AUSTIN, TX — Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) has selected the honorees for the 2018 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame: Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and Dr. Dale Rollins. TSCRA is being honored for its steadfast commitment to the stewardship of Texas’ natural resources. Dr. Rollins is being honored for a lifetime of conservation achievements, including the development of the Bobwhite Brigade youth program, which has evolved into a statewide program called Texas Brigades.
“We’re pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2018 inductees into the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame,” said Kelly R. Thompson, chair of TPWF’s board of trustees. “The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has an unwavering commitment to the lands and waters of Texas. Dr. Dale Rollins has spent his entire career devoted to quail conservation, and the creation of the brigade youth program will help ensure the next generation of conservationists.”
TSCRA is a 140-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas, with more than 17,500 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members steward 76 million acres of range and pastureland primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, and throughout the Southwest. TSCRA places a tremendous value on land and natural resource stewardship. From educational and professional development activities to communications with members and the general public, environmental stewardship is front and center. TSCRA also hosts educational programs that emphasize land stewardship throughout the year. TSCRA will also announce the newest winner of its prestigious Outstanding Rangeland Steward Award at the 2018 Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo. Whether it be through outreach, education or recognition, TSCRA continually strives to provide ranchers and landowners with the tools necessary to be committed, responsible stewards of their land and natural resources.
Dr. Dale Rollins served as professor and extension wildlife specialist for The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in San Angelo from 1987-present. He also held a research appointment at Texas A&M University until 2013 and has served as the executive director for the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation since its inception in 2007. Dr. Rollins’ passion for quail resulted in the idea for Texas Brigades, which expands conservation education efforts by developing wildlife ambassadors. It came to life in 1993 with the formation of the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, a summer camp that educates and empowers youth with leadership skills and knowledge in wildlife, fisheries, and land stewardship. Since the first camp was held, the program has expanded to eight summer camps across Texas focusing on topics ranging from deer to cattle, waterfowl, and marine life, and the original quail program has been duplicated in five other states. More recently, Dr. Rollins has served as the executive director of Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Roby, TX. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, his master’s degree in wildlife ecology (specializing in bobwhite and scaled quail) from Oklahoma State University, and his Ph.D. in range management from Texas Tech University.
The 2018 inductees will be honored at the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame dinner and concert featuring Jerry Jeff Walker and Lukas Nelson. The event will be held in Austin at ACL Live at Moody Theater on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The Texas Conservation Hall of Fame benefits Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, which raises private dollars to leverage public funding for high-impact, transformational projects.