|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-08-06                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four 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: Lindsey Pope, Texas Department of Agriculture; Lauren Mulverhill, Texas Water Development Board; Tom Harvey, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ]
Aug. 6, 2013
State Agencies Asking Texans to Share How Drought Has Affected Their Lives
AUSTIN -- What does your Texas drought look like? With more than 97 percent of Texas suffering from drought conditions, that's what the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) want to know. This coalition of state agencies today launched an interactive public awareness campaign inviting Texans to submit personal photos capturing what the drought looks like for them and how it has impacted their lives.
From now through September 30, Texans are invited to share their original photographs of the drought on Flickr, Instagram and other social media platforms. Photos should illustrate how the drought is affecting daily life--whether it is dry creek beds, withered crops, native plants flourishing in the dry climate or the innovative water conservation measures Texans are using to combat drought.
"This current Texas drought, which started in 2010, has proven in many ways to be our worst drought in history. In fact, it has surpassed the Dust Bowl of the 1930s," Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. "Every Texan has experienced the drought's ferocity in different ways and these agencies are joining forces to collect and share these stories with other Texans, as well as for the historical record for future generations to appreciate the importance of drought preparedness and proactive, voluntary water conservation. We know citizen-led conservation efforts are our best alternative to mandated restrictions that can hurt our economy."
Texas' many diverse regions are each experiencing the drought in unique ways. This project aims to educate Texans on the critical nature of drought and water conservation. By providing the photographs, the public will help TDA, TWDB and TPWD garner an in-depth view of local drought conditions, ultimately helping manage and conserve the state's water resources.
"At the Texas Water Development Board, we're well acquainted with the effects of drought on our state," said TWDB Executive Administrator Melanie Callahan. "It affects water supplies for cities and agriculture alike, and can devastate economies and natural resources. This photo campaign is a way for Texans to document how drought affects them personally. Showing the results of water shortages and ways to conserve are equally important parts of this story."
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly the entire state of Texas is experiencing some form of drought, and more than 65 percent of the state is suffering from severe to exceptional drought. The state water plan dictates nearly 25 percent of our future water needs will be met through water conservation.
"With the punishing drought our state has suffered, most people know how important it is to conserve water and plan to use it wisely, and dramatic photos showing the reality of drought certainly underscore that conservation is imperative," said TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. "In poll after poll, Texans have consistently ranked water resources near the very top of public priorities. It's important for people in cities, and it's important for fish and wildlife, state parks and natural habitats--everything is connected. We all have a role to play in conserving water."
Photographs may be submitted to our Flickr group, "What does your Texas drought look like?" at http://www.flickr.com/groups/texasdrought. This is a public webpage that anyone with an Internet connection can view, even those who are not members of Flickr. The Flickr page above provides instructions on how to share photos.
Photographs also may be posted to Twitter or Instagram. Please use the hashtag #txdrought when sharing your photos. The campaign's Instagram account is texasdrought. Tag photos with date, location and include a short description. Additionally, you can email up to three photos to TexasDrought@yahoo.com, and we will post the pictures to our flicker page. All user-submitted photographs must be original content.

[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Aug. 6, 2013
28 New State Game Wardens Heading to the Field
AUSTIN - Twenty-eight new state game wardens soon will be spreading across Texas to begin their law enforcement duties after completing seven months of intensive training at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County.
The 58th Game Warden class graduated in ceremonies at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the House of Representatives chamber at the Capitol in Austin. Featured speaker at the event was Daniel Hodge, first assistant Attorney General of Texas. .
The new game wardens will be reporting for duty at stations spanning the state from East Texas to El Paso. While the primary duty of state game wardens is to enforce hunting and fishing laws and water safety regulations, they are fully commissioned peace officers who also respond to natural disasters, assist other local and state law enforcement agencies as well as conducting public outreach on a variety of conservation-related topics.
"Their much-needed presence will be felt as they assume duty assignments all across the state," said Danny Shaw, assistant director of TPWD's Law Enforcement Division. "Texas game wardens have played a vital role for over 118 years and these officers are prepared to carry on that rich heritage and tradition.
The new game wardens received 618 hours of instruction to meet the state- mandated training requirements for their basic peace officer certification including criminal and constitutional law; firearms; self defense; use of force; defensive driving; arrest, search and seizure; ethics, and first aid.
In addition, their curriculum included another 700 to 750 hours of training related to wildlife and fisheries enforcement, the Texas Water Safety Act, wildlife and fisheries identification, public relations and communications, boat operation, ATV operation, and specialized patrol tactics. The new wardens also have become certified hunter education and boater education instructors.
The 28 new wardens will bring TPWD's Law Enforcement Division to its authorized strength of 532 game wardens, a group of men and women who are carrying on a tradition of service to Texas dating back to 1895.
These are the new game wardens, their home town, and the counties in which they will be stationed:
--Mark R. Anderson- Tyler, TX- Starr County
--Samuel D. Anderson- Nacogdoches, TX- Brewster County
--Michael I. Blevins- Hempstead, TX- Ward/Loving/Winkler County
--Joshua A. Bonney- Commerce, TX- Zapata County
--Roel Cantu Jr.- Edinburg, TX- El Paso County
--Jayme J. DeSchaaf- Liberty Hill, TX- Zapata County
--Travis J. Fountain- Nacogdoches, TX- Galveston County
--Mark W. Frayser- Cibolo, TX- Upshur County
--Jason Garcia- Schertz, TX- Maverick County
--Tommy R. Johnson- Wharton, TX- Liberty County
--Hsin-Wei Lin- College Station, TX- Tarrant County
--Derrick Lopez- Round Rock, TX- Cameron County
--Grant W. Moore- Jacksboro, TX- Edwards County
--John C. Newman- Stephenville, TX- Brewster County
--Jake E. Noxon- Austin, TX- Maverick County
--Jack F. Pearl- Athens, GA- Starr County
--Howard A. Pierce- Rockport, TX- Brooks County
--Travis R. Porter- Bridgeport, TX- Tarrant County
--Jennifer M. Provaznik- Gautier, MS- Galveston County
--Arturo O. Salinas- Uvalde, TX- Hudspeth County
--Coby J. Sanders- Amarillo, TX- Brewster County
--Jeremy D. Schwalk- Lubbock, TX- Presidio County
--Brendan A. Shoars- Abilene, TX- Ector/Crane County
--Justin R. Solis- Rockport, TX- Webb County
--David A. Stokes- Nashville, TN- Cameron County
--Zachary R. Temple- Lufkin, TX- Presidio County
--Colton R. Thomas- Pleasanton, TX- Presidio County
--Emily R. Zaunbreche- Houston, TX- Kinney County
On the Net:
How to be a Game Warden in 6 Easy Months: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URG-LS5C-Qc&feature=related