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 an extremely popular 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 is enrolled in the Harvest Option (HO), provided the property is not part of an aggregate acreage enrolled in the MLDP; a $30 fee for each aggregate acreage enrolled in the HO; a $300 fee for the first management unit of each property enrolled in the Conservation Option (CO) plus a $30 fee for each additional management unit of a property enrolled in the CO; a $300 fee for each aggregate acreage enrolled in the CO; and a $30 fee for each management unit of a wildlife management association or cooperative enrolled in the CO.
The fee amounts were selected by the department after soliciting and receiving input from department staff, stakeholder groups, and advisory committees regarding 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 January 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 email@example.com. 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 January 23, 2020 at 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744.