AUSTIN – Amid growing public health concerns, the March meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Commission previously scheduled for March 25-26 has been cancelled. All agenda items have been postponed until the May meeting.
“In light of what is happening with the public health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, this cancellation is the safe and prudent thing to do,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “The health and well-being of our constituents, staff and commissioners will always be our highest priority. While this delay may create some uncertainty surrounding the upcoming license year, moving consideration of many of these items to the May Commission meeting should not pose significant disruption to the overall regulatory process. We encourage any Texans who were following items being heard by the commission to remain engaged on these issues and let us continue to hear from you online through the public comment period.”
Postponed briefings and action items include the statewide proclamations for recreational and commercial saltwater and freshwater fishing proclamations, hunting and migratory game bird regulation recommendations, containment and surveillance zone boundaries associated with chronic wasting disease (CWD) detection, oyster mariculture rules, land transactions and formation rules for new agency advisory committees.
Public comment periods for action items such as the statewide hunting, freshwater and saltwater fishing recommendations, agency advisory committees, and CWD have been extended until the May commission meeting. Remarks can be submitted on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Public Comment page. Currently, the Commission is planning to hear in-person public comments on action items during the meeting on May 21.
The TPW Commission continues to work with TPWD staff to monitor the evolving health situation in Texas and will adjust its meeting schedule as necessary to safeguard public health while maintaining its statutory responsibilities to oversee the operations of the department.