The 2012 budget approved last week by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission cuts funding for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by 21.5 percent.

The Commission approved a 2012 operating and capital budget of $332.31 million, down from $423.2 million in 2011 and $468.8 million in 2010. TPWD had requested $700 million for the 2012-2013 biennium in its Legislative Appropriations Request and received $550 million, according to

The new budget cuts TPWD’s employee count by 231.5 full time equivalent positions, or FTEs. That required laying off 111 of TPWD’s 3,100 employees statewide. The agency can retail 60 positions if it can generate enough revenue from park fees and other sources.