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Devils River Paddle Trips are in Danger!! Action is Needed to keep Public Access

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Offline MyLifeOutdoors

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Bad news for Texas paddlers. TPWD is trying to move the Devils River State Natural Area down river 13 miles. This will eliminate public riverside campsites on the devils river and almost certainly make it impossible to make a downriver trip on the devils river. In Texas all rivers (that average 30 feet from the mouth to the point in question) are public property. The problem on the devils is accessing this public property. Right now there are only 3 public access points along the devils river. Bakers Crossing on Hwy 163. The current Devils River State Natural Area? and along Amisted Lake. These access points are few and far between and land owners along the river have a reputation of extreme hatred for paddles (with rumors of some landowners even shooting at paddlers on the river). Right now if you put in at Bakers Crossing you do not come across a public campsite until you reach the State Natural area 15 miles downriver. If the TPWD proposal is approved there will not be any public campsites available for 28 miles. This makes it impossible to make any type of downriver trip on the Devils.

If anyone ever wants to make another paddle trip down the Devils River action is needed. I am late receiving this information but there is a Public Hearing today in Del Rio at 6:00 pm at the Del Rio Civic Center in the Mesquite Room on 1915 Veteran?s Blvd.

There will be another public hearing on Oct. 26th in San Antonio at 6:00 pm in the Central public Libaray at 600 Soledad.

You can also e-mail Ted Hollingsworth at ted.hollingsworth@tpwd.state.tx.us and let him know this is a bad idea.

TPWD claims moving the ranch will increase public access stating the new property has more river frontage. River Frontage is not the problem?this new property is along the headwaters of Lake Amisted. Lake Amisted already has great public access. Moving the river will eliminate river access. And there just aren?t anymore rivers in Texas with the quality of the Devils River.

TPWD also states they will be working with landowners, stakeholders, and PADDLERS to improve access to the Devils River?.this will not happen if the property is moved. As it is now the current state natural area has put every obstacle to try and keep paddlers off the river including forbidding using the park as a take out point and forcing paddler to carry their boats and gear by hand 1.5 miles to the river front. This proposal is a ploy to eliminate the existence of public paddlers on the devils. If you ever want to see this Texas oasis take action now.
My Life Outdoors: bloging outdoor adventures in Texas and surrounding states.

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Offline MyLifeOutdoors

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Recently a friend took a trip down the Devil?s camping at the State Natural Area. That night he was issued 7 citations by one of the park rangers who acted very hostile toward the idea of paddlers. Having arrived one night earlier than expected my friend asked if he could camp there an extra night so as not to arrive at the take out a day early (and thus miss his shuttle appointment.) The ranger refused forcing them to leave in the morning without knowing if they would have a shuttle available or not.  The Ranger the proceeded to verbally curse Texas Monthly Magazine for ?Publicizing? the natural beauty of the river and ?inviting? people to paddle the last truly wild river in Texas. The Ranger insinuated that the Magazine was going to ruin their private oasis. Can you believe it? A park ranger?Mad that people might come enjoy Public Land.

Here is a copy of the Letter sent out by TPWD

https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B41aUFRba0pJZjgzZWY0YjMtMzhkZC00MzZhLTkxYzQtNzEwMDg5NmRhZDcy





My Life Outdoors: bloging outdoor adventures in Texas and surrounding states.

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Ugh, this is truly bad news.  I am going to try to get to the SA meeting on the 26th, but it depends on whether I can get off work early that day.
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline bjbriggs

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That is awful,  I would love to do the Devil River some day.  I will send an email.

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SHANEA

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http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/devils_river_land_acquisition/

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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. The ranch has significantly more river frontage and better public access as well as outstanding natural and cultural features.

I want to know who the land owner(s) are and their current connections with the powers at be within TPWD and the State of Texas Elected officials.  Might have some impact on how I vote in the upcoming elections.  At first glance, this doesn't pass the sniff test.   At least TPWD isn't hiding behind this as they did with the attempted slight of hand "Land Sale: Presidio County" a few years ago when they tried to quietly slide/sell off a large tract of Big Bend Ranch State Park to John Poindexter.   

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SHANEA

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Also, let's see, if this transaction is approved, then the swap of land will occur and based on current history of how quickly TPWD moves with regards to Chinanti, etc. - it will be my great great grandchildren in the next ice age when dinosaurs again rule the world that will get to enjoy the new Devils River state park.   The land will be acquired and will just sit there, seeing as the State of Texas is on the brink of having to file bankruptcy and TPWD and every other state agency is having to slash spending and expenses.   :eusa_snooty:  Thus, there will be NO access to the Devils River area for a very long time.  Nope, don't like this, don't like it at all.  Having to mobilize my resources once again.   

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SHANEA

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Devils River land deal eyed State praises potential swap, but some groups question process

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And we're certainly concerned with what seems like a rush to get this deal done quickly, without much notice and opportunity for public input. The first I heard about it was last week. It doesn't appear to me they are living up to the spirit of their policy on land transactions."]And we're certainly concerned with what seems like a rush to get this deal done quickly, without much notice and opportunity for public input. The first I heard about it was last week. It doesn't appear to me they are living up to the spirit of their policy on land transactions."

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The Devils River swap/purchase has been discussed only in closed-to-the-public executive session of the TPW Commission. The Nov. 4 TPW Commission meeting at which the proposal will be considered for adoption will be the first meeting at which the transaction is publicly discussed.

Public posting of the proposed transaction didn't occur until earlier this week, when legal notices announcing the proposal and two scheduled public hearings on the issue (Oct. 20 in Del Rio, Oct. 26 in San Antonio) were printed in major newspapers.

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TPWD staff have entered into a tentative contract for the deal - a contract that expires Dec. 15. The TPW Commission could approve or deny further pursuit of the transaction.

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If the swap/purchase occurs, the new park would not open to public use until completion of an extensive master planning process. That process could take as long as two years or more, Boruff said.

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SHANEA

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http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/meetings/2011/1104/agenda/item_6/index.phtml

Hell, the approval document has already been typed up and is just waiting for a signature...   :willynilly:

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SHANEA

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Question #1

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Offline RichardM

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For those of you with Facebook accounts, be sure to check out http://www.facebook.com/texasparksandwildlife
Comments posted there would have a far greater impact than here.

On October 14 they posted a video about Devil's River:
http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=48009558692&share_id=115932478466396&comments=1#s115932478466396

The video:
Devil's River State Natural Area, Texas

posted by http://www.youtube.com/user/TexasParksWildlife

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SHANEA

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Information from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
http://texas.sierraclub.org/press/newsreleases/20101018.asp
http://texas.sierraclub.org/ActionAlert/20101017LTRtoHollingsworth.pdf

If you are not a card carrying member of either the Sierra Club or Environment Texas, you might want to think about that...

Texas Kayak Fisherman not fond of this...
http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=151297&start=0

Speculation that this is the land in question that is for sale? Devils River Ranch
http://www.landsofamerica.com/america/?detail=&inv_id=321953#

Article on Devils River problems @ http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2010/oct/scout6/

Devil?s River State Natural Area: Would Texas toss almost 20,000 acres?
http://texasgreenreport.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/devils-river-state-natural-area-would-texas-toss-almost-20000-acres/




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SHANEA

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Letter 2
Sent to the Honorable Generosa (Janie) Gracia-Ramon County Clerk for Val Verde County, Texas

Trying to connect the dots...

Doing a search for "Devils River Ranch", turns up
DEVILS RIVER RANCH GP LLC
5601 Democracy Dr Ste 300
Plano, TX  75024
Incorporated: 12/2009; This business has not yet been classified.

Then,
In 2000, the Conservancy purchased the nearly 22,000-acre Devils River Ranch, a section on the southernmost portion of the river containing more than 13 miles of river frontage, and sold much of that land to a conservation buyer, also retaining a conservation easement. The group also intends to sell the remaining 5,000-plus acres of the Devils River Ranch to a conservation buyer

Devils River Ranch
Local
Del Rio, TX 78840-0000    Phone: (830) 395-2324 (830) 395-2324     

Incorporated by Rodger M Sanders, Devil's River Ranch Gp, L.L.C. is located at 5601 Democracy Dr Ste 300 Plano, TX 75024. Devil's River Ranch Gp, L.L.C. was incorporated on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 in the State of TX and is currently active. Rodger M Sanders represents Devil's River Ranch Gp, L.L.C. as their registered agent.
Source: Public Record data - Department of State - Division of Corporations.

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Offline RichardM

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On October 14 they posted a video about Devil's River:
http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=48009558692&share_id=115932478466396&comments=1#s115932478466396
In the comments for that link was posted the following:
The proposed land acquisition 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. The ranch has significantly more river frontage and better public access as well as outstanding natural and cultural features. More details and public meeting dates at
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20101012a
October 14 at 12:54pm

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Offline MyLifeOutdoors

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It wont let me comment on the facebook video post...can anyone else?
My Life Outdoors: bloging outdoor adventures in Texas and surrounding states.

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Offline MyLifeOutdoors

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Nevermind...you have to "like" TPWD before you can comment.
My Life Outdoors: bloging outdoor adventures in Texas and surrounding states.

 


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