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TPWD Proposed Rule Changes

TPWD Taking Public Comment on Proposed Rule Changes for Managed Lands Deer Program 

AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP), which includes establishing fees for participation in the MLDP and clarifying existing program provisions. 

“The MLDP is a top-rated program that provides landowners and land managers with additional flexibility to manage deer populations, improve habitats, and provide greater hunting opportunities,” said Alan Cain, TPWD white-tailed deer program leader. “Increased participation in the MLDP has made it challenging for wildlife staff to administer the program and provide technical guidance to participants. In response, the Texas Legislature earlier this year enacted Senate Bill 733, which authorizes the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to establish a fee for participation in the MLDP.” 

The proposed fee amendment would establish a $30 fee for each management unit within a property that enrolls in the Harvest Option (HO). It would provide the property is not part of an aggregate acreage enrolled in the MLDP; a $30 fee for each total area joined in the HO; a $300 price for the first management unit of each property registered in the Conservation Option (CO). Plus, there would be a $30 fee for each additional management unit of property enrolled in the CO, a $300 price for each aggregate acreage enlisted in the CO, and a $30 fee for each management unit of a wildlife management association or cooperative enrolled in the CO. 

The department selected the fee amounts after soliciting and receiving input from department staff, stakeholder groups, and advisory committees. It regarded to what would be a reasonable fee for participation in the MLDP considering the benefits received, the demands on department staff in administering the various options available to landowners under the MLDP, and which would not result in significant attrition from the MLDP by landowners. 

The proposed regulation changes are available for review in the Dec. 6 edition of the Texas Register. The public comment period is open through Jan. 23, 2020, when the TPW Commission will meet to vote on adopting these changes. 

Comments on the proposed changes may be submitted to Alan Cain by phone (830) 480-4038 or email alan.cain@tpwd.texas.gov. Comments also may be submitted via the department’s website at https://www.tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/ or in-person during the TPW Commission meeting Jan. 23, 2020 at 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744.