November Declared Texas Wildlife and Conservation Month
We love our birds. We’re big on bats. We’ve got armadillos, ocelots, alligators, horned lizards and more. Now, thanks to the state Legislature, Texas wildlife is getting its own official month. Earlier this year, lawmakers declared November to be Texas Wildlife and Conservation Month.
The idea started in Seguin.
“Here in the Seguin school district, we’re fortunate to have a robust outdoor education program,” says Sean Hoffmann, chief communications officer for Seguin schools, pointing out that Seguin students learn aquatic ecology on local creeks, paddle on the Guadalupe River through town, go mountain biking on regional trails and attend outdoor camp in the Hill Country, among other activities. “We were brainstorming about how we could get our students more involved and more aware of the bounty of outdoor resources in Texas. We realized there was not a Wildlife and Conservation Month in Texas. I said, ‘Let’s make it happen.’”
Hoffman wrote to Seguin lawmaker John Kuempel with the idea of making November a month to recognize wildlife and conservation.
“As Texas becomes increasingly urbanized, it is vital that we expose our families and students — in the classroom and through real-world experiences — to the plethora of wildlife and natural resources that our state has to offer,” Hoffmann wrote to Kuempel.
Kuempel agreed to sponsor a resolution in the House, and Judith Zaffirini of Laredo signed on as Senate sponsor.
The resolution reads, in part: “Ranging from the lush forests of East Texas to the majestic desert landscape of the Big Bend, from the windswept grasslands of the Panhandle to the barrier islands of the Gulf Coast, these habitats are home to countless species of trees and other vegetation; they are also populated by an immense variety of wildlife, including such signature Texas animals as the javelina, the western diamondback rattlesnake, the roadrunner, and the armadillo, as well as such impressive and rarely seen creatures as the mountain lion, the black bear, and the peregrine falcon.”
The resolution passed the House and Senate and was signed by the governor.
“This November, we hope many Texans stop to appreciate the natural resources we have in Texas,” Hoffmann says. “We want kids to be able to take advantage of opportunities to go outdoors, whether it’s hiking, hunting or fishing. If we don’t take advantage of our resources we tend to lose them.”
Maegan Lanham | TPWD
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