Texas State Parks & Wildlife Services Seek Corporate Help

Privatized state parks? The Texas government is seeking partnerships with the booming private sector, to help with the loss of revenue due to the drought and devastating wild fires. And with half of California’s industry moving to Texas to escape the moobat supported tax hikes, corporate sponsors can certainly afford it.

Mark this up as a victory for capitalism. Who knows, maybe the school systems will be next?

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(HT Field & Stream) In a first for the state, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking corporate partners to use the agency’s well-known logo and brand in exchange for hard currency, the agency announced this week.

The move provides a much-needed revenue stream as the department grapples with major budget cuts coupled with devastating droughts and wildfires.

While other state park agencies have dabbled with similar ideas or struck corporate sponsorships deals for specific projects, industry officials believe this would be the first time a department that oversees a state’s natural resources actively seeks contract-based partnerships.

Given today’s tough financial times, it’s a move in the right direction, said an official at TPWD.

“It’s a very good thing. This is groundbreaking,” said Darcy Bontempo, marketing director at the state parks and wildlife department. “This give us an opportunity to leverage the strengths that the private industry can bring to help us to carry out our mission of preserving state parks and the outdoor lifestyle. There’s a total flexibility for private companies to come in and say, ‘Here’s how we think we can help.’ ”

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, responsible for overseeing and maintaining more than 90 state parks, as well as issuing hunting and fishing licenses, had its budget cut by $114 million or 17.6 percent in the biannual 2010-12 budget, Bontempo said. Concurrently, a historic drought parched the state and massive wildfires destroyed thousands of acres of parkland, further sapping revenue.

But when the Legislature cut the department’s budget, it also passed a bill allowing the agency for the first time to strike partnerships with corporations. Until now, Bontempo said, corporations donated to or made small, targeted deals with the agency’s nonprofit foundation… Read Story

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