Tribpedia: Texas Parks And Wildlife

Tribpedia

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is the state agency with responsibility over conservation of fish and wildlife species and has authority over hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation activities across the state. The agency also manages numerous cultural and historic sites in Texas.

The agency, which has roughly 3,200 employees, is overseen by a nine-member commission appointed by the ...

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A longhorn stops at a water source on the 311,000-acre Big Bend State Park Ranch in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has recently sold off about two-thirds of the herd to build a smaller pasture to display the remaining animals.
A longhorn stops at a water source on the 311,000-acre Big Bend State Park Ranch in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has recently sold off about two-thirds of the herd to build a smaller pasture to display the remaining animals.

Sale of Longhorns Sparks Debate on Breed's Future

The recent sale of about 100 Big Bend Ranch State Park longhorns by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has triggered a debate on how to best protect the future of a breed that has stood as a symbol of the state. A bill filed in the House would prevent Texas Parks and Wildlife from selling any more of the park's herd.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/1/13

Batheja on a House budget without vouchers or Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on obstacles to a new power plant in El Paso, Permenter on deer breeder regulations, E. Smith’s interview with San Antonio’s Castro twins, Galbraith on proposals for new underground water reservoirs, Root finds holes in a UT regent's appointment files, M. Smith on a planned school rating system that defied recommendations, Murphy maps oil and gas disposal wells in Texas, Dehn on objections to a bigger Medicaid program and Hamilton on efforts to lure gun makers to Texas: The best of our best for the week of April 1-5, 2013.

Texas is home to 91 state parks, including Boca Chica State Park. The current proposed state budget for 2014-15 would require the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to close 7 state parks.
Texas is home to 91 state parks, including Boca Chica State Park. The current proposed state budget for 2014-15 would require the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to close 7 state parks.

Seven State Parks Could Close Under Proposed Budget

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department would close seven state parks based on current budget proposals in the House and Senate. 

Jaime Gonzalez, community education director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, cut some blossoms off roughcone flowers Aug. 6 at a prairie in Deer Creek.
Jaime Gonzalez, community education director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, cut some blossoms off roughcone flowers Aug. 6 at a prairie in Deer Creek.

"Pocket Prairies" Preserve Houston's Native Plants

"Pocket prairies" have been popping up all over Houston, helping beautify the city while preserving the native plants that are now harder to find in Harris County. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for sustaining the native plants is preserving the few large, biodiverse prairies that act as seed banks for the other prairies.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Looks to Rebound

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is still feeling the effects of last year's wildfires, drought and budget cuts, but officials say the situation is improving with increased park attendance and donations. That rebound could be in trouble, though, if funding is cut in next year's legislative session.

A crane lifts SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on to a barge after the vehicle twice orbited the Earth in December of 2010.
A crane lifts SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on to a barge after the vehicle twice orbited the Earth in December of 2010.

Proposed SpaceX Launch Site in Texas Draws Concerns

SpaceX, which just sent the first private spacecraft to the International Space Station, has proposed building a launch pad in Texas. But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is concerned the proposed launch area is too close to endangered species.

TT Interview: Gilberto Hinojosa

The former county judge is running to lead a political party that hasn't won a statewide election in nearly two decades. He talked with the Tribune about why he's running for chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, what would pull the Democrats out of the doldrums and what he really thinks of the Republicans.

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.

Bastrop State Park Reopens After Fire

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

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.

McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park

Texas Parks Facing Long-Term Budget Woes

Texas Parks and Wildlife launched a public fundraising campaign last month to fill a significant budget shortfall. And as Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, the next few years could prove even rougher for state parks if the drought and extreme heat persist.

The bird’s eye-view from Scenic Mountain draws many visitors to Big Spring State Park in West Texas.
The bird’s eye-view from Scenic Mountain draws many visitors to Big Spring State Park in West Texas.

Plea for Donations Highlights Worries Over Park Funding

State officials launched a campaign this week soliciting donations to help fund Texas parks, which saw a drop-off in visitors this year because of record heat and wildfires. As Matt Largey of KUT News reports, the plea has exposed broader concerns about how state parks are funded — and how they'll fare in the future.

Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept, Carter Smith, speaks to visitors at Bastrop State Park about the restoration efforts following wildfires on October 13, 2011.
Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept, Carter Smith, speaks to visitors at Bastrop State Park about the restoration efforts following wildfires on October 13, 2011.

Texas State Parks Appeal for Help Closing a Budget Gap

Only you can help Texas parks recover from devastating wildfires and a dropoff in visitor-generated revenue, the state parks department says. The agency launched a campaign today asking for donations to help fill a $4.6 million budget hole. 

Keith Tilley, director of public works for the town of Groesbeck , photographed at Fort Parker Lake i Fort Parker State Park.
Keith Tilley, director of public works for the town of Groesbeck , photographed at Fort Parker Lake i Fort Parker State Park.

Groesbeck, Nearly Out of Water, Hopes to Build Pipeline

City officials in Groesbeck — facing a water shortage that could leave the town completely dry by Thanksgiving — are scrambling to build a new pipeline, after their last effort to pump water from a nearby rock quarry failed. 

Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 2011.

Despite Scrutiny, Perry Gives Two Donors Plum Posts

Despite the national media's intense scrutiny of his history of naming big-dollar donors to high-profile positions, Gov. Rick Perry named two such donors to key boards Wednesday. Perry's spokesman insisted there was no tie between the appointments and their contributions.

Video: Noodling for Catfish Now Legal in Texas

Throughout August, the Tribune will feature 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature take effect. DAY 18: The sport of catching catfish with bare hands, known as noodling, is now legal in Texas. Watch the Trib's interview with filmmaker and avid noodler Bradley Beesley to understand why he thinks the subculture craze for this southern sport could spread west into Texas. 

Wildfires, Burn Bans Rage Across Texas

So far this year, the Texas Forest Service has responded to roughly 1,500 wildfires across Texas, the damage of which spreads across 2.5 million acres. And burn bans are spreading just as fast. Use our interactive map to track wildfires and burn bans across the state, using Texas Forest Service data.  

Avid outdoorsman Brady Knowlton is hoping noodling will become legal in Texas.
Avid outdoorsman Brady Knowlton is hoping noodling will become legal in Texas.

There's More Than One Way to Land a Catfish in Texas

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Hand fishing — or "noodling," which means sticking your hand down the throat of a fish — is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by a fine of up to $500. But not for much longer. State lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill to legalize hand fishing, and the bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk.