TPW TV – Pecos Pupfish

September 23rd, 2016
Pecos pupfish

Pecos pupfish

This is Passport to Texas

In the unforgiving terrain of Far West Texas lies the Trans Pecos. Much of the aquatic life that’s adapted to survive in the waters of this harsh Chihuahuan Desert Region are found only here.

Because of lack of water and loss of habitat we have a lot of fish in West Texas that are threatened.

Such as the Pecos pupfish. Fisheries biologist, Ken Saunders works in West Texas monitoring the species.

So we have about three miles left of creek left in the whole state of Texas that has the Pecos pupfish in it. So we are going to be taking DNA samples and shortly we’ll be able to know whether we still have that fish here or not.

We join Saunders as he evaluates Pecos Pupfish during an upcoming segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS.

The science we are doing is really important because it gives us an idea of how the population of fish are doing. Are they declining? We wouldn’t know that if we didn’t come out here quarterly, throughout the year to monitor the population.

The Pecos pupfish is just one fish…in one area…of one desert. Why does it deserve our attention?

It’s part of the natural system, and every time we lose part of our natural system we lose part of us. It’s our world, if we don’t take care of it what are we going to have left….

View the segment on the Pecos Pupfish on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS the week of September 25. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

John Graves Legacy Society

September 22nd, 2016
John Graves checking fly rod on the Llano River.

John Graves checking fly rod on the Llano River.

This is Passport to Texas

Planned gifts to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation from people who love of Texas will help to ensure the future of our natural and cultural resources for generations to come.

The people that approach us about planned gifts, have such strong feelings towards the mission, and love the idea that they can leave a wild legacy through a gift to the Parks and Wildlife Foundation after they’re gone.

Merrill Gregg, Director of Legacy Giving, says Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine’s October issue has more information about Legacy Giving.

As well as an insert where people can fill in their contact information and send it back to the Foundation. We’ll reach out with additional information on the different types of planned gifts that might be appropriate for you.

Individuals who make planned gifts are remembered via the newly formed John Graves Legacy Society.

And this society is named after John Graves, who was a beloved writer. His book Good-bye to a River, is celebrated by conservationists as raising awareness about the critical need to protect Texas’ natural resources. So, we thought naming our Legacy Society after someone who had left such an incredible legacy on conservation would be a wonderful tribute to him, and also inspire others to embrace that same conservation ethic.

Find a link to more information about Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s planned giving program at passporttotexas.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Leave a Wild Legacy for Texas

September 21st, 2016
Davis Mountains State Park

Davis Mountains State Park

This is Passport to Texas

To ensure Texas’ beloved wild places and wild things exists beyond their lifetime, some people make planned financial gifts.

Planned gifts are gifts that an individual can make in their will or estate plan.

Merrill Gregg, Director of Legacy Giving at Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, says the foundation raises private funds to support Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s mission.

We’ve been the recipient of planned gifts that we hadn’t necessarily known about in advance. And it made us realized that, we needed to make our mission more known to people—that they could leave gifts to us in their will or estate plan after they’re gone.

A bequest—a few lines in a will or estate plan that sets aside a cash amount—is the most common gift form, yet there’s no single template for planned giving.

There are also ways in which you can gift life insurance assets, retirement assets; you can give a gift of real estate. You can even leave personal property to the foundation after you’re gone. So, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a cash bequest, or a gift of securities. There are many different ways in which your assets could be used to benefit the mission of the foundation through a planned gift.

We have a link to more information about Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s planned giving program at passporttotexas.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Ask a Game Warden: Report Wildlife Violations

September 20th, 2016
It's all part of the job.

It’s all part of the job.

This is Passport to Texas’ Ask a Game Warden

It’s officially fall hunting season in Texas. But what if you suspect someone of illegally harvesting wildlife?

If they see something they think is a violation, and they have the contact information readily available, contact your local game warden and let them know that [what you observed].

Lieutenant Lewis Rather is Operation Game Thief Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. If you don’t have your Game Warden’s contact information, then remember this number: 800.792.GAME. It’s the Operation Game Thief hotline.

It’s operated 24/7, and our dispatchers will take those calls and get them out to the game wardens immediately, electronically.

Callers remain anonymous. Before making the call, Lt. Rather says be prepared to provide as much information as possible about the incident. Remember: your safety is paramount.

If you have your phone available, and you can take a picture of the license plate number of the vehicle—take a clear picture of that. Maybe a picture of the violators, if you‘re at a safe location where you can do so. Also, a description of the violators; a good description of what the violation is you think. Where it’s located. And even a description and the color of the vehicle. And one of the most important things, if the vehicle is starting to leave, and you call Operation Game Thief with the information, give them a direction of travel and tell them when they left. And make sure you have a good cell phone number for the dispatcher, in case a game warden needs to call you and ask more questions.

If you spot a wildlife violation call 800.792.GAME. That’s 800.792.4263.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Operation Game Thief

September 19th, 2016
Game Warden on the trail of a poacher.

Game Warden on the trail of a violator.

This is Passport to Texas

Operation Game Thief is a wildlife crime-stoppers program instituted in 1981 by the 67th legislature.

[OGT’s] primary focus was to be able to offer cash rewards up to $1000 for information leading to [the] arrest and conviction of violators of Texas’ fish and wildlife laws, therefore, helping our game wardens in the law enforcement division [better deter poaching].

Lieutenant Lewis Rather is Operation Game Thief Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says they receive about 15-hundred calls a year.

[It’s been] a very successful way to report our violations. Game Wardens have made many cases due to Operation Game Thief.

When an anonymous citizen tip leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of a wildlife crime, the caller receives up to a thousand dollar reward. But, Lt. Rather says not everyone takes it.

A lot of callers say, ‘I don’t want the reward, I just want you guys to go out and catch ‘em.’ That’s what our focus. Let’s get the information in as quick as we can, and get it to the game warden as fast as we can—which now we do electronically. And catch the violators.

The Operation Game Thief number to call if you spot a wildlife violation is 800.792.GAME. That’s 800.792.4263.

Tomorrow, the information that’s important to share when reporting a wildlife violation.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.