Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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Official Texas Parks and Wildlife Department logo
The headquarters of the department
A sign indicating the direction of the headquarters

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is a Texas state agency that oversees and protects wildlife and their habitats. In addition, the agency is responsible for managing the state's parks and historical areas. Its mission is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

The agency maintains its headquarters at 4200 Smith School Road in Austin.[1][2][3]


In 1895, the Texas Legislature created the Fish and Oyster Commission to regulate fishing. The Legislature added the Game Department to the commission in 1907. The Legislature created the State Parks Board as a separate entity in 1923. In 1963, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was formed through merger of the State Parks Board and the Game and Fish Commission.[4][5]

In 1983, the Texas legislature passed the Wildlife Conservation Act, giving the department the authority for managing fish and wildlife resources in all Texas counties.[5] The department operates 114 state parks/historical sites, 51 wildlife management areas, eight fish hatcheries, and numerous field offices state wide. On January 1, 2008, several historic sites formerly maintained by TPWD were transferred to the Texas Historical Commission.


The agency employs more than 3,500 permanent employees, and 300 interns every summer, from every field of study. Intern programs vary but are typically 12 weeks long and go from May until August.[6]

Game Warden Ranks[edit]

Title Insignia
US-O6 insignia.svg
Lieutenant Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
Chief Of Special Operations
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US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg
South Carolina Highway Patrol Sergeant Rank Chevrons.svg
Game Warden


Boats & Licenses Building in Austin

The department is made up of eleven divisions:

  • Wildlife
  • Coastal Fisheries
  • Inland Fisheries
  • Law Enforcement - Game wardens and deputy game wardens primarily enforce the provisions of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code but are fully empowered peace officers with state-wide jurisdiction and may make arrests for any offense.[7]
  • State Parks
  • Infrastructure
  • Legal
  • Administrative Resources
  • Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology

TPWD operates 93 parks and 140 offices across the state of Texas.


TPWD publishes a monthly magazine available both in print and online, known as TPW Magazine.[8] The magazine features articles about State Parks, fishing, hunting, and outdoor activities.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division, 18 officers have died in the line of duty. Included in the follow list are officers from the Texas Game and Fish Commission and the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission, which merged into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.[9][10][11]

Officer Date of death Details
Game Warden Harry Raymond
Sunday, September 14, 1919
Captain Joe Williams
Sunday, September 14, 1919
Game Warden Dawson R. Murchison
Tuesday, December 20, 1938
Game Warden Richard Moore Wynne
Monday, November 1, 1948
Automobile accident
Game Warden Gus A. Engeling
Friday, December 14, 1951
Game Warden Claude Keller
Wednesday, February 22, 1956
Aircraft accident
Game Warden John David Murphree
Sunday, December 8, 1963
Game Warden Joe Marshall Evans
Thursday, May 6, 1965
Automobile accident
Game Warden Lloyd Dean Gustin
Monday, March 25, 1968
Game Warden Ronnie L. Germany
Sunday, July 29, 1973
Game Warden James Eugene Daughtrey
Friday, December 8, 1978
Automobile accident
Game Warden Franklin Bruce Hill
Saturday, May 26, 1990
Game Warden William Barry Decker
Saturday, May 26, 1990
Game Warden Michael Charles Pauling
Thursday, August 2, 2001
Vehicular assault
Game Warden Wesley Warren Wagstaff
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Automobile accident
Game Warden Justin Hurst
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Game Warden Teyran (Ty) Patterson
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Game Warden George Harold Whatley Jr.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Heart attack

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directions to TPWD Headquarters." Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Accessed August 28, 2008.
  2. ^ "Directions to TPWD Headquarters." Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Retrieved on July 6, 2010.
  3. ^ "City of Austin Development Map Viewer." City of Austin. Accessed August 28, 2008.
  4. ^ "TPWD Activities and History". Accessed 26-Dec-2014
  5. ^ a b Smyri, Vivian Elizabeth "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department". The Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association. Accessed 26-Dec-2014
  6. ^ "TPWD Activities and History". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2006-09-11. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ http://www.tpwmagazine.com/
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ [4]

External links[edit]