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Texas Parks & Wildlife

Ballot Measure Aims To Protect State Park Funding

Jul 2, 2019

From Texas Standard:

The fate of the Texas state park system will be on the ballot in November. Voters will decide whether to strengthen the rules that currently reserve sales taxes paid on sporting goods to fund parks, or, if they vote "no," to continue allowing the money to be siphoned off for other uses. 

Taxes on sporting goods have been dedicated to park funding since 1993, but legislators have continually found other uses for the money – up to 40% has ended up in the state's general fund over those 25 years. Lack of funding, and greater demand for park access by a growing population has left many facilities in disrepair.

Courtesy City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department


Ryan Poppe / 2018

For some Texans, there’s big money in deer. Breeding and raising whitetail deer, running deer hunts on ranches, it’s all part of a multibillion-dollar industry. But since 2015, deer breeders and the state have been locked in an old-fashioned standoff.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has restricted the movement of this deer population in an effort to contain chronic wasting disease. Meanwhile, the Texas deer industry says this hurts its livelihood, and it plans to push lawmakers to make changes during the 2019 legislative session.

 


Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy

The Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy will open bids Monday to construct a $23 million land bridge over Wurzbach Parkway.

 


Top 10 Whitetail Ranch in Junction in 2015.
Ryan E. Poppe / Texas Public Radio

A state district judge sides with Texas wildlife officials in their efforts to limit the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease within the State’s deer population.  

In 2015, Deer breeders Ken Bailey and Brad Peterson sued the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, seeking to change a century old statute in the state’s constitution that says all deer in Texas are considered public property.

Erik Ryan and Mia Reynolds from San Leon, Texas, sit at the picnic table at their campsite in Bastrop State Park. Reynolds, who is currently on hold with FEMA, says that she has been through storms before.

"I did not want to wait around for a politician to tell me to evacuate. I saw the storm on the news and had a bad feeling. That's when I decided to rent a U-Haul truck and pull out."

Reynolds pauses as a an electronic voice comes over the phone: "Your wait time is now 154 minutes."

This Summer you should consider getting out of the old routine and find some new places to enjoy the sun and water of Texas. The new book “The Swimming Holes of Texas” lays out where the best places are in the state to take a cool dip on a hot day. It’s a practical guide to some of our outdoor hidden gems. Filled with photographs by Carolyn Tracy and written by Julie Wernersbach.

It’s published by the University of Texas Press.   

Ryan E. Poppe

State officials have detected Chronic Wasting Disease in Texas’ WILD white deer population.  It’s a scenario that Texas Parks and Wildlife has feared since the disease first emerged at a deer breeding ranch in Medina County.

Texas Parks &Wildlife

Camp sites in most Texas state parks are booked up for this four-day Thanksgiving holiday and some parks may even have to limit the number of daytime visitors.

Philippe Henry

When people talk about the great American Alligator they most likely are thinking of the creatures in the Swamps of Louisiana or the everglades of Florida – but Texas has it’s gators too.

In Texas alligators can be found in 120 counties. And with the Human population in Texas expanding – encounters between people and alligators are on the increase. This produces the potential for dangerous situations.

But Louise Hayes says we don’t need to fear the gator but we do need to respect him.

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