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moss Abilene fish ice cream bird watching water mission bird photos tournament trout fisheries windmill

Photos shot for the March issue





Five-Year Plan

The Census Bureau estimates that about one in four Americans has a disability. Some are obvious, others are hidden. While getting out in nature can be restorative for those suffering from emotional and psychological problems, acessing the wild world can be problematic for those with physical challenges. At TPWD, there's a renewed focus on making our properties inclusive for all who visit. A five-year plan to provide access and inclusion for users of all abilities is in the works.

All-Access Pass

Working together so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors, whatever their abilities.

In 2009, I was 25 years old and in peak fitness as a runner, competing in triathlons and gearing up to race the Boston Marathon that spring. I thought I’d pulled a muscle in my shoulder, but as the pain worsened and breathing became more difficult, I went to the emergency room, where I was told I had a blood clot in my lung and was lucky to be alive.

More than my first glimpse of mortality, it was a reminder that life changes, suddenly and inevitably; that perfect health is often as fleeting as perfect weather. No forecast is guaranteed except that which promises someday the rain will fall on all of us. We will face injury, old age and limitations that weren’t there before.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed in 1990, guarantees legal protections and accommodations for people with disabilities in the workplace, public transportation and other services. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities — not only mobility impairments, for example, but also conditions such as cancer, diabetes or blindness.

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Making a Splash

Amateur anglers compete for $1 million in prizes in Sam Rayburn big bass derby.

What's your dream retirement plan?

Some folks envision themselves living on the road, traversing across America in a travel trailer. Those who fish may dream of a new pickup pulling a shiny bass boat. Sure, you can work hard, save your money and buy those things — but what if you had the chance to win all of these, just for doing what you love?

At the 35th annual Sealy Big Bass Splash on April 26-28, that dream will become reality for one lucky angler. More than $1 million in cash and prizes is up for grabs. It’s one of the best opportunities for amateurs to win big money without the long commitment of time and expense to become a professional.

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Wind and Wildlife

Texas is the no. 1 wind energy state, but what's the effect on bats and birds?

On a muggy September morning in South Texas, Sara Weaver heads out on a morbid quest just as the sun starts to peek over the horizon, knowing the day will soon become unbearably hot. She’s sweating already. Above her, the massive blades of the turbines at Duke Energy’s Rio Grande Valley wind farm turn slowly in the South Texas breeze. Before long, she finds what she’s looking for — the carcass of a Mexican free-tailed bat.

The bat was on its way back to Mexico after spending the summer in Texas, most likely in one of the Hill Country’s limestone caves. Millions of bats had started their migration southward. This one was flying around the wind turbine — bats are thought to be attracted to the turbines — when the blade swung around and struck it dead.

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KTW 2011 coverKTW 2011 cover

Keep Texas Wild

It's not just for kids. If you like nature-related topics in an easy-to-read format, you can find three years of our popular Keep Texas Wild issues and the teacher resources to go along with them.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine