Anglers, hunters and other outdoorsmen should take note to attend one of several public meetings regarding the Public Use Plan for the Devils River State Natural Area in Val Verde County.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold the first of five public meetings on April 10 in Houston to receive feedback on the Public Use Plan portion of the proposed General Management Plan for Devils River State Natural Area. The meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Houston Zoo’s Brown Education Hall.
The plan will establish principles of guidance for developing and managing public access and recreational use, as well as natural and cultural resource management and protection, for both the older North Unit and new South Unit.
The two units will be managed as a “complex” by Superintendent Joe Ranzau. Together, the state natural area conserves nearly 38,000 acres and 10.8 miles of Devils River and Lake Amistad frontage. The complex includes the newly acquired 18,000-acre southern unit and the existing 20,000-acre state natural area 13 miles upriver. In addition to the TPWD’s “state natural area” classification, both Val Verde County units are further protected by conservation easements that limit the amount of development that may occur on the properties.
The Devils River complex is classified as a state natural area instead of a state park. This designation emphasizes the conservation of the properties’ unique cultural and natural resources. Educational and recreational opportunities are being planned that will preserve these special attributes, while at the same time allowing limited, resources-compatible public access and use of these ecologically fragile properties.
The earliest opportunity for general public access to the southern unit is projected currently to be late spring 2013, depending on staffing and budget issues.
Read the next issue of Lone Star Outdoor News, out Friday, April 13, for an article on the outstanding smallmouth fishery on the Devils River.
Dates of the other upcoming meetings are: April 11 (Arlington), April 12 (Austin), April 16 (Del Rio) and April 19 (San Antonio). For meeting details or to post a comment, visit:http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/.