Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee

January 16, 2002

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

          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:

              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

              Robert L. Cook, Interim Executive Director, and other
         20   personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department






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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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 --

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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 --

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          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

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          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 --

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          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

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          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?

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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,

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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.

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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

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          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?

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          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.)



















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          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.



         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




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