Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
Jan. 21, 2009Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 21st day of January, 2009, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex, to wit:
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
- Margaret Martin, Boerne, Texas, Chairman
- Mark E. Bivins, Amarillo, Texas
- J. Robert Brown, El Paso, Texas (Absent)
- Ralph H. Duggins, Fort Worth, Texas
- Antonio Falcon, MD, Rio Grande City, Texas
- T. Dan Friedkin, Houston, Texas
- Karen J. Hixon, San Antonio, Texas
- Peter M. Holt, San Antonio, Texas
- John D. Parker, Lufkin, Texas
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
- Carter P. Smith, Executive Director, and other personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
P R O C E E D I N G S
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you for passing the gavel here.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Okay, thank you, I guess, Vice Chairman. The first order of business is the approval of the minutes from the previous committee meeting, which have already been distributed. Is there a motion for approval?
COMMISSIONER BIVINS: So moved.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Bivins.
COMMISSIONER HIXON: Second.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Hixon, thank you.
All in favor, say aye.
(A chorus of ayes.)
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I always say "aye." You know, I have family that used to be pirates so maybe it's
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Hearing none, motion carries. Thank you.
So we can proceed forward in my pirate way. I just thought I'd try to, you know, save myself from my sinking ship here. Committee Item Number 1, update on Parks and Wildlife progress in implementing the Land and Water Resource Conservation and Recreation Plan.
MR. SMITH: Thank you, Madame Chair. Just a couple of quick things that I want to highlight. One, at the last Commission meeting, you all had a lot of discussion about Expo, and sort of the pros and cons of trying to take that on the road, and what other partnership opportunities were out there to help reach our targeted audiences.
Our communications team, in partnership with all of the other divisions inside the agency, are going to be doing something in San Antonio that we're particularly excited about in February, at the Livestock Show and Rodeo. At the end of the rodeo, they have an outdoor family day. They get 30,000 to 40,000 attendees that come in at nominal cost.
And so, we'll be doing our "Life's better outside.®" program. We'll have archery and rock climbing. We'll have our game wardens there, our Fisheries and Wildlife biologists. It should be a great opportunity to target some audiences that we want to touch. So we're very, very excited about that and hope that the San Antonio area Commissioners in particular will mark out February 22 and join us for that.
Second are a couple of milestones in our Hunter and Boater Registration and Education program. The mandatory Hunter Education program has a 20-year history this year; Boater Registration, 10-year history. So we're celebrating those milestones and I think they've been enormously successful in helping to inculcate a culture of safe and responsible use of the out of doors. Last year, our team, which is mostly composed of volunteers, certified about 40,000 students and helped educate an additional 63,000 individuals through their public outreach effort. So a lot to be proud of that, Lydia, you and your team.
The last thing I'll report on and do we have a presentation tomorrow on Big Time Texas Hunts? Is Darcy no, we don't, okay. Well, that's a program, as you all are aware of, when folks are buying the license we do have a presentation tomorrow, don't we? No, we don't, all right. I'm misspeaking twice. The third time's a charm, I'll learn. We do not have a presentation on this tomorrow. How's that?
Folks have an opportunity to buy a chance at one of these Big Time Texas Hunts, enormously popular. I guess one of the things that our marketing team tried this year was the increased driving folks to Internet purchases. And so, folks could buy chances for $9 as opposed to $10. We saw a significant uptick there and I know Darcy and her team are very, very excited about that, and looking for more opportunities to expand it. Ultimately, it generated about $400,000 in net profit to help advance our conservation effort. So kudos to them for their work on it; a great return on every dollar invested in that program.
So, Madame Chair, that's it for me. That is my update. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you. Is that on the boating, the brochure we have?
MR. SMITH: On the Boat Texas and the responsible boating?
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Yes. I didn't know if that was
MR. SMITH: That's
MS. SALDANA: That's the Invasive Species Act.
MR. SMITH: Yes, that's the one that we put in our registration renewals.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Oh, okay.
MR. SMITH: So it's got one on Aquatic Invasive Species.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
So we will move on to Committee Item Number 2, Texas, the State of Water Communication Effort, Lydia Saldana.
MS. SALDANA: Good afternoon. For the record, my name is Lydia Saldana. I'm the Communications Director.
The focus of this presentation this afternoon is going to be on the production in our ongoing Water Communications effort. It's a one-hour-long documentary called, "Texas, the State of Flowing Water." It will be airing on PBS stations around the state on February 12th.
Before I tell you a little bit more about the documentary itself, and for the benefit for some of those of you who are new to the Commission, I wanted to start with just a very brief overview of the entire effort. Most of you may know that this began as a magazine effort and the first issue of our magazine water issue was in 2002. So we've done a total of seven of those so far.
We've covered a lot of ground in water in the pages of our magazine since then. We've provided in-depth coverage of our bays, our rivers, springs, wetlands, and lakes. This past July, we covered, pretty thoroughly, the Gulf of Mexico. We're already talking about our 2009 issue. We'll be continuing to focus our July issue on water issues that are important to the state of Texas.
Turning attention to the documentary, the first documentary aired and, actually, I just noticed that's a typo the first documentary aired in 2003. That was an overall documentary called, "Texas, the State of Water." We have done two other documentaries since then. Now, the first viewing of those previous documentaries have been seen by more than 800,000 people. One of those actually aired one year and I think the Chairman will remember this it actually aired opposite a Spurs game, and we were a little concerned about the ratings that evening, but, even in San Antonio, we did pretty well.
That's just the numbers for the first viewing. All the PBS stations re-run them at least once. We produce the program in segments. So the segments are also included in our Parks and Wildlife television series. So this one-hour production gets a lot of use and is
multi-purposed in many different ways. We've also distributed nearly 12,000 DVDs and we've also created quite a bit of enhanced educational materials. I'm going to spend a couple of minutes on that a little bit later in the presentation.
"Texas, the State of Flowing Water" is the fourth documentary in the series. Producer Lee Smith is right here. Lee, as those of you who may know Lee, he pours his heart and soul into the project. I think you're going to see those efforts on the screen.
He did a total of 35 on-camera interviews during the course of the, what, year and a half, two years, that we've been working on it, 164 different locations on seven different rivers. We did a lot of research, including referencing 515 different newspaper articles. So a lot of work goes into these and I hope you'll agree that the effort really shows on the screen.
We're underway, right now, with the promotion efforts for this current documentary. Certainly, we've done a statewide news release. We're beginning localized media relations efforts. We've produced a video news report that will go out across the state, or has gone out. Lee is going to be doing the talk show circuit to help us promote that.
Commissioner Duggins, you'll be pleased to hear that we've got an upcoming editorial in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Jack Smith, on the editorial board there, is just very supportive of Parks and Wildlife efforts and we've already gotten notice that there will be an editorial. So we'll be working on those efforts as well. It's an important topic to the state of Texas and we usually get really good coverage. Hopefully, our friends on the second row there will help us get that word out as well.
We've also produced a television promo that we'll see at the end of this presentation. That will be airing on all PBS stations. We've got radio advertising scheduled in four major markets that we hope you'll be hearing. We're also doing quite a bit of online advertising on relevant websites that link back to a preview.
I encourage you, if you have a moment, to check out the website, texasthestateofwater.org. You can get to it at that URL or it's also linked from our website. We've got a clip of the program. It's just a real robust website that we hope is going to help get the message out.
I think you'll also be interested in this, Commissioner Duggins. We do quite a bit of email information out to subscribers on our website that indicate they're interested in this information. So we'll be marketing directly through email to those folks who are interested in the topic.
This is a copy of the print advertising that I hope you all saw, or will see, in the February issue of Texas Monthly. I know that issue is out already. And so, that's going to be in Texas Monthly magazine, as well as the Parks and Wildlife Magazine too.
Another thing that we're doing effectively is partnering with various NGOs, with other agencies. That's a copy of what we call a buck slip that's going to go out in mailings from various organizations, including the Hill Country Conservancy, the Austin Water Public Information office, the Office of Rural Community Affairs, and organizations like that. So we've got a lot of partners that help us get the word out.
As I mentioned at the top, I want to spend just a little bit of time talking about the educational efforts. One of our mantras in the Communications Division is
"Re-purpose, reuse, and recycle. So once we began developing this program, we immediately began looking at ways that we could get this information out. And so, since that time, we have developed Water Education Kits that are now available all over the state and we're going to begin distributing them to schools all over the state.
We have a Keep Texas Wild packets that also connected to our magazine insert and a video series that we've developed that's tied back to our Wildlife Action Plan. So all of these materials are integrated and we're getting them out into the schools. These materials will be distributed both by snail mail and will be available on the web. We estimate that our reach is going to be about 40,000 school kids annually. So we see that this is a real good, second use, second life for this material.
We've also developed Water Education Loaner Trunks that include field equipment, reference materials, all sorts of material from our partners. That's loaned to educators and also used by our own interpretive staff. So, again, Nancy Herron and her staff have just done a great job of utilizing this material in as many ways as possible.
The other thing that we're doing relative to this whole issue of water is we're integrating that message into virtually every training effort we do. So any training that we're doing, we are getting that water message out there. That includes the Ground Water to Gulf Summer Institute for teachers that we're integrally involved in developing the curriculum for that and then putting that on. That happens every summer and is targeted to teachers.
Also, the Learning Urban Watersheds program, and that's a special workshop with Texas State University, focused on urban school districts. This year, we'll be in Corpus Christi.
And then, finally, Project Angler Education and Coastal Expos are also included in that. Finally, Project Wild is another way that we're really getting this message out. That's the program that involves teachers all over the state. In fact, as Commissioner Martin knows, we've got a big workshop that's coming up just in a couple of weeks, that that's going to be the focus of our message there. Larry McKinney, from the Harte Institute, will be a keynote speaker. So, "Water, Water, Water" is really a focus for us.
Back to the documentary, we really couldn't do it without the support of our sponsors. This last documentary, we've got the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration grant to provide underwriting support that has been really beneficial to getting the job done. We also have many other partners, including the San Antonio River Authority, who has been very involved in this process, the Brazos River Authority.
New this year is the Texas Water Foundation. Some of you may be familiar with that. They're involved with the Water IQ program and EnviroMedia. They're very interested. They came on as a sponsor this year. We'll be distributing some of the Water IQ materials in the package for the event tonight. Also, the Parks and Wildlife Foundation has been a very crucial partner as well throughout this whole effort.
I hope you all have on your calendar this evening, we've got a special screening event tonight at the AT&T Conference Center, starting at 6:30. We've got a good crowd of folks expected and I hope you all will be there as well.
I wanted to end the program by letting you see a little, short promo that's going to be running, but I want to do a little disclaimer. You all may remember that the last two documentaries, we had Walter Cronkite who narrated, which was just fabulous. This past year, we had Bob Schieffer lined up, who had agreed to do it. We wanted a big name. It was really great that we had him. Literally, at, what, the eleventh and a half hour, we got word from Bob Schieffer that he couldn't narrate it because his contact with CBS prevented that. So we had to improvise and we had to come up with another narrator on very short notice, that we could afford.
So, Carter was involved in the very careful deliberations about who would narrate this. So
MR. SMITH: And I delegated to Lydia. So, yes, she did a great job here.
MS. SALDANA: It was a coin toss. Roll the tape.
(A video was played.)
MS. SALDANA: I'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have about this effort.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Commissioner Duggins?
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Can you go back to this? I think you said that was being distributed by a number of different organizations. Did we offer that to the Texas Wildlife Association?
MS. SALDANA: Darcy, come on up here, please.
MS. BONTEMPO: I don't know if I can answer that question. We did contact a lot of the non-profits. I'm Darcy Bontempo, for the record. I'm the Marketing Director. What we did is we contacted the water authorities, a lot of the non-profit groups, Hill Country Conservancy. I think that we probably contacted Texas Water Association, but I'd have to confirm that.
MS. SALDANA: Wildlife Association.
MS. BONTEMPO: Wildlife Association, but I would need to check on that.
MS. SALDANA: We'll certainly check on that. We've got time to do that.
MS. BONTEMPO: I'm sure Kirby will be welcome to do that.
MS. SALDANA: Kirby, did we? Did we, Kirby?
MS. BONTEMPO: I don't know if we dealt directly with Kirby, but I'll
MR. BROWN: Yes.
MS. SALDANA: We did.
MS. BONTEMPO: but
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: You're on the spot, back there. MS. SALDANA: Kirby's always on the spot.
MS. BONTEMPO: In many cases, we just provided .pdf through electronic forms. There's less and less people providing, but we also have people who are going to do the buck slips as well. So we tried to get a wide range of groups.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Okay.
MS. SALDANA: More and more of this is happening, obviously, electronically.
MS. BONTEMPO: I'm glad that we did that.
MS. BONTEMPO: Thank you.
MS. SALDANA: Any other questions?
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: When will Coastal Expo, any ideas when they will be?
MS. SALDANA: I don't know off the top of my head. I know there's several that are on the schedule and I can certainly get you that information afterwards.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I love the name of the "State of Flowing Water." It's great.
MS. SALDANA: It was Lee's favorite choice.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I think it's important to continue talking about this crucial conversation and that we all keep getting reminded that we all play a huge role. It's great material, great program. I would say that you are better than Walter Cronkite, you know.
MS. SALDANA: I'm not certain about that, but my price was better.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Your price was right, you know. So, again, thank you, appreciate it.
MS. SALDANA: Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Any other questions?
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you, Lydia.
If there are no further questions, we will continue on to our next presentation, Item Number 3, Women of the Land program update, Ms. Linda Campbell.
MS. CAMPBELL: Good afternoon, Commissioners, Madame Chairman, and Mr. Smith. My name is Linda Campbell, the program Director for Private Lands and Public Hunting in the Wildlife Division. I'm here to brief you today on a series of workshops that we have developed that are targeted to reaching out to women land managers. It's called "Women of the Land" workshops.
A little background first the idea for this workshop began as a research project with the Becoming an Outdoor Woman program. It resulted in recommendations that were basically saying provide more management information to women who own and manage land. So, as a result of that research, pilot workshops were held in Wisconsin, Montana, and Texas. So we were chosen for one of the pilot workshops. So our pilot was held in 2005 at the Welder Wildlife Refuge. That attracted 32 women land managers from 19 counties.
So as a result of that pilot workshop in 2005, the staff of Texas Parks and Wildlife, several of us got together with staff of the Texas Wildlife Association, and we got together to develop our version of the workshop, and we named it Women of the Land. And so, we began to develop the content of these workshops to look at what we thought would be most beneficial to our land managers in Texas.
To date, we've held three workshops, all held in the spring. Franklin Family Ranch in Blanco County was in 2006. We held one at Stanley's Cook Ranch in Shackelford County in 2007 and also Camp Honey Creek in Kerr County in 2008.
A little bit about the workshop format again, our target audience are women who own and manage land in Texas. We have, from the beginning, wanted these workshops to be very hands on, very field oriented. And so, we've limited the participants to 50 per workshop. Our purpose, really, is to combine land management information with skill-based outdoor recreational opportunities in a venue that encourages women to ask questions and to network with other women who are interested in the same things.
Our weekend workshops are held each spring. They're regionally focused because we look at habitat management based on that particular region. They're held on private ranches, generally, and nearby public land.
I did want to say that the first workshop, we started with about 30 participants and we quickly grew, quickly grew to about 50 with a waiting list, just in three years. So they have been very popular.
So you might want to ask why so popular? I just did a little background on this, one reason that we feel they are so popular, based on the changing demographics of Texas. We have looked at, this chart right here shows you that women land managers have nearly doubled from about 12 percent in 2002 to 22 percent in 2008. These are the statistics that show that there are more women who are managing, and co-owning and managing, ranches and farms throughout the state. So we see this as an excellent opportunity to provide land management information to these women landowners and managers who are very interested in learning about this.
So what do we teach? Soils and plants, you know, the foundation. So we get right down to the basics of habitat management. We teach a lot about wildlife identification and inventory on their own particular land. We talk a lot about deer, quail, turkey ecology, managing the habitats and the populations associated with these game species. We talk a lot about managing water quality and quantity. There's a lot of interest in that throughout the state from these managers.
Planning is another thing that they're very interested in, how to develop a wildlife and ranch management plan for their property. And so, we go into quite a lot of depth on that. Income diversification, they're interested in that these days. You know, how do you make a ranch pay, both small and large scale? And then, there's a lot on the survey and population management techniques.
Again, all the sessions are very hands on and field based. The way we get all this in is that they're concurrent sessions. So they have to choose. They get to choose what subjects they're most interested in attending.
In addition to the actual content of the program information, we also provide an opportunity for them to learn new skills based on the "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" model. Letting them try things like shotgun and rifle shooting, care of firearms and knives, and cleaning guns, and how to choose optics, and photography in birding, you know, things of that nature that people are quite interested in.
We do outdoor cooking, camping skills, cleaning and preparing game of all sorts, we look at that, hunting techniques for various game as well. And then, some fun things like canoeing, kayaking, and those things. So these photos kind of show ladies involved in all of those sort of skill-based training.
So our participants we've had women from all over Texas at each of these workshops. Although we design them to be regionally focused, we find that the ladies that attend come from all over the state actually. In 2008, we did a pre-survey to try to learn more about our participants. Of the 44 that participated in that particular workshop, 42 own land and five lease land in Texas. They own land ranging from five acres to 5,000 and over. So we get small and large landowners at these workshops.
Most of them graze livestock, most of them cattle, or graze cattle. Most of them, 24 of those of the 44, hunted their land, and 25 practice some type of brush management. So, they're, you know, involved in all of these practices on their own land. We asked them also what other types of activities they enjoy and they gave us a very long list of lots of different outdoor activities that they were involved in.
Instructors from the very beginning, and it's been very important to us, to get the best instruction available. And so, we have tapped into all of our partners, our various agency partners and our organizations, and we've found that the ladies very much appreciate the opportunity to learn one on one from some of the really best instructors in the state. These are a list of all the organizations that have provided instructors for these workshops. So it's very much a partnership effort, and we appreciate all those folks that have come out and leant their time to pass along their knowledge to the participants.
On the evaluations, we asked them how they found out about the workshop, what they liked most about it, what they didn't like, what they would like to see more of, what topics we covered well, what topics we didn't cover that they'd like to see covered. In the last workshop, we actually put together a planning group of past participants so that they could come together and sort of advise us on additional workshops and workshop topics. We found that that's working very well, as well.
What they told us about where they found out about the information, they found out about the workshops on websites and magazines, primarily TWA magazine and on both our websites. The sessions that they rated most useful included just the basic habitat management information that they received. Resource toolbox, this is where we kind of line up all our instructors and all of our partners and we talk about what we offer, each individual group has to offer landowners. That's very helpful because they go away with a whole book of resources that they can then turn to when they go home.
Also, another one that has been very popular is putting it all together. In other words, the synthesis of all the things that they've learned about land management and how they can put that together to plan for the future for their own particular property.
Food and lodging, we always ask them about that. We've been careful to have these at comfortable places that we think these ladies would enjoy and we've done pretty well on that, I think.
The favorite part of the event for a lot of these folks is learning from these instructors one on one, receiving a lot of this information to take home with them, getting to know other landowners with similar interests. That's huge. Just the networking potential with both the other women landowners and the instructors is very important to these folks. And then, just being in an atmosphere of relaxation, they kind of get away and they have fun. So that's another big part of it. They're very enthusiastic learners, as well, as anybody who has been one of our instructors can attest.
The least favorite parts, we have found, is too much information and not enough time. I mean, we really throw a lot of information at them. Again, the concurrent sessions are such that they have to choose. A lot of folks have a hard time doing that. They want to learn it all.
So, as a result of some of this feedback, we've actually lengthened the workshop. We've thrown in the Friday evening and then we go all day Sunday now. So we've tried to stretch the time out a little bit to accommodate all of the things that they would like to learn about.
Topics for future workshops, we've asked them what else they want to learn. Surprisingly, after the first few basic workshops, the women that have attended the basic ones want more. They want more in-depth at that point.
And so, that has lead us to the future workshop that's being planned in April being an advanced version of the basic. We are limiting that to 20 participants only for those that have attended the basic workshop previously. You know, they're asking for things like how to use GPS, how to use game cameras, how to use equipment, tractors, you know, brush management equipment, just the real down and dirty of how to get things implemented on the land. So we're going to be covering those sorts of things in the future.
We are planning our next workshop at The Back Porch Ranch in Kinney County in April. So I'd especially like to invite Commissioners Martin and Hixon if you'd like to come, or any of you all that would like to be a part of it. We are planning a basic workshop for next fall as well, for another one where we can accommodate more, you know, up to 50 people.
Comments I think this kind of sums it up. These ladies are telling us how much they appreciated the opportunity to learn this information and meeting people that are in the same stages of development and learning about land management planning that they are. And so, we feel like, you know, there's some good feedback that we've gotten from them.
The importance of the workshops I guess what I'd like to leave you with is that we have a changing landowner constituency. They're hungry for information. They're eager learners. We have more women managing and co-managing land today than ever before. So we see a high level of interest and we see an audience that is very interested in attending these workshops. So that's what we're trying to do is fill this need.
We also feel that women who are knowledgeable and skilled will pass this down to their children and make a difference within the families that are managing the lands in Texas. And so, we feel like that's an important contribution as well.
These are our funding partners and we certainly appreciate all those that have helped us offset cost for this, including the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo and RCS. The landowner, the Franklin Family Ranch, Stanley's Cook, Honey Creek, they've all contributed in kind and in cash, to some extent. And so, we appreciate all the support that we've been given for these workshops.
So, with that, I'd like to answer any questions.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Commissioner Duggins?
MS. CAMPBELL: Yes, sir?
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: When you look at the slide of topics for future workshops, is that in priority or in no particular order?
MS. CAMPBELL: No particular order, no. These are just things that they threw out to us that they are very interested in. We are trying to accommodate as much of these as we can, and will in future workshops.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: It would seem to me, particularly, that now that our Executive Director is speaking at seminars on wind energy, that wind energy and energy, the effects of energy development, would seem to me ought to be a priority with them because of the effects that pipelines
MS. CAMPBELL: Right.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: and whatever else, but particularly
MS. CAMPBELL: Well
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: that that ought to be bumped up on our list. That was one comment that I wanted to make and I would also include in there, that I don't see on this list, that we tell people about the MLDP program.
MS. CAMPBELL: Oh, yes, sir. In fact, one of our choices is deer management. When they choose deer management, they get it all. They get population surveys, all of the different choices that are available to landowners. We spend a good deal of time on that.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: And I think your I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cut you off.
MS. CAMPBELL: No, sir, I'm done.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Your next one is in Kinney County?
MS. CAMPBELL: Yes, and just to comment on the wind energy, we are going to have an evening speaker on that subject. So, you know, we barely let them sleep. I mean, we do try to give them a little bit of time to relax, but we pack it. And so, we have evening speakers as well and we are going to address that.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Well, on your next one, which is in Kinney County, do we contact the Kinney County game warden and say, We're getting ready to do this, do you know of any landowners who we ought to contact, or that you think might be interested in it, to make sure we reach out to the key people in the county?
MS. CAMPBELL: Yes, we have done that for our basic workshop. Now, this one being planned in April is for only those that have attended the basic. So it's a little bit, we're trying to keep it even smaller. For our basic ones, where we take up to 50 people, if we can find a venue that we can hold it for 50 people, we advertise widely through TWA, through the magazine, through our website. We have no trouble filling up within two weeks of when we announce, generally speaking.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: But do you actually tell the local game warden you're going to do it?
MS. CAMPBELL: We tell our biologist. A lot of folks here, through the biologist and the game wardens, about it, we send it out to everybody and then they contact the landowners there.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: I just think that's a great tool, I still say, on the ground, to know what's going on in that county and who ought to be a target or
MS. CAMPBELL: Right, sure.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: a participant.
MS. CAMPBELL: And a lot of them do find out through their local contacts, whoever their working with, in RCS or in Parks and Wildlife.
COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Any other questions?
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: So could any of our gentlemen show up?
MS. CAMPBELL: Yes, ma'am. I absolutely want to invite you all.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I just don't want anyone to feel left out.
MS. CAMPBELL: No, I did not mean to imply that, no.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: You know, that was one of the questions that I was going to go a little bit further on is how do you get the word out. I sit on not only this major Commission, but I sit on the Argillite Extension Board and RCS and never have heard of it other than right here. I haven't gone looking for it, but how else do you
MS. CAMPBELL: Well
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: are there some other positive ways that we can reach out and
MS. CAMPBELL: What we have done before is target that region and the previous workshops have been more Central Texas and North Texas. This one coming up in April is the first time we've actually gone to South Texas. So there will be a big splash for South Texas next time we do a basic workshop there.
Again, the idea was to always get the regional folks in that area. What's actually happened, though, is people come from all over, regardless. There's that much interest.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Is it feasible, possible, to have more than one workshop a season, or a year, for beginners, and then for continuing on?
MS. CAMPBELL: That's what we plan to do in April is the advanced and then we're going to plan another one for the basics in the fall. So we're going to two workshops a year, one more advanced for those that have attended previously and then one for a basic.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Have any of these women ever attended or, because of this, attended maybe the Becoming an Outdoor Woman program or the Outdoor Family? Has it inspired them? Do they feel like, I live in the outdoors, I don't need to go take a weekend class in it?
MS. CAMPBELL: Originally, that's the folks that attended the pilot. They came from the mailing list of Becoming an Outdoor Woman, and then a few others.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Okay.
MS. CAMPBELL: What's happened since then, though, is we've drawn less from the Becoming an Outdoor Woman and then just drawn from the landowners of Texas, who tell word of mouth and they just are showing up. I don't know how many of them actually attend Becoming an Outdoor Woman after they attend ours or vice versa.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: That's great. Again, it's great to talk about the other programs that we have here, like you said, the MLDP program.
MS. CAMPBELL: Right.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Good, great, thank you. That's great work. It looked like everyone was learning a lot and having a good time.
MS. CAMPBELL: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Great, thank you.
COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: There's no further discussions.
COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Okay.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: I believe, Mr. Vice Chairman, this completes the business of the Education and Outreach.
COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: Terrific. Well, thank you.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER FRIEDKIN: I declare us adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 3:56 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.)
C E R T I F I C A T E
MEETING OF: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Outreach and Education Committee
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
DATE: January 21, 2009
I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages, numbers 1 through 31, 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 Commission.
On the Record Reporting, Inc.
3307 Northland, Suite 315
Austin, Texas 78731