Outdoors Notebook – TPWD Director Smith Retires; Duck Stamps for Sale – Herald Democrat

By Lynn Burkhead, For the Herald Democrat

Big news came out of Austin in the last few days as longtime executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Carter Smith announced his retirement effective January 2023.

Smith, who has been to Grayson County multiple times, including the dedication of Game Warden Station at Lake Texoma as well as public hearings on Grayson County’s Whitetail Wars, will complete a nearly 15-year tenure that, according to a TPWD press release, “…enhanced private land management, expanded state parks and wildlife management areas, strengthened conservation, law enforcement and park funding, and brought a renewed focus on connecting young and old Texans to the state’s natural resources.

“Having the opportunity to work with the immensely talented and dedicated men and women in this department has been the privilege of a lifetime,” said Smith. “Their unending passion for managing and protecting Texas’ rich fish and wildlife resources, creating new opportunities for Texan families to get out and create lasting memories of nature, and they help improve the land and waters, habitats and… Leaving our home parks ground to make it better than before was a huge inspiration to me personally and professionally.

“I owe a great debt of gratitude to Chair Aplin and to the entire TPW Commission past and present for their trust in me, their leadership, mentorship and commitment to advancing our mission. Last but not least, as a father, athlete, conservationist, and proud Texan, I am beyond grateful for all the landowners, land managers, outdoor enthusiasts, and partners across Texas who not only make conservation possible, but actually happen.”

Smith began his career in 1992 as a TPWD management intern in the Wildlife Division, eventually becoming the state director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas and the first executive director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy. He has been Managing Director of TPWD since January 2008.

Stay tuned for future issues of the Herald Democrat Outdoors for more information on Carter Smith, his retirement from TPWD and his enduring legacy in the state of Texas.

Federal Duck Stamps Go on Sale – Hunting season can’t be far away as the 2022-23 Federal Duck Stamp goes on sale this week on Friday, June 24th.

The stamps, which feature Minnesota artist James Hautman’s painting of a redhead floating on water, cost $25. According to Ducks Unlimited, the sale of federal duck brands raises about $40 million for conservation purposes each year.

“Purchasing Federal Duck Stamps is one of the easiest ways to support habitat conservation,” DU CEO Adam Putnam said in a press release. “The stamps are one of the most successful conservation tools ever created to provide a source of funding for conservation.

“For every dollar spent on a Federal Duck Stamp, 98 cents is used by our friends at the US Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire and protect waterbird habitat. The first day of sale is our opportunity to celebrate and support the waterfowl and wildlife we ​​love so much.”

Stamps can be purchased online, from licensed vendors, or from your local US post office.

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