The state is considering adding more than 300 acres to the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area
northeast of Canadian. “We're in preliminary discussions on a couple of tracts of land that total 640 acres,” said Jim Suydam, a spokesman for the Texas General Land Office, which oversees the land.
The land is on either side of the Canadian River and has never been privately owned. A change in where surveyors drew lines marking public land made the property available for purchase.
“We want to purchase about 350 acres, depending on how much the adjoining land owner can afford,” said Corky Kuhlmann, a project manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “It'll be mostly river bottom with cottonwood and tall grass.”
The department's advisory commission will discuss the possible purchase at its Jan. 24 meeting and will take public comment on the move. There is a long process to follow if the state decides to move ahead since the property has never been officially delineated. A specialized surveyor will make field notes and take them back to the Land Office to apply for a land patent, Kuhlmann said. Then the office will appraise the property, The management area now is made up of 5,886 acres along the Canadian, according to information from Parks and Wildlife.
The department purchased the first parcels that would make up the area in 1950. It is home to a wide range of wildlife from bobwhite quail to Rio Grande turkey, lesser prairie-chicken, white-tailed deer, mule deer, coyotes and bobcats.—courtesy Amarillo Globe-News