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News Release
Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov

Jan. 31, 2011

Toyota Sponsorship Drives Benefits For Park Users, Hunters, Anglers

AUSTIN — A renewed commitment from longtime Texas conservation supporter Toyota will help make possible a wide range of public benefits for hunters and anglers, state park visitors, urban families, private land stewards and others who rely on Texas natural resources.

“In an increasingly urban state, where more and more adults and children are becoming disconnected from the natural world, Toyota’s support will help millions of people understand where and how to enjoy nature and the great outdoors,” said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director.

“For more than nine years Toyota has been a proud supporter of the conservation programs and recreational efforts of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,” said Katie Sarantakes Scallan, Gulf States Toyota marketing partnerships manager. “Through these programs, we are able to help improve the quality of outdoor experiences for Texans of all ages to enjoy throughout the state.”

Toyota provides support for hunters and fishermen through sponsorship of such programs as the Texas Fishing Report, which provides weekly reports on fishing conditions at dozens of lakes and bays. It also funds production of approximately 700,000 bag limit wallet cards which are handed out free to hunting and fishing license customers at the retail locations across the state. TPWD’s Hook N’ Bullet newsletter has also been printed with Toyota dollars and mailed and emailed to Super Combo holders and other hunting and fishing license buyers. The Toyota Sharelunker program is also made possible through a three-year sponsorship agreement where the automaker was selected in competitive bidding. This program encourages anglers to donate largemouth bass for a breeding program to stock bigger bass in Texas public waters.

For the millions of people who visit state parks every year, Toyota’s support provides underwriting to produce approximately 375,000 copies of the Texas State Park Guide. This free color booklet is a handy directory of the more than 90 state parks in Texas, including maps and other useful information to make trip planning easier. When visitors arrive at a state park, they’ll also find maps showing that park’s campsites and other facilities, courtesy of Toyota.

Reaching new audiences is another strategic value of the sponsorship. This year Toyota will be sponsoring TPWD’s official YouTube Channel, which brings the department’s long commitment to quality video programming into the social media era. Toyota dollars will also help the agency inform urban families about where they can enjoy spending time in the outdoors with their children. Toyota will also fund an online Spanish translation of the 2011/2012 Outdoor Annual hunting and fishing regulations booklet.

Beyond creating awareness, the sponsorship also provides critical funding for the Texas Outdoor Family program, which offers hundreds of workshops at state parks each year to teach families camping and basic outdoor skills.  Toyota also supports the Texas-National Archery in the Schools program, which has grown from 126 students in 13 schools when it debuted in 2006 to around 700 students, teachers and parents and 400 classroom educators at 200-plus schools across Texas today.

Toyota also supports the Lone Star Land Steward Awards, the department’s flagship effort to encourage private land stewardship and help urban audiences understand how rural habitat conservation benefits people, wildlife, and water resources. The sponsorship also will help promote TPWD’s conservation license plates, which generate funds for wildlife and fisheries research and management, state park sites and programs, and public access to the outdoors.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), a Professional Anglers Association-sanctioned event that returns to Lake Conroe Oct. 28 -30, 2011, is another effort benefiting anglers and natural resources. Now entering its fifth year, the event has resulted in $1 million in contributions to TPWD projects that include the Neighborhood Fishin’ program providing close-to-home fishing at urban ponds and lakes in cities across Texas; the Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest in Texas which uses art to engage students in the outdoors and conservation; and several other fishing initiatives.

Gulf States Toyota, the privately held distributor for Texas and four surrounding states, in concert with Toyota Motor Sales USA, has been a longtime and major sponsor of Texas Parks and Wildlife since signing its first sponsorship agreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in 2002. The automaker is also recognized as the “Official Vehicle of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.”

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is the official non-profit funding partner for TPWD. Since 1991 it has been bringing together companies, corporations, communities and individuals to successfully raise more than $70 million benefiting a wide variety of conservation projects. The foundation preserves Texas treasures like Chinati Mountains and the Playa Lakes of the Panhandle. It supports facilities, such as the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, which house programs important to wildlife preservation and study. The foundation plays an essential role in conservation education, with scholarship opportunities, internships, and outdoor activities for children.

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