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Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Texas Conservation Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

November 17, 2014
Media contact: Lydia Saldaña

2015 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame Inductees Selected

Austinites to be honored at special event in March 2015

AUSTIN- The Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Foundation will honor two Austin residents by inducting them into the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame. The induction will occur at TPW Foundation’s signature fundraising event which annually recognizes Hall of Fame recipients. Joe McBride and Ben F. Vaughan, III are being honored for their contributions to conservation causes and will be honored on March 30, 2015 in Austin.

“The Texas Conservation Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of Texas’ greatest conservationists,” said Mark Bivins,” co-chair of the 2015 event and TPW Foundation Trustee. “It’s fitting that Joe McBride and Ben Vaughan’s lifelong contributions to conservation will be recognized in this way.”

Joe McBride is familiar to several generations of outdoor enthusiasts through his well-known store on Lamar Blvd. McBride’s Guns has provided gear to hunters, shooters and anglers for more than 50 years. He’s been a supporter of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for more than four decades and served on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Board of Trustees for six years. He was among the founders of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo. He’s a long-time supporter of Operation Game Thief (OGT), Texas’ wildlife crime stoppers program.  He served on the OGT board for more than ten years, began serving as chairman in 2009, and was recently appointed Chairman Emeritus. McBride continues to be the lead board member for OGT’s Claystoppers event, the organization’s primary fundraising event in Austin, San Antonio and Houston.  He is also a longstanding supporter of the Texas Game Warden Association, The 100 Club of Central Texas and the Coastal Conservation Association.

Ben F. Vaughan, III, a lawyer with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon, & Moody, is a lifelong conservationist and his family has been involved with TPWD since before the agency’s inception. His father, Ben F. Vaughan, Jr. served as Chairman of the Game and Fish Commission immediately preceding its 1963 merger with the State Parks Board to form the new agency called the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Vaughan is carrying on his family’s conservation tradition and is actively involved in the Coastal Conservation Association and as an advocate for water resources in Texas. From 1989 to 1999, Vaughan was Chairman of the Caesar Kleberg Institute Advisory Board, and he continues serve on the board.  He also serves on the State of Texas and the National Boards of Directors and Executive Committees for the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).  In 2004 he received the University of Texas College of Natural Science Hall of Honor Award, and in 2006 was named the Harvey Weil Conservationist of the Year by the Corpus Christi Rotary Club. In 2013, he received the Walter W. Fondren Conservation Leadership Award from CCA.

Both men will be honored at the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame dinner and concert at ACL Live at Moody Theatre, Austin on March 30, 2015 with entertainment provided by Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.  The Texas Conservation Hall of Fame benefits TPW Foundation, which raises private dollars to leverage public funding for high-impact, transformational projects such as the acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch. Last year’s Hall of Fame celebrated the 50th anniversary of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and raised an unprecedented $1 million. For more information about the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame, call 214.720.1478 or email

For more information about previous honorees:

Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) 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, the TPW Foundation has raised more than $100 million to help ensure that all Texans, today and in the future, can enjoy the wild things and wild places of Texas.