|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-01-30                                    |
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |

[ 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]
Jan. 30, 2014
Lake Livingston State Park Piloting New Campsite Reservation System
LIVINGSTON - Campers planning to visit Lake Livingston State Park in the Pineywoods can now select a specific campsite while making reservation under a one-year pilot program introduced recently. The site-specific reservations policy is unprecedented in the Texas State Park system, which has always operated on a first-come, first-served basis when securing a campsite.
So far, park officials give the pilot program positive marks. During the first two weeks of its implementation on Jan. 13, 528 reservations were made for the 10 screened shelters and 34 full-hookup, 50-amp service campsites participating in the program. In total, the state park has more than 170 campsites and 10 screened shelters.
"We wanted to explore new options to provide the best possible park experience while ensuring better access for late arrivals," says Sheldon Kauitzsch, assistant park superintendent. "This pilot was driven in part by past visitor comments and a recent survey of park users that overwhelming confirmed they wanted this option."
An internal Texas Parks and Wildlife Department team spent a year researching the site-specific reservation issue, talking to other organizations that use that system. The team learned that 48 other state park systems take site-specific reservations.
One of the keys to implementing the site-specific reservation program was the development of an interactive park map of the campgrounds that includes two photos and a brief description. Visitors to the park's website can "click" on a "map" button that allows them to virtually see and then reserve in advance a specific screened shelter or one of the campsites.
"It provides a visitor who has never been to our park the ability to see the sites beforehand," Kauitzsch explains. "The RV owner, for instance, can find out the orientation, slope and measurements of the campsite, where the trees are located that might interfere with slide-outs and the location of sewer drops."
For late arrivals and those who find their reserved campsite has an issue that can't be resolved quickly, the park also has set aside an additional three "local" campsites to accommodate them. A post-launch survey is in development that will provide customer feedback about the new campsite reservation system.
Once a website visitor selects a campsite or shelter, the individual can"click" on an online reservation website link to finalize the transaction. Reservations also can be made by calling (512) 389-8900.
The park entrance fee is $5 for persons 13 and older. Campsites range from $10 to $25 per night. Screened shelters rent for $30 per night.
Lake Livingston State Park covers 635 acres on the southeastern shore of 83,000-acre Lake Livingston about 75 miles outside Houston. It opened to the public in 1977 and is popular with anglers, campers, hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. For more information, contact the park at (936) 365-2201. To find out about other Texas State Parks, call (800) 792-1112.
On the Net:

[ 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 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533 or Robert.Mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Stephanie Salinas, 512-389-8756 or Stephanie.Salinas@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Jan. 30, 2014
Bike the Trails in Texas State Parks this February
AUSTIN-- February offers an ideal time to pack up your bike and explore hundreds of miles of trails that wind through Texas State Parks. The parks' safe and scenic environments offer both easy and challenging rides hugging lake shores, beneath towering pines, through rolling hills and along mountain trails open to exploration any day of the week.
With hundreds of miles of biking trails throughout the state park system, it is easy to find a trail close to home that cyclists of all ages can enjoy.
Skill ratings and trail descriptions are available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Biking activity page. Cyclists can also view a video roundup of what it's like to bike in a variety of state park settings, including Brazos Bend State Park.
Trail levels range from beginner, including Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park's flat and paved park roads in Mission, to the most challenging tracks -- hilly, twisting, rocky mountain trails found at El Paso's Franklin Mountains State Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park near Presidio.
Several guided and competitive biking events will also be hosted in state parks.
Every Sunday in February, a park ranger will lead a guided bike tour of Resaca de la Palma State Park. The tour will begin at the visitor's center, and the ranger will lead the cyclists through the various trails featured in the park. All ages are welcome and no registration is required. Bikes, helmets and water will not be provided. For more information, call (956) 350-2920.
For the fourth consecutive year, cyclists will meet Feb. 13-15 for rides in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park, and on the Lajitas trail system in far west Texas. The Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest will feature guided rides during the three day event and a two-day self-guided EPIC ride. Participants are welcome to explore the myriad park trails at their own pace, as well.
The two-day EPIC option gives cyclists a chance to bike more than 58 miles of Big Band Ranch State Park. The first day will include a 29 mile bike trip from the Barton Warnock Visitor Center. At the end of the first day of biking, cyclists will arrive to a catered dinner, a hot shower and a place to sleep. In the morning, participants will wake up to a catered breakfast and ride 25 miles back to headquarters to participate in Bike Fest.
The 2013 Bike Fest hosted over 400 riders from around the world. Due to its growing popularity, there will be a cap of 500 cyclists at this year's festival. Visit the Desert Sports website to pre-register and find out more information.

[ 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 ] [LH]
Jan. 30, 2014
Learn Fly-Fishing at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS-- The Dallas Fly Fishers will teach morning and afternoon classes for beginning fly-fishers at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center's (TFFC) Fly Fish Pavilion on Saturday, March 8th.
Due to limited space, pre-registration is required. Contact TFFC by e-mailing tffc@tpwd.texas.gov or by calling (903) 676-2277. Leave your contact information (name, phone, e-mail) to receive a class confirmation.
There is no fee for these classes, but regular admission to TFFC is required.
Instruction will lead to basic fly-fisher certification and will focus on fly-tying, learning about fly-fishing equipment, performing the basic four-part cast, sampling aquatic insects to see what fish eat, discussing freshwater ecology, tying useful fishing knots and learning about safety and ethics issues associated with fly-fishing.