Texas Rivers Protection Association · 444 Pecan Park Dr. · San Marcos, TX 78666
Tom Goynes, President
David Reichert, Vice-president
San Antonio, 210-545-0548
Leslie Redwine, Secretary
New Braunfels, 830-626-8047
Duane TeGrotenhuis, Treas.
Board of Directors:
Spring Branch, 830-885-5324
College Station, 979-846-4649
New Braunfels, 830-609-3038
Fort Stockton, 915-336-6700
Michael Van Winkle
Marble Falls, 830-693-1054
Were Tax Exempt at Last!
On May 17, 2004, the TRPA was granted 501 (c) (3) status by the IRS. This has several implications: First of all, it means that all contributions to TRPA (including your dues) that are in excess of any goods you receive, are tax deductible. Of course, this is only good news if you happen to itemize your deductions, but for some of you, it will be helpful. It also means that you can participate in programs whereby your employer can match your TRPA contributions (once again, this is only helpful if you have an employer who does such things). And perhaps most importantly, it means that the TRPA can apply for grants from organizations and endowments that contribute only to tax exempt organizations. Over the years we have had to decline more than one offer of a sizable grant because we were not 501 (c) (3). The only down side (if it can be considered as such) is that we will not be able to spend our money lobbying for legislation or endorsing candidates. We will still be able to testify on legislation, and we will be able to educate you regarding legislation, but we will have to be careful how we spend our money and what we say in our newsletter. As I understand it, we wont have to change very much of what we do, but we will be in a good position to increase our support.
In January we sent out letters to everyone who contributed $75 or more since May 17 of last year. Those letters also let the recipients know the value of any goods they received in exchange for those contributions. If you contributed after that date and did not receive a letter let us know and well take care of it.
Since the TRPA is now tax exempt, and since we now share the official purposes of our sister organization, the Texas River Recreation Association, it is possible that the TRRA might be dissolved and her assets given to the TRPA. This issue will be discussed at the annual meetings on March 6 (see details page 3).
Victory in Bed and Banks Case & Upcoming Cleanups.
The San Marcos River Foundation and the TRPA won a major victory regarding the San Marcos Bed and Banks Supreme Court decision (page 2). And, dont forget to make plans to attend the San Marcos, Brazos, and Medina River Clean Ups. Information is within.
This organization now owns over 13 acres of land on the Brazos River at Hidalgo Falls near Navasota. We (along with a generous group of Texas whitewater paddlers) bought the property to assure that river users would always have access to this exciting rapid and to preserve the property in as pristine condition as we can. If you havent been there, then by all means plan to attend the upcoming Hidalgo Falls Festival. All paddlers are welcome to visit the site, but the combination to the gate is only given to those who either belong to the TRPA at the $25 protector level, or who contribute at least 5 hours of their time annually at a Hidalgo work event, or who have contributed $500 toward the purchase or maintenance of Hidalgo Falls.
The Look Ahead
Dont forget to check out our website at www.txrivers.org and be sure to send articles to our webmaster if you have something to share. 2005 has the potential to be our best year ever. Please do your part to make it so. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Goynes, president.
Victory in the San Marcos Bed and Banks Case!
In Texas, it's relatively easy to get a permit to transport private water in a public stream (that is, using the bed and banks of a river as a pipeline). The problem arises when a city decides that the sewage it is disposing into a river is private water that it should be allowed to take back out downstream, or sell to someone else.
Lots of things happen when this is permitted. First of all, a city is only given permission to dump its sewage into the river because there is adequate flow to dilute their effluent in the first place. If every city took out an amount of water equal to their discharge, the flows in our rivers would probably cease altogether during dry periods. A bed and banks scam is just a cleaver trick whereby a city can claim it is "reusing" its wastewater, when actually the water it draws out contains some of its sewage but usually a whole lot of other, better quality water. If a city wants to reuse its wastewater before discharging it, we applaud and support them. But this "indirect reuse" as it is called, is not reuse at all.
At any rate, the city of San Marcos applied for and received a bed and banks permit several years ago. Both TRPA and the San Marcos River Foundation (SMRF) fought the permit and won a number of concessions - limits on the quantity of water that could be withdrawn and environmental quality concessions - that is, the river had to be left alone when the flow was low. The city didn't like these restrictions, so they appealed the decision. SMRF appealed the permit as well, trying to get it even more restrictive.
The District Court upheld the original permit. The City then appealed to the Third Court of Appeals and so did SMRF. (TRPA helped fund the appeal.) In a major victory, the Third Court threw out the whole permit in late August of 2003.
The City then took the case to the Texas Supreme Court. This January, the Supreme Court for the final time upheld the decision of the Third Court, ending the possibilities of further appeal. Other cities are planning Bed & Banks applications like this - hopefully this decision will slow them down. Thanks to SMRF and TRPA, and thanks to all the members who have supported this important work.
Medina River Protection Fund Launched
And Medina Clean Up Scheduled
The Medina River is arguably the most valued natural resource in Bandera County. The Medina River Protection Fund was set up recently to guarantee support for an annual river cleanup and protection of the river. Inspired and supported by the Texas River Protection Association, the first fundraiser will be held May 6 at the Estrellita Stone Ranch on the river near Bandera. Tom Goynes, president of TRPA, will be honored at the event.
Paddling groups from throughout Texas will join in the next day to clean 50 miles of the river from 15 miles above the town of Medina to Medina Lake.
Registration for the cleanup is from 9-12 a.m. at the entrance to the Bandera City River Park. LAMCOS will provide a t-shirt for all those participating by land and by water. All participants will be served a barbecue meal from 2-5 p.m. At 5 p.m. there will be a prize given for the most outrageous trash found along the rivers bed and banks.
The City of Bandera will provide a dumpster and make free camping available in the park for participants on May 6 and 7. Bandera County will receive and dispose of the trash.
This is the fifth annual river cleanup initiated by the Lake Medina Conservation Society (LAMCOS) and supported by the Texas River Protection Association. The river cleanup has grown from 65 to 175 participants since its inception.
Prior to the cleanup day, a crew paddles the 50 miles of river to identify large items that must be removed by land. Volunteer paddlers are being sought at this time to locate the big pieces of trash.
On cleanup day, volunteers are invited to join the bank crews and by boat. The river has been divided into 12 sections of 3-6 miles in length. Section heads are being recruited to head teams to paddle and pick up trash along each section. Volunteers for both the land crews and the river crews can sign up for sections of the river at www. Medinariver.net or contact Bob Brischetto, Medina River Cleanup Coordinator at 830-612-3643 or by email: mailto:Brischetto@wireweb.net.
To continue support for the river cleanup, the Medina River Protection Fund was recently established within the Bandera Regional Community Foundation. Tax-exempt donations can be made to BRCF with designation for Medina River Protection Fund and sent directly to the Foundation at P.O. Box 1656, Bandera, TX 78003 or donate online at http://www.medinariver.net/
TRPA Financial Report 2004
Beginning Balance, 1/1/04 $8,229.74
$ Earmarked for Hidalgo Falls, 1/1 93.90
Contributions Received for Hidalgo 1,749.19
Total Money available 9,978.93
Expenses, Hidalgo Falls:
Property Taxes 426.39
Road Maintenance 480.00
Irrigation system (for new trees) 453.71
Total expenses, Hidalgo Falls 1,610.07
Total available 8,368.86
$ Earmarked for Hidalgo Falls, 12/31/04 139.12
Total general fund available $8,229.74
Contributions received (general fund) $7,145.01
Interest received 10.38
Bed and Banks case $2,000.00
Medina Clean up 725.00
New TRPA caps 720.00
IRS 501 (c) (3) registration 500.00
Medina River Protection Group 500.00
Brazos River Clean up 135.00
Tax Return prep work 83.32
River Network (dues) 80.00
Sec. of State (restatement of articles) 50.00
Office Expenses 40.78
Post Office Box Rent 33.00
Total general expenses $5,181.18
Money Available General fund 10,203.95
Money earmarked for Hidalgo Falls 12/31/04 139.12
Total money available 12/31/04 10,343.07
Ending checkbook Balance, 12/31/04 10,252.71
Ending Cash 90.36
THE 20 TH ANNUAL
GREAT TEXAS RIVER CLEAN UP
March 5, 2005
On Saturday, March 5, folks from all over Texas will be participating in the world's longest river clean up. We will be picking up trash along the entire length of the San Marcos River (approximately 90 miles).
Everyone is urged to help. If you are unable to participate in the water, we need volunteers to work the banks of the river, especially at parks and highway crossings. Scuba divers and snorkelers are also urged to participate.
We are asking recreational paddlers and canoe clubs to accept the challenge and volunteer for a section of river. If your group or club has not already been assigned a section, be sure to contact Tom Goynes and tell him what stretch you would like. The upper sections of the San Marcos River, particularly just downstream of the City of San Marcos, will require the most attention, and the short mileages set for these sections reflect this. Furthermore, the river becomes less accessible and more hazardous as one goes downstream. For that reason, novice boaters should volunteer for either section 1 or 2 and more experienced boaters for the other sections.
CANOE RACING ENTHUSIASTS
The lower river, from Luling to Gonzales, has several long sections with few bridge crossings and for that reason, we are asking canoe racers (especially teams that have competed in the Texas Water Safari) to volunteer for sections 9 - 11.
CAMPOUT AND GET-TO-GETHER
Everyone participating in this event is invited to camp free at either Shady Grove Campground/ Spencer Canoes or at Pecan Park Retreat for the weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening there will be a free barbecue provided by the San Marcos River Foundation at Shady Grove/Spencer Canoes.
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE
On Sunday morning at 8 a.m., there will be a non-denominational Christian worship service at Pecan Park.
MEETING TIMES AND SHUTTLES
A group meeting will be held for everyone working sections 3 through 7 at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Spencer Canoes. Groups working sections 8 - 11 will arrange their shuttles as early as possible Saturday morning and try to put in the river by 9:00 a.m. Persons working sections 1 and 2 will meet at City Park in San Marcos at 10:00 a.m.
Tom Goynes (coordinator) 512-392-6171
RIVER SECTION LISTINGS
1 San Marcos City Park to Thompson's Island (2 miles)
2 Thompson's Island to Pecan Park Retreat (3.5 miles)
3 Pecan Park Retreat to Spencer Canoes (6 mi.)
4 Spencer Canoes to Staples - Hwy 1977 (5 miles)
5 Staples to Fentress - Hwy 20 (9 miles)
6 Fentress to Stairtown (7miles)
7 Stairtown to Luling - Hwy 90 (6.5miles)
8 Hwy 90 to Luling City Park (6 mi.)
9 Luling City Park to Palmetto State Park (14.4 mi.) Texas Canoe Racing Assoc.: Ginger Turner mailto:email@example.com
10 Palmetto State Park to Gonzales Hwy 90A (14.8 miles)
11 Gonzales 90A to Gonzales 183 (10 mi.)
TRPA Annual Meeting
On Sunday, March 6 at 10 a.m. the Texas Rivers Protection Association will hold it's annual general meeting. We will meet at the Pecan Park Retreat office (which is also the home of Tom and Paula Goynes).
We will discuss ongoing river issues. Everyone is welcome to attend. We hope to adjourn by 1 p.m., at which time there will be a short meeting of the Texas River Recreation Association.
To get to Pecan Park Campground: coming from Interstate 35 in San Marcos, get on Highway 80 and head toward Luling for 1.8 miles. Take a right on county road 101. Take an immediate left onto county road 102. Go 1/2 mile on 102 and take a right on Pecan Park road. Keep going straight (past TG Canoe Livery) and the road will end at the Pecan Park Retreat Office. For more info call Tom Goynes at 512-392-6171 or visit our website at http://www.pecanparkretreat.com/
Hidalgo Falls River Festival
Sunday, April 9 & 10
This will be the first year the festival will cover two days. On Saturday we will have a 26.5-mile downriver race from Batts Ferry south of College Station ending at the festival site at the TRPA property. A number of folks from the Texas Canoe Racing Association who have never been to Hidalgo are planning to come, and we expect that this new population will provide further support for our efforts there. We therefore expect that there will be a bunch of folks camping there beginning on Friday night. On Saturday night we expect to have a live band (the Snake Charmers, from Houston) for a concert. On Sunday morning we will also have a short (3.5-mile) "race"/float trip from the falls down to Hwy 105, and in the afternoon we have our slalom race (of sorts)--one in which paddlers will not run gates but will negotiate a course around and through the islands that make up the rapids--and our whitewater rodeo competition. On both Saturday and Sunday boats and equipment will be available for demos, paddling videos will be shown, and on Sunday we will have an auction of paddling paraphernalia.
This year each person attending the festival will receive a festival t-shirt as part of his or her $12 admission fee (children 12 and under free, but no t-shirt). The admission is good for the entire weekend and includes camping (with access to non-potable water and electricity), rudimentary showers, the concert, etc. The downriver race has a $20 registration fee: that fee includes admission to the festival and a special racer's version of the festival t-shirt.
For more information visit the Hidalgo Falls website at: http://www-phil.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/hidalgo.html
or contact Steve Daniel: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Second Annual Brazos River Clean Up
Saturday, April 2, 2005
Meet at Tres Rios Campground (near Glen Rose) at 9:00 A.M.
Complimentary BBQ dinner after clean up (2-6 pm).
Free canoes and shuttles.
Complimentary camping at Tres Rios 4/1-4/3. Cabins available. Call Tres Rios for info (254-897-4253)
Contact: Ed Lowe
Texas Rivers Protection Association Membership Application
To join, or renew your membership, fill out the information below and include a check for your dues.
Mail to: TRPA, 444 Pecan Park Dr., San Marcos, TX 78666
Name _________________ Hm Phone________________________ Wk phone____________________
City ___________________ State ___________ Zip ______________
Check here if e-mail version of newsletter is sufficient ______
Levels of membership: (check one)
___Regular$10 ___Protector$25 ___Guardian$50 ___Ranger$100 ___Bronze$500 ___Silver$1000 ___Gold$5000
Is this a renewal? _______ Check if new address _______
____ I would like to receive a new bumper sticker.
All members receive a bumper sticker, notices and newsletters and get to vote at general meetings. Protectors also receive a cloisonné pin with our emblem. Guardians receive the pin and either a logo cap or logo t-shirt. Rangers and above receive all three. Guardians need to indicate their choice (cap or t-shirt) and Rangers and Guardians wanting t-shirts should indicate their size (M,L,XL, or XXL).
Protectors, Guardians, Rangers, Bronze, Silver and Gold members:
Please send the following (we will not send any merchandise, unless indicated) :
Protector $25 ___ Cloisonné Pin
Guardian $50 ___ Cloisonné Pin and ___ Cap or t-shirt (circle one) M L XL XXL
Ranger $100 & above ___ Cloisonné Pin and ___ Cap and t-shirt (circle one) M L XL XXL