A monthly newsletter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

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Wild Times May 2024

Who needs wild things and wild places?

During times like this, we all do.

As we all hunker down and do our best to be responsible citizens and stay away from others, the springtime beauty of Texas is coming alive all around us. Many of us are getting a dose of nature by hanging out in our back yards, or taking walks and getting exercise in our neighborhoods.

This time of the year is usually high season in Texas State Parks, with thousands of Texans enjoying all they have to offer. But things are muted now at our parks, with only the sounds of birdsong in the air. Our beloved state parks have been closed for the time being and state and local officials are encouraging all of us to stay home. It’s comforting to know that Texas State Parks will be there waiting for us when COVID-19 runs its course.

Until then, our parks will provide a quiet place for some of the wild things of Texas to thrive.

In the meantime, make a virtual visit to your favorite Texas State Park right HERE.

  Story #2: WWNBT Brand Ambassadors Lend a Hand for COVID-19 Response  

TPWF is giving a (virtual) high five and shout-out to several We Will Not Be Tamed brand partners who are pitching in to help our community get through the COVID-19 pandemic we are all experiencing.

Chisos boots is donating medical mask covers with every purchase.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka plans on donating $2 million to organizations that support those hardest hit by the economic downturn related to the pandemic. Tito’s distillery team is also ramping up production of hand sanitizer with an initial goal of producing 24 tons of product, which will be distributed for free.

Desert Door Distillery has also pivoted production and will soon have more than 20,000 bottles of sanitizer available for free. Desert Door’s co-founders are encouraging other distillers to use their resources to make hand sanitizer, and they will share the production process details and knowledge to any distillery that reaches out to them. They can be contacted at info@desertdoor.com.

Rambler Sparkling Water is also helping out and has donated 700 cases to the Central Texas Food Bank. Rambler is also offering a limited-time home delivery offer. For $20, Rambler will deliver a case of water to any address in the country. That’s a big shift in the company’s business model, but the company’s owners say it’s the right thing to do for folks who are stuck at home right now.

  Story #3: WWNBT: Meet Tony Smith  

Jarvis Boards founder Tony Smith has built a business around his passion. The one-time stockbroker walked away from a corporate job several years ago to focus his attention on what he loves. Today, the wooden paddleboards he crafts in his Austin studio have found homes around the world. When he’s not making them, you can find him on top of one, because he says there’s something magical about spending time on the water.

Tony is thrilled to join the ranks of TPWF’s We Will Not Be Tamed ambassadors. We Will Not Be Tamed calls us to appreciate the wildness of Texas, the vastness of our Texas spirit and why we should be inspired to conserve it.

“If I can help give back and spread awareness and get more people outdoors and in nature, I'm all for it. The more that people are in nature, the more they will care about protecting it.”

Find Out More

  Story #4: TPWF Members Support Guadalupe Bass  

Paddling the cool clear waters of the Texas Hill Country is a favored pastime for Central Texans, including We Will Not Be Tamed Ambassador Tony Smith. Smith appreciates knowing that these waters are home to the official state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe Bass.

But our official state fish needs some help. Because of the rapidly increasing population in Central Texas, among many other factors, Guadalupe Bass have been extirpated from many Hill Country rivers where they once were plentiful.

That’s why TPWF is partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to restore Guadalupe Bass through the Conserving Texas Rivers Initiative. TPWF members help support the effort, and so can you.

By becoming a member today, you can help support the state fish of Texas.

Join Now

  Story #5: Become a Member, Win a Jarvis Paddleboard!  


Tony Smith has made paddleboards for people all over the world. Now he wants to make one for you! If you join TPWF as a member or renew your membership by May 8, you will be entered to win a custom-made Jarvis paddleboard.*

JOIN NOW to support TPWF and to be entered into a drawing to win.

 *The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the Jarvis paddleboard. Members who join or renew between January 1 and May 8 are automatically entered in the drawing.
  Story #6: FlatsWorthy Partnership Outfits Texas Game Wardens with Patrol Skiff  


Texas Game Wardens working in coastal waters near Rockport now have access to a brand new shallow water skiff that will allow them to better patrol hard-to-reach marshes and bays. The boat was funded through a partnership between FlatsWorthy and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s (TPWF) Gear Up for Game Wardens program. The funding partnership raised $60,000 for the new skiff.

FlatsWorthy is a nonprofit that promotes boating courtesy among all who enjoy Texas’ shallow bays. The core founders and followers are guides, paddlers, airboaters, fly-fishermen, wade anglers and those who drift-fish or enjoy poling the flats. This diverse coalition of anglers is engaging in conversations to encourage mutual respect. Veteran fly-fishing guide Chuck Naiser led the effort to create FlatsWorthy.

“We are thrilled at the success of the fundraising partnership that will provide this tool for our game wardens,” said Naiser. “It’s a sign that the public is ready to move forward in a positive way to change the culture on the water, and it’s a sign that users and regulators can come together in agreement and accomplish something that will benefit us all. It is validation for FlatsWorthy and validation for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We can accomplish good things by working together."

TPWF’s Gear Up for Game Wardens program has raised more than $1.2 million to secure specialty equipment and gear for Texas Game Wardens all over the state. While the state provides the necessities for game wardens to do their jobs, there is still a critical need for additional equipment.

VIEW VIDEO about the new Texas Game Warden patrol skiff.



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