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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2017-10-20                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than a month old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 20, 2017
TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Fatal Sailboat Accident Report
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently completed a report regarding a fatal sailboat accident on Lake O' the Pines that resulted in the deaths of three Boy Scouts. The report was prepared by Texas Game Wardens who responded to this incident and by the agency's statewide boating accident reconstruction and mapping team that handled the investigation.
Although TPWD has received a request for this report from the media, there are specific laws about what information TPWD can release regarding accidents involving juveniles, and to whom that information can be released. To ensure compliance with these laws, TPWD has requested an opinion from the Office of the Texas Attorney General.
According to previous opinions from the Texas Attorney General's office, state law prohibits TPWD from disclosing reports of accidents in which juveniles were seriously injured or killed other than to the parents of the accident victims and their legal representatives. When releasing reports of accidents involving multiple juveniles to the parents of one accident victim, TPWD must exclude certain information about the other juveniles involved. An attorney for the family of one of the accident victims has requested the report regarding the Lake O' the Pines accident, and TPWD is providing the report in response to that request, not including the confidential information about the other juveniles.
TPWD is a public safety agency that works to protect the interests of the public. TPWD must also respect the privacy of the grieving families of juvenile accident victims. TPWD appreciates the support and understanding of the citizens of northeast Texas in our efforts to protect public safety while respecting the privacy of the citizens we serve.
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[ Note: This item is more than a month old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 20, 2017
Champions of Children in Nature Recognized at Summit and Awards Luncheon in San Antonio
AUSTIN -- Texas Children in Nature (TCiN) is honoring four recipients of the 2017 Champions of Children in Nature at the first Summit and Champions Award Luncheon in San Antonio Nov.7-8.
The summit will bring together leaders from the conservation, education, health and youth development communities for two days of learning about the latest research, sharing innovations and turning inspiration into action. Registration is still open for the summit on the TCiN website.
This year, TCiN is recognizing one individual and three organizations for their outstanding work to improve the lives of children through a connection with nature. Each Champion has made considerable contributions toward achieving the TCiN goals of enhancing education methods to include more time outdoors, improving the health and wellness of children and families, creating a sense of place and community, and expanding access to nature in Texas.
This year's champions are:
Peggy Carnahan - Her efforts include creating Project ACORN for kids in San Antonio so they could learn more about the nature they live and play in every day. Peggy is the Director of the Center for Mathematics at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio. She is a lifelong educator who believes all lessons can be taught outdoors.
City of San Antonio - For providing myriad opportunities to children and families to improve their health while enjoying and learning about the city's natural resources. In addition to making parks more accessible to children with all abilities, they offer programs such as Starting Out Wild and the Mayor's Fitness Council which contributed to the health and wellness of the families of San Antonio.
San Antonio Zoo -- For their innovations in creating a sense of place for children at the Kronkosky's Tiny Tot Nature Spot and Zoo Pre-School, while also teaching them about local nature and wildlife from around the world.
Texas Wildlife Association - Their vision to support private landowners who wish to share their passion for hunting and heritage with kids through their Texas Youth Hunting Program has been instrumental in helping more than 600,000 children every year gain access to the outdoors.
Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be the master of ceremonies with support from Amy Contreras, Executive Director, International Tax Service at Ernst and Young.
TCiN is a program of TPWD which has created a network of over 370 organizations to focus on improving the connection between children and Texans of all ages with nature.
The roots of this effort began in 2006 when a group of concerned professionals began meeting in response to the revelations of the watershed book by Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods. The book concludes that exposure to nature is vital for healthy childhood development and the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Further investigations confirmed the alarming impact on children held true for Texas. What was also evident was that it was a solvable problem.
The Texas Children In Nature Summit is made possible with the financial support of major sponsors including Toyota and the San Antonio Zoo with additional support from Audubon Texas, the City of San Antonio Parks & Recreation and San Antonio River Authority. For more information please visit the TCiN website.
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[ Note: This item is more than a month old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 20, 2017
Carryover Birds Expected to Bolster Prospects for Quail Season
AUSTIN -- The 2016 Texas quail season served as a renaissance reminder of how good hunting can be when all the right elements converge. Specifically, weather and habitat aligned to create a "super boom" year for quail production that led to exceptional hunts the likes of which had not been seen in many years.
Quail enthusiasts are hoping some of that magic will carry over this fall when the season gets under way Saturday, Oct. 28. For that to happen, a sizable percentage of last year's birds will have to carry over as well, according to wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,
This year's quail production, although not as robust as last year's, is expected to be adequate to sustain populations in areas having suitable habitat. Heading into 2017, average amounts of late winter and spring rainfall set up sufficient nesting cover, winter forage and enough insects to trigger nesting. A lack of timely rainfall during the summer, however, may have hurt chick survival.
"Portions of South Texas and the Rolling Plains regions were in moderate drought during mid-summer, which may have negatively impacted brood survival," said Robert Perez, quail program leader with TPWD. "Hunters will likely see more adult bobwhites in the bag compared to more productive years."
TPWD projections are based on annual statewide quail surveys that were initiated in 1978 to monitor quail populations. This index uses randomly selected, 20-mile roadside survey lines to determine annual quail population trends by ecological region. This trend information helps determine relative quail populations among the regions of Texas.
Comparisons can be made between the mean (average) number of quail observed per route this year and the long term mean (LTM) for quail seen within an ecological region. The quail survey was not designed to predict relative abundance for any area smaller than the ecological region.
A regional breakdown of this year's TPWD quail index survey, including highlights and prospects, is available online.
Quail hunting season runs through Feb. 25, 2018. The daily bag limit for quail is 15, with 45 in possession. Legal shooting hours for all non-migratory game birds are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The bag limit is the maximum number that may be killed during the legal shooting hours in one day.
For additional details on this year's quail season outlook, check out this TPWD video news release.
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