Form letter from the office of William P. Clements, Jr., undated
Form letter from the office of William P. Clements, undated, regarding Matagorda Island and issues of public concern.
Clements, William P., 1917-2011
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
General Counsel | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Clements Texas Papers
Dear : Thank you for your letter wcerning State of Texas' acquisition of the Matagorda Islandproperty,. A4-14/w/aY RA'rfously in custody of the U.S. Air Force and is before the General Services Administration for disposition under the federal Surplus Property Act. During my administration, I have actively directed and pursued 4=4-continuing negotiations to acquire this property as part of a State Park and Wildlife Management Area. The 19,000 acres available for transfer to the State on the middle-to-Gulf side of the island. the_wetlands_and other acreage from the middle-to-bayside of 1,7— the Islan1 already ownea by-ine-Sfate of Texas(Would be combirito serve as a 38,500-acre park and wildlife management 'TIF-TIJiiiihisteriia by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Department's Matagorda IsLand Conceptual Plan has been submitted to the Department of the Interior.E3d it is my understanding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing an t environmental assessment on the Plarir:7 I am confident we will be able to successfully complete 4-4evre negotiations in the near future. During public and media discussions, two particular concerns have been raised regarding Texas' plans. First, with regard to development of the area, there is very Little new development proposed as we certainly intend for most of the island to remain in its natural state. With regard to transportation, there is no causeway proposed to be constructed from the mainland to the island; access to the island would be by a small ferry operated by the Department. Once visitors reach the island, vehicular access will be very limited, if not totally restricted, on various areas on the island. I have emphasized there will be no "Coney Island atmosphere" on the island. Secondly, the property transfer will have no negative impacts on the whooping crane or its habitat. Statements that the bird's habitat is on Matagorda Island itself are factually and historicaLLy incor- rect. Texas now owns all of the wetlands shoreward from Matagorda Island to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the mainland where the birds winter. In this regard, the State already manages, controls, and maintains this habitat of the whooping cranes, and has for some time. In summary, I feel the Texas proposal to 1-1- ' conservation ampir- memagamaat. of the Island)amd its resources, and gqite compatible with) the surrounding wildlife and environs, incLuding the national refuge. I appreciate your sharing your views with me Ind this opportunity to state my general pocitiQa on the su4j.ect. Sincerely, William P. Clements, Jr. Governor of Texas , dt-c44-4 F',4 4610-10-41010011--,6-1.1.111161..", C.41.40f /1-•- A-aet40' •