Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
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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.
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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.
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. 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.
Game Warden Ranks
The department is made up of eleven divisions:
- 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.
- State Parks
- Administrative Resources
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
TPWD publishes a monthly magazine available both in print and online, known as TPW Magazine. The magazine features articles about wildlife, State Parks, fishing, hunting, and outdoor activities.
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.
- "Directions to TPWD Headquarters." Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Accessed August 28, 2008.
- "Directions to TPWD Headquarters." Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Retrieved on July 6, 2010.
- "City of Austin Development Map Viewer." City of Austin. Accessed August 28, 2008.
- "TPWD Activities and History". Accessed 26-Dec-2014
- Smyri, Vivian Elizabeth "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department". The Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association. Accessed 26-Dec-2014
- "TPWD Activities and History". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2006-09-11.