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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-01-31                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Jan. 31, 2005
TPWD Seeks Public Comment About Proposed Regulation Changes
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is considering altering hunting and fishing regulations that could increase opportunity and simplify rules.
TPWD staff briefed the Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Jan. 26, about a series of issues that could result in changes to hunting and fishing regulations next season. Each year, TPWD considers changes in hunting and fishing regulations to achieve resource management objectives and maximize outdoor recreation opportunities consistent with good stewardship.
Among the most prominent proposals being considered continuing of special buck deer harvest regulations in six- Post Oak Savannah counties. Based on findings from a 3-year experiment in those counties, biologists believe the restrictions are helping create a healthy deer population.
According to the proposed regulations, hunters in the affected counties could harvest a buck only if it meets the following prerequisites:
--A deer having a hardened antler protruding through the skin and at least one unbranched antler or:
--A deer having an inside spread measurement between the main beams of 13 inches or greater.
For the 2005-06 hunting season, TPWD is proposing to add a second buck to the bag limit in counties with the special antler restrictions with one buck tag reserved for harvesting a deer with at least one unbranched antler. This alteration addresses biological concerns about inadvertently protecting spike bucks, according to Mitch Lockwood, TPWD White-tailed Deer program leader.
Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Lavaca, Lee and Washington counties would operate according to the buck antler restrictions and the proposal would also expand the coverage to 15 additional surrounding counties with similar deer population issues. The new counties being considered for the 2005-2006 season are Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, DeWitt, Fort Bend, Goliad, Gonzalez, Guadalupe, Karnes, Jackson, Wilson, Matagorda, Victoria, Waller and Wharton.
Following is a summary of proposed changes:
Proposed Hunting Regulation Changes
White-Tailed Deer
--Consolidation of doe day categories. Currently, TPWD offers seven different sets of doe day combinations, including no days, four days, nine days, 16 days, 23 days, 23-plus days and full season. Wildlife biologists are suggesting consolidating doe days in 36 counties and cutting the options back to no days, four days, 16 days, 23-plus days or full season doe hunting. They also are looking at eliminating doe-day restrictions in 33 counties, mostly in the Panhandle.
--Simplifying the aggregate buck-bag restriction in one-buck and two-buck counties. This proposal would consolidate all of the one-buck counties into one zone, which would allow hunters to take a buck in three different one-buck-only counties or they could hunt in multiple two-buck counties, provided they do not exceed the county bag limit or take more than three bucks in all the two-buck counties combined.
--Creation of an appeals process for deer permit programs.
--Prohibition of hunting by remote control. This issue centers on the use of Internet technology as it relates to the taking of game animals and game birds.
--Removal of Hunt and Washington counties from the list of counties where the use of dogs to trail wounded deer is prohibited.
Mule Deer
--Extend Managed Lands Deer Permit program to include mule deer. This proposal would allow landowners under an approved wildlife management plan to enter voluntarily in a habitat-based permit program, which would allow greater flexibility in managing mule deer harvest. With this proposal, permit holders could hunt from the first Saturday in November through the first Sunday in January.
Turkey
--Several proposals that would consolidate and standardize turkey hunting regulations, including: standardizing the spring season length in the eastern and western halves of the state; standardizing the season length and bag composition for fall turkey seasons; and implementing youth-only spring turkey seasons for Rio Grande turkey.
--TPWD is also looking at the possibility of opening fall and spring seasons for Rio Grande turkey in Cameron and Zapata counties.
Lesser Prairie Chicken
--A proactive measure to address long-term habitat loss impacting lesser prairie chicken populations incorporated a two-phase proposal that would close hunting season statewide, and create a limited harvest option for properties with a wildlife management plan for Lesser Prairie Chickens. Managed properties would have a harvest quota.
Proposed Fishing Regulation Changes
Lake Nasworthy (Tom Green County)
--Fisheries biologists are looking into changing harvest regulations for red drum from the current 20-inch minimum length limit and daily bag limit of three fish, to no length and no bag limit to allow for maximized harvest of red drum. TPWD will not be managing red drum at Lake Nasworthy due to the shutting down of the power plant facility there, which will likely result in water temperatures being too low to maintain red drum.
North and South Arms of the Concho River (Tom Green County)
--Define waters (North Concho from O.C. Fisher Dam to Bell Street Dam and South Concho from Lone Wolf Dam to Bell Street Dam) that are covered by special regulations for blue and channel catfish (no minimum length limit and pole and line only angling) and where statewide regulations (12-inch minimum length limit and no gear restrictions) are in effect (South Concho above Lone Wolf dam)
Toledo Bend Reservoir
--Remove 12-inch minimum length limit for spotted bass. Limit will be the same as statewide limit (no minimum).
Proposed Coastal Fishing Regulation Changes
--Because of concerns about vulnerability to over-harvest of certain live mollusks and other inter-tidal species along the Texas coast, TPWD may establish a closed season along a small area of South Padre Island including the Brazos Santiago Pass and running on the bayward side of the island to Marisol Drive from Nov. 1 through April 30. The closure would protect species such as hermit crabs, starfish, sea urchins and periwinkles. The proposal would also establish a daily bag limit of 15 univalve snails in aggregate and no more than two each in the daily bag of lightening whelk, horse conch, Florida fighting conch, pear whelk, banded tulip and Florida rocksnail.
Public comment about these issues and others of interest may be made to TPWD, Regulatory Proposals Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Road, 78744, by phoning (800) 792-1112 or by visiting the Web (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/).
TPWD Public Hearing Schedule -- All Meetings Begin at 7 p.m.
Date	City	Location
March 9	Sherman	County Courthouse, West Courtroom, 2nd floor, 100 W. Houston St.
March 9	Seguin	Seguin Court House, 101 E. Court St.
March 9	Alpine	School Auditorium, AISD Administration Building, 704 West Sul Ross Ave.
March 10	Paris	County Courthouse, 231 Lamar Ave.
March 10	Hempstead	County Road & Bridge, 775 Business 290
March 10	Van Horn	Van Horn Community Center, 400 Jones St.
March 14	Nacogdoches	101 W. Main, District Court Room
March 14	Pampa	218 N. Russell, Gray County Courthouse
March 14	LaGrange	La Grange Fire Hall, 155 E. Colorado
March 14	Wichita Falls	NW Texas Field & Stream Assoc. 2005 SW Pkwy.
March 15	Childress	Childress County Courthouse, Commisioner's Courtroom, 100 Ave. E NW
March 15	Jefferson	County Courthouse Annex, 114 W. Austin St. Room 210
March 16	Southlake	City of Southlake Office Bldg. 3rd Floor Training Room, 1400 Main St.
March 16	New Boston	County Courthouse, Central Jury Room, 1710 Bowie Dr.
March 16	Aspermont	Courthouse Community Meeting Room, Hwy 83
March 16	Victoria	Patti Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro
March 17	San Angelo	Angelo State University M.I.R. Center, 7945 Grape Creek Rd.
March 17	Lampasas	County Courthouse, Dist Court Room
March 17	Dalhart	Dallum County Courthouse, 2nd Floor, 414 Denver
March 21	Port Isabel	Community Center, 213 Yturria
March 21	Plains	Plains Community Building
March 21	Sulphur Springs	County Courthouse, 118 Church St.
March 21	Dickinson	Dickinson TPWD 1502 FM 517 East
March 21	Ft. Stockton	Small Community Bldg. 109 Rooney St.
March 22	Kennedy	303 W. Main, Kennedy City Hall Auditorium
March 22	Kerrville	700 Main, Kerr County Courthouse, Court Room 2
March 22	Andrews	Courthouse Annex, 215 NW 1st St.
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Jan. 31, 2005
TPWD Looking at Potential Expansion of Buck Restrictions
AUSTIN, Texas -- Experimental buck deer harvest regulations in six- Post Oak Savannah counties are helping create a healthy deer population, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists and affected landowners and hunters. Harvest pressure of young bucks has decreased significantly during the past 3 years, and the increase in mature bucks available for harvest has pleased many hunters.
With such promising results, hunters and landowners in other areas of the state are showing interest in such an antler-restriction regulation. TPWD Big Game Program director Clayton Wolf said the department isn't ready to make additional commitments without knowledge of public sentiment, but the results of this experiment are encouraging.
"If we assume the antler restrictions are an option on a regulatory basis (at a county or regional level), our next step would be looking at other parts of the state," he noted. "We have data on harvest pressure and there are obviously areas that are getting hit hard, but we'd also like to get a handle on public sentiment."
During February and March, TPWD biologists will be canvassing the public in 34 counties for input about buck antler restrictions.
One area of the state where this type of strategy could be beneficial, Wolf said, is the Pineywoods because of the intense hunting pressure on bucks. Parts of the Hill Country could also be a possibility. At the same time, however, TPWD biologists recognize the uniqueness of land ownership and cooperative management practices that paved the way in the original six counties may not translate elsewhere.
According to antler restrictions, hunters in the affected counties could harvest a buck only if it meets the following criteria:
--A deer having a hardened antler protruding through the skin and at least one unbranched antler or:
--A deer having an inside spread measurement between the main beams of 13 inches or more.
TPWD is proposing to add a second buck to the bag limit in counties with the special antler restrictions, with one buck tag reserved for harvesting a deer with at least one unbranched antler. This alteration addresses biological concerns about inadvertently protecting spike bucks, according to Mitch Lockwood, TPWD White-tailed Deer program leader.
"The percentage of spike bucks taken during the last three seasons in these (experimental) counties has been dropping and is historically low in all one buck counties," he said. "This is a chance to increase hunter harvest opportunity while minimizing the risk of high-grading."
The regulations are designed to address intense hunting pressure on buck deer, particularly young bucks. The theory, according to Bob Carroll, a TPWD biologist in LaGrange who helped orchestrate the plan, is that by allowing more deer to mature, land managers can create a more balanced herd and higher quality hunting opportunity in future years.
During the 10 years before the experimental regulations, only about 20 percent of the bucks taken by hunters in those six counties were 3.5 years old or older. More than half were taken out of the herd as yearlings, according to TPWD records. During 2004-05, the third year of the experimental antler-restriction regulation, more than 70 percent of the buck harvest consisted of bucks 3.5 years old or older.
Biologists and game wardens have knowledge of just a small percentage of bucks that have been taken illegally in the six counties during the experiment and a majority of those were within an inch of the minimum inside spread.
"From the reports I've seen, hunters like the idea of doing something about the quality of the bucks they have an opportunity to harvest," noted Col. James Stinebaugh, TPWD law enforcement division director. "I would say that the new restrictions have been successful with a minimum of problems in enforcement."
"Most of the comments that we have received from hunters have been positive," said Carroll. "We have a better relationship with the public in these counties than we have had in my 36 years of service with TPWD."
David Zapalac's Fayette County property along the Colorado River has been in his family for more than 100 years. He's seen how land fragmentation has put more hunting pressure on the deer. He's also seen how a cooperative like the Colorado River Wildlife Management Association, with its 125 members covering 8,000-10,000 acres can make a difference.
"Because of the small tracts of land you never saw any deer with any horns of size," says Zapalac. "In our cooperative, we've got a lot of land tracts of 40-60 acres, but the common goal among all of us is to improve the bucks. During the last couple of years, because of these regulations, we see some deer with some age and some size. Nobody wants to shoot the little bucks, peer pressure in the co-ops has helped that."
"Finding that kind of grassroots support may be tough to duplicate," Wolf says.
"Are other hunters willing to deal with that extra level of complexity in the regulations to get the product they're asking for?" he asked. "If they say that's what they want because it will improve their hunting and see it as a price they're willing to pay to get older age structure in the herd, then we'll listen."
The department is looking at the following counties as possible areas where similar restrictions could be beneficial to the health of the deer herd:
--District 3 -- Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton and Somervell.
--District 4 -- Bell, Coryell, Lampasas, and Williamson.
--District 5 -- Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Red River, Titus, and Wood.
--District 6 -- Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Houston, Marion, Morris, Nacodoches, Panola, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Upshur.
The public is encouraged to attend any of the following scoping meetings to learn more about the special buck regulations. All meetings are set for 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Public input can also be made to Mitch Lockwood, TPWD White-tailed Deer Program Leader, 309 Sindney Baker South, Kerrville, TX 78028 or by e-mail to mitch.lockwood@tpwd.texas.gov.
Buck Antler Regulations Public Scoping Meeting Locations
Cross Timbers/District 3
--Bosque County -- Feb. 14, Clifton Civic Center, 403 West 3rd St., Clifton
--Somervell County -- Feb. 15, Somervell County Senior Service Center, 209 S. W. Barnard, Glen Rose
--Eastland County -- Feb. 28, Eastland High School Cafeteria, Eastland
--Hamilton County -- March 1, Hamilton High School Auditorium, Hamilton
--Erath County -- March 2 (tentative), Tarleton State University, Stephenville
--Comanche County -- March 3, Comanche High School Cafeteria, Comanche
Edwards Plateau/District 4 *
--Bell County -- March 1, Bell County Annex, Building C, 550 E 2nd Avenue, Belton, TX
--Coryell County -- February 28, Coryell County Courthouse, District Courtroom, Gatesville, TX
--Lampasas County -- March 2, Lampasas County Courthouse, District Courtroom, Lampasas, TX
--Williamson County -- March 7, Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, Lake Georgetown, 500 Cedar Breaks Rd., Georgetown, TX
Post Oak/District 5
--Delta County -- Feb.16, Delta County Community Center, 221 East Bonham St., Cooper
--Fannin County -- March 3, Fannin County Courthouse South Annex, 210 South Main St., Bonham
--Franklin County -- Feb. 17, Franklin County Airport, 2138 CR NW 1030, Mt. Vernon
--Hopkins County -- Feb. 15, Hopkins County Civic Center, 1200 Houston St., Sulphur Springs
--Lamar County -- Feb. 24, Lamar County Fairgrounds, Community Exhibit Building, Paris
--Red River County -- Feb. 22, American Legion Building, 1701 East Main St., Clarksville
--Titus County -- March 1, Texas Agricultural Extension Office, 1708 Industrial Road, Mt. Pleasant, TX
--Wood County -- Feb. 18, Wood County Justice Center, 402 Stephens St., Quitman
Pineywoods/District 6
--Bowie County -- Feb. 8, Bowie County Courthouse, Central Jury Room, 710 James Bowie, Drive, New Boston
--Cass County -- March 1, Cass County Courthouse, District Court Room -- 2nd Floor, Linden
--Cherokee County -- Feb. 8, Cherokee County Courthouse, First Floor Court Room, 502 N. Main, Rusk
--Gregg County -- March 1, Gregg County Court House, County Commissioners Court Room -- 3rd Floor, 101 East Methvin Street, Longview
--Harrison County -- Feb. 22, Harrison County Courthouse Annex, 102 West Houston, Marshall
--Houston County -- March 1, Houston County Courthouse, District Courtroom, 401 E. Houston Ave., Crockett
--Nacogdoches County -- Feb. 1, Texas Cooperative Extension Meeting Room, 101 W. Main, Suite 101, Nacogdoches, TX
--Panola County -- Feb. 15, Panola County Expo Center, Carthage, TX
--Rusk County -- Feb. 8, Rusk County Courthouse Annex, 212 N. Van Buren, Henderson
--San Augustine County -- Feb. 22, San Augustine County Courthouse, District Courtroom, San Augustine
* Correction, Feb. 3, 2005: The original version of this news release did not include these four meetings. (Return to corrected item.)
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Jan. 31, 2005
Process in Place To Suspend Coastal Fishing During Freeze
AUSTIN, Texas -The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has adopted rules to protect game fish in coastal waters in the event of a freeze.
According to Larry McKinney, Ph.D. and TPWD coastal fisheries division director, Texas has about two million acres of bays and estuaries that are susceptible to freezes. He said that there were three major freezes during the 1980s, including one in 1989 when the temperature at Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees, for example, and an estimated 11 million fish were killed. Historically, freezes along the Texas coast have occurred about every 15 years and TPWD is taking proactive steps to try and minimize the impact to the fishery.
In addition to killing game fish in shallow bay waters, a hard freeze can also cause surviving fish to congregate in a few deeper areas where they become sluggish and prone to capture.
The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years, according to McKinney. Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout.
The commission action authorizes the TPWD executive director to close areas affected by freeze events until the freeze event is over. The executive director would provide adequate notice to the public regarding the closing of affected areas and similarly publicize the reopening of those areas to fishing when the freeze condition has passed. These closures would be limited to the deeper areas where fish are known to congregate in freezes and would end as soon as possible.
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
Jan. 31, 2005
Redfish Bay Scientific Area Extension Proposed
ROCKPORT, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is planning a new approach to protect ecologically important seagrass beds in coastal bays from propeller-scarring by recreational boats. Scientists believe this propeller scaring is causing long-term damage in some areas.
"We're going to be seeking input from anglers, fishing guides, conservation organizations and others to develop a coast-wide approach to protect shallow-water seagrass in areas of high boat traffic," said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., and TPWD coastal fisheries director.
"We want to continue to emphasize boater and angler education to encourage voluntary seagrass conservation along the entire coast and generally get away from focusing on special areas. We will make use of our existing Seagrass Conservation Task Force and focus our activities in the Redfish Bay Scientific Area."
McKinney said the department is proposing to continue the Redfish Bay scientific area through 2010 and will be working with the task force in the spring to come up with any specific actions or changes to afford greater seagrass protection in the scientific area.
The department is not proposing to continue the Nine Mile Hole Scientific Area, mainly because it is located in a remote region and TPWD lacks the resources to properly monitor and study the area. McKinney emphasized that fisheries biologists are still talking with local groups to get their ideas on the future of Nine Mile Hole.
McKinney said the department prefers an approach that will focus on reducing direct impacts that destroy seagrass root structure and substrate (bay bottom) integrity. Evidence shows that these actions reduce the likelihood of seagrass recovery in areas where the bay bottom is scarred by motorboat propellers.
The current extension of the Redfish Bay Scientific area is being proposed as part of a legislatively-mandated rule review and is packaged with several other cleanup items in department regulations regarding fisheries. The proposed regulatory changes that would take effect sometime around June, if adopted. The department will publish proposals in the Texas Register and hold public meetings to solicit input before the TPW Commission votes to finalize these proposals at its April 7 meeting. Subsequent proposals dealing with seagrass will probably come in early summer, depending on the work and the progress of the department working with the task force.
Shallow-water seagrasses in Texas bays provide vital nursery areas for diverse marine life, food and cover for game fish, bottom stabilization, and better water quality. Seagrass has declined in many areas on the Texas coast. In Galveston Bay, 95 percent of all seagrass has disappeared. In the Redfish Bay area, the total acreage of seagrass has declined by 13 percent since 1958. The area marks the northernmost extent of one important species commonly known as turtlegrass. This species is particularly susceptible to propeller damage because of the long recovery time when damaged.
In 2000, a Seagrass Conservation Task Force made up of commercial and recreational anglers, local governments, homeowners, fishing guides, boat dealers and other business owners unanimously supported a plan to create restrictions on boating at Redfish Bay and Nine Mile Hole in the Lower Laguna Madre.
A study done in the 1990s by the Corpus Christi National Estuary Program found seagrasses declining, changing or fragmenting in areas with high boat traffic. TPWD and the seagrass task force concluded that scars from boat propellers contribute substantially to seagrass fragmentation and loss and may worsen bottom erosion. Prop scars are more common near popular fishing areas.
Anyone may receive a copy of the proposed extension of the scientific area designation for Redfish Bay by sending a written request by e-mail to jerry.cooke @tpwd.texas.gov or by regular mail to Jerry Cooke, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744. Anyone may comment about the proposed new rules by writing to the same addresses or by commenting online via the TPWD Web site.
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/involved/pubhear/
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[ Note: This item is more than nine years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ] [KE]
Jan. 31, 2005
TPW Commission Awards More Than $6 Million in Grants
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a total of $6,578,497 for two boat ramp grants, 11 local park grants and one indoor recreation project grant.
Below is the complete list of grants awarded, listed in alphabetical order by county and grouped by type of grant.
The State Boat Ramp Program was authorized in 1975 by the 64th Legislature. The program provides funds for the purchase, construction and maintenance of boat ramps, access roads and related improvements. Program funds may also be used for capital improvements to existing state boat ramp sites. The program receives funding from two sources: (1) The Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Wallop-Breaux Program, and (2) The State Game, Fish and Water Safety Fund. Fifteen percent of the State's annual apportionment from the federal Wallop-Breaux Program must be used to provide public access for motor boating facilities. Construction for new ramps is supported on a 75 percent (state) 25 percent (local) basis. The Department has recently appproved two applications for new ramp construction requesting $893,080 in matching fund assistance.
Brazoria County: The Village of Surfside Beach is requesting a 75 percent matching share grant in the amount of $500,000 for construction of a 3-lane boat ramp, parking lot and loading docks, restroom, fish cleaning station, bulkheads, walkways, and signs. The facility is located on the Freeport River Ship Channel adjacent to the Intercoastal Waterway in Surfside Beach.
Rockwall County: The City of Rockwall is requesting $393,080 in 75 percent matching funds to expand an existing single-lane boat ramp and parking area by constructing a second single-lane ramp, courtesy dock, picnic area, landscaping, lighting, walkways, and signs. The facility is located at Highway 66 on Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall.
For Outdoor Recreation Grants, the commission approved 11 projects. Funds for this program come from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. These funds go to Texas local governments for the acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation sites. The TRPA was authorized in 1993 to assist local political subdivisions of the state in providing basic public recreation facilities. TRPA revenue is generated from a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods.
Cameron County: the City of Brownsville requests support to acquire a 22-acre conservation easement by donation and further develop College Park/Fort Brown Park located on the Fort Brown and Lozano Banco Resacas within the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College campus in the south-central area of the city. Proposed development includes a 6-acre open space dedication with constructed wetland, one-mile lighted trail, three gazebos, nine exercise stations, 9-hole disc golf course, eight picnic tables with grills, three fishing areas, pavilion, bird watching shelter, horseshoe pit, playground, interpretive signs, benches, retaining walls/bank stabilization, native landscaping enhancements, drinking fountains, and program signs. The local match consists of city labor, equipment and materials; and the value of the conservation easement and funds, labor, equipment and materials donated from the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. ($437,500).
Cameron County: The City of La Feria requests support to acquire by purchase 86.24 acres and develop 25 acres of city-owned non-parkland as Wildlife and Nature Park located in the south area of the city. Proposed development includes a 4-acre wetland dedication, 4.02-mile walking trail, two bridges, eight wildlife observation stations, outdoor education pavilion, fishing/canoe pier, playground, six covered picnic tables, 12 benches, pond gardens, hummingbird garden, herb garden, palm garden, cactus garden, butterfly garden, native tree planting, wildflower planting, habitat plantings, wetland enhancements, general landscaping, roads, parking, utilities, area lighting, cultural and natural interpretive signs, and program acknowledgement signs. The local match consists of city funds and the value of the city-owned non-parkland, and Cameron County donations of labor and equipment. ($500,000).
Camp County requests support to acquire 68.66 acres by donation and develop Broach Park Recreation Complex located north of Pittsburg in Camp County. Proposed development includes a 2-acre open space dedication, 2.6-acre nature area, two lighted baseball fields, two lighted softball fields, two football/soccer fields, 1.2-mile trail with four exercise stations, 3-acre pond, lighted fishing pier, tennis/basketball court, tennis/handball court, playground, sand volleyball court, three horseshoe pits, shuffleboard pavilion, two covered game tables, 12 picnic tables, kiosk, four benches, fencing, landscaping, irrigation, and project signs. The local match consists of cash donations from the City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg Independent School District; Camp County Sheriff's Department donations of labor, equipment, and materials; and private donations of land, cash, labor, equipment, and materials. ($500,000).
Fannin County: the City of Trenton requests support to acquire by donation 15 acres to expand and further develop 10-acre Memorial Park located along Memorial Creek in the central area of the city. Proposed development includes a 3.4-acre wetland acquisition, a 1.5-acre open space dedication, two lighted ball fields, three soccer fields, playground, shuffleboard court, two horseshoe pits, .86-mile multi-purpose trail, five exercise stations, two bridges, Texas Smartscape garden, seven sheltered picnic tables with grills, four sheltered double park benches, practice tennis court, two sand volleyball courts, gazebo, tennis court renovation, interpretive signs, and program signs. The local match consists of city funds; and private donations of land, cash, labor, equipment and materials. Memorial Park has been previously supported through a Land and Water Conservation Fund project. ($231,050)
Harris County: the Harris County MUD #120 requests support to acquire 1.25 acres by purchase and develop a 21.7-acre park located in the east area of the MUD and the west area of Harris County. Proposed development includes a 1.25-acre open space dedication, playground, xeriscape and wetlands interpretive gardens with water reclamation irrigation, 2.14-mile trail, six fitness stations, four benches, four rest areas, pavilion, eight picnic tables with two grills, four picnic shelters with tables and grills, volleyball court, soccer field, three baseball fields, disc golf course, nature area, .1-mile nature trail, interpretive area, water fountains, and irrigation. The local match consists of a cash donation from the Mission Bend Greenbelt Association, ($409,965).
Hays County: the City of Buda requests support to acquire 17.23 acres by donation to develop the 72-acre Sportsplex located in the northwest area of the city. Proposed development includes a 15-acre open space dedication, .2-mile trail, 300-linear foot nature trail, wetland/pond/garden, pavilion, playground, six picnic tables, six benches, four ball fields, fishing access point, two soccer fields, xeriscape garden, kiosk, interpretive signs, and project signs. The local match consists of Hays County bond funds, a Hays Consolidated Independent School District land donation, and a private land donation. ($500,000).
Hood County: The City of Granbury requests support to acquire by donation 2.76 acres, dedicate 3.35 acres of city-owned non-parkland, and further develop 6.87 acres of existing park land as City Beach Park located on Lake Granbury in the southeast area of the city. Proposed development includes a 1-acre wetland dedication, 1.33-mile hike/bike trail, pavilion, breakwater/fishing pier, playground, water playscape, 30 picnic tables (10 covered), 11 benches, two horseshoe pits, lake swimming area, xeriscape garden, wetland aquatic garden, gazebo, beach rehabilitation, natural resource interpretive signs, cultural resource interpretive kiosk, and program acknowledgement signs. The local match consists of the value of the city-owned non-parkland; Hood County donations of labor, equipment, and materials; donation of labor, equipment and materials from the Tolar Independent School District; and private donations of land, cash, labor, equipment, and materials. ($500,000)
Milam County: the City of Cameron requests support to acquire 1.5 acres by purchase and dedicate 22.98 acres of city-owned non-parkland to develop Community Park located in the north area of the city. Proposed development includes a 1.5-acre open space dedication, 1.5-acre nature preserve, community garden, pavilion, basketball court, putting green, two horseshoe pits, two washer courts, six picnic tables with three grills, .35-mile trail, pool, shuffleboard court, jump rope area, sand volleyball court, and lighting. The local match consists of the value of the city-owned non-parkland, a TEA-21 grant, and a private cash donation. ($500,000).
Navarro County: The City of Rice requests support to acquire 20.01 acres by donation and develop Mike Dickens Memorial Park located in the southwest area of the city. Proposed development includes a 4-acre open space dedication, .25-mile multi-purpose trail with two bridges, three ball fields (two lighted), soccer/flag football field, two sand volleyball courts, basketball court, two horseshoe pits, two shuffleboard courts, three game tables, playground, pavilion, community grill, six picnic tables, four grills, three benches, hummingbird/butterfly garden, wildlife viewing area, native tree planting with identification signs, cultural interpretive signs, and program acknowledgement signs. The local match consists of private donations of land, cash, labor, equipment, and materials, $213,822.
Austin County: The City of Bellville requests support to acquire 6.3 acres by purchase and develop 28.1-acre Clark Park located in the north area of the city. Proposed development includes a 5.2-acre open space dedication, lighted multi-use field, three lighted soccer fields, two lighted baseball fields, playground, 1-mile trail, amphitheater, splash pad, covered pavilion/basketball court, eight RV campsites, 10 picnic tables with grills, six benches, pond rehabilitation, interpretive signs, and program signs. The local match consists of city funds, a Lower Colorado River Authority cash donation, and private donations of cash. ($500,000).
Tarrant County: The City of Haslet requests support to acquire 21 acres by donation/purchase to develop Community Park located in the northwest area of the city. Proposed development includes a 5.75-acre open space dedication, .75-mile trail, playground, sprayground, pavilion with four tables and two grills, amphitheater, basketball court, soccer field, softball field, open play area, two horseshoe pits, disc golf course, interpretive signs, landscaping, and project signs. The local match consists of the value of the private land donation. ($500,000).
For Indoor Recreation Grants, the Commission approved one grant. TRPA funds available for indoor projects include $1,275,000 specifically appropriated by the legislature for the 2004-05 biennium (a reduction from the previously dedicated and appropriated amount of $3,325,000 per year). In order to make indoor grant funding available for both years of the biennium, $637,500 (half of the appropriated amount) was made available each year.
Robertson County: The City of Hearne requests support to construct a 19,750-square-foot recreation center located in School Park in the south area of the city. Proposed development includes a gym with bleachers, .1-mile track, weight room, exercise room, meeting/arts and crafts room, meeting/environmental studies room, meeting/multi-media room, teen game room/lounge, kitchen/concession, restrooms, locker room, and project signs. The total cost of the project is $1,937,400. The local match consists of a Hearne Independent School District cash donation. ($750,000).
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[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
Jan. 31, 2005
TPWD Calendar
The following meetings may be of interest to the public. Check the master calendar for all TPWD events.
White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee -- Feb. 3, 10 a.m. in the Commission Hearing Room, TPWD Headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin.
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[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
Jan. 31, 2005
TPWD Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
It's Only Good if You READ it -- A Schleicher County Game Warden checked seven hunters from Georgia who had 12 deer in their camp. When the checking was over and the ink dried, the warden had written 13 citations and warnings for exceeding the limit on white-tailed buck deer, improperly tagged deer (mule deer tag on whitetail), untagged deer, and other tagged violations. The warden offered to give the hunters some Outdoor Annuals, but they stated that they had the books and had not read them. The hunters left a total of $2,400 with the local justice of the peace. Restitution is pending.
Too Bad, So Sad -- A Midland resident arrested by a Sterling County Game Warden had his day in court. The subject pleaded guilty to the charge of hunting deer at night, and the judge assessed the maximum fine of $4,000 plus cost of court of $211. The subject's license will be suspended for a year, and he will pay $1,575 for restitution. The court allowed the subject to keep his .270 Weatherby magnum rifle. *Note: The landowner also voided the corporate lease the subject had in the amount of $22,000 with no refund.
"Field Dressed" -- Wardens were checking a hunting camp right after dark. When the occupants of the camp came out to greet them, the wardens were somewhat concerned that one of the male hunters was wearing a dress or skirt. Being the professionals they are, they continued with the contact and found that the hunter had been successful in killing two turkeys, one of which was untagged and the other was improperly tagged. While receiving his citation, the Tarrant County hunter asked the wardens, "How do you like my new hunting dress?" They replied that it was nice, but it might be a little cool. The hunter replied that the wind did cause some problems. The dress turned out to be a "camouflage kilt." The hunter's wife stated that this was the new fad in hunting apparel, and she had bought the kilt for him.
Cooking Up Trouble -- Lampasas and Burnet county wardens responded to a landowner complaint of four people trespassing in their river cabin. The wardens parked away from the cabin and approached on foot to watch what was happening at the location. The officers observed all the windows of the cabin covered by blankets and loud talking from inside. A woman from inside the cabin attempted to drive away and was stopped while the wardens caught three males leaving out the back of the cabin. All signs of a meth lab were present so the Narcotics Team from Lampasas was called. Numerous scales, lab equipment, chemicals, a handgun, and a large amount of methamphetamine were found in and around the cabin. Four adults were arrested and charged with manufacture of meth., possession with intent to distribute, and felon in poss. of firearm. This was the second-largest meth lab bust in Lampasas County.
Hide and Seek, You Lose -- A Wood County Game Warden went to a location south of Hainsville when he received information in reference to late duck hunting the day before. The warden arrived and the shooting started and continued for an hour. The hunters exited the marsh an hour later. Two men and one woman stopped to rest about 20 yards in front of the warden when one of the men stated, "I wonder if the game warden got tired, gave up and left." At that point the warden turned on his light and said, "No, I'm still here." Charges pending.
The Imposter -- Nacogdoches County Game Wardens concluded an investigation regarding a citizen complaining that a man claiming to be a game warden pulled her over. A local man was charged with a felony count for impersonating a public servant.
They DO Make Game Wardens Like That!!! Uvalde County Game Wardens observed a vehicle driving slowly down a farm to market road. The vehicle came right in front of where the wardens were sitting and shined a light into the brush. The wardens weren't sure if it was a police spotlight due to the position of the light; the vehicle drove to the Zavala County line and turned around. The vehicle approached the same location and lit up the night again; this time the wardens heard two shots; the vehicle repositioned and shot again. A short pursuit ensued, and the vehicle was stopped in Zavala County. After the wardens secured the scene and put the subjects into handcuffs, one of the subjects asked the female warden, "Maam, y'all aren't going to call the game wardens on us are you?" The warden informed the subjects, again, that they were the game wardens. Three individuals were then transported the Uvalde County Jail. Cases pending.
Tragedy -- Mason County Wardens Jerry Gordon and James Nixon responded to a fatality hunting accident in Mason County. The wardens had just checked the camp a few minutes before the incident occurred. The initial investigation showed that the victim's rifle was laid on the back seat of a pickup, and he had started throwing clothes, bags, etc. on top of the gun when something apparently struck the trigger causing the rifle to fire, striking him in the chest. Further investigation is being done by DPS Ranger Joey Gordon and Mason County SO.
Hefty Price to Pay -- A Coleman County Game Warden was patrolling a county road when he observed a green car driving around in a pasture. When he made contact, he found the subject to have two felony charges against him while in possession of a .22 caliber rifle. A search of the vehicle turned up a freshly killed set of antlers that Boone & Crockett scored 148. The subject was also hunting on the property without landowner's permission. After using good investigative skills, Randall filed charges of no hunting license and hunt deer with a rimfire rifle. The restitution for the 148-deer will be $4,683.10.
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Jan. 31, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Radio
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing the week of Feb. 1-4, could water supplies in the state soon be tapped out? We'll tell you about a documentary examining that important question. Plus, if you think a snipe is nothing more than a practical joke, or a last second Ebay bid, we'll introduce you to this unusual bird.
For more information, visit the Web.
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
For more information, go to the Web.
Television
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
Magazine
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online.
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On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD Video News: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/news/tv/vnr/thismonth/
TPWD on PBS: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/
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