Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
January 16, 2002Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
1 5 BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 16th day 6 of January 2002, there came on to be heard matters 7 under the regulatory authority of the Parks and 8 Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission 9 Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 10 Headquarters Complex, Austin, Texas, beginning at 11 9:00 a.m. to wit: 12 APPEARANCES: 13 THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION: EDUCATION AND OUTREACH COMMITTEE: 14 CHAIR: Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, Texas 15 Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas C. Chr: Philip Montgomery, III, Dallas, Texas 16 Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas (Absent) 17 Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas (Absent) Mark Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas (Absent) 18 Joseph Fitzsimmons, San Antonio, Texas 19 THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT: Robert L. Cook, Interim Executive Director, and other 20 personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department 21 22 23 24 25 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 2 1 JANUARY 16, 2002 2 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: We will now convene the 3 Education and Outreach Committee. Commissioner Henry 4 is not with us this week; he is recovering from 5 surgery. Commissioner Montgomery will chair the 6 Education and Outreach Committee today. Thank you, 7 Phil. 8 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Okay. I think 9 I should start by letting the record show that I'm not 10 going to begin to pretend to fill Al's shoes, so -- 11 He's far better at this than I will be. Do I have a 12 motion for approval of the minutes? 13 COMMISSIONER RAMOS: So moved. 14 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Second? 15 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: Second. 16 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: All in favor. 17 ALL COMMISSIONERS: Aye. 18 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Okay. And I 19 understand Chairman's charges are not here at this 20 time, so we'll go straight to the update on hunter 21 education. Larry McKinney. 22 MR. McKINNEY: Yes, sir. Mr. Chairman, 23 thank you. Steve -- Steve Hall is going to make that 24 presentation for us. I'm just going to turn that over 25 to him right now, sir. ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 3 1 MR. HALL: Mr. Chairman, Members of the 2 Commission: My name is Steve Hall, Education and 3 Outreach Director, here today to present hunter 4 education. We had such a vigorous discussion last 5 time that you've asked -- asked me back, so we'll try 6 to go ahead and brief you on some of the facts about 7 hunter education, some of the benefits, and then get 8 into maybe a little proposal or a pilot project that 9 might get us to where -- where we finished the 10 discussion last time. 11 In two words, it works. Hunter 12 education it does work; it's been a successful program 13 for -- a mandatory program for as much as 50 years 14 starting in New York in 1949. The purpose, again, is 15 to produce safe, knowledgeable, responsible, and 16 involved hunters and -- and shooters, and also the 17 benefits primarily are the reduction of accidents and 18 the reduction of violations. But certainly some of 19 the benefits that are hard to tell but over time has 20 certainly helped hunter education is the improved 21 image of hunters. This is the number one complaint of 22 non-hunters is the behavior of hunters in the 23 perpetuation of the hunting heritage itself, 24 certainly, education is popular in terms of passing 25 along some of the good and sound traditions of ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 4 1 hunting. 2 Our chief partners: Certainly, 3 volunteers are our number one partner. It is a 4 volunteer management program. These volunteers come 5 from all walks of life, all across Texas and have been 6 trained to both teach hunter education, but also to 7 essentially take kids and youth and other adults on 8 hunting trips. And the Texas Youth Hunting Program is 9 that carrot to the end of our hunter education 10 process, and we've tied in with that rather nicely. 11 In North America, all 50 states have 12 mandatory statutes -- one is not in place, that's 13 Alaska, but if you've been hunting in Alaska you know 14 that the nature of their state is through a guide and 15 an outfitter or somebody that knows a little bit about 16 survival. 17 Standards -- we do have a list of 18 adopted standards by the International Hunter 19 Education Association, and these standards also help 20 Texas qualify for the federal funding that we've 21 received as early as 1972 with the passage of the 22 Dingle-Hart amendment. 23 Some of the facts surrounding hunter 24 education -- and we didn't get into these last time, 25 but some that I'd bring you today -- we did mention ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 5 1 last time the reduction of accidents by 50 percent. 2 That is we do keep and maintain the accident 3 investigation reports from around the country. And 4 this is a proven fact, and certainly the number one 5 reason why we have hunter education. 6 Secondly, the enhanced image of hunters 7 and hunting. Again, the future significance of this 8 is, as we get more crowded and as we get to be more in 9 the public eye hunting, certainly you want a group of 10 hunters that are behaving correctly or at least 11 responsibly and doing the right kinds of ethical 12 things so as not to taint the activity in any way. 13 The acceptance rate based on reports 14 from Responsive Management, Inc. is 89 percent of 15 active hunters and 93 percent of non-hunters support 16 hunter education, or want there to be some avenue of 17 training for new hunters. 18 And the satisfaction rate, the last 19 survey that we did, was over 95 percent satisfaction 20 rate. People do come to the course wondering what 21 it's about. Some with an attitude that says, geez, I 22 don't really need this. Most all of them go away 23 saying, "You know, thanks for spending time with me," 24 especially when they figure out that these are 25 volunteers just like them, and they have these ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 6 1 knowledge and skills and they're passing along things 2 that even the adults have willingly and admitted that 3 they learned in the process. 4 Some other facts: It's a primary means 5 of reducing landowner liability. As I'm sure 6 Mr. Fitzsimmons knows, it's not a barrier to hunting. 7 We turn away about 2 percent of potential hunters, but 8 we also recruit about 2 percent of hunters into 9 hunting. So it's kind of a wash, but it's certainly 10 something that we actually want to do something to do 11 more about recruiting through hunter education, and 12 that's the Texas Youth Hunting Program. And again, 13 we've done really well making that a caveat, 14 essentially, to hunting, especially with youth 15 groups. 16 Madam Chairwoman, you mentioned last 17 time, that hunting safety ethics, wildlife 18 conservation, and premise sporting arms are things 19 that are taught in military, law enforcement training 20 so, obviously, there are these values that even those 21 groups recognize, and especially once they've come to 22 a course, they appreciate as well. 23 And finally it is a recruitment tool or 24 at least a possible recruitment tool. I think we -- 25 if we have any room for growth we can do it in this -- ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 7 1 in this arena. 2 Just some accomplishments last year. 3 And I'd say that this has been the most historic and 4 effective volunteer program even here at Parks and 5 Wildlife Department. We've got about 3,000 6 instructors at this point and many of whom volunteered 7 since 1972, so it's a long-lasting program for some of 8 them. 9 Last year alone 2,700 instructors taught 10 over 4,100 courses. They taught -- that's -- actual 11 hours taught, 46,000 hours plus; that doesn't include 12 preparation hours. 33,400 students were trained. 13 $150,000 of direct income, and then finally the inkind 14 contribution of those actual hours represents $511,000 15 at the approved rate that we have with federal aid. 16 Our desired outcomes: You know these, I 17 think, it's obviously to maintain a high quality 18 effort, to continue to improve on convenience and 19 access, to continue to improve on course quality. We 20 do want to make these fun and not something of a 21 pill. Improve image of hunters, we've said that three 22 times. Continue the strong partnership with the 23 Wildlife Association. And finally, again, maintain 24 strong heritage through hunter education. 25 Your previous discussions and ours ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 8 1 centered on things of convenience. It simply comes 2 down to can we meet someone's demand where and when 3 they want a course, need a course, and even if it's at 4 the last minute, can we handle that kind of request? 5 The current situation in Texas: We are 6 the most flexible law in the country. Proof is not 7 required at point of sale like most states. If you're 8 under 12 it's a recruitment tool in that you aren't 9 required to have hunter education if you're under 12; 10 you're simply required to be with a parent or legal 11 guardian licensed to hunt in Texas. 12 If you're 12 through 16, we have a 13 five-year window essentially, whereby if you're 12 14 through 16 and you're hunting with a legal guardian or 15 parent you're exempt. And that's why it's not 16 required as proof of -- or at -- excuse me -- at point 17 of sale. However, if you do take it and you're 13 or 18 14 then you can be sitting in a separate stand, 19 perhaps, away from your parent or legal guardian; you 20 could be hunting alone. 21 Noncompliance: If you're found in 22 noncompliance you do have ten days to appeal it with 23 the JP and 90 days to void the citation. We've had -- 24 we've had many of these, and we've always been able to 25 handle that kind of request where we're able to get ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 9 1 them a course well within the 90 days so that they can 2 void that citation. 3 And a few more things about 4 availability: Again, we are the most numerous course 5 by any state in the country. We were proactive back 6 in 1996 in developing alternative deliveries. We've 7 kind of led the nation on that, so much so that they 8 are using our model to produce a national model in 9 that respect. We are in the high schools. And as you 10 know, this is not an easy thing these days in terms of 11 curriculum. Online, toll-free information 24/7, the 12 whole bit. And then finally, hunting license -- the 13 new hunting licenses does include a spot where if you 14 didn't have hunter education we'll give you that flag, 15 or if you had hunter education it will give proof of 16 that as well. Obviously, that's nice because then 17 they don't have to carry the two forms or the two 18 certificates. 19 So the current course options are a 20 ten-hour regular course or you can take the four-hour 21 home study or internet process whereby you can get the 22 materials at home, receive them at home, study them at 23 your own pace on your own time and take the four-hour 24 hands-on, follow-up course. 25 All this is good. We've looked long and ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 10 1 hard in terms of -- since the last meeting at, okay, 2 what are the options? We're the most flexible, most 3 available. I polled the rest of the states since our 4 last meeting on any of the innovations that they may 5 have beyond what Texas has already achieved. In 6 looking over the comments, which were mostly, "Why in 7 the heck are you even trying to change?" You know the 8 kind of comments that comes back from your peers. 9 But one intrigued me from Ohio and it 10 was a challenge exam situation. We're willing to 11 throw that out in terms of a pilot and test it 12 rigorously and make sure it's as effective as the 13 other tools and do so for those 21 years of age and 14 older. We have -- at this point our law escalates one 15 year at a time, so we're affecting 21 through 30 year 16 olds in Texas. So this would take that nine-year age 17 class, next year ten-year age class, eleven, etcetera, 18 and give them an additional option. Especially if the 19 convenience of trying to find one of the longer 20 courses isn't open to them then we can offer this to 21 them. 22 We feel like we could try this, we can 23 evaluate it, we can obviously keep you posted and get 24 back to you. I envision about a two-hour challenge. 25 It will be tough. The hypothesis will be that there ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 11 1 will be a high failure rate even among adults. And 2 largely because of things that we think are back on 3 the backside of our brain aren't necessarily when it 4 comes to things like ethics, conservation, you know, 5 Pittman Robertson, which we know hunter education 6 students have a high knowledge of, but anybody that 7 wasn't in a hunter education class knows little of the 8 Pittman Robertson Act. Things like this. So I think 9 it's going to be a -- it might be exciting to try 10 something like this. And we throw that out as, you 11 know, based on your challenge from last meeting. 12 Some of the things it will not do: 13 While it will benefit those adults that, perhaps, move 14 into the state introduced to hunting at a late age or 15 are, perhaps, in the military for that time frame and 16 then finally get back to Texas and get ready to raise 17 a family, whatever. It will benefit those, but it 18 doesn't qualify them for certification. And 19 especially the two states that we deal mostly with in 20 that case is Colorado and Kansas. It would impact our 21 program severely or greatly if it were any -- anything 22 else but adults 21 years of age or older. Because if 23 they had a five-year window and at 17 had a challenge 24 exam they could essentially skip the whole educational 25 process altogether. We feel like, with the ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 12 1 statistics, that wouldn't be of benefit. 2 And certainly the one thing that you 3 don't see, that I've seen for 20 years, is the peer 4 group process. When people like us come together 5 discuss hunting, discuss ethics, discuss 6 conservation -- there is a little bit of a magic that 7 they leave those courses with, and that is that 8 they're beginning to be a little bit more empathetic 9 towards what it's all about, you know, what their 10 responsibilities are, what the rights and wrongs, and 11 even what conservation is all about. That holds key 12 to the future of hunting in my estimation. And so, we 13 can't de-emphasize that fact in terms of when people 14 do come together in that respect, and hunter education 15 does give us that forum. 16 That's quick and fast and dirty in terms 17 of the history of hunter education where we've come 18 from and where we're going. Larry might add something 19 before we take any questions. 20 MR. McKINNEY: Just to make a comment 21 on -- and Steve's being modest as usual. I just want 22 to emphasize, I hope you saw that as you went through 23 this that the hunter education program in Texas with 24 Steve and Terry and our staff and those 3,700 25 volunteers, I mean, it is the model -- national ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 13 1 model. I mean, they are the best at what they do, and 2 it shows with what we get out of it. 3 This program is also one that we were 4 talking about education outreach and how we -- measure 5 effectiveness and how we need to do a better job of 6 it. This is one of those programs that's a model, 7 because we have every kind tool you can think of to 8 look at before, after, what we need to do. And you 9 saw some of the results there, so we're quite proud of 10 it. But as Steve talked about, we are trying to look 11 at ways to make it more convenient, more available as 12 best we can. We want to do that. And that was one of 13 the issues you brought up, Commissioner, and I hope 14 this is an option to deal with it. And so we want to 15 do that. 16 But I will tell you, no matter what we 17 do, every fall you're always going to get calls from 18 some of those folks that, basically -- I mean, we're 19 going more -- and you hear it all the time -- we're an 20 instant gratification society. And if they can't get 21 it immediately, sometimes that's just the deal. And 22 we'll never be able to address all of that, but I 23 think what they're doing is putting together all the 24 options that you can reasonably do and still maintain 25 what we're achieving with that program, and I think ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 14 1 that's very important. Because I don't think any of 2 you all are -- I certainly am not -- would not want 3 my -- my kids out in the field with someone who hadn't 4 done that, and frankly I won't let that happen because 5 it's just that valuable. So we appreciate the 6 opportunity to talk with you about it. 7 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Questions? 8 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: Phil, I have a 9 couple of questions. One is, is the enforcement 10 process the same for anyone regardless of age the 11 first time they're cited for not having it? 12 MR. McKINNEY: They have the option 13 to -- 14 MR. HALL: Regardless of age? 15 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: Right. Is it the 16 same for -- for -- 17 MR. HALL: Yeah. The -- the mission -- 18 and I obviously don't want to speak on behalf of law 19 enforcement. But their mission is education, 20 prevention, and apprehension in that order. So 21 they -- and they're all trained hunter education 22 instructors, all game wardens are. So their goal is 23 to get them into a class too and not to give them a 24 ticket. Certainly, they come upon situations where 25 they've hit the same person three times in the field ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 15 1 and finally have to slap them with a citation just to 2 get them into the course. And so that's why that 3 tool, that 90-day process, is a -- has kind of been a 4 valuable tool. 5 Other states are looking at Texas -- 6 because of this recruitment issue that's going on 7 nationally -- they're looking at Texas as kind of 8 may -- maybe we should have set it up that way. 9 Because we're -- you know, they're slapping them right 10 from the start and there's some negative image going 11 on between the agency and the hunters. Where Texas 12 has a lot more flexibility than -- we're just trying 13 to get them into the class. That's our goal. It's 14 not to give them a ticket. 15 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: I think that's 16 good. I -- the second question I had was, what is the 17 process for letting someone know that they need the 18 certification? And I should remember that because 19 I've had several kids that have gone through it, but I 20 don't recall, other than through the fact that I knew 21 about it that there was any way to notify -- any 22 process for notifying young people especially that if 23 they want to get a hunting license and want to hunt 24 that they need to get this certification. 25 MR. HALL: Certainly, you know, the ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 16 1 Outdoor Annual and the regulations have it in there 2 obviously. Certainly, media, news releases, we -- 3 we've sent out posters for eight years following the 4 mandatory law, actually, every year following the 5 mandatory law to all point of sale licensed vendors 6 and various avenues. I'm sure at times we can do 7 better, but -- 8 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: You think you're 9 reaching most of the people that would be the 10 audience. 11 MR. HALL: Hunters. I would say that 12 just like the agency has this -- you know, a vacuum of 13 people that don't know anything about our agency, it's 14 the same way with hunter education. And anything we 15 can do obviously with Lydia, and Lydia has helped us a 16 bunch in terms of getting the word out, you know, 17 usually about 12 news releases a year just on 18 hunting -- or hunter education. And every time those 19 news releases go out they're followed with a listing 20 of all the courses by city. So it's fairly -- what 21 that local outdoor rider does is pick up obviously on 22 their regional cities and then they print that 23 following their article in their newspapers and stuff 24 like that. 25 MR. McKINNEY: But that's a fair -- ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 17 1 that's a fair question. I think that's worth looking 2 into because -- 3 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: And there's no -- 4 if we have -- if there's some way you could get it 5 into the schools, for instance, junior or senior class 6 or something, some kind of announcement through the 7 school process. 8 MR. HALL: The Ag science curriculum is 9 the one we've mentioned. We have 850 Ag science 10 trained teachers. And specifically their 381 class 11 does have it in the schools and that's helped us. But 12 that's only for those schools that have Ag science and 13 certain -- you know, there's obviously -- we're not -- 14 my estimation we're not going to get it into many 15 other curricula within the schools. We've tried, for 16 example, in the physical education, and we meet with 17 that organization every year. And there are successes 18 here and there; outdoor education is becoming fairly 19 popular of late, so we're jumping on that bandwagon. 20 But these are just, you know, successes here and 21 there, but it's not a statewide success. 22 MR. McKINNEY: But there's some tools 23 coming around, I think, you know, our point of sale 24 and some others that we ought to be looking at. As 25 you talked about, the best way is to get -- get it in ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 18 1 front of their face. I guess where we could -- 2 there's some options there we could look at, and we 3 should. I think that's a good suggestion. 4 MR. HALL: I also think with leaseowners 5 or landowners we can do a better job with that 6 situation as well, sir. 7 COMMISSIONER RAMOS: Steve, one point 8 that I have. We have a lot of county fairs throughout 9 the state. Some kids will show a -- a steer or a 10 goat. And I've always thought, couldn't we have an 11 outdoor hunting education competition to where you'd 12 be the -- one that's the most knowledgeable about 13 safety or wildlife or something to where -- because a 14 lot of people equate ranching strictly with cattle and 15 sheep and goats, and wildlife is very much a part of 16 it, so -- 17 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: 4-H is doing 18 that now. 4-H has a -- 19 COMMISSIONER RAMOS: Well, you know, 20 maybe we could incorporate some of that. That would 21 be a way of getting the word out. I don't -- just a 22 thought. 23 MR. HALL: Yeah. We do have an avenue 24 for that. It's called the Texas Hunter Education 25 Youth Challenge, and 4-H Shooting Sports, also, and -- ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 19 1 we've had the Youth Challenge probably about seven 2 years. And certainly I think we just need to get you 3 information about that because that is where they 4 actually compete against each other with their 5 knowledge and skills on hunting. It's pretty cool. 6 COMMISSIONER RAMOS: But are they -- are 7 they doing that in conjunction with a local fair? 8 MR. HALL: Not the fairs. But again, 9 probably, a thing we can look at. They do it in 10 conjunction mostly with 4-H shooting sports. And it's 11 because it's one of those things where they actually 12 have a club or a group that practices it together. 13 COMMISSIONER RAMOS: My experience with 14 these fairs is there's a lot of kids that compete. 15 And there's a whole bunch of kids that can't afford a 16 project. Well, they could compete at the fair, but 17 they're looking at different capacities. 18 MR. McKINNEY: And those type of 19 things -- one reason we've used 4-H is because it 20 takes a lot of people to do that, a lot of resources 21 to set that up. And so where we can partner up if -- 22 if we can find partners to help us with that like a 23 4-H group then that makes that a feasible thing for us 24 to do. 25 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: Explain to me ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 20 1 the reciprocity on the challenge exam. You said not 2 for Colorado or Kansas. 3 MR. HALL: Yeah. The State laws -- even 4 Texas' state law -- or excuse me -- our regulation 5 implies ten hours of training. 6 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: Uh-huh. And 7 that's part of the federal aid requirement to have 8 reciprocity in -- 9 MR. HALL: National standard, correct. 10 And therefore, they wouldn't -- they won't accept -- 11 those two states specifically won't accept Ohio's 12 challenge exam, and they wouldn't accept ours either 13 in the case, unless -- again, unless their state law 14 or situation changed. And even ours would have to 15 change to implement this challenge exam the way we've 16 proposed it, but that's at your authority level. 17 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: A question 18 about the challenge. Let me display some ignorance. 19 There's no test given at the end of the ten-hour 20 instruction; is that right, or is there a test given 21 at the end of the ten-hour instruction? 22 MR. HALL: There is. 23 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: And is the 24 challenge exam any different from that test that 25 you're invisioning? ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 21 1 MR. HALL: The challenge exam is more 2 like the home study and internet skills course whereby 3 we give them both a knowledge and a skills exam. And 4 the skills exam involves handling and -- and live 5 firing and -- and different kinds of processes like 6 that where they actually demonstrate their skill. 7 MR. McKINNEY: The challenge -- you 8 can't -- the challenge test is not where you can take 9 it over the internet or anything. You do have to be 10 with someone to do it. 11 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Yeah. It's 12 like going for your driver's license, and you take the 13 test. But is it different from the exam at the end of 14 the test -- the -- you described -- 15 MR. HALL: Yes. The exam at the end of 16 the regular course is simply a knowledge-based exam. 17 It's not typically a skills-based exam, all -- albeit 18 some instructors have both. 19 MR. McKINNEY: In the full course they 20 make the assumption when you're going through with 21 them, you're doing the skills with them and you're 22 learning that and there's some evaluation there. 23 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Okay. 24 MR. McKINNEY: In this challenge, 25 there's no way to do that, so they have to evaluate ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 22 1 both. 2 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: The skills 3 exam then in the challenge test is the same set of 4 skills you would be expected to learn in the class? 5 MR. HALL: Correct. 6 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: In other 7 words, not cranking up the requirements just because 8 they want to come and take the challenge. 9 MR. HALL: Correct. 10 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: It's as if you 11 had taken the course, and you're taking a test on both 12 of them. 13 MR. HALL: And -- and as you can 14 imagine, the regular process we have a high graduation 15 rate. In the home study and internet there's less -- 16 or the graduation rate isn't as high, and then in the 17 challenge exam you wouldn't expect it any higher than 18 those two either. 19 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: I understand 20 that people may not know things walking in and may not 21 do their homework. But at the same time I just wanted 22 to be sure we weren't talking about a -- making it 23 more rigorous because you wouldn't take our class. 24 MR. HALL: Right. No. Correct. 25 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Okay. Any ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 23 1 other questions? 2 (No Response.) 3 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: I think we all 4 appreciate the prompt response and we'll be eager to 5 hear and see the results of the effort. 6 MR. McKINNEY: Very good. We appreciate 7 your response. 8 And Mr. Chairman, just in following up 9 with the following of the two briefings you're going 10 to see after that. As part of our process we talked 11 with Commissioner Henry about is, we wanted to make 12 sure that -- and he wants to make sure in that 13 Committee is that you all have the opportunity to see 14 different programs that are going on throughout the 15 Department. Because believe me when we've gotten -- 16 when I've gotten into this over the years, I'm 17 routinely amazed at what we're doing and surprised. 18 And when you learn about them it's just really 19 impressive. 20 So we're going to make an effort as we 21 go forward to bring you the diversity of activities 22 and programs that you see here. And certainly if you 23 hear of something, if you see something on that you 24 want to hear of or would like to have a briefing on, 25 as you would probably, don't -- don't hesitate to call ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 24 1 on us, because we want to make this happen as part of 2 this. And that's what these next two events are. 3 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Thank you. 4 Okay. We are going to defer till our next Commission 5 Meeting the Texas Parks & Wildlife Outreach Status 6 Report, Item Number 3, Steve, just -- because that was 7 of particular interest to Commissioner Henry, so we're 8 going to push that to the next Commission Meeting if 9 that's all right. 10 MR. HALL: Correct. Correct. 11 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Okay. So that 12 moves us to Darlene Lewis. 13 MS. LEWIS: Yes. 14 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: The Outreach 15 Grant Program. 16 MS. LEWIS: Commissioner Montgomery and 17 the rest of the Commissioners: I'm so happy to be 18 hear with you guys today. My name is Darlene Lewis. 19 I'm the Program Director of the Community Outdoor 20 Outreach Program grant. Sitting next to me is Martin 21 LeBlanc; he is the assistant in the program and he 22 works with me. He's been with us now at Texas Parks & 23 Wildlife for 18 months. 24 And, I believe, this is the first time 25 for some of you to hear anything about this co-op ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 25 1 program and what we're doing and I wanted to take this 2 opportunity to kind of review some of the history of 3 the program and what's going on with the Community 4 Outreach Program. 5 The Community Outdoor Outreach Program 6 began in 1996 when Representative Yvonne Davis decided 7 that she was interested in having a program at Texas 8 Parks & Wildlife that reached non-traditional 9 constituents. She set aside $250,000 and a rider, and 10 thus this program began. 11 We identified the non-traditional 12 constituents as minorities, low-income, 13 rural-community kids, inner-city kids, youth, women, 14 and physically and mentally challenged. Those were 15 the people least likely at that particular time to be 16 using Texas Parks & Wildlife facilities, or getting 17 involved in our programs. 18 The next session 1998, the program was 19 codified at that time and $250,000 from Fund Nine was 20 set aside to help meet the demands of the program. In 21 the next following session the budget was increased 22 $1 million, and so we divided into two funding cycles 23 at that point. The two funding cycles are October 1st 24 and March 1st. 25 One of the reasons I am here today is to ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 26 1 tell you about some of the awardees who were given 2 grants as of December 15th, which we had the last 3 award. This particular fiscal year we're only 4 operating on $1.25 million instead of the 5 $1.5 million. Because of the budget shortfalls and 6 concerns earlier in the year $250,000 is being 7 targeted and used by the Regional Outreach Program 8 under the direction of Steve Hall this fiscal year. 9 As I mentioned, we have two grant 10 funding cycles: October 1st and March 1st. The award 11 dates were December 15th and May 15th. And you will 12 be handed out a news release of the different grant 13 programs that we have awarded for this past funding 14 cycle, so you will have that information available to 15 you as well. 16 The eligibility requirement: They have 17 to be a tax-exempt organization. It could be a county 18 or municipal government, church groups are eligible as 19 well as school groups are eligible. And what we're 20 finding here lately is we're getting a large amount of 21 our school groups who are becoming actively involved 22 in this type of a program. 23 These projects are also good for 24 municipalities. Because many of their parks and 25 recreation departments have a lot of the local ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 27 1 recreation or, what we call, inner-city type programs, 2 but this gives them an opportunity to add the outdoor 3 recreational type programs to their -- what they're 4 already doing, and so these funds help assist with 5 those matters. 6 One of the things that they can do with 7 these funds is, they can use it to buy equipment. And 8 all the pictures that you see that are coming up in 9 the power-point presentation are actual groups who 10 have gone out on these activities with their kids and 11 the equipment they've used these funds to purchase: 12 From the kayaks to the canoes, different types of 13 equipment, and things of that nature. 14 The types of projects funded are outdoor 15 recreational programs, environmental educational 16 programs, and cultural and historical programs. And 17 one of the cultural and historical programs you're 18 going to hear more from in just a few minutes is our 19 Buffalo Soldiers program. And we work very well with 20 Ken Pollard with that program and some of his outreach 21 groups. 22 Some of the examples of programs that we 23 are actually funding are backpacking, camping -- these 24 are some fo the more popular ones that we get from 25 time to time -- angler, hunter, and boater education ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 28 1 is one of the ones that's on the rise. We're finding 2 more organizations are taking the kids out; they're 3 working with our game wardens as well to teach the 4 kids boater education and boater safety type 5 programs. 6 The environmental education program is 7 another big program that we're seeing a big increase 8 in the types of activities that many of these outreach 9 groups are using their fundings for. 10 The program rules include -- it is a 11 reimbursement program, so that means many of these 12 groups have to have funds to start purchasing items 13 and spending money before they can be reimbursed for 14 that program. Because for some groups that's a pretty 15 tough thing for them to do, we do allow a 10 percent 16 advance of what they were funded to help them get 17 started in purchasing equipment and supplies for 18 that. And we will take that 10 percent advance out of 19 their first reimbursement request or however many 20 reimbursement requests it takes to fulfill getting 21 that initial loan back from the Department. 22 There's a $30,000 maximum of what they 23 can apply for. We don't allow any construction 24 projects in this program; it's programs only. And up 25 to 30 percent of the project that they're -- I mean, ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 29 1 30 percent of the funds that they are awarded can be 2 earmarked for salaries. What we're finding is many of 3 these groups who are working with physically and 4 mentally challenged kids, or at-risk kids, or kids 5 with ADD, ADHD need additional staff to go out on some 6 of the camping trips or other activities to help 7 assist with the kids in terms medication or just in 8 terms of personnel. And so we do allow for funding 9 for additional staff support for them to be able to 10 make that happen. 11 Some of the improvements we've seen in 12 the grant program over the years: We did changes in 13 our scoring system. One of the biggest complaints 14 that we had initially was, it seems like the groups 15 who were taking the most kids out were the ones who 16 were going to be able to qualify for the funding 17 because of the way the scoring criteria was set up. 18 So in order to balance that out, one of the changes we 19 made in the scoring criteria was we added points to 20 organizations who use our TPWD staff, TPWD personnel, 21 our sites, and our program. We also made adjustments 22 in the point scoring system for those who address the 23 youth at risk in their communities. We also added 24 points for the education curriculum and as well as 25 points for diversity in projects. ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 30 1 And where that comes in to play is, 2 groups who are going to take out anywhere from 25 to 3 50 kids are more likely to have more diverse 4 projects. Groups who are going to take out 20,000 5 kids is probably a one-time kid-fish opportunity. 6 With the smaller opportunities they're going to be 7 able to go camping, fishing, mountain biking and do 8 several different activities, and the kids are going 9 to be exposed to several different projects -- 10 activities of Texas Parks and Wildlife. 11 One of the other improvements we made in 12 the grant program is we conducted a grant writing 13 workshop statewide. A lot of our non-profit 14 organizations, as you know, work with volunteers, 15 they're volunteer based; and many of them have no 16 grant writing experience. So what we've done -- and 17 gone around the state and assisted them in how to 18 write a competitive grant application. 19 We will continue to do that again this 20 coming summer, and we'll continue to do that so we can 21 try to meet the demands. And one of the things we did 22 find this last -- after the last grant writing session 23 that we did have is, each one of the sessions that we 24 conducted this year we were able to get a successful 25 grant application from those sessions. So we were ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 31 1 pretty pleased with that. 2 We're also planning a spring outdoor 3 skills workshop. And what we're hoping to accomplish 4 with that, again, many of the groups are volunteer 5 based, a lot of them do not have any type of outdoor 6 recreation or environmental education experience. 7 What we thought is, we would sort of 8 model it after the Becoming an Outdoor Woman's 9 program, where we could give some of these people who 10 are getting grant funds -- they'll be able to use 11 their grant funds to pay to come to the workshop, to 12 attend the workshop, to give them some skills to be 13 able to learn how to take kids out -- outdoors and as 14 well as teach them these outdoor recreational 15 activities and environmental education. And I think 16 that'll go a long way for both the Agency and the 17 programs. 18 Some of the improvements that we're also 19 seeing in the projects: They're more education 20 focused, more curriculum based. We're very pleased 21 about that. They allow the participants to have 22 multiple outdoor experiences. We're also seeing more 23 teacher training. Teaching the teachers how to teach 24 environmental education programs as well as teaching 25 the teachers how to teach these outdoor recreational ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 32 1 activities to the students. So the schools and the 2 teachers are getting more involved. 3 And we're also having more focus on kids 4 and the entire family. At one point a lot of the 5 groups were just basically taking the kids out and the 6 kids would go back home and want to go out with their 7 parents and the parents had no idea what to do. So 8 now some of the groups are actually taking the entire 9 family out on the outings and teaching them how to 10 take the kids outdoor and experience the outdoors. 11 Just a little background on the 12 information on the grants that we awarded in 13 December. We had 52 applications to come in; 24 of 14 them were actually funded. The demands: We had 15 $1.2 million in demand, and we were able to allocate 16 $630,000 for that. 17 Just a couple of examples of some of 18 the -- a couple of the opportunities that we were 19 funded in December was, the Friends of Hermann Park in 20 Houston. This funding will be used for an outdoor 21 science learning opportunity for inner-city teachers 22 and kids in the bay -- Bayou Parkland area. 23 Another example is the Orange County 24 Juvenile Probation Office. They're going to take 25 these funds and use it to take at-risk kids out to ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 33 1 learn about forest awareness, endangered species, 2 bats, and they're going to also get guided fishing 3 tours. And for those kids that is a big time to be -- 4 big time fun for them. 5 The programs that most of the applicants 6 are using in their grant programs are our Outdoor Kids 7 program; Project Wild; Hunter Education; Angler 8 Education; and, as I mentioned before, Boater 9 Education is becoming fastly on the rise; the Buffalo 10 Soldiers program; and our Outdoor Women's program. 11 And just want -- wanted to mention as 12 well, I got an e-mail a couple of days ago from the 13 Wisconsin Department of Natural Sciences -- Natural 14 Resources, and they're interested in modeling a 15 similar program like we have with the Coop program in 16 the State of Wisconsin. So we'll be talking with them 17 about this particular program. 18 And I'll be happy to answer any 19 questions you might have. 20 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Any 21 questions? 22 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: I think that's 23 impressive work. 24 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Yeah. 25 MS. LEWIS: Thank you. ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 34 1 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: How many kids do 2 you think you've reached so far? I mean, have you 3 keep -- are you keeping a running total on that? 4 MS. LEWIS: Yes, sir, we have. And 5 we -- we haven't been adding them up year plus the 6 year, but on an average year we could -- we reach 7 anywhere about 250,000 kids. 8 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: Is there going to 9 be any way to follow up and see if they're actually 10 continuing to take part in outdoor activities or not? 11 MS. LEWIS: One of the nice things that 12 we're enjoying about working with the school 13 districts -- because many of them do keep tabs on 14 their kids and their programs, so they're following 15 them from year through year, so we're able to kind of 16 go to them and rely on them for some of their 17 statistical information. And also, as you'll learn 18 from one of our other programs, the Buffalo Soldiers 19 program, the groups who do keep that type of 20 information, if we partner with them, it's an 21 excellent way for us to keep up with that kind of 22 data. 23 VICE-CHAIRMAN ANGELO: If we're going to 24 evaluate this effort and -- and really feel like 25 we're -- proof that we're doing something, we're going ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 35 1 to have to be able to track some of these kids and see 2 if they actually do end up taking part. 3 MS. LEWIS: Yes. Yes, sir. Absolutely. 4 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: I don't know what the 5 data is. But I think common sense would tell me that 6 you touch a child once you may make an impression; you 7 touch him twice you will make an impression. And -- 8 and I think if you touch him a third time, you've got 9 someone hooked for life, and -- 10 MS. LEWIS: Right. 11 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: -- so the more we can 12 do to follow up on that, as Mr. Angelo said, the more 13 I think efficient really in the end our efforts are. 14 Because I think just that one-shot deal is very 15 limited in the benefit you reap. And keeping an 16 ongoing relationship with some of these children is 17 the key in the long run to -- to having an educated 18 citizen. 19 MS. LEWIS: Yes, ma'am. And one of the 20 examples of one of the programs that we have that 21 addresses that -- City of Austin, for example, they 22 have a mentor -- teaching mentor program. This year 23 someone will come on as someone who's a mentee; the 24 following year it's up to them to go out and get 25 another child and teach that child the program, and ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 36 1 then it goes on and on and on. And they keep the kids 2 involved with the program on a regular basis, and 3 we're finding that to be a very successful model in a 4 program for us to take a look at. 5 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: You all do a wonderful 6 job. 7 MS. LEWIS: Thank you very much. 8 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Thank you very 9 much. 10 Next, we have Ken Pollard with an update 11 on the Buffalo Soldiers program. Ken? 12 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: Before Ken -- Or come 13 on up, Ken. But I do want to mention that we -- our 14 presence is being graced by Representative Keno Flores 15 from Mission, Texas. We enjoy having you here. 16 REPRESENTATIVE FLORES: Thank you. 17 MR. POLLARD: Good afternoon, Chairman, 18 Members of the Commission. My name is Ken Pollard, 19 the Program Administrator with the State Parks 20 Division had -- earlier today we had a Ms. Gloria 21 Austin, the Executive Director of the Renaissance 22 Cultural Center of Fort Worth, Texas and a Mr. Jim 23 Austin, the General Manager of the Cowboys of Color 24 Rodeo, and also the -- a member of the Texas Real 25 Estate Commission who were going to present with me. ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 37 1 They had a pressing engagement back with 2 the real estate banquet that he had to get back to and 3 attend, and the -- Mr. Austin is the -- is being 4 recognized tonight. He -- his wife and I could not be 5 up front with him about it, but he's actually 6 receiving the Charles Tandy Award from the Society of 7 Commercial Realtors tonight. And so that's why they 8 had to get back, but we couldn't let him know exactly 9 why. 10 To begin my presentation, I would like 11 to provide you a report on the Texas Buffalo Soldiers 12 Community Education and Outreach Program, and a 13 briefing on the Texas Buffalo Soldiers Partnership 14 with the Cowboys of Color Rodeo. 15 Simply, the Texas Buffalo Soldiers 16 program is a living history educational program. We 17 have another program, the Exploring Texas Roots, which 18 an ongoing cultural research project. The Blazing New 19 Trails program is a outdoor educational and 20 recreational program. 21 Now, one of the things that's most 22 important and significant about our programs is our 23 shared cultural heritage. As you can see, our 24 programs instill pride, self-esteem and confidence, 25 but it also identifies the opportunity for us to share ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 38 1 the history and culture of Texas. 2 Our fourth program: The Texas Buffalo 3 Soldiers Heritage Trail. This is the umbrella program 4 for the three preceding programs. The Heritage Trail 5 incorporates state parks, fort sites, and other 6 natural cultural historic sites into minority tourism 7 educational and preservation activities. 8 The Buffalo Soldiers program is designed 9 and planned to be dependent upon joint collaborations 10 and partnerships. The Texas Buffalo Soldier regiment 11 averages 300 or so active volunteers and more than 100 12 volunteer organizations. And I -- a new opportunity 13 that I've been discussing with the Black Ball Players 14 Association -- Thank you, sir. I've still got a 15 little West Texas gravel in my throat. Thank you, 16 sir. Thank you. One of our newest partners that I've 17 been dialoguing with for about six to eight months now 18 is the Black Ball Players Association out of Burbank, 19 California. 20 The Black Ball Players Association is -- 21 had plans for two games of the century to be played in 22 the United States: One at Enron Field, one in Dodger 23 Stadium. The Enron Field one did not work out, but 24 they are still planning and confirmed on the one that 25 they're doing at Dodger Stadium the second weekend in ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 39 1 February. And we have been invited. I got a call 2 from them about 4:30 yesterday. We've been invited. 3 They'd like to charter about 50 of our Buffalo 4 Soldiers out there to participate in that event. 5 That sounds fabulous and fantastic and 6 it's a great opportunity. But the reward that I see 7 in those types of -- of opportunities is the -- reach 8 the target audience that we are trying to reach 9 through a joint collaboration where that we -- through 10 the sharing of expenses and the use of our volunteers 11 other agency programs we can accomplish the mission of 12 Parks and Wildlife, whereby that -- the initial 13 organization or event itself brings you several 14 thousand adults and families. 15 This is, I have to say, the most 16 exciting accomplishment that I feel in my heart of the 17 program. Senate Bill 1457 designates July as Texas 18 Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Month, and July 28th as 19 Texas Buffalo Soldiers Capital Salute Day. The 20 significance of July 28th is that in 1866, this is the 21 date Congress authorized the formation of the United 22 States Colored Regiments. 23 In the Digest section of the Bill 24 analysis for Senate Bill 1457, the history of Texas 25 Parks and Wildlife with the Buffalo Soldiers program ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 40 1 is officially recorded. Texas Parks and Wildlife has 2 a month-long period, and the heritage program to take 3 the lead with appropriate ceremonies and activities to 4 market this official recognition month across the 5 State of Texas. 6 Another exciting program and one of our 7 longest-standing partnerships is with the Dan Kubiak 8 Buffalo Soldier At-Risk Youth program managed by the 9 Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. 10 This program operates in five counties: Bexar, 11 Dallas, Tarrant, Tom Green, and Washington. Texas 12 State Parks has partnered with the at-risk youth 13 program since 1995. 14 The purpose of this program is to 15 develop character, improve self-esteem, learn the 16 benefits of hard work, rewards of self-improvement 17 through the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage curriculum, and 18 outdoor skills instruction. The program has been 19 utilizing since its inception Texas Parks and Wildlife 20 educational materials, state parks, living history 21 programs, and encampments at our fort sites and other 22 state parks, and other approved venues for the 23 contractors. 24 The highlight of this program is the 25 measures of the program's effectiveness. At this time ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 41 1 I'd like to ask Mr. McCarty, if he would, to pass you 2 out a packet. On the slide you will see that we have 3 a six-month cycle and the reports -- this is the 4 highlights of the program effectiveness from 1997 to 5 2001. Within the six-month cycle report is included 6 participant information, status on project service 7 provisions for the contractors, and performance 8 measures. This same report or the data from these 9 reports are reported to the Legislature con -- 10 concerning the program's effectiveness. 11 We are proud of Lockhart High School and 12 the American Cultures class. Lockhart High School has 13 used the Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Trail 14 curriculum to teach diversity about Texas and American 15 Societies since 1997. These students participate and 16 use the Exploring Texas Roots Cultural Research 17 project as a primary class focus. The program 18 effectiveness is measured by grades, evaluation of 19 teacher, assignments and projects, and this particular 20 program also includes field trips. 21 As I have shared with you, our 22 educational programs focus on youth. However, we have 23 find an exciting secondary result. Adult outreach. 24 Through the Cowboys of Color Rodeo we are enhancing 25 visibility of Texas Parks and Wildlife in minority ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 42 1 communities. The target audience is predominantly 2 minority. The message opportunity is directed to 3 thousands of minority adults and families. And the 4 program has been very cost effective. The expenses -- 5 our volunteer expenses for helping myself and other 6 staff conduct these and participate in these six 7 rodeos -- have averaged approximately $.65 per rodeo 8 visitor. 9 At this time I would like to continue 10 with the presentation that Mr. Jim Austin and also 11 Ms. Gloria Austin would have presented to you. And 12 they left the Commission a letter, and I'll read it to 13 you and leave that with Mr. McCarty for file. 14 Ms. Gloria Austin is the Executive 15 Director of the Renaissance Cultural Center in Fort 16 Worth, Texas. It -- The Cultural Center promotes 17 cultural diversity and higher education for youth. 18 The pro -- Many of the proceeds or some of the 19 proceeds from the rodeo tour benefit the Renaissance 20 Cultural Center programs and, also, the National 21 Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame. 22 The mission of the Renaissance Cultural 23 Center is to provide the programs that promote 24 cultural diversity and higher education for our 25 youth. The rodeo for them has been an excellent ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 43 1 vehicle to help youth learn about their minority 2 contribution. 3 The 2001 Rodeo Tour which was conducted 4 in five cities in Texas this year -- it actually 5 reached the same target area as identified within our 6 outreach program with the education division. The 7 rodeos were conducted in Dallas, Fort Worth, Mesquite, 8 San Antonio, Austin, Houston. Now, that particular 9 rodeos reached several million television viewers. 10 Approximately, four million TV viewers: ABC, NBC, 11 Fox, Univision, El Telemundo to TXEN. Approximately, 12 two million print: National and regional magazines 13 and newspapers. One million radio: African-American, 14 Hispanic, and the general market. And thousands of 15 hits on internet sites, event calendars, chambers of 16 commerce, convention and visitors bureau. 17 The rodeo partnership in a concise way 18 for Parks and Wildlife and for the Buffalo Soldiers 19 programs is that we have an audience of several 20 thousand per event. And we have that opportunity to 21 present our Parks and Wildlife programs as well as 22 reaching the community with educational and historical 23 information. 24 The 2002 Rodeo Tour picking is up an 25 additional two cities: The two cities are Oklahoma ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 44 1 City and the Rio Grande Valley. The hope for this 2 particular opportunity is that we will be able to 3 continue this sponsorship and partnership with them, 4 and while at the same time meeting the mission of 5 Parks and Wildlife and taking advantage of the 6 opportunities for outreach. 7 At this time, Ms. Austin and them also 8 brought packets for the Members of the Commission with 9 additional information. And at this time I'd like to 10 read the letter that they left you. 11 Greetings to the Chairman and Members of 12 the Commission: We are looking forward to a great 13 future with the continued collaboration between the 14 Cowboys of Color Rodeo and Texas Parks and Wildlife. 15 We feel and agree with Texas Parks and Wildlife that 16 there is a great message to be told about Texas 17 history and the Texas Buffalo Soldiers program -- I 18 have difficulty with this part -- led by Ken Pollard 19 who is doing an extremely commendable job on 20 communicating this important fact to the public at 21 large. I told her not to put that in there. 22 We want to thank you for you this 23 opportunity to share our dream of educating the world 24 about the contributions made by these honorable men 25 through the Parks and Wildlife, Cowboys of Color ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 45 1 Museum, and the rodeos, and other programs that reach 2 adults and youth alike. Signed: Jim Austin, Gloria 3 Austin, 1-16-02. 4 At this time, I'd like to thank you and 5 be glad to answer any questions that the Commission 6 has. 7 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: I know we 8 appreciate the enthusiasm and dedication with which 9 you pursue this project. Does anybody have any 10 questions or comments? 11 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: Well, I would 12 have to agree with the passage in that letter about 13 your work, Ken. I mean, it's overwhelming to me what 14 you -- what you do in that and the dedication and the 15 amount of time you spend at this, and I appreciate it. 16 MR. POLLARD: Thank you, sir. 17 COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS: It says a 18 lot. 19 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Any other 20 comments or questions? Thank you for a good, thorough 21 briefing. Anybody else? Okay. Thank you. I believe 22 that -- 23 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: Thank you, Ken. 24 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: Is there any 25 other business for this Committee? ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 46 1 (No Response.) 2 COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: I will yield 3 the chair. 4 CHAIRMAN IDSAL: I believe that 5 concludes today's business; and therefore, this 6 meeting is adjourned. 7 (Meeting Adjourned.) 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 . 47 1 THE STATE OF TEXAS ) 2 COUNTY OF BEXAR ) 3 I, DICIE LEE EYTCHESON, a Certified 4 Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do 5 hereby certify that the above and foregoing 46 pages 6 constitute a full, true, and correct transcript of the 7 minutes of the TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION on 8 JANUARY 16, 2002, in the Commission Hearing Room of 9 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters Complex, 10 Austin, Travis County, Texas. 11 I FURTHER CERTIFY that a 12 stenographic record was made by me at the time of the 13 public meeting and said stenographic notes were 14 thereafter reduced to computerized transcription under 15 my supervision and control. 16 WITNESS MY HAND this the day of 17 , 2002. 18 19 20 DICIE LEE EYTCHESON, Texas CSR 5392 Expiration Date: 12/2002 21 7800 IH-10 West, Suite 100 San Antonio, Texas 78230 22 (210) 377-3027 23 24 25 ESQUIRE DEPOSITION SERVICES, INC. 7800 IH-10 WEST, SUITE 100, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78230 (210)377-3027 (800)969-3027 FAX (210)344-6016 .