Stop the press! Just when it looked like Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was going to increase the amount of public land in Texas the train has come to a halt on the new Devils River State Park. It is being reported that top TPWD officials have ordered the state agency staff to continue exploring options to acquire land for a new state park or natural area on the Devils River while strengthening a commitment to protect the river’s sensitive resources.
This move will now stops a final, but gives the agency more time to explore alternatives in response to recent stakeholder input. TPWD Commission Chairman Peter Holt, said:
“We took this off the November 4 agenda because we’ve received great feedback from a lot of people around the state who felt the process may be moving too quickly. Also, several people have brought to us some very interesting alternatives. We want the staff to go forward and figure out how to make this work. We understand the concerns of landowners, hunters, paddling trail enthusiast and conservationists and want to make sure we take all that into consideration.
On the other hand, we represent a state with about 24 million people. The Devils River Ranch is a real opportunity to add something to our park system that is second to none in terms of wildness, but at the same time would allow more people to experience this phenomenal area in appropriate ways.”
Carter Smith, executive director of TPWD, said this regarding the new Devils River State Park, “We will continue considering the entire range of options for conservation and recreation on the river, working with all stakeholders, with a goal to bring back to the commission a suite of alternatives to achieve both the conservation and recreational access elements of our mission.”
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