Life’s Better Outside – Fall Edition 2012

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
header for LBO: hills, river, sky

In this issue: Bastrop Needs 4 Million Trees. You Can Help. | Take Home Some Trophy Photos | Make a Date with Some Birds | Meet the TPWD Fire Team | Chronic Wasting Disease Moves into Texas | "Fall" Into A State Park near You | Game Warden Field Notes Latest Installment | Itty Bitty Wildlife: Know Your Ants | Anglers, Hunters Boost 75 Years of Conservation

Bastrop Needs 4 Million Trees. You Can Help.

table with loblolly pine seedinlings
Almost all of Bastrop State Park is open for fall camping, hiking and more, and much of the park has come back greener.

This fall the Arbor Day Foundation launched a multi-year project to add even more green — planting more than 4 million trees to restore the Lost Pines forest. Watch a video about this public/ private partnership.

Each dollar donated will plant one loblolly pine seedling. Each of us can help by donating or volunteering. Learn more about Bastrop State Park wildfire recovery and visitor opportunities.

Take a walk through the park with Chet Garner in “Return to Bastrop,”   a segment from the popular TV show, The Daytripper. 

Take Home Some Trophy Photos

bald cypress in foreground, creek in background
Looking through a camera lens can help us slow down and appreciate the scene before us. But sometimes the resulting images lack the zing we had hoped for.

A few simple and time-tested rules can help more successfully capture and preserve those naturally beautiful discoveries. Check out the rule of thirds, learn about leading lines, and sharpen your visual awareness with useful tips from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine photographer Earl Nottingham. 

Find more photography tips online and in each issue of the magazine.

Make a Date with Some Birds

two birders staring intently, 1 with binoculars
Texas is a very birdy place. From hawks to hummers, fall brings a parade of migrating birds for our enjoyment. To find out where to see them, read “Fall Feathers”  in the August/September issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

The Texas coast is a birding hot spot from August through November, and state parks are excellent places to take your binoculars for a birding workout.

Need help identifying the birds?  State park staff and volunteers host frequent birding activities from recurring walks and talks to special events.  See the  online calendar for “Birds, Bats & More” to find a listing of all of the wonderful bird walks, owl prowls, bird identification classes and more offered at state parks, including the World Birding Centers.

Meet the TPWD Fire Team

2 firefighters fighting flames in woods
What’s it like to be on the fire line in a fiery summer such as 2011, working to save homes, colleagues and communities? No one knows better than the Fire Team at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which received the 2012 Employee Award for Outstanding Team. In their own words, in this video, they tell of their experiences from Possum Kingdom to Bastrop and why they do what they do. No wonder they’re our heroes.

Chronic Wasting Disease Moves into Texas

mule deer in grass
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was found in mule deer populations in far west Texas this summer as part of an ongoing strategic CWD surveillance plan implemented by state wildlife officials.

This neurological disease is 100% fatal in deer, elk, moose and other cervids, has no known cure, and can spread through natural movements or transportation of infected animals or carcasses.  Deer and other cervids may become infected with CWD by animal-to-animal contact or by animal contact with a contaminated environment.

State wildlife officials continue to conduct close monitoring and testing. Proposed rules restricting deer movement into or from areas in which CWD has been discovered as well as areas for which there is a moderate to high probability that the disease exists undetected will be considered in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission’s November meeting.

Additional information, including maps of the Containment and High Risk Zones, check station locations and other details will be made available on the TPWD website prior to the mule deer season.  

“Fall” Into a State Park Near You

adult, child sit on boulder above woodsy creek
Road trip time! Beautiful scenery, seasonal color, and cool breezes are coming to a state park near you. Fall is a great time to visit a state park, whether you pack your favorite picnic and spend the day, or throw in your sleeping bag for a night under the stars. Take a hike or take a nap — but why choose? Cozy piney woods or a big western sky all await.

Find a park destination and check out the events calendar for things to do when you get there. Make your overnight reservations online, by fax, or by phone before you go.

Game Warden Field Notes Latest Installment

game warden teaching 2 kids
Tired of your desk job? Take a break and appreciate the work of Texas Game Wardens in these latest Game Warden Field Notes.

Really, we don’t make this stuff up. In situations that are interesting, sometimes humorous and often life-threatening, they take a serious approach, frequently laying their lives on the line to protect citizens and wildlife and to enforce hunting and boating regulations.

Itty Bitty Wildlife: Know Your Ants

hundreds of harvester ants at their mound
Take a really close up look at the Texas landscape and see … ants. The red harvester ant, seen at work in this video, is easy to love. They’re best known as the primary food for the iconic native and increasingly rare Texas horned lizard.

The all-too-familiar red imported fire ant inflicts a memorable bite and can destroy songbird eggs and young wildlife.

A recent arrival under close watch is the Rasberry crazy ant which has only been found in the state of Texas since 2002. Its story in this country is still unfolding.  But in other countries they are a devastating pest, aggravating and displacing all other ant species, song birds and small animal species. These ants are even displacing red imported fire ants in areas of heavy infestation.

Read more about the Rasberry crazy ant in this brochure.

Anglers, Hunters Boost 75 Years of Conservation

fathr and son fishing on lake
Imagine a nationwide coalition saying “please tax us; we want to pay federal taxes.” Such a thing seems inconceivable today, but that’s essentially what happened starting 75 years ago when hunters and anglers called for what became the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs (WSFR).

They were motivated by dire peril. By the late 1800s, America was on a runaway train barreling toward a natural resource disaster — and most people didn’t even know it. While we were busy creating the richest and most powerful nation in the world, we were also laying waste to its natural abundance. Read more in this story.

Yet by the early 1900s, a handful of conservation-minded free-thinkers emerged with the political will to save America’s natural treasures. They were, by and large, America’s hunters and anglers. Today’s hunters and anglers, with their purchases of hunting and fishing gear and licenses, continue to support the conservation of wild places and creatures, making possible great outdoor recreation for all of us.

Thank you for your conservation gift to all of us.
Toyota Texas Bass Classic 2012 promo
Thanks to the following sponsors and partners:
toyota ad
Nature Rocks