DALLAS – Dick Davis, a veteran conservation journalist who spent the last five years as Director of the Texas – Oklahoma Region for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has been named executive director of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, effective June 1.
Davis and a current staff of three based in Dallas, will lead efforts to provide private support for the work of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, for which the foundation is the official non-profit partner.
“We’re delighted that Dick has come on board,” said Pat Oles, Chairman of the TPWF board. “We’ve been very impressed with his record over many years of conservation efforts and in non-profit work. “We think that he’ll be a great fit for our foundation and will be a great leader in helping us achieve our potential.”
Davis began his journalistic work on behalf of conservation when still a high school student in Duncanville by writing articles for the Dallas Morning News outdoor page. He later served as sports writer-photographer for the Waco Tribune-Herald, where an article about his personal tryout with the Dallas Cowboys was named “Best Feature Story” by the Texas Sports Writers’ Association. In 1975 he began to publish in such magazines as Outdoor Life, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Southern Outdoors and Game & Fish Publications.
His award-winning series, “Outdoor Magazine,” first appeared on 150 public television stations, then later on cable. It was three times named “Best Television Production” by the Outdoor Writers’ Association of America. The series also won the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Conservation from the National Outdoor-Travel Film Festival.
While living in Louisiana serving as Outdoor Editor for a major daily newspaper, his articles won Best News Story, Feature and Column by the Louisiana Press Association. He also helped found the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. And, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.
“Everything I’ve done in my career, from writing about natural resource management for newspapers and magazines to producing television programs to working for other non-profit organizations, has prepared me for this job,” Davis said. “The people who work for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have always been among my heroes. Now to be able to assist them and the department in accomplishing their conservation goals on behalf of the people of Texas is both an honor and dream come true.”
During his five years with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, he helped increase the number of grants to Texas organizations from about 8 to about 30 annually and the average federal and private investment rose from $300,000 to $1.5 million a year. He also established the Texas Legends Award recognizing individuals for life-long conservation accomplishments. Recipients have been Tobin Armstrong, Karen & Tim Hixon and Dick Bartlett, all supporters of the TPWF.
“The Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation has a rich history, from the outstanding conservationists who have served on its board to the hundreds of supporters who have contributed to its many efforts and special projects,” said Davis. “One of my short-term goals will be to visit with as many of those folks as soon as possible to enlist their continuing support, engage them again in our work and to invite and incorporate their suggestions on how to make the foundation stronger in the future.
“At the same time, we will reach out to new people who may have never supported ours or any other conservation organization, invite them to join our team and help ensure the permanent protection and management of Texas’ unique natural resources.”