TPW Commission Votes In Favor of 16,000 Acre Expansion of Black Gap Wildlife Management Area
August 24, 2018
On Thursday, August 23rd, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted to begin the process of purchasing 16,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat for addition to the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in Brewster County.
The approved acquisition includes about seven miles of frontage along the Rio Grande River including habitat well suited for supporting populations of bighorn sheep, black bear, Gambel’s and scaled quail, mule deer, and other Trans Pecos region wildlife. Officials indicate that the new land will be opened to public use, including hunting and fishing!
Texas BHA rallied behind the proposal, with nearly 200 members submitting public comments for the Commission’s consideration! Further, Texas BHA’s Policy chairman, Todd Basile, addressed the Commission on behalf of the chapter at Thursday’s meeting, noting the importance of this opportunity to expand our state’s public lands, bring this incredibly valuable habitat into the public trust, and open up new hunting and fishing opportunities for all Texans.
“It was an honor to meet TPWD staff who have worked so hard on this proposal and related conservation efforts, and to hear how much they appreciated Texas BHA’s support. We are the voice for our public lands, waters, and wildlife, and today our voice was heard. Congratulations to public land owners across the Lone Star State.”, said Mr. Basile.
Next steps in the process include obtaining an official appraisal and appropriating funding for the purchase. Under the approved proposal, 75% of the purchase cost will be covered by the Pittman-Robertson Fund, under which excise taxes on firearms and ammunition sales are earmarked specifically for wildlife conservation projects. Needless to say, sportsmen and women are thus large contributors, and it is wonderful to watch our contributions come full circle in the form of the Black Gap WMA expansion.
Way to go Texas BHA!