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Donations targeted for wildfire areas
Texas Wildlife Association

April, 2011

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April 15, 2011 

Eminent domain reform legislation approved by Texas House        

The Texas House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation on April 14 that strengthens private property rights and limits the state's power to take or condemn private property for public use. 

Representative Charlie Geren of Fort Worth sponsored the eminent domain reform bill, Senate Bill 18. Senator Craig Estes is the bill's author. Securing additional protections for private property owners against eminent domain abuse is a TWA legislative priority this session.  

The measure would change eminent domain laws by including provisions that would allow property owners to repurchase taken property and require the governmental body acquiring the land to make a bona fide offer to purchase property.

The bill also would prohibit a government or private entity from taking land that was not for a public use. The acquiring governmental entities would have to pay relocation expenses for displaced property owners and provide a relocation advisory service.

The House and Senate-approved versions of SB 18 now head to a conference committee for consideration.

Comptroller Combs, Wildlife Education Seminar featured at event  

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs is a featured speaker at the Texas Big Game Awards Statewide Sportsman's Celebration, and the convention's popular Wildlife Education Seminar will focus on "Texas Wildlife: The Next 25 Years." 

These are two of the most recent developments for WildLife 2011, July 7-10, in San Antonio, the Texas Wildlife Association's largest and most celebrated event of the year.

Comptroller Susan CombsCombs, a TWA Director, will speak on Friday, July 8, at the TBGA statewide evening banquet. 

The Wildlife Education Seminar theme of "Texas Wildlife: The Next 25 Years" on the morning of Saturday, July 9, will be divided into individual presentations by guest speakers on Conservation, Policy, and Relevance. 

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.

Re-Born to the Land conferences scheduled in three West Texas locations

Essential natural resource knowledge for new West Texas landowners and managers will be the focus of an educational series to be conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service on different dates in May at different locations.

Re-Born to the Land conferences will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in:

  • Alpine on May 12 at the Espino Conference Center located on the Sul Ross State University campus
  • Amarillo on May 18 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center
  • Odessa on May 20 at the MCM Grande Hotel

“The Re-Born to the Land conferences are aimed at helping new landowners and managers be good stewards of their property,” said Ken Cearley, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist in Amarillo and TWA Region 3 Chair. “All three program agendas will be the same, but the speakers and their topics will be tailored specifically for that particular region.”  

Click here for more information about the conferences.

Op-ed released supporting SB 332 and groundwater ownership  

The Texas Wildlife Association has joined a dozen other natural resource and landowner groups in Texas in authoring and distributing an op-ed piece outlining support for Senate Bill 332 and groundwater ownership.

Click here for a copy of the op-ed distributed to statewide media outlets.

Senate Bill 332 has been approved by the Texas Senate, and is under consideration in the Texas House of Representatives (currently pending in the House Committee on Natural Resources).   

Sportsmen win major courtroom battle protecting hunting on public land

Federal Judge James S. Gwin  has ruled in favor of sportsmen by denying a  lawsuit aimed at closing hunting on dozens of units of the 100-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System, according to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation.

The long-running case began in 2003 when the Fund for Animals, which later merged with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), filed a lawsuit to stop hunting on 39 refuges. The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation (USSAF), along with other organizations, intervened on behalf of sportsmen. Anti-hunting groups later expanded the lawsuit to include more 50 refuges.     

Judge Gwin’s ruling stops HSUS' attempt at using the National Environmental Policy Act to close hunting on these refuges. In making the decision, the judge noted that “Plaintiffs, however, are not entitled to an inviolate sanctuary for their preferred uses – Congress has determined that, to the extent possible, hunters, fishers, observers, photographers, and educators must share the refuges.”
It is unknown at this time if HSUS will appeal the ruling.



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Mark Your Calendar 

Wildlife for Lunch Webinar Series
April 21 - Aquatic Weed Control
May 19 - Dove Management

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

Donations sought for ranchers impacted by wildfires 

The Texas Wildlife Association encourages Texans who wish to make financial donations to ranchers affected by the recent Texas wildfires to do so through the Texas Department of Agriculture's Star of Texas Agriculture Relief (STAR) Fund. 

Several TWA members have been impacted by wildfires across the state, some losing their home, livestock, and rangeland in recent days. Massive wildfires raging across Texas have charred nearly a half-million acres, and that figure is likely to grow as conditions are expected to get even worse in the coming days.  
The STAR Fund will use financial donations to help purchase hay and fencing supplies for ranchers in the affected areas. Donations are tax deductible. Click here to donate to the STAR Fund, or call (512) 475-1615 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (512) 475-1615      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Those wishing to donate hay and supplies should consult this wildfire resource page compiled by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

It's time for Clay County Turkey Fest in Henrietta 

Clay County knows how to throw a turkey party that just keeps getting bigger and better every year. And why not? The Rio Grande turkey is our biggest game bird, and the positive economic impact that turkey hunting provides is important to local communities, according to the Wichita Falls Times-Record News.

The North Texas turkey season opened back on April 2, and if you haven't made it out to hunt yet, a good place to see and learn about the big birds will be at the fifth annual Clay County Turkey Fest that runs through the weekend.

Click here for the full article.

TWA takes stance on deer legislation in Austin

The Texas Legislature is considering several bills relating to deer, deer management permits, and the deer breeding industry.

The Texas Wildlife Association opposes many of these bills, and the organization is actively promoting its policy positions at the Capitol.   

Some of the bills have been approved by committee and are heading to the full House or Senate for consideration. 

Click here for the latest from the TWA Advocacy Center and to Take Action and send an email to your State Senator and State Representative on these important measures regarding privatization of public wildlife resources, the selling of venison from breeder deer, and Deer Management Permits for mule deer.    

Volunteers sought for Tarleton State University event

The Tarleton State Chapter of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society is looking for Texas Wildlife Association members to volunteer at its annual Outdoor Expo in Stephenville on Saturday, April 30. 

If you are interested, please contact Billy Jones at or TWA's Helen Holdsworth at  

TWA welcomes new members!
  Andrew Beckman, Dallas
Sharon Bulian, Katy
Justin Burch, Mason
Judith Deaton, Washington
Scott Edwards Jr., Blanco
Ian Ellis, Waco
David Ferguson, Deer Park
Keith Grimm, Cypress
Gilberto Guerra Jr., Laredo
Ray Head, Austin
John Hoffart, Magnolia
Lynn Kramer, Dallas
Jared Lischka, Bellville
Adam Luke, Austin
Sean McLerran, Bandera
Gary Monteau, Winnie
David Muegge, Edna
John Naegelin III, Devine
William Penderfraft, Bay City
Homer Reyes, San Antonio
Amanda Ross, Austin
Jacob Sands, Andover, KS
Gerald Schultz, Katy
W. Earl Smith Jr., Austin
John Wilson, Dallas
Grieder Ranch LLC, Grass Valley, CA
Sarvi Yajat Partnership, Abilene
Dusty Alexander, Spring Branch
Rob Hannah, San Antonio
Robert Holman, Fort Worth
Ryan Littman, San Antonio
Matthew Symmank, Athens
Blake Williams, San Antonio
Fred Chandler, Plano
Stephen Howard Family, Fort Worth
Matt Jowett, Nederland
Eric Metcalf, Kempner
Pete Rogers, Austin
Randy Wahl, Southlake
University Lands, Midland
Warren Ranch, Santa Anna


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