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TPWD Seeks Public Input on Variety of Resource Issues
AUSTIN, Texas — Gauging stakeholder attitudes and opinions about a variety of proposed changes in hunting and fishing regulations, and related resource issues, is the focus behind a series of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department public hearings continuing across the state during March.
TPWD considers changes to hunting and fishing regulations and related policies each year and entertaining public input about those proposals is a key component in the process. Public comment taken during the open meetings will be considered when agency staff presents final recommendations to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in early April.
A series of 19 public hearings began March 8 and continues through March 24. The public is encouraged to attend and make comment at any of the following remaining meetings. All hearings start at 7 p.m. Comment may also be made online (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/) or in writing to TPWD Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Road., Austin, TX 78744.
Following are the remaining hearings and their locations:
- Franklin — Tuesday, March 23, Robertson County Courthouse.
- Longview — Thursday, March 25, Gregg County Service Center, 405 East Marshall (Hwy 80).
- Midland — Monday, March 22, Old Midland County Tax Office, 709 W. Washington St.
- Palestine — Monday, March 22, Ben E. Keith Building, 2019 W. Oak.
- Rusk — Wednesday, March 24, Cherokee County Courthouse, 502 N. Main.
- Southlake — Monday, March 22, Southlake Courthouse, 1400 Main St., Room B, 3rd Floor
Following are just a few of the topics up for discussion during this year’s public hearing process.
- A deferral option from hunter education requirements that would allow an individual who purchases a Texas hunting license and is accompanied by a licensed hunter who is at least 17 years of age and already meets hunter education requirements to hunt for the remainder of the license year.
- Another recommendation would double the spring hunting season length for eastern turkeys to 30 days with an April 1 opener. TPWD is also proposing to add two more counties to the eastern spring turkey season beginning in 2005, Hardin and Liberty, and expand the season to encompass all of two others, Montgomery and Tyler counties.
- A change in fishing license options to incorporate the new $5 freshwater fishing stamp. According to the new proposed licensing structure, anglers could choose from several fishing packages depending on the type of fishing — freshwater or saltwater.
- Another proposal would eliminate the need for "double tagging" deer under certain situations, particularly on some Managed Lands Deer properties and during special public hunts.
- In another recommendation, TPWD is considering modifications to the late youth-only deer season designed to reduce confusion and increase opportunity.
A complete list of proposals is available online at the TPWD Web site and at all public hearings.
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