Sierra Club is formally opposing the proposed transfer of the existing Devils River State Natural Area and a $7.9 million cash payment in order to acquire the smaller Devils River Ranch in a deal that would reduce
the size of the park system by 2000 acres.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has proposed a land transaction that would transfer the 19,000+ acre Devils River State Natural Area (SNA) in West Texas plus almost $8 million in cash for the 17,000+ acre privately owned Devils River Ranch in the same county.
Tell the TPWD that you are opposed to this land transaction and the negative effects it poses to the Devils River State Natural Area.
The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club has had serious concerns about the proposed land transaction. We have examined the pros and cons as thoroughly as possible.
We have concluded that we must oppose
this proposed land transaction, although we respect the views of the Parks and Wildlife officials who have proposed it.
The Devils River SNA has important natural and cultural resources, including endangered
species habitat and springs that provide water to the Devils
River, and continued state ownership is the best way to protect those resources.
The value of a state natural area is not the number of visitors to the area, and the state should not trade away such an important area because it receives relatively few visitors.
A complete scientific, natural resource,
and cultural resource comparison of the two properties proposed for the exchange has not been made, and thus the public cannot compare the merits of the two properties.
The loss of the Devils River SNA would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the public to canoe or kayak the upper stretches of the Devils River.
The expenditure of $8 million in extremely limited state parkland acquisition funds would result
in a reduction of 2000+ acres in the state parks inventory.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, the governing body of the agency, will decide on November 4 whether to go forward with this proposal.