Twin Buttes could become part of state’s Public Hunting program
By Rashda Khan, Rashda.Khan@gosanangelo.com
The San Angelo City Council will consider approving a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to include hunting areas at the Twin Buttes Reservoir in the TPWD Public Hunting Program at its meeting on Tuesday.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation owns the property surrounding Twin Buttes and leases it to the city to provide water collection and recreational land for public use.
"It's like a No Man's Land or the Wild West out there," said Carl White, director of parks and recreation with the city. "Most people use the properties properly, but there are others who don't. This will help bring law and order to the area."
In recent years, illegal dumping, vandalism and the uninhibited use of firearms — pistols and rifles are not permitted, only shotguns, shooting up of signs — has plagued the area.
The Public Hunting Program includes almost 900,000 acres located throughout Texas. Public use of these properties is governed by the Public Lands Proclamation and public hunting rules, regulations and prohibited acts are enforced by TPWD game wardens, which could help with the dumping and other issues. TPWD also will work to provide habitat enhancement and improve activities and offerings.
White said being part of the program also has a marketing advantage.
TPWD puts out an annual publication targeted to hunters with a listing of all the public hunting areas in the program. It has operated the program for more than 60 years and since 1987 has required people to secure permits to hunt or camp on nearly 1 million acres throughout Texas.
Becoming part of the program would mean users would need to buy permits to hunt in the area. Access to public hunting land is granted by two types of yearly permits: a $48 Annual Public Hunting permit allowing full hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other recreational use privileges, and a $12 Limited Public Use permit for access for all recreational activities except hunting.
The permit fees are collected and used by TPWD to administer the program.http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/local/tw...-376016891.html