By Davis                                       H.C.R. No. 125

      75R6534 EFD-D                           

                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

 1-1           WHEREAS, As testament to the fierce pride that Texans have in

 1-2     the vibrant history of this state, Texas citizens have placed many

 1-3     sites of profound historic significance in the public's care; and

 1-4           WHEREAS, In 1971, the state, through the Texas Parks and

 1-5     Wildlife Department, launched an ambitious program to develop and

 1-6     maintain existing historic sites and to acquire additional sites of

 1-7     outstanding heritage; and

 1-8           WHEREAS, Texas currently has 40 heritage sites that are

 1-9     designated as state historical parks, areas intended to preserve

1-10     the memory of historic events for the education of Texans and

1-11     visitors to the state; these sites are rich in cultural heritage

1-12     and beauty, and the thousands of people who visit them each year

1-13     bring both local and statewide economic benefits and increased

1-14     tourism across the state; and

1-15           WHEREAS, The agency that administers state historical parks

1-16     also oversees and maintains approximately 100 additional recreation

1-17     sites throughout Texas; due to the planning and financial

1-18     obligations that the parks and wildlife department has to the state

1-19     park system as a whole, historical parks currently suffer from

1-20     physical neglect and insufficient visitor accommodations; and

1-21           WHEREAS, In 1995, the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas

1-22     instructed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas

1-23     Historical Commission, both of whom have statutory duties

1-24     concerning state historical parks, to perform a joint exploration

 2-1     of the potential for upgrading these sites, including their

 2-2     possible transfer to the historical commission; and

 2-3           WHEREAS, The resulting study performed by KPMG Peat Marwick,

 2-4     L.L.P., confirmed the declining condition of these sites as well as

 2-5     deficiencies in staff expertise and agency support; despite these

 2-6     serious findings, the parks and wildlife department and the

 2-7     historical commission cannot agree on solutions to existing

 2-8     problems; now, therefore, be it

 2-9           RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas

2-10     direct the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to submit a report

2-11     to the legislature not later than May 1, 1997, detailing its plans

2-12     for improved stewardship, operation, and promotion of state

2-13     historical parks in accordance with the completed study; and, be it

2-14     further

2-15           RESOLVED, That copies of the report be delivered to the

2-16     lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives,

2-17     and the chairs of the senate and house standing committees with

2-18     jurisdictional oversight of the parks and wildlife department and

2-19     the historical commission; and, be it further

2-20           RESOLVED, That the secretary of state forward an official

2-21     copy of this resolution to the members of the Texas Parks and

2-22     Wildlife Commission and to the executive director of the Texas

2-23     Parks and Wildlife Department.