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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-12-01                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
Dec. 1, 2011
More Texas State Parks Lifting Campfire, Cooking Restrictions
AUSTIN - Recent rains in many parts of the state have resulted in the lifting of burn bans, meaning campers at more Texas state parks will be able to warm their feet by a glowing fire and cook their favorite outdoor dish without fire restrictions.
Roughly two-thirds of the 93 state parks this week were reporting no burn ban restrictions, a significant increase from recent months when the ongoing drought prompted most of Texas' 254 counties to institute burn bans. The Texas Forest Service on Wednesday reported 152 counties with burn bans, down from 206 a week earlier. That comes as good news to Texas state parks that have seen visitation drop off sharply the past few months.
"I believe that burn bans and restricted open fires have been contributing factors to a drop in camping activity in state parks this fall," says Brent Leisure,Texas state parks director. "I continue to encourage our park superintendents to reach out to county judges and commissioners where burn bans exist to request exemptions or modifications, when appropriate and reasonable."
At present, burns bans tend to be affecting state parks mainly in the Texas Hill Country, West Texas, the Panhandle and South Texas. However, there are some exceptions. Those include such popular getaways as Colorado Bend, Franklin Mountains, Garner and South Llano River state parks. Park visitors should keep in mind, too, that many state parks, even though located in burn ban counties, still allow charcoal grilling. Most parks subject to burn bans permit cooking on propane and electric stoves.
For answers to frequently asked questions about burns bans in Texas state parks, visit: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/faq/spdest/state_parks/#fir.
To find out whether the state park you're planning to visit is under any outdoor fire restrictions, visit the individual park pages on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website: www.texasstateparks.org. TPWD's Customer Service Center also maintains an up-to-date burn ban list, so customers making reservations will have the latest burn ban information. The central reservation number in Austin is (512) 389-8900.
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
Dec. 1, 2011
Texas State Parks Ideal for Family, Group Gatherings
AUSTIN - Why not start a new and healthy tradition this holiday season by taking advantage of a one of the many Texas state park group facilities perfectly suited for getting together for a day or several days with visiting relatives, family and friends.
More than 70 state parks offer group facilities ranging from large, indoor lodges with kitchens and overnight bunkhouse-style accommodations to cozy cabins and open-air pavilions, some with fireplaces. Some group facilities can be rented for day-use only, while others offer facilities that can be rented for up to two weeks.
Houston area families or groups looking for a quick getaway for a day, for example, can head to Huntsville State Park and rent either the screened group picnic pavilion that accommodates up to 75 people for $40 or the heated and air-conditioned group recreation hall with a full kitchen than handles up to 200 people for $150 during the week or $250 on weekends.
The view from the hilltop Civilian Conservation Corps-built group facility at Lockhart State Park, less than an hour from Austin, is tough to beat for $200 a day. The limestone recreation hall, which features a full kitchen with a spacious patio and shaded picnic tables, can be used by up to 75 people during the day or 40 people overnight. A minimum two-night rental applies.
Some state parks host family reunions year after year for families that enjoy breathing fresh air and starry skies. Lake Brownwood State Park is one of those family-friendly parks because it offers a handful of different overnight accommodations. Families and other groups can choose from among 16 cabins, four group lodges that sleep from 4 to 26 people and a group camp with a dining hall and four bunkhouses that can accommodate even larger groups. The park's accommodations are especially popular during winter months because of their fireplaces that stoke the holiday spirit.
Check out the cabins, lodges and other group facilities in more than 70 Texas state parks by visiting: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/parkinfo/facilities/lodging/. Advance reservations for these group facilities must be made by calling the Customer Service Center in Austin at (512) 389-8900. Reservations for individual state park campsites can be made online at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/park_reservations/.
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