Photos in the January/February 2017 issue
CelEBRATING 75 YEARS
Hold on to your hats as we kick off a year of celebration, culminating in December with the 75th anniversary of everyone's favorite magazine about the Texas outdoors (and the longest-running magazine in Texas).
This Month's Features
Since 1942, we’ve shared ‘the invigorating influence of the out-of-doors.’
By Mary-Love Bigony
Anxiety and uncertainty gripped Texans in 1942. Thousands of families waved tearful goodbyes to fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who were among the three-quarters of a million Texans who served in World War II. On the home front, rationing was a way of life, with stamp books required to purchase meat, sugar, coffee, shoes, auto parts and gasoline. Hard times.
In Austin, executives of the Game, Fish and Oyster Commission decided to publish a monthly magazine and sell it by subscription: 50 cents a year for Texas residents and $1 for out of state. The first issue of Texas Game and Fish magazine hit the mailboxes of 6,422 subscribers in December 1942. A color photo of a hunting dog graced the cover; black-and-white photos illustrated the articles inside.
Executive Secretary William J. Tucker’s editorial in the premier issue expressed optimism and set goals for upcoming issues.
“One of the aims of Texas Game and Fish during the war period shall be to inspire in all of us the traditional love of Texans for hunting, fishing and nature,” Tucker wrote. “After the harshness, brutalities and sacrifices of the present conflict the Texas man and womanhood that has succeeded in winning the war should return to a pleasanter place in which to live, with the invigorating influence of the out-of-doors doing its full share to cleanse their spirits and temper their character.”
Seventy-five years later that magazine, now Texas Parks & Wildlife, continues to offer readers ways to enjoy “the invigorating influence of the out-of-doors.” Hiking, birding, mountain biking and profiles of Texas state parks join hunting and fishing articles on these pages in modern times.
In photo contest, nature’s the star.
Nature never goes out of style. By recording a special moment or beautiful scene, photography allows us to slow down and savor nature from new perspectives. It's a real treat to witness the beauty and wonder of our world through the eyes of a talented wildlife photographer. The nonprofit group Wildlife in Focus sponsors a biennial photo contest with the goal of protecting native wildlife and native habitats in South Texas by encouraging cooperation between private landowners and wildlife photographers. The photo contest shows in compelling ways the animals, plants and landscapes worth preserving. Landowners and photographers are paired up for the contest; they compete as teams and share the prize money. The group's latest book, Wildlife in Focus VIII, featuring the photographers shown here, was released in fall 2016. We're excited and pleased to share a selection of the contest winners with you.
Can the Davis Mountains’ majestic pines be saved?
By Laylan Copelin
High in the Davis Mountains in West Texas, the majestic ponderosa pine is losing its toehold in this part of the Lone Star State.
Extreme drought, severe cold snaps, massive wildfires and incessant infections by the western pine bark beetle have taken a heavy toll.
Up to 75 percent of the ponderosas in the Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountains Preserve have been lost over the past decade, estimates Jim Houser, a regional forest health coordinator with the Texas A&M Forest Service, and he predicts the losses will continue if nothing is done.