|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-02-07                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 12 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]
Feb. 7, 2005
Public Meetings Set To Discuss Lesser Prairie Chickens
LUBBOCK, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is hosting a series of meetings in the Texas Panhandle and South Plains regions in early March to discuss lesser prairie chicken conservation and management with landowners and others.
These meetings will be held prior and in addition to the TPWD regulatory meetings that are scheduled for later in March to discuss broader wildlife regulations proposals for the next hunting and fishing season.
"Lesser prairie chickens are a part of Texas' natural heritage, and an important component of our short and mid-grass prairie habitats," said Heather Whitlaw, TPWD wildlife biologist in Lubbock.
"However, the lesser prairie chicken is being considered for listing as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and is thus the focus of restoration efforts in the five states where it occurs. Private landowners, biologists, and other interested parties in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas are all working toward achieving lesser prairie chicken restoration. Having a proactive approach and developing partnerships with those who own and manage private land is good natural resource management."
Without the help of private landowners to restore and improve habitats, Whitlaw said lesser prairie chickens will likely continue to decline and may eventually be listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Lesser prairie chicken populations and range have been declining in Texas for several decades. Changes in land use in the Texas Panhandle and areas of the South Plains where lesser prairie chickens historically occurred have likely reduced the amount of habitat available to the species.
"Lesser prairie chickens need large expanses of native range and grasslands that are interspersed with certain percentages of shrubs for cover, and forbs and bare ground for insect production" said Whitlaw. "When large areas of native habitat are lost or fragmented by other land uses, the ability of the land to support healthy wildlife populations, including lesser prairie chickens, is reduced."
Private landowners and the general public are invited to the public meetings to get information and provide input on programs and incentives that are available for managing lesser prairie chickens and the habitats they rely upon. Private landowners will also be asked for their input about what they might be willing to do to help in this effort, including considering modifications to current land management practices that would improve habitat for lesser prairie chickens and other grassland-dependent species.
Many state and federal agencies have incentive programs in place to help private landowners improve and restore wildlife habitat on the properties they manage. In addition to TPWD staff, personnel from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Texas Cooperative Extension, and local RC&Ds will be invited to attend the public meetings to discuss programs and incentives for habitat improvement and restoration.
All meetings start at 7 p.m.
--March 1 -- Canadian, Hemphill County, Canadian Courts Hotel, Conference Center.
--March 2 -- Wheeler, Wheeler County, Mel's Diner.
--March 3 -- McLean, Gray County, Devil's Rope Museum.
--March 8 -- Muleshoe, Bailey County, 5-Area Telephone Coop Building.
--March 9 -- Morton, Cochran County, NRCS Building Community Room.
--March 10 -- Seminole, Gaines County, Community Building (old City Hall).

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [LH]
Feb. 7, 2005
Fly Fishers Heading To Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS, Texas -- The sixth annual Fly Fish Texas is scheduled for March 5 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center here. TFFC has hosted the event each year since 2001.
Expert fly fishers from all over Texas will converge to share tips and techniques during seminars and hands-on demonstrations. Participants can tie flies, practice casting and fish for bass, sunfish and rainbow trout in TFFC's ponds and streams.
Seminars will cover fly fishing for bass and carp, fly fishing the Texas coast, kayak fishing, urban fly fishing and fishing small streams in Texas and Colorado. Dutch oven cooks will serve up breads and desserts hot off the coals.
Many of the speakers are well known in Texas fly fishing circles. Colby ("Pops") Sorrells will speak about "Bass Buggin"Texas Style." Mark Marmon will reveal the secrets to "Urban Fly Fishing," while Steve Rawls, Marty Cecil and Ronnie Ray will tell how and where to fish streams in Texas and Colorado. Steve Robbins' session about "Bream Bustin' with a Fly Rod" spotlights a fishing opportunity that offers fast-paced action on almost any body of water.
Young people make up a large part of the thousand attendees each year, and basic and intermediate fly-fishing classes are the reason. Kids ages 12 and older learn what makes good fish habitat and get to collect and identify bugs from TFFC streams and ponds. Then they learn how to tie flies that mimic those bugs and use them to catch fish using fly-fishing gear provided on-site.
Admission to the day-long event is included with regular admission to TFFC: $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3.50 for children ages 4-12. TFFC is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 5550 F.M. 2495, three miles east of Athens. Athens is 75 miles southeast of Dallas.
Sponsors and vendors for the event include the Sabine River Authority, Orvis, Texas Department of Agriculture, Dwight Cooley Foods, Post Oak Master Naturalists, Jimmie's Fishing Jewelry, Boy Scout Troop 1299, Temple Fork Outfitters, Steve Robbins Backcountry Fly Shop, Steve Rawls Fly Fishing Guide Service, Marty Cecil Elk Trout Lodge, Deborah Wade Dame Julia Fly Tying, Chris Dukeminier Mariner Sails, Jim Partin ArkAnglers and Brooke's Seasonings.
For more information and a schedule of events and seminars call (903) 676-2277 or (903) 670-2222.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 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]
Feb. 7, 2005
Women's History Month Celebrated at Barrington Living History Farm
WASHINGTON, Texas -- Get to know the "gentle tamers and sunbonneted helpmates" of early Texas March 26-27 at Barrington Living History Farm in celebration of Women's History month.
A special program, "True Texas Women," will explore the lives of women who helped tame the Texas frontier. Learn about such women as Mary Jones, wife of the president of a republic, Anson Jones, and Rachel Fanthorp, who saw history walk through the door of her husband's inn that today operates as a state historic site.
Hear stories, too, about other notorious and notable frontier women, such as Pamelia Mann, businesswoman and sometimes criminal, who refused to live in anyone's shadow. Still others, like Juana Cavasos, Indian captive and community leader, and Sylvia King, kidnapped and enslaved on a Fayette County plantation, led lives that could either be called adventurous or nightmarish. Costumed interpreters will tell their stories and explain their roles in Texas history.
Come visit Barrington Farm on this special weekend and see how a proper woman would then be dressed -- from her corset to the jewelry made from human hair. Choose your favorite fashions of the mid 19th century from fashion plates of the day. Learn appropriate tea etiquette and for those special occasions, the language of the fan. Try your hand at scrubbing clothes on a washboard while aromas drift from food cooking on the open hearth in the kitchen. Visit the Barrington Farm garden and check the progress of the spring vegetables.
Barrington Farm is located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site in Washington, Texas, on FM 1155 just off State Highway 105 between Brenham and Navasota. Barrington is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults $2 for students; children ages six and younger are admitted free. Discount tickets are available to tour Independence Hall and the Star of The Republic Museum. For additional details, please call (936) 878-2213.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 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]
Feb. 7, 2005
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 more than 100 Texas stations. Airing the week of Feb. 7-11, we'll tell you where you can spot one of the most recognizable symbols of America, and how they are literally "counting" on the public to calculate their presence here. Plus, black bears are making a comeback in East Texas.
For more information, visit the Web.
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.
For more information, go to the Web.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
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.
On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD Video News: http://tpwd.texas.gov/news/tv/vnr/thismonth/
TPWD on PBS: http://tpwd.texas.gov/tv
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/