Texas Rivers SPRING, 2007

Texas Rivers Protection Association · 444 Pecan Park Dr. · San Marcos, TX 78666

http://www.txrivers.org/

 

 

Officers:

 

Tom Goynes, President, San Marcos, 512-392-6171 e-mail: mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

David Reichert, Vice-president, San Antonio, 210-545-0548

Leslie Redwine, Secretary, New Braunfels, 830-626-8047

Duane TeGrotenhuis, Treas., Martindale, 512-353-3946

 

Board of Directors:

Mark Andrus, Angleton, 409-849-3732

Kathy Cusick, Spring Branch, 830-885-5324

Steve Daniel, College Station, 979-846-4649

David Davenport, New Braunfels, 830-609-3038

Richard Grayson, Dallas, 214-827-0144

Jim Hatcher, Fort Stockton, 915-336-6700

Ed Lowe, Dallas, 214-826-8815

Anne Olden, Houston, 713-864-0205

Ginger Turner, Austin, 512-459-5742

Michael Van Winkle, Kerrville, 830-995-3113

Fred Zagst, Marble Falls, 830-693-1054

 

 

Protecting Texas Rivers and More...

 

Recently the board of this organization was discussing (by e-mail) whether or not to support financially a group called the Natural Area Protection Association (NAPA) http://www.napa-texas.org/.  NAPA preserves wild places in Texas through purchase and/or through conservation easements (see the article within).  We did, in fact, decide to support NAPA.

 

It was during those discussions that the question of what was the primary purpose of this organization came up.  Some board members felt that our primary goal is to guarantee access to rivers.  Others felt that while access is important, it pales in comparison to the protection of Texas Rivers.

 

I thought it might be appropriate to open this newsletter with a review of our official purposes.  After all, it never hurts to review the reasons why we exist (I'm reminded of Bill Cosby who, when faced with the question of "Why is there air?" concluded that air exists to fill up basketballs.  Water, likewise, must surely exist primarily to float canoes and kayaks).

 

Here then, are some of our official purposes:

 

To protect the flow, water quality and natural beauty of the rivers of Texas;

To promote the safe and wise use of Texas rivers;

To develop an awareness of the rights of the public to use navigable rivers in the state of Texas and an awareness of the rights of riparian landowners to be protected from trespass and other intrusions;

To foster an awareness and respect for the diverse natural waterway environments of Texas;

To promote a mutual respect between river users and landowners for each other's legal rights;

To educate its members and the public concerning conservation and preservation of Texas rivers and streams, and to perform such related educational services within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and its Regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.

To acquire property and/or easements that provide its members, and the public, access to Texas Rivers and streams.

 

Beyond that, there is some verbiage to insure that we come under all the rules of a 501 c-3 organization.

 

The bottom line is that our first goal is the protection of our rivers (which, given our name, makes a good bit of sense).  Next comes the issue of promoting safety and good stewardship.  Then a good bit of time is spent laying out our desire to protect both the rights of landowners and river users and to keep the peace, to the best of our ability, between these groups.

 

In this newsletter you will read of some of the many efforts of this group - from our cooperation with landowners on the Guadalupe River at Center Point (to fight a rockcrusher) to our efforts to control rowdy toobers on the San Marcos, to our efforts to maintain access at Hidalgo Falls, to the cleanups that we help sponsor.  We hope these efforts prove that we are doing our best to fulfill our purposes.

 

Tom Goynes

President

 

TRPA Financial Report 2006

 

Beginning Balance, 1/1/06                                               $20,971.67

Less $ Earmarked for Hidalgo Falls, 1/1/06                         3,687.78

Less $Earmarked for Susie Brown 1/1/06                              563.00

Money available for general fund 1/1/06                          $16,720.89

Plus ending balance of Hidalgo fund                                  13,722.38

Plus ending balance Rockcrusher fund                                7,291.63

Plus contributions received for general fund                         8,837.83

Plus interest received year to date                                         198.45

   Subtotal                                                                      $46,771.18

 

Less General Expenses:

   Money transferred to Hidalgo                   $2,000.00

   Money transferred to Rockcrusher             2,500.00

   Money transferred to Susie Brown                  90.00

   Brazos River Instream Flow Study              3,000.00

   Hog Creek Legal Brief                                 650.00

   River Clean ups                                           551.52

   Newsletter                                                   165.40    

   Postage                                                       328.89                

   Office supplies                                               50.19

   Printing                                                           7.80

            Total expenses general fund                                 $9,343.80

Total money available                                                     $37,427.38

   (bank accounts $37,356.87 plus $70.51 cash)

 

Less $ earmarked for Hidalgo Falls 12/31/06                     13,722.38

Less $ earmarked for Rockcrusher 12/31/06                       7,291.63

 

Total $ available general fund 2/28/06                              $16,413.37

  

Hidalgo Falls Fund 2006

Money earmarked for Hidalgo Falls 1/1/06                        $3,687.78

Contributions received for Hidalgo Falls                              9,017.53

Money transferred to Hidalgo from General                        2,000.00

Total money available                                                     $14,705.31

 

Less Expenses:

   Property Taxes (for 2005)                                    $442.96

   Property Taxes (for 2006)                                     468.92

   Electricity                                                               39.05

   Office (checks - Bank of America)                          32.00

  

            Total expenses                                                       $982.93

Total money available 2/28/06                                         $13,722.38

 

Susie Brown fund 2006

This is a fund that was established in 2005 to remember Susie Brown. 

The money was used for the purchase of trees for the Rio Vista project.

 

Money at start of 2006                                $563.00

Contributions received                                  547.00

Money from general fund                               90.00

 

Total Money available                              $1,200.00

Amount spent on trees                               1,200.00

 

Balance 12/31/06                                           $0

 

Center Point Rockcrusher fund 2006

 

Beginning Balance, 1/1/06                              $0

Total Donations                                         7,610.00

Money transferred from General Fund        2,500.00

 

Total money available                               10,110.00

 

Less Legal expenses                                  2,818.37

Ending balance 12/31/06                             7,291.63

 

How the money was spent...

 

says a lot about the kind of organization we are and how well we are following our goals.  First of all, we transferred $2000 out of our general fund to the Hidalgo Falls fund.  Over the past few years paddlers from all over Texas along with this organization have spent approximately $100,000 for property and improvements at Hidalgo Falls on the Brazos River near Navasota.  These falls are the closest whitewater to the City of Houston, and are also convenient to paddlers in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Ft. Worth.  Through the purchase of this land, access to this special place has been protected, and the property itself will be kept in as natural and pristine condition as possible.  Furthermore, by owning land on the Brazos, TRPA has standing if a water quality or water rights issue arises.  This allows us to not only protect the river, but also to protect our access to it.  That fulfills two of our goals.

 

We also contributed $2500 from our general fund to oppose an air quality permit for a rockcrusher that has been built on the banks of the Guadalupe River at Center Point.  This rockcrusher and gravel pit is in very close proximity to the many residences as well as the school.  Gravel operations and rockcrushers are ruining this section of the beautiful Guadalupe River and it is our hope to stop this one.  Once again, this fulfills our goal of river protection.

 

We paid legal fees of $650 to file a friend of the court brief in a case that questioned the rights of the public to use navigable waterways.  The judge cited several points in this brief in affirming the right of navigation.  This fulfills our purpose of protecting the public's right to use navigable waterways.

 

We contributed $3000 for an instream flow study on the Brazos River.  This study will help set minimum streamflows to keep the Brazos River alive and well.  We spent $550 for river clean ups and had members volunteer to clean the San Marcos, the Brazos, the Medina, the Guadalupe, the Trinity and other streams and lakes in Texas.  And we contributed $90 to the Susie Brown fund, which was spent for the beautification of Rio Vista Falls.

 

In addition to making contributions from the general fund to these causes, we maintained several special funds: the Hidalgo Falls Fund, the Susie Brown Fund and the Rockcrusher Fund to make it possible for people to contribute directly to the cause(s) that they most desire to support.

 

All in all, it was a very good year in the sense that we spent our money toward the purposes that we espouse.         

 

San Marcos River Clean Up

22nd Annual - March 3, 2007

On Saturday, March 3, 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).

BANK CREWS

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.

RECREATIONAL PADDLERS

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 http://spencercanoes.net/or at Pecan Park Retreat http://www.pecanparkretreat.com/ for the weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening there will be a meal 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 paddling the sections of river between Pecan Park Retreat and Luling at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Spencer Canoes. Canoe racers paddling the lower river will meet at Palmetto Park at 8:30 a.m. Contact Ginsie Stauss for more info: mailto:ginsie@io.com 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    e-mail: mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

 

RIVER SECTION LISTINGS

1 San Marcos City Park to Thompson's Island (2 miles)  Contact Tom Goynes at 512-392-6171                                                                                                                             mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

2 Thompson's Island to Pecan Park Retreat (3.5 miles)               

3 Pecan Park Retreat to Spencer Canoes (6 mi.)                         Contact Houston Canoe Club: John and Ann Olden                                                                                                         mailto:aolden@ix.netcom.com

4 Spencer Canoes to Staples - Hwy 1977 (5 miles)          Contact Jeff Pine at 512-443-2870  mailto:txpine@swbell.net

5 Staples to Fentress - Hwy 20 (9 miles)                                     Contact Austin Paddling Club: Jeff Bauknecht at:                                                                                                            512-303-3959  mailto:2paddles@austin.rr.com  

6 Fentress to Stairtown (7miles)                                     Contact Susan Eda at: mailto:susaneda@mac.com

7 Stairtown to Luling - Hwy 90 (6.5miles)                       Contact Tom Goynes at 512-392-6171                                                                                                                            mailto:goynes@centurytel.net

8 Hwy 90 to Luling City Park (6 mi.)                                                      "

9 Luling City Park to Palmetto State Park (14.4 mi.)        Contact Texas Canoe Racing Association: Ginsie at:                               10 Palmetto State Park to Gonzales Hwy 90A (14.8 miles)mailto:ginsie@io.com

11 Gonzales 90A to Gonzales 183 (10 mi.)                                                                      "

                                                                           

 

 

 

TRPA Annual Meeting

On Sunday, March 4 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).

 

To get to Pecan Park Retreat: 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/

 

 

                                                 

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4th Annual Brazos River Cleanup - Saturday, April 14, 2007

Meet at Tres Rios Campground at 9:00 A.M. 2322 County Road 312; Glen Rose, TX  76043 

 

*Complimentary Ranch House BBQ dinner after cleanup - 1:30-5:00 pm

*Free canoes and shuttles provided by Low Water Canoes and Rhodes Canoes

*Complimentary camping at Tres Rios 4/13 - 4/15.

Cabins available. Call Tres Rios for info 254-897-4253

 

Contact Ed Lowe: mailto:twtedlowe@sbcglobal.net wk: 214-358-0612, cell: 214-802-6811 http://www.friendsofthebrazos.org/

 

 

Seventh Annual Medina River Cleanup: May 5, 2007

Register: 9-12 a.m. at Bandera City Park
Maple St. and Hwy. 173 at the Medina River Dam
Free barbecue: 5-7 p.m. with entertainment                                                                                                                                    Awards for Trash: 6 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                        Free t-shirts for all participants                                                                                                                                                                   Free camping: May 4 and 5 at the Bandera City Park and at Pioneer River Resorts (across 173 from the park). PRR  is offering free showers. RV sites are available to river cleanup participants at Pioneer for $10 per vehicle, To reserve a spot, call 866-371-3751 or 830-796-3751 or email Linda or Lloyd Randall at pioneerrr@sbcglobal.net.

For questions about the cleanup, write to Bob Brischetto at brischetto@wireweb.net. For more information, visit the Medina River Protection site: http://www.medinariver.net/

 

Life Along The Colorado River

By Bob Heinsohn

 

My interest in the Colorado River began back in the mid 1950's while working on my parents’ farm located on the Colorado River in Fayette County. I fished in the river during the summers and hunted along its banks throughout the year. I purchased my first canoe in 1989. Soon thereafter, a Houston friend, Millie Lehrmann, and I started taking camping trips on the river. Trips of different sections of the river were taken during the following years from Town Lake Dam in Austin to the River Bend boat ramp past the town of Matagorda. On the 120-mile section from Columbus to Matagorda, which was paddled in five days, we saw bald eagles and alligators, as well as a variety of flora and fauna.

 

A paddling trip was also taken from Highway 190 to Bend, Texas, and another one, which was taken from Highway 190 to Colorado Bend State Park, was traveled in record time during a flood stage. I have paddled some sections of the river numerous times, especially the part traveled by the Alamo City Rivermen on their Freeze Trip in January.

 

Paddling the river and tent camping are only part of the fun on the river. When a person takes his time paddling, he can find fossilized oysters and bones from prehistoric animals, Indian artifacts, antique items, rustic bricks, petrified wood of various sizes, mineralized rocks, pieces of coal, odd-shaped iron-ore pieces, fossil rocks, animal skulls and driftwood. Man-made items that have been found are bowling balls, a Boy Scout mess kit, a crude boat anchor and a railroad crane hook with an attached frayed metal cable.

 

Property owners along the river have lost and gained land slowly after many decades of floods. Some landowners, who have developed their riverbank into a "beach" with few or no trees, have lost considerable property to the power of the river. They forgot that the roots of trees and other vegetation on the riverbank keep the soil stationary and prevent erosion. Some owners have their homes and outbuildings too close to the river’s edge, which really can be a problem on an outside bend. The worst example of this practice can be seen below Smithville where approximately 20 feet of a house is hanging out over the river due to erosion underneath its foundation. The Colorado still has a few scattered cypress trees along its banks, although there no longer is an abundance of these trees, because cypress tree lumber was prolifically used for building houses and picket fences in earlier times.

 

During flooding, items are washed into the river from litter on the streets to lost items in creeks, as well as from dumping sites used for temporary erosion control. Years ago, a large number of used tires were dumped during a flood stage and came to rest high on a sandbar on the inside bend below Highway 59 at Wharton. In November of 2004 during a flood, massive amounts of trash were evident in the river below La Grange. There are also places where sand or gravel has accumulated in large amounts in the riverbed, having been caused by erosion on the banks from sand and gravel mining, resulting in the movement of silt downstream.

 

All Texas Rivers need to be environmentally protected for future generations to enjoy. Whether boating, fishing or enjoying the wildlife and quiet scenes along the rivers, everyone deserves clear and clean water for their leisure activities.

 

                                    

 

 

SPRINGS FEST– A San Marcos River Paddling Festival

March 30 – April 1, 2007 at Rio Vista Falls Park San Marcos, TX

For more information:

                                                http://www.redriverracing.org/springsfest.htm

 

Hidalgo Falls River Festival

Saturday & Sunday, April 14 & 15

The sixth annual Hidalgo Falls River Festival will be held April 14-15, 2007 at the TRPA Hidalgo Falls property on the Brazos River near Navasota. The festival, which is the year’s major fund-raising event to maintain and improve paddlers’ access to the rapid, attracted more than 250 paddlers and spectators last year. Dealer reps and outfitters will have boats and gear available for demos on moving water, and (based on past years) many boaters will come as early as Friday to enjoy the nice play levels on the river and to camp in the upstream and downstream campgrounds.

 

Events will include a 28-mile downriver race from Koppe Bridge Landing south of College Station to Hidalgo on Saturday morning, a "Boatercross" head-to-head elimination race through the rapids late Saturday afternoon, a concert by Austin-based recording artist David Garza on Saturday night (with an auction during intermission). On Sunday there will be a whitewater giant slalom race through the islands in the Falls, a whitewater rodeo, and a more leisurely 3.5-mile float trip from Hidalgo to Hwy 105. During the downriver race on Saturday, festival goers can demo different kinds of boats, watch paddling videos, and play in the rapids. The festival admission fee is $12 for the entire weekend; children under 12 are admitted free. Registration for the TCRA downriver race on Saturday costs $20 before March 23; after that date registration is $25. The registration fee includes admission to the festival site, camping, opportunities to try out different boats and gear, and the concert on Saturday night. Saturday’s downriver racers will be treated to a “hospitality” hour as they await the results of the race.

 

Directions:  http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/location.html

 

During the festival we will meet visitors at the gate (which is normally locked). Information about the location of Hidalgo Falls, TRPA ownership, pictures, etc. can be found at the HF website: http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/hf-fest6.html

Free primitive camping is available at the TRPA property (limited toilet and water facilities available). For information on Navasota motels, contact Steve Daniel at  mailto:sdaniel@philosophy.tamu.edu

 

River Re Creation

Recently I was asked to speak at an outdoor leadership conference at Texas State University regarding river recreation.  In preparing my remarks, I decided it would be worthwhile to begin by defining the term "recreation", so I went to my handy Webster's.  Here's the definition for recreate: (L. recreatus, pp. of recreare, to restore, refresh, create anew; see RE- & CREATE) to put fresh life into; refresh or restore in body and mind, esp. after work, by play, amusement, or relaxation.

 

Now the obvious thing for us to do is to assume (as we often do) that it is all about us; that this new life is what the river puts into us - that we are the ones being re created.  But what if it's a two way street?  What if, in addition to the river re creating us, we are to put some energy into re creating the river?  To paraphrase JFK, what if we should not simply ask what the river can do for us, but what we can do for the river?

 

One reason I like this concept (that river re creation must involve restoring the resource - or at least, not destroying it) is that it prevents a trash-throwing toober or an off road vehicle enthusiast (who likes to drive down riverbeds) from claiming that they, like we, are river recreationists.  Their activity destroys the resource, while the conscientious canoeist or kayaker (especially the one who restores the river by picking up trash or fighting a rockcrusher) is truly involved in restoring or re creating the resource.

 

So get out there and enjoy your rivers.  Get out there and let those rivers restore you.  But be sure that you do no harm.  And even better, spend some time making those rivers better than you found them.  Spend some time recreating. 

 

LOWER CANYONS NEWS

Stillman Dudley Harrison of Sanderson passed away on Saturday, November 25, 2006, at his home in Sanderson after a lengthy and courageous battle against cancer.  Dudley was the Dryden Crossing Take Out Owner who allowed us to shuttle vehicles from and to his take out for years.  A fund has been established in his name for persons wishing to donate toward the restoration of the Rio Grande.  The address is:  Rio Grande Wild and Scenic Foundation, Big Bend Natural History Association, PO Box 129, Big Bend, TX 79834. Mark Donations: In Memory of Dudley Harrison.

 

Anyone wishing to make reservations for a vehicle take out at Dryden Crossing, contact the following: Jon Tom Lowrance, C/O Harrison Ranch, PO Box 86, Sanderson, TX 79848; 432-345-3300.

 

Lower Canyons Wild and Scenic River Section Trippers: According to River Ranger, Marcos Paredes, there are new alternate campsites available at two locations: (1) Alternate for Hot Springs Rapids: Asa Jones Campsite Downstream Left Side of River; (2) Upper Madison Falls: Campsites now available on Both Sides of the river. Special thanks to Marcos Paredes, for the updated information.  his email:  mailto:Marcos_Paredes@nps.gov

ARE YOUR DUES DUE???????

Everyone will be getting a hard  copy of this email in the mail next week.  Please look at the mailing label and check your dues due date.  Thanks!!!  Hope to see you on a river somewhere.

 

 

You can print the following application to renew your dues or go to the TRPA website and renew by paypal:

http://www.txrivers.org/  (If your info has not changed, you do not have to fill out the form, just mark your

desired membership level and any merchandise that you want and put your check in the mail.) 

Thank you for your support.

 

Texas Rivers Protection Association Membership Application

To join, or renew your membership, fill out the information below and include a check for your dues.

 

Name   __________________________________    Hm Phone________________________       

Wk phone____________________

Street   ________________________City ____________________  State  ___________  Zip________

E-mail  _____________________________________________________________         

 

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 _______

 

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,XXL).

 

Protectors, Guardians, Rangers, Bronze, Silver and Gold members:

 

Please send the following:         

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

 

____ I would like to receive a new bumper sticker.

____No merchandise please                            

                                   

Earmarked Donation(s): Fill in an amount of money (in excess of your dues) that you would like earmarked for a special fund:

 

________ Hidalgo Falls Fund    

________ Center Point Rockcrusher Fund 

________ Other_________________