Texas Outdoor Writers Association comes to Port Arthur, makes stand for next generation

Published 12:18 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

With coastal bounty from Sabine Lake and Pleasure Island to refuges and Sea Rim State park, it’s no wonder Texas Outdoor Writers Association chose Port Arthur for a recent annual conference.

“The Next Generation” was the theme.

A field trip included site visit to the sands of Sea Rim State Park and a visit to Museum of the Gulf Coast.

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Southeast Texas outdoors journalist Chester Moore swept the awards.

Moore, a noted outdoors media rep known for touting the area’s assets, said the conference allowed special focus on bringing Texas Outdoor Writers Association to a place where new and veteran members can work together for the common cause of outdoor communication and wildlife conservation.

A presentation from the Saltwater Anglers League of Texas – Sabine Area members showed why the Sabine Lake offers some of the best inland sport fishing on the Texas Coast.

This lake is known for trout, flounder and redfish.

“Port Arthur has been great to us and we were happy to return for the conference. We had a great time and everyone here treated us wonderfully,” conference organizer and board member Herman Brune said.

The event included the annual Excellence in Craft competition with $200 for each first-place win sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation along with certificates for second place and honorable mention.

Newly elected President Jeff Lichon said inspiring the next generation of Texas Outdoor Writers Association members is the key to the future of the organization.

“We’re excited to work with longtime members, inspire new ones to join  us, and maintain the membership’s strong history of promoting the North American Model of Conservation in their respective crafts.”

The Bob Hood Scholarship recognizes a dedicated member of the group whose legacy not only lives on through his writings but also helping wildlife-centric students get their education.

This year’s recipient of the $1,000 scholarship is Ashley Marie Ridlon, a graduate student at Texas A&M, seeking a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Already an active conservationist, she has done everything from research on Eider ducks to working with rehabilitating Texas native tortoises.

Natalie Wolff of Texas Brigades spoke with members about a project that will link the teenage Brigades cadets and their required writing assignments with Texas Outdoor Writers Association.

Several members agreed to make presentations at the nine summer camps.

Site hosts the Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau, showed attendees why their branded “Visit Port Arthur” slogan is a must-do for outdoors lovers.

The Association also conducted the conference in the city in 2021.

In addition to Lichon’s nomination, Jon Brauchle was elected as secretary and Don Discoe as treasurer at the Sunday member meeting.

— Submitted by Darragh Castillo, experience manager with the Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau, which spreads the word on Cajun hospitality on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Learn more at visitportarthurtx.com.