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Wild Times July 2024

Thanks to Texas voters and park supporters, Proposition 5 was approved with a resounding YES vote on Nov. 5!

We want to thank each and every voter who cast a ballot to support state and local parks and historic sites. A big shout-out to State Senator Lois Kolkhorst and State Representative John Cyrier for championing the bill in the Legislature that put the measure on the ballot.

The passage of Prop. 5 dedicates all revenue from the Sporting Goods Sales Tax, so going forward, those dollars will only be earmarked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to be spent on public parks and historic sites.

Thanks to Texas voters, millions of dollars will now be available each year for park funding, with no additional taxes or fees.

Way to go, Texas! 

Story #2: Fundraising Underway for Palo Pinto Mountains State Park

There’s more good news for park lovers in Texas: TPWF is kicking off a $9 million fundraising effort to amplify $12.5 million in state funds to open a new state park in North Texas. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will come to life thanks to a partnership between public funding and a dedicated private fundraising campaign.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has partnered with TPWF on several transformational projects in the past, including Powderhorn Ranch and Canoncita at Palo Duro Canyon,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman Reed Morian. “We’re confident that this partnership will not only garner the necessary funds to make this new park a reality but will also maximize all available resources.”

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park is located on 4,421 acres of scenic, undeveloped land approximately 75 miles west of Fort Worth and 75 miles east of Abilene. Several 1,400-foot peaks, the 90-acre Tucker Lake, and two creeks surrounded by stands of live oak, mesquite, cedar elms and native pecan trees will provide a wonderful setting for hiking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing and stargazing.

You can help open Texas’ newest state park.



Story #3: Gear Up for Game Wardens Hits $1 Million Milestone

TPWF’s Gear Up for Game Wardens program has hit a $1 million fundraising milestone just two years after the program launched. Thanks to generous donors, specialty equipment has been deployed across Texas, including search and rescue inflatable boats, night vision and thermal imaging units and specialized K-9 units.

“Texas Game Wardens play an important role in the lives of all Texans,” said Dan Flournoy, chair of the Gear Up for Game Wardens Leadership Council. “Along with their duty to protect our natural resources, they are also on the frontlines of natural disasters. There have been significant flooding events in Texas since Gear Up launched, and there is no doubt in my mind that specialty gear provided through this program has saved lives.”

Donations have come from all corners of the state and in all amounts, from $25 to more than $66,000 from the Saltwater Anglers League of Texas. The Sabine River Authority has also stepped up in appreciation of what Texas Game Wardens do for the people of Texas and has donated more than $70,000 in several grants to the program. In addition, fundraisers have been held all over the state to fund equipment for their local game wardens.



Story #4: TPWF Members Learn More About Deer Research

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) wildlife biologists have been conducting research about white-tailed deer at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area for more than four decades. In 1974, wildlife biologists established a research herd by bringing in native white-tails from all over the state. The deer have been maintained as a pedigreed herd ever since, perhaps the only one of its kind in the world. Researchers have conducted dozens of interrelated studies over the years to learn more about the role of nutrition and genetics in antler development, among other research objectives.

Biologists monitor the progress of those studies through an annual deer work-up every October. Each deer is weighed and measured, blood work and other tests are performed, and researchers track every piece of data they collect. The body of research is second to none, and all of the projects are designed to enhance wild deer management programs.

This year, several TPWF members enjoyed a backstage view of the operation, as part of a TPWD Field Trip designed to give TPWF members a close-up view of this unique facility.

Listen in on our latest podcast to learn more.



TPWF is planning four TPWD Field Trips in 2020, only available to TPWF members. Join now and be eligible to participate in the next one!

Join Now


Story #5: Creature Feature: White-tailed Deer


White-tailed deer are beloved by hunters and wildlife watchers alike. Thanks to wildlife researchers in Texas and beyond, we know more about them than ever before. Watch our latest Creature Feature to learn more.

Watch Video


Story #6: Opt Outside and Opt to Act with REI!


For the fifth year in a row, our friends at REI are encouraging us all to spend time outdoors with friends and family on Black Friday. And this year, they are taking #OptOutside further by encouraging us all to step up our efforts to protect the environment. Opt to Act calls us to put on our work gloves and join the fight for life outdoors by getting involved in local park and trail cleanups. Find out how you can take part.



Story #7: Texas Hill Country Book Benefits TPWF


Texas photographer Mike Marvins loves the Texas Hill Country and wants to do what he can to conserve it. That’s why the proceeds of his latest book “The Texas Hill Country-A Photographic Adventure” are benefitting the conservation work of TPWF. It’s a great holiday gift idea!

Buy the Book


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