Archive for January, 2008

Outdoor Story: Judith Nees

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Waco resident, Judith Nees, is passionate about Atlanta State Park in east Texas. She calls it a hidden gem, and says it is priceless.

Atlanta State Park has so much to offer. What I liked the most was the tent camping areas were spacious enough from each other that you would never know that you even had a neighbor for the way they’re designed.

The park rangers there are very knowledgeable about the historical angle of the park. It was a Caddoan settlement at one time. There are mounds there from our understanding, but they are protected from the public, and I can understand why.

The park has both fire rings as well as griddles to grill on. They offer electricity and water. We noticed the restrooms are very, very nice. They each have showers in them—very clean. And it’s just a nice park settled in East Texas.

With hiking and interpretive nature trails—in addition to fishing and swimming—Judith says everyone can find something to love about Atlanta SP.

Do you have a favorite state park you want to tell us about, or outdoor experience you want to share? Go to, and click on the tab for Outdoor Stories.

That’s our show…Remember: Life’s Better Outside…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

SurfRider: Surfers Making A Differece

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Looking to catch some waves this winter?

The rule of thumb in Texas is, the farther South you go, the nicer the water is and the bigger the waves are.

Rick Thomsen is the chapter chair of the Central Texas Chapter of Surfrider, an environmental organization that raises awareness about ocean related issues through its members’ passion for surfing. We caught up with him in October at Texas Parks and Wildlife EXPO.

We’re always concerned about clean water, so we’re interested in our watersheds. But one of the bigger issues in Texas is access to our beaches because we have some of the highest erosion rates in the United States. So what happens, if there’s irresponsible development and houses are too close to the beach and then the beaches erode – a lot of house s end up actually on the beach and then we have an access issue.

Access is a major concern for Surfrider’s surfer and non-surfer members alike. Luckily…

Texas has one of the strongest beach access laws on the books. It’s the Texas Open Beaches Act. Everybody has access from the low tide line to the mean high tide line and then we actually have an easement up into the grass line.

For more information on beach access and on the SurfRider organization, visit

That’s our show…with research and writing help from Kate Lipinski… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.


Environmental Corps

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Environmental Corps is an AmeriCorps program,, helping to preserve and restore state parks and empower people. We caught up with them at this year’s EXPO.

Actually, someone came by the booth from San Antonio. He’s in a hiking organization and he said they’ve already been on six of our trails.

Donald Jackson is a volunteer with Environmental Corps.

We do a lot of work with local non-profits that are involved with the environment. We do work with local schools on environmental education. We do work with some community gardens.

Invasive species removal and trail building are two major E-corps projects.

Invasive species removal means a lot of chain sawing. So we’ll spend about seven hours sawing down cedar trees and anything else that is sort of invasive and not supposed to be in a site and dragging it and piling it up. So a lot of hard work. When we’re doing trail building, it’s more sort of fun and interesting. We do a lot of rock hauling and we try and use a lot of found materials. We just use whatever rocks and logs we can get from the area.

E-Corps has statewide impact; Teresa Turlick is another volunteer

We go around the state doing conservation work in different parks. We had a spike trip out to Big Bend earlier this year, one out to Possum Kingdom.

More information about E-Corps is available at That’s our show…with research and writing help from Kate Lipinski… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

American Youthworks, Environmental Corps:

Drive Clean Across Texas

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

With over 100 state parks and historic sites to explore, many Texans may find themselves lured into their vehicles to drive the open road. But traveling by car has its downsides. Air pollution is becoming a serious problem in Texas and vehicle emissions are a major contributor to the problem.

You don’t have to drive a hybrid to make a difference in lowering emissions.

Michelle Hoelscher (HOLE-sure) works for the Texas Transportation Institute and the Drive Clean Across Texas Campaign.

Poor air quality and other environmental exposure really aggravates asthma, lung disease, heart disease.

Drive Clean Across Texas has come up with five basic steps people can take to help improve air quality.

Maintain your vehicle, drive less, buy a cleaner vehicle if you can, drive the speed limit and reduce idling. And if people could just do two of the five things like maintain your vehicle and reduce your idling – it would go a long way to help reduce vehicle emissions.

To find out more about how you can drive cleaner across Texas, visit at

That’s our show…with research and writing help from Kate Lipinski… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Trout Stocking: Where & How Many

Friday, January 18th, 2008

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

If you’re looking for a great winter angling opportunity, look no further than nearby lakes that have received a delivery of rainbow trout.

We’ll be stocking a hundred and twenty different sites this season. That may change by one or two, because the program can change during the year, but our schedule is for one hundred and twenty locations.

Carl Kittel coordinates the trout-stocking program for Parks and Wildlife. Winter trout stocking takes place December through March. District fisheries biologists make the decisions about which lakes receive trout, and how many they receive.

And they each are familiar with the lakes in their area, and generally work with cities and counties to develop a program that’s most effective for each area.

Kittel says Inland fisheries plans to stock just under 275-thousand rainbow trout in Texas waters.

A large number of the fish we stock, in fact over 100-thousand, are purchased by our partners; usually the cities or counties we’re working with. So, we work in combination with local governments to determine the right amount, and to cooperatively fund buying them as well.

Find a link to the rainbow trout stocking schedule on our website,

That’s our show…with support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program…which also provides funding for winter trout stocking in Texas…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Trout Stocking Schedule

Free Fishing in State Parks