|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-10-03                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than three 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]
Oct. 3, 2013
Lone Star State History Comes to Life at Texas State Parks
AUSTIN - As autumn arrives and leaves begin to turn, the colorful and unique story of Texas - from its prehistoric times through, Spanish colonialism, the republic's fight for independence from Mexico, post-Civil War era and into the 20th century - unfolds through guided tours and special events at more than 50 historic sites within the state parks system. And, there's no better time to experience that history than October.
October is Texas Archeology Month, which celebrates the state's archeological heritage through demonstrations, lectures and dozens of public events held at historic sites throughout the state, including a number of Texas State Parks. Those state parks feature not only some of the best Native American pictographs in the nation at such places as Big Bend Ranch State Park, which on Oct. 12 is hosting a guided hike to one of the Big Bend region's best rock art panels, but also compelling presentations on archeology (Lockhart , Oct. 5), flintknapping (Copper Breaks, Oct. 5) and 19th century pioneer and ranching life (Caprock Canyons, Oct. 19).
On Oct. 4, Houston area families, friends, veterans and others can play air/sea/land games aboard the historic Battleship TEXAS. Others who prefer a more literal "taste" of living history in the outdoors can experience a slice of early Texas farm life at such historic sites as Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site's Barrington Farm, Lyndon B. Johnson State Park's Sauer-Beckman Farm and Cedar Hill State Park's Penn Farm.
Many state parks and historic sites this month also offer guided tours of 19th century missions, military frontier forts and Civilian Conservation Corps structures or host special history events reflecting such topics as state's ranching heritage. On Oct. 19, Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera will host its annual Ranch Heritage Day and Copper Breaks State Park near Quanah invite the public to "Meet the Longhorns," member of the official State Longhorn Herd.
For a full list of featured October state park events and their locations, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's activities calendar.
The Texas State Park system continues to benefit from the hard and skilled work of the Civilian Conservation Corps crews that developed dozens of state parks and historic sites throughout the state in the Depression years of the 1930s and 1940s. See some of their lasting craftsmanship and enduring structures at Bastrop State Park, Longhorn Cavern, Indian Lodge, Palo Duro Canyon and 25 other TPWD sites.
To view interactive, online CCC exhibits, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps page that includes the interactive online exhibits and education resource, "The Look of Nature: Designing Texas State Parks during the Great Depression" and "A New Deal for Texas Parks."
Go online to the "history" News Roundup to view news images, videos, radio episodes, social media posts, regional content, public service announcements and an Outdoor Activity of the Month topic calendar, go to: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/oam_history/

[ Note: This item is more than three years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 3, 2013
Texas Game Wardens organize first-ever K9 Unit
AUSTIN -- For the first time in their history, Texas Game Wardens have a full-time, statewide canine team.
The first five canine handlers and dogs have graduated from an intense eight-week training program located at the world famous Utah POST canine facility in Salt Lake City. The second wave of canine handlers and dogs will attend the course in January 2014.
"The K9 program has been a long time coming, and we are extremely proud of our handlers for their hard work - an effort which resulted in a 100 percent pass rate," said Grahame Jones, Chief of Special Operations for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division. "In addition to excellent support from the department and the Parks and Wildlife Commission, we would like to thank the Travis County Sheriff's Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation for assisting during the planning phase."
Funding for the purchase of dogs and travel to and from Utah was provided by the TPW Foundation through a private donor. Utah Post provided the training at no cost with the exception of a minimal administrative fee, an amount also paid for by the private donor.
Depending on geographical location, the dogs will be used for various functions including detection of illegally taken or smuggled game and fish, search and rescue, cadaver search, and narcotics enforcement. "Most of the dogs will have dual functions such as wildlife detection and search and rescue," said Game Warden Capt. Kevin Davis, who oversees the canine program.
"I am gratified to assist Texas Game Wardens in their efforts to diminish the trafficking of contraband in their communities," said Sgt. Wendell Nope, Utah Post K9 Training Director. "I look forward to working with TPWD in the near future to further enhance the abilities of the canines and handlers in search and rescue situations."
"We cannot thank Utah Post enough for their partnership and professionalism," said Col. Craig Hunter, LE Division Director. "The department is extremely excited to see the Texas Game Warden K9 team become a reality."
Check out a video news release about the new K9 unit on YouTube.