Beach Makeover

July 27th, 2017
Some makeovers just take heavier equipment than others.

Some makeovers just take heavier equipment than others.

This is Passport to Texas

People get makeovers to feel better about themselves. But when the beach at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge got a makeover recently, it was to bring in sand to restore dunes to protect its freshwater marsh ecosystem.

The lack of a sand dune has allowed salt water to move up inside the marsh, here. And what we have now, with no dune, the water’s stacked and now it’s finding a way back out and eroding the bank here even more.

Refuge manager, Doug Head.

McFaddin Refuge is a 60,000 acre national wildlife refuge. Not only do we provide great hunting habitat, but we also provide sanctuaries for migratory birds that are moving south for the winter or coming back across the Gulf of Mexico for the springtime. [03 ambience]

Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 wiped out McFaddin’s sand dunes, leaving miles of fragile marsh habitat unprotected. Texas General Land office Project Manager, Kelly Brooks.

So, we have freshwater wetlands right on top of beach. So now anytime we have any kind of tidal surges, they create wash over events into the marshes.

The reconstructed dunes will serve to protect the marsh at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge from saltwater infiltration and degradation.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Help Halt Aquatic Invasive Species

July 26th, 2017

This is Passport to Texas

You know how Smokey Bear says:

[Smokey Bear] Remember: only you can prevent forest fires.

He’s reminding us of our personal responsibility when we’re outdoors. It’s as true on the water as it is on the land.

Aquatic invasive species can quickly infect water bodies unless we take preventive measures. With summer boating season underway, Texas Parks and Wildlife asks boaters to help to stop the spread giant salvinia and zebra mussels which can travel from lake to lake on boats and trailers.

Boaters: “Clean, Drain and Dry” you boats, trailers, and gear every time you travel from one waterbody to another. A video on the TPW YouTube channel demonstrates the proper steps.

First, inspect the boat, trailer and gear. Clean off any vegetation, mud or foreign objects that you find. Second, pull the plug and drain all the water from the boat, including the motor, the bilge, live wells, and bait buckets before leaving the lake. Third, open all compartments and live wells and allow your boat, trailer and gear to completely dry for a week or more before entering another water body.

For complete instructions on how to clean, drain and dry your boat and trailer to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, go to

The Sportfish Restoration Program Supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

The Chaplain is In

July 25th, 2017


This is Passport to Texas

Scott McIntosh is Lead Chaplain for Texas Parks and Wildlife’s LE Division. He says game wardens reach out to him via email, text, phone calls and face-to-face.

The issues vary between family issues, stress issues, Interpersonal issues, peer-to-peer… It can be anything. And has been.

These peace officers, who refer to themselves as law enforcement off the pavement, have jobs that can put them in emotionally charged and dangerous situations.

Most of the time people that they run into are as armed, or even more armed, than they are. And so, they are trained and taught at dealing with these people. You don’t rush up on someone with a deer rifle while waving a gun.

No matter how well trained and composed they remain, exposure to daily tense situations can stay with a person; that’s why it’s good to have someone to talk to.

Although I don’t celebrate the fact that people have difficulties in life, I celebrate the fact tht they now have someone that they can call; I’m grateful that I’m that person.

Scott oversees five volunteer chaplains around the state who help game wardens who need it…to work through their difficulties.

I don’t have all the answers. But I’ve got plenty of care and love in my heart to deal with any many people as I can.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state. Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

A Chaplain for Game Wardens

July 24th, 2017
A chaplain is always on duty.

A chaplain is always on duty.

This is Passport to Texas

Scott McIntosh is a big man with a big heart. And he brought that heart with him to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s law Enforcement Division as its lead chaplain. A position that didn’t exist before July 2016.

I was sitting in my office in Orange, Texas and got a text message from a man that used to be in my congregation when I pastored here in Austin—Assistant Commander Cody Jones. And he said, ‘Have you ever thought about being chaplain for Texas Game Wardens?’ And I said, ‘Man, I didn’t know you even had those.’ And he said, ‘Well, we don’t. But we’re thinking about trying to get it going.’

Scott laughingly explained that starting a position from scratch is like flying a plane while building it. But he’s since brought on some “co-pilots and riveters.”

Right now, I have five volunteer chaplains around the state. My hope is to have at least one per region. We have nine regions, but we have eight that are geographic.

Game Wardens aren’t the only people Scott McIntosh supports in his job as a Chaplain. He goes to the sites of accidents with game wardens.

The role of a chaplain is triage. When we get there, our job is to find out, okay, what are the needs of these people.

How Chaplain McIntosh supports Game Wardens. That’s tomorrow.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Hunters: Could This be Your Lucky Year?

July 21st, 2017
This could be you, if you enter Big Time Texas Hunts.

This could be you, if you enter Big Time Texas Hunts.

This is Passport to Texas

The upcoming hunting seasons may still be months away, but you can enter the Big Time Texas Hunts drawing to win one or more of nine premium guided hunt packages now.

These exclusive packages include food, lodging, a professional guide, as well as taxidermy in some cases.

The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, which includes four separate hunts for Texas’ most prized big game animals — the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn.

Other popular guided hunt packages included in the Big Time Texas Hunt program are: Ultimate Mule Deer Hunt, the Premium Buck Hunt, the Exotic Safari, the Wild Hog Adventure and more.

Entries for this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts are available now online for just $9 each online, or for $10 each at license retailers. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase and all proceeds benefit conservation, wildlife management and public hunting. Deadline for entry is October 15.

Big Time Texas Hunts is made possible with support from Toyota and the Texas Bighorn Society.

Find more details on all nine premium hunts on the Texas parks and wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.