|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-12-06                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six 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]
Dec. 6, 2010
Holiday Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Lovers on Your List
AUSTIN-- If you find yourself fresh out of holiday gift ideas for your camping-enthusiast cousins or that friend who would rather spend his or her spare time fishing on the lake and exploring state parks, TPWD suggests you shop the outdoors.
Not many friends or family would want to be without a full year of unlimited visits to the beautiful and diverse state parks of Texas. Buying a loved one a Texas State Parks Pass gift card will allow them and as many guests they can fit in their car free entry to more than 90 state parks across the state for 12 months. The gift cards can be purchased in any amount and work the same as cash in state parks. That means they can be used for entrance fees, facility use, store merchandise, and much more. To order, or for more information please visit: http://tpwd.texas.gov/parkpass/.
You can show your love of state parks with a commemorative Texas State Parks Christmas ornament, new for 2010. These attractive brass ornaments feature a variety of park, outdoor recreation and native wildlife icons, and have become a collectible favorite for many. Past year ornaments are also available, and prices vary. Contact the state park customer service center at (512) 389-8900 to order or find out more.
How about purchasing the 2009 or 2010 collector's edition of hunting and fishing stamps for that special art lover on your list, and helping support TPWD conservation efforts? The collections sell for $21.65 and include six different stamps designed by noted wildlife artists. Each stamp's artwork may be purchased either as an unframed stamp and print, or as a framed unit through Collector's Covey.
Or, let your eco-minded relatives showcase their love for the outdoors by buying them one of TPWD's customized license plates picturing white-tailed deer, largemouth bass, horned lizards or wildflowers. Each plate costs just $30, and $22 goes directly to help fund conservation efforts in Texas. The conservation license plates have generated more than $4 million in sales for Texas land and water conservation initiatives since their inception.
What self-respecting conservationist could turn down a subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, the state's premier outdoors publication for more than 50 years? Check out special offers online, including two gift subscriptions for $20 or 12 issues for only $1 each. Teachers receive a special $9.95 annual subscription rate to foster outreach to the state's increasingly urbanized school populations.
Eight colorful Great Texas Wildlife Trail maps can be purchased for half the previous cost, now at only $2 each from the Texas Extension Agrilife Bookstore. The maps will guide you to almost 900 distinct birding and wildlife viewing sites throughout Texas. Each map includes driving loops, and each site is designated with a unique highway sign and site number corresponding to the map. The maps also have information about the wildlife likely to be found at each site. For more information, visit TPWD's Great Texas Wildlife Trails website. The ninth and final map in this series, the Far West Texas Wildlife Trail map, will debut this holiday season.
Pick up the "Saltwater Fishes of Texas" poster, or one of Sea Center Texas' posters featuring a redfish or spotted sea trout for the saltwater angler on your list. Freshwater fishing advocates may prefer the "Freshwater Fishes of Texas" poster. All posters sell for under $20.
Other featured products on the "Shop the Outdoors" Web page this year include a colorful wheel featuring the 16 hummingbird species documented in Texas and a variety of documentaries and videos. One of the videos displays a collection of TPWD's most picturesque destinations statewide.
Why not buy something special for yourself after crossing everyone else off your holiday list? Once you're done shopping for everyone else, treat yourself with a chance to hunt and fish for free--forever! It only costs $5 to enter the Lifetime Super Combo License Drawing, and you can enter as many times as you like. The Super Combo License, normally purchased for $1,800, gives you the right to hunt and fish in Texas without ever having to buy another state license or stamp. The entire percentage of hunting and fishing license fees go to TPWD's on-the-ground conservation efforts to help make Texas one of the best places in the country to hunt and fish. If you enter by Dec. 27, you'll have 2 chances to win--once in the Dec. 30 drawing and another in the June 30 drawing. For complete rules and information, visit tpwd.texas.gov/lifetime.

[ Note: This item is more than six 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]
Dec. 6, 2010
TPW Commission To Meet Dec. 20 in Austin
Devils River, TFFC Land Acquisitions on Special Meeting Agenda
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Dec. 20 at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Austin headquarters to consider two land acquisitions, one on the Devils River in Val Verde County and another near the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
TPWD is now proposing to acquire the 17,638-acre Devils River Ranch in Val Verde County and manage it as part of the existing Devils River State Natural Area. Previously, the agency had proposed exchanging the natural area as partial payment for the ranch about 13 miles downriver.
The agency will host a local constituent briefing in Del Rio to explain the new Devils River proposal. Anyone is welcome to attend that meeting, which will take place from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Del Rio Civic Center, Kennedy Room, 1915 Veterans Blvd.
The Devils River Ranch owner has agreed to sell the ranch to TPWD for $13 million, significantly below the $15,875,000 fair market value calculated earlier this year by a certified appraiser. To fund the purchase, TPWD would use $2.7 million in state funds allocated for park land acquisition. This would be matched with $1.3 million in federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars. But the bulk of the purchase would be made with $9 million in private donations.
A proposal to exchange the natural area for the ranch was pulled from the Nov. 4 commission agenda after TPWD heard concerns from paddlers, some environmentalists and others. Kayak and canoe clubs expressed concern that loss of the state natural area would disrupt opportunities to paddle the upper river. The new proposal maintains that opportunity while opening the way for the department to work collaboratively with landowners and paddlers to resolve longstanding disputes surrounding the river's use, as well as improve the existing state natural area.
If the acquisition is approved by the commission, the two sites would likely be operated under one superintendent as a state natural area complex. Public access to the new site would come after creation of a master plan as well as a public use plan for both units of the natural area, a process estimated to take about two years. Private donations would fund the first 2.5 years of operating expenses for the new site.
TPWD also plans to bring together a working group to include landowners, paddlers, businesses, elected officials, non-profit partners and others to work together and seek solutions to address the recreational interests of Devils River users as well as the property rights of adjacent landowners.
The department has compiled maps, photos, questions and answers, conservation easement documents and other resources in a Devils River Land Acquisition News Roundup on its website.
At the Dec. 20 meeting, commissioners will consider one other item, a proposal to acquire about 14 acres of private land just north of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. The tract would be used to build a small reservoir to provide water for fish hatchery ponds.
Public testimony on both items may be made at the Dec. 20 commission meeting. Questions or comments about the Devils River proposal can be sent by email to ted.hollingsworth@tpwd.texas.gov or by regular mail to Ted Hollingsworth, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744.
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