|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-01-27                                    |
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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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Lydia Saldaña, (512) 217-9479, lydia.saldana@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Jan. 27, 2009
TPW Commissioner Parker Leaves Conservation Legacy
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioner John D. Parker died Monday afternoon in his Lufkin home, leaving a legacy of passionate advocacy for the wildlife, woods and waters he loved. The cause of Parker's death has not been determined. He was 73.
Gov. Rick Perry appointed Parker to the commission in November 2003. The former homebuilder and past director of the National Association of Builders was also a past national trustee and past state chairman of Ducks Unlimited, among many other affiliations.
"John Parker was well known for his passion, eloquence, and the courage of his convictions, and he was tireless and determined in anything he undertook," said Peter Holt of San Antonio, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission chairman. "His passing is a great loss to those of us who knew him as friends, and to the cause of conservation in our state and nation."
"It was abundantly clear to anyone who knew him that Commissioner Parker deeply loved wildlife and the outdoors, and he especially wanted young people to enjoy the natural heritage and proud traditions of hunting and fishing he valued so highly," said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director. "His passion for conservation was legendary. Needless to say, he will be missed greatly by all of us who care about the future of his beloved woods and waters."
Parker was a champion of youth outreach programs, and he consistently pushed efforts to expand youth hunting opportunities and provide settings and incentives for young Texans to experience nature and the outdoors.
Parker loved fishing as well and supported a successful campaign to bring a new freshwater fish hatchery to East Texas, a facility now under construction near Jasper.
He was also a stalwart advocate for state parks and spoke passionately of the need for increased state funding for parks in 2006 at a time when awareness of park system needs was just beginning to build.
"In 1933, Texans struggling during the Great Depression found hope in a vision of parks that could enhance their quality of life and provide jobs and economic vitality," Parker reminded readers in a February 2007 opinion-editorial published in the Lufkin Daily News. "There is reason to hope that our state is poised to again make a wise investment, which will benefit all Texans for many years to come."
Through the efforts of Parker and many others, including fellow members of the commission, the governor and legislative leaders, the legislature passed a significant increase in funding for state and local parks later that year.
Funeral services for Parker will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Baptist Church, 1807 E. Denman in Lufkin, (936) 634-6691. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at Gipson Funeral Home, 1515 S. Chestnut Street in Lufkin, Texas, (936) 634-4411.
The family has requested memorial donations be sent to either of the following:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
P. O. Box 191207
Dallas, TX 75219
Denman Avenue Baptist Church
1807 E. Denman Avenue
Lufkin, TX 75901

[ 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 ] [TH]
Jan. 27, 2009
Applicants Sought for Game Warden Academy
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking qualified applicants for a game warden cadet class scheduled to start Nov. 1. Applications will be accepted beginning Feb. 2 through April 30.
More than 400 people applied for the 55 positions in the current cadet class that will graduate in June.
Applicants must be 21 years old on or before Nov. 1 and have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The degree requirement must be met prior to Sep.1.
To be accepted, applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements and successfully complete a regional interview, a physical readiness test, and an extensive background investigation. Applicants must successfully complete each step before advancing to the next step.
After graduation, the new game wardens will be assigned to vacant stations throughout Texas with the responsibility of protecting the state's natural resources. Game wardens also protect lives by enforcing the Water Safety Act and conducting standard peace officer duties.
More information on game warden cadet requirements may be obtained on the Law Enforcement Career Opportunities page on the TPWD Web site or at TPWD Law Enforcement offices.
For additional information, contact Texas Game Warden Recruiter Royce Wells via e-mail at Royce.wells@tpwd.texas.gov or toll-free by phone at (877) 229-2733.