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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-08-27                                    |
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[ 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]
Aug. 27, 2009
Texas Hunters Advised How To Get Sandhill Crane Permits
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas sandhill crane hunters are being advised to visit one of 30 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement (game warden) offices spread across the state to obtain a free permit, or obtain a permit online or by phone, since private hunting license retailers no longer provide the permit this year.
A federal sandhill crane hunting permit is required to hunt sandhill cranes, and failure to have the permit can result in a citation and fine. The permit is available at no cost. It is important, since it helps wildlife managers estimate hunting pressure and decide how to set sandhill crane hunting seasons and bag limits.
For the 2009-2010 season, private license retailers no longer provide sandhill crane permits. This is because it became obvious to game bird program managers at the state and federal levels over the last several years that many retailers were indiscriminately providing the permits to many hunters, regardless of whether they hunt sandhills, thus rendering permit data useless for wildlife management purposes.
"Last year, close to 125,000 sandhill crane permits were issued in Texas, and before we went to the electronic license sales system in the 1990s we use to issue about 12,000 paper sandhill permits per year," said Vernon Bevill, TPWD small game and habitat assessment program director. "It is highly unlikely the number of crane hunters has increased that much."
"We try to keep tight estimates on crane populations and harvest and this requires a good estimate of hunter numbers," Beville explained. "The U. S Fish and.Wildlife Service surveys sandhill crane hunters each year, and they asked Texas to tighten up its method is distributing crane permits so they can obtain more accurate harvest estimates."
This season, hunters can obtain the free sandhill crane permit at TPWD law enforcement offices located in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin (headquarters) Beaumont, Brownsville, Brownwood, College Station, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Freeport, Garland, SHouston (two locations, north and south), Kerrville, LaMarque, Laredo, Lubbock, Lufkin, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Rockport, Rusk, San Angelo, San, Antonio, Temple, Tyler, Victoria, Waco, and Wichita Falls. See a complete list of offices with addresses and phone numbers on the department's Law Enforcement Offices Web page .
Hunters can also obtain sandhill crane permits online, and the permit is still free, but online transactions charge a $5 convenience fee covering shipping and handling. Hunters can bundle multiple license purchases into a single online transaction and still pay only one $5 fee.
Or, hunters can also obtain sandhill crane permits by phone at (800) TX LIC 4 U (800-895-4248). License phone center hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, closed Saturday, Sunday and most holidays. Each phone transaction also charges a $5 convenience fee.
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On the Net:
Texas migratory game bird hunting information:  http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/annual/hunt/migratory/
TPWD law enforcement offices: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/warden/office_locations/
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[ 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]
Aug. 27, 2009
TPW Commission Finalizes Waterfowl Seasons
FORT WORTH, Texas -- For the 14th consecutive year, duck hunters in Texas will get the liberal waterfowl season with a 74-day season and six bird daily bag limit framework during the 2009-2010 general waterfowl seasons, but mottled ducks will be off the table during the first five days. The framework was finalized by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Aug. 27 public meeting.
After three years under the Hunter's Choice experimental bag, Texas will revert to a conventional six-duck limit per day in the aggregate, with the following species and sex restrictions: five mallards (of which only two may be hens), three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, one pintail, one canvasback, and one "dusky duck" (mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids). Mottled ducks may not be harvested prior to Thursday, Nov. 5 in the North and South Zones and Nov. 2 in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit.
The bag limit on mergansers is 5 daily, of which only 2 may be hooded mergansers and the daily bag on coots is 15.
2009-2010 Waterfowl Seasons
Ducks
High Plains Mallard Management Unit
--Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 24 -- 25
--Friday, Oct. 30 through Sunday, Jan. 24
--Youth-only season Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 17-18
North and South Zones
--Saturday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Nov. 29
--Saturday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 24
--Youth-only season Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 24-25
--Falconry season for ducks is Monday, Jan. 25 through Tuesday, Feb. 8 in the North and South Zones. There is no extended season in the High Plains Mallard Management Unit.
Geese
Western Goose Zone
--Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 7
--The daily bag limit is 20 light geese in the aggregate and four Canada geese and one white-fronted goose. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit for dark geese and no possession limit on light geese.
Eastern Goose Zone
--Saturday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 24 for light geese and Canada geese
--Saturday, Oct. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 10 for white-fronted geese.
--The daily bag limit is 20 light geese in the aggregate and three Canada geese and two white-fronted geese.
Light Goose Conservation Order
--Monday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Mar. 28 in the Western Goose Zone
--Monday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Mar. 28 in the Eastern Goose Zone
--No bag or possession limits.
Sandhill Crane
Zone A
--Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 7
--Daily bag limit of three birds.
Zone B
--Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Feb. 7
--Daily bag limit of three birds.
Zone C
--Saturday, Dec. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 24
--Daily bag limit of two birds.
--Possession limits statewide are twice the daily bag limits.
New this year, purchase of the Federal Duck Stamp will cost $15-$17 depending on where you buy. If purchased through the TPWD license system there is a $2 administrative fee. Your license will indicate Federal Duck Stamp purchase and the physical stamp will be mailed. There are other options for purchasing the stamp, either at some major post offices or online.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded they will need to request HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification from the license clerk when purchasing their hunting license this year. HIP certification is required in order to hunt migratory game birds in Texas.
Also new this year, sandhill crane permits may be obtained in person at no cost only through TPWD Law Enforcement offices and TPWD headquarters in Austin. Permits are also available anytime online through TPWD's online license sales and by calling 800-792-1112 (option 5, menu 2) or 512-389-4820 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For online and phone orders, a confirmation number will be issued in lieu of a permit and a $5 transaction fee will be charged.
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[ 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]
Aug. 27, 2009
TPW Commission Awards $9 Million in Local Park Grants across Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Aug. 27 approved more than $9 million in competitive parks and recreation grants for city and county parks and other sites across the state. Grant project descriptions are listed by county below.
The Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and El Paso areas were awarded a combined total of $3.8 million from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants program. San Antonio was also awarded $1 million from TPWD's Indoor Recreation Grants program.
Urban Outdoor and Indoor recreation grants are reserved for communities with populations of 500,000 or more, and both provide matching grants of up to $1 million. Urban Outdoor grants are used to acquire and develop parkland. Urban Indoor grants are for constructing public recreation centers, community centers and nature centers. Once a grant is awarded, recipients must permanently designate the site for public recreational use and agree to operate and maintain the grounds.
Eight other communities across the state were awarded a combined $3.6 million in grants from TPWD's Outdoor Recreation Grants program, which funds acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation sites for communities with populations less than 500,000.
Eleven communities were awarded a total of about $750,000 from TPWD's Small Community Grants program. This program provides matching grants of up to $50,000 for communities with a population of 20,000 or less.
These grants support the acquisition, development and beautification of city and county? parks, seen as the "frontline" in the nationwide system of parks. TPWD funds can be applied to the construction and repair of trails, ball fields, fishing, boating or hunting facilities, picnic areas, playgrounds, swimming pools, camp grounds, gardens and other recreational facilities.
The Small Community, Urban Indoor, and Urban Outdoor grants are funded exclusively from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account, created by the Texas Legislature in 1993 to help cities and counties provide public recreation facilities. TRPA revenue comes from a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods.
Outdoor Recreation Grants are funded from the TRPA and from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is supported by offshore oil and gas royalties. All are 50-50 matching grants, requiring recipients to provide equal dollars to match what the state provides. The total cost of each project is thus twice the amount listed below.
For more information, including grant application forms and deadlines, see TPWD's Grants Web page or phone the department's Recreation Grants Branch at (512) 912-7124 or e-mail rec.grants@tpwd.texas.gov.
Grants and projects listed by county:
Bell County - The City of Holland was awarded $75,000 to develop an additional ten acres of the existing 60-acre Recreational Complex, located in the east central area of the city. Development will include a playground, soccer field, disc golf course, and gazebo. Construction of the entry road and gazebo will be accomplished without grant assistance
Bexar County - The City of San Antonio was awarded $1 million develop a 4,000 square foot Urban Ecology Center at Voelcker Park, located in the north central area of the city. The grant will fund the development of interpretive features, a classroom, offices, furnishings, restrooms, parking, water harvesting, tree planting, water connection, solar lighting and drainage.
Bexar County received $750,000 to renovate and further develop the 36-acre Mission County Park, located in the south central area of San Antonio. Development plans include establishing a view corridor from the San Antonio River access point to the Mission San Jose, trail expansion with entry portal with an overlook and interpretive signs, playgrounds, habitat restoration, irrigation, parking and restroom renovation.
Brown County -- The City of Brownwood was awarded $500,000 to develop Camp Bowie Sports Complex, located in the south area of the city. The grant will fund the inclusion of lighted softball and baseball fields, batting cages, a playscape, trail, pavilion, pool with a bathhouse, picnic tables and benches, tree plantings, Xeriscape garden with drip irrigation, 8-acre natural area and irrigation for the fields.
Cameron County Drainage District #1 - Cameron County Drainage District #1 was awarded $500,000 to acquire and develop approximately 8 acres to develop 45-acre Cascade Park, located in the northeastern area of Brownsville. The City will construct wetlands, basketball courts, field goals, a playground, butterfly garden, trails, bridges, fishing piers and overlooks, an amphitheater that doubles as a pavilion, waterfalls, benches, picnic tables, solar lighting, xeriscape landscaping and trees, drip irrigation, and interpretive signage, among other basic utilities.
Dallas County - The City of Dallas was awarded $1,000,000 to develop a trail along Five Mile Creek from College Park to Glendale Park and to make improvements at College Park, located in the south area of the city. The grant will fund a softball field, trail and connecting walkways renovation, playground and drainage improvements, and the implementation of security lighting.
Denton County - The City of Krugerville was awarded $75,000 to develop a first-time 3-acre City Park, located on the northern side of the Fair Meadows Drive and Sherry Lane South intersection. Playgrounds, a multipurpose playing field, concrete trail, wooden footbridge, picnic tables, benches, a parking lot, and landscaping will all be implemented.
El Paso County -- The City of El Paso was awarded $400,000 to develop a 6.7-acre Sandstone Ranch Park, located in the northeast area of the city. Development plans include a playground, benches, picnic table, landscaping, turf, irrigation, walkways, parking and fencing.
The City of El Paso was awarded $150,000 to develop a 2.8-acre Dog Park at Westside Park, located in the west central area of the city. The park will include benches, dog and person drinking fountains, shade structures, utilities, turf, irrigation, plants, lighting and fencing.
Fayette County - The City of Flatonia was awarded $75,000 to acquire and develop the Seven Acre Park, located in the west central area of the city. Development plans include a trail, disc golf course, skate park, picnic tables with slabs and grills, and Xeriscape garden with interpretive signage and drip irrigation.
Fort Bend County - The City of Meadows Place was awarded $73,300 to further develop a 16.5 acre Community Park, located in the central area of the city. The park will include a trail, lighted pond with pier, bank fishing area, shaded bench, group shade shelter with tables and grill, shaded picnic tables with grills, a recreational hill, wetlands water garden, tree planting, ,landscaping and interpretive signage.
Freestone County - The City of Wortham was awarded $75,000 to acquire and develop 0.46 acres of City Park, located in the central area of the city. The park will include a group pavilion, playground equipment, picnic table with grill and arbor, picnic table with game board insert, trail, butterfly garden and shade trees.
Hays County - The Village of Wimberley was awarded $500,000 to further develop the 120- acre Blue Hole Regional Park and Preserve, located in the north east area of the village. The Park will include trails, soccer fields, a concrete slab for swimming access, tennis courts, primitive camping areas, picnic tables with slabs, an amphitheatre, pavilion, playscape, an open play meadow, wildlife viewing stations, and interpretive and culture resource signage.
Hunt County - The City of Commerce was awarded $75,000 to further develop 13-acre City Park located in the downtown area of the city. The plans include the construction of a playground, concrete trail, horseshoe courts, benches, picnic tables with grills, interpretive signs, and irrigation, and basketball court and botanical garden renovation. The removal of existing fence, playground equipment, and a restroom and some site work will be accomplished without grant assistance.
Jefferson County - The City of Nome was awarded $75,000 to develop 1.83 acres of city-owned land into a first-time Community Park, located in the central area of the city. Development plans include constructing roads, parking, picnic tables, benches, a basketball free throw court, splash pad, playground, trail, landscaping and fencing. Parking spaces will be implemented without grant assistance.
Kendall County - Kendall County was awarded $488,825 to develop 375 acres of County-owned land that comprises Springs Park and Preserve, located in the south west area of the county between Comfort and Boerne off I-10. The grant will fund the implementation of lighted fishing docks and piers, swimming area improvements, three miles of trail, benches along the trail, birding towers and decks, a picnic pavilion, picnic sites with concrete pads and grills, a playground, interpretive kiosks, and a restroom. Road improvements will be made without grant assistance.
Kenedy County - Kenedy County received $271,431 to expand and further develop the 4-acre Sam Noble County Park located in Sarita, in the northern area of the county. The grant will fund the implementation of utilities and irrigation, restroom repairs, an access path, a shuffleboard and horseshoe toss, an observation kiosk, lighted baseball field, covered multi-sport facility, bleachers, an announcer's box, playground, picnic tables with grills, benches, landscaping, habitat restoration and a 1.28-acre natural area dedication. A walking and equestrian trail, parking lot, and interpretive signage will be constructed without grant assistance.
McLennan County - The City of Robinson was awarded $75,000 to develop 7.7 acres of school district-owned property into a first-time City Park, located in the northeast area of the city. The park will include a picnic pavilion with tables and a barbeque pit, decomposed granite trail, playscape, basketball court, shaded gazebo, picnic tables, benches, fitness equipment, sand volleyball pit, horseshoe pits, Xeriscape garden with drip irrigation, tree plantings, and interpretive signage.
Presidio County - The City of Marfa received $40,000 to develop 0.3 acres of school district-owned property into Blackwell School City Park, located in the south central area of the city. The grant will fund the implementation of picnic tables with grills, benches, a lighted trail with exercise station, game tables, a playground, a butterfly garden and irrigation.
Travis County - Travis County was awarded $1 million to acquire 68.06 acres by Waiver of Retroactivity and develop the 235.5-acre Onion Creek Greenway, located in the eastern area of the county. The grant will fund the implementation of trails, a kayak boat launch, fishing access, picnic units, playgrounds, pavilion, an open play area, habitat restoration, interpretive signs, wildlife and nature viewing areas, roads and parking.
The City of Austin received $500,000 to further develop the 47.3-acre Gus Garcia Park, located in the north area of the city. The City will add a multipurpose field, playground, fitness area, benches, picnic tables, landscaping, community garden and classroom gardens.
Victoria County - The City of Victoria received $500,000 to develop approximately 12 acres out of 125.44 acres of city-owned non-parkland to develop Lone Tree Community Park, located in the east area of the city. The grant will fund the construction of a spray ground, a pavilion with picnic tables, practice ball fields, and a 20-acre open space dedication. Utilities, parking, and restrooms will be constructed without grant assistance.
Williamson County - The City of Thrall received $40,000 to develop 0.29 acres of city owned property into a first-time park, located in the downtown area of the city. The development includes a pavilion, swing set, picnic tables, benches, a Xeriscape garden with drip irrigation and interpretive signage.
Wilson County - The City of Stockdale was awarded $75,000 to develop a 21.91-acre Central Park, located in the north central area of the city. The grant will fund the construction of soccer and t-ball fields, a trail with an exercise station, picnic areas with tables, grills, a model airplane landing strip, benches with concrete pads, water fountains and trash cans. Parking and fencing will be constructed without grant assistance.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/grants
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[ 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]
Aug. 27, 2009
$3 Million in Trails Grants Approved for 25 Texas Sites
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Aug. 27 approved approximately $3 million for 25 National Recreational Trail Grant projects across the state.
The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles. Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.
The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state's population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles.
The program provides 80-20 matching grants, so that each case the grant recipient must pay for 20 percent of the total project cost. Dollar amounts shown below are 80 percent of the project cost.
The Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.
List of funded trail-construction projects by county:
--Archer County -- North Texas Rural Rail Transportation received $33,641 to improve drainage on a 6-mile trail, parking, benches and signs that are all a part of the Wichita Valley Railway Daylight Trail project.
--Brazoria County -- The Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuge received $200,000 for the Dow Woods trail project. The provided funds will go towards a 1.7 mile granite trail, bridge, restroom, parking, benches and signs.
--Childress County -- The City of Childress received $239,908 to expand the Childress ATV & Moto Park. The funds will also pay for parking, equipment and water improvements.
--Collin County -- The City of Parker received $137,325 for improvements to the Preserve Recreation Trail project. The funds will pay for a new 0.8 mile, 8-foot-wide granite trail, a bridge and a low-water crossing.
--Crockett County -- The Texas Motorized Trails Coalition received $217,325 for new restrooms, equipment storage building, signs and equipment at the Escondido Draw Recreation Area for off-highway vehicles.
--Dallam County -- The City of Dalhart received $97,500 for improvements to the 6.71 mile Lake Rita Blanca Trail.
--Denton County -- The Town of Trophy Club received $144,000 for parking improvements, fencing, signs and shade structures for the Trophy Club OHV Park project.
--Fayette County -- The City of Flatonia received $142,656 for a new 0.75 mile granite trail, tables, benches, lighting and signing for the Downtown Flatonia Parks Trail project.
-- Harris County -- The Armand Bayou Nature Center received $112,996 for renovating trails damaged by Hurricane Ike. Funds will go towards the re-surfacing of 3 miles of trailing and improving signs.
-- Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition received $97,370 for a new 0.86 mile granite and concrete trail and engineering for the Ida Gaye Gardens & Trail project.
-- The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center received $196,105 for the second phase of the Outer Loop Resurfacing. The project consists of resurfacing a 1.25 mile trail and implementing signs.
-- The Timber Lane Utility District received $170,960 for a new 0.6 mile asphalt trail, bridges, signs and engineering projects for the Cypress Creek Hike and Bike Trail project.
-- The Rio Bravo MX received $40,000 for new bridges, a restroom, and parking for the Rio Bravo Improvements project.
-- Jeff Davis County -- The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute received $36,518 for a new 0.38 mile trail as part of the Trail to the Top project. The funding will also renovate an existing 0.28 mile natural surface trail and improve signs.
-- Lamar County -- The City of Reno received $87,174 for a new 0.5 mile asphalt rail-trail, signs and bridge railing to extend the Trail de Paris into Reno.
-- McLennan County -- The Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association received $77,220 for the Waco Lake Reynold's Creek Trailhead project. Funds will go towards improvements to the parking area, and the construction of a new pavilion, corrals, signs and lights.
-- Montgomery County -- Oak Ridge Forest HOA received $41,421 for a new 0.86 mile granite trail, fencing and ADA ramps for the Spring Creek Hike and Bike Trail project.
-- Robertson County -- Roll Call -- Friends of Camp Hearne received $145,520 for the Camp Hearne Trail project. The provided funds will help construct a new 2.32 mil granite trail, restrooms, a gazebo and benches.
-- Statewide -- The Texas Trail Network received $20,000 to conduct the 2010 and 2011 Texas State Trails Conference.
-- Sutton County -- Sonora Economic Development Corporation received $16,160 for a new 0.27 mile granite trail and parking to improve public access to The Eaton Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.
-- Tarrant County -- The City of Arlington received $128,000 for a new .8 mile long, 8' wide limestone trail, bridges and signs for the Crystal Canyon Nature Preserve Trail project.
-- Tom Green County -- The City of San Angelo received $200,000 for a new .62 mile limestone trail and for renovations of .96 miles to the Rio Concho Trail.
-- Upshur County -- The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition received $191,520 for improvements to the Barnwell Mountain Off-Highway Recreation Area . Provided funds will go towards the purchasing of new equipment storage building, trail repairs, tools, equipment and utilities.
-- Walker County -- U.S. Forest Service received $200,000 for the third phase of the Sam Houston Multi-use Trail project. The money will go towards bridges, trailheads, signing, equipment, tools, trailers and a tot loop.
--Wichita County -- Wichita Falls Streams and Valleys received $22,571 for the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail Restoration project. Funds will support erosion control efforts, a new bridge, signs and the purchasing of new equipment.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us//grants
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[ 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]
Aug. 27, 2009
Grants Awarded for Three Texas Target Range Projects
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Professional and recreational sport shooters in the Kerrville, Waco and San Antonio areas will benefit from the $240,000 in matching grants that their local target range facilities will receive to continue previously funded construction and renovation projects.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the target range grants during its Aug. 27 public meeting in Fort Worth.
Recipients of the fiscal year 2010 funding include the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center near Kerrville. This International USA Shooting and training facility has been approved to receive $60,000 for the fourth and final phase of a four-year construction project to complete parking and storage for their Air Hall facility used for hunter education, state archery competitions and international air gun shooting events. This site previously received a total of $480,000 between the 2006 and 2009 fiscal years.
Another grant recipient is the Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club near China Springs, west of Waco. The club will receive an additional $90,000 for the third phase of a five-year construction project funded with two previous grants. The third phase implement the recommendations of a certified range technical team advisor from the National Rifle Association. Improvements will include enhancements to berms, baffles and other safety features on new and existing ranges.
The third facility to apply for and receive a grant is the Bexar Community Shooting Range. The facility received $90,000 for the second phase of a construction project that will create new facilities and enhance existing outdoor range facilities, including rifle, pistol and shotgun ranges, classrooms, parking, restrooms and storage. This range is a long-time TPWD project that has been used for the Guadalupe County 4-H Shooting Sports Club and for hunter education in the greater San Antonio and Seguin areas.
TPWD education director Steve Hall said that providing grant money to legitimate shooting ranges allows the operators to improve and promote their facilities. This investment ensures that the ranges will be available and open to the public for a long time.
"Encroachment of cities is a concern in many states in terms of access to safe places to target shoot, sight in rifles for hunting, or enjoy the shotgun sports such as trap, skeet and sporting clays," Hall said. "More people want to shoot, so range owners have to be more creative if they set up shop near urban areas, such as building indoor ranges or building in undeveloped zones conducive to such activities."
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Assistance, administers a target-range grant program to provide funding for qualifying applicants from both the private and public sectors that open their shooting facilities to the public and offer hunter education.
Applicants must provide 25 percent of the total project cost, and the federal grant funds, made available through Texas' "hunter safety apportionment," fulfill the remaining 75 percent. The grants allow recipients to enhance their existing ranges or to build new facilities, including ranges, storage units, and accessible restrooms, roads, parking areas and hunter education classrooms.
Target Range Grants are complimented by the other sport shooting opportunities TPWD has available, such as Texas -- National Archery in Schools program, which aims at providing International-style target archery training in 4th-12th grade physical education classes. Other sport shooting opportunities include the Sporting Clays Mobile Range, which provides shooting opportunities for youth, women, gun clubs and ranges, and the new Ag Clays Program which combines shotgun sports with the successful Agricultural Science high school curriculum that has incorporated hunter education training since the mandatory program began back in 1988.
Grants are available to qualifying applicants from both private and governmental sectors that provide public use and hunter education at their facilities. For more information on Target Range grants, contact Steve Hall at TPWD at (512) 389-4568 or steve.hall@tpwd.texas.gov.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/hunter_education/shooting_opportunities.phtml
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