Archive for July, 2012

Hunting: HIP Certification

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan on hunting migratory game birds in Texas this fall, you need to be HIP – HIP certified, that is. HIP stands for Harvest Information Program.

15—It’s purpose is to gain information on waterfowl and migratory bird hunters nationwide. Basically a name and address and a little bit about their previous year’s hunting activity—as well as what they plan on hunting what they plan on hunting in the upcoming year.

Kevin Kraai is Waterfowl Program Leader. He says the HIP program helps wildlife professionals improve resource management practices as well as track various waterfowl populations throughout the country.

05—It’s a very useful tool in setting the future year hunting regulations and management decisions.

Being a HIP certified waterfowl hunter isn’t just a good idea—it’s the law.

11—Officially it is a requirement by law that every individual that plans on hunting migratory birds in the state of Texas us HIP certified. If you are not HIP certified and you are hunting migratory game birds, you are subject to game violations.

We have a link to information about becoming HIP certified at

The Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series and is celebrating 75 years of funding diverse conservation projects throughout Texas…

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

State Parks: Aplomado Falcon Release

Monday, July 30th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

After disappearing from parts of Texas almost 50 years ago, steps are being taken to restore the endangered falcon to its native range—and one state park will play a role in this effort. Our State park Guide, Bryan Frazier has more.

62—We had some habitat destruction and just practices that we just weren’t aware of what we were doing as a culture that ended up impacting these birds of prey. Well, in the years and decades since, we’ve been able to learn from our mistakes, and we’ve been able to bring back some of the beautiful, magnificent birds of prey to the south Texas coast. You’ve got an existing population of about thirty-five or so nesting Aplomado falcons, and we’re now putting more in at mustang island SP. It’s a real creative task force effort from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Peregrine Fund, and Texas Parks and Wildlife, the National Park Service, and all these groups and agencies that have interest in protecting and preserving our resources are bringing back these birds. They’re putting them up on these ten and twelve foot platforms called hack sites, and they’re putting chicks in there; getting the acclimated to the habitat, getting the ready to leave the nest and help fill some of those habitat gaps in between existing populations. And Mustang Island State Park’s right near Corpus—along a key part of the shoreline. It’s a great place to get those birds back where they belong.

Thanks Bryan

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Legacies: Garaldine Watson

Friday, July 27th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Beginning in the 1960’s Geraldine Watson, a self-trained botanist from Silsbee, Texas, worked tirelessly with the Big Thicket Association to persuade government officials to pass a bill that would create a national park from land in southeast Texas known as The Big Thicket. Her path was fraught with twists, turns and roadblocks – some of which came from preservation proponents.

56—Well, like every other organization, everybody involved had their own ideas about what needed to be done. There was a faction that wanted ten thousand acres in what we call the traditional thicket – which is dense thickety wetland. And then there was another faction that was interested in the ecological Big Thicket. And it was sort of a war that went on between the proponents of the preserve at the time. And we all really wanted to see the bill passed. And we realized that it would never get passed as long as we were fighting one another. We did manage to get together and come to a compromise with something to present to the park service and to congress to where we could all stand together on it. So it came down to a plan of a number of different scattered units amounting to – oh, I forget – seventy-something-thousand acres. But we managed to work together in the end.

The Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series and is celebrating 75 years of funding diverse conservation projects throughout Texas…

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

Outdoor Story: Philipp Hubner

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories from TP and Wildlife

Philipp Hübner, from Austin, spent his formative years in Tennessee. His outdoor story is about the value of befriending landowners.

One of the things that strikes me about the great outdoors is there are so many beautiful places that are on private lands.

One of the places that comes to mind is in Central Tennessee, up in the Cumberland Mountains, a place called Hardscrabble Falls, which a friend of mine and I had heard about, but could never find on any maps or any places official.

And we finally got some information, where we approached a gentleman by the name of Herman Rector, and asked him about this place. And he said, ‘Oh, yes, indeed it is in my land. And, if you would like to go out and see it, just follow this trail, and once you hear it roaring you will know where you are.’

From there we cultivated a relationship with him, and we were allowed to come in, really, whenever we wanted to. We would show up on a weekend with our camping gear, and head up to the top of the falls, and pitch camp, and have a nice fire, and a great evening or a great weekend.

And, from there, we just really grew to appreciate the relationships that people can build with other people that might have beautiful scenery and other attractions on their own private land. So, I’d encourage anybody that has the opportunity to do that, by all means do it. And, enjoy what’s out there.

Thanks, Philipp. Visit and tell us your outdoor story.

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

Wildlife: Interacting With Wild Critters

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Most of us get pretty excited over wildlife—even the critters we find in our own backyards. Richard Heilbrun, with Wildlife Diversity says contact with these creatures enriches our lives.

62—The best thing to take with you when you go into wildlife habitat is something to enjoy wildlife with—whether it’s a digital camera, or a pair of binoculars, or a field guide. That way you can observe the wildlife, learn a little bit about it, and maybe even have some fun in terms of a challenge, or a game, or a scavenger hunt.

I’m intrigued by this scavenger hunt idea. Tell us how we might do something like that.

Well, one of my favorite things to do with young kids is to give them a set of objectives. I want you to find a bug. For older kids, I want you to find a butterfly, I want you to find a moth, I want you to find this kind of caterpillar…I want you to observe ten different types of songbirds, and I tell me what they eat by what kind of bill they have. When you give them a challenge it becomes a game, and they get into it and they get excited. Before you know it, they spent their whole day interacting with nature; searching, discovering, developing a sense of wonder with wildlife. And that sense of discovery is what endears them to nature and wildlife and conservation as adults.

The Wildlife and sport fish restoration program supports our series and is celebrating 75 years of funding diverse conservation projects throughout Texas…

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