DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY
Texas Parks and Wildlife provides outdoor recreational opportunities by managing and protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat and acquiring and managing parklands and historic areas. It has inherited the functions of many state entities created to protect Texas' natural resources. In 1895 the legislature created the Fish and Oyster Commission to regulate fishing. The Game Department was added to the commission in 1907. The State Parks Board was created as a separate entity in 1923. In the 1930s, projects of the federal Civilian Conservation Corps added substantially to the state's parklands. In 1951, the term oyster was dropped from the wildlife agency's name, and in 1963, the Parks Board and the Game and Fish Commission were merged to form the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The legislature placed authority for managing fish and wildlife resources in all Texas counties with the Parks and Wildlife Department when it passed the Wildlife Conservation Act in 1983. Previously, commissioners courts had set game and fish laws in many counties, and other counties had veto power over department regulations.
The agency currently has 10 internal divisions: Wildlife, Coastal Fisheries, Inland Fisheries, Law Enforcement, State Parks, Infrastructure, Resource Protection, Communications, Administrative Resources, and Human Resources. Three senior division directors provide special counsel to the Executive Director in the areas of water policy, land policy and administrative matters. Intergovernmental affairs and internal audit and investigations are administered through the Executive Office.
Mission: 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.
Philosophy: We seek to balance outdoor recreation with conservation as we achieve greater self-sufficiency. On one hand, we must manage and protect our natural and cultural resources. At the same time, we must generate increased revenue by adding value through more and better public services. We affirm that a culturally diverse well-trained staff will best achieve this balance. And we must never forget, not in the haste of business, nor in the pride of science, that the outdoors should above all be a source of joy! Providing outdoor experiences, whereby young minds form values, will be our greatest contribution to the future.