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Wild Times May 2024

The entirety of Powderhorn Ranch is now in the hands of the people of Texas. In a land transaction that closed Oct. 27, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) donated the final 1,360 acres to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). In 2018, TPWF donated 14,998 acres of the property to TPWD for Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The remainder of the property that transferred last week will one day become a state park.

“The donation of Powderhorn Ranch is a promise kept,” said Mike Greene, Chairman of the TPWF Board of Trustees. “This historic investment was made possible by an exceptional public-private partnership and exemplifies how landscape-scale conservation can be achieved in Texas and beyond."

The acquisition of the 17,351-acre Powderhorn Ranch in Calhoun County forever conserves a spectacular piece of property that is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie in the state. The purchase was made possible by a coalition of conservation partners and donors led by TPWF.

“This transformational project conserves irreplaceable wildlife habitat and brings an exciting new recreational opportunity to the people of Texas,” said Dan Friedkin, Chairman Emeritus of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. “It demonstrates how Texas’s community of conservationists can work hand-in-hand with the state to preserve an extraordinary piece of our natural heritage for generations to come."

Since the 2014 acquisition, TPWF has stewarded the property to prepare for the donation to the state. Before the property was transferred, TPWF worked with numerous partners to facilitate access for recreational opportunities such as birding, hunting, camping and fishing. Since 2019, Powderhorn WMA has provided scheduled access for conservation education, research, birding and public hunting. While there is no timeline yet for development of the state park, it typically takes many years for a master plan to be developed and for state funding to be identified for park development.

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  Story #2: Galveston Bay Oysters Get a Helping Hand from Shell  

The effects of Hurricane Harvey are still being felt in Galveston Bay. The horrific 2017 storm wreaked havoc with oyster beds in Galveston Bay. Oyster reefs provide essential ecosystem services within estuaries, including providing habitat for finfish and invertebrates, stabilizing sediments and improving water quality. Since oysters are filter-feeders, with each oyster filtering up to six gallons of saltwater per hour, damage to oyster reefs creates significant issues for water quality in Galveston Bay.

Because oyster reefs are of vital importance to both the ecosystem and the economy, TPWF is helping to secure funding to restore as many beds as possible. The project began earlier this year, and one site in the bay has already been restored. Thanks in part to generous funding from Shell, more than 30 acres of oyster beds will be restored in Galveston Bay.

  Story #3: We Will Not Be Tamed Podcast: Carter Smith  

From navigating sometimes controversial white-tailed deer management issues to determining how best to help coastal fisheries resources recover from the February freeze, it’s all in a day’s work for TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. We caught up with Carter for our latest podcast to find out what’s on his mind.


  Story #4: Join TPWF and WIN an Upland Hunt at Spoke Hollow!  

Josh Crumpton is a seventh-generation Texan and calls himself the Chief Executive Outdoorsman of his company Spoke Hollow Outfitters in Wimberley, Texas. He’s delighted to join the ranks of TPWF’s We Will Not Be Tamed ambassadors and invites all Texans to get involved in TPWF’s work. 

Upland hunting is one of the true shining stars at Spoke Hollow Outfitters, and Josh wants to you experience the best the Texas Hill Country has to offer.

If you join or renew your membership with TPWF by November 19, you will be entered in a TPWF drawing* for a chance to win an upland hunt at Spoke Hollow Ranch in Wimberley for one TPWF member and guest with Josh as your guide. The hunt will include lunch and an early round of clay shooting.

By joining or renewing your TPWF membership* between January 1, 2021 to November 19, 2021, you are automatically entered to win the giveaway.

Join Now

*The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the upland hunt at Spoke Hollow Ranch. Members who join or renew between January 1 and November 19 are automatically entered in the drawing. Click here for additional details.
  Story #5: Wild Focus: 25 Years of TPW Photography  

Earl Nottingham spent a quarter-century as chief photographer for Texas Parks and Wildlife, a job he called the “best in Texas.” TPW Magazine fans are familiar with his work, and he has photographed the lands, waters, wildlife and people of our state from every angle.

Nottingham retired earlier this year, and in a collaboration with Texas A&M University Press, the best of his work will be showcased in a new book. We were thrilled to learn that proceeds from book sales will be donated to support TPWF.

“Over the course of my TPWD career, it was a real pleasure to witness the impactful projects funded by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and its supporters,” said Nottingham. “TPWF’s efforts to provide outdoor opportunities for all Texans will be felt for generations to come, and I’m proud to support their work."

We’re pretty sure this book will be a favorite holiday gift for all who are fortunate to receive one!

Buy the Book

  Story #6: Amazon SMILES for TPWF!  


Speaking of holiday gifts… it’s that time again! As you put together your gift list, we’d like to remind you that by shopping on Amazon, you can multi-task! Not only can you finish up your holiday shopping, but you can also donate to your favorite charity: TPWF!

Go to Amazon Smile and earmark Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation as your charity of choice, and shop away!

Shop Here


  Story #8: Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Adventurer  


We’ve rounded up some quick, easy and impactful gift ideas for the outdoor adventurer on your list. And when you purchase from our select We Will Not Be Tamed Texas Trailblazing partners you can feel good about their support to help advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources.

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