Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife
Dr. Larry McKinney, Director of Coastal Fisheries, retired from Parks and Wildlife in late May after 24 years of service. Before he left, I asked him to recount a proud moment with the agency.
Well, helping move the agency from what you would typically call the old “Hook & Bullet” agency that only dealt with deer and bass and sea trout, to something that looks more at ecosystems—the whole picture. But, I think we’re on the right road to really managing resources on a level that can be effective in today’s world.
There’s still work to be done.
The 800-pound gorilla in the room is the fact that the population is going to double. In another thirty years we going to have a lot more Texans out here—twice as many of us as there are now. We’ve already used up about half of our natural resources, so we can’t continue to use those resources as we did to get to this level. As we double this population, we’re going to have to look at ways to sustain these resources, or we won’t have a natural heritage like we have now. The Texas we know won’t exist in another twenty years if we don’t take care of it.
McKinney says Parks and Wildlife’s role in sustaining resources for the future is an important one.
In fact, the agency is the only one that can do it. And that is to be an advocate for fish and wildlife in all of these decisions. The primary one that we’ve been focused on for many years is water. We have to be there in the background saying, ‘okay, how are we going to make sure that we protect fish and wildlife. How are we going to make sure that the ecosystem on which we all depend and in which we all live is healthy and productive.’
That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.