|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-07-25                                    |
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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 ] [KE]
July 25, 2005
New USFWS Leader Worked on Texas Issues
UNDATED -- A former regional director who has a long history of working on Texas conservation issues has been tapped to become the new director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington DC.
President Bush said he intends to nominate H. Dale Hall to serve as Director of the USFWS. The announcement is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, once the official nomination is made by the President.
A 27-year career employee, Hall has served in Albuquerque as the Southwest Regional Director of the Service since 2001.
"We've have worked closely with Dale Hall and the USFWS folks on many wildlife conservation issues in Texas and across the southwest," said Robert Cook, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's executive director. "He is absolutely sincere about the need to work cooperatively with private landowners and state conservation agencies and organizations. He respects private property rights and recognizes the ability and willingness of private landowners to conserve fish and wildlife species and habitat. The USFWS is fortunate to have highly professional, competent and experienced employees like Dale Hall in their organization. They could not have made a better choice for the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and we are looking forward to continuing our great working relationship with their organization."
Hall said he was humbled and honored. "I'm looking forward to this position and to using my experience to lead our outstanding employees in finding science-based, cooperative solutions to the tough issues before the Fish and Wildlife Service."
Hall's experience includes a term as Deputy Regional Director in Atlanta and one as Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in Portland. He started his career with the Service in 1978 when he did field work in wetlands ecology in Vicksburg, Miss. He continued in ecological services in Galveston and Houston where he worked as Outer Continental Shelf Coordinator with responsibility to work with Minerals Management Service to protect sensitive areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico. He was also the office supervisor in Texas for four years. Along his career path he also worked as Deputy Assistant Director for Fisheries in Washington, D.C.
A native of Harlan, Ky., Hall served in the Philippines and Italy during his time with the U.S. Air Force. Hall also has private sector experience having managed catfish farms in the Mississippi Delta after returning to civilian life. His education includes a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Cumberland College in Kentucky and a master's in fisheries science from Louisiana State University. Hall has been honored with the Department of the Interior's Meritorious Service Award.

[ 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]
July 25, 2005
Frequently Asked Questions About Boating Laws
Extra! Read All Aboat It!
UNDATED - Does the "Open Container" law apply when I'm in my boat?
No. This law, effective Sept. 1, 2001, prohibits the possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. It does not apply to watercraft.
Can my driver's license be suspended if I'm arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated?
Yes. Effective Sept.1, 2001, a person's drivers license will be automatically suspended if the arrested person:
--Is operating a watercraft powered with an engine having a manufacturer's rating of 50 horsepower or more; and
--The person refuses to provide a specimen (breath or blood) to determine intoxication.
The period of suspension for first time offenders is 180 days.
Who reports boating accidents to your department?
It is the responsibility of the boat operator who is involved in the accident. Each operator must file a boating accident report if the accident:
--Results in death; or
--Injuries to a person requiring medical treatment beyond first aid; or
--Causes damage to vessel(s) or property in excess of $500.
Report forms can be downloaded from the TPWD Web site under the BOATING link.
How do I find out if there are any special water safety regulations on a lake I want to visit?
The rules in the Texas Water Safety Act apply to all public water in Texas. The local governing body of incorporated cities or towns, county commissioner's courts, and political subdivisions can pass rules relating to restricted areas and the operation and equipment of boats it deems necessary for the public safety. You must contact the entity in charge to determine if any special rules apply.

[ 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 ] [KD]
July 25, 2005
TPWD Biologists Seek Help In Tracking Rare Hummingbirds
AUSTIN, Texas -- "The buzz" is that Lubbock had its first confirmed sighting of a White-eared Hummingbird recently and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists are seeking the public's help in tracking this rare bird and others around Texas.
"This is a very exciting find in the Lubbock area and for the Great Plains of Texas," said Mark Klym, TPWD's coordinator of the Texas Hummingbird Roundup. "The White-eared Hummingbird is one that few Texans have enjoyed in their own state, and for it to be seen in such atypical habitat is fascinating."
The medium-sized "chunky" hummingbird has a round head, and a short straight red bill tipped in black. Other striking features are a black, slightly forked tail and distinctive white patch on the side of its dark head. The bird is normally associated with pine-oak woods and mountain pine forests and borders.
There were only 14 accepted records of this bird in Texas prior to this year, most of them west of the Pecos River. The bird is typically known to nest in New Mexico and southeast Arizona.
"This is a bird that we really have little information about in Texas because of its scarcity in the state," said Klym. "Any information we get about the White-eared Hummingbird is a contribution to our knowledge on the bird."
The Texas Hummingbird Roundup is a TPWD program that enables Texans to assist TPWD biologists study the birds' feeding patterns, behavior, range and distribution. The program provides participants with a kit that includes a survey form and "A Quick Reference Guide to Texas Hummingbirds" booklet, with information on Texas' species of hummingbird, how to clean and maintain feeders, and suggestions on additional plants for the garden.
"We suspect the White-eared Hummingbird is nesting in West Texas but have been unable to find a female working on a nest there," Klym said. "Contributions from birders; home gardeners who have hummingbirds coming to their plants or feeders; and just interested people who happen to see hummingbirds are very helpful to us in learning about hummingbirds in general."
For more information about the Texas Hummingbird Roundup, or if you spot a White-eared Hummingbird, please call (512) 389-4644.
On the Net:

[ 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]
July 25, 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 July 25-29, we'll visit three Wildlife Management Areas, all from the comfort of your radio this week. We'll talk to Scott Blank at the Granger WMA, Donnie Frels, at the Kerr WMA and Mark Mitchell, at Mason Mountain WMA, who take us on our a tour of some of the most diverse natural areas of our state. Plus if you think the Caribbean has a variety of underwater critters, head out to Galveston Island State Park. Education Coordinator Mary Jean Hayden offers a glimpse into the murky waters with the park's "Exploring Sea Life" program.
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. Airing July 24-31, less than an hour outside of Fort Worth, the crystal waters and towering cliffs at Lake Possum Kingdom State Park are a great setting for camping, fishing, and boating. The Outdoor Learning Programs' Ann Miller shows us how different species of animals use sights and sounds to communicate. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center. See how exhibit sculptor Mike O'Brien and photographer Earl Nottingham contributed to the interesting look of this West Texas wonder. Where do all those exotic pets end up when their owners don't want them anymore? The Austin Zoo is one sanctuary for exotic animals from far away places. And finally, whether its bass, red fish, or trout, a fish on the line can't be beat.
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/