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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-09-30                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Steve Lightfoot, TPWD, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov; Joshua Winchell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (703) 358-2279, Joshua_Winchell@fws.gov ]
Sept. 30, 2009
Texas Waterfowlers Concerned Over New Federal Duck e-Stamp Process
AUSTIN, Texas -- A change in the Federal Duck Stamp process to an "e-stamp" or electronic purchase this year is raising concern among some Texas duck hunters.
As part of Texas' implementation of the Federal Duck e-Stamp program, Texas hunting license sales agents no longer provide the physical duck stamp directly. Instead, an endorsement on a tag located at the top of the hunting license indicates that a Federal Duck Stamp has been purchased through a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department license agent. The actual stamp is mailed at a later date. However, direct sales of the Federal Duck Stamp are still available at select U.S. post offices throughout Texas.
Unlike the Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp, which is simply an endorsement printed on the hunting license with no stamp issued, the Federal Duck Stamp is still a stamp that upon receipt must be signed by the hunter and affixed to the back of the hunting license
Hunters who purchase their Federal Duck Stamp through TPWD license sales are issued a 45-day grace period to allow for fulfillment and mailing of their stamp. According to Fish and Wildlife Service officials, the 45-day grace period is a federal allowance and will be honored in all states, providing the hunter retains proof of purchase.
Federal Duck Stamp fulfillment is handled through a third party, AMPLEX, contracted by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters should monitor their mail closely for an envelope marked "Federal Duck Stamp Information Enclosed" containing their Federal Duck Stamp. TPWD is not responsible for replacing Federal Duck Stamps lost in the mail.
Last year during a pilot testing of the new process, TPWD issued about 4,000 e-stamp endorsements and reported no problems with fulfillment. Conversely, the e-stamp process went statewide in August of this year and by the end of September TPWD reported nearly 70,000 Federal Duck Stamp endorsements.
"As with any new system, there are some kinks that need fixing," said Tom Newton in TPWD's license section. "We know there was a lag in turnaround because of the shear number of purchases prior to teal season. I don't anticipate that being a problem now because the bulk of our duck hunters have already bought theirs."
Federal agents and state game wardens will honor the 45-day grace period, however, hunters will be cited by federal agents after the grace period expires. The federal fine for hunting migratory birds without a valid stamp in possession is $200.
Hunters have the option of purchasing a Federal Duck Stamp from some U.S. Post Offices and at other sales outlets on the Internet. For more information online, visit http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/ .
It is ultimately the hunter's responsibility to ensure compliance with state and federal migratory game bird laws prior to hunting, which require the Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp endorsement and after the 45-day grace period, physical possession of a Federal Duck Stamp signed by the hunter and affixed to the hunting license prior to hunting migratory waterfowl.
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[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
Sept. 30, 2009
National Parks TV Series May Turn Texan Eyes To State Parks
AUSTIN, Texas -- Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" is firing the public imagination about parks at a time when the Texas State Parks system is reinventing itself to engage a new generation of visitors. State park officials hope to capitalize on the enthusiasm, reminding Texans their own system of 93 sites has a diverse history that includes new offerings for the 21st century.
The 12-hour national parks series is airing on PBS in six two-hour segments that began Sept. 29 and continue through Friday, Oct. 3. Months before the series, TPWD video producers began communicating with Texas public TV stations about possibly providing video material to run alongside the Burns series.
Producer Ron Kabele ended up putting together four 20-minute state park specials using material produced for the weekly, half-hour series Texas Parks & Wildlife that airs on all Texas PBS stations. The regional segments cover West Texas, Central Texas, North Texas and the Gulf coast. The TPWD episodes will run during fall pledge drives, with Texas stations running the modular episodes for 20 minutes, then soliciting viewer pledge calls for 10 minutes. KUHT-TV Houston already did this Sep. 12. The state park specials brief feature introductory and closing comments by TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith, shot at McKinney Falls State Park.
Also, just as the PBS Web site offers multimedia options for people to learn about national parks, TPWD has recently unveiled a number of new online tools relating to Texas state parks.
Visitors to the Texas Parks and Wildlife YouTube Channel can view more than 120 short videos online. This includes more than 75 videos showcasing nature, history and things to do at individual state parks across Texas. The department's YouTube channel is one of four "social media" outlets TPWD is currently piloting, the others being Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. TPWD YouTube videos cover individual state parks, fishing, hunting, wildlife, boating safety, how-to topics and news reports on a variety of subjects.
The department also recently launched two CCC Web Sites that explore the historical and architectural links between the Texas state parks system and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was a New Deal-era federal works program that helped construct dozens of state parks across Texas, as well as many of the national parks featured in Burns' documentary.
TPWD is also preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars on major repairs and improvements at state parks, money approved by state voters and the Texas Legislature. And, with additional funding from lawmakers provided in 2007, the department has hired new staff and launched new programs to manage and showcase state parks.
A flagship example of new state park offerings to reach new audiences is the Texas Outdoor Family program. No experience is necessary for these weekend workshops, which teach parents and kids to pitch tents, cook over campfires and reconnect with nature. These cost $55 for a family of up to six people, and that fee covers all necessary equipment and instruction, everything except food and bedding.
More information is on the TPWD Web site, or see lifesbetteroutside.org for a simple one-stop menu of family adventure options for nature and the outdoors. Or, pick up a Texas State Park Guide booklet at any state park or at most local tourism offices. Campers can make state park reservations online, or by phoning (512) 389-8900.
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On the Net:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TexasParksWildlife
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/ccc
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/parks
http://www.lifesbetteroutside.org
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, (859) 225-9487; Tom Harvey, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., (512) 389-4452, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Sept. 30, 2009
Texas Game Warden Green Named National Boating Officer of the Year
Corpus Christi, Texas -- The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has presented its prestigious national Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award to Game Warden Chris Green of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, marking the first time the award has gone to a Texan at the national level.
NASBLA presented the award at its 50th annual meeting being held in Corpus Christi this week. The organization established its Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year program in 2000 to celebrate the nation's outstanding marine officers. Sponsored by ACR Electronics Inc., the Boating Officer of the Year Award is presented to deserving recipients at three levels -- state, regional and national. This year, 41 officers across the country were nominated for the national award.
A native of Duncanville, Green began his TPWD career as a game warden cadet in 1993. He is currently stationed in Smith County and his patrol area includes popular recreational hotspots lakes Tyler and Palestine as well as the Neches and Sabine rivers.
Through his own efforts and in cooperation with others, Green has helped to bring about a positive safety record to area lakes. Passionate about his job, Green often volunteers for special assignments to utilize his expertise in boating issues. In 2008, he logged 352 boat hours, recording 71 citations/warnings.
Additionally, he is available and active with lake residents and boaters and serves as an invited member of a city mayor's roundtable regarding boating safety. Recently, he organized boating safety classes at area lakes and conducted programs to area schools, churches and civic groups. He also regularly organizes boat rides for mentally/physically challenged residents in the area.
"Chris is very personal in his approach with media and family members regarding boating accidents/fatalities," said Alfonso Campos, who serves as the boating law administrator for Texas. "Victim family members of accidents/fatalities have expressed their appreciation for Chris's compassion and sincerity, saying that he treated them 'like family' during their ordeal."
Green also serves as his district's media representative and provides information through print and broadcast news media. He possesses a "natural" delivery in his speech and is exceptional at presentations for boating education classes, TV/radio interviews, media ride-alongs and live broadcasts.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, the organization affects the lives of over 83 million American boaters. To learn more about how NASBLA continues to make the waterways safe, secure and enjoyable, visit the organization Web site.
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On the Net:
http://www.nasbla.org/
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