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Unto the Least of These (c.1970)

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Sound | c. 1970

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  •  San Jacinto Monument 
  •  The Astrodome 
  •  Ellington Air Force Base 
  •  Texas A&M University 
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This educational film from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) describes the plight of the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, a highly endangered species of the prairie chicken native to coastal Texas. The film follows one colony of the bird that was living on Ellington Air Force Base in Houston and causing traffic problems for the U.S. Air Force. Scenes of TPWD workers capturing the birds with nets suspended from helicopters are followed by the birds arriving at Texas A&M University for transmitter implants, wing clipping, and artificial propagation studies before being released in their new home - a Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge in Eagle Lake. The film reports that if action is not taken, the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken would be extinct by the year 2000. Although still on the highly endangered species list, the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken still exists!
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides outdoor recreational opportunities by managing and protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat and acquiring and managing parklands and historic areas. It has inherited the functions of many state entities created to protect Texas' natural resources. In 1895 the legislature created the Fish and Oyster Commission to regulate fishing. The Game Department was added to the commission in 1907. The State Parks Board was created as a separate entity in 1923. In the 1930s, projects of the federal Civilian Conservation Corps added substantially to the state's parklands. In 1951, the term oyster was dropped from the wildlife agency's name, and in 1963, the State Parks Board and the Game and Fish Commission were merged to form the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department under the administration of Governor John B. Connally. The legislature placed authority for managing fish and wildlife resources in all Texas counties with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department when it passed the Wildlife Conservation Act in 1983. Previously, commissioners courts had set game and fish laws in many counties, and other counties had veto power over department regulations. Currently, TPWD operates 114 state parks and historical sites, 51 wildlife management areas, and eight fish hatcheries. 
(from the TWPD website)