AUSTIN — John Silovsky has been selected as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Wildlife Division Director. Silovsky began his career with TPWD in 2014 and served as the District Leader for the Post Oak Savannah Wildlife District before being promoted to the Wildlife Division’s Deputy Director position in 2019. He has been serving as the acting director of the division since July 2020.
“With more than 30 years of leadership in wildlife management and conservation across Kansas and Texas, John brings an exceptional breadth of applied and pragmatic experience to his new role as the Department’s Wildlife Division Director,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. “John’s long history working in the field, his wide-ranging knowledge about the many and varied issues affecting Texas’ wildlife and his unyielding commitment to serving the needs of all our stakeholders, from private landowners, to hunters, to non-consumptive users, will be great assets to our Department and the mission we serve. I am excited about John assuming this position and look forward to working with him to help manage and conserve the extraordinary wildlife resources of our home ground.”
Silovsky says that on the surface, it appears that TPWD is very deer-centric but when one looks at the bigger picture, many would be astonished at the diversity and volume of wildlife conservation conducted by the Wildlife Division.
“The Wildlife Division is such a great team to be a part of,” Silovsky said. “The work we do is as diverse as the wildlife and natural resources of Texas.”
Biologists and staff within the division offer valuable insight and knowledge on everything from butterflies to bats, to the countless environmental assessments the division provides on a large variety of development projects, to offering public hunting opportunities across the state on more than 1 million acres, along with the management of all the other game species that are a large part of Texas’ hunting and outdoor heritage.
“The work ethic, professionalism and can-do attitude of a staff of more than 300 makes it easy for me to go to work each day,” Silovsky said. “The Wildlife Division is in the opportunity business by providing the opportunity for landowners to enhance the habitat on their property, the opportunity for the public to have an enjoyable outdoor experience and the opportunity for our staff to effectively utilize their abilities and develop professionally.”
Silovsky adds that some of his priorities for the Wildlife Division include increasing the public’s trust and ensuring that the work the division does is relevant to them whether they be traditional constituents like landowners or more urban constituencies. Additionally, Silovsky hopes that the diversity of the division’s employees can reflect the diversity of its constituents, that the division can continue TPWDs focus on the strategic management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), helping the public find access to the outdoors and the R3 initiative intended to recruit, retain and reactivate Texas hunters and anglers.
Silovsky received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas and soon thereafter began his career with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). Silovsky held numerous positions with KDWPT including biologist aide, conservation worker and program services manager. Silovsky finished his successful 33-year career with KDWPT as the Regional Public Lands Supervisor for twenty counties in northeast Kansas.