Tribpedia: Texas Forest Service

Tribpedia

The Texas Forest Service oversees all forest and forestry interests statewide.

The service also handles certain state emergencies; it led the management of the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery in East Texas and provided support in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. It also has a volunteer rural fire department.

The service was created in 1915 as part of ...

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Bastrop State Park Reopens After Fire

Americorps volunteers are active in Bastrop State Park building trails and anti-erosion retaining walls.
Americorps volunteers are active in Bastrop State Park building trails and anti-erosion retaining walls.

After a wildfire in September burned 96 percent of Bastrop State Park, the park is beginning to recover, and this month parts of the park opened for the first time since January. Park officials have chopped down dead trees, rerouted hiking trails, addressed erosion problems and opened cabins to the public.

Slideshow: Bastrop State Park Shows Signs of Rebirth

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Less than a year after a wildfire burned 96 percent of Bastrop State Park’s 6,613 acres, the park is bouncing back. Camping areas and hiking trails have recently reopened, and grass and trees are rising from the once-charred soil. This slideshow illustrates how the park is coming back to life after the fire, which was fueled by a devastating drought.

Officer Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park's Site Manager, examining a 100 ft. clearing near a road that was previously dominated by Loblolly pines and oaks. The oak trees come back in a bush-like because their roots resisted the heat from the fire more readily than the pines. April 16, 2012.
Officer Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park's Site Manager, examining a 100 ft. clearing near a road that was previously dominated by Loblolly pines and oaks. The oak trees come back in a bush-like because their roots resisted the heat from the fire more readily than the pines. April 16, 2012.

Bastrop Park Shows Signs of Rebirth After Wildfire

Less than a year after a wildfire burned 96 percent of Bastrop State Park’s 6,613 acres, the park is bouncing back. Camping areas and hiking trails have recently reopened, and grass and trees are rising from the once-charred soil. This slideshow illustrates how the park is coming back to life after the fire, which was fueled by a devastating drought.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, c,  answers question from citizens and the media in Bastrop after his return from a campaign trip to South Carolina on September 5, 2011.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, c, answers question from citizens and the media in Bastrop after his return from a campaign trip to South Carolina on September 5, 2011.

Will Wildfire Response Burn Perry on Campaign Trail?

As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, Gov. Rick Perry has a reputation of displaying strength in emergencies, but his recent behavior in responding to the Central Texas wildfires has struck some dissonant chords.

A Bastrop resident points to flames as smoke billows over Texas 71 in Bastrop Country during the wildfires on September 5, 2011.
A Bastrop resident points to flames as smoke billows over Texas 71 in Bastrop Country during the wildfires on September 5, 2011.

Texas Politicians Press Feds for Fire Relief Money

Over the past year Texas has battled wildfires that cover an area larger than the state of Connecticut — and it's straining the budgets of both state and local firefighting units. In other bad news, federal weather forecasters say that La Niña, the Pacific Ocean phenomenon that caused the drought, is bad, and likely to strengthen.

The remains of a mobile home lie smoldering in a small subvision east of Bastrop where the wildfire went through earlier in the day on September 6, 2011.
The remains of a mobile home lie smoldering in a small subvision east of Bastrop where the wildfire went through earlier in the day on September 6, 2011.

On the Records: FEMA's Wildfire Spending

As wildfires continue to sweep across the state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized seven more grants to help Texas manage the flames. Although the figures for the grants given to Texas after June 2011 are not yet available, the Tribune decided to take a look at the $3.8 billion FEMA has given Texas to mitigate disasters.

Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011.

Wildfire Politics Grip State as Disasters Hit Elsewhere

Gov. Rick Perry has unsuccessfully tried to get a meeting with President Barack Obama, who will be visiting Texas today, to discuss the federal government's denial of a wildfire disaster declaration in Texas. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune looks at how this year's natural disasters in Texas stack up against others in the country.

The Texas Forest Service, the lead agency for battling state wildfires, is part of the Texas A&M University system.
The Texas Forest Service, the lead agency for battling state wildfires, is part of the Texas A&M University system.

Slideshow: Fighting Fires in Texas

The Texas Forest Service, the lead agency charged with fighting fires, has had a busy season due to strong winds and drought.