A monthly newsletter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

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Wild Times May 2024

Texas landowners conserve the land, waters and wildlife that we all cherish. With more than 95 percent of the land in Texas privately owned, landowners are the linchpin to effective conservation efforts in our state. For the last quarter-century, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been honoring them through the Lone Star Land Steward Awards. Each year, exemplary land stewards in the state’s various eco-regions are honored. In partnership with the Sand County Foundation, the Leopold Award is also bestowed, which is the highest honor presented during the event.


This year’s Lone Star Land Steward’s Awards will be held virtually on May 27 at 6 p.m. You are invited to join the live-streamed event.

Read more about the winners and find out how to join the live-stream.

Find out more

  Story #2: We Will Not Be Tamed: Meet Alton Jones Jr.  

Alton Jones Jr. is hard-wired for his career as a professional bass angler. Growing up, Alton traveled the country with his dad, Alton Jones Sr., as his father competed in professional fishing tournaments. But home base was always Waco, Texas. When his father wasn’t fishing in tournaments across the country, he would take his son fishing in Texas, which instilled a strong conservation ethic in Alton Jr. As he learned more about bass fishing, he also learned that Texas is tops when it comes to fish conservation.

"People come from all over the world to fish here, and Texas is hailed as one of the best bass fishing destinations in the world. And that's because of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center  and the Toyota Sharelunker program."

When not on the water searching for that next big bass, Alton enjoys spending time outdoors and is a passionate duck hunter. He was thrilled to get the call 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.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife has always been very dear to my heart. Anything I can do to help support the resources I love is important to me. Helping TPWD promote conservation benefits all bass anglers, including me. It helps all duck hunters, hikers, mountain bikers and anyone else who loves and enjoys the Texas outdoors. So, I’m all in!"

Read More

  Story #3: Join TPWF and Win a Visit to TFFC’s Lunker Bunker with Alton Jones Jr.!  

Alton Jr. has visited the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) many times, which houses the Toyota Sharelunker program. The program invites Texas bass anglers to share their catch for TPWD’s selective breeding efforts to make bigger better bass for all to enjoy. TPWD fisheries biologists work with the donated fish in what they’ve dubbed the “Lunker Bunker."

The sharelunker program got started more than 35 years ago when Texas angler Mark Stevenson reeled in a huge 17-pound lunker from Lake Fork that he named “Ethel.” The huge fish was the first submission to TPWD’s sharelunker program and went on to fame, if not fortune, as a featured attraction at Bass Pro Shops flagship store in Springfield, Missouri. Millions visited her, and when she died, her funeral was attended by more than 1,000 people.

Today, Ethel’s spirit lives on at TFFC, where she has come back to life as the beloved mascot of the sharelunker program and of TFFC.

Alton Jones Jr. invites you to join or renew your membership with TPWF for a chance to win a visit with him to TFFC, with a special tour of the Lunker Bunker. Alton Jr. will join you for the visit, and lunch with Alton Jr. and Ethel is included. (Fish sticks will NOT be served!)

If you join or renew your membership by June 7, you will be entered in a TPWF drawing* for a chance to win

Join Now

 *The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the trip to TFFC ‘s Lunker Bunker with Alton Jones Jr. and lunch with Ethel.  Members who join or renew between January 1 and June 7 are automatically entered in the drawing.
  Story #4: TPWF’s 2020 Annual Report Available  

Connection has always been central to the work of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation — the connection between Texans and the wild things and wild places we love, the connections that bring together our committed donors and our dedicated conservation partners, and the infinite connections within the natural world. We reflected on these connections as we put together our 2020 annual report, which is now posted online.

Read More

  Story #5: Celebrating 25 years of Lone Star Land Steward Awards!  

We hope you will tune in to the livestreamed Lone Star Land Steward Awards program on May 27. The program began in 1996 to celebrate the incredible conservation work of Texas landowners, and to share information with other landowners and the public. 

Listen in on our latest podcast to hear more about the program’s history and why it has become such a treasured event for Texas conservationists!


  Story #6: Orvis Gives Back to Palo Pinto Mountains State Park  


Our friends at Orvis are celebrating the month of May with the Orvis Great Giveback Days! The North Texas Orvis store in Southlake has selected Palo Pinto Mountains State Park as its beneficiary. During the month of May, when you spend $10 or more at the Southlake Orvis store, you will receive a $10 discount AND Orvis will donate $10 to TPWF to support the fundraising effort to bring the newest state park in Texas to life! Now that’s what we call a great giveback!

This weekend on May 16, Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Superintendent James Adams will be at the Southlake Orvis store from 1:00-3:00 pm to visit with folks about the new park. Stop by and say hi!

Donate to Palo Pinto Mountains State Park today!




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