Contact: Kent Keene, Senior Coordinator, Lower Midwestern States and Agriculture Policy
- Texas’ state agencies are subject to decennial reviews to determine whether the state agency should be continued.
- This year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is subject to sunset review and requires an extension from the Texas Legislature.
- Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) Co-Chair Senator Dawn Buckingham and Caucus Member Representative John Cyrier have sponsored bills that would extend the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s operations through 2033.
Why It Matters: The continuation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides a unique opportunity to discuss the important role that state fish and wildlife agencies play in the conservation of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources for the benefit of all citizens, including sportsmen and women. Given the laundry list of accomplishments that state fish and wildlife agencies have realized, combined with the conservation challenges that face us today, it is imperative that state fish and wildlife management agencies are not just allowed to continue their operations, but are empowered with the resources needed to achieve conservation successes now and into the future. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) applauds the role of Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Buckingham and Caucus Member Representative John Cyrier in sponsoring the legislation needed to continue the operations of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the benefit of all Texans.
On a rolling basis, Texas’ various state agencies are subject to a process referred to as “sunset” in which the agency’s operations are reviewed and the agency’s continuation is considered. Based on that review, the Texas State Legislature is tasked with developing and passing legislation, as needed, to continue the operations of the state agency under review. This year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is among the state agencies in need of renewal. Fortunately, Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Dawn Buckingham and Caucus Member Representative John Cyrier have sponsored legislation that would extend TPWD’s operations.
Senate Bill 700 (SB 700) and House Bill 1615 (HB 1615) would, among other things, extend TPWD’s operations through FY 2033. On April 19, SB 700 was passed unanimously by the Senate while HB 1615 was heard and considered in the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. While there is little opposition for either bill, this sunset review period presents an opportunity to discuss the important role that state fish and wildlife management agencies play in the conservation of our nation’s natural resources for the benefit of all citizens. In Texas, one of the most geographically and biologically diverse states in the nation, TPWD’s staff are charged with managing the Lone Star State’s fish and wildlife resources. Given the history of wildlife management efforts in Texas, coupled with the conservation challenge facing our nation, it is critical that agencies like TPWD are not just permitted to continue their operations, but are equipped with the resources needed to successfully manage the state’s resources for the benefit of all Texans.
On Monday, April 19, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shared a letter of support for both SB 700 and HB 1615 with members of the Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. In the letter, CSF reiterated our view that TPWD is an essential agency in Texas and is the entity best equipped to make science-based wildlife management decisions at the state level. All eyes are now on the Texas House of Representatives where both HB 1615 and SB 700 await further consideration.
Share this page
Your opinion counts
Recently, two Montana state representatives have proposed more aggressive legislation addressing the state's gray wolf population. These bills range from the addition of a wolf tag into big game combination tags, to year-round sanctioned harvest without a license, use of snare traps, and private reimbursement of wolf harvest. Currently, the wolf population in Montana sits at 850 wolves, which is 700 over the state’s minimum recovery goal of 150 wolves. Which of the below options for wolf management do you support? (Select all that apply)Vote Here
- Regulated hunting under the management of the state fish and wildlife agency during a specific season (24.75%)
- Year-round hunting of wolves without a license (14.85%)
- The use of snares (trapping) without hunting allowances (1.98%)
- A combination of hunting and trapping during specific seasons regulated by the fish and wildlife agency (33.66%)
- The establishment of a bounty program to incentivize harvest during specific seasons (2.97%)
- Other (1.98%)
- I do not support the take of wolves (19.80%)