|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2007-02-05                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 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. 5, 2007
Urban Wildlife Conference To Address Nuisance Issues
DALLAS, Texas -- Deer in the driveway? Coyotes on the concrete? While many suburbanites love wildlife and a country setting, and wildlife experts tout the value of native habitat and open space, conflicts between people and wild animals are on the rise statewide. A conference here Feb. 20 will gather experts to explore solutions.
"Managing Urban Wildlife: Planning for Success" is the first Texas gathering of its kind, bringing together not only wildlife biologists, but also city animal control workers and local park and nature center operators. The event will take place 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Texas Cooperative Extension Research Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas.
"As Texas cities expand, housing subdivisions are replacing green open space," said John Davis, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department urban wildlife biologist for the Dallas-Fort Worth region. "Urban wildlife issues pose both problems and opportunities. Concerns like nuisance coyotes and overpopulated deer can become flashpoints for divided communities, but properly managed wildlife and green space are vital to our quality of life. This conference will show how deliberate, proactive planning can maximize the benefits of living with urban wildlife while minimizing conflicts."
The conference is geared particularly for elected officials, municipal staff, animal control personnel, regional planners, park and nature center staff, and local wildlife rehabilitators -- but organizers say the topics offered will benefit anyone working with or interested in urban wildlife populations.
Throughout the day, experts will discuss successfully navigating news coverage of wildlife issues, managing urban coyotes, deer and feral hogs, peacefully living with raccoons, opossums, skunks, and bats, and avoiding potential wildlife diseases. The conference will close with a look to proactive, regional planning, the real key to urban wildlife success, and will end with a panel of experts addressing audience questions.
Participants include TPWD, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University, North Texas Master Naturalists, Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, City of Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth Wildlife Coalition.
Rob Denkhaus of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge will speak about controlling feral hogs in a Fort Worth park setting, an example of successfully managing a dangerous species while addressing stakeholder concerns and proactively involving the media.
Dorinda Pulliam, head of City of Austin animal control programs, will talk about Austin's effort to monitor, report and control nuisance coyotes, a model that experts would like to see shared with other cities.
Diana Foss of TPWD will speak about Houston's popular bat viewing projects, involving volunteers and the news media to create effective public education and ecotourism.
Prudi Koeninger of the DFW Wildlife Coalition will promote ways of living peacefully with common suburban wildlife.
The conference costs $25 per person. Seating is limited so pre-registration is required by Feb. 15. Attendees certified with the Texas Animal Control Association (TACA) will get 5.5 hours of CEU credit for attending.
For more information, or to receive a registration form, contact Fred Burrell with Texas Cooperative Extension at (214) 904-3056 or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department urban wildlife office in Cedar Hill at (972) 293-3841.

[ Note: This item is more than 10 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. 5, 2007
Public Meetings Set for Big Bend Ranch State Park Use Plan
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold public meetings Feb. 8 in Alpine and Feb. 15 in Houston to seek public comment about how Big Bend Ranch State Park should be accessed and used for recreational purposes in the future.
Alpine's Thursday meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kokernot Lodge, 1101 North Loop Road just west of the Sul Ross University campus. The Houston meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Judson Robinson Community Center at the corner of Hermann Drive and Almeda at the edge of Hermann Park. Public meetings on the plan already have been held in Marfa and Austin.
A draft of the Public Use Plan calls for retaining two of the 12 existing campsites in the park's interior, 67 miles of trails, roads and river campgrounds, and access points. The initial phase of development would add 24 primitive campsites, 13 trailheads, 83 miles of trails and 44 miles of four-wheel drive roads that would make more of the park's interior accessible.
At roughly 300,000 acres, Big Bend Ranch State Park, located just outside Presidio, is by far the largest in the Texas state park system, stretching from the Rio Grande well into the Chihuahuan Desert's numerous mountain ranges and canyon lands.
Unlike Garner, Inks Lake and most state parks, Big Bend Ranch is minimally developed, offering visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy an uncrowded wilderness experience. Just how to expand park access without negatively impacting its fragile resources is what the public use plan will address, said Mike Hill, TPWD's West Texas regional state parks director.
"Big Bend Ranch is both ecologically sensitive, and archeologically and geologically significant, with 134 free-flowing, fresh water sources and riparian areas that are home to unique plants and animal species," Hill said. "Therefore, careful planning for the expansion of public use is essential and candid public input is imperative."
The public meetings are the continuation of a planning process TPWD began in 2004, but was put on hold by a variety of reasons, including a continuing budget squeeze that forced staffing cutbacks, Hill explained. The park's size is so huge, he said, that it has been divided into nine management zones for planning purposes, each of which is larger than almost any other state park.
For more information, or to comment on the plan, visit the TPWD Web site public comment page, or call (512) 389-4661.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than 10 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [AR]
Feb. 5, 2007
Flat Out Fishing Lake Jackson Goes from Green to Blue
LAKE JACKSON, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will host a saltwater fishing seminar that explores the sandy-green waters of our Gulf passes and the azure blue water haunts of prized billfish.
The day-long seminar will feature presentations on fishing and boating from safety and conservation to the "secret" tricks of fishing professionals.
The seminar kicks-off at 8 a.m. Sat., Feb. 24, at the Lake Jackson Civic Center (intersection of Highway 332 and Oak). The seminar continues until 6:00 p.m. with plenty of breaks. Lunch will be provided by Talk About Good Restaurant and Catering; gratuities to the chef will be appreciated.
Larry Bozka, celebrated outdoorsman, will serve as the emcee.
Presentations will cover safety and ethics of offshore boating, amberjack techniques, secrets of San Luis Pass, artificial reef ecology, and a settling understanding of what's going on when we get seasick.
"Flat Out Fishing -- Lake Jackson will, again, give fishermen a fresh, new look at fishing the Texas Gulf," said Bobby Miller, one of TPWD's Coastal Fisheries outreach specialists. "Anybody who can get offshore in their 20- to 25-foot boat or hire a guide will value this seminar."
Presenters include
--Doug Peter -- Artificial Reef management and ecology
--Dr. James King -- The Seasick Condition
--Capt. Lloyd Pepper -- Fishing San Luis Pass
--Capt. Jeff Winchester, TPWD -- Safety and Ethics
--Capt. Charles Foster -- Amberjack Techniques
--Randy Blankinship, NOAA Fisheries -- Billfish and Highly Migratory Species
The program benefits the 6th Annual Abandoned Crab Trap Cleanup, Miller said, with the admission fees going to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation's abandoned crab trap removal program fund.
That program has removed more than 19,000 abandoned crab traps from coastal waters since 2002. This year, the program celeberates the 20,000th trap removed -- far more than any other state on the Gulf Coast.
The cost is $20 per person or $30 per couple, payable by cash, check or money order at the door. Registration fees are tax-deductible. Children 16 and younger may attend free with a paying adult. Participants will be eligible for door prizes and "goody bags."
Seating is limited to the first 300 participants. The first 200 to register will qualify for an "early-bird" drawing.
To register, contact Bobby Miller at (281) 534-0110, crabtrap@earthlink.net or bobby.miller@tpwd.texas.gov .
Major sponsors of the event include Anheuser-Busch, CCA Texas, Coastalanglers.com, and Talk About Good Restaurant and Catering.

[ Note: This item is more than 10 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [SB]
[ Additional Contacts: Sarah Bibbs, (512) 389-4577, sarah.bibbs@tpwd.texas.gov or Tom Harvey, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 5, 2007
'Women of the Land' Workshop Offered March 24-25
ALBANY, Texas -- Landowners and other women interested in learning about land management, hunting basics and outdoor skills are invited to this year's "Women of the Land," workshop held at Stasney's Cook Ranch in Albany, Texas, March 24-25.
The weekend seminar will offer a variety of classes to its participants, including: wildlife identification and management, deer and quail ecology, outdoor cooking, rifle and shotgun basics, ranch and wildlife management planning, and healthy streams and clean water management.
Saturday evening will feature an informal landowner panel called "Dessert, Coffee and Conservation," focusing on stewardship and land management, with plenty of time allotted for questions.
"Talking with the actual landowners who are doing this work is always a highlight," said Linda Campbell, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department private lands program director.
Another highlight of the workshop is the opportunity for mothers to bring their daughters along.
"The idea is to pass on the heritage of land stewardship," said Campbell. "This is a good opportunity for interested teenagers who are helping their parents in the ranching business."
Women age 14 and older are eligible to attend.
"Women of the Land 2007" is sponsored by the Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and Stasney's Cook Ranch.
The workshop's registration deadline is March 1. Cost of the program is $150 for participants arriving on Saturday. Friday night lodging is available for an extra fee. For more information contact Linda Campbell at linda.campbell@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 389-4395 or Helen Holdsworth at h_holdsworth@texas-wildlife.org or (210) 826-2904.
A"Women of the Land 2007" flyer can be found online through the Texas Wildlife Association Website. Other workshops of interest can be located on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Web site, and more information on Stasney's Cook Ranch can also be found on the Web.
On the Net: