Archive for June, 2013

Living History: Sauer Beckmann Farm

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm

Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm

This is passport to Texas

The Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm in Stonewall offers visitors a glimpse of life at a turn of the [20th] century Texas German farmstead. Virginia Grona is a site interpreter.

Interpretation for us here at the farm is actually living life early nineteen hundreds to about nineteen eighteen.

That includes wearing period clothing, cooking on a wood stove, tending farm animals, and whatever needs doing on the farm…without the convenience of motorized farm equipment, running water or electricity.

We’re doing it all because we want the visitors to see life like it would have been before electricity and running water. So, we literally work it with those limitations.

Women’s work was extremely physical then, says Grona, and, she adds, those gals were tough.

And you had to be. But everybody was. A lot of people say, well, I couldn’t have done it, but I say, you didn’t have a choice. You had better than your mother had, hopefully, but you don’t know what’s coming, so you just live with what you had at the moment.

Although men and women had different farm jobs, when necessary, everyone worked together.

When things have to be done—whether it’s crops brought in or something major going on—everybody had to work together. That’s the only way a family is going to make it—when everybody’s working together.

Many hands make light work in any century.

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

Hunter Ed: Proposed Changes on Horizon

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Hunter Education

Hunter Education

This is Passport to Texas

People of all ages take Hunter Education, but…

09— For the most part it tends to be that middle-aged, young professional who wants to try hunting; they want to eat local – if you will – and know where their food source is coming from.

Robert Ramirez oversees the program. The certification class is mandatory for those born on or after September 2, 1971. Currently it’s two days and ten hours of classroom instruction or home study with a field day. Yet, Ramirez says there’s a proposal to add more options.

07— We’re going to embrace the technology that’s out there. It’s dynamic; it’s no longer a static webpage where you’re just reading text.

The interactive program offers online skills tests – much like online learning technologies found on the internet currently. Opportunities also exist beyond the computer screen.

18— We’re going to offer some follow-up activities: mentored hunts, wildlife 101 type courses utilizing our wildlife staff, inland fisheries locations, state park locations, law enforcement … to have a follow up activity to the basic hunter education course that is optional.

The public can help shape the future of Hunter Education.

15— They’ll have the opportunity for comment on our Hunter Education proposal. And at that point, I encourage them to evaluate the changes, because the commission will rule in August.

There’s more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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.

Hunter Ed: Training Equals Safety in the Field

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Learning Hunter Safety

Learning Hunter Safety

This is Passport to Texas

Voluntary hunter education started in 1971 to satisfy requirements for Texans hunting in Colorado.

05— And so, that’s really the beginnings in Texas of a formal hunter education course.

Robert Ramirez, who oversees Hunter Education, says by 1987 this training program became mandatory in Texas with the first mandatory certifications occurring in 1988.

09— And at that point, if you had taken it voluntarily, we would recognize that. And, subsequently, our incident accident rate has dropped.

Ramirez says in 1968, Texas recorded 105 hunting accidents with 37 fatalities. Since mandatory hunter education, those numbers have dropped substantially.

20— Today, we’re below three incident accidents per hundred thousand. So, great strides [have been achieved] since it became mandatory. Who has to take it? Well, anyone who was born September 2, 1971 or later is required to have it, you are exempt if you were born before that.

Currently Hunter Ed involves a two day classroom experience, or a home study course. But if approved, online opportunities will expand.

23— We’re going to embrace the technology that’s out there. It’s dynamic; it’s no longer a static webpage – it’s interactive. And then you’re going to have the video aspect with broadband technology what it is right now, you can insert a lot of that dynamic video with professional actors to get the main, basic points of Hunter Ed across to the general public.

Tomorrow: You can determine the future of Hunter Ed.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series funded by your purchase of fishing & hunting equipment and motorboat fuel. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Boater Education: Saving Lives

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Image by Randall Chancellor

Image by Randall Chancellor

This is Passport to Texas

With more people enjoying Texas lakes and rivers, it’s important for everyone that boaters educate themselves on boating skills and seamanship. In 2011, the Texas legislature updated who must receive this training.

09— Any person born on or after September 1, 1993, must take boater education to operate certain vessels alone on the water.

Boater education coordinator, Tim Spice says, Boater Ed is beneficial for all new boaters because piloting a boat is different than driving a car.

14— The biggest difference new boaters don’t understand are brakes. There are no brakes on a boat; so a boat’s momentum will carry it to a stop. And you cannot change course if you have let off the power.

Boating fatalities in Texas remain constant – about 50 per year – since before mandatory boater education took effect; but Spice says that doesn’t take into account the substantial increase of boaters in the state.

07— The numbers have stayed constant, but the amount of use has gone up. So, you could deduct that people are safer out there on the water.

Spice offers a simple tip for staying safe on the water.

06— What I like to tell people is: the best thing you can do to be safe on the water is very simply just to wear a life jacket.

Find Boater Ed class information on the TPW website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program Supports our series and works to support fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

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

Boater Education: Then and Now

Monday, June 24th, 2013


This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Boater Education Program has stressed boating safety and responsibility for more than 30 years.

06— Boater education started with a little mail-in home study program called The Skipper’s Course back in the late 70s.

Tim Spice oversees the Boater Ed program at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Spice says the Skipper’s Course prevailed until 1997 when legislation passed mandating boater education.

17— If you remember when jet skis or personal watercraft started – that was in the mid-90s. And people were afraid about young people operating them with no education or training. So, the Texas Legislature and the public passed a law that teenagers 13 to 17 had to take boater ed.

The new Boater Ed program was modeled after TPW’s successful Hunter ED program, and standards established by the Coast Guard, through the National Association for State Boating Law Administrators.

12— And that’s the basis for the boater education program then and now. It’s a classroom course with a test at the end. It’s modernized little bit over the last five to ten years with online.

The legislative session of 2011 brought more changes to Texas boater education; and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Support provided by Ram Trucks. Doing what’s right and good regardless of the degree of difficulty — takes guts. Those are the people who build Ram trucks. RAM.

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