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News Release
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TPWD News,, 512-389-8030

Feb. 6, 2006

Nature Photography Symposium, Launch Party March 18

The Images for Conservation Fund (ICF) is partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to hold a nature photography symposium for landowners and photographers, as well as the launch party for the inaugural Images for Conservation Pro-Tour of Nature Photography coming up in April.

The daytime symposium and evening launch party will be held March 18 in northwest San Antonio.

The Images for Conservation Fund is a Texas-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, self-funded wildlife conservation industry based upon nature photography tourism.

ICF hopes to establish exciting nature photography leasing destinations while simultaneously generating significant income for the private landowners who lease them. To raise public awareness of these opportunities for both landowners and photographers, ICF has created the Pro-Tour of Nature Photography and a number of supporting events.

The symposium will feature two programs open to the public. One is for photographers wishing to learn about wildlife photography techniques and the existing opportunity to photograph wildlife on premier private ranches in the Texas Hill Country, according to Bob Petersen, chairman of the Images for Conservation Advisory Committee.

“The other program is for landowners who are interested in learning about the income potential that nature photo tourism offers for their ranching operations,” Petersen said. “The classes will be taught by some of the world’s best professional wildlife photographers, plus private landowners and tourism experts.”

The symposium will be held at TMI, the Episcopal School of Texas, in northwest San Antonio from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $75 and includes lunch.

The Pro-Tour launch party is also an organizational event leading up to the inaugural Pro-Tour of Nature Photography. At the launch party, professional photographers and Hill Country landowners will be paired into teams for the month-long tournament-style event April 1-30.

The Pro-Tour is the world’s first all-professional nature photo competition, and the 20 teams will compete for a share of up to $200,000 in prize money. The launch party will be held at the historic Gallagher Headquarters, located 23 miles northwest of San Antonio. Admission is $50 and includes a light supper.

Petersen noted the symposium and launch party mark the first public events associated with the inaugural Pro-Tour of Nature Photography.

In January, representatives from the 20 Pro-Tour ranches heard suggestions from professional wildlife photographer Larry Ditto on working with their photographer teammates.

For more information, visit the ICF Web site or call Sam Mason or John Martin at (956) 381-1264.

(EDITORS NOTE: The ICF website includes: maps to the symposium and launch party, list of participating Pro-Tour landowners for the inaugural event, background information about the tournament and PHOTOS by Pro-Tour photographers available for news media use.)

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