Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, January 24, 2007

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Land and Water Plan Update
    Staff: Robert Cook
  2. Water Communications Initiative
    Staff: Lydia Saldaña
  3. Technical Guidance Program
    Staff: Linda Campbell
  4. Archery in Schools Program
    Staff: Steve Hall
  5. Law Enforcement Outreach and Education Programs
    Staff: Willie Gonzalez

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Outreach and Education Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency's efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Finance Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Outreach and Education Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Lydia Saldaña

Outreach and Education Committee
Water Communications Initiative
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is committed to educating Texans about the importance of water to the future of fish and wildlife in Texas. A multi-year communications initiative began in July 2002 with a special July edition of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, and it has evolved since then to include video documentaries, education material and other efforts.

II. Discussion: Communications Director Lydia Saldaña will discuss the status of the on-going effort. The third hour-long documentary is scheduled to air on prime-time PBS stations across Texas on February 15, 2007. Planning for the 6th special July issue of the magazine is underway as we continue to focus attention on this important conservation issue.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Linda Campbell

Outreach and Education Committee
Technical Guidance Program – Past, Present and Future
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Linda Campbell, Program Director for Private Lands and Public Hunting and Mike Berger, Wildlife Division Director, will brief the committee on the history and accomplishments of the Technical Guidance Program. We will provide data on the expansion of technical assistance to landowners from 2,000 wildlife management plans on 6,908,824 acres in FY 1999 to the current total of 5,134 plans on 19,782,915 acres. We will discuss strategies to meet the growing demand for information and services to landowners and the importance of the program in accomplishing habitat conservation on private lands in Texas.

II. Discussion: Since 1930, TPWD biologists have been working with landowners to provide advice and guidance on habitat restoration and management. The increased economic value of white-tailed deer during the 1960s and 1970s led to increasing requests for assistance from private landowners managing habitats for deer and other wildlife. The TPWD Commission created the Technical Guidance Program in 1973 and established the first five technical guidance biologists. Other milestones for the program include:

We will provide perspectives of past and current field staff obtained by survey and personal interviews. We will also discuss future needs and initiatives intended to improve services that result in on the ground conservation while meeting the growing demand from a continually diverse landowner constituency.

Attachments - 2

  1. Exhibit A – Graph showing number of wildlife management plans and acres under management plans (also available in table format)
  2. Exhibit B – Graph showing growth of Managed Lands Deer Program (also available in table format)

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Numbers of Wildlife Management Plans and Acres Under Management Plans

Table showing number of wildlife management plans and acres under management plans, FY 2000 - 2006
Fiscal Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Plan Acres 8,388,030 9,708,164 12,165,861 14,527,378 15,462,951 17,100,987 18759316
Number of Plans 2272 2621 3319 3901 4312 4912 5482

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit B

Acres and Ranches Under MLDP
FY 1999 – FY 2006

Table showing growth of Managed Lands Deer Program, FY 1999- 2006
FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006
Level 1 Acreage 1,289,801 1,222,920 1,309,750 1,384,841 1,561,936 1,957,908 2,351,163 1,897,205
Level 2 and 3 Acreage 1,898,194 2,218,571 3,049,009 3,659,342 4,315,153 5,462,037 6,409,530 8,289,892
Level 1 — # Ranches 370 899 1,018 1,189 1,401 1,903 2,201 2,265
Level 2 and 3 — # Ranches 443 508 681 767 862 1,005 1,310 1,632
Total Acreage 3,187,995 3,441,491 4,358,759 5,044,183 5,877,089 7,419,945 8,760,693 10,186,687

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Steve Hall

Outreach and Education Committee
Archery in School Program
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: The National Archery in Schools Program is an effort to bolster shooting sports involvement in school curricula, especially within physical education programs. Begun in Kentucky in 2002, the program has grown considerably and is now in 45 states. Texas began training teachers in 2005 and piloted the program in schools in 2006. It is now beginning full-scale implementation of the program through a partnership with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service, Texas A&M University System and Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Program. Initial sponsors include Toyota and the Dallas Safari Club who have each contributed $50,000 for the first two years of the program. Funds will be used to equip schools and provide transportation to the statewide school tournament on February 23, 2007.

II. Discussion: The Texas Archery in the Schools Program is a joint venture between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Education Agency. State organizations such as Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and many archery equipment manufacturers and organizations are also partners. The program promotes student education and participation in the shooting sports. The program's focus is to provide target archery training in 4-12th grade physical education classes. A significant outcome of the program is an increased interest in bow hunting. (38 percent of the new archers have shown an interest.)

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Objective: To provide needed funding and general support for hunter education and for wildlife conservation efforts. Declining participation in the shooting sports threatens financial and public support for wildlife conservation. Archery (federal) excise taxes directly support hunter education program efforts in Texas through federal assistance in wildlife restoration. The Archery in Schools Program is designed to teach archery skills to 40,000 plus students each year after the program is established in Texas. Many of these young people will become shooters and shooting supporters. Many will become bow hunters.

Texas Education Agency Objective: To engage more students in the educational process to improve classroom performance and reduce dropout rates. The national school dropout rate is 10 percent. Most students (88 percent) who drop out of school indicate they were not involved in extra-curricular activities. Archery taught through the Archery in Schools Program is accessible to all students. Educators nationwide are reporting that the program "engages the unengaged" and inspires students to greater achievement in school.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A – National and Texas Archery in Schools Program Overview

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's
Archery in Schools Program
A National Archery in the Schools Program

Development History (NATIONAL)
Before the Course (55% boys and 45% girls)
After the Course
Recent Survey (November, 2005) by "Responsive Management"
Current Status
Current NASP Sponsors
Development History (TEXAS)
Current Texas Archery in Schools Sponsors

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Willie Gonzalez

Outreach and Education Committee
Law Enforcement Outreach and Education Programs
January 24, 2007

I. Executive Summary: Law enforcement outreach and education programs are widespread across Texas. Each year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens present programs to 349,187 Texans, mostly youngsters eager to learn about the outdoors.

II. Discussion: Within the law enforcement division, outreach and education events and programs are defined as those where direct contact is made with the public with the purpose of educating people about the department and Texas' natural and cultural resources and/or teaching participatory skills.

Events and programs include: 1) presentations to school children, civic organizations, conservation groups and landowners, 2) hatchery visitations, 3) career days in schools and minority recruitment, 4) youth camps, 5) outdoor woman workshops, 6) fishing and hunting events, presentations, 7) involvement with orphanages and other youth groups, 8) hunter, boater and angler education presentations and 9) wildlife and Project WILD programs.

Game wardens partner externally with businesses, conservation organizations and youth groups to garner support for their efforts, especially within the communities where they live. Internally, game wardens are trained and certified as angler, boater and hunter education instructors and use materials from programs like Project WILD to enhance the quality of their efforts.

Game wardens recruit volunteers, conduct background interviews and monitor or assist volunteers with their courses. They also conduct hunting, boating and water fatality investigations and use the analyses and information in programs to help people avoid accidents and to comply with hunting, fishing and water safety laws.