The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department( TPWD) was given the go-ahead to file a petition for condemnation and pursue the purchase of about 5,000 acres in Freestone County in order to protect Fairfield Lake State Park and the fair-market lake for public use.
Additionally, Commissioners gave TPWD Executive Director David Yoskowitz, Ph. instructions. D. to draft a payment plan limiting the agency’s use of eminent domain to exceptional circumstances. The policy plan will be discussed by commissioners at their conference on August 24.
The action taken today follows prolonged and extraordinary efforts by TPWD and its commissioners to acquire and maintain the park in a more respectful manner.
According to Commission Chairman Arch” Beaver” Aplin III,” Sentence represents an amazing action and TPWD’s next destination, and it is not one we undertake gently.” But, the goal of TPWD is to manage and preserve Texas’ healthy resources for the benefit of both current and future generations. Over the past 50 years, Fairfield Lake State Park has welcomed millions of visitors, and we have a distinct obligation to protect this popular open source.
The area offers a wide range of people recreation options, including swimming, fishing, boating, camping, and horseback riding. It is situated between Dallas and Houston, close to the rapidly expanding IH-45 corridor.
Each year, it receives more than 80,000 visitors, and non-local customers have an economic impact of over$ 1.14 million. One of the best places in the country to fish for bass is Fairfield Lake. Since 2020, it has given birth to 69 lunkers, making it one of TPWD’s most fruitful fishing.
According to Yoskowitz, Governor Pat Neff” presented a perspective of Texas dotted with condition parks one hundred years ago that the State would hold in sacred trust for the benefit of the public today and forever.” While conviction presents an exceedingly rare result that we would have preferred to avoid, we may stand by and watch as a park and fishing area that has benefited Texans and the neighborhood for five decades is permanently closed.” We have made great progress in realizing that vision, but demand for outdoor recreation has just increased.”
In the form of deliberate wildlife management strategies, cost-share applications, and other types of partnerships, TPWD has long collaborated with private landowners to offer technical and financial support.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner Jeffery Hildebrand,” TPWD has a track record of forming alliances to support private property rights and Texas organizations while expanding protection and outdoor entertainment across our condition.” Given the significance of private property rights and the crucial role private landowners play in Texas’ wildlife preservation, TPWD will continue to supply sentence for the rarest and most unusual circumstances. This is a special case involving an established park with tens of millions in agency infrastructure investment.