This educational film from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) describes the park planning process necessary for creating a new state park in Texas. The film examines the need for natural resource conservation, recreational needs for visitors, and the many stages of planning undertaken by the TPWD planning team, engineers, conservationists, biologists, and geologists. Using the planning and construction Master Plan booklet from the Hueco Tanks State Park, we see a park begin as rural land and end as a completed recreational resource for public use!
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 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 State Parks Board and the Game and Fish Commission were merged to form the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department under the administration of Governor John B. Connally. The legislature placed authority for managing fish and wildlife resources in all Texas counties with the Texas 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. Currently, TPWD operates 114 state parks and historical sites, 51 wildlife management areas, and eight fish hatcheries.