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“I have read many definitions of what is a conservationist, and written not a few myself, but I suspect the best one is written not with a pen, but with an axe . . . A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land. Signatures of course differ, whether with axe or pen, and this is as it should be.”

- Aldo Leopold


Resource managers put their "signature" on the land by writing and overseeing the implementation of wildlife habitat management plans. Resource planning involves 5 steps: (1) state goals and objectives, (2) identify and assign tasks, (3) conduct the tasks, (4) evaluate the results, and (5) modify the plan (if necessary). In this course, you will be asked to develop a management plan. Management plans can serve to guide landowners seeking an agricultural wildlife valuation for their properties (Texas House Bill 1358, Proposition 11), and will follow Texas Parks and Wildlife Comprehensive Wildlife Management Planning Guidelines. Graduate students will be required to develop a management plan addressing 1 landowner objective with at least 1 qualifying practice per year. The written plan will be graded on content, writing style/clarity, and grammar. Gradesheets and guidelines are listed below.

Guidelines and Gradesheets

Texas Parks and Wildlife Supplemental Documents

Below are a list of planning documents used by Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) for implementating wildlife management plans. We extend a special thanks to TPW for use of these documents in WFSC 406/407. Documents are specifically for the Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Ecological Regions. For the latest information or for other ecological regions in Texas, please visit TPW's website (

Wildlife Management Planning
Guidelines for Qualification (348KB)
Management Plan Form, PWD 885-W7000 (Undergraduate management plan template) (246KB)
Management Plan Report Form, PWD 888-W7000 (225KB)
Comprehensive Guidelines for the Post Oak and Blackland Prairie Ecological Regions (634KB)
Minimum Intesity Requirements
Appendices A-F (294KB)
     1-d-1w Wildlife Use Appraisal Check List
     Wildlife Management Plan Overview--Intensity Levels
     Sample Wildlife Management Plan for 1-d-1w
     Livestock Management Recommendations
     Vegetation Management
     Specific Management Recommendations for White-tailed Deer
Appendices G-K (664KB)
    Specific Management Recommendations for Bobwhite Quail
    Specific Management Recommendations for Rio Grande Turkey
    Comments Concerning Federally Listed Endangered Species
    Nongame Wildlife Management Recommendations
    Guidelines for Native Grassland Restoration Projects
Appendices L-N (137KB)
    Conducting W-T Deer Spotlight Surveys in Central Texas
    Herd Composition: An Essential Element in Deer Management
    Supplemental Forage Management for East Texas White-tailed Deer
Appendix O (594KB)
    Wildlife Watering Facilities
Appendix P (94KB)
     Managing Red Imported Fireants in Wildlife Areas
Appendix Q (4622KB)
     Trapping Brown-headed Cowbirds to Control Songbird Nest Parasitism
Appendix R (2016KB)
     Small Acreage Management Techniques
Appendix S (389KB)
     The Value of Dead and Down Wood
Appendix T (103KB)
     Management Plan Checklist and Summary
Appendix U (55KB)
Appendix V (54KB)
     Palatability Ratings of Browse Species for Deer of Eastern Texas
Appendix W (153KB)
     Sunflowers for Wildlife
Appendix X (496KB)
     Texas Wildscapes Native Plant List