Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Linda Campbell

Survey of Wildlife Division Cooperators
April 1, 2010

I. Executive Summary: In an effort to improve the services provided to private landowners, the Wildlife Division conducted a mail survey of 5,289 current cooperators. The survey was developed by a 2009 Natural Leaders team. The first mailing was sent on June 6, 2009, with two additional mailings sent to non-respondents at 21-day intervals. A reminder post card was sent to all cooperators on June 17, 2009. Staff will brief the Commission on the results of those surveys. Results will also be shared with division leadership, staff and others as TPWD seeks to evaluate and improve private lands services.

II. Discussion: A total of 2,194 completed surveys were returned by October 5, 2009 for a return rate of 45.02 percent. Of the known respondents, 1,851 (89 percent) were landowners and 224 (11 percent) were agents. On average, each respondent controlled 1.15 sites and 3,975 acres. Respondents indicated they had received services from TPWD an average of 6.76 years. The top reasons motivating people to seek assistance from TPWD were developing a wildlife management plan (69 percent), receiving advice and guidance on wildlife habitat management (67 percent), and participation in the Managed Lands Deer Program (62 percent). Primary management goals were to improve deer herd quality (87 percent) and provide habitat improvement for a diversity of native wildlife (79 percent). Forty-eight percent of respondents indicated they had fully implemented the habitat management practices recommended by TPWD, while 44 percent indicated they had implemented some of the recommended practices. When asked how well TPWD programs and services meet their needs, 63 percent said very well and 33 percent indicated acceptable. Further analysis of data is planned to better understand regional differences.