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Help Texas Game Wardens Through Gear Up for Game Wardens

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Written by Lydia Saldaña

Texas Game Wardens have watched over the lands, waters, wildlife, and people of Texas for more than 100 years. In the Texas Hill Country, a warden’s duty can range from keeping an eye on hunters out in the field for dove or deer season or enforcing the Texas Water Safety Act on the dozens of Central Texas lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams that meander through the region.

Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

When natural disaster strikes, wardens are on the front lines of harrowing search and rescue missions. During Hurricane Harvey, more than 200 game wardens were engaged each day in the early days of the deadly storm, rescuing more than 10,000 people. In May 2015, when torrential downpours turned the Blanco River into raging floodwaters that swamped area roads and ripped houses from foundations, Hays County authorities fielded hundreds of distress calls. Texas Game Wardens were there, with the training and specialized equipment that helped get the job done.

From a thermal imaging unit to side scan sonar, high-tech specialized gear is more critical than ever to a game warden’s job in the field. Night vision gear, digital radios, and body cameras are just a few of the items needed by game wardens across the state. That’s why a group of dedicated citizens is partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), the official nonprofit funding partner of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), on a new program called Gear Up for Game Wardens.

Gear Up for Game Wardens is raising private funds to ensure that Texas’ 550 game wardens have access to specialized equipment beyond their standard issue gear. While the state provides the basic necessities for wardens to do their jobs, there is still a critical need for additional equipment. With private support, Gear Up for Game Wardens will provide specialty equipment Texas Game Wardens need to maintain safety and ensure the highest level of service for the people of Texas. A citizen-led Leadership Committee is supporting these efforts.

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