The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department marks its 50th anniversary this summer with a special issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, which tips a figurative Stetson to the various partners who helped further the agency’s conservation mission over the last five decades, and looks ahead to the next half century.
The issue includes articles on the agency’s history, accomplishments
and partners. It also features vintage black and white photos along with
striking color images of some of the people, places and things that make the
Texas outdoors special.
TPWD traces its heritage to 1895, with the creation of the Fish and
Oyster Commission. That’s when the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 21, a
measure introduced by Weatherford State Representative James M. Cotton. The
bill, pushed by Governor John B. Connally as part of his campaign to modernize
state government, merged the Game and Fish Commission with the State Parks
Board. The final bill passed in the Senate in early April and Connally later
signed it into law with an effective date of August 23rd.
The magazine also looks into “The Next 50 Years.”
“We can’t and won’t rest on our laurels,” TPWD Executive Director
Carter Smith writes. “The state is growing by leaps and bounds, and TPWD must
contend not only with burgeoning pressures on our fish and wildlife populations
and their habitats, but also with a citizenry that is more urban, more diverse
and more disconnected from the outdoors than any previous generation.”
In coming years, he writes, the department will face a wide variety of
issues ranging from loss of wildlife habitat to the availability of water.
State parks will have to be maintained and improved, and new park land
“The essential work of your Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will
always be measured in generational terms, not in short-term fiscal cycles,”
Smith concludes. “In many ways, it is tantamount to the timeless parable about
planting a tree so that someone else can enjoy the shade it ultimately
provides.” The 50th anniversary website www.lifesbetteroutside.org
features stories and photos already submitted by people across the state. The
department is inviting people to submit stories and photos about their best
outdoor memories in Texas and sign up to become ambassadors, pledging to do
things like visit a state park, take a kid hunting or fishing, and watch and
share a video showcasing what’s made life better outside in Texas.
For the original article, click here.
Check out the special issue here.
up to become a Texas Parks and Wildlife ambassador and receive your
complimentary copy of the magazine and window decal today!