|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2004-04-05                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
April 5, 2004
San Jacinto Day Festival, Battle Re-Enactment Will Be April 24
LA PORTE, Texas -- More than 10,000 Texans and others are expected to gather at San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site on April 24 to celebrate the brief but decisive battle that brought Texas its independence from Mexico.
This year marks the 168th anniversary of Gen. Sam Houston's Texan troops' victory over the Mexican army under the command of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on April 21, 1836.
The festival is free and lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. At 3 p.m. April 24, more than 200 re-enactors will dramatize the victory of the roughly 800 Texans under the leadership of Houston over the 1,200-strong Mexican forces attempting to quell their rebellion. Amidst the burst of cannon and musket fire, Texan forces will charge across the field toward the Mexican camp during the re-enactment of an engagement that Gen. Houston reported lasted only 18 minutes. Many of the "soldiers" are living historians and re-enactors who participated in the filming of the just-released Disney movie, "The Alamo," as well as two recent History Channel programs focusing on the Texas Revolution.
Some of the highlights of this year's San Jacinto Day Festival will be Armand Bayou children's games, Houston Archeology Society's mock archeological dig, Sam Houston Museum's Raven Rangers and guided tours of the restored marshlands. This year marks the first time the festival will offer hands-on history activities for children, such as the making of cornhusk dolls and pioneer vests, and playing of 1830s games.
Living history exhibits open at 10 a.m. Saturday, providing visitors the opportunity to wander throughout the Mexican and Texan camps to learn about what members of both armies were doing before the battle and what their life was like on a daily basis. Women and children in period clothing will demonstrate the hardships experienced by those who, with their husbands and fathers at war, were forced to flee advancing forces of Gen. Santa Anna in what became known as the Runaway Scrape.
Texas-style foods and beverages will be offered for sale at the park. K. R. Woods and the Fathers of Texas Band will provide period musical entertainment. Parking is available, with shuttle buses transporting park visitors from designated areas throughout the day.
The San Jacinto Museum of History invites park visitors to visit and view its collection of Texas Revolution artifacts that provide insight into early Texas history and attend hourly screenings of the theater show which vividly outlines the events leading up to and the Battle of San Jacinto. In addition, the museum will feature several authors and experts on the Texas Revolution who will be making presentations every half hour throughout the day.
Admission to the San Jacinto Day Festival -- the San Jacinto Museum, the re-enactment, the nature boardwalk and the 1,200-acre park -- is free. Nominal fees are charged for elevator rides to the top of the San Jacinto Monument and screenings of "Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto!"
On San Jacinto day at 11a.m., April 21, TV personality Ron Stone will emcee at a small ceremony at the San Jacinto Monument marking the actual battle anniversary. The Battleship Texas Foundation will have a brief ceremony aboard the Battleship Texas at 10:45 a.m. to recognize 56 years of being moored at San Jacinto Battleground.
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is located 22 miles east of Houston. For information and directions to the park, call (281) 479-2431. For information about the San Jacinto Museum of History and San Jacinto Day Festival events, telephone (281) 479-2421.

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [SA]
April 5, 2004
Shooting Range Owners Invited To Discuss Environmental Stewardship
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Shooting ranges present the opportunity to preserve land for future generations. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hunter education and target range grant program staff have arranged for a free 'Best Management Practices for Shooting Ranges' seminar at the Grand Prairie Gun Club to help guide range operators, owners and partners about how to create an environmental stewardship plan.
Rick Patterson, executive director of the National Association of Shooting Ranges, will lead the seminar, which takes place April 21 from 1:30- 4:30 p.m. Range operators who are interested should register for one of 40 spaces by April 12, and a few spaces at the seminar are available on a first-come, first-served basis for others who are interested in the topic.
One environmental problem shooting ranges face is lead contamination. The National Association of Shooting Ranges has developed the "how-to" manual for lead management and environmental stewardship; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published a similar resource. This seminar will discuss this important issue and provide information needed to develop an effective Environmental Stewardship Plan.
Seminar sponsors include the National Association of Shooting Ranges, the Grand Prairie Gun Club and the Dallas Arms Collector's Association. The gun club has also received help from TPWD's Target Range grant program in 1993 and 2001. TPWD granted $130,000 to help building and range improvement projects.
The grant program was established in 1981 through the State Appropriations Act. A portion of the 11 percent excise tax from handgun and archery equipment sales goes toward the program, which funds shooting range needs such as hunter education facilities.
For more information or to register for the seminar, contact Steve Hall at steve.hall@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 389-4568.

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
April 5, 2004
Ducks Unlimited Honors TPWD
MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department received a Gold State Grant Award from Ducks Unlimited at the 69th Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Washington on March 19.
Each year, Ducks Unlimited presents State Grant Awards to state agencies that have reached significant milestones in their contributions to conserve waterfowl breeding habitat in critical areas of Canada. TPWD received the award in recognition of contributions in excess of $1 million.
The department provided more than $100,000 for this international conservation effort this past year. Ducks Unlimited in turn matches the department's contribution and uses the combined amount to lever a U.S. federal match under the terms of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). In effect TPWD's contribution is leveraged more than four-fold by the time it reaches the ground in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Mike Berger, Ph.D. and TPWD wildlife division director, accepted the award.
"Since 1985, the Ducks Unlimited partnership with our state agency has conserved more than 200,000 acres of wetlands and other vital waterfowl habitat in the primary waterfowl nesting areas of Saskatchewan, Canada and restored and protected over 112,000 acres wetlands in Texas," Berger said. "We are proud to accept this award from an organization that achieves real, on-the-ground conservation. The net result is better hunting, better birding, and healthier ecosystems. Government cannot do it alone, and groups like this one are absolutely critical for effective wildlife conservation."
Alan Wentz, Ph.D., and DU's group manager for conservation programs, presented the award. "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has made a significant, positive difference in the effort to conserve North America's waterfowl habitats," said Wentz. "It is both a privilege and a pleasure to recognize such outstanding partners in conservation."
TPWD has been a partner in the State Grant Program since 1985, and was one of only two state agencies to receive the prestigious Gold State Program Award. Iowa's Department of Natural Resources was the other recipient.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation group.
Wetlands are arguably the most important habitat type for fish and wildlife, yet they are also one of the most threatened. During the last 200 years, Texas has lost more than 52 percent of its original wetlands, according to the report "Wetlands losses in the United States 1780's to 1980's" published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, wetlands along the Texas coast continue to be lost at a rate of about 5,700 acres a year. This fact was documented by a study called "Texas Coastal Wetlands; Status and Trends, mid-1950s to early 1990s," by TPWD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The greatest losses were of freshwater emergent and forested wetlands, with significant but relatively smaller losses of saltwater wetlands.
Information about wetlands, including grant funding and guidance for landowners, plus links to private conservation groups like DU, is on the TPWD Web site (http://tpwd.texas.gov/wetlands/).

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
April 5, 2004
TPWD Calendar
The following meetings may be of interest to the public. Check the master calendar for all TPWD events.
--Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board, April 13, 10 a.m., Bass Conference Room, TPWD headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin.
--Historic Sites Advisory Committee, April 16, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Bass Conference Room, TPWD headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin.
--White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee, April 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Commission Hearing Room, TPWD headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin

[ Note: This item is more than 13 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
April 5, 2004
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories is broadcast on about 100 Texas stations. Airing the week of April 5-9, an outdoor wildlife competition that's for the birds and also, the latest birding tournament that's really out of sight.
For more information, visit the Web (http://www.passporttotexas.org/).
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation. This month's stories include: Spring turkey season is here and with it come many hunters from both in and out of state to try their luck at snagging one of these creatures; the Great Texas Birding Classic brings bird watchers from all over the country to compete in a week-long 'birdathon.' This year, however, some contestants will leave their binoculars at home; this spring there are two new ways to enjoy state parks; buy a new State Parks Pass to get into the more than 120 state parks and then fish free when you get there; and once they were cargo ships during World War II, now they are home to marine life in the sea.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. Stories airing the week of April 4-11 are: using a 2,000-acre wetlands system to naturally clean water from the Trinity River before returning it to the river system; luxury and history are on display at the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site; animal call expert Ralph Duren mimics the deer 'snort' -- helping ranchers and farmers learn about the benefits of prescribed burning; and an early morning on a marsh reveals spider webs glistening with dew.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web (http://tpwd.texas.gov/tv).
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online (http://www.tpwmagazine.com/).