+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-09-11                                    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
Sept. 11, 2009
City of San Antonio Transfers Almost 3,000 Acres to Government Canyon
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Government Canyon State Natural Area is adding almost 2,962 acres of environmentally critical habitat for conservation purposes and future recreational use. The additional land boosts the state natural area's total size to 11,576 acres.
The land deal was okayed Thursday by the San Antonio City Council, which approved the transfer of eight tracts of undeveloped city-owned property to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The land had been purchased by the city with Proposition 3 tax revenues to protect water quality in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and for possible use as future parkland.
"The expansion of Government Canyon State Natural Area is a true testimony to the effective partnership between our agency and the City of San Antonio that has always focused on conserving the land's unique natural resources, regardless of ownership," said Carter Smith, TPWD's executive director. "We will be investigating a range of biologically appropriate and compatible public use opportunities, including and up to public hunts."
Future use and development of the additional acreage will be consistent with Government Canyon's existing restrictive development and appropriate public use policies in effect since the state natural area opened to day use in late 2005, according to superintendent Deirdre Hisler. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will work with the city to develop a public use plan that takes into account the protection of all natural resources, she said, including the endangered golden-cheeked warbler that nests in the area.
"The added acreage was purchased by the city under a parks venue and for water quality purposes, so there will be minimal facilities on the tracts," Hisler said. "Some tracts will complement Government Canyon State Natural Area's existing trail system, while others might accommodate a different form of compatible public access."
Almost 90 percent of the Government Canyon watershed rests atop the recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer, a primary source of drinking water for millions of San Antonio area residents. The eight new tracts fall into this ecologically sensitive watershed as well, and represent the majority of undeveloped lands adjacent to Government Canyon in a rapidly growing area, where in some spots subdivisions abut the state natural area.
In addition to educating the public about the ecological fragility of the karst environment of porous limestone that funnels rainwater underground into the aquifer, Government Canyon SNA affords outdoor enthusiasts access to thousands of classic Hill Country wilderness via some 40 miles of hiking trails. Visitors also have access to 15 recently built picnic sites and an open-air pavilion for day use only. Future plans include providing limited camping opportunities.
Government Canyon State Natural Area is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Monday. Call (210) 688-9055 for a list of upcoming special events and other information, or see the park Web page.
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/government_canyon/
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
Sept. 11, 2009
TPWD offering chances to win lifetime hunting license
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is offering Texas hunters and anglers the chance to win a Lifetime Super Combo hunting and fishing license -- an $1,800 value -- for only $5.
Entries for the Lifetime License Drawing can be purchased anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold, as well as on the TPWD Web site. Two drawings will be held, the first on Dec. 30, 2009 and the second on June 30, 2010. Anyone who registers by Dec. 27 will be eligible for both drawings. Entries for the June 30 drawing must be purchased by June 27, 2010. Each drawing will select one winner. Participants can purchase as many entries as they like, and winners are allowed to give the license as a gift to family or friends who are Texas residents.
Proceeds from the drawing will help fund the Parks and Wildlife Department's conservation efforts.
Winners will be exempted from purchasing state hunting and fishing stamps, although they will not be exempted from the Federal Duck Stamp Requirement. On Aug. 31, the price of a lifetime hunting and fishing license increased from $1,000 to $1,800.
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/lifetime
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
Sept. 11, 2009
South Zone Dove Hunters Get Early Opener Sept. 18
AUSTIN, Texas -- Dove hunters in the state's southern region will be enjoying an opening weekend of wingshooting without the wait, thanks TPWD Program Staff requesting through the Central Flyway Council that adjustments in federal framework allowing Texas to open the South Zone this season on Friday, nearest September 20th but not earlier than the 17th.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than four 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]
Sept. 11, 2009
Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo Goes on the Road
Austin Expo Suspended, TPWD Expands Presence At Events Across Texas
AUSTIN, Texas -- Although the annual Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo will not take place in Austin this October, organizers are in effect taking the show on the road by partnering with selected stock shows, rodeos and other family-oriented cultural events to present the new Life's Better OutsideŽ Experience in 2010.
Since 1992, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and its partners have produced the free, annual Expo as a public service the first weekend of each October. During the event's 17-year run, more than half a million visitors of all ages got to try activities like fishing, shooting, birding, photography, camping, climbing, mountain biking and more with gear and guidance provided free. The new Life's Better OutsideŽ Experience will continue that tradition.
Earlier this year, TPWD leaders announced the Austin-based Expo would be suspended for at least two years due to declines in sponsorship support related to the current recession. On the up side, the decision gave additional impetus to expand department outreach efforts beyond Central Texas.
"The mission of the Life's Better OutsideŽ Experience is to provide hands-on outdoor activities for families, youth and children who do not recreate in the outdoors, and to introduce them to these activities which can lead to conservation of our natural and cultural resources," said Ernie Gammage, TPWD urban outdoors program leader and former Expo director.
"Moving around the state will allow us to reach Texans who might not have had an opportunity to come to Austin," Gammage explained. "Each event will focus on outdoor opportunities in that region of the state, with information on nearby state parks, good spots to go fishing, paddling, camping and much more. This will also help to connect families to outdoor groups in their area."
"Our goal remains the same: to engage underserved audiences and bring more people into the world of the great outdoors," Gammage emphasized. "One of our core beliefs is that recreation leads to conservation. By introducing Texans, especially urban Texans, to outdoor recreation, the outdoors becomes more relevant to them. They come to care about it and finally to care for it."
The Life's Better OutsideŽ Experience schedule for 2010 is:
--February 20 & 21, at San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo -- www.sarodeo.com
--March 6 & 7, at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- www.hlsr.com
--April 24 & 25, at Buc Days Celebration, Corpus Christi -- www.bucdays.com
--June 5 & 6, at AlleyFest, Longview -- www.alleyfest.org
More information about statewide events and opportunities involving nature, history and the outdoors is on the TPWD Web site.
---
On the Net:
http://lifesbetteroutside.tpwd.state.tx.us/lboexperience.phtml
-30-