Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Regulations Committee

Jan. 22, 2003

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
 
     BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 22nd day of

January,  2003, there came on to be heard  matters  under

the  regulatory  authority  of  the  Parks  and  Wildlife

Commission  of  Texas, in the Commission Executive  Board

Room   of  the  Texas  Parks  and  Wildlife  Headquarters

Complex, beginning at 3:05 p.m. to wit:


APPEARANCES:
THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE:

          Katharine Armstrong, Austin, Texas, Commission
          Chair
          Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons, San Antonio, Texas
          Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas, Committee
          Chair
          John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
          Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
          Philip Montgomery, Dallas, Texas
          Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas
          Kelly W. Rising, M.D., Beaumont, Texas
          Mark W. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas

THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
Robert  L.  Cook, Executive Director, and other personnel
of the Parks and Wildlife Department
          CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  We now go to the Outreach

and Education Committee.  Mr. Henry?

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you.

          CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Commissioner Henry, you

want the gavel?

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you.  The Education

and Outreach Committee will now come to order, please.

First on the agenda is the approval of the committee

minutes from the November meeting.

          COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved.

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  I have a motion --

          COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Second.

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  -- and a second.  Is there

any objection?

          (No response.)

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  The minutes stand

approved.

          Next, the chairman charges.  Mr. Cook?

          MR. COOK:  Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, today,

Lydia Saldana and Steve Hall are going to provide the

committee with an update on the status of the

implementation of our outreach and education plan.

          In addition, I'd like to call your attention to

the fact that tomorrow the Education Outreach Advisory

Committee will convene its first meeting.  And the

chairman of that committee is Mr. Dick Bartlett.  I saw

Dick a while ago.

          Dick, thank you, sir for being here.  And we

appreciate your commitment to this project.  And we're

looking forward to working with you.

          And we're making some good progress here.  I

think there's a great committee put together.  It's going

to be very helpful to us.  Thank you, sir.

          MS. SALDANA:  I'm Lydia Saldana, Director of

Communications.  I'm here with Steve Hall, Director of

the Education and Outreach branch.  We'll be tag-teaming

this brief presentation today.

          As you all know, this is a new assignment for

me.  I've learned a lot in the last couple of months.

And I'm continuing to learn more every day.  Luckily,

Drew Thigpin [phonetic] and I had inherited a very

talented group of folks.  And I feel like we're making a

lot of progress in a number of different areas.

          I'm pleased to report that we're continuing to

make progress in the mandates laid out in the Sunset

bill, as well as other areas, that are going to help us

be more efficient and effective in our education and

outreach efforts.  And with that, I'll turn it over to

Steve.

          MR. HALL:  Members of the Commission, I'm not

really quite sure if Lydia knew what she was getting

herself into when she inherited this.  But I think she's

having way too much fun with it.

          The education, interpretation, and outreach

efforts -- I'll give you a briefing of those efforts,

where we are today, basically a snapshot since the last

Commission meeting.  Certainly, we've accomplished the

Sunset response.  And that's a document that you've seen.

And this response addresses the issues of consistency

with our mission, the nonduplication of programs, the

cost-effectiveness of programs, and whether we're

effectively measuring these programs or not.

          But where we're heading right now is

essentially a strategic planning effort.  That's both

internal and external.  And as you'll hear later, the

advisory committee will have both a nice role, and a big

role, in that effort in terms of providing us input from

the external side of things.

          Internally, it helps us centralize our

coordination, education, interpretation, outreach.  As

Scott mentioned to you last meeting, adopting a

businesslike manner and approach to these programs -- and

certainly that's something that we've needed for a while.

A benchmarking then against best practices -- there's

best practices at the national level with the

Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.  And we're a

part of that committee.  And, certainly, those best

practices can also be brought down to the state level, in

terms of what are the best practices out there?  How can

we benchmark ourselves against some of those practices?

          And finally, as I mentioned, the input from the

advisory committee will be part of that strategic effort.

In fact, I think that's going to be the brunt of the

strategic effort in terms of getting a lot of eyeballs on

that strategic plan and making sure this agency is

heading in the right direction.

          Internally, we've got an interdivisional task

force operating.  We've held no less than eight meetings

since December.  So I think we're really working hard,

and trying to work hard on behalf of the whole agency.

As you know, we found out that we're broader than we

probably think we are in terms of all the efforts that

are going on out there.  And getting ahead on that's

going to be the challenge.  But I think it's also

something to be proud of, as this agency unfolds all of

its different efforts.

          Again, like was mentioned the last meeting,

there's some real neat, and exciting, and wonderful

programs out there that are going on.  And, certainly, in

the one sense, we don't want to stifle that innovation

and that creativity.  In the other sense, we do want to

centrally coordinate it better.

          In the project plan that the task force is

operating under and has developed, we've got policies and

procedures that we're developing -- obviously, the roles

and responsibilities of each of the various components of

not only staffing, but certainly teams that work together

across the agency to make sure something like

interpretation happens at sites, and to make sure

outreach is going on and permeates throughout all of our

programs.  And that's going to be important as we define

those roles and responsibilities.

          And then, as a project manager, I've told you

this, I think, many times before, but I'm obviously

committed to doing the right kinds of things, just to

make our programs more efficient.  The project plan

itself does contain three main components.  It contains a

charter.

          And that's essentially those 40 entities we

talked about before throughout the Department that are

common entities, things that we define as programs, but

things that have a consistency.  You know, all the game

wardens giving presentations, for example, in an entire

division might constitute a program, or a wildlife expo.

A significant event might constitute an entire program.

          Each of these programs will have a charter,

that's signed off by executive management.  And they

collectively comprise the program registry.  And that's

that document that, you know, folks can look at to see

what's going on with Parks and Wildlife, what kinds of

efforts are going on.  And the advisory committee,

tomorrow, will get a good taste of those programs -- kind

of a snapshot, if you will, across the agency.

          And finally, the third component is our annual

accomplishments.  And, again, this is a document that

gets executive review and sign-off, but also our

recommendations for either improvement, termination of

the kinds of things that the Sunset Commission talked

about.

          Another exciting component of this whole

project plan is a comprehensive statewide and

departmentwide database.  This is going to be a

monumental task, but mostly will help us coordinate our

events and programs.

          As you know, we might get calls -- various

components of our department will get called for the same

show, like the Houston Boat Show, just recently, where we

had no less than four divisions involved.  And,

certainly, coordinating that at the local effort so we

don't show up and say, Gee, you're here.  And I didn't

know you were here.  But the sense of coordinating those

efforts -- this database will give us a tool to do that.



          Finally, we're reporting measures, in terms of

LBB measures that we currently report, will be a

component of this database, obviously.  And evaluation

instruments and tools of best practices, and those kinds

of things, that each of the program managers can look at

and say, Oh, that looks like a useful tool.  I might use

that in my program.  And those are some of the things

and, obviously, the fields that we'll be able to develop

in this database.

          And it will be a web-developed database.  And

so, hopefully, the field staff out in Alpine, Texas,

might be able to jump on, enter data that they had a

local event at a state park or a facility.  And so they

can instantly report that data, rather than filling out

the form and sending it to somebody else to enter.

          And with that, I'll turn it over to Lydia to

describe our efforts with the advisory committee.

          MS. SALDANA:  Now, as Steve mentioned, there's

a lot of folks with the Parks and Wildlife that are

working to approve these efforts.  But we're also going

to be harnessing the talents and skills of an external

group.  Chairman Armstrong, with input from Commissioner

Henry, has assembled a new education outreach advisory

committee whose first meeting is tomorrow afternoon.

          They'll be assisting us by providing expertise

and input into the strategic plan that Steve just

mentioned.  They will also be providing some diverse

perspectives.  And when I say diverse, I mean diversity

on a number of different levels.

          One is just diversity of disciplines.  We have

experts in the fields of education, interpretation,

outreach, as well as landowners, agricultural interests,

nature tourism experts, even an advertising executive, to

name just a few.  We'll be looking at how we can refine

our conservation message, how we can do a little better

job of articulating it, as well as how we can work with

all of our external partners to do a better job of

delivering this message statewide.

          As you can see from the slide, it's quite a

committee that we've put together.  It's a daunting

assignment that they have before them.  But the Chairman,

again with input from Commissioner Henry, has assembled

what I consider to be a blue ribbon group.  It consists

of a who's who of Texas education and outreach experts.

          Agricultural Commissioner Susan Combs let us

know just yesterday that she's going to be joining us in

this effort, as will Ramona Bass, the creator of the

Texas Wild Exhibit at the Fort Worth Zoo.  We also have

representatives of different landowner groups, as well as

the Texas Education Agency.  As you can see, it's a very

diverse group that will bring a lot of talent, energy,

and ideas to the table.

          Leading the committee, as was mentioned

earlier, is Dick Bartlett.  We're very happy that Mr.

Bartlett is here with us today.  He's been active in

conservation for more than 40 years.  He's on the boards

of the National Council for Science and the Environment,

the Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund, and

is vice-chairman of the National Environmental Education

and Training Foundation.  He's been very involved with

the Texas Nature Conservancy, both here in Texas and New

Mexico.  And he's also a member of the board of the Aldo

Leopold Foundation, not mention that he's an avid hunter

and angler.

          That's only the very top of his resume,

skimming the top.  So I think he's going to be a great

leader for this group.  We're all looking forward to

working with him, the rest of the committee, and you all,

as we move forward in this effort.

          We thought it appropriate to end with an Aldo

Leopold quote there, to kind of put it all in

perspective.  And we'll be happy to take any questions

that you might have.

          MR. HALL:  I might mention there's two other

members that weren't on that slide.  I did update that,

but apparently it didn't get on there.  But Bobby Barrera

and Ted Eubanks will also be on the committee.  And

they've accepted.

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Questions?  Comments?

          COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Just a request.

Whenever it's the appropriate time to receive as specific

as possible a definition of goals -- and things like, you

know, we're trying to get ten kids to fish for ten years,

or 100 kids to fish for one year -- in this program, not

just programmatically, but overall, because I think we

need to understand the definition of goals and where we

head.  Because we're going to have a lot of tough

resource allocation issues.  Because you want to do ten

times what we probably have funding to do.

          MS. SALDANA:  We get a lot demands on a daily

basis.  And we can't do everything --

          COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Yes.

          MS. SALDANA:  -- so we have to articulate those

goals or we're not going to be able to do them.

          COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I think the programs

will flow from the goals.  But the outreach committee --

really getting the goals precise, and understood and

agreed to, it seems to me that's the big challenge you

have.  That's a great group.  Dick Bartlett --

          Dick, you will be a wonderful chairman, and a

great choice for chairman.

          CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Well, I want to thank Dick

Bartlett, who's back there, for taking this one.  I feel

like I know Dick Bartlett.  Although we've never met, I

do feel like we know each other.  And when we spoke at

some length on the telephone, I must say, your enthusiasm

for education and conservation is infectious.  And I

think that will make you a wonderful, energetic chairman.

And I'm excited about what we're going to do here.

          I want to thank David Langford also for all his

hard work, and many others.  The staff's been great.

We've been through the Sunset process, and trying to

articulate our goals, and what we do, what we do best,

where should we do better in the future.  And everybody,

I think, is really clicking now.  And we're moving

forward.  And we're going to get some great things done.

I'm very excited about it.

          This is a very important effort.  It's a

mission.  And we should view it as a mission, I think.

And Al Henry, you've been on that mission for a long

time.  And your input is invaluable.  And I want to thank

you.

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Thank you.

          CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  This is a good time to ask

questions.

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Any questions or comments?

          (No response.)

          COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Otherwise, I will ask that

this committee meeting be brought to a close.  And I will

turn the gavel back to the chairman.

          CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  Wow.  Is there any other

business?

          (No response.)

          CHAIRMAN ARMSTRONG:  This meeting is adjourned.

          (Whereupon, this Outreach and Education

Committee meeting was concluded.)

                 C E R T I F I C A T E



MEETING OF:     Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

               Outreach and Education Committee

LOCATION:      Austin, Texas

DATE:          January 22, 2003

          I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages,

numbers 1 through , inclusive, are the true, accurate,

and complete transcript prepared from the verbal

recording made by electronic recording by Penny Bynum

before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.






                                              02/12/03
                         (Transcriber)         (Date)

                         On the Record Reporting, Inc.
                         3307 Northland, Suite 315
                         Austin, Texas 78731



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