Archive for September, 2011

Cedar Hill Anniversary and Fall Festival

Friday, September 30th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, or need a reason for a road trip, our State park guide Bryan Frazier recommends a day at Cedar Hill State Park.

That park is really a neat place. It sits on Joe Pool reservoir, and it borders on Dallas and Tarrant county; you’re across the lake from the city of Grand Prairie.

You can actually see the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium from inside Cedar Hill SP.

And not only do we have lots of improvements, we have full hook-up loops and camping there with sewer connections. But we’re also going to do the 20th Anniversary and Fall Harvest Heritage Festival coming up October 22.

There’s going to be food and drink vendors, a musician, lots of outdoor activities from climbing to mountain biking to kayaking and fishing. There will be tours of Penn Farm, which is a historic site within the park there. And that’s going to start at 11 AM and go to 6 PM on Saturday, October 22. And adult entrance fees will be lowered to three dollars and children ages 12 and under are always free at state parks.

So, check out the harvest heritage festival and 20th Anniversary celebration coming up in October—put it on your calendar.

Thanks, Bryan!

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet…building dependable, reliable trucks for more than 90 years.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Monarch Migration

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re already in the habit of admiring migrating monarchs—which will start arriving soon—then consider taking part in a citizen science project called Texas Monarch Watch.

:11—People can get involved with that by reporting their sightings. And they can go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife department website. Go under Texas Nature Trackers—and there’s a whole page with lots of information about it.

Michael Warriner, an invertebrate biologist at Parks and Wildlife, says there’s also a national Monarch Watch program that’s hands on.

:22—They want people to basically tag monarchs. You can order a tagging kit. And as you see monarchs, you can capture them with a butterfly net, and take one of these little tags and place it on the wing—there’s instructions and everything. What they’re trying to do is track where the monarchs were tagged and then when they come back, to kind of get an idea of how long the migration was and how long these things live. has more information and tagging kits. Warriner advises when catching monarchs or any butterfly to grasp only the outer edge of the front wing.

:06—Because the wings are covered in scales, and if they lose those scales it would maybe become harder to fly and so on.

They need those scales to make that long migration.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more information about monarch and even butterfly gardens.

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

Chronic Wasting Disease

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Animal health officials and wildlife biologists are concerned about Chronic Wasting Disease–or CWD–a fatal neurological disease found in deer and elk.

07—Chronic wasting disease is part of a disease family known as TSE’s, which is belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

Doug Humphreys is a wildlife biologist and big game specialist. He says CWD is nothing new.

05—It was in Colorado in the late 60’s early 70’s when it was first detected.

Other states report CWD among populations of free-ranging deer and elk. Once contracted, it may take years before animals become symptomatic. Humphreys says CWD is transmitted from animal to animal.

08—That makes it unique compared to the other TSE’s that have usually come from contaminated feed or are just spontaneous diseases.

So far, white-tailed deer in the lone star state are clean.

04—Thus far we have not detected a positive case in Texas.

Learn more about chronic wasting disease on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and works to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

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

TPW Magazine–Fall Hunting

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

After the brutal summer we endured, only cool fall temperatures can lure us from our homes. The October issue of TPW magazine reminds us why we love the outdoors. Editor, Louie Bond.

57— Well, we’re always interested in wild places at Texas Parks and Wildlife, and this month we’ll be taking a look at hunting camps with Henry Chappell, who I think is one of our most lyrical writers. And he talks about hunting camps as primitive as a campfire in the woods and little else, all the way to the palatial accommodations of a corrugated tin shack held together with mouse droppings and spider webs, as he describes it.

And while you’re out hunting, of course, you’re going to want to know what the conditions are this year. So, we have all of our biologists rounded up for their big forecast this year and although the drought’s been quite devastating across the state, it actually does mean some good numbers for a few species. So, I know readers will be interested in that.

And also Larry Hodge takes a look at Texas’ two last wild rivers: The Devil’s and the Neches, and efforts to keep them as wild, undammed rivers. So, we hope that you get outdoors whether you’re enjoying hunting or just the wild places that we love in Texas.

Thanks, Louie!

Read articles online at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Turbines and Bats

Monday, September 26th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Although a popular source of renewable energy, wind turbines are responsible for tens of thousands of bat deaths annually. Sometimes the animals fly into the structures or, because of the rapid pressure drop that occurs as air flows over the turbine blades, bats’ lungs become…let’s just say… damaged.

Ed Arnett, a conservation scientist at Bat Conservation International and coordinator of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, says he expects an increase in bat fatalities.

7.0—I do believe the threats to threatened and endangered species will increase as we enter into the range of those creatures.

As bats hunt for insects during low-wind periods, turning off the turbines during these times may save the animals.

11—By reducing the amount of operating hours during those low wind periods we reduce the fatalities of bats at least half and up to as high as 87 percent of the fatalities can be reduced.

Other solutions under development include white noise emitted from the turbine to possibly keep the bats away altogether.

12—Bat Conservation International certainly supports the development of renewable energy resources. But we want to do that wisely. And we don’t want to develop at the expense of today’s resources for tomorrow’s hopes.

Ultimately, Arnett says, animals need to be taken into consideration as we develop renewable energy.

That’s our show… with support from the SFWR Program, funded by your purchase of hunting and fishing equipment and motor boat fuel.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.