|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2008-08-26                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [SL]
Aug. 26, 2008
National Hunting and Fishing Day to be Celebrated Sept. 27
AUSTIN, Texas -- Hunting and Fishing Day in Texas and across the nation is slated for Sept. 27 and every outdoors person is encouraged to extend a natural invitation to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to step outside and share the values and the fun of the outdoors.
That invitation is being extended to Texans on Oct. 4-5 during Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's headquarters complex.
A wide range of activities will mark Hunting and Fishing Day nationwide sponsored by sportsman's clubs, conservation groups and civic agencies. Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo, while scheduled for Oct. 4-5, is working toward the same end, introducing the young and old to the outdoors.
Dozens of outdoor-related events will be ongoing throughout Expo, including demonstrations, adult and youth shooting, casting clinics and demonstrations, youth fishing derby, seminars and others.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo is designed to create public awareness to the importance of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation; focus public attention on the contributions hunters, fishermen and other outdoor users have made to preserve the abundant wildlife and natural resources of Texas; inform new generations of Texans about the history of hunting, fishing and the outdoors; and underscore the critical role of hunting, fishing and the outdoors in wildlife management and conservation.
At the urging of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Congress designated National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September as a public reminder that good conservation depends on hunters, anglers and shooters. In fact, through licenses and excise taxes, these outdoor enthusiasts generate $100,000 every 30 minutes for fish, wildlife and habitat programs.
In Texas, hunting and fishing contribute more than $14 billion annually to the state's economy, according to data in the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Findings from the report indicate the economic effect from Texas hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers was estimated to be $14.4 billion
Hunting and fishing play an important ecological role by managing wildlife populations and creating a healthy environment.
It has been more than a century since America's first environmentalists -- hunters and anglers -- established the conservation tradition in our nation. These early environmentalists warned that the population growth and industrial development that offered prosperity for our nation also created serious threats to the future of our wildlife resources. Hunters and anglers fought for the laws and regulations that created a new system of wildlife management that would rescue many species of wildlife from near extinction and would set aside millions of acres of important habitat to help ensure future wildlife abundance.
In Texas, efforts by anglers helped create protection of red drum and other aquatic resources from commercial over-harvest, as well as conservation of aquatic habitat such as seagrasses and the control of invasive exotic aquatic vegetation.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [SL]
Aug. 26, 2008
Mentored Dove Hunting Workshop Sept. 19-20 at Justin Hurst WMA
AUSTIN, Texas -- An innovative public hunting opportunity for newcomers, the Mentored Hunting Permit, will launch this fall with a dove hunting workshop Sept. 19-20 at the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area near Freeport, Texas.
The family-friendly event is designed to introduce participants to hunting and provide hands-on knowledge and experience for hunting dove and other game in Texas. u
The mentored hunting workshop will focus on teaching hunting skills, safety, ethics, game processing and preparation, elements of habitat management, and provide guidance and advice for hunting activities in the future. As part of the workshop, participants will be offered the opportunity to take part in a mentored dove hunt accompanied by an experienced hunter.
Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited to 20 participants. Information about the event, including registration form, is available on the TPWD Web site or by calling urban wildlife biologist Richard Heilbrun at 210-688-6444. Cost for the workshop is $35 and the Mentored Hunting Permit, which covers cost for access to the dove hunt, is $25.
Participants must also have a valid Texas hunting license and Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp and have satisfied Hunter Education Certification requirements or purchase the Hunter Education Deferral prior to the weekend of Sept. 19.
"The mentored hunting program is intended to explore possible ways to increase hunter recruitment," said Linda Campbell, director of public hunting with TPWD. "By offering these educational workshops and mentored hunting opportunities, we hope to provide an effective vehicle for people who are not from traditional hunting backgrounds to learn about and get started in hunting."
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the new hunter recruitment initiative as a means of providing opportunities for people interested in participating in a multi-day hunter recruitment workshop on a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department WMA. Participation will be by reservation, on a first-come, first-served basis, and the fee for the Mentored Hunting Permit will be $25.

[ Note: This item is more than eight 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]
Aug. 26, 2008
Bird Hunters Reminded to get HIP with Licenses
AUSTIN, Texas -- With dove season set to open Sept. 1 in the North and Central Dove Zones, hunters are again reminded to be sure they become Harvest Information Program-certified when buying their hunting license.
The HIP certification is required in addition to the purchase of the Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp, $7. That stamp, and all other state stamps, is included in the Super Combo License for $64.
The Harvest Information Program maintains a database of all migratory game bird hunters for surveys on harvest of ducks, geese, doves, sandhill cranes and other migratory species. These certified hunters form a pool from which the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will draw to conduct harvest surveys later in the fall and winter. Not all HIP-certified hunters are surveyed later in the year.
License agents are supposed to ask the hunter how many of a particular species, or groups of species, he or she harvested in the prior hunting season. The number the hunter provides (for example, "25 doves, 8 ducks and 10 geese), helps place the hunter into an appropriate strata for scientific sampling by the USFWS.
If selected, the hunter will be contacted about participating, and will provide current-year harvest information for the 2008-09 harvest survey. The survey helps wildlife managers determine what the annual harvest has been and how many hunters participated from each state.
"This data is very important in the management of these species," said Vernon Bevill, TPWD game bird program director. "Texas ranks number-one among all states in dove hunters and harvest, with over 300,000 hunters taking more than seven million mourning and white-winged doves combined last year."

[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Aaron Reed, TPWD 512-389-8046 or aaron.reed@tpwd.texas.gov; Laura Hernandez Aplin, Dublin & Associates,210-227.0221, ext. 240 or laplin@dublinandassociates.com; Denise Rodgers, 512-303-7858 or Drodgers520@austin.rr.com ]
Aug. 26, 2008
Bastrop's 2nd Annual NatureFest Celebrates 2nd Paddling Trail & Hosts USCA Aluminum Canoe Championships on Sept. 27th
BASTROP, Texas -- City and state officials will come together on Saturday, Sept. 27 as the "Most Historic Small Town in Texas" hosts the official launch of the second Paddling Trail in Bastrop County, the second annual NatureFest and this year's 40th annual United States Canoe Association (USCA) Aluminum Canoe Championships.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will introduce the "Wilbarger Paddling Trail," a 14-mile-long route along the Colorado River that begins at the FM 969 Utley Bridge and ends at Fisherman's Park in historic downtown Bastrop. The trail will become the eighth inland paddling trail in Texas and the second of six potential trails designated on the lower Colorado River. The El Camino Real Paddling Trail, also in Bastrop County, was launched in 2007.
The second annual NatureFest, a day-long community event, will be held to celebrate the rich ecosystem that makes up the Lost Pines Region of Texas. The event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fisherman's Park (at Willow and Farm) in downtown Bastrop. Admission is a $3 donation for adults and children 12 and under are free.
Sponsored by Environmental Stewardship, a nonprofit organization whose purposes are to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance the earth's natural resources, funds will be used to establish a future "Red Bluffs Paddling Trail" and several more trails downstream to Smithville, Texas. The fundraiser will also be used to develop the Lost Pines Recreational Hike & Bike Trails at the end of the El Camino Real Paddling Trail.
The Texas Canoe Racing Association will host the 40th annual United States Canoe Association (USCA) Aluminum Canoe Marathon Championship on Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. and Southern Pro Championships Race on Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m. Registration for both events will be at 8:30 a.m.
These national championships have not been held in Texas for more than ten years, and it will bring the country's best paddlers to the lower Colorado River from across the nation and abroad. National Canoeing Champion, Peter Heed will conduct a paddling workshop Saturday afternoon and will speak at the Lower Colorado River Authority's (LCRA) McKinney Roughs facility that evening at 8 p.m.
"We are honored to be working with TPWD again to launch this second paddling trail and to reconnect families with the great outdoors at NatureFest," said City of Bastrop Mayor Terry Orr. "We are also thrilled to be home to the first USCA Championships to be held in Texas in over a decade, which will help generate more awareness of the Lost Pines Region and the lower Colorado River."
The City of Bastrop is partnering with TPWD's Bastrop and Beuscher State Parks and LCRA's McKinney Roughs Nature Park to coordinate the nature-related activities for NatureFest. In addition, many other organizations will participate in the event including the Texas Master Naturalists, Bastrop County Audubon Society, Boy Scouts of America, Lone Star & Austin Sierra Club, Pines & Prairies Land Trust, Leave No Trace, and Texas AgriLife Extension Service's Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program.
The nature festival will provide a variety of outdoor family-focused activities, including guided nature hikes, canoe/kayak paddle events on the Colorado River, rock climbing, archery, wildlife arts and crafts from Texas artisans.
The Capital of Texas Zoo will present the "Mr. Slither," reptile show and provide a petting zoo. Other vendors will feature some of the newest technologies for energy conservation and "green" living. Live music will play throughout the day including Bill Oliver -- "Mr. Habitat," "The Strollers" who feature tunes for children and local fiddler favorite "Sean Orr & Texas Gold."
A new element to NatureFest this year is the Kid's Challenge experiential nature activities for children ages 5-13 who can earn patches for participating in 6 of 24 activities, such as partaking in the digital photo scavenger hunt contest, dip-netting for critters, and identifying bird & bugs. Children will learn how to make miniature terrariums, hats out of newspaper, seed balls and origami toads. Following instruction, parents and children can try out a kayak and take a short twenty minute ride down to the festival site.
Storytelling about the rich history and lore of Bastrop in the early 1800s will take place, including the famous ghost tale of Josiah Wilbarger and how he survived being scalped by Comanche Indians and left for dead just upriver from Fisherman's Park in 1832.
Following NatureFest, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., festival goers can walk downtown to Bastrop's "Meet Me on Main Street" event where they can enjoy food, music, shopping and local fare. At 7:30 p.m., the historical 1889 Bastrop Opera House will feature a special performance entitled "The Lady with all the Answers," a play by David Rambo. Tickets for the play are $10, dinner-and-play tickets are $25. Call (512) 321-6283 for reservations or visit http://www.bastropoperahouse.com/.
About the Lost Pines Region
Bastrop County -- The Lost Pines Region -- The Legend
The lost stand of Loblolly Pines known as the Lost Pines Region is situated primarily in Bastrop County, Texas, with a large portion between Bastrop and Buescher State Parks. The region represents the westernmost tract of the great southern pine belt of the United States, and these lost pines are believed to have been in the area for more than 18,000 years.
Many wonder how those Loblolly Pines ended up "lost," so far away from their botanical brothers and sisters in East Texas. Local legend is that Native American runners from East Texas planted seedlings in the Piney Woods to comfort a homesick girl who had married into another tribe far from home. Botanists offer a more scientific explanation: the pines were left over from the Ice Age, when pine forests covered much of the land that became Texas. Visitors can decide which answer they prefer as they discover the natural magic of the Lost Pines Region.
Texas Historic Small Town Charm
Bastrop, Texas: Bastrop's roots run deep with its historical downtown district, the tranquility of the Colorado River and beautiful view of the "Lost Pines" surroundings. In 1979, the National Register of Historic Places admitted 131 Bastrop buildings and sites to its list, earning Bastrop the title of "Most Historic Small Town in Texas." With a rich array of classic Texas folklore and architecture, downtown Bastrop represents a unique blending of the old and new. The historical Main Street, a Texas Main Street Community, is lined with century-old structures housing antiques shops, specialty stores, galleries and restaurants.
About the TPWD Paddling Trails Program
The Texas Paddling Trails program was created to develop public inland and coastal paddling trails throughout the state and support these trails with maps, signage and other information. The trails provide well-mapped accessible day trips in a variety of settings for all levels of paddling experience. There are currently seven coastal paddling trails in Texas, and the Bastrop trail will be the eighth inland paddling trails, with several communities in the process of applying for participation in the program. Complete information is available on the TPWD Web site at http://tpwd.texas.gov/paddlingtrails.
Editors: Kayaks and canoes will be available to the public for $20/person at the event. Twenty-minute introductory floats starting at Bob Bryant Park will be offered at no cost all day long. Members of the public are welcome to bring their own boats; go to http://www.Environmental-Stewardship.org/ site for preferred launch sites.
On the Net:
More information: http://www.Environmental-Stewardship.org/
More about Bastrop: http://www.VisitBastrop.org or call 512-303-0904.
More about paddling trails: http://tpwd.texas.gov/paddlingtrails
USCA Championship races: http://www.txcanoeracing.org