donate the land to the agency or sell it. A lawyer for the board said the board would have to gain some proceeds from the land, since it belongs to a trust that funds public education.

Quote
Board members David Hermann and Todd Barth both said they would prefer the land stay in public hands, and hinted that they want it to be sold to the parks agency.
Quote
Mr. Patterson groused after the decision that the board, due to open-meetings laws, was unable to take any further action or discuss the NPS proposal because it wasn't submitted in time to be posted on the regular meeting agenda.

Grouse - noun -   to grumble; complain: I've never met anyone who grouses so much about his work.



*

Offline sleepy

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 696
  • i'm not a terrorist
Re: State board rejects private bid for Christmas Mountains
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2008, 05:24:55 PM »
Quote
Mr. Patterson groused after the decision that the board, due to open-meetings laws, was unable to take any further action or discuss the NPS proposal because it wasn't submitted in time to be posted on the regular meeting agenda.

Damn those open-meetings laws!
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

*

SHANEA

  • Guest
Re: National Park Service may acquire Christmas Mountains
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2008, 07:01:10 PM »
Media Advisory
Quote
TEXAS GENERAL LAND OFFICE
JERRY PATTERSON, COMMISSIONER
Office of Communications ● Mark Dallas Loeffler, Director
1700 N. Congress Ave. ● Austin, TX 78701-1495 ● 512-463-5339 ● Fax: 512-475-1415
MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jim Suydam
February 5, 2008 (512) 463-5339
(512) 417-5382 cell
Christmas Mountains to remain in Texas hands
School Land Board votes to allow two private bids for West Texas land to expire
AUSTIN — The School Land Board voted unanimously today not to accept either of the two
private conservation bids for the Christmas Mountains. As a result, the Permanent School Fund
retains ownership of the 9,269-acre tract of land.

To comply with the Open Meetings Act, the board was unable to take action or discuss a proposed
National Park Service management plan because it was received too late to place on the School
Land Board agenda. Patterson said the National Park Service plan could be discussed at a future
board meeting, pending further examination and clarification of the plan details.
“We needed to resolve the issue of the two bidders that had money on the table,” said Patterson.
“With the question of private ownership resolved for now, we can now more fully explore the
option of public ownership. And there is a lot to consider. But there are some things we can do in
the meantime.”
Following the board meeting, Patterson outlined a series of immediate steps he will pursue to
ensure better public access no matter who owns the tract.
Patterson has directed his legal staff to create a permanent public easement between the Christmas
Mountains Ranch tract and Big Bend National Park. This easement will allow public access -- in
perpetuity -- across the mile-long common border. It will improve public access immediately and
does not require board action.

Patterson also pointed out that private owners own 18 of the 19 miles of the property boundary.
To access the one mile shared with the National Park requires a rigorous four-hour hike.
“Right now, Texans can’t get to this property,” Patterson said. “I’ve made that four-hour hike, and
believe me, the public deserves additional ways to get to the property, regardless of whether the
state or federal government owns the land.”

Patterson is also pledging to work with members of Congress for a federal designation and
appropriation for the Christmas Mountains that will provide for the long-term maintenance of the
property while allowing public hunting and compliance with state firearms laws.
Patterson reiterated that while the National Park Service generally does not allow hunting, many
other federal agencies – like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service – allow
and actually encourage hunting.

“Federal ownership and hunting in the Christmas Mountains are not mutually exclusive,” Patterson
said. “It is possible to do both. We will explore all options at the federal level.”
# # #
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 07:04:05 PM by SHANEA »

*

SHANEA

  • Guest
Re: National Park Service may acquire Christmas Mountains
« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2008, 07:02:53 PM »
TPWD reiterated from the get go that they have absolutely no interest in acquiring the Christmas Mountains as they have too much land in West Texas and need to concentrate on other areas of the state.  They stepped out at square one.

The Conservation agreement that the STATE OF TEXAS entered into said it would either go to TPWD or NPS.  We TEXANS need to stand up to our agreements.

*

SHANEA

  • Guest
Re: National Park Service may acquire Christmas Mountains
« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2008, 07:44:16 PM »
It might make a perfect addition to Black Gap WMA. 

Since the Christmas mountains is probably 40+ road miles from BGWMA, I do not see how it would be a perfect addition.

The parcel of land known as the Christmas Mountains is LAND LOCKED between NPS BIBE and Terlingua Ranch.  The only way to really access the Christmas Mountains is through NPS BIBE.   Now, unless you and Patterson exercise emminant domain and seize land from Texans, there is no way to access it.

Let's just cut to the chase and give it to NPS for safe keeping.  Or, better yet, let the GLO hang on to it until we either impeach or vote out Patterson.  Patterson is already guilty by his own admission of carrying a firearm at NPS PJ.  I think that's probably an impeachable offense.  It certainly is a Federal Offense.

 
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 07:53:20 PM by SHANEA »

*

SHANEA

  • Guest
Re: National Park Service may acquire Christmas Mountains
« Reply #66 on: February 05, 2008, 07:52:41 PM »
If true (is it?)

If you don't believe the TPWD position, then search the TPWD website for their statement on the Christmas Mountains.  It's probably already posted on this website.  Additionally, TPWD, although they got an influx of money that  Texans voted to give in the special election for the issuance of bonds, is still cash strapped.  It makes no sense for TPWD to get more land in West Texas.  There are plenty of hunting opportunities in West Texas already that are underutilized as it is.  BGWMA - 103,000 acres.  BBRSP - 300,000+ acres, Elephant Mountain WMA 23,000+ acres, Sierra Diablo WMA 11,000+ acres, Los Palomas WMA 4,000+ acres, etc. 

If anything, TPWD needs to spend the assets and resources on the Chinanti Mountain area that it already owns.  But, then again, there is a problem in that the land owner that donated it to the state says that you can't allow hunting on it and it can not be turned into a WMA. 

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments