Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, the CEO of Buc-ee’s, will step down as chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission next week, Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said Thursday.
Aplin has been the chairman for two years. He will leave the commission effective August 31, six months ahead of schedule.
Commissioner Jeff Hildebrand, executive chairman of Hilcorp Energy Co., will succeed Aplin as chairman, and William “Leslie” Doggett will join the nine-member board, the governor’s office said.
“I thank him for faithfully serving his fellow Texans to preserve the beautiful Texas landscape that spurs our booming tourism industry and protects our state’s rich history,” Abbott said of Aplin in a statement. “Jeff Hildebrand and William Doggett both bring unique experiences to the Commission and will help ensure that Texans, and out-of-state visitors alike, continue to enjoy Texas’ outdoors and recreational activities for generations to come.”
Before Thursday’s announcement, TPWD Executive Director David Yoskowitz presented Aplin with a copy of a special-edition magazine celebrating Texas State Parks’ centennial, which was signed by the governor.
“It was a joint effort by a bunch of people to set the stage for the future with that centennial fund,” Aplin was quoted as saying by The Dallas Morning News. “It’s a big deal, and a lot of people, including these commissioners, worked hard on that, so thank you.”
Aplin said being on the commission was the best volunteer job he has ever had, adding, “I am proud of what we’ve done in our time here together. I feel like we’ve left it better than we found it.”
Aplin, the co-founder and CEO of Buc-ee’s, has been with the commission since November 2018. He was named chairman in June 2021. He has also served on other nonprofit boards, including the Coastal Conversation Association and the Houston Methodist Hospital President’s Leadership Council.
Since April, Aplin and the commission have dealt with development issues at Fairfield Lake State Park. A Dallas developer recently called for his resignation.
Hildebrand founded Hilcorp Energy in 1989. He previously worked at Exxon, the Dan A. Hughes Co., and American Energy Capital Corp. He was appointed to the board in August 2019, and his term expires in February 2025.
Doggett is executive chairman and founder of the Doggett Equipment Services Group and the Doggett Auto Group in Houston. His term will expire in February 2029.
Note: This article was updated on August 26, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. to correct a title that claimed Arch Aplin III had resigned when he had not.