TX BHA Provides Comment at August Commission Meeting

Official Texas Chapter BHA Testimony provided to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on August 25, 2021 by Chapter Chair, Grahame Jones. Joel Smith, Vice Chair added additional comments. ---

***This statement was also provided to the Department in writing.***

“Chairman Aplin, Members of the Commission, Director Smith, as well as all of the employees who work daily across this State at every level (boots on the ground, support roles, it takes all of you).

I am a proud 5th generation Texan, past Director of TPWD Law Enforcement, past CCA State Board Member and lifelong hunter and angler. I come before you today on behalf of the Texas Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. I am proud to voluntarily serve as the Texas Chapter chair.

I am joined today by Joel Smith our Vice Chair, Mickey Reeves our policy Chair, John Sertel our R3 Chair, and Tim Brehmer our Events Chair. I also see that Shane Bonnet is here representing one of our fantastic partners. Shane is also a Texas BHA State Board member.

I am humbled by the opportunity to stand here today and voice my support for the incredible work being accomplished by the Department and their many partners.

Let me begin by quoting David Langford, someone who I admire and respect deeply, “Keeping the interests of all Texans in mind, the course forward regarding CWD and the health of our publicly owned deer herd is clear today—and far into the foreseeable future. TPWD, with the assistance of the Texas Animal Health Commission and the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, should continue to have and exercise full authority to manage the health of our wildlife resources, including deer.” The Texas Chapter of BHA fully supports Mr. Langford’s statement as well as the decisions and direction of TPWD in working to slow the spread of CWD which in turn follows the doctrine of the North American Model of Conservation and the Public Trust Doctrine.

Private landowners are the lifeblood of conservation in Texas. As we all know, most huntable lands in Texas are privately owned. Without the steadfast stewardship provided by landowners in Texas, TPWD could not accomplish its important mission.

About Grahame Jones

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