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After careful evaluation of the ongoing public health situation, Texas State Parks will be limiting park programming and closing public access to park headquarters, visitor centers and park stores starting at 12 p.m. Thursday, March 19, according to Texas parks and Wildlife.

“Our main priority has always been the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff, and in order to maintain this standard to the best of our abilities TPWD facilities will be modifying operations as a precautionary step towards protecting public health,” Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said. “While we have worked hard to provide access to state parks through much of Spring Break, we have now reached a point where changes are imperative for safety reasons. I am grateful to our State Parks team and volunteers for their valiant work during this exceedingly difficult time and thank our visitors for their patience and understanding as we continue to evaluate additional measures to ensure the safety of everyone in the parks.”

As part of these operational changes, parks will be suspending all cash transactions where feasible. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the self-pay stations, the online reservation system and credit card transactions at this time. Other reduced services include the suspension of equipment rentals and interpretive programs.

Park visitors should check the Texas State Parks Alert Map regularly for the latest information about the status of parks.

In addition to the operational changes at Texas State Parks, TPWD law enforcement and boat registration offices, including the license and boat registration counter at TPWD’s Austin headquarters, will be closing to public visitation at 12 p.m., March 19. Texans needing to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, boat and motor owner transfers, and boat registration renewals are encouraged to visit tpwd.texas.gov or call the department at (512) 389-4800.

These changes will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. TPWD will continue to monitor the evolving health situation with local and state officials and will adjust operations at department sites and facilities as necessary. The public is encouraged to follow the department’s social media accounts and monitor its website for the most up to date information.