Archive for November, 2007

New Game Warden Training Academy

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

The fifty-third Game Warden Cadet Class will be the last to graduate from the training Academy in Austin.

And, we’ll archive that class, and sometime in June and July we’ll unplug, and take the pictures off the wall, and load up the boxes and we’re going up to Hamilton County and open up that new facility.

Randy Odom is Chief of training. He says the Police Activities League of Houston donated land for the new center.

It’s large enough to house a new admin building, state of the art classroom, gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool — we hope to have constructed — a firing range, and also an emergency vehicle operating course. To have all of these facilities on site, keeps us from being at the mercy of other agencies and having to beg, borrow and schedule times for events. Not all folks are great at everything, and having on site capability allows us easy and quick remediation.

The sale of the Austin site, plus contributions from benefactors will fund building costs.

Our goal is twelve and a half million to build, and if we get fifteen million it will offer us an endowment to help offset the operating costs once its all constructed. :09

Learn how you can help make the new Game Warden Training Center a reality when you go to

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

To learn about the New Game Warden Training Center, click here.

Texas Game Warden Academy

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

The facilities at the current Texas Game Warden Academy are limited.

We’re on about six point two five acres in downtown Austin. We have a dormitory; we have a classroom; and we have an administrative office. Other than that, we do a little physical training.

Randy Odom is Chief of Training. The center is next to an Austin neighborhood, so most training is off site – and that presents challenges to instructors and cadets alike.

Currently if we have someone that say, for instance, has a problem with firearms training, we have to schedule the range, go after hours, go on the weekends.

Odom says accessing off site training locations involves hours on the road that could be spent honing skills.

We are in the process now of calculating all of our travel time. We have to travel to a range, from a range. It costs us per diem to pay cadets to be out of county for firing range access. Travel time is built into there, so it cuts into our training time.

The firing range is only one aspect of cadet training that occurs away from the Academy. But that’s about to change.

This facility in Hamilton County, which was donated to us by the Police Activities League out of Houston, is about two-hundred and twenty four acres.

We’ll tell you all about the new Game Warden Training Center tomorrow.

Until then, that’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Outdoor Families: Unplugged

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

If you didn’t grow up spending time outdoors, you may have concerns about what it takes to enjoy nature.

There’s a lot of misconception that it’s much more complicated – that it’s not safe. And all those aren’t true, but if someone hasn’t take you out, or hasn’t shown you the opposite, that could really prevent you from taking your family.

Ashley Mathews oversees the Outdoor Families program for Parks and Wildlife. The program offers families opportunities to participate in overnight camp outs where they’ll learn skills to help them get them most out of their experience.

We also want to make sure that these families know how to feed themselves; that’s really important. It’s one thing to get out there, but once you’re out there and you don’t know what to do to get yourselves fed, that’s no fun. So, we have them cook for themselves; we always have a campfire and s’mores – the traditional things we think about camping. And we usually try to take a night hike with the kids.

Although many activities are for the kiddos.…

We don’t forget the parents. We’re going to make you get in a kayak, we’re going to put a fly rod in your hand; we don’t want you to just sit on the sidelines and watch your kid have fun. We want you to get as enthusiastic and as excited about the outdoors as they are.

Find the next outdoor family adventure at

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Outdoor Families

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

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

A generation ago, families spent some part of every day together outdoors. That doesn’t happen as much today; Ashley Mathews says that may have to do with location.

My generation of adults have typically been raised in urban settings, and unless we were involved in scouting, have not often been taught those basic outdoor skills that we might have learned on the farms, or out on our families ranches.

Mathews oversees the Outdoor Families program for Parks and Wildlife.

Now that we have children — young children – we might not feel capable of taking them on these outdoor experiences, or we might feel a little foolish is we didn’t excel at it.

A typical Outdoor Family event includes an overnight family camp out, where families learn the skills they need to get the most from their outdoor experience.

It’s a two-day event; we usually start early on Saturday mornings and run through Sunday about lunchtime. Saturday afternoon we break up and go to various classes of their choosing…everything from fly-fishing, to fishing basics, to camping, air rifle, archery, kayaking, and then we have a lot of youth nature activities as well. And then we transition the group to a camp out experience.

We’ll have more about Outdoor Families tomorrow.

That’s our show for today… with support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program… working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

TPW December Magazine Preview

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

It won’t be long before the holidays are here. And this month, Louie Bond, Managing Editor of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, previews the December issue, which is sure to get any outdoor enthusiast thinking about their wish list.

In December we’ll take a look at what might be under our reader’s Christmas trees. And if they’ve been nice and not naughty, they might get something wonderful like the hydro-jet canoe: a seventeen foot fiber glass craft with a gas motor that weighs only a hundred and ten pounds, and goes five hours on one gallon of gas. So you’ll never have to get tired of paddling again.

Or, perhaps Santa will slip something smaller in their stocking like a buck knife like an LED light. And, you won’t have to wait until spring to use those gifts if you’re one of our featured families that spend Christmas in State Parks.

Imagine sitting out by a campfire on Christmas Eve. One family bakes pies in their cabin. And even has a timed hike that brings them back at precisely the right moment when the pies are coming out of the oven. It’s easy to see why they describe it as a magical experience, and the come back year after year.

The December issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is on newsstands now.

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.