Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is a Texas state agency that oversees and protects wildlife and their habitats. In addition, the agency is responsible for managing the state's parks and historical areas.

News & Events

Texas Game Warden Timothy Walker Named SEAFWA Officer of the Year

Texas Game Warden Timothy Walker was recognized as the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Officer of the Year award recipient during January’s Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) Commission meeting.

Walker began his career with TPWD as a member of the 47th Texas Game Warden Training Academy Class. After graduating from the academy in 2001, he has since served the communities of Van Zandt and Angelina Counties.

Walker is a certified master peace officer, a physical training coordinator and participates in simunitions trainings. As a simunitions role...

David Yoskowitz Named TPWD Executive Director

David Yoskowitz, Ph.D. was named executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department today at a special meeting of the TPW Commission in Austin, Texas. Yoskowitz is currently the senior executive director and Endowed Chair for Socioeconomics at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Commissioners took action to accept the recommendation of the search committee in a public meeting. The search committee included TPW Commission Chairman Arch Aplin, and commissioners Anna Galo, Jeffery Hildebrand, and Oliver...

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Carter Smith Announces Retirement
Smith is ending a nearly 15-year tenure in January 2023

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Executive Director Carter Smith announced today he will retire effective January 2023, ending a nearly 15-year tenure that strengthened private-lands stewardship, expanded state parks and wildlife management areas, bolstered conservation, law enforcement, and park funding, and brought a renewed focus on connecting Texans young and old with the state’s natural resources.

 “The opportunity to work alongside the immensely talented and dedicated men and women of this Department has been the privilege of a lifetime,” said Carter...

Ross Melinchuk named the Executive Director of SEAFWA

Paul Johansen, President of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) has announced the appointment of Ross Melinchuk as the organization’s Executive Director.

Melinchuk, of Aiken, South Carolina, has over four decades of experience in the natural resource management and conservation field, including over thirty years in senior management and leadership roles. He has been actively engaged in public policy at all...

77th Annual Conference
Corpus Christi, Texas
Sunday, October 15 - Wednesday, October 18, 2023
 Thank you for JOINing US! OCTOBER 15-18, 2023 | CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS

The 77th Annual Conference was hosted by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Thank you to all who joined us at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas, October 15-18, 2023. 

The Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is a forum for the exchange of ideas and critical information regarding the...

Texas Agency Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TWPD) named the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Award winner for their Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP)

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Award winner during their 74th annual meeting, held virtually Oct. 26-28. The program's intent is to engage underrepresented audiences in outdoor recreation and nature.

“This program is an essential component to TPWD's goal of diversifying the audiences visiting Texas State Parks and utilizing agency programs as well as increasing Texas residents' connection to natural and cultural...

Three Texas Parks and Wildlife Employees Perish in Helicopter Crash During Wildlife Survey
The deceased include a wildlife biologist, a fish and wildlife technician, and a state wildlife veterinarian

While conducting aerial surveys for desert bighorn sheep in West Texas on Saturday, Aug. 8, three Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employees died in a helicopter crash on TPWD’s Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in Brewster County.

The victims include Wildlife Biologist Dewey Stockbridge, Fish and Wildlife Technician Brandon White, and State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar. The pilot, a private contractor, survived the crash and was transported to El Paso for further treatment.

“No words can begin to express the depth of sadness we feel for the loss of our...

State Conservation Officers: The Best First Responders
When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, officers from other states were standing by ready to launch rescue operations.

As a group, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the people who have lost homes, livelihoods, and loved ones. Recovering from such events takes a long time. However, in darkest of days there are lights that shine brightly, and the conservation law enforcement officers of SEAFWA states are some of the brightest. Southeastern state fish and wildlife officers are very active as first responders, and states assist each other in such efforts.

When natural disasters strike, the highly trained and dedicated state agency wildlife law enforcement officers are some of the most...