|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-09-05                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 11 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]
Sept. 5, 2005
San Antonio Man Is First Super Combo Prize Winner
AUSTIN, Texas -- Stephen Koepke didn't believe it when a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employee phoned him Aug. 29 to tell him he'd won a $1,000 outdoor gear shopping spree and a $60 Texas State Parks Pass.
"I didn't believe it at the time, because I didn't know about the drawings, but I verified it the next morning and found out it's true," said Koepke, who is self-employed serving legal papers and is a member of a local Rod and Gun Club in San Antonio.
What Koepke found out is that anyone who buys a Super Combo license by Dec. 31 will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of 10 $1,000 gift cards donated by Academy Sports and Outdoors, plus a $60 Texas State Parks Pass donated by Toyota. A total of 10 drawings will be held every two weeks until the end of December, and everyone who buys a Super Combo will be entered in all subsequent drawings. This means the earlier a person buys, the better their chances.
No purchase is necessary to enter; entrants can enter online via the department Web site or can pick up an entry form at a TPWD Law Enforcement license sales office.
"I rarely hunt any more, but I grew up on a ranch and hunted my whole life and have bought a license every year of my life whether I plan to hunt or not," Koepke said, adding that he still fishes often, mostly coastal bay and offshore angling.
"So I support parks and wildlife 100 percent, because I think they're a worthwhile organization and need every bit I can contribute," Koepke said. "I think they're doing an excellent job and I support 'em with my money whether I hunt or not."
Department leaders have said the promotion's purpose is mainly to give something back to the hunters and anglers who have historically paid for wildlife conservation by buying licenses. They also hope to give people an incentive to buy early in the season, which creates cash-flow timing that helps the agency and therefore helps the conservation cause.
Nine drawings to produce nine more winners are still to come. Purchasers of four different license types are automatically entered in the promotion. These include the $64 Super Combo package, which has everything a person needs to hunt or fish in Texas (except the federal duck stamp, needed to hunt waterfowl), as well as the Resident Senior Super Combo, Resident Disabled Veteran Super Combo and Resident Active Military Super Combo.
Anyone can buy a Super Combo by visiting any of the close to 2,000 retail establishments that sell Texas hunting and fishing licenses, by phoning toll-free (800) TX-LIC-4-U (895-4248), or by going on online to the TPWD Web site.
Entrants for the drawings must be at least 17 years old, and employees of TPWD, Academy and Toyota are not eligible. Complete rules are on the department Web site.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 11 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]
Sept. 5, 2005
TPWD Clarifies License Benefits For Active Military
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has clarified the rules and guidelines for a new provision to provide free hunting and fishing licenses for Texas resident active duty military service members.
Service members are only required to present a current military identification card at the license counter to receive the Texas resident active duty military license. However, there are other materials they must be able to produce upon request to document their qualifications for the license. These include a military document indicating their home of record is in Texas or indicating they've been at a duty station in Texas for the previous six months. The license holder must be able to provide this material as part of legal proceedings in a game law violation case, for example.
The 79th Texas Legislature passed HB 1076, which directs the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to waive the all fees for hunting and fishing licenses for Texas residents currently on active military duty.
The new Texas Resident Active Duty Military "Super Combo" Hunting and All-Water Fishing Package (Type 510), is available at no cost to any Texas resident who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the Reserves or National Guard on active duty. The package includes all five state stamp endorsements (archery, freshwater fishing, and migratory game bird, saltwater fishing with a red drum tag and upland game bird). The Federal Waterfowl (duck) Stamp is not included.
For a member of the military to qualify for a free "Super Combo," he or she must have continuously resided in Texas for more than six months before obtaining the license.
The free active military license may be obtained at any location where Texas hunting and fishing licenses are sold, but not over the telephone or Internet.
A member of the military who does not qualify as a Texas resident for the purpose of obtaining a military "Super Combo" may purchase any resident hunting and fishing license. For more information, call (512) 389-4846.

[ Note: This item is more than 11 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]
Sept. 5, 2005
Copano Bay Fishing Pier Management Transfer Planned
FULTON, Texas -- Ownership and management of the Copano Bay Causeway State Fishing Pier is expected to transfer from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to Aransas County Navigation District No. 1 this fall, a move expected to have little immediate affect on the visiting public.
The department's State Parks Division has operated the fishing pier since 1967, after it was transferred to TPWD from the predecessor of today's Texas Department of Transportation. The pier is actually the remnants of the old causeway bridge over the bay. After a hurricane damaged the causeway, the swing bridge in the middle was never replaced, leaving two sections of causeway sticking out into the bay. These later became the state fishing pier, in effect two piers, the 6,190-foot north pier and the 2,500-foot-long south pier. Two bait and tackle shops, one on either pier, have been operated as a leased concession by Danny Adams of Rockport since the piers opened as a public park.
The current transfer has been in the works for almost two years. It is one of the outcomes of HB 2108, a bill passed by the Texas Legislature several years ago that provides a process to transfer operation of state park sites that would be more appropriately managed by local entities. At the time, TPWD sent letters to local governments seeking possible transfer partners. The navigation district contacted the department in early 2004 about the possibility of transferring the pier.
At this point, the navigation district has sent a letter in which it formally agreed to the transfer, but the exact transfer date is pending the development of a new lease agreement between the concessionaire and the navigation district. The transfer is tentatively scheduled for this fall.

[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KL]
Sept. 5, 2005
New Book Urges Texans To Join The Hummingbird Roundup
AUSTIN, Texas -- "Hummingbirds of Texas," a new book by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees that benefits hummingbird conservation, is the first work devoted to the 19 species of hummingbirds seen in Texas and surrounding states.
The book is published by Texas A&M University Press and written for a general audience, with color images for birders and nature enthusiasts at every level to help reveal the big appeal of the little hummingbird.
"All royalties from the sale of this book go back into the department's Hummingbird Roundup Program," said co-author Clifford Shackelford, TPWD ornithologist. "The point is that all proceeds go back to the hummingbirds and not into our pockets as authors."
The Texas Hummingbird Roundup is a TPWD program that enlists Texans to help biologists track and study the birds. The program provides participants with a kit that includes a survey form and a booklet with information on Texan species, how to clean and maintain feeders, and suggestions on additional plants for the garden.
"As plant pollinators, hummingbirds are important because they are a good indication of the health of our wildflower population and the impact of urbanization on our native ecosystems," said co-author Mark Klym, TPWD information specialist and coordinator of the Texas Hummingbird Roundup.
The book focuses on hummingbirds, their habitats and their human appeal in Texas, plus Arizona and New Mexico, which Klym calls "our fellow hummingbird states," because the rich diversity of hummingbirds is almost identical in the three states.
At the time the book was written, Texas had recorded 18 hummingbird species, more than any other state. (Arizona has since recorded the same number, albeit with a different species list. The book includes a 19th species, the plain-capped starthroat, not yet seen in Texas). This hummingbird diversity is a testimony to Texas' size and diversity of habitat types--from coastal wetlands to central hills and prairies to eastern forests to western deserts and mountains--which in turn host diverse birds and wildlife.
"Since all but two hummingbirds that occur in the United States are found in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, the book is useful anywhere in the nation," said Klym. "The book will appeal to anyone interested in hummingbirds, including birders, gardeners, and photographers."
Former TPWD employee Madge Lindsay, currently executive director of Audubon Mississippi, also contributed to the book before she left Texas.
The book includes around 90 color photos taken by Texans Sid and Shirley Rucker and more than 40 illustrations by Clemente Guzman III, a TPWD illustrator. It is 110 pages long and currently available only in hardcover. It retails for $24.95 and can be purchased online or from booksellers across the country.
Several annual festivals celebrate the fall migration of hummingbirds through Texas, including the Hummer/Bird Celebration Sept. 15-18 in Rockport and the Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza Sept. 10 hosted by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in Lake Jackson.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 11 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]
Sept. 5, 2005
Texas Master Naturalists Win National Award
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Master Naturalist program has won a Take Pride In America award to be presented Sept. 30 at the White House's Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.
The Master Naturalist program is a joint effort of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Cooperative Extension. It recruits citizen volunteers to learn in-depth natural history and wildlife habitat conservation skills.
Take Pride in America is a U.S. Department of the Interior national partnership program that supports and recognizes volunteers who work to improve public parks, forests, grasslands, reservoirs, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds, and other recreation areas.
Each year, awards program winners are selected by a panel of judges from hundreds of qualified nominations representing outstanding examples of stewardship across the United States. This year, there are 25 National Award winners, representing projects and events in more than 15 states.
There are 11 categories of Take Pride in America Awards. The Texas Master Naturalist program and Take Pride Florida both won in the State category.
Begun in 1997, the Texas Master Naturalist program seeks to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to natural resources and natural areas. Master naturalists receive certification after completing 40 hours of basic training and providing at least 40 hours of volunteer service annually.
Since inception, the program has gained 33 self-sufficient, volunteer-led chapters; certified 2,751 master naturalists who volunteered 356,127 hours worth an estimated $6.25 million in avoided labor costs; conducted educational outreach to 871,597 youth, adults and private landowners; and partnered with more than 250 organizations.
Complete information on the Texas Master Naturalist program, including listings of local chapters across the state, is on the program Web site.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 11 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Sept. 5, 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. Stories scheduled to air Sept. 5-9 are: The Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy is designed to provide a roadmap for the next five to ten years concerning non-game species within the state of Texas. Steve Bender coordinates the plan for the agency, and deciphers it in this two-part program.
Hunting season is here. Are you ready? Hunter Education Coordinator, Terry Erwin outlines what every hunter should know before going into the field. Lt. Dick Dowling and his men have earned a special celebration at Sabine Pass Battle Ground State Park. Park interpreter, Jonathan Plant tells us why.
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.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. This week on PBS: This week on PBS: Swim, ski or fish at Lake Corpus Christi State Park. According to park manager Frank Juarez, water is a year-round draw where he works. Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin where you can learn about native plants, landscape restoration, and water conservation. Binoculars aren't just for birdwatchers. Get some tips on picking out optics for all kinds of outdoor activities. See how one family has been working to restore the range of the Walking Cane Ranch. Bill Armstrong from the Kerr Wildlife Management Area started working with the landowners more than 30 years ago. "Splash" is the world's largest Blue Catfish, and he's currently on display at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens where Genie Hilton says the big cat is doing just fine. This week's postcard relaxes to the rhythms of the forest flood.
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 on PBS: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/tv/
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/