Skip to main content
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

2019 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame Inductees to be honored at Fort Worth Event

For Immediate Release March 26, 2019

Media contact: Lydia Saldaña

Lee and Ramona Bass to be honored April 11 at the Fort Worth Zoo


March 26, 2019
Media contact: Lydia Saldaña

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) will honor Lee and Ramona Bass at the 2019 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame event on April 11 at the Fort Worth Zoo. The two are being recognized for their decades of conservation efforts in Texas and beyond.

“We’re pleased to celebrate Lee and Ramona Bass,” said Mike Greene, chair of TPWF’s board of trustees. “Ramona and Lee exemplify the best in Texas conservation and philanthropy. Their partnership has had an untold and lasting impact on our wild things and wild places. They are committed to conservation on their home ground and around the world. We are honored to recognize them.”

For more than 30 years, Ramona’s transformational leadership at the Fort Worth Zoo has been the driving force behind its privatization and recognition as one of the top five zoos in the country. As Chair of the Fort Worth Zoological Association’s Board of Directors, she has channeled her passionate commitment into critical conservation programs ranging from native horned lizard propagation and translocation in Texas to international black rhino breeding programs. One of the zoo’s signature exhibits, Texas Wild!, celebrates native Texas wildlife, habitats and the management strategies that help them thrive. In 2002, she was appointed by then-TPW Chairman Joseph Fitzsimons as Vice Chair of the TPW Outreach and Education Advisory Committee. In 2003, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton appointed her to serve on the National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Commission, and in 2012, she was awarded the Botanical Research Institute of Texas International Award of Excellence in Conservation.

Lee has taken a leadership role in Texas Parks and Wildlife matters for decades. He served two terms on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, first appointed in 1989 by Governor Bill Clements. Six years later, Governor George W. Bush designated him as Chairman of the Commission, and in 2001, Governor Rick Perry named him Chairman Emeritus. He currently serves as Chair of the TPWD White-Tailed Deer Advisory Committee, Chairman Emeritus of The Peregrine Fund, and as a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation.

Among many other initiatives over the years, Ramona and Lee helped found South Texas Natives, now known as the Texas Native Seeds Program, at Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. They have been highly involved in the University of Texas at Austin Biodiversity Center and in the reintroduction of the Aplomado falcon in South Texas.

“I can’t think of a couple that has had a longer and more substantial impact on wildlife conservation and private land stewardship in Texas than Lee and Ramona Bass,” said Ralph Duggins, chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. “They are an extraordinary team and have devoted a significant part of their lives to conservation.”

Ramona and Lee have invested in countless TPWD projects, from facilities at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area and the Game Warden Training Center, to research at the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area after devastating wildfires, and most recently, to restoring Coastal Fisheries facilities and equipment following Hurricane Harvey.

In addition, they have been unstinting promoters of TPWF since its inception in 1991. Thanks to their continued generosity, the foundation’s projects around the state have been supported for almost three decades. In recent years, TPWF completed Keeping it Wild: The Campaign for Texas, the largest fundraising effort the Foundation has ever undertaken. This $100-million campaign made critical projects throughout the state possible, from acquiring the jewel that is Powderhorn Ranch, to the restoration of majestic pronghorn in West Texas, the conservation of Guadalupe bass in Hill Country streams, and the creation of the finest Game Warden Training Center in the world. The Keeping it Wild Campaign touches every corner of the state.

Lee and Ramona Bass will be honored at the sold-out Texas Conservation Hall of Fame dinner on April 11, 2019, at the Fort Worth Zoo. For more information, call 214.720.1478 or email

Event information:

All TPWF news releases available online:

Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has leveraged public funds with private philanthropy to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat, recreational areas, and natural resources. Since its inception, TPWF has raised more than $190 million to help ensure that all Texans, today and in the future, can enjoy the wild things and wild places of Texas.