Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee

May 29, 2002

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

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             7             BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 

             8    29TH day of MAY 2002, there came on to be heard 

             9    matters under the regulatory authority of the 

            10    Parks and Wildlife  Commission of Texas, in the 

            11    commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and 

            12    Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis 

            13    County, Texas, beginning at 2:12 p.m., to wit:

            14    
                  
            15    
                  APPEARANCES:
            16    THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
                  Chair:   Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, 
            17                   Texas, Chairman
                           Ernest Angelo, Jr., Vice Chairman, 
            18                   Midland, Texas     
                           John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas 
            19             Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons, San Antonio, 
                                 Texas   
            20             Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas (Absent)
                           Philip Montgomery, III, Dallas, Texas
            21             Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas
                           Kelly W. Rising, M.D., Beaumont, Texas
            22             Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
                  
            23    
                  THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
            24             Robert L. Cook, Executive Director, and 
                  other personnel of the Parks and Wildlife 
            25    Department.
                  




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                                                                   2

             1                       MAY 29, 2002

             2                         *-*-*-*-*

             3         OUTREACH AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEETING

             4                         *-*-*-*-*

             5                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  At this time, 

             6    I'd call the outreach and education committee to 

             7    order at 2:12 p.m. on May 29th.  The first order 

             8    of business is the approval of the minutes from 

             9    the last meeting.  Do I have a motion? 

            10                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  So move.

            11                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Second.

            12                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Been moved and 

            13    seconded.  Any opposed to the motion?  All in 

            14    favor say "Aye."

            15                  ("Aye.")

            16                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Any opposed?  

            17    Motion passes.  

            18                  (Motion passes unanimously).

            19                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Mr. Cook?

            20       AGENDA ITEM NO. 1 - CHAIRMAN'S CHARGES.

            21                  MR. COOK:  Chairman's charges, 

            22    Commissioners, item 2 in your committee agenda is 

            23    an update on the status of our outreach and 

            24    education review of that entire program, which 

            25    will comply with our chairman's charges.





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             1       AGENDA ITEM NO. 2 - SUNSET RECOMMENDATION ON 

             2       EDUCATION AND OUTREACH.

             3                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  We have two 

             4    briefing items.  The first one is the Sunset 

             5    recommendation on education and outreach.  

             6    Mr. Steve Hall? 

             7                  MR. HALL:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  

             8    My name is Steve Hall.  I'm the education and 

             9    outreach director.  And with me today is Nancy 

            10    Herron.  She's the education services coordinator, 

            11    who assists with this project but also with things 

            12    like ^ Web cast and evaluation.  And also Leah 

            13    Huth, I'm sure, is here.  Leah?  And you heard 

            14    from Leah last time regarding the natural leaders 

            15    teams project that deals with education and 

            16    outreach that is really the bulk -- and the 

            17    centerpiece for the plan, the education outreach 

            18    plan, that will result from this project.

            19                  The issue 6 from the Sunset Bill 

            20    deals -- dealing with education and outreach deals 

            21    with four main activities; one that each of the 

            22    education outreach programs and events are 

            23    consistent with our mission.  Number two, that 

            24    they are not duplicative, and that's both internal 

            25    and external.  Three, that they're cost effective.  





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             1    And four, that they are effectively measured. 

             2                  The road map for success 

             3    essentially, both internally and externally, goes 

             4    through, of course, this committee, but also the 

             5    newly appointed education and outreach or outreach 

             6    and education advisory committee.  That's the 

             7    external group to be appointed prior to September.  

             8    And then we have an internal team, the educational 

             9    outreach team that's been meeting since the mid 

            10    '90s, first and foremost to communicate what the 

            11    different divisions are doing relative to 

            12    education outreach.  But more importantly, and 

            13    during this process, to be granted any kind of 

            14    authorities or project leadership in terms of 

            15    taking this process forward.

            16                  And finally, you have major 

            17    divisions or efforts within the department that 

            18    deal with this on a daily basis.  And four of 

            19    those mentioned here are education, 

            20    interpretation, outreach and communications, which 

            21    has an entire division, including the marketing 

            22    components.

            23                  I've sketched it out here in terms 

            24    of what it visually looks like to combine all of 

            25    these components together.  There's an overlapping 





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             1    component of all of them, which is important, that 

             2    centers around our mission.  But there's also an 

             3    independent component of all of them where we have 

             4    various strategies that are solely educational or 

             5    solely communicative.  And those kinds of things 

             6    need to be accomplished but also need to be 

             7    highlighted as separate and apart from some of the 

             8    other activities that go on.

             9                  We've posted a few definitions just 

            10    to keep this kind of separate and clear, and that 

            11    communications being the media flow of 

            12    information.  Again, we have an entire division 

            13    dedicated to that in marketing.  Education, we 

            14    have an entire branch dedicated to that which are 

            15    the program-based information and education.  And 

            16    these are statewide and mostly formal efforts by 

            17    comparison with informal efforts.  Interpretation, 

            18    these are site-based programs, as well.  And 

            19    mostly, of course, these are field base 

            20    operations. 

            21                  And finally, outreach, we've 

            22    determined as breaking down the barriers for 

            23    participation.  This agency obviously has decided 

            24    that, you think, women, youth, minorities, and 

            25    certainly people with disabilities are four major 





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             1    categories or demographics, if you will, that need 

             2    to be more involved with the Parks and Wildlife 

             3    mission, programs, and activities.  And we've 

             4    launched numerous activities that essentially 

             5    either are targeting these specific groups or 

             6    certainly want these particular groups to be the 

             7    ones highlighted, such as wildlife expos, where 

             8    you talk about families or youth.

             9                  Management actions are four that 

            10    we've been charged with from the Sunset Bill.  The 

            11    first one is the program assessment.  We're midway 

            12    through that program assessment.  We've identified 

            13    99 different programs and events that certainly 

            14    deal with education and outreach.  And just going 

            15    through, asking program managers, you know, when 

            16    and why they were created is just an interesting 

            17    question in and of itself.  But certainly the need 

            18    for the program, who are their target audience, is 

            19    that a prioritized target?  You know, is it a 

            20    specific group that they're after or is it open to 

            21    all groups certainly? 

            22                  Costs and methodologies, and whether 

            23    they're formal or informal efforts and the 

            24    relative costs associated with both of those.  

            25    Finally, evaluations which also includes outputs 





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             1    and outcomes.  Formal lingo used in terms of our 

             2    LBB measures.  But certainly we'd like to think of 

             3    them as quantitative and qualitative types of data 

             4    that we can sink our teeth into. 

             5                  Again, these programs are numerous 

             6    and it's been a daunting task just identifying, 

             7    number one, the programs, and then certainly 

             8    meeting with the program managers.  This is the 

             9    brunt of what Nancy will be working with as an 

            10    ongoing component of this, not just something 

            11    upfront, as well. 

            12                  Key strategies from 6.1 will be to 

            13    complete this assessment prior to the end of July, 

            14    to handle the communication and interpretation 

            15    components separately.  These are so massive, just 

            16    to give you an idea, of the 33,000 fish and 

            17    wildlife events from the Department, about 26,000 

            18    of them deal with the parks or the funds 64 side 

            19    of things.  Also, the communications division, 

            20    having the magazine, radio, TV, those kinds of 

            21    efforts will be acted on separately or as 

            22    independently, if you will, from education and -- 

            23    or, excuse me, education and outreach types of 

            24    events. 

            25                  And finally, using Outdoor Kids and 





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             1    programs like that to tie all of our youth 

             2    outreach programs together under one thematic 

             3    approach, it does help us deal with the public in 

             4    that they can identify maybe one theme or logo or 

             5    slogan or something that connects them with Parks 

             6    and Wildlife versus the myriad of things they 

             7    could connect with, whether it's our fisheries 

             8    division or wildlife division or what have you.

             9                  Management action number two is the 

            10    internal oversight.  This is just looking 

            11    internally at ourselves, our organization.  

            12    Certainly Leah Huth and the natural leaders team 

            13    did a great job looking at the roles and 

            14    responsibilities all the way from your level down 

            15    to the grass roots level where the rubber meets 

            16    the road, if you will, at the field level.  And 

            17    that's not easy because everyone in the agency 

            18    deals with education and outreach in some form of 

            19    fashion.  So it was trying to identify and pick 

            20    out those individual entities that work solely on 

            21    education outreach and essentially lining or 

            22    assigning the authorities to those entities. 

            23                  And finally, looking at maybe a 

            24    performance goal on a project code that we used 

            25    internally as an agency to identify what time we 





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             1    spent on education outreach.  That's an enormous 

             2    task.  Just as an example, federal aid projects 

             3    versus state projects, in the federal aid codes 

             4    that we use versus our state codes, just tackling 

             5    those kind of little intricacies are something 

             6    that is challenging, but I think we can probably 

             7    settle in on some project codes that help us 

             8    identify better with what time we do spend in 

             9    these areas.

            10                  The key strategies from 6.2 would be 

            11    to create outreach coordination at the regional 

            12    level.  We've done that and assigned an outreach 

            13    coordinator in the State.  And, of course, 

            14    initially we've started in the major urban areas 

            15    with the urban centers.  Give authority to an 

            16    agency entity to carry on these charges, to 

            17    provide a model performance goal and to review and 

            18    consolidate those project codes.  So these are the 

            19    strategies identified or at least some of the key 

            20    strategies identified from 6.2.  And, again, Leah 

            21    has put together a report dealing with the roles 

            22    and responsibilities.  6.3 is evaluation. 

            23                  That's probably the crux of this 

            24    whole effort, to determine our effectiveness as 

            25    programs.  That's always been a key question, 





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             1    always will be a key question.  It's probably the 

             2    hardest to answer at times, especially when you 

             3    look at item 3, which is the qualitative types of 

             4    outcomes.  These are hard to measure when you're 

             5    dealing with a youngster ten years of age and 

             6    whether our program has any impact on him or her 

             7    when she's 20.  And that's always an interesting 

             8    question because it involves both short-term types 

             9    of tools but also long-term tools, as well.

            10                  And that's the one that we're 

            11    excited about to really kind of help program 

            12    managers with, is to develop tools to actually 

            13    track that kind of data over time. 

            14                  Key strategies is to encourage use 

            15    of these kind of tools, especially at the program 

            16    management level, such as the balance score card.  

            17    Certainly to create a database that's consistent 

            18    across the agency whereby a field staff member 

            19    could be inputting, through via the Internet, 

            20    their data from their event, and it gets into the 

            21    consolidated framework so that somebody here in 

            22    Austin could punch that up and say, "Oh, I see 

            23    they're having an event there in Brazos" or, you 

            24    know, "They're having an event somewhere that 

            25    interests me."  So they could pull out that data, 





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             1    query that data at all levels within the 

             2    Department, and that, again, is a nice -- that's 

             3    something that we're looking forward to.

             4                  Finally, assign and provide a person 

             5    or a team to consult with these people.  And we've 

             6    assigned Nancy Herron to be a consultant or act as 

             7    a consultant to the evaluation process.  And 

             8    that's an important role for us to play, I think, 

             9    in education outreach, is for any program manager, 

            10    whether they're at a historic site or park, 

            11    wildlife management area, to come and say, "Jeez, 

            12    I run this wildlife management camp for a week and 

            13    I need a tool to determine or help me determine 

            14    the effectiveness of this camp."  And so that's 

            15    where we can act as a consultant and try to give 

            16    them tools that they can use to do that.  Again, a 

            17    daunting task but something that kind of excites 

            18    us a little bit.

            19                  That database is a -- template has 

            20    been essentially developed by that natural leaders 

            21    team, as has an outreach evaluation report that 

            22    looks into evaluation as a way to get at some of 

            23    the data that we've needed to get at through these 

            24    activities.

            25                  And finally, 6.4 is the 





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             1    partnerships.  And we have existing partnerships 

             2    as Susan and Page have brought to you, both in the 

             3    nonprofit realm and in the areas of in-kind 

             4    contribution.  Our volunteer partners are probably 

             5    some of the more successful things that we have 

             6    going.  So the existing partnerships are 

             7    important.  We do want to develop new 

             8    partnerships, especially at the local level.  The 

             9    co-op partners, the -- Darlene's program in terms 

            10    of who she's been able to help fund instantly 

            11    become partners of ours because they're taking our 

            12    mission forward at the local level.  And they're 

            13    an important group.  But so are our regional 

            14    coordinators, our specialists in the urban areas.  

            15    For example, Johnny Jones in Houston has already 

            16    essentially developed and worked with now a 

            17    minimum of 25 partners just in the Houston area 

            18    alone, mostly church and boys and girls clubs and 

            19    boys and girls groups and just developing those 

            20    kind of partnerships at that level has been a real 

            21    key success.  And he's only been on board a year 

            22    now.  So -- so these are some of those strategies 

            23    that I've just talked about. 

            24                  The second one is important and 

            25    that's to continue working with the Texas 





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             1    Education Agency.  They're entering a new realm of 

             2    essential elements called the TAKS.  And we're on 

             3    top of that in trying to determine how our 

             4    curricula fit in with their standards that they've 

             5    set; and as they change their standards, how they 

             6    cross reference our efforts.  And we've had a good 

             7    working relationship with them and I think more so 

             8    in the future because they're going more toward 

             9    field work and our Parks and Wildlife management 

            10    areas become a key place to do their business. 

            11                  And as we obviously identify what 

            12    parks are closest to what schools and what 

            13    schools, especially the Sheldon Lake area, that's 

            14    going to be a key component and it ties nicely 

            15    together with the new curricula.  But we have to 

            16    keep up with the administrative effort on tying 

            17    those two things together so a teacher can clearly 

            18    see, "Oh, this is how Sheldon Lake state parks 

            19    meets my objectives here in the classroom."  And 

            20    once we do that and make it an easy format for 

            21    them, then hopefully on the ground those school 

            22    kids do get out to that area.  And finally, to 

            23    continue our partnerships with major universities 

            24    such as the cooperative extension service at Texas 

            25    A&M and others, these have been key relationships 





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             1    that we've formed over the last eight to ten years 

             2    and we certainly want to keep those going, as 

             3    well.

             4                  And finally, for your perusal in 

             5    August will be the completed plan that, again, is 

             6    comprised of a lot of what the natural leaders 

             7    will be presenting here next week, but also what 

             8    Nancy is doing in terms of program assessment, as 

             9    well.  That plan will be ready for your adoption 

            10    in August as part of the other Sunset strategies. 

            11                  And the time-line on most of this, 

            12    as you can see in the blue, the first three 

            13    measures will be things that we complete this 

            14    fiscal year but the brunt of the work will start 

            15    in September and that's implementation of the plan 

            16    and the tools and the database.  And, again, I 

            17    think I, for one, have been looking forward to 

            18    tying these efforts together.  I know Nancy has 

            19    done a lot of good work and so has Leah in the 

            20    natural leaders team.  And it's exciting for me 

            21    because I think that we can tie these things 

            22    together even though they are as broad as this 

            23    agency is.  So with that, we'd be happy to answer 

            24    any questions. 

            25                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Comments?  





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             1    John? 

             2                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I've got a very 

             3    fundamental question.  The outreach and education 

             4    committee's objective, its audience, is it a -- is 

             5    it our total constituency or is it an age group? 

             6                  MR. HALL:  In terms of the 

             7    Commission committee or the advisory committee? 

             8                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  The advisory group? 

             9                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  What's the 

            10    goal of the program? 

            11                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  What's the goal 

            12    of the program? 

            13                  MR. HALL:  Okay.  Outreach, it's 

            14    women, minority, youth, and people with 

            15    disabilities.  In other words, demographics that 

            16    don't -- aren't dominating the percentages like 

            17    they should, perhaps, in our business.  But for 

            18    education, it's primarily -- it's across the board 

            19    but it's traditional groups such as for hunter 

            20    education it would be hunters.  So that would 

            21    include adults, for example, for boaters.  Outdoor 

            22    Women is a program of outreach, something like 

            23    boater education is a program for traditional 

            24    constituents that pay the bills but that have a 

            25    mandate associated with that. 





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             1                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  And I thought 

             2    that was the case, I just was seeking a course 

             3    correction, if there was one.  Because you do have 

             4    every program up there.  So it's all of our 

             5    constituency.

             6                  MR. HALL:  Exactly. 

             7                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Then the 

             8    emphasis that the Commission gave directly on 

             9    minorities, women, children as another generation 

            10    of users of our services.

            11                  MR. HALL:  You bet. 

            12                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  But the themes and 

            13    the message we relay to all our constituents, be 

            14    they women, children, or minorities or handicapped 

            15    or other constituents is the same message and the 

            16    same themes. 

            17                  MR. HALL:  Correct.  That's where 

            18    those circles overlap in terms of the mission, is 

            19    that, you know, if I were to pick constituents 

            20    that hone in on the mission, it's the family unit, 

            21    you know, which is comprised of all the things 

            22    we've talked about. 

            23                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I guess the 

            24    only other question I have is, is there so much 

            25    ownership on some of these programs that when you 





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             1    see the -- that we can eliminate some?  Are you 

             2    going to do any of that?  Is that beyond the scope 

             3    of what you're doing? 

             4                  MR. HALL:  I don't think at all  

             5    about -- I think it's a hand-holding come to 

             6    reality session with a program manager that's 

             7    certainly vested in a specific program. 

             8                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I don't know 

             9    that that will be the case but there might be some 

            10    that are consolidated and like that.  I wouldn't 

            11    hesitate to tell us about that or Mr. Cook.  

            12                  MS. HUTH:  If I may, I think through 

            13    this evaluation and inventory, I think we're going 

            14    to identify best practices.  We may see some 

            15    points of consolidation, we may not.  We may learn 

            16    that we need to replicate someone's exemplary 

            17    program.  But I think we're going to learn a lot 

            18    through this process and work more effectively and 

            19    expertly. 

            20                  MR. HALL:  We actually hope the 

            21    program managers come to that conclusion rather 

            22    than an independent, you know, hammer coming in 

            23    from the side and saying, "We'll cut your 

            24    program."

            25                  I mean, if you go through the needs 





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             1    assessment or, say, just cost per participant that 

             2    you're reaching and you -- and something is out of 

             3    whack or it's clearly not tied to the mission, 

             4    that, you know, ought to come from the program 

             5    manager.  If it doesn't, you know, certainly we're 

             6    going to recommend various things.  But I don't 

             7    want to be in a position, for one, to be the 

             8    hammer.  But if we're designated that authority or 

             9    if we're assigned that authority, I don't think 

            10    we'd be afraid of that.  I'm going across the 

            11    board with all these programs and it -- the one 

            12    thing that's clear is how amazing some of these 

            13    programs really are and some of these people.  So 

            14    it's going to be hard to play that role if that 

            15    role ever comes. 

            16                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Mr. Hall, you said 

            17    you identified 99 different programs?  I think 

            18    usually that --

            19                  MR. HALL:  That's something you can 

            20    get your handle on, there's obviously other 

            21    activities.  Game wardens are involved in so many 

            22    different activities that even necessarily 

            23    included in those 90.  For example, say, field 

            24    biologists.  But those are activities that respond 

            25    to requests, versus the 99, where it's a program 





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             1    or activity of the department typically brought to 

             2    someone that we're prepared to bring to someone.

             3                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  A couple 

             4    of things.  If we're going to actually approve -- 

             5    I didn't realize we were headed to approve a whole 

             6    broad plan for education and outreach.  But sure, 

             7    I'd like to see an advance.  Didn't have a time to 

             8    discuss it among ourselves what we want to 

             9    accomplish in this area.

            10                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  May I make a 

            11    comment here because I think it's worth noting.  

            12    Speaking for the Commission and myself, the 

            13    importance we place on outreach are clear based on 

            14    what's happened in the last 12 months.  We've made 

            15    the education and outreach committee a full 

            16    committee of the Commission.  I've created an 

            17    outreach and education advisory group.  And, of 

            18    course, Sunset has charged us with going through 

            19    this.  Mr. Henry, Commissioner Henry has been the 

            20    chairman of the committee and unfortunately has 

            21    been ill.  He was also a key member of the 

            22    advisory group.  Unfortunately his illness has 

            23    slowed us down.  That does not take away my 

            24    interest in any way or my energy and focus on this 

            25    area.  I do think we're running into a time 





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             1    constraint that is of concern to me.  I am 

             2    intending on focusing very keenly on these -- on 

             3    this committee over the next -- and advisory group 

             4    over the next month.  I think some of the issues 

             5    that you're looking at today and your concern 

             6    about the importance of all us looking at what 

             7    you're doing and looking at it carefully is noted, 

             8    and we will do so.

             9                  I think it's also important, when we 

            10    look at all these programs, that we reflect back 

            11    to the new mission statement, that our message is 

            12    clear, consistent and reliable, and that it's 

            13    based on good science and sound reason.  And that 

            14    if that guides us, I think we can come up with a 

            15    very good plan. 

            16                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I agree 

            17    completely with what you're saying, Madam 

            18    Chairman.  The other thing, Steve, that would help 

            19    me a lot in reading this, when you-all describe 

            20    the children and say 10,000 children went through 

            21    the program, can you be specific as possible if 

            22    that means 10,000 children attended a two-hour 

            23    fishing class once?  That would help me, rather 

            24    than 10,000 children went through the program.  Be 

            25    real specific because I think in judging these, 





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             1    there's a tendency to throw all the numbers in 

             2    there.  That's natural for everybody who runs them 

             3    and does them and feels great about it.  But for 

             4    us reading it, it's real hard to see that kind of 

             5    gross information and be able to sense what kind 

             6    of impact we really have.  And that's one thing 

             7    that's on the front end, as precise as possible 

             8    would be very helpful.  Second, I would appreciate 

             9    reading -- I don't know if it's part of the report 

            10    you mentioned up there.  As specific as possible 

            11    recommendations you can make on how we can measure 

            12    the long-term impact some of these things are 

            13    having, to the extent they can be measured or seen 

            14    or might be implemented.  Because I think, the way 

            15    I see it, the big challenge is creating behavior 

            16    patterns that cause people to do things in the 

            17    outdoors that are more of our mission.  And a more 

            18    intense experience with a more limited population 

            19    may, in fact, be more effective in the long run 

            20    than a long-range project that comes and goes very 

            21    quickly.  But, again, your thinking on that as you 

            22    get into it would be deeply appreciated. 

            23                  MR. HALL:  I think what we're 

            24    anticipating, what will be happening at that one a 

            25    longer project that is more costly but, like you 





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                                                                  22

             1    say, potentially more than effective.  So what is 

             2    the balance as an agency.  We wouldn't want all 

             3    eggs in one basket.

             4                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  The finer 

             5    grade you can do that, the better we'll be able to 

             6    make those judgments.  Sounds like a great 

             7    project.

             8                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Any other 

             9    comments or questions? 

            10                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  I would like to 

            11    echo the same comments of Chairman Idsal.  You-all 

            12    have a tremendous responsibility and we have to be 

            13    focused on the youth and minority and outreach 

            14    education.  I kind of lean more toward outreach 

            15    and there are hundreds of programs.  Thank you, 

            16    Steve.  I appreciate it.

            17       AGENDA ITEM NO. 3 - WATER COMMUNICATIONS 

            18       INITIATIVE

            19                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  All right.  The 

            20    next briefing will be by Lydia Saldana, water 

            21    communications initiative.  Lydia?  I see you got 

            22    rid of your leg. 

            23                  MS. SALDANA:  For the moment.  I'll 

            24    be having surgery tomorrow.  That's why we're 

            25    doing this briefing today.  I'm Lydia Saldana, 





.
                                                                  23

             1    communications director.  And Larry McKinney is 

             2    joining me.  It's a tag-team presentation.  Larry, 

             3    why don't you start?

             4                  DR. McKINNEY:  Appreciate it.  I've 

             5    been trying to set up a little bit of what Lydia 

             6    is going to talk to you about, I think it's 

             7    important to talk about a couple of points.  And 

             8    although we talk about it a lot, it's worth 

             9    repeating.  And our focus is water.  And it is the 

            10    single mostly source management issue that we 

            11    face.  And we talk about that often.  And as we 

            12    heard today, when we were talking about the 

            13    briefing from the land and water conservation 

            14    plan, as Jeff and Emily talked about, made one 

            15    specific mention of a number that caught my 

            16    attention that said 80 percent of top parks are 

            17    associated with water.  Everything we do with fish 

            18    and wildlife regulations relates back to that.  

            19    And we have to stay focused on that issue because 

            20    as we move forward in time, if we don't want to 

            21    make all this good work that we've accomplished 

            22    over the last 30 and 40, 50 years to secure our 

            23    fish and wildlife, we want to secure that for the 

            24    future, we have to make sure place to be, that 

            25    they're there.  And water is that issue.  We are 





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                                                                  24

             1    in a very important time with water.  We always 

             2    say it's a critical period and it seems like every 

             3    year it's a critical period for decisions.  But it 

             4    certainly is now. 

             5                  The Legislature, for example, will 

             6    be taking up this issue next session about how do 

             7    we roll in environmental needs into our water 

             8    permitting and management, how does that fit?  

             9    There are interim hearings going on now about that 

            10    topic.  So they will be making decisions on this 

            11    issue that are critical.

            12                  We're in the second phase of our 

            13    state water planning effort.  And in this phase, 

            14    we have worked closely with the regional groups, 

            15    16 regional groups, and the water development 

            16    board to try to make the point that now is the 

            17    time for us to, as we evaluate the plethora of 

            18    strategies that we have for meeting our water 

            19    needs for the next 50 years, that now we need to 

            20    work our environmental issues into those and try 

            21    to make a determination of how that works, as 

            22    well.

            23                  So a number of issues coming up 

            24    before us that are critical to us.

            25                  And having informed decision makers, 





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                                                                  25

             1    having our constituents and the public aware and 

             2    knowing of these issues are going to be important 

             3    for us.  And that's the focus of what Lydia is 

             4    going to talk with you about.

             5                  Clearly these issues are important 

             6    to Texans.  When we do polls, when independent 

             7    polls are done across the state, environmental 

             8    issues are there.  And among those issues is 

             9    water, be it water pollution or wildlife habitat.  

            10    It's certainly a nonpartisan issue.  It's 

            11    important to all of us.  We've talked to our 

            12    constituents and asked them in our own poll work 

            13    we've done, they say what are the most important 

            14    issues to them, water-related issues are their 

            15    biggest concern, of 48 percent of Texans.  Now, 

            16    the second category is -- I don't know.  24 

            17    percent of the people don't know what those issues 

            18    are, which I think really frames what we're 

            19    talking about here in this communication process.  

            20    We not only have to work with our constituents so 

            21    that they understand, they know the water 

            22    importance but they need to understand what it 

            23    does, why it's important.  And those who don't 

            24    understand that, they need to understand the 

            25    connection between fish and wildlife.  That point 





.
                                                                  26

             1    was brought home to me just a little while ago.  I 

             2    spent most of the lunch hour with David Sikes who 

             3    is an outdoor writer in Corpus Christi who has 

             4    recently written some on water, who is writing 

             5    another series on the Gulf of Mexico.  And he 

             6    said, "You know, Larry, I've begun calling all 

             7    over the states in the Gulf of Mexico and every 

             8    place I turn it's water."  And I said, "Yeah, 

             9    that's right.  Water is the issue."  And David is 

            10    facing a tough issue down there in Corpus where he 

            11    has a group of landowners who have houses adjacent 

            12    to a lake there that are basically saying, "Wow, 

            13    the fresh water going into the Nueces Bay is 

            14    poisoning that bay and the water.  I'm losing on 

            15    my lake is killing my property values and we need 

            16    to do something about it."  He said, "Larry, every 

            17    time I say how important freshwater is, I get 

            18    bombarded with hate mail from that side of it."  

            19    So he said, "My problem is, how do I get this 

            20    message across?  How do I tell people and get -- 

            21    this is a difficult issue.  How do I do it?"  I 

            22    said, "Well, we're going to give it a try and 

            23    we've got our best troops working on it.  And it 

            24    is an issue for them."  So our focus -- turn it 

            25    over to Lydia now -- is to how can we set the 





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                                                                  27

             1    stage to provide that information.  And that's 

             2    where we're going. 

             3                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Thank you. 

             4                  MS. SALDANA:  How do we get this 

             5    message across?  Well, the strategy to address 

             6    these issues is why we call Texas the state of 

             7    water.  Our positioning statement is helping 

             8    Texans understand the value of water.  It is a 

             9    very complex issue.  It's not easily reduced to 

            10    sound bytes.  It's not something you can do in one 

            11    news release.  It's going to require an 

            12    interactive and sustained effort on all of our 

            13    parts to get this message across.  What it is is 

            14    an integrated active initiative that will utilize 

            15    every single one of the communication tools at our 

            16    disposal.  Our goal, as Larry mentioned, is to 

            17    raise Texans' awareness and understanding of these 

            18    very complex water issues that we face.  And what 

            19    we came up with and what we've brainstormed -- and 

            20    we did this as a team both within the division, 

            21    communications division and certainly involving 

            22    Larry and his staff.  The original idea for this 

            23    was very, very big and bigger than the budget 

            24    dollars that we had at our disposal.  So one of 

            25    the things we've been very aggressive about is 





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                                                                  28

             1    seeking sponsorship dollars.  And before the ink 

             2    dries on our first proposal working with the parks 

             3    foundation, we got a hundred thousand dollar 

             4    sponsorship from Brazos Mutual Fund.  We're very 

             5    excited about it.  It's going to allow us to 

             6    execute some of these strategies that we would not 

             7    have otherwise been able to do.  A little bit of 

             8    background on Brazos.  Brazos Mutual Fund was 

             9    created and managed by a Texas state active, John 

            10    McStay of John McStay Investments.  Now, 

            11    Mr. Mackay is an avid Texan.  He is an avid 

            12    outdoorsman.  I hope he will become a very good 

            13    friend of parks.  Certainly he's made a very, very 

            14    generous offer to assist us.  Just a little 

            15    background on the fund, the Brazos Mutual Fund 

            16    derives its name from his ranch.  They were 

            17    looking for an immediate opportunity, a branding 

            18    opportunity to raise the proceeds of the mutual 

            19    fund.  This partnership is very much a win win for 

            20    both of us, so we're very much excited about it. 

            21                  As you develop a communications 

            22    plan, you think of who the audience is that you 

            23    want to reach.  And certainly our constituents are 

            24    first on the list, anglers, boaters, hunters, park 

            25    users.  But he wants to go beyond that.  In some 





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                                                                  29

             1    instances, we already do a pretty good job in 

             2    communicating with these folks.  We also need to 

             3    reach the Texas general public, those folks that 

             4    don't -- you know, think that water is the top 

             5    issue but don't really know a whole lot about it.  

             6    And we're going to reach the general public 

             7    through some of these avenues that I'm going to 

             8    explain in just a moment. 

             9                  Key messages is also -- you have to 

            10    define what your key messages are before you 

            11    embark on a strategy or communications plan.  So 

            12    these are a few of the key messages we've come up 

            13    with.  Clean abundant water for wildlife.  Is 

            14    water for people?  These are not mutually 

            15    exclusive or an either/or proposition.  This is 

            16    going to be something we communicate through 

            17    everything we do.  Fish and wildlife management is 

            18    key to the equation.  I don't think a lot of folks 

            19    have a clear understanding of how important that 

            20    is to water quality and water quantity, and 

            21    particularly land stewards are also water 

            22    stewards.  We need to communicate what role 

            23    private landowners have in this process.  

            24    Ecosystems protect our quality of life.  And 

            25    certainly the folks around Lake Fork understand 





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                                                                  30

             1    that concept in terms of ensuring a healthy 

             2    economy, ensuring a good quality life.  And that's 

             3    the kind of thing we'll be going through 

             4    everything we do. 

             5                  Larry has mentioned planning.  

             6    Planning is going to make the difference.  And if 

             7    we do this right, we'll do it in a way that will 

             8    ensure that fish and wildlife aren't left high and 

             9    dry when the planning process is over. 

            10                  And finally, this is one of the most 

            11    important messages.  And that's that we all have a 

            12    responsibility, all Texans have a responsibility 

            13    to learn more about it, to become more 

            14    knowledgeable about the issues and then to become 

            15    involved.  So those are basically the key messages 

            16    that we'll be delivering in everything that we do.

            17                  It is -- as I mentioned, it's going 

            18    to utilize every communications tool at our 

            19    disposal, from print to our broadcast programs to 

            20    the World Wide Web and we're also going to be 

            21    depending on our media colleagues, the 

            22    environmentalists of the state, the writers of the 

            23    state to help deliver this message.  It is 

            24    critical, it is complex and Larry just revamped 

            25    his conversation with David Sikes.  This is the 





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                                                                  31

             1    kind of thing that needs to be covered and covered 

             2    on a continuing basis.  We're going to do 

             3    everything we can to make sure that happens.  We 

             4    will launch the initiative with the July issue of 

             5    the magazine.  The July issue will be published 

             6    as -- it will be on the newsstand for more than 

             7    one month.  It is the most ambitious that Parks 

             8    and Wildlife magazine has ever published.  It is 

             9    the longest issue.  It's 116 pages.  And it is the 

            10    most ambitious issue in terms of content, in terms 

            11    of the writing and photography talent, in terms of 

            12    the effort of the staff.  And it's going to be 

            13    pretty awesome.  We've attempted to take a 

            14    National Geographic approach to the subject.  And 

            15    our goal is to get at the heart and soul of our 

            16    rivers, our springs, our bays.  And to help us do 

            17    this, we've enlisted the top talent working in 

            18    Texas today.  In a series of six essays, legendary 

            19    author Larry Hodge will write about the aquifer, 

            20    Jon Reid will write of his personal relationship 

            21    with Comal Springs, Joe Nick Patowski - Devil's 

            22    River, Carol Flake Chapman - Caddo Lake, Michael 

            23    Furtman will explore the wetlands, and Jim 

            24    Anderson will delve into Matagorda Bay.  We'll sum 

            25    up the issue with a special report from Rod Davis, 





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                                                                  32

             1    a top writer who has written for national 

             2    magazines on the Rio Grande.  Our own Earl 

             3    Nottingham, our chief photographer, did the 

             4    photography.  And I had the pleasure looking at 

             5    the layouts.  It truly is the best work Earl 

             6    Nottingham has done.  I think it's the best work 

             7    of Susan Ebert and her staff, the folks at Parks 

             8    and Wildlife magazine.  You know, I don't think 

             9    I'm going to say anything more.  We'll let the 

            10    issue speak for itself. 

            11                  DR. McKINNEY:  It's already working.

            12                  MS. SALDANA:  Susan took a couple of 

            13    hours off this afternoon to be here instead of 

            14    reviewing layouts and proofing layouts but we're 

            15    in the production of our July magazine and it's a 

            16    beauty.  But I'll let it speak for itself.  So 

            17    we're excited about that.  On the heels of the 

            18    July issue will be the publication of the Texas 

            19    rivers book.  Author John Graves and Wyman Meinzer 

            20    collaborated.  You will recall that essays from 

            21    this book were published in the magazine last 

            22    year.  I think everybody knows who John Graves is.  

            23    This kind of complements a lifetime of working on 

            24    rivers and river issues.  His 1957 "Goodbye to a 

            25    River" established him as one of the top 





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                                                                  33

             1    naturalist writers in Texas.  We are thrilled to 

             2    have him involved in this book.  It is just going 

             3    to be wonderful.  Brazos Mutual is going to be 

             4    involved in this project, as well.  They will be 

             5    funding a reception on July 31st in Dallas that 

             6    you-all will all be invited to that I hope you can 

             7    attend.  And Brazos mutual is also sponsoring a 

             8    traveling exhibit that will feature images and 

             9    process from this book.  This exhibit would not 

            10    have been possible without this funding.  It will 

            11    debut at the Capitol.  There will be another 

            12    reception for that exhibit at the Bob Bullock 

            13    Museum.  It's going to be traveling all over high 

            14    profile places including the Texas Book Festival 

            15    in November.  So it's going to be an excellent 

            16    opportunity to get these issues front and center 

            17    with Texas and also to promote our book on the 

            18    side.  So UT Press is behind us 100 percent.  

            19    They're distributing it.  And I can bet this is 

            20    going to be -- the answer to your Christmas gift 

            21    list is here. 

            22                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Lydia, what's the 

            23    date on the Bob Bullock reception? 

            24                  MS. SALDANA:  We're still working on 

            25    that.  We're working with the Foundation.  But 





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                                                                  34

             1    it's going to be in September.  We're looking at 

             2    three different dates.  We'll be coordinating with 

             3    your calendar and with Bob's calendar on that to 

             4    make sure it's going to work with y'all.  But 

             5    we're excited about that, about having that 

             6    presence at the Bullock Museum and being able to 

             7    travel around.  Another very ambitious project is 

             8    a one-hour television documentary.  This also 

             9    would not be possible without the support of 

            10    Brazos mutual.  We'll also be partnering with KERA 

            11    in Dallas.  KERA will be allowing us to use their 

            12    high definition television equipment and editing 

            13    facilities, which means we won't have to pay for 

            14    that which means we will be able to get a little 

            15    bit more out of this documentary than we otherwise 

            16    would have done.  Richard Roberts heads our 

            17    award-winning productions branch.  We will be 

            18    overseeing production with this.  We've also hired 

            19    two outside producers, we have hired Curtis 

            20    Craven, who used to be our staff and Mark 

            21    Southern.  We have an outstanding team to do this 

            22    documentary. 

            23                  I've been at Parks and Wildlife for 

            24    12 years.  And one of the reasons why I came to 

            25    Parks and Wildlife was the quality of their 





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                                                                  35

             1    television production.  That was one of the 

             2    reasons Richard came here, as well.  And I'm 

             3    thrilled and I think Richard is, too, to be 

             4    involved and really getting into an issue in this 

             5    hour-long documentary.  We're going to produce it 

             6    in a way that there's segments.  It will air in 

             7    February, hour long prime time, we hope, prime 

             8    time documentary, but we're producing in a way so 

             9    that the segments can be pulled out and run also 

            10    in our PBS series so we'll be getting double duty 

            11    out of them as a one time documentary and then 

            12    several recognized in our PBS shows.  We're real 

            13    excited about that.  We're looking at an air date 

            14    of February about that.  We've got other ways to 

            15    get this message out.  Our "Passport to Texas" 

            16    radio series over the next six months will be 

            17    featuring various stories about the water issues.  

            18    As you know, "Passport to Texas" reaches an 

            19    audience of 350,000 a week.  This is a really good 

            20    avenue to get this information out.  We will be 

            21    looking at a Web design.  We will be looking at 

            22    Larry and his folks and depending on if we get 

            23    sponsorship dollars will depend on how robust we 

            24    get the web sight.  But we'll be looking. 

            25                  And finally, media relations efforts 





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                                                                  36

             1    are going to be key to this.  Press kits will be 

             2    going out in a couple of weeks announcing the 

             3    initiative with the July issue of the magazine and 

             4    then we'll be doing strategic releases over the 

             5    next six to nine -- year on this issue.  So we're 

             6    really excited about it.

             7                  Existing dollars within our division 

             8    is funding this.  I mean, certainly communicating 

             9    about water is a core function.  It's something 

            10    that we could do anyway.  But, again, what we 

            11    would envision has gone far above and beyond 

            12    what's funded beyond our branch, I mean within our 

            13    division.  Larry has come up with some assistance 

            14    in terms of dollars that really made the July 

            15    issue of the magazine possible because that was 

            16    probably the double the -- well, not quite double, 

            17    but it was certainly more expensive than the 

            18    magazine, so support from Larry, the Brazos Mutual 

            19    Fund and the Brazos River Authority has made that 

            20    possible.  We've also worked very closely with the 

            21    Foundation.  We have about 60 professionals out 

            22    now, funding proposals, so we certainly have an 

            23    opportunity for additional dollars to go toward 

            24    some other projects and we're very excited about 

            25    it. 





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                                                                  37

             1                  And I guess the last thing I would 

             2    say is what I opened with, which is this really 

             3    has been a team effort.  I think we do our best 

             4    work when we work together and when we brainstorm 

             5    together and come up with good ideas.  And, again, 

             6    Susan and Richard are very excited about this as 

             7    it rolls forward.  Any questions? 

             8                  DR. McKINNEY:  Before you have any 

             9    questions, one last thing, before we do get into 

            10    this deal and I would note, we hoped to have the 

            11    preliminary ready now but thanks to a lot of 

            12    special work by the Chairman, which we appreciate, 

            13    Governor Perry has named June "Texas Rivers 

            14    Month."  And that's going to roll into this thing, 

            15    as well.  And so we're very happy -- kind of 

            16    happened at the last minute.  That's another 

            17    element here. 

            18                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Lydia, you've 

            19    convinced me and I continue to be amazed at the 

            20    first class magazine.  Y'all do a great job.  I 

            21    congratulate you.  Any comments or questions from 

            22    the Commissioners? 

            23                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Very exciting. 

            24                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Thank you both, 

            25    Lydia, Larry.  I guess there's no other business 





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                                                                  38

             1    to come before this committee, so at this time I 

             2    call this committee adjourned. 

             3                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  I don't believe 

             4    there's any other business for this Commission.  

             5    So this meeting is adjourned. 

             6                         *-*-*-*-*

             7                   (MEETING ADJOURNED.)

             8                         *-*-*-*-*

             9    

            10    

            11    

            12    

            13    

            14    

            15    

            16    

            17    

            18    

            19    

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            21    

            22    

            23    

            24    

            25    





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                                                                  39

             1                 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE

             2    STATE OF TEXAS   )

             3    COUNTY OF TRAVIS )

             4             I, MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, a Certified 

             5    Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do 

             6    hereby certify that the above and foregoing 39 

             7    pages constitute a full, true and correct 

             8    transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks & 

             9    Wildlife Commission on MAY 29, 2002, in the 

            10    commission hearing room of the Texas Parks & 

            11    Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis 

            12    County, Texas.

            13             I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic 

            14    record was made by me a the time of the public 

            15    meeting and said stenographic notes were 

            16    thereafter reduced to computerized transcription 

            17    under my supervision and control.

            18             WITNESS MY HAND this the 29th day of 

            19    July, 2002. 

            20    
                  
            21                                                     
                           MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, RPR, CSR NO. 3226
            22             Expiration Date:  12-31-02
                           3101 Bee Caves Road
            23             Centre II, Suite 220
                           Austin, Texas  78746
            24             (512) 328-5557
                  
            25    







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