Archive for the 'TPW Mag' Category

Laughter Lifted Spirits on a Mountain

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Image by Tyler Priest

Image by Tyler Priest

This is Passport to Texas

Tom Harvey had a personal reason for backpacking the rugged Rancherias Loop at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Well, frankly, I turned 60, and I wanted to do some adventures before I got too old.

Tall, lean and fit, Harvey is deputy communications director at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Joining him on the hike were 10 former state park youth ambassadors, all more than half his age.

It’s really, really beautiful to meet these young people that are just drawn to nature and wilderness. A lot of them are newbies to this—but they’re drawn to it.

Tom shares his experience in the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

We settled on this because it seemed like something that was a big adventure, but doable. And the trail had been blazed. There was a clear route. And it was a classic that hadn’t been written about much in the magazine—so I thought: why not? You know, we’ll write about the Rancherias Loop.

No stranger to wilderness backpacking, Tom says the first night they scrambled to set up camp ahead of a storm.

Well, it was scary when it was happening. We barely got those tents up when the rain hit. And it was blowing a gale. It was very tense.

Find out what happened to the backpackers in the January/February of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine; on newsstands now.

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

TPW Magazine: Hiking the Rancherias Loop

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
Rancherias

Photo: Emily Lozano

This is Passport to Texas

Tom Harvey, deputy communications director at Texas Parks and Wildlife, planned several wilderness adventures to celebrate turning 60 last year.

Well, I did one. So at least I got something.

That one: backpacking the Rancherias Loop in Far West Texas with alumni from the state park youth ambassador program. He wrote about it for the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. Near the end of the first day, Tom said an approaching storm forced the group to stop, set up camp and take cover.

We barely got those tents up when the rain hit. And it was blowin’ a gale. It was very tense; because the wind was so powerful, it would blow the tent entirely flat, like a giant hand was mashing it down. So, I’d be lying there on my back in my sleeping bag and the tent would come flapping down right onto my face. It was scary. I was really concerned that the wind was so strong that it was just going to peel those tents right off the mountain. And so here I was in my tent—not a happy camper—and what do I hear, but laughter. In the next tent over, there are these three young ladies, and I can hear them giggling. When the big wind would come and blow the tent flat, they would howl with laughter. And it shook me out of my black worry. And I thought to myself, they’re choosing to laugh in the face of this storm. It just lifted my spirits.

Read about the entire three day, two night backpacking adventure in the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

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

TPW Magazine–After Hurricane Harvey

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
Game Wardens evacuating flood victims after Hurricane Harvey. Image by Earl Nottingham.

Game Wardens evacuating flood victims after Hurricane Harvey. Image by Earl Nottingham.

This is Passport to Texas

The November issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine includes stories from Hurricane Harvey. But that wasn’t the original plan.

By the time we write about something, send it off to press, get it back—months can go by. So, we had to really fast-track this November issue, and decided to remove a couple of stories. We don’t have our usual travel feature or our wander list.

Editor, Louie Bond, says she wanted to tell the story of Harvey from the Texas Parks and Wildlife standpoint.

We decided to forego all of the stuff that people had been seeing over and over again and just tell our own story—and that’s what we did. So, we told the story from the perspective of game wardens and rescuers, from those who were being rescued. And the impact, of course, on state parks, wildlife management areas, and wildlife, itself.

Read about Game Warden Dustin Dockery, who spent days helping others, as his own home was consumed by floodwaters. Hear from Texas Parks and Wildlife Photographer Earl Nottingham, who also covered Hurricanes Ike and Katrina.

And I asked him what was different about Harvey. And he said he believed that the Texas spirit had never been more present. People would see the logo on his truck, and they would pull up with boats in the back of their trucks and say: Where can we go? What can we do? As the crisis is happening. They didn’t waste a moment.

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

Our show receives funding from Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

TPW Magazine — Texas Brigades

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
Learning conservation with Texas Brigades.

Learning conservation with Texas Brigades.

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Brigades is a wildlife and natural resource focused leadership development program for youth, 13 to 17.

Texas Brigades has been around for 25 years. It started out as Bobwhite Brigade back in 1993, and then it just kind of morphed.

It’s morphed into is eight summer camps, each with a different conservation focus. Aubry Buzek [Byu-zik] wrote about the Brigades for the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

What was really interesting is that these camps are not necessarily about learning about one particular species. At Bobwhite Brigade, they were learning a lot about quail—and they had biologists there teaching them about quail. But that wasn’t the overall goal of the program. It was about being comfortable with public speaking, comfortable talking with their peers. Debating.

These five-day intensive camps incorporate military marching and cadence, and introduce students to experts and activities that challenge and

I talked to a lot of parents after graduation and they were like, ‘Who is this kid?’ I saw it too. That confidence. A lot of parents said they didn’t expect their kid to know just so much. But, in addition to that knowledge, these kids are loud, and they’re marching, and they make a lot of friends. It really is a transformative camp.

Read Aubry Buzek’s story about the Texas Brigades in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

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

TPW Magazine — The New Natives

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
Some things never change.

Some things never change.

This is Passport to Texas

There’s a provocative article in the July issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine I want to tell you about. In it, author Russell Roe essentially explores evolution.

He writes that the mix of plants and animals you see around you is not what people saw 100 years ago, and it won’t be what people will see 100 years from now. He asks us to consider that “99.99 percent of all species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct.”

This thought-provoking article explains how humans are accelerating ecological change by removing established species, introducing new species, and by diverting the flow of water, among other things. He writes that by doing so, humans are rapidly changing the playing field for life in Texas.

In the article The New Natives [changed to New in Town] in the July issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, Russell Roe tells readers it’s difficult to untangle the web of cause-and-effect that led to the mix of species we see today, adding that iconic species that once defined the character of natural regions have been lost not only from the landscape, but also from the collective memory of generations of Texans.

He closes the article by putting the spotlight on three of Texas’ iconic species to illustrate how they have changed and adapted over time.

Find The New Natives in the July issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is on newsstands now.

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