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Wildfires devastating to wildlife, Sighted In newsletter
Texas Wildlife Association

April, 2011

final SIGHTED IN heading3. cropped.jpg

April 27, 2011 

Texas wildfires devastating to wildlife; 8000 fires reported across state        

With Texas in the grips of a drought and wildfires occurring across the state, wildlife experts expect devastating effects on many animals and birds in some counties, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Prescribed burns and small accidental fires produce beneficial results to plants by removing weeds, providing sunlight-dependent vegetation with more sun and removing parasites, such as ticks, fleas and flies. Large wildfires like the one that continues in Palo Pinto County around Possum Kingdom Lake, however, can have long-lasting negative impacts.

The stage was set over the last two to three years for many Texas wildfires in a number of West Texas counties, said rancher and hunting outfitter Skipper Anderson of San Angelo. "It was a perfect storm waiting to happen," Anderson said. "We have had extraordinary rains for the last two to three summers that created a lot of new grass and other vegetation, which helps fuel the fires."

The U.S. Forest Service has reported 8,000 fires in Texas this year, involving all but two of the state's 254 counties. Click here for the full article.

Agriculture Commissioner Staples to address TWA members at convention 

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples is a featured keynote speaker at the General Session on Saturday, July 9, at WildLife 2011, in San Antonio.

Todd StaplesThe announcement this week of Staples' attendance is the most recent development for WildLife 2011, July 7-10, the Texas Wildlife Association's largest and most celebrated event of the year.

Staples is the 11th Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and was re-elected in November 2010 to serve a second four-year term in this statewide elected office. As leader of the Texas Department of Agriculture, Commissioner Staples is diligent in his efforts to support private sector job creation and economic development across the Lone Star State; improve consumer protection from the grocery store to the gas pump; lead true eminent domain reform in Texas; and play an enormous role in continuing to improve the healthy lifestyles of young Texans. 

Click here for the online convention registration website, a new feature and offering for this year's event. Click here for a copy of the convention registration form to complete and mail/fax to the TWA headquarters office.

WildLife 2011 is at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. Reduced full registration for the convention and a lower overnight room rate at the JW Marriott await all WildLife 2011 attendees. Click here for online hotel reservations.

Texana Outdoor Expo offers activities and exhibits for entire family

The 2nd Annual Texana Outdoor Expo is Saturday, May 21, in Edna, with numerous hands-on exhibits and a great opportunity to introduce families, children and individuals to outdoor activities and raise environmental awareness. 

The Texana Outdoor Expo is presented by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Expo is at the Brackenridge Main Event Center in Edna. 

Some of the activities on May 21 include a skeet shooting range, archery, bass fishing demonstrations, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Wall of Shame, rock climbing walls, and much more. Also returning this year will be the Texas Zoo and Texas State Aquarium.   

Click here for details and more information.

Jury rules for landowner in dog shooting trial involving hunting dogs  

A jury ruled that Cooke County landowner Everett "Mel" Durrett was not negligent when he shot two hunting dogs who apparently wandered onto his property during a 2008 raccoon hunt, according to the Longview News-Journal.

Bob Boyd and Ricky Lynch filed suit against Durrett, charging that the Cooke County man failed to use ordinary caution when he stepped outside his home and shot the dogs which were worth an estimated $20,000 each.

Boyd and Johnnie Dennis - whom Lynch had hired to handle his dog, Junk - were participating in a UKC-sanctioned raccoon hunt.

On the night of the hunt, the dogs Dixie and Junk were apparently trailing a raccoon near the Durrett property northeast of Callisburg when Boyd and Dennis lost sight of their animals. Click here for the full article.    

Salinas named Texas State Conservationist for USDA-NRCS

Salvador Salinas has been selected as Texas’ State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), effective April 24, 2011.

He will be responsible for NRCS operations in Texas, which includes 764 employees and 217 field offices throughout the state. NRCS is a federal agency that works with private landowners on conservation practices to improve and protect their soil, water and other natural resources.

The Texas Wildlife Association supported the recommendation of Salinas as State Conservationist.

“I am extremely honored to be selected as the state conservationist. We face challenging times ahead, and together we will continue to work hard to serve our customers with technical expertise on the land,” Salinas said.

Salinas was serving as Texas’ acting state conservationist. He succeeds Donald W. Gohmert, who retired from NRCS in 2010 after serving 3 ½ years as state conservationist. Salinas also has served as Acting State Conservationist in Florida and Michigan, Assistant State Conservationist in Massachusetts and Texas, and Deputy State Conservationist in Texas.



Mark Your Calendar 

Wildlife for Lunch Webinar Series
May 19 - Dove Management
June 16 - Texas Deer Lease

Life's Better Outside Experience
May 6-8, Fort Worth

WildLife 2011
July 7-10, 2011, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa

Congress puts limits on lead in legislative cross hairs

Aiming squarely at guarding the rights of sportsmen and America's ammo, bait and tackle shops, a powerful group of congressmen is pushing back against environmentalists and any federal regulation that would restrict the use of lead in outdoor gear, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Congress rarely tackles hunting and fishing issues, but 39 lawmakers from 25 states — including two from Texas — are sponsoring the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act of 2011 to prevent environmental organizations from hijacking obscure Environmental Protection Agency rules that could be used to force sportsmen to switch to nontoxic alternatives in bullets and fishing equipment.

"This was a case of the EPA getting into areas that are managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and state wildlife agencies," added Kirby Brown, vice president of public policy for the Texas Wildlife Association. Click here for the full article. 

Saving Family Lands Seminar scheduled in two Texas cities 

The Texas Agricultural Land Trust is presenting two seminars in June regarding “Saving Family Lands: Land conservation, tax planning and financial strategies for landowners and their advisors.” 

The seminars feature tax expert and attorney Stephen J. Small. Small is the nation’s leading authority on private land protection options and the resulting federal benefits and estate planning advantages. Small helped to write and implement the federal tax code sections that address conservation easements and how they may reduce federal tax burdens.

Today, he assists landowners and their advisors with ways to protect valued family lands, including preparing for the next generation of ownership. 

Wednesday, June 22
1:30 - 5:30 p.m.
The Houstonian Hotel, 111 North Post Oak Ln

Thursday, June 23
1:30 -  5:30 p.m.
The Amarillo Club at Chase Tower, 600 S. Tyler Street 

Click here for details and to regsiter online.

The Texas Wildlife Association is a sponsor of the Saving Family Lands Seminar.   

TWA welcomes new members!
   Chris Adams, Henderson
Jennie Aluis, Shelbyville
Brandi Andreatos, Houston
Ken Baker, McAllen
E. J. Bammert, Goliad
David Bird, San Antonio
J. Michael Bird, Center
Mark Bird, Henderson
Michael Bird, Center
John Black, Center
Jolene Busby, Center
Ally Busse, Lyford
Julia Busse, Harlingen
Rick Campbell, Center
Logan Chesney, Austin
Alvin Clark, Fredericksburg
Kevin Coffman, Nacogdoches
William Cooper, Kerrville
Stephen Crawford, Spring
Michael Cruson, Argyle
Cynthia Dillard, Boerne
Michael Dunlap, Dripping Springs
Chad Dwarshus, Helotes
Sheila Evans, Center
Gary Forbus, Dallas
Kelsey Garcia, Harlingen
Courtney Greer, Center
Justin Grubbs, San Antonio
Robert Gurley, Del Rio
Paula Hawkins, Cypress
Bryan Henson, Waco
Michael Herrington, Alice
Nathan Ingram, Houston
Mark Ivey, Center
Dan Johnson, Lufkin
Lynn Johnson, Center
Gary Kelly, Hallettsville
Chance Kimbrough, Nacogdoches
Joe Klimple, Katy
Anthony Lowey, Jacksboro
Molly Magee, Cypress
Matthew Manship, Kingsville
Matthew Mettauer, Center
Matthew Neuman, College Station
Howard Parker, Dallas
Matt Paul, Abilene
Bobby Pittman, Castroville
David Powell, Longview
Scott Redding, Austin
William Reimann, Fort Worth
Michele Robinson, San Benito
Buddy Ruffeno, Flynn
Jim Sawyer, Center
Chris Smith, Abilene
Kara Smith, Harlingen
Simon Solis, San Antonio
Hayley Steele, Nacogdoches
Yvonne Taylor, Houston
Carly Thomas, Harlingen
Scott Toeppich, Mason
Kevin Townsend, Spring
Larry Tucker, Farmers Branch
Malcolm Weaver, Center
Keith Webb, Joaquin
JefferyWells, San Antonio
Brandon Wilcox, North Richland Hills
Deuce Wulf, Center
Dennis Yeager,



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