Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:

An Inventory of Parks and Wildlife Commission Meeting Files at the Texas State Archives, 1963-2004


Creator: Texas. Parks and Wildlife Dept.
Title: Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting files
Dates: 1963-2004
Abstract: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is responsible for the management and conservation of the state's natural and cultural resources, provision of outdoor recreational opportunities, conservation education and outreach, and interpretation of cultural and historical resources. These functions are represented in the minutes and agenda of the commission. Records include copies of minutes, agenda, transcripts, and supporting documents of meetings and public hearings held by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, dating 1963-2004.
Quantity: 22 cubic ft., 32 reels of microfilm
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Parks and Wildlife Department is responsible for the management and conservation of the state's wildlife and fish resources; provision of outdoor recreational opportunities to the public; acquisition, development, and operation of wildlife management areas, fish hatcheries, state parks, historic sites, and other public lands; conservation education and outreach; cultural and historical interpretation; and the regulation of fishing, hunting, and boating activities. The Department is composed of ten major divisions which carry out the functions and duties of the agency: Wildlife, State Parks, Coastal Fisheries, Inland Fisheries, Communications, Law Enforcement, Infrastructure, Administrative Resources, Legal, Information Technology, and Human Resources. An Executive Director, selected by the Parks and Wildlife Commission, administers the department. In 2005, the agency employed the full-time equivalent of 3,038 people.

The Parks and Wildlife Department is governed by the Parks and Wildlife Commission, initially composed of three members, increased to six members in 1972, and as of 1983, nine members, appointed by the Governor with approval of the Senate. Members serve six-year overlapping terms. The Commission chairperson is appointed biennially by the Governor. The Commission meets quarterly or more often as needed. Its chief responsibility is to adopt policies and rules to carry out the programs of the Parks and Wildlife Department.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) had its beginnings in 1879 when the 16th Texas Legislature authorized the Governor to appoint a fish commissioner to ensure compliance with an Act for the preservation of fish, and to build fish ways and fish ladders (Chapter 92, 16th Legislature, Regular Session). In 1881, the Office of the Fish Commissioner was established (Chapter 78, 17th Legislature, Regular Session). It was created for the "propagation and preservation of fish and to build fish-ways and fish-ladders…," existing through 1885. The commissioner was appointed to a two year term by the Governor, with the approval of the Senate.

In 1895, the Office of the Fish and Oyster Commissioner was created by House Bill 55, 24th Legislature, Regular Session, with the commissioner appointed by the Governor as before. The duties included the protection of fish, turtles and terrapin of the bays and coastal waters of the state, protection of natural oyster beds and reefs, and the protection of the location of private beds. The Commissioner had the authority to appoint Deputy Commissioners to assist in carrying out the duties of the office. In 1907, protection of wild birds and wild game was added to the responsibilities of that office, which became the Office of the Game, Fish and Oyster Commissioner (House Bill 379, 30th Legislature, Regular Session). This Commissioner appointed Deputy Game Commissioners to assist in carrying out the duties of the office.

The single commissioner was replaced by a six-member commission in 1929 and the agency became the Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission (Senate Bill 83, 41st Legislature, Regular Session). The commissioners were appointed to six year terms by the Governor with the approval of the Senate, and were to be selected from different sections of the state. The chair was appointed by the Governor. Duties of the commission included administering the state's laws relating to game and fish; preventing pollution of streams; issuing hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses; collecting fees, taxes, and fines; conducting research; and proclaiming and enforcing open seasons and bag limits on game and fish. The commission also operated fish hatcheries and sanctuaries, administered game and hunting preserves, supervised oyster beds in the state, controlled and exterminated predatory animals and fish, and educated the public in the preservation of wildlife and fish and game resources of the state. It had the authority to create rules and regulations as necessary to carry out their duties. The name was changed to the Texas Game and Fish Commission in 1951 and the size of the board was increased to nine members (Senate Bill 463, 52 Legislature, Regular Session).

The State Parks Board was created in 1923 (Senate Bill 73, 38th Legislature, First Called Session) to investigate prospective park sites in the state and report to the Legislature with recommendations, and to solicit and accept donations of land for state park purposes. The State Parks Board was initially composed of five members, appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate to six year terms, and they were to be state officers. The number of board members increased to six in 1937 (Senate Bill 484, 45th Legislature, Regular Session). This board was to begin locating sites for the establishment of the state parks system. It also directed and managed state parks created, except the historical parks which were managed by the Board of Control and/or several separate commissions. The Parks Board was also charged with locating, designating, and marking historic grounds, battlegrounds, and other historic sites in the state, and erecting markers and monuments at such sites. The board also had the authority to create rules and regulations as necessary to carry out its duties. The primary function of the board between 1923 and 1933 was to acquire lands for parks through donations. In 1933, federal funds became available for state park development and the board worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the National Park Service for the development of better park sites for a state parks system. The CCC provided labor during the 1930s to improve state park lands and facilities. In 1949, the state historical parks were transferred to the State Parks Board, except for the San Jacinto Battlefield, the Battleship Texas, and the Fannin Battlefield, which were still controlled by their respective commissions--the San Jacinto Battlefield Commission, the Battleship Texas Commission, and the Fannin Battlefield Commission (House Bill 120, 51st Legislature, Regular Session). Jurisdiction over the Fannin and San Jacinto Battlefields was transferred to TPWD in 1965 (House Bill 102, 59th Legislature, Regular Session). Battleship Texas was transferred to TPWD in 1983 (House Bill 586, 68th Legislature, Regular Session).

In 1963, the State Parks Board and the Game and Fish Commission were merged to form the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (House Bill 21, 58th Legislature, Regular Session). In 1967, the Historic Structures and Sites Act was passed by the 60th Legislature, House Bill 58, Regular Session, charging the Parks and Wildlife Department with stewardship of the state's cultural heritage sites. In 1983, the Legislature passed the 1983 Wildlife Conservation Act (Senate Bill 94, 68th Legislature, Regular Session), which gave the agency the authority to manage fish and wildlife resources in all Texas counties. Prior to this act county commissioner courts set game and fish laws in many counties, and other counties had veto power over Department regulations. In 1985, the legislature granted the agency authority over shrimp and oysters (Senate Bill 609, 69th Legislature, Regular Session).

(Sources: Enabling legislation, numerous years; Guide to Texas State Agencies, various editions; and from information found in the Texas Parks and Wildlife records.)

Scope and Contents of the Records

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is responsible for the management and conservation of the state's natural and cultural resources, provision of outdoor recreational opportunities, conservation education and outreach, and interpretation of cultural and historical resources. These records include copies of minutes, agenda, transcripts, and supporting documents of meetings and public hearings held by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, dating 1963-2004. Foldered minutes and supporting documents are present for 1963-1972 (mostly 1963-1964, 1972), 1979, 1983-1995, 1998. Bound volumes of minutes (with materials sent out as agenda packets) are present for 1972-1978. There are also microfilm copies of minutes with supporting documents for 1963-mid July 1983, November 1987-2004. The bound meeting materials include verbatim transcripts of the commission meetings, agenda items, lists of attendants, reports, background information on individuals, memos, letters, park and budget proposals, recommendations on the proposals, summaries of public hearings held, clippings, photographs, maps, charts, tables, etc. The non-bound meeting files contain summaries of agenda items and supporting documents, including operational plans, proposed budgets, master plans for parks, resolutions, memos, letters, contracts, deeds, reports, photographs, maps, proposals, etc. The microfilm contains minutes, summaries of agenda items, transcripts from hearings and meetings, supporting documents, and vouchers. The film largely duplicates the paper files, but large reports, proposals or some other items were not always filmed, just noted on the film that the item would be handed out at the meeting. The State Archives has decided to keep the paper files to provide copies of the items not filmed. Beginning in 1995, the film includes either transcripts or minute summaries of standing or ad hoc commission committees (generally the Public Lands Committee, Finance Committee, Regulations Committee, Conservation Committee, Ad Hoc Committee on Infrastructure, Outreach and Education Committee, and the Public Hearing Committee). There is a small amount of loose meeting materials (resolutions, proposals, correspondence, planning documents) and a few loose hearing transcripts. Topics discussed at the meetings include division activities, changes in or addition to TPWD laws and regulations, orders issued by the commission, etc.

This series was removed from the overall TPWD finding aid due to the electronic file size limitations imposed by the online finding aid web site (TARO). If you are reading this electronically, click on the following link to access the overall finding aid, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department records. If you are reading this in paper in the Archives search room, the finding aid, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department records, is found in the first divider within the same binder.


Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged by State Archives staff into two groups based on record format - Meeting files (paper), Meeting files (microfilm). The files in each group are in chronological order as received from the agency. All records are filed with the transcripts or meeting summary at the beginning followed by the supporting documentation. The supporting documentation is arranged in the order in which the agenda item came up in the meeting. The loose meeting materials and hearing transcripts were foldered and placed in the inventory of the first group following the meeting or hearing with which they belonged.


Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Microfilm readers are available for use in Rooms 105 and 300 in the Lorenzo de Zavala Archives and Library Building.

Researchers are required to use gloves provided by the Archives when reviewing photographic materials.

Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Game laws--Texas.
Fishery law and legislation--Texas.
Recreation areas--Public use--Texas.
Wildlife conservation--Texas.
Conservation of natural resources--Texas.
Document Types:
Master plans--Texas--1967-2004.
Management of wildlife resources.
Management of parks.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Game and Fish Commission records, about 1920-1962, about 16 cubic ft. [These records are unprocessed, see staff for assistance.]
Texas State Parks Board records, 1901-1902, 1905, 1908, 1917, 1925-1962, bulk 1933-1949, 25 cubic ft.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. Executive Office records, 1972-1984, 1987-1999, 15.24 cubic ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting files. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1996/102, 1997/015, 1998/169, 2000/150, 2002/114, 2003/039, 2004/090, 2005/187, 2006/019, 2006/056, 2006/103, 2006/125

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. on May 3 and September 20, 1996; June 11, 1998; May 10, 2000; March 27, 2002; February 17, 2004; August 31, September 20 and November 8, 2005; January 25, 2006; and by the Legislative Reference Library on October 18, 2002 and January 11, 2006.

Processing Information

Lisa Hendricks, July 1996

Tony Black and Jason Walker, July 1998

Laura K. Saegert, January 2006

Appraisal Information

Minutes and meeting supporting documentation files were appraised by the State Archives staff as archival on October 18, 1999. For more information about the appraisal of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's records, see the appraisal report done by State Archives staff on file in the search room of the Archives and Information Services Division. It is not available online.


Microfilm of minutes are transferred to the State Archives on a yearly basis.

Other Formats for the Records

Transcripts from Commission meetings and hearings from 2000-present are posted the TPWD's website; meeting agenda are posted from fiscal year 1998-present ( http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/meetings/index.phtml).

Location of Originals

The original minutes are on file at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

Detailed Description of the Records


Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting files, 1963-2004,
22 cubic ft., 32 reels of microfilm

Meeting files (paper)
[Unless otherwise noted, records for 1972-1978 are in hard bound volumes. There is another set of meeting materials for 1972, slightly different in a few cases, that are in clip bound volumes. The volume types for the 1972 records are noted in the inventory.]
1996/102-7 Meeting files, 1963-1964
Hearing transcript, September 9, 1963
Meeting files:
September 23, 1963
September 30, 1963
October 24, 1963
November 1, 1963
Meeting files, loose material:
2003/039-1 Hearing transcript, November 16-17, 1964
1996/102-7 Resolutions, 1964-1972
[3 folders]
Texas Water Safety Act publications, 1965
Brochures re: Louisiana hunting, fishing and trapping regulations, 1967-1969
1998/169-1 Meeting files, September 1967
Meeting files, January 1968
1996/102-7 Meeting files, loose material:
Feasibility study from June 1967 with correspondence, October 1969
Correspondence and report, October 1969
Minutes and partial transcript, September 29, 1970
Excerpt from minutes and correspondence, March 26, 1971
Correspondence, memoranda, order, May 1971
Proposals, Lake Brownwood State Park and Goose Island State Park, January 1972
Proposal on shell dredging in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, February 1972
Operating budget, August 1972
Master plan for Abilene State Park, Exhibit "A," 1972
Master plan for Copper Breaks State Park, Exhibit "B," 1972
Master plan for Galveston Island State Park, Exhibit "C," December 1971
[Note: for a 1972 meeting]
Meeting files:
1998/169-1 January 20, 1972
[3 hard bound volumes]
1996/102-7 January 20, 1972
[3 clip bound volumes]
1996/102-8 January 21, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
1998/169-1 February 25, 1972
[1 hard bound volume]
1996/102-8 February 25, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
1998/169-1 March 24, 1972
[1 hard bound volume]
1996/102-8 March 24, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
April 27, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
1998/169-2 April 28, 1972
[1 hard bound volume]
1996/102-8 April 28, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
July 5, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
1998/169-2 July 6, 1972
[2 hard bound volumes]
1996/102-8 July 6, 1972
[1 clip bound volume]
1998/169-2 August 17, 1972
September 15, 1972
October 19, 1972
November 14, 1972
1998/169-3 December 14, 1972
January 26, 1973
March 15, 1973
April 26, 1973
May 31, 1973
July 12, 1973
1998/169-4 August 17, 1973
September 27, 1973
November 18, 1973
January 24, 1974, part I
1998/169-5 January 24, 1974, part II
February 21, 1974
March 25, 1974
April 29, 1974
1998/169-6 July 25, 1974
[2 volumes]
August 12, 1974
October 17, 1974
February 28, 1975
1998/169-7 April 29, 1975
May 23, 1975
[2 volumes]
August 29, 1975
[2 volumes]
October 9, 1975, part I
1998/169-8 October 9, 1975, part II
November 25, 1975
[2 volumes]
January 16, 1976
1998/169-9 February 18, 1976
March 19, 1976
[2 volumes]
June 29, 1976, part I
1998/169-10 June 29, 1976, part II
July 30, 1976
August 31, 1976
[2 volumes]
1998/169-11 October 26, 1976
[2 volumes]
November 23 and December 23, 1977
January 14, 1977
February 18, 1977, part I
1998/169-12 February 18, 1977, part II
March 18, 1977
April 15, 1977
[2 volumes]
May 20, 1977
1998/169-13 June 24, 1977
July 14 and July 22, 1977
August 31, 1977, part I
August 31, 1977, part II and September 23, 1977
1998/169-14 October 18, 1977
[2 volumes]
November 30, 1977
January 24, 1978
1998/169-15 March 1, 1978
March 28, 1978
April 25, 1978
May 31, 1978
1998/169-16 December 4, 1979
2003/039-1 Meeting files, loose material - "Non-Toxic Shot Zone for Waterfowl Hunting," 1978-1982
[Note: Four reports, each listed as an agenda item for separate meetings - July 1978, July 1980, March 1982, and September 1982.]
Meeting files:
1998/169-16 January and March 1983
April and July 1983
August 1983
October and November 1983
January and February 1983
March 1984
May 1984
June 1984
July, August and October 1984
November and December 1984
January, February and March 1985
May and June 1985
July 1985
1998/169-17 August, October and December 1985
January-March, May, June 1986
July 1986
August 1986
November and December 1986
January, March, May, July 1987
August 1987
November 1987
January and March 1988
May 1988
July 1988
2003/039-1 February 9, 1989
April 13, 1989
April 17 and May 25, 1989
June 15, 1989
August 30, 1989
[Note: Also includes annual public meeting transcripts.]
August 31, 1989
November 2, 1989
January 25, 1990
February 2, 1990
2003/039-2 March 8, 1990
March 22, 1980
July 6, 1990
April 12, 1990
May 24, 1990
Annual public meeting transcripts, August 29, 1990
Meeting files:
2003/039-2 August 30, 1990
November 8, 1990
January 24, 1991
March 28, 1991
May 23, 1991
July 9, 1991
1998/169-17 Annual public meeting transcripts, August 28, 1991
Annual public meeting transcripts, August 29, 1991
Meeting files:
2003/039-2 November 7, 1991
January 23, 1992
March 26, 1992
2003/039-3 May 21, 1992
July 9, 1992
Annual public meeting transcripts, August 26, 1992
Meeting files:
2003/039-3 August 27, 1992
November 5, 1992; January 21, March 25, May 20, July 8, and August 26; 1993
[Note: Includes annual public meeting transcripts for August 25, 1993.]
Annual public meeting transcripts, August 24-25, 1994
Meeting files:
2003/039-3 November 3, 1994
January 19, 1995
March 23, 1995
June 1, 1995
July 6, 1995
Annual public meeting summary, August 30, 1995
Meeting files:
August 31, 1995
November 2, 1995
2006/103-1 January 21-22, 1998
April 16, 1998
June 4, 1998
August 26, 1998
[Note: Includes summary of minutes from annual public meeting of the same date.]
November 5, 1998
Meeting files (microfilm)
The files before the 1980s generally had transcripts instead of minutes; beginning in the early 1980s, most had a meeting summary and agenda item summaries. Public hearings and some meetings also had transcripts. Beginning about 1995, the transcripts or minutes of standing and ad hoc commission committees were added. Not all materials presented at the meetings were filmed. Some exhibits or attachments will have a title page and a statement - This item will be a handout , or, This item will be an oral presentation.
3597 August 1963 - August 1967
[The beginning of the roll contains miscellaneous paid vouchers for 1968-1969.]
3598 September 1967 - October 1969
3599 1969-1971
3600 January 20-21, 1972 and September 30, 1971
[Note: The meetings were filmed in reverse order - the January meetings are first on the film.]
3601 July 25, 1975 - August 29, 1975
3602 July 19, 1978
3603 July 26, 1978 and September 1, 1978
3604 October 11 and November 22, 1978; January 16, 1979
3605 December 3, 1974 - January 24, 1975; February 21-22 and March 21-22, 1979; April 25, May 24, and June 20, 1979
[Note: Continued on reel 3607.]
3606 December 4, 1979
[The beginning of the roll contains miscellaneous paid vouchers for 1978-1979 and voucher progress reports for 1977-1979.]
3644 January 24 - April 18, 1980
3607 April 18, 1980; November 6, 1980
[Another copy is reel # 3645]
3608 November 6, 1980, July 23, 1981
[Another copy is reel # 3646]
3609 July 23, 1981 - July 28, 1983
[Note: labeled as exhibit D]
3610 May 13, 1982 - July 28, 1983
3611 November 5, 1987
3612 July 21, 1988 - September 29, 1988
3613 November 3, 1988 - May 25, 1989
[Another copy is reel # 3655]
3614 June 15, 1989 - August 31, 1989
[Another copy is reel # 3656]
3615 December 2, 1989 - January 25, 1990
[Also reel # 3657]
3616 April 12, 1990 - November 8, 1990
3617 November 8, 1990 - May 23, 1991
3618 July 9, 1991 - November 7, 1991
3619 January 23, 1992 - July 9, 1992
3620 August 26-27, 1992
3621 November 5, 1992 - August 26, 1993
3622 November 4, 1993 - July 6, 1995
[Also reel # 3658]
3647 August 20 1995 - April 17, 1997
3648 April 17, 1997 - April 15-16, 1998
3649 April 16, 1998 - November 5, 1999
3650 January 21 - November 18, 1999
3651 November 8, 2000 - August 30, 2001
3652 September 1, 2001 - August 21, 2002
3653 November 6, 2002 - August 28, 2003
3654 November 5, 2003 - November 3, 2004
3657 Committee meeting transcripts, 1995-2000