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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-04-25                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
April 25, 2005
7,837 Acres Added to Palo Duro Canyon State Park
AMARILLO, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has arranged to purchase 7,837 acres in Armstrong County to be added on the southeast side of Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
The new property includes the site of Maj. Gen. Ranald Mackenzie's battle with native tribes in 1874 in Palo Duro Canyon.
Sometimes called the Grand Canyon of Texas, Palo Duro Canyon State Park currently contains about 18,400 acres. The new acquisition will increase park acreage by almost 43 percent to more than 26,200 acres, making it the second largest currently operating Texas state park after Big Bend Ranch State Park.
"Palo Duro is a priority park for expansion in our agency's Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan," said Robert L. Cook, TPWD executive director. "Thanks to the stewardship of the family that cared for this land so well and so long, and to the support of the Amarillo Area Foundation, we can protect some outstanding natural and cultural resources and expand wilderness recreation opportunities."
The purchase was made possible with a $300,000 grant from the Amarillo Area Foundation, which also provided funds to add the 2,036-acre Cañoncita Ranch to the state park in 2002. Amarillo-area businessman, philanthropist and conservationist Pete Gilvin bequeathed the Cañoncita Ranch to the foundation in his will. His generosity also made possible a unique $1.19 million endowment set up in connection with the Cañoncita acquisition to fund ongoing educational programs and maintenance at the state park.
"This new property is contiguous to the former Canocita Ranch on the northwest side, and that's one reason we thought it was something Pete Gilvin would want us to support, since we're making this grant out of the Gilvin fund," said Jim Allison, Amarillo Area Foundation president. "To get this kind of property into the park, adjacent to Canoňcita, is a rare opportunity, and it adds to the quality of life in this region. It's a very scenic area, and someday people are going to be very glad this deal was made."
The family of Ed Harrell has owned the property for close to a century.
"This is truly a wilderness area," said Wales Madden, former Amarillo Area Foundation president. Madden was asked to help facilitate the acquisition by bringing all of the parties together.
"To the credit of the Harrell family, they really took care of nature on their ranch in the way they protected their trees and grasses," Madden said. "The rangeland in the canyon bottom is in fine shape thanks to them. As a family, they were anxious for the public to be able to share that property's natural beauty and fascinating history from now on, with no commercial development in view."
The new property is not yet open to the public, and access will remain restricted until appropriate plans are developed within the next year or two. Because of the property's environmentally sensitive and historically important features, natural and cultural resource inventories must be completed before work can start on a public use plan. The ultimate goal is to provide appropriate public recreation and education opportunities in the new part of the state park.
Ranald Mackenzie was a decorated Union military leader in more than a dozen major Civil War battles. After the war, he was assigned to control Native American tribes in the southwest, and for a time led black regiments known as Buffalo Soldiers at various posts, including Fort McKavett, now a state historic site. In 1874, he began the final campaign against Texas High Plains tribes, including the Palo Duro Canyon battle. By June 1875, the High Plains campaign was over, and Mackenzie assumed command at Fort Sill, Oklahoma over the Comanche-Kiowa and Cheyenne-Arapaho reservations.
For more information, anyone may phone Palo Duro Canyon State Park at (806) 488-2227 or see the park Web site.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/paloduro/
http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/MM/fma7.html
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
April 25, 2005
TPWD Schedules Public Meetings About Golden Alga
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is holding six public meetings during May near areas hit hardest by golden alga. Agency officials will provide updates on golden alga research projects and discuss fisheries management strategies, as well as solicit public input.
Golden alga blooms during the last six months have caused fish kills in more than a dozen water bodies in north-central Texas. None of the occurrences have resulted in serious impacts to the fisheries, but they have provided researchers with opportunities to study actual events in hopes of finding solutions to this naturally-occurring threat.
Since 2001, golden alga fish kills have occurred on two dozen reservoirs in Texas. About 18 million fish have been killed by golden alga during the last 20 years, most of which were either forage or rough fish species.
This alga releases a toxin that kills gill-breathing organisms such as fish and clams. There is no known evidence of human health risks.
First discovered in Texas in 1985, golden alga (Prymnesium parvum) was identified in a fish kill in the Pecos River and has since been responsible for fish kills in the Colorado, Canadian, Wichita, Red and Brazos River systems as well.
Public meetings are slated for the following dates and locations. All meetings start at 7 p.m.
--May 10 -- Texas Workforce Commission, 218 14th St., Lubbock.
--May 11 -- Civic Center, 157 W. 2nd St., Colorado City.
--May 17 -- Possum Kingdom Lion's Club, 142 LaVilla Road, Lake Possum Kingdom.
--May 18 -- Baylor County Extension Office, 500 N. Main, Seymour.
--May 24 -- Annex 3 Building, 200 N. Gordon, Granbury.
--May 25 -- Lake Whitney State Park Reunion Center, 433 FM 1244, Whitney.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/hab/ga/
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ] [LH]
April 25, 2005
Bass Pro Shops' Johnny Morris Gives $650,000 to Freshwater Fisheries Center
ATHENS, Texas-Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris presented a check for $650,000 to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center at a banquet in Grapevine April 16.
The gift was Morris' way of expediting the construction of a new education building at TFFC. He pledged at an April 3, 2004, banquet to match dollar-for-dollar, up to $650,000, funds raised by April 16, 2005, by Schooling for Bass, a Dallas support group headed by Richard ("Dick") Hart. The volunteer group responded by raising $711,000.
Morris made the presentation accompanied by Bass Pro Shops staff and friends. "This check isn't from one person; it comes from a lot of people," Morris said. "It comes from the people at Bass Pro Shops. It comes from our customers. And it comes with a tremendous amount of gratitude to Schooling for Bass members, TFFC staff, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director Robert Cook and to all of the incredible people who are a part of Texas Parks and Wildlife. The fishermen and women and future generations of fishermen not only of this state but of our nation are deeply grateful to you for your visionary leadership and incredible support of the sport of fishing."
Bass Pro Shops has a long association with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In November 1986, Mark Stevenson caught a new state record largemouth bass, which also became the first entry into what is now the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Stevenson named the bass Ethel, and that fish later was given to Bass Pro Shops and was displayed at the company's headquarters in Springfield, Mo. The check Morris presented to TFFC was inscribed "In memory of Ethel."
In accepting the donation, TPWD Executive Director Robert L. Cook said, "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department depends on partnerships to accomplish its goals. This is truly a win/win situation. We thank all the Schooling for Bass members and Bass Pro Shops so much."
Other organizations and individuals contributing to the building fund were Kathie and Ed Cox Jr., Eric Kincaid, ExxonMobil Foundation, Cain Foundation, Ginger Murchison Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, Sheila and Walter Umphrey, Friona Industries, Hoblitzelle Foundation, Cathey and Don Humphreys, Texas Game Warden Association and J.B. Katz Foundation.
Also attending the banquet were Joseph Fitzsimons, chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Commissioner Philip Montgomery, Inland Fisheries Division Director Phil Durocher and former TPWD Executive Director Andrew Sansom.
TFFC director Allen Forshage noted, "With completion of this new $1.5 million educational facility, TFFC will have an outdoor education center unmatched in North America."
The Edwin L. Cox Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens combines visitation and outdoor education with a production fish hatchery. TFFC is a facility of the Inland Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the state agency charged with the management and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of Texas. TPWD also works to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Built as a joint venture between TPWD, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Inc., and the community of Athens, TFFC includes a wetlands trail and over 300,000 gallons of indoor and outdoor aquariums displaying dozens of species of native fish, waterfowl, alligators and amphibians in recreated habitats.
TFFC invites both individual and group visitation. Reservations are recommended for groups of 10 or more. Admission is charged. Public hours are 9a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
Bass Pro Shops, also a major catalog and internet retailer, has 27 destination retail locations across America and Canada.
---
On the Net:
http://www.basspro.com/
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ] [KE]
April 25, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Radio
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories, is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing April 25-29, it's all aboard for children and a free ride on the Texas State Railroad this summer. Plus, all about how protecting the state's outdoor resources takes commitment and endurance -- we'll visit the game warden academy. And a rumor of a closure sparked a group of volunteers to become best friends at one state park.
For more information, visit the Web.
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
For more information, go to the Web.
Television
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. Airing April 24-May 1, the job of the Texas game warden has changed over the years, blending the roles of enforcement officer and educator. Cynthia Guajardo-Sorrell is a good example of the new breed of game warden. Not only does she enforce game laws, she even recruits fellow game wardens Dave Raybin and Robert Carlson to help put on a kids fishing day at Lake Jacksonville. Also this week: Cathy Nolte takes us on a tour of Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site; hunter education specialist Ty Harris of Corpus Christi shows us how public hunts help provide Texans affordable opportunities in the outdoors; money for Sport Fish Restoration; conservation outreach specialist Shelly Plante works with blind birders to help them learn how identify birds using their hearing; and finally, enjoy the tranquil beauty of Honey Creek State Natural Area.
For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
Magazine
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online.
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On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD Video News: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/news/tv/vnr/thismonth/
TPWD on PBS: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/
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