Archive for July, 2007

Texas Clipper, 1

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program

The Texas Clipper served as a WWII troop transport ship, a luxury cruise liner, and a maritime training vessel for Texas A&M University. This summer, the Clipper begins a new life as an artificial reef.

An artificial reef is a reef site that’s created from man made materials for the enhancement of marine life.

Dale Shively coordinates the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Preparing the Clipper for the Ships-to-Reefs program has taken years of hard work.

It’s been at least ten years just to get through all the administrative paperwork and get to the point where the ship could be transferred to us.

The ship will eventually rest on the gulf floor, seventeen miles off the coast of South Padre Island. Since November 2006, the ship’s been in Brownsville for remediation.

As we got into the ship and the cleanup began, we found a couple of items that were unknown. Such as extra PCB type materials that were on the bulkheads behind wallboards and things. So, that has caused a delay in the cleanup process.

Nevertheless, the date for sinking the Clipper is near.

If I had to bet money, I would put my money around the first of August.

That’s our show… with support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program…working to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas…

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

August Magazine Preview

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

The August issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is on newsstands later this month. And Associate Publisher, Charles Lohrmann, gives us a preview.

Well, by the time August rolls around, everyone is ready to get away – even for a couple of days. And with that in mind, we have an article by Melissa Gaskell about the best cabins in state parks.

And we have some really great cabins in our state parks. One example close to Austin is the 1930s log cabins built by the CCC in Bastrop State Park. And there are more CCC cabins at Lake Brownwood State Park, and then, in the Panhandle – Palo Duro – there are cabins overlooking the grand canyon of Texas.

And, of course, August is also a good time to indulge that childhood fantasy of building a boat. And, we have an article with photographs from Scott Summerlott, for a step–by-step process for building a skiff. So it [the August issue of the magazine] will take you out of the summer and into the fall.

Thank you, Charles.

[By the way, this is Charles Lohrmann’s final magazine preview for Passport to Texas. He accepted the position of editor at Texas Highways Magazine. We’ve really enjoyed working with Charles over the past several years, and will miss him greatly. Meantime, we wish him well in this new position.]

That’s our show…visit us online at… find out how, when you subscribe to Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine before July 31, you’re automatically entered to win a thousand dollar gift card from Academy Sports and Outdoors. No purchase necessary.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Borderland Ecology, 2

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Wildlife Restoration Program

Smiley Nava served as borderlands biologist at Texas Parks and Wildlife before retiring last year. His job involved understanding and developing conservation strategies for the natural resources along the shared border between Texas and Mexico.

We have ecosystems; we have natural resources that we share between Mexico and the state of Texas. We’re talking about an area that is a little over 12-hundred miles in length – from El Paso, Ciudad Juarez – to the mouth of the Rio Grand. And that’s all inclusive of the area that is my project.

Nava identified local, state and governmental partners in Mexico to join this mission. During his tenure, Nava said one border city, in particular, lead the way.

The City of Nuevo Laredo, they have an ecological department. It’s a sub directoria de la ecología – as it’s called — subdirectory of ecology. They make sure that there’s conservation implemented… if they’re clearing out trees that they’re replanted with native vegetation. And they’re very proactive… They’re setting the example and showing their other cities along the border how this can work and be beneficial.

Learn more about Borderlands Ecology and other conservation topics on our website,

That’s our show for today… with support from the Wildlife Restoration Program… providing funding for the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program.

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

Borderland Ecology, 1

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Wildlife Restoration Program

Borders are political demarcations, conceived of by man. Nature, meanwhile, knows no such boundaries.

The boundary to Texas and the United States doesn’t stop midway in the Rio Grande. It goes all the way to the Mexican side as far as the resources are concerned.

Smiley Nava is recently retired from Texas Parks and Wildlife where he served as its borderlands biologist. His work focused on the natural resources along the 12-hundred mile border shared between Texas and Mexico.

We are specifically looking at the state natural resources that we share with our four Mexican states. We’re right at around fifty percent of the US/Mexico border, so Texas is an important component of those shared resources.

The area Smiley oversaw is diverse.

The Tamaulipan scrub land is one of the provinces that are prominent for a good part of our border that we share with Mexico. The other part, the upper basin of the Rio Grande, as you move inland, is more typical of the Chihuahuan desert. So the species utilize those, what natural resources and components we share with Mexico in those regions, kind of drive where we’re trying to focus our work.

That’s our show for today… with support from the Wildlife Restoration Program… providing funding for the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program.

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

Texas Wetlands Walk Podcast

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

[Texas Wetlands Podcast]

[What is a wetland?]
What exactly is a wetland? Well, a wetland is an area of land that is either permanently or sporadically wet with shallow water or contains soil that is permanently or sporadically saturated. The combined area of the land and water supports a natural ecosystem of plants and animals that are adapted to wet conditions. Wetlands are part of the Natural Water System of Texas—a collection of aquifers, springs, rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs, wetlands, bays and estuaries all ultimately leading to the Gulf of Mexico. This interactive system is sustainable only if viewed as a whole in which all of the parts are preserved and protected. A watershed is an area of land that transports water to the lowest point in the landscape— often a lake, river, or stream. Every piece of land, then, is part of a watershed and wetlands are essential to its health for reasons you are about to discover. Scientists are even finding that wetlands help moderate global climate by storing carbon in their plants and soil. So, thanks to wetlands, this wetlands walk has many exciting things to teach us, including how we affect the health of our water, and more importantly what we can do to protect it. Enjoy! (recorded water drop)

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