Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:
An Inventory of Parks and Wildlife Department's Executive Director's Files as a Member of the Texas Antiquities Committee at the Texas State Archives, 1963-1964, 1969-1980, bulk 1969-1980
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 (1963), 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.
A more comprehensive agency history can be found in the overall finding aid to the 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.
The Texas Antiquities Committee was created by Senate Bill 58, 61st Legislature, 2nd Called Session (1969). The Committee was the legal custodian of all state archaeological resources and it adopted rules to protect and preserve these resources. It designated state archaeological landmarks, issued permits for activities that impacted archeological sites, oversaw staff efforts to ensure compliance with the Texas Antiquities Code, maintained an inventory of items recovered and retained by the State of Texas, and contracted or otherwise provided for discovery operations and scientific investigations of sunken or abandoned ships and their contents. In 1995, the committee was abolished (Senate Bill 365, 74th Legislature, Regular Session). Its duties were absorbed by the Texas Historical Commission and are carried out through its Archeology Division. The legislation that abolished the Antiquities Committee allowed for an advisory body to be created to assist the Texas Historical Commission on issues relating to the Antiquities Code of Texas. In 1995 the Historical Commission created the Texas Antiquities Advisory Board. The Board provides recommendations on proposed State Archeological Landmarks designations and assists in resolving disputes regarding issuance of Texas Antiquities permits.
The Antiquities Committee was initially composed of seven members: Director of the Texas State Historical Survey Committee, Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Commissioner of the General Land Office, State Archeologist (whose office was transferred in 1969 from the State Building Commission to the Texas State Historical Survey Committee), one professional archeologist from a recognized museum or institution of higher learning, one professional Texas historian, and the Director of the Texas Memorial Museum of the University of Texas. The makeup of the Committee when it expired in 1995 was a nine-member commission. It consisted of six ex-officio members - the chair of the Texas Historical Commission or his/her designee, the State Archeologist, the Director of the Parks and Wildlife Department, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, the State Engineer, and the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Water Resources. The three other members were appointed by the Governor with concurrence of the Senate, for two-year terms and consisted of a professional historian, a professional archaeologist, and a professional museum director.
The Texas Antiquities Committee (TAC) was the legal custodian of all state archaeological resources and it adopted rules to protect and preserve these resources. The executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was a statutory member of the Antiquities Committee. These records reflect the involvement of the TPWD executive director or his " proxy" with the Antiquities Committee. Types of records present include minutes, agenda, meeting files, correspondence, memoranda, rules and regulations, reports, papers, notes, legislation, press releases, and clippings, dating 1963-1964, 1969-1980, bulk dating 1969-1980. Topics covered include the formation of the Texas Antiquities Committee, requests for and status of antiquities permits, changes in or additions to antiquities laws, budget and financial status of the committee, underwater archaeology rules and regulations and projects, shipwreck salvage, field work and/or research undertaken by TAC staff, significant archaeological discoveries, nominations for state archeological landmark status, requests to remove archeological landmark status, a litigation case against TAC over its denial of a destruction permit for buildings at El Centro College in Dallas, and the Governor's Conference on Antiquities. Correspondents include TPWD staff, TAC chairmen and staff, the governor's office, state and federal agencies, legislators, and others. Most of the materials in the files are copies of items sent to TAC members. There is some original correspondence with the TWPD members, most during the era that J.R. Singleton or James Cross served on the committee. TPWD executive directors serving on this committee (during the period covered by these records) were J.R. (Bob) Singleton (1969-1971), James Cross (1971-1972), Clayton T. Garrison (1973-1977), Henry Burkett (1977-1978), and Charles Travis (1979-1990). Beginning in the early 1970s, the TPWD executive directors at times used a proxy to handle their TAC business, generally Orion Knox, Director of the Historic Sites and Restoration Branch.
There is a small amount of material in the correspondence files (letters, memos, reports) for 1971-1972 that do not appear to be TAC files, but are interfiled with the TAC materials. James Cross, during this period, served on the Planning Committee for the Colorado River Basin Water Quality Management Study and some files reflect his involvement with that committee. Other files concern waste control orders of the Texas Water Development Board, fisheries research, TPWD projects with the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, and an interagency contract with the Texas Highway Department to build a bridge across the bay between Corpus Christi and Mustang Island.
There are also archeology-related files from 1963 to 1964 concerning the attempt by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and other groups to national monument status for the Alibates Flint Quarries and Pueblo cultural sites in the Texas Panhandle. Correspondence is present with the Potter County Historical Society, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Smithsonian, and others and is accompanied by clippings and reports. The Alibates Flint Quarries and Pueblo sites were given national monument status by the U.S. Congress in 1965 and are managed by the National Park Service. The quarries and cultural sites are located in the Lake Meredith Recreation Area.
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.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
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.).
(Identify the item), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's executive director's files as a member of the Texas Antiquities Committee. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2004/090
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 Department on February 17, 2004.
Laura K. Saegert, January 2006
Detailed Description of the Records