Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., April 3, 2002

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Outreach Update – Natural Leaders Team
Staff: Leah Huth
Committee Only
3. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
January 16, 2002

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 16th day of January 2002, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 9:00 a.m. to wit:

I. COMMISSION ATTENDANCE:

Katharine Armstrong Idsal, Chairman
Phil Montgomery, III, Committee Chair (Henry’s absence)
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
Joseph Fitzsimons,
Donato Ramos
Mark Watson, Jr. (absent)
Al Henry, Committee Chair (absent)
John Avila, Jr. (absent)

II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES: Minutes approved.

Motion: Commissioner Ramos

Second: Commissioner Fitzsimons

III. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE FOR CONSIDERATION:

1. BRIEFING - Chairman’s Charges

Mr. Montgomery mentioned that the charges were not there at the time and that the commission will proceed with the next briefing.

2. BRIEFING – Hunter Education

Presenter: Steve Hall, Education and Outreach Director

Senior Division Director McKinney introduced Hall who briefed the Committee on Hunter Education as requested by the commission during the November briefing on the successes of the program. Hall reiterated the charge by the commission to look at ways to improve course convenience even more. The briefing highlighted: 1) facts and benefits of the program, 2) alternative delivery options and 3) proposed pilot for adults taking the course to receive Texas certification. He emphasized that in its current form, “Hunter Education Works!”

Hunter education in the mandatory form has been around for over 50 years. The purpose is to produce safe, knowledgeable, responsible and involved hunters and shooters. Benefits include the reduction of accidents and violations and the improved image of hunters and hunting. Volunteers are the primary partners certifying over 30,000 students annually. Hunter education is mandatory in all 50 states following standards adopted by the International Hunter Education Association. It is federally funded with the passage of the Dingell – Hart Amendment (Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act).

Hunter education has reduced accident by more than 50 percent. Its enhancement of hunting and the hunter’s image will be even more important in the future. A total of 89 percent of active hunters and 93 percent of non-hunter support this avenue of training. Course satisfaction rate is over 95 percent. It is a primary means of reducing landowners’ liabilities that allow hunting. It is a successful part of the Texas Youth Hunting program. Hunter education teaches far more than what law enforcement and military training constitutes such as wildlife conservation, hunting ethics and primitive sporting arms.

Accomplishments last year include 2,700 instructors teaching 4,100 courses involving over 46,000 hours of actual training time and certifying 33,400 students. Direct program income totaled more than $150,000 and in- kind contributions were valued at more than $511,000. Desired outcomes include, maintenance of a high quality effort, improved convenience and access and improved course quality. The current situation is that Texas has the most flexible law in the country where proof is not required at point of sale; not required of those under 12 years of age; and not required of those age 12 through 16 accompanied by a licensed hunter 17 years of age or older. Hunter education violators have the chance to appeal a citation with the Justice of the Peace and have 90 days to find and pass a course to void the citation. Texas has the most numerous courses offered in the country; are in the high school curriculum (Agriculture Science); are available in both home study packages (sporting good retailers) and Over the Internet (knowledge objectives). Hunter education numbers will be posted as part of the new hunting license, too.

Hunter education staff polled the other states to see if there are any other ideas that would further the convenience factor. An idea from Ohio was one that Texas staff felt they could pilot – but it would take time to modify some of the program components and it would take commission (possibly legislative) action to accomplish. The idea is a “Challenge Exam” administered by trained “Hunter Education Examiners.” It would provide the same learning and testing standards currently used in the program. It would be no more than two hours and be offered only to those age 21 years of age or older. It would not satisfy requirements for hunting in other states such as Colorado and Kansas. It has certain negatives such as the lack of peer group process, which is something that generally builds support for the agency.

Mr. Mckinney added comments in support of the current effort stating that it is the model throughout the country. It is taking the lead on Sunset recommendations to evaluate effectiveness of outreach and education. He echoed the fact that we still want to improve on convenience but without suffering on quality and without overhauling a system based on those who “will always call” trying to get certification without any kind of training. He thanked the commission for the opportunity to discuss the program and issues.

Commissioner Montgomery asked for questions. Vice-chairman Angelo asked about the enforcement process and about how hunter education is advertised. He mentioned that several of his kids had taken the course but didn’t remember seeing it advertised much. Discussions ensued. He also mentioned that it ought to be in schools, and Hall summarized the efforts within the Agriculture Science program.

Commissioners Ramos and Fitzimons discussed ideas relating to county fairs and 4-H and the opportunities that exist locally, especially within rural areas. Fitzimons followed up with questions about reciprocity with other states. Would the Challenge Exam be accepted? Hall mentioned that such a process would not be accepted due to other states’ laws and the federal aid standards that dictate a minimum of 10 hours of training over a 2-day period.

Commissioner Montgomery discussed the challenge exam process further and asked questions relating to the testing process, ensuring that it would not be much different than the current tests. He compared it with going to take a driver’s test. He wrapped up by thanking staff for the prompt response to their request at the November meeting.

Mckinney than introduced the next two briefings.

3. BRIEFING – Community Outdoor Outreach Program (COOP)

Presenter: Darlene Lewis, COOP Program Director

Lewis introduced the program and fellow staff member, Martin LeBlanc. She stated the purpose and objectives of COOP. She presented the history and improvements to the program since in began in 1996. The grant reimbursement program started with a $250,000 budget whereby grant recipients would receive a maximum of per eligible cycle. No construction projects would be allowed and the projects would target tax-exempt, grass roots organizations, schools, municipalities, etc., reaching non-traditional constituents.

In 1998, $250,000 from Fund 9 was added to program and further legislation increased the strategy by $1-million to help meet demands of the programs. The grant deadlines were established as October 1 and March 1. Changes in scoring grant criteria addressed the need for more curriculum based/multi-experiences based programs. Grant workshops were offered each spring and summer to assist potential applicants. Future workshops would address the need to develop the outdoor skills of adult sponsors/participants

Noticeable improvements to the program included: 1) more education/curriculum based programs, 2) participants getting more than just one-shot exposure to activities/programs, 3) more focus on entire families, 4) more environmental education programs, and 5) more schools getting involved and focusing on these programs as part of meeting their TAAS requirements.

Examples of funded projects awarded on December 15, 2001, included: 1) Friends of Hermann Park – an outdoor science learning opportunity for inner city kids/teachers in the Bayou Parkland area, 2) Orange County Juvenile Probation – taking at-risk kids out to learn more about forest awareness, endangered species, bats and they are going to get to go on guided fishing trips.

Lewis mentioned that the Department of Wisconsin Natural Resources is interested in modeling an outdoors skills grant program after the COOP program.

Commissioner Fitzsimons asked the committee if they had any questions and, along with Commissioner Montgomery, acknowledged and thanked staff for their “impressive work.”

Vice-chairman Angelo asked how many kids and Lewis responded with, “250,000 kids each fiscal year.” He and Chairman Idsal then asked about and discussed what follow up efforts were being made relative to kids continuing with outdoor activities and if data was looked at relative to exposure to recreation outlets. Lewis discussed the issue with the commissioners and mentioned that COOP is working in partnerships with school districts that have programs set up to monitor their kids behavior and patterns. She also stated that COOP staff would continuing to work with other TPW staff to determine how to monitor future efforts and program effectiveness.

Chairman Idsal echoed the acknowledgements and thanks.

4. BRIEFING – Buffalo Soldiers Program

Presenter: Ken Pollard, Program Supervisor – Community Services Education & Outreach Program

Mr. Pollard pointed out that the purpose of this briefing was to provide a report on the Community Services Education & Outreach Program within the Parks division and to update the commissioners on the Texas Buffalo Soldiers partnership with the Cowboys of Color Rodeos.

The Community Services Education and Outreach effort consists of four programs using the shared cultural heritage theme to instill pride, self-esteem and confidence. They are the: 1) Texas Buffalo Soldiers living history program, 2) Exploring Texas Roots ongoing cultural research project, 3) Blazing New Trails outdoor educational and recreational program, and 4) Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Trail Project umbrella program that incorporates State Parks, Fort Sites and other natural & cultural Historic Sites, into minority tourism, educational and preservation activities.

The Texas Buffalo Soldiers Program is designed & planned to be dependent upon joint collaborations and partnerships. Texas Buffalo Soldiers average 300 active volunteers and 100 volunteer organizations. A new partnership has been accomplished with the Black Ball Players Association “Game of the Century” February 2, 2002, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles CA. The partner offered to charter bus 50 members of the Texas Buffalo Soldiers Regiment to the game. The Texas “Game of the Century” is confirmed for Houston at Astro Field (formerly Enron Field) in February 2003. These types of partnerships provide the opportunities to demonstrate and present the TPW message to thousands in attendance.

The most exciting accomplishment of the program is TPW’s role in the establishment of Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Month. Senate Bill 1457 was passed in 1999 during the 76th Legislative Session that designates July as Texas’ Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Month and July 28th as Texas’ Buffalo Soldiers Capitol Salute Day. The role of the successful TPW Buffalo Soldiers program is officially recorded in the analysis of the Bill. TPW has a month-long period and the heritage programs to take the lead with appropriate ceremonies and activities and market this official Recognition Month across Texas.

The Dan Kubiak Buffalo Soldiers At-Risk Youth Program partnership is administered by the Department of Protective & Regulatory Services. Pollard stated that long standing partnership (since 1995) operates in five counties and its purpose is the development of character, improvement of self-esteem, learned benefits of hard work, and the rewards of self-improvement. The program is a model for evaluation and measuring program effectiveness, from 1997 to 2001. It evaluates participant information, status on project service provisions and performance measures. The handout provided to commissioners provided a 1997 to 2001 Summary and last Cycle Report for review.

Pollard summarized other partnerships within his program: 1) Lockhart High School – Texas Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Trail Partnership, 2) Adult Outreach through Cowboys of Color Rodeos Partnership, with the highlights being the cost effectiveness, target audience predominantly minority, enhanced visibility of TPW in minority communities, 3) Cultural Influences – Mrs. Gloria Austin, Renaissance Cultural Center, Fort Worth, and 4) 2001 Recap Cowboys of Color Rodeo Tour, a prepared presentation by Mr. Jim Austin, General Manager, which highlighted the five city tour in Dallas, Fort Worth, Mesquite, San Antonio, Austin and Houston. The rodeos reached approximately 4 million TV viewers - ABC, NBC, Fox, Univision, El Telemundo to TXCN, 2 million print – National and regional magazines and newspapers, and 1 million Radio – African-American, Hispanic and the general market.

Chairman Idsal, Commissioner Fitzsimons and Commissioner Montgomery recognized and commended the work, dedication and time spent on this program. They thanked Mr. Pollard for his efforts, asked for questions and other business before the committee.

IV. ADJOURNMENT: 4:45 pm


Committee Agenda Item No. 1

Outreach and Education Committee
Chairman's Charges
April 2003

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Leah Huth

Natural Leader's Education & Outreach Project
April 2002

I. Discussion:

The Sunset Report and subsequent legislation made key recommendations to the agency regarding its education and outreach efforts. A Natural Leaders team was given the charge to address the recommendations on behalf of the entire agency and the various divisions. This briefing gives you an update of the team’s efforts.

Natural Leaders is a comprehensive Texas Parks and Wildlife leadership program whereby selections of staff are made to spearhead interdivisional projects and solve department wide issues and problems. Successful applicants are appointed as project mentors or leaders based on their experience, accomplishments and overall knowledge and skill as managers.

The team chosen to work on this project represents the most members ever selected to a project and consists of two mentors, one each from Law Enforcement and Inland Fisheries, and four leaders, one each from Inland Fisheries, Coastal Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks. The sponsor to the Project is Larry McKinney.

The project charter (See Attachment 1) identifies the scope of the project and the deliverables. A final presentation of the results will be made to executive staff in May or June. The purpose of the project is to: 1) develop an overall framework of responsibilities and authority for entities supporting or conducting education, interpretation and outreach events and activities, and 2) recommend processes for evaluation of these efforts. The deliverables address the Sunset charges (Subsection C, Section 11.0181 of the Parks and Wildlife Code) dealing with the following:

“The Department shall study all education and outreach activities performed under this section to ensure that the activities:

  1. Are consistent with the department’s mission and goals;
  2. Do not duplicate other efforts by the department or other entities
  3. Provide a cost-effective method for reaching participants; and
  4. Can be effectively measured.”

There are well over 100 outreach programs and events conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife staff. Approximately 1.8 million customers are served by fish and wildlife events and activities conducted or attended by department staff.

The team has so far developed an overall framework of roles and responsibilities for the various entities, both internal and external, so that each can function well within the entire scope of the issue. The following entities have been identified as critical components to developing a successful education, interpretation and outreach efforts serving all Texans.

These teams enable the department to improve overall coordination, organization and communications of education and outreach efforts. A critical component in the organization is the role of the Outreach Advisory Group selected by this commission to represent the various facets from throughout Texas and the various constituents that we must begin reaching if we are to be relevant in 30 years. Clear channels of communication must remain open from your level to the field level to achieve success.

The team’s deliverables include written documents describing the following:

At the August commission meeting you will be reviewing and approving the plan that identifies the various programs, events and activities throughout the agency and how each meets the charges of the Sunset bill. Our implementation plan will be a key component of that document and will enable the department to get a handle on its outreach efforts.

Evaluation is a long-term process and while the department can boast much success in terms of outreach initiatives in the past decade, it must find out which efforts are most effective in reaching future generations of Texans with our message and our mission.

Attachment

1. Exhibit A – 2001 Natural Leader Team Education and Outreach Charter and Project Plan


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Project Charter
Texas Parks and Wildlife Education and Outreach

SPONSOR: Dr. Larry McKinney

DEPARTMENT ADVISORS:

Cindy Hancock
Nancy Herron
Steve Hall

PROJECT MENTORS:

Jonathan Gray, Law Enforcement
Bobby Farquhar, Inland Fisheries

PROJECT TEAM:

Charles Munger, Inland Fisheries 806/655-4341
Leah Huth, Parks 512/243-1643
Paul Choucair, Coastal Fisheries 361/825-3354
James Cathey, Wildlife 903/928-2251

PROJECT DEFINITION:

Overview:

Sunset Legislation for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, approved in fiscal year 2001, mandated that the Department shall study all education and outreach activities to determine if they comply with Subsection (c), Section 11.0181 of the Parks and Wildlife Code. Subsection (c) was amended to read “The department shall manage the outreach and education activities performed under this section to ensure that the activities: (1) are consistent with the department’s mission and goals; (2) do not duplicate other efforts by the department or other entities; (3) provide a cost-effective method for reaching participants; and (4) can be effectively measured.”

Purpose:

The purpose of this project is to develop an overall framework of responsibilities and authority for entities supporting or conducting education and outreach events and recommend processes for evaluation of outreach.

The project is designed to address specific areas of Subsection (c), Section 11.0181 of the Parks and Wildlife Code, which will be reported to the Texas Legislature.

PROJECT SCOPE:

Develop responsibilities and authority for TPW Commission Education and Outreach Committee
Develop responsibilities and authority for the Education and Outreach Advisory Board
Develop responsibilities and authority for TPW Interdivisional Education and Outreach Team
Develop responsibilities and authority for TPW Education Branch
Develop responsibilities and authority for TPW Divisional and Regional Outreach Coordinators
Develop responsibilities and authority for individuals within TPW conducting education and outreach events
Recommend processes for evaluation of education and outreach

PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

Develop a document that defines roles and responsibilities for education and outreach activities
Recommend processes for evaluating education and outreach activities

ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSTRAINTS:

Assumptions:

Provide a report on roles and responsibilities for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Education and Outreach Advisory Board, TPW Interdivisional Education and Outreach Team, Education Branch, Divisional and Regional Outreach Coordinators, and individuals conducting outreach activities

Recommend processes for evaluation of education and outreach activities

Constraints:

Evaluation of all department outreach and education activities is outside the scope of this project
Implementation requirements will be within existing budgets
Required planning and reporting of events will not unduly burden outreach staff and volunteers
Specific standards for evaluation will not be determined through this project
Results of this project are recommendations only

PROJECT DELIVERABLES:

Approved Project Charter
Approved Project Plan
Monthly Status Reports
Final report on roles and responsibilities for education and outreach programs
Final recommendations for evaluation processes
Final PowerPoint presentation of report
Final Implementation Plan
Closing review of Natural Leader program and project

PROJECT DURATION:

The plan’s duration is from September 2001 to June 2002

SPONSOR APPROVAL:

_________________________ _________________

Dr. Larry McKinney Date

NATURAL LEADERS 2001

EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

PROJECT PLAN

November 2001

Project Goal and Scope....................................................................... 3
Project Duration................................................................................... 3
Project Deliverables............................................................................. 3
Project Assumptions And Constraints................................................... 3
Work Breakdown Structure................................................................. 5 Schedule.............................................................................................. 5
Project Roles....................................................................................... 6
Project Organization Chart................................................................... 6 Communication.................................................................................... 6
Risk Management................................................................................ 7 Stakeholders........................................................................................ 7

Project Definition:

Overview:

Sunset Legislation for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, approved in fiscal year 2001, mandated that the Department shall study all education and outreach activities to determine if they comply with Subsection (c), Section 11.0181 of the Parks and Wildlife Code. Subsection (c) was amended to read “The department shall manage the outreach and education activities performed under this section to ensure that the activities: (1) are consistent with the department’s mission and goals; (2) do not duplicate other efforts by the department or other entities; (3) provide a cost-effective method for reaching participants; and (4) can be effectively measured.”

Purpose:

The purpose of this project is to develop an overall framework of responsibilities and authority for entities supporting or conducting education and outreach events and recommend processes for evaluation of outreach.

The project is designed to address specific areas of Subsection (c), Section 11.0181 of the Parks and Wildlife Code, which will be reported to the Texas Legislature.

Project Goal and Scope:

The goal of the project is to improve education and outreach provided by the Department by improving communication within the Agency and recommending evaluation processes to improve individual programs. Specifically, the scope of this project is to develop an overall framework of roles and responsibilities for 1) the TPW Commission Outreach Committee; 2) Outreach Advisory Board; 3) Interdivisional Education and Outreach Team; 4) Education Branch, 5) Divisional and/or Regional Outreach Coordinators; and; 6) individuals within TPW conducting education and outreach events. The project will recommend processes for evaluation of outreach programs.

Project Duration:

The project duration is from September 2001 through June 2002.

Project Deliverables:

Project Assumptions And Constraints:

Assumptions

Constraints

Work Breakdown Structure:

Natural Leaders Project Work Breakdown Structure

Schedule:

Ongoing Processes

Internal and external contacts
Internal research on current roles and responsibilities
External research on education and outreach organization and reporting
Monthly progress reporting

Project Schedule

November

December

January

February

March

April

May

June

Project Roles:
Names of Individuals

Sponsor: Dr. Larry McKinney

Department advisors:
Cindy Hancock
Nancy Herron
Steve Hall

Project mentors:
Jonathan Gray, Law Enforcement
Bobby Farquhar, Inland Fisheries

Project team:
Charles Munger, Inland Fisheries 806/655-4341
Leah Huth, Parks 512/243-1643
Paul Choucair, Coastal Fisheries 361/825-3354

Project team (departed):
James Cathey, Wildlife 903/928-2251

Project Organization Chart:

Natural Leaders Project Organization Chart

Communication and Risk Management:

Monthly status reports from the team to the project sponsor, mentors, and Natural Leader instructional team will be completed each month with lists of accomplishments, current issues/resolutions, and at least a one-month projection. Daily communications will be conducted through email, telephone, or other appropriate format.

Risk management will be accomplished with monthly risk assessments. Identified risks will be prioritized according to level of project jeopardy. For risks that will be addressed, a team member will be assigned responsibility for mitigation. Identified risks include:

Difficulty in obtaining information from stakeholders

Limited support and information concerning outreach from other states and state agencies

Stakeholders:

Internal Stakeholders

External Stakeholders:


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