Lake Texoma

Because Life is Better at the Lake

"CLO v Pointe Vista" Settlement Stalled

by
The Lake Texoma Messenger
I began investigating the privatization of Lake Texoma State Park just over five years ago. I founded the Friends of Lake Texoma State Park and we got the Corps of Engineers to require a full EIS on the additional 1,022 acres of federal land which the Tourism Department is attempting to broker on behalf of Pointe Vista Development. WE raise the question to the Governor and Tourism Secretary Snodgrass: How do you plan on effecting the transfer of these park lands since you abandoned the federal Environmental Impact Statement in late 2011 without notifying either the press or the public stakeholders?




Almost seven months ago, the local newspapers reported incorrectly that the "CLO, PVD Settle Lawsuit." The headlines made it clear from Governor Fallin's press release that the law suit was settled.


In reality, the state's lawsuit against Pointe Vista was not settled. It was never formally completed and submitted to the Oklahoma County District Court. It hasn't received the court's approval. And it still may not.


So, the settlement discussions continue behind closed doors. Based on the terms announced last September, it appears that Governor Fallin and the land commission support the continued liquidation of Lake Texoma State Park.


Pointe Vista recently announced "the introduction of four new holes with scenic vistas of the Lake Texoma area." Tourism officials announced in 2005 that any conversion of Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course would be a violation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act, unless replacement recreational park land was first approved.


The National Park Service has refused to approve the Tourism Department's private conversion of Areas A and B, 758 acres sold to Pointe Vista in 2008. It is highly unlikely that they are going to approve the sale and conversion of the rest of Lake Texoma State Park.


There is no federal environmental approval for the conversion of Lake Texoma State Park. And yet, there are plenty of folks working behind closed doors to keep this park land privatized.


Who are these people so intent on keeping our park after such a public admission by Pointe Vista that they should be released from their development contract?


Who among our elected representatives are working behind the scenes to make sure the so-called "Pointe Vista Settlement Agreement" is rejected?


If the governor is prepared to release Pointe Vista from their development contract, then there is no reason to leave Pointe Vista owning Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course or any other part of Lake Texoma State Park. They had six years to demonstrate their lack of good faith and experience.


The problem goes beyond the lack of transparency and honesty by Governor Fallin. It is not a matter of an overdue "Settlement Agreement." The question is whether they are going through with a corrupt agreement which rewards the failed developer by letting them keep over 700 acres of our federally protected park land.


The problem is that Governor Fallin and the Commissioners of the Land Office falsely announced it as a done deal in the first place. This is the nature of public relations campaigns. Their goal is to shape the public perception of an issue, regardless of the truth.


Thank you for letting me set the record straight!




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