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General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406

Additional Contacts: Lydia Saldana (512) 217-9479 or lydia.saldana@tpwd.texas.gov; Donnie Frels, Kerr WMA (830) 238-4483 or donnie.frels@tpwd.texas.gov

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Aug. 23, 2010

Kerr WMA Conference Center to be Dedicated Aug. 27

KERRVILLE – A new, $1.8 million conference center to be dedicated Aug. 27 at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area will provide Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a quality venue for presenting habitat management and ecological programs to thousands of landowners, students and researchers.

Since its opening in March, the new 2,300-square-foot Lee and Ramona Bass Conference Center has hosted more than 400 people at 13 meetings and seminars. The Basses donated $1 million as seed money for the project. Additional funding for the center, which includes more than 8,000 square feet under roof and a large parking lot, came from other private donations and in-kind services from the Texas Department of Transportation.

“The main purpose of the new facility is to facilitate sharing of information, planning and programs for research projects, habitat management programs, demonstrations and public use at Kerr Wildlife Management Area,” says area manager Donnie Frels. “In the future, we hope to add a native wildscapes area, rainwater harvesting, local cultural resources displays, a prescribed burning demonstration area and new hunter check station.”

The 6,493-acre wildlife management area, which was acquired by the Texas Game and Fish Commission in 1950, sits at the headwaters of the north fork of the Guadalupe River in western Kerr County. Kerr WMA is recognized as one of the nation’s premier white-tailed deer research facilities and serves as a popular birding location and demonstration site for wildlife and habitat restoration and management techniques in the Edwards Plateau Ecological Region.

Since 1977, more than 2,000 tours and seminars have been presented to nearly 55,000 people. In addition, the WMA hosts 40 to 60 tours and seminars each year for landowners, wildlife professionals, sportsmen groups, universities and others on wildlife and range management practices.  Groups that have used the new facility thus far include the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Wildlife Association, Hill Country Master Naturalists, TPWD staff and various youth groups.

For more information about Kerr WMA, call (830) 238-4483 or visit: http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=12

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