DriveDemocracy points to yet more indications that Texas Governor Rick Perry, despite his recent words, appears quite eager to dispose of whatever state park land he can get away with. The beneficiaries of the sell-off would, unsurprisingly, be residential real-estate developers.
This story comes from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
[I]n an e-mail obtained by the Star-Telegram, attorneys in the governor's office outlined a proposed auction that could have left only one-fourth of the property [400 acres of parkland in Tarrant county (Fort Worth)] as green space. Several sites would also have been set aside for natural gas exploration, according to the correspondence.
In a note dated May 30, parks Director Robert Cook reports on phone calls from the governor's attorneys in which they were requesting that a Parks and Wildlife Department attorney "come down to their office soon and assist in the development of a Request for Proposal for the sale of Eagle Mountain Lake."
Fortunately, Texans are starting to wake up:
Several area residents complained in separate e-mails that the parks department purchased the property more than 25 years ago, but it never developed it. They blamed the governor's office or the Texas Legislature for withholding funding from the department.
Others identified themselves as Republicans but warned they would not vote for the GOP governor unless the Eagle Mountain Lake property is preserved as park space. The governor's office released the correspondence after receiving a request under the Texas open records law.
"This is a very nice place to camp and fish and I strongly oppose the Governor's plan to sell the land [for] any development unless it is for a state park," wrote one Fort Worth resident.
"I am definitely against this ... sale, and you will hear my voice being expressed at the upcoming election," wrote another.
Many Texans obviously care about their parks.
After so many months posting about this subject, feeling isolated, it has been heartening to see support for our state park system become a significant issue in the current gubernatorial campaign in recent weeks.