Texas Parks & Wildlife Department | KERA News

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Not everyone wandering around outside with their phones is searching for Pokémon. Some people are searching for real, rare wildlife.

  Owners of deer breeding ranches throughout the Hill Country are now worried about how the disease may affect their $2 billion industry.

  Near Junction, a two-hour drive northwest of San Antonio is the Perfect 10 Whitetail Deer Ranch.  It’s a high-fenced facility that uses genetics to breed big bucks with giant antlers.  They’re sold to the hunting business for up to $30,000 a deer

Take A Sneak Peek At The Newest State Park In Texas

Aug 8, 2014
Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Texas will soon have a new state park – and it’s a little more than an hour west of Fort Worth.

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park is 4,400 acres. It’s a gorgeous slice of land in the rolling woodland near the town of Strawn, population 700.

It won’t open for at least a few more years, but locals are excited about the park’s potential.

A public hearing last week featured Texas Parks and Wildlife employees and attracted a big crowd. Locals had lots of questions. 

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is handling an increased demand for hunter education from Latinos.

In recent years, the department has begun offering the course in Spanish. The move not only reflects the changing demographics of the state, but could also help Texas combat one of its most unwelcome pests. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

The destructive zebra mussels continue their north Texas invasion. They’ve just been confirmed in Wise County’s Lake Bridgeport, which is owned by the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Less than a year after zebra mussels were found in Lake Ray Roberts, the destructive invasive species has been confirmed in Lewisville Lake by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This is the third lake in Texas, and the second within the Trinity River basin, where zebra mussels have been discovered.

TownePost Network / flickr

Texas Parks and Wildlife says it will be difficult to stop newly discovered zebra mussels from spreading throughout the Trinity River basin all the way down to the Gulf.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department faces a $4.6 million shortfall following a difficult period of wildfires and drought. Bill Zeeble has more on the Department's plan to improve the bottom line.

Parks and Wildlife Director Carter Smith says the Department has faced tough times before in its 88-year history.

Smith: But certainly now, this is a particularly daunting one. We have a very real and urgent and critical need, But fortunately we don't think it's an insurmountable one.