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Texas lawmaker introduces bill to reopen closed state park

State Sen. Charles Schwertner filed SB 1656 in hopes of saving Fairfield Lake State Park, which closed so developers can build multimillion-dollar homes.

AUSTIN, Texas — State Sen. Charles Schwertner has filed Senate Bill 1656 to try to save Fairfield Lake State Park, nearly a week after it was permanently closed.

Feb. 28 was the last day the public could visit the state park, located 90 miles southeast of Dallas.  

The bill would allow Texas Parks and Wildlife to purchase Fairfield Lake State Park for continued public use.

According to a news release from Schwertner's office, he filed the bill to protect the park and its natural resources from a planned gated community development. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife had leased the land for the past 50 years.

Last week, environmentalists took to the State Capitol to call on lawmakers to help save the park.

“The permanent closure of Fairfield Lake State Park is a tremendous and heartbreaking loss for the many visitors who enjoy boating, horseback riding and hiking in this beautiful space,” Schwertner said. “Importantly, the park’s impending development will forever compromise our state’s precious land, water and wildlife. Protecting the public’s interest in Fairfield is a top priority of mine this legislative session.”

The release also stated, "Sen. Schwertner continues to work with numerous allies in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives to preserve Fairfield, including the House bill author Rep. Angelia Orr (R-Itasca). He also remains engaged with TPWD, which identified funding to purchase the park. Sen. Schwertner encourages Texans to email his Capitol office to share memories of time spent at Fairfield Lake State Park."

Read the entire release below:

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