The Surplus List 1/9/2020

THE SURPLUS LIST
1/9/2020
CALL TODAY TO RESERVE!!!
(830)232-6003 Tel.

When we use the numbers like 5.6 for example the first number is how many males and the second number is how many females. So 5.6 means 5 males and 6 females. Call today to reserve your animals, or ask us about something special your looking for. This list is not everything we have for sale. These are the animals that we are selling at the moment, but please ask us if you are looking for something else. Thank you.

Red River Hogs  –  1.1  2yrs  $4250 each

Addax  –  3.0   8-10mo   $2500ea

Bongo     1.1  1-2yrs  $19,500k each

Roan Antelope  –  1.0 mature $11,500
                              3.0 1-2yrs  $3950ea

Springbok  –  1.0 2.5yrs  $3250
4.0  1-2yrs $2750ea

Zebra Grant  –  0.2  mature exposed looks heavy bred $7500

Zebra Grant  –  0.4  1-2yrs  $4850ea
4.0   1-2yrs  $2950ea

Nyala   –   0.1  1-2yrs  $13500

Scimitar Oryx  –  3.0 1-2yrs $1550ea
0.4 1-2yrs $1450ea
0.12 mature exposed $2150ea

Nile Lechwe  –  3.0  mature  $6950ea

Sitatunga  –  3.0  2yrs  $3500ea

Dama Gazelle  –  1.0 2.5yrs  $3850

Dama Gazelle  –   0.2  1-2yrs  $9500ea

Grants Gazelle  –  1.0 mature good horns $7500

Red Deer Females –  0.5 Circle H genetics and Exposed $1850ea

Elk  –  0.10  mature exposed  $1100ea

Axis  –  0.50 $345ea

Bison  –  2.3  1-2yrs  $1195ea

*Attention: The offer for sale is in Texas only for any animals that are listed on the US endangered specie list, or cities, or under the condition all parties obtain any and all necessary permits. The prices listed above are for each animal here at the ranch in Texas, unless otherwise stated. Once an agreement for any animal has been accepted by Circle H Ranch, Inc. all funds are due immediately upon mutual agreement for said animals, plus any other agreed upon fees, unless other arrangements have been made.

Newborn miniature shetland foal gets friendly with young children!

Naming a Street After MLK Is Easier Said Than Done

Opponents of naming streets after King tend to be white business and property owners on affected roads.

WASHINGTON, DC -MAR 28: Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue was previously known as Nichols Ave. In 1971, the D.C. Council voted to rename the street Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue after the slain civil rights leader. -We interview people who remember the day Dr. Martin Luther King was killed. A tour of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in the District reveals that while some things have changed in the area, much has not since the assassination. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, previously known as Nichols Ave, in Washington, D.C.

More than 1,000 streets in the world bear the name of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

At least 955 of those streets can be found in the U.S. They’re in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Martin Luther King streets cross a diversity of neighborhoods – rural and urban, residential and commercial, large and small. The range of these named streets across the country makes it seem that remembering and memorializing King was inevitable.

Yet, for some communities, the drive to name public spaces in King’s name has taken years as well as heated debates, boycotts, petition drives, marches and even litigation.

My research over the past 20 years has examined the role of African-Americans in the King street-naming process. I have found that the nation’s Martin Luther King streets – while seen by some as celebrating the victories of a movement that left racism safely in the past – are one terrain on which a continuing struggle for civil rights has played out.

It Started in Chicago

The geographic range of King streets reflects the influence of King’s work. It also reflects the cultural and political power of African-Americans, who are largely responsible for bringing street renaming proposals before local city councils and county commissions.

Just months after King’s assassination in 1968, Chicago became the first city to rename a street for King. Alderman Leon Despres, a white liberal and King supporter, initially proposed renaming a street in the city’s central business district. However, Mayor Richard J. Daley followed with a different resolution. He wanted to place King’s name on South Park Way, a road more than 11 miles long that runs strictly through African-American communities on Chicago’s South Side.

Daley was no fan of King and infamous for his shoot-to-kill order against rioters after the civil right leader’s murder. When King came to Chicago in 1966 to challenge segregated housing, he encountered great hatred from taunting and violent white crowds.

According to journalists Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor, in their book “American Pharaoh,” Mayor Daley was seeking to mend his and the city’s public image in the lead up to the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Indeed, he held the street renaming dedication ceremony a week before the convention. At the same time, the mayor didn’t want to alienate his political base of racially hostile whites.

Two black city aldermen objected to Daley’s proposal. One of them, Alderman A.A. “Sammy” Rayner, called the street renaming “tokenism” and called on city leaders to do “something bigger.” He and William Cousins Jr. suggested renaming a proposed Crosstown Expressway. It was planned to cut across, and unite, different parts of Chicago. But the City Council eventually approved the mayor’s plan to rename South Park Way as Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, which it remains today.

Even now, 50 years later, proponents still must fight to convince many municipal officials that King’s name belongs on major roads.

More Than Just a Name

Many of the activists with whom I have spoken view King streets as a way to carry on King’s unfinished work to create racial equality and economic justice in the U.S.

Greater visibility, they argue, can communicate the legitimacy of King’s message. More streets named after the civil rights leader, especially in prominent parts of town, can help educate a wider white public of the relevance and resonance of civil rights and black historical contributions.

Some cities honor King with important thoroughfares that connect a variety of neighborhoods. These include AlbuquerqueAustinNew Bern in North Carolina, Oakland-North BerkeleySavannah and Tampa.

However, public opposition over the past half century has led most cities to rename smaller streets or portions of roads located entirely within poor African-American neighborhoods. Opponents tend to be white business and property owners on affected roads. In public, most cite concerns over cost and inconvenience. Some suggest the association with King’s name will stigmatize their neighborhood.

For example, when a Chattanooga real estate developer faced the prospect of his new development on West Ninth Street being named for King, he expressed concern about renting offices to potential clients because a MLK address, in his words, would create “racial overtones.” Suggesting King’s name was out of place on the road, he said: “West Ninth Street is not related to Dr. King. … It is no longer a solid black street. … It is no longer a residential street or rundown business street. It is a top class business street.”

Many cities have resorted to dedicating a road to King, rather than force a full name and address change. Several cities such as Zephyrhills, Florida, and Statesboro, Georgia, also created renaming ordinances in direct response to King street-naming efforts. While these policies now apply to all renaming efforts, they were created with the original intent of limiting how and where citizens remember King within their communities. These policies echo a long history of black disenfranchisement, procedural injustice and segregated public spaces.

In places such as TulsaIndianapolis and the North Carolina city of Greenville, King roads have doubled as memorials and boundaries between King’s supporters and those who do not identify with or desire to be associated with him. Extending King’s name even a few blocks can become contentious.

For many African-Americans, the fight to have a voice in King street naming parallels recent activism against Confederate monuments and symbols of white supremacy. In the same way, it is about claiming and exerting one’s right to belong, and remembering and being remembered in communities where rights were denied for generations.

Roads of Resilience

The neighborhoods through which many King streets run reflect both the resiliency and precariousness of black American life. In the words of journalist Doug Moore, King’s road in St. Louis, Missouri, is “where hope and despair collide.” King streets host disproportionately high numbers of churches, government offices and schools, as well as beauty parlors and barber shops. These provided valuable refugee and mobilization spaces during the civil rights movement and today serve as hubs of resourcefulness, aid and creative community building. These institutions exist alongside high crime rates, poverty, abandoned buildings, food deserts and sputtering redevelopment efforts.

Revitalization is on the minds of many King street activists. They want to raise incomes, property values and quality of life without the forced displacement of gentrification. These efforts, while more formalized than in the past, have moved slowly if not failed without private and public support.

These activists believe that convincing the larger public to care about King streets is of critical importance. King’s namesakes don’t just memorialize. They can open up critical discussions of the continuing power of racism. They can be avenues – literally and figuratively – to continuing the civil rights leader’s work of battling racial and economic inequality and the creation of a black sense of belonging and place in the U.S.

 

 

Credit to US News

The Conversation

Texas Park & Wildlife Events

Jan 20

1:00p

MLK Day of Service

Nurdle Patrol! What is a nurdle and why do we have to patrol it?
Jan 21

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 21

8:30a

Choke Canyon Bird Walk

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Come join our Bird Host for a bird walk at Choke Canyon State Park!
Jan 21

7:00p

Line Dancing Class

Lockhart State Park
Don’t miss the music and fun in this family-friendly dance class! All ages and abilities welcome.
Jan 22

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 22

8:00a

Bird Sanctuary Fun

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Learn to provide setup situations for photographing and watching birds in a controlled environment.
Jan 22

8:30a

World Birding Center Bird Walks

Estero Llano Grande State Park
All ages and skill-levels are welcome on this two-hour tour of the park, finding as many species of birds as possible, especially the 30 that are termed Valley Specialties!
Jan 22

8:30a

Woodland Bird Walk

Goose Island State Park
What will you find on a bird walk through the woods?
Jan 22

2:00p

Electric Tram Tour

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us on a narrated ranger-driven, two-hour tour of the park in a quiet electric tram. Reservations required.
Jan 22

6:00p

TPWD Angler Education Instructor Training Workshop – CANCELLED

Hurst, TX – Longhorn Council Scout Office
Sorry -this workshop has been cancelled due to low registration.
Jan 23

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 23

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 23

8:30a

Big Tree Natural Area Bird Walk

Goose Island State Park
Come along with us to view birds at the Big Tree Natural Area!
Jan 23

9:00a

Hike with a Homeless Dog

Davis Mountains State Park
Help a homeless dog have a great time on the trail!
Jan 23

10:00a

Hike with a Ranger!

South Llano River State Park
Hike the West Canyon Loop trail with a ranger!
Jan 23

10:00a

Beginning Bird Photography Hike

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Take a guided photo tour to learn the secrets of bird photography from our Bird Host, Alan.
Jan 23

1:30p

Plant Hike

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us for a ranger-led hike to identify and learn about interesting native and non-native plants in the park.
Jan 23

2:00p

Fort Davis Tales

Indian Lodge
Come hear how the coolest town in Texas came to be.
Jan 23

7:00p

Line Dancing Class

Lockhart State Park
Don’t miss the music and fun in this family-friendly dance class! All ages and abilities welcome.
Jan 23

7:00p

New Moon Hike

Estero Llano Grande State Park
A two-hour hike at night, led by knowledgeable rangers. You’ve seen the park in the daytime, now see it at night!
Jan 24

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 24

7:30a

Coffee with a Ranger

Goose Island State Park
Lapping waves, salt air, and conversation with a ranger over morning coffee!
Jan 24

8:00a

Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop – Burnet – Full

Burnet, TX – AgriLife Extension
Workshop is full. Biologists will provide an overview of the wildlife tax valuation, developing a wildlife management plan, and management practices.
Jan 24

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 24

8:30a

Shorebird Walk

Goose Island State Park
Discover the birds that call the shorelines of Goose Island State Park home!
Jan 24

8:30a

Choke Canyon Bird Walk

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Come join our Bird Host for a bird walk at Choke Canyon State Park!
Jan 24

9:00a

Project WILD Facilitator Training

Dallas, TX – Dallas Zoo
Training and certification to conduct Texas Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, and Growing Up WILD workshops – prerequisite required
Jan 24

10:00a

10 am Tram Tour

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us while we explore Bentsen State Park from the comfort of an electric park shuttle.
Jan 24

10:00a

Pre-K in the Park

South Llano River State Park
Bring the little ones (ages 3-5) and explore the great outdoors!
Jan 24

11:00a

Texas Southern University Part-time Job Fair

Houston, TX – Student Center (Tiger Room) 3rd Floor
Talk with a Texas Parks and Wildlife Recruiter about internship and career opportunities.
Jan 24

1:00p

Red River Rendezvous Fly Tying Extravaganza

Eisenhower State Park
Meet other fly fisherman, learn to tie flies and fish at Eisenhower State Park
Jan 24

1:30p

Butterfly and Dragonfly Walks

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us on a ranger-led hike through the park noting these beautiful insects, some found nowhere else but in South Texas.
Jan 24

2:00p

Homeschool Days

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
From fishing to ponding to technology, kids will learn something new each week! Great for all school-aged kids!
Jan 24

6:30p

Stargazing 101

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Join a park ranger as we learn to navigate our dark skies.
Jan 24

6:30p

Starrytelling

Copper Breaks State Park
Come spend a night under the stars!
Jan 25

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 25

Family Trout Fishing Days

Daingerfield State Park
We’re being stocked with trout! Join us for a fun fishing day for the whole family!
Jan 25

29th Annual Trout Clinic

Fort Parker State Park
The Annual Trout Clinic introduces children and youth to the fun of fishing! Come help catch the 1,000 fresh, colorful rainbow trout in our Lake Springfield!
Jan 25

8:00a

Upper Canyon Half-Day Guided Hike

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
THIS EVENT REQUIRES REGISTRATION.This guided-only hike takes you into the remote upper sections of Seminole Canyon boundaries, where the participants will be led to several remnant-sites of the Southern Pacific railroad-era (1882–1892) and to the Seminole Watering Hole, a historical stopover/camp site for the U.S. Army’s Detachment Black Seminole-Indian Scouts and their Lt. John L. Bullis.
Jan 25

8:30a

Volunteer Trail Work Day!

Buescher State Park
Join us to improve the trails in the Lost Pines Park Complex! January 25th at Buescher State Park!
Jan 25

8:30a

Coffee With Rangers

Cleburne State Park
Join us for campfire coffee and questions with rangers.
Jan 25

8:30a

World Birding Center Bird Walks

Estero Llano Grande State Park
All ages and skill-levels are welcome on this two-hour tour of the park, finding as many species of birds as possible, especially the 30 that are termed Valley Specialties!
Jan 25

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 25

8:30a

Big Tree Natural Area Bird Walk

Goose Island State Park
Come along with us to view birds at the Big Tree Natural Area!
Jan 25

8:30a

Choke Canyon Bird Walk

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Come join our Bird Host for a bird walk at Choke Canyon State Park!
Jan 25

8:30a

Coffee and Conversation with a Ranger

Colorado Bend State Park
Join a ranger for hot coffee and conversation.
Jan 25

9:00a

Birding Walk on the Wild Side

Davis Mountains State Park
Explore bird life on a slow one-mile nature walk through Limpia Canyon with experienced volunteers.
Jan 25

9:00a

Honey Creek Saturday Morning Nature Hike

Honey Creek State Natural Area
Join us to learn the about the cultural and natural history of Honey Creek.
Jan 25

9:00a

Last Saturday Volunteer Work Day

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Join us in making the park better for everyone.
Jan 25

9:00a

Incredible Edible Plant Walk

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
Take a walk into the past and see which plants were utilized by those who came before us!
Jan 25

9:00a

Junior Rangers

Estero Llano Grande State Park
A free Activity Journal is included in this ranger-led exploration of the park culminating in a Junior Ranger Badge.
Jan 25

9:00a

Beginner Bird Hike

McKinney Falls State Park
Come see the wonderful variety of resident and migratory birds that live at McKinney Falls!
Jan 25

9:00a

Fly Fishing Class

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
Join us for a beginners fly fishing class – no experience required. Master fly-fisher Bob Cappallo will focus on equipment, equipment selection, basic knot tying, casting and casting fundamentals.
Jan 25

9:00a

28th Annual Kid Fish!

Lake Corpus Christi State Park
Bring the entire family out to learn the basics of casting, and enjoy all the fun activities at Lake Corpus Christi State Park during this wonderful annual event.
Jan 25

9:00a

Bird Walk

Garner State Park
Join a local naturalist on an easy guided hike observing the birds of the Hill Country!
Jan 25

9:30a

Summit Hike

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Join a park ranger or Master Naturalist as we hike to the top of Enchanted Rock! — START TIME FOR JANUARY 17th HAS BEEN CHANGED TO 2:30PM.
Jan 25

10:00a

Fish Arts & Crafts

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
Join Park Host Lorinda to make a fun fish arts & crafts.
Jan 25

10:00a

10 am Tram Tour

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us while we explore Bentsen State Park from the comfort of an electric park shuttle.
Jan 25

10:00a

Backyard Bass: Flex Your Fishing Skills

Inks Lake State Park
Let’s practice casting and reeling in plastic fish! Fun for all ages!
Jan 25

10:00a

Angler Education Instructor Training Workshop

Pearland, TX – Bass Pro Shops Pearland
Become a TPWD Certified Angler Education Instructor
Jan 25

10:00a

31st Annual Kid’s Fishing Day

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
Join us for the 31st Annual Kid’s Fishing Day!
Jan 25

10:00a

Archery in the Park

Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Johnson Branch Unit
Learn how to shoot!
Jan 25

10:00a

Geocaching 101

Wyler Aerial Tramway
Have you heard about geocaching? No? This program is for you, then!
Jan 25

10:00a

Atlatl in the Morning

Blanco State Park
Prehistoric spear throwing. Come see primitive hunting techniques, and physics in motion!
Jan 25

10:00a

Trails, Cameras, Action!

Hill Country State Natural Area
Get your cameras ready and put your detective skills to the test!
Jan 25

10:00a

Cross Timbers Bird Walk

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
Join our guided birding walk in the park. How many species can we find?
Jan 25

10:00a

Mission Rosario History Tour

Goliad State Park & Historic Site
See the ruins of Mission Rosario and learn about its history on a Ranger-led tour of this unique site.
Jan 25

11:00a

A Year of Nature Journaling

Lake Arrowhead State Park
Let’s make 2020 even more epic by keeping a year-long nature journal!
Jan 25

11:00a

Skins and Skulls

Copper Breaks State Park
Join us to learn more about who’s who in the park
Jan 25

11:00a

Native Edible and Medicinal Plants Walk

McKinney Falls State Park
Join us for explorations in ethnobotany! Learn the names and historic uses of common Texas Hill Country plants.
Jan 25

1:00p

Guided Hike

Garner State Park
Explore Crystal Cave and Bridges Trail with a ranger.
Jan 25

1:00p

Hike Through January

Daingerfield State Park
Join us on an afternoon hike around the lake!
Jan 25

1:00p

Birding for Beginners Hike

Bastrop State Park
Being bird brained is fun! Come join us to learn a new hobby for your outdoor adventures!
Jan 25

1:00p

Archery in the Park

Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Johnson Branch Unit
Learn the basics of archery!
Jan 25

1:00p

Geology with Jeff!

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Take a hike with GeoJeff, a local geologist, and discover the canyon in a gneiss way!
Jan 25

1:30p

Birding Basics

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Basic techniques from field guides to binoculars, especially for newbies!
Jan 25

2:00p

Skins & Skulls

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Come learn about wildlife found at Choke Canyon State Park and other areas of Texas with one of our park rangers! Then put your identification skills to the test with a game!
Jan 25

2:00p

Lil’ Naturalist Nature Hike

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
A story and a stroll for the lil’ nature lovers in your family!
Jan 25

2:00p

Guided History Tour

Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Enjoy a guided history tour of Mission Espiritu Santo as you learn about life in and around the mission during the Spanish Colonial Era.
Jan 25

2:00p

Zombie Apocalypse

Tyler State Park
Can you survive?
Jan 25

2:00p

Junior Ranger Exploration Trek

San Angelo State Park
This hike is for the kiddos who would like to be sworn in as official Junior Rangers, complete the field journal, and get their badges.
Jan 25

2:00p

Do It Yourself Dutch Ovens (Program Full)

Eisenhower State Park
Like cooking classes? Enjoy collaborative learning? Interested in learning how to use a camp Dutch oven, but don’t have one? Then register for Do It Yourself Dutch Ovens!
Jan 25

2:00p

The Atlatl

Lake Arrowhead State Park
Try your hand at throwing a prehistoric weapon
Jan 25

2:00p

Penitentiary Hollow Wild Walk

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
Explore beautiful sandstone formations in remote areas only accessible on this guided hike.
Jan 25

2:00p

Welcome to Cretaceous Park – Exploration Station

McKinney Falls State Park
Did you know that there is an extinct volcano near McKinney Falls State Park? Did you know that all of central Texas was at one point under a shallow sea? Discover the creatures that lived in the deep at this Cretaceous Park Exploration Station!
Jan 25

2:00p

Reading with a Ranger

Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Isle Du Bois Unit
Bring the little ones out for nature-themed story time!
Jan 25

3:00p

Track Talk

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Gather round and hear the 113-million-year-old story of our dinosaur tracks!
Jan 25

3:00p

Fire is Living History!

Copper Breaks State Park
Come learn the importance of fire for survival!
Jan 25

3:00p

Fish Printing – Art in the Park!

Buescher State Park
Use your creativity to decorate your own fish creation to take home!
Jan 25

3:00p

Prehistoric Hunting – The Atlatl

Pedernales Falls State Park
How well can you use ancient technology to survive?
Jan 25

3:15p

Keeper’s Cottage Tour

Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Explore the unique history of the CCC-built “Keeper’s Cottage” at the El Camino Real Visitors Center as a ranger presents the fascinating story of this beautiful building.
Jan 25

4:00p

Evening Bayside Exploration Walk

Mustang Island State Park
Crabs, birds, fish, Oh my! You haven’t experienced the whole island if you’ve never explored the bayside…
Jan 25

4:00p

On the Hunt with Geocaching

Goose Island State Park
A modern-day treasure hunt that’s fun for the whole family!
Jan 25

4:00p

Phases of the Moon

Lake Livingston State Park
Learn about the different phases of the moon and why the moon appears to disappear and reappear each month.
Jan 25

4:00p

Create a Star Wheel

Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Isle Du Bois Unit
Equip yourself to discover the night sky.
Jan 25

4:45p

Create Your Own Planisphere!

Lake Livingston State Park
Create your own planisphere, which is a map of the night sky that you can adjust for any date and time!
Jan 25

5:00p

Inks Lake State Park Twilight Hike

Inks Lake State Park
Let’s discover the sights and sounds of twilight together.
Jan 25

5:30p

Owls: Silent Hunters of the Night

Tyler State Park
Discover Tyler State Park’s 4 owl species.
Jan 25

6:00p

Creatures of the Night

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
See the creatures that creep, crawl, and call in the night!
Jan 25

6:30p

Night Hike

Copper Breaks State Park
Creatures of the night from scorpions to bats might make an appearance on this hike. Anything is possible! Join us for a hike to see some of these creatures.
Jan 25

7:00p

Winter Constellation Tour

Mustang Island State Park
Spanish and French explorers navigated by observing the stars. Peer through one of our telescopes and travel to the time before GPS
Jan 25

7:00p

Fall Constellations

Pedernales Falls State Park
The stars at night are big and bright!
Jan 25

7:00p

Stories in the Stars

Ray Roberts Lake State Park – Isle Du Bois Unit
Starhop across the winter sky.
Jan 25

7:30p

Winter Stargazing

Lockhart State Park
Discover the wonders of the Winter Sky in this special stargazing event!
Jan 25

8:00p

Star Party

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Join the Amarillo Astronomy Club astronomers on a trip across the universe!
Jan 25

8:00p

Star Stories: Stargazing on the Peninsula

Lake Livingston State Park
Learn about the stars and constellations visible above East Texas.
Jan 26

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 26

8:30a

World Birding Center Bird Walks

Estero Llano Grande State Park
All ages and skill-levels are welcome on this two-hour tour of the park, finding as many species of birds as possible, especially the 30 that are termed Valley Specialties!
Jan 26

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 26

8:30a

Birding Hike

Pedernales Falls State Park
Join our park ranger in viewing local and migrating birds!
Jan 26

9:00a

Honey Creek Sunday Morning Nature Hike

Honey Creek State Natural Area
Join us to learn the about the cultural and natural history of Honey Creek.
Jan 26

9:00a

Skins and Skulls

Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Get up close and personal with some of the animals of Goliad State Park by looking at, and feeling, their fur, talons, and teeth!
Jan 26

9:30a

Summit Hike

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Join a park ranger or Master Naturalist as we hike to the top of Enchanted Rock! — START TIME FOR JANUARY 17th HAS BEEN CHANGED TO 2:30PM.
Jan 26

9:30a

Birding 101 at the Wildlife Viewing Station

Inks Lake State Park
Learn to ID birds by shape, color, song and behavior, and also how to attract them to your yard at home!
Jan 26

10:00a

Wildlife Scavenger Hunt

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
Put your skills to the test on this wildlife-themed scavenger hunt!
Jan 26

10:00a

Ask a Ranger

Mustang Island State Park
Ever wonder what lives in the holes at the beach or why don’t we rake the sargassum seaweed?
Jan 26

10:00a

Fishing with a Ranger

Lake Arrowhead State Park
Fish ID and fishin’ basics!
Jan 26

11:00a

Overlook Hike

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Grab your boots and join a ranger for a hike to the best view in the park!
Jan 26

11:00a

Overlook Hike

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Grab your boots and join a ranger for a hike to the best view in the park!
Jan 26

11:30a

An Enchanted Rock Diet

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Re-connect with the natural world by learning more about the plants and animals around you!
Jan 26

12:00p

Last Sunday Hike

Wyler Aerial Tramway
Not much time? Join us for a short hike!
Jan 26

2:00p

Sunday Afternoon Ranger Walks

Palmetto State Park
Join us for a guided hike of Palmetto State Park. All ages welcome.
Jan 26

2:00p

Electric Tram Tour

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us on a narrated ranger-driven, two-hour tour of the park in a quiet electric tram. Reservations required.
Jan 26

2:00p

Birds of a Feather

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
Find out what kinds of birds live at Sheldon Lake State Park!
Jan 26

2:00p

Track Talk

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Gather round and hear the 113-million-year-old story of our dinosaur tracks!
Jan 26

2:00p

Guided History Tour

Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Enjoy a guided history tour of Mission Espiritu Santo as you learn about life in and around the mission during the Spanish Colonial Era.
Jan 26

2:00p

Disc Golf with a Ranger

Lake Arrowhead State Park
Play a round of disc golf!
Jan 26

2:30p

Nature Photography

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Everything you need to know about nature photography!
Jan 26

3:15p

Keeper’s Cottage Tour

Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Explore the unique history of the CCC-built “Keeper’s Cottage” at the El Camino Real Visitors Center as a ranger presents the fascinating story of this beautiful building.
Jan 28

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 28

8:30a

Choke Canyon Bird Walk

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Come join our Bird Host for a bird walk at Choke Canyon State Park!
Jan 29

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 29

8:00a

Bird Sanctuary Fun

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Learn to provide setup situations for photographing and watching birds in a controlled environment.
Jan 29

8:30a

World Birding Center Bird Walks

Estero Llano Grande State Park
All ages and skill-levels are welcome on this two-hour tour of the park, finding as many species of birds as possible, especially the 30 that are termed Valley Specialties!
Jan 29

8:30a

Woodland Bird Walk

Goose Island State Park
What will you find on a bird walk through the woods?
Jan 29

10:00a

Bird with a Ranger

Guadalupe River State Park
Come birding with us!
Jan 29

2:00p

Electric Tram Tour

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us on a narrated ranger-driven, two-hour tour of the park in a quiet electric tram. Reservations required.
Jan 29

2:00p

New Volunteer Orientation

Sea Center Texas
Join the team that makes what we do possible! Learn about Sea Center Texas and the variety of available volunteer opportunities.
Jan 30

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 30

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 30

8:30a

Big Tree Natural Area Bird Walk

Goose Island State Park
Come along with us to view birds at the Big Tree Natural Area!
Jan 30

9:00a

Hike with a Homeless Dog

Davis Mountains State Park
Help a homeless dog have a great time on the trail!
Jan 30

9:00a

Veterans Job Fair

Fort Worth, TX – VA Veterans Employment Services
Talk with Texas Parks Wildlife Recruiting about your career and internships.
Jan 30

10:00a

Hike with a Ranger!

South Llano River State Park
Hike the West Canyon Loop trail with a ranger!
Jan 30

10:00a

Beginning Bird Photography Hike

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Take a guided photo tour to learn the secrets of bird photography from our Bird Host, Alan.
Jan 30

1:30p

Plant Hike

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us for a ranger-led hike to identify and learn about interesting native and non-native plants in the park.
Jan 30

2:00p

Fort Davis Tales

Indian Lodge
Come hear how the coolest town in Texas came to be.
Jan 31

Fate Bell’s Pictograph Shelter/Canyon Guided Walking Tour

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site
For the month of January, the park will be offering two guided-only hikes, 10 am and then again at 3 pm, to go down into the canyon to view pictographs (ancient drawings) on Wednesday through Sunday. There are no tours available on Monday and Tuesday. For more information to plan your visit, click on blue title (above) for FAQs.
Jan 31

7:00a

Birding Field Trip –Harlingen and South Padre Island

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Our birding program leaves the Park itself in a 15-passenger van, with a birding guide, a driver, and the pleasure of birding the Valley.
Jan 31

8:00a

Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop – Fredericksburg – Full

Fredericksburg, TX – AgriLife Extension
This workshop is full. Learn about the wildlife tax valuation, developing a wildlife management plan, and management practices.
Jan 31

8:30a

Bird Walk

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us for a guided walk showcasing migratory as well as tropical resident birds such as Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Altamira Oriole.
Jan 31

8:30a

Shorebird Walk

Goose Island State Park
Discover the birds that call the shorelines of Goose Island State Park home!
Jan 31

8:30a

Choke Canyon Bird Walk

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Come join our Bird Host for a bird walk at Choke Canyon State Park!
Jan 31

10:00a

10 am Tram Tour

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Join us while we explore Bentsen State Park from the comfort of an electric park shuttle.
Jan 31

1:30p

Butterfly and Dragonfly Walks

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Join us on a ranger-led hike through the park noting these beautiful insects, some found nowhere else but in South Texas.
Jan 31

2:00p

Homeschool Days

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
From fishing to ponding to technology, kids will learn something new each week! Great for all school-aged kids!
Jan 31

4:00p

Birdy Hour!

Choke Canyon State Park – Calliham Unit
Watch and learn how to take great bird photos right in your own backyard, while relaxing with friends!
Jan 31

5:00p

Evening Track Talk

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Gather round and hear the tale 113-million-year-old story of our dinosaur tracks!
Jan 31

6:30p

Night Hike

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Explore the sounds, smells, and sights of the park at night!

Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Inductee

ATHENS – The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame committee announced Shane Wilson, retired public educator and founder of Fishing’s Future, will be inducted into the hall of fame in 2020.

“This year’s inductee to the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame has made unique and significant contributions to freshwater fishing across the state,” said Dan Kessler, TFF Hall of Fame Committee Chair. “We are proud to honor him not only for what he’s done – but for what he continues to do to promote fishing opportunities and protect our natural resources for present and future generations of anglers.”

Shane Wilson, of South Padre Island, is a retired public educator of 35 years and founder of the non-profit organization Fishing’s Future – which is devoted to strengthening family bonds through fishing. Wilson started Fishing’s Future in Texas in 2007, which has since expanded to 70 chapters in 21 states and the United Kingdom. Fishing’s Future’s family fishing events have taken hundreds of thousands of Texans fishing in Texas alone and more than a million people fishing across their chapters reach.

Because of Wilson’s vision, Fishing’s Future has accumulated 28 active chapters in the state of Texas that are embraced by selfless volunteers who contribute their hours to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Angler Education Program. Fishing’s Future was named the Conservation Organization of the Year in 2015 by the Kansas Wildlife Federation and in 2016 was nationally recognized by being named the Roland Sigurdson Outstanding Aquatic Education Program by the Aquatic Resources Education Association.

According to the writer of his nomination letter, “Shane Wilson has always been an individual who truly lives to serve… Shane is one of those people who is always anxious to lift a hand and help others wherever and whenever help is needed, all while continuing to host family fishing camps and acting as a pillar in his community.”

As a tireless supporter of aquatic resources and fishing, in addition to Fishing’s Future, Wilson is a past president of Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, a past president of the Laguna Madre Fly Fishing Association, and has been the chairman of the Board of Sea Turtle, Inc. for the last 17 years. He was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame in 2013, honored by the Texas Senate in 2009 with Senate Resolution 864, and was a recipient of the “Council of the Sagamore of the Wabash” an honor bestowed by the Governor of the State of Indiana.

In addition to Wilson’s efforts being tremendously impactful to the future of fishing in Texas and beyond, his selfless actions have highlighted the positive effects that fishing can have in strengthening family bonds, reconnecting children to nature, and increasing aquatic conservation. Hence, Fishing’s Future motto of “more than a sport.”

The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is housed at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Its mission is to “recognize and honor those who have made a lasting contribution to freshwater fishing in Texas, and to foster a sense of appreciation, awareness and participation in the sport of fishing.”

Wilson will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and recognized at the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department June 5-9 at Lake Fork.

 

 

Credit to Texas Park & Wildlife News

As gun rights rally looms in Virginia, Richmond residents fear another Charlottesville

RICHMOND, Va. — As gun rights activists, white nationalists and militia groups prepare to rally at the state Capitol on Monday to protest proposed gun control laws, residents are praying it won’t be a repeat of the violent 2017 rally in Charlottesville that ended in a woman’s death.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, which organizes the annual gun rights rally, said it wants a “peaceful event,” but the crowd is expected to be larger than usual because Democrats took control of the Legislature last year and are proposing several gun control bills that would limit handgun purchases and require background checks, among other regulations.

 The proposals come after a mass shooting in May in Virginia Beach, in which a disgruntled city employee killed 12 people in a municipal building.

“I’m very worried,” Francisca Benavides, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, said.

Benavides, who’s studying photography at the 31,000-student public research university, wanted to attend the rally to document it but is having second thoughts after Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency last week in anticipation of the event. He said “credible intelligence” indicated the rally would draw armed militias and hate groups.

“All my friends are trying to convince me not to attend,” Benavides said, adding she was reassured when Northam temporarily banned guns and other weapons from the grounds of the Capitol, and the state Supreme Court struck down the rally organizers’ challenge to the order.

"All my friends are trying to convince me not to attend," Virginia Commonwealth University student Francisca Benavides said.
“All my friends are trying to convince me not to attend,” Virginia Commonwealth University student Francisca Benavides said.

 

But on Thursday, three members of a neo-Nazi group called The Base, which advocates for a white ethno-state, were arrested on the East Coast, and law enforcement officials said they had been planning to attend the rally. The next day, officials announced the arrests of three men from Georgia and one from Wisconsin, all allegedly members of The Base.

Richmond residents said they were glad to see the men apprehended, but it doesn’t do much to calm their nerves. President Donald Trump’s tweet Friday, saying “Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,” was seen by some as a call to join Monday’s rally, further stoking anxieties.

Gabby Safley, a VCU student from Charlottesville who studies history, saw what happened to her city when neo-Nazis marched through the streets and white supremacist James Alex Fields ran over and killed counterprotester Heather Heyer. She had friends near Fields’ car when he sped into the crowd, students she mentored who were traumatized by the day’s events, and her aunt served on the jury for Field’s trial, she said.

Safley fears Monday’s rally will be Charlottesville all over again.

“I’m not surprised it’s happening,” she said, “and it wouldn’t be surprising if it turns into something like Charlottesville.”

Law enforcement manage a security checkpoint to access the Virginia State Capitol grounds ahead of a gun rights advocates and militia members rally in Richmond, Virginia
A security checkpoint at the Virginia State Capitol grounds ahead of a gun rights rally in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 18, 2020.

 

She said she will stay away from the Capitol on Monday but is upset by the strong response to what she views as practical gun control measures.

“My family hunts, but I think gun control is necessary,” she said. “You shouldn’t be worried if you’re not doing anything illegal.”

Anthony Berrios, who lives near the Capitol, said he will stay with his girlfriend, who lives in a different part of the city, on Monday. He said the premise behind the rally is misguided.

“It’s a myth that the government is trying to take their guns away,” he said. “I just wish people would really take an objective look at what’s best for society versus what’s good for themselves.”

Just a block from the Capitol, Quisha Jefferson manages a 7-Eleven convenience store that’s usually open round-the-clock, but she plans to shut it down Sunday night and reopen Monday when calm returns.

“I’m not gonna do it,” she said. “We’re gonna close. We don’t want to be a part of what’s going on.”

Quisha Jefferson manages a 7-Eleven convenience store that's usually open round-the-clock, but she plans to shut it down Sunday night and reopen Monday when calm returns.
Quisha Jefferson manages a 7-Eleven convenience store that’s usually open round-the-clock, but she plans to shut it down Sunday night and reopen Monday when calm returns.

Even if she wanted to stay open, it would be difficult for her employees to get to work because road closures forced by the rally will impede bus routes, and they are nervous about showing up for their regular Monday shifts anyway. “I don’t want to put them in danger, and I don’t want to put myself in danger,” Jefferson said, pointing to the store’s large glass windows that she thinks would make them vulnerable to an attack. “I’m gonna lose a lot of business, but I’d rather my workers be at home, be safe.”

Some Richmond residents, whose jobs are near Capitol Square, said they don’t want to go to work Monday either, but they have no choice. Many area businesses will be closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but a few retail and service employees whose workplaces will remain open still have to show up.

“We’re terrified,” said one woman, who works nearby and asked not to be named because she feared retribution from her employer.

In Jackson Ward, the city’s historically black neighborhood, Marvin Smith is taking a different approach from that of his neighbors, who are leaving town. The barbershop he owns about a mile north of Capitol Square won’t be open, but he will be in his store.

“I’m gonna be here for the community,” Smith said. “I want to know what’s going on and be on call.”

I'm gonna be here for the community," barbershop owner Marvin Smith said. "I want to know what's going on and be on call."
I’m gonna be here for the community,” barbershop owner Marvin Smith said. “I want to know what’s going on and be on call.”

Organizers say thousands of people will be at the Capitol on Monday as the Virginia Citizens Defense League buses people in from across the state, while other rallygoers are expected to travel from out of state.

At her two-week-old clothing store, Serendipity, Kim Williams said her customers were talking about the rally all day Saturday. Tourists from Boston told her they had chosen the wrong weekend to visit Richmond, and a college student said her father planned a last-minute visit but couldn’t get a hotel room because they were all booked up.

“I don’t want anything to happen that will make Richmond look bad,” Williams, who has lived in the area all her life, said. Her store isn’t open Mondays, and she won’t be going near the Capitol. “I’ll be home, probably watching the news.”

Not everyone in the city feels on edge.

“A lot of it is just talk,” Sean Taplett, who works and studies in Richmond, said.

He used to live in Portland, Oregon, where anti-fascist and far-right groups often clash.

“I’m familiar with the hysteria around these events,” he said. “The violence is usually self-contained.”

Taplett wants to check out the rally and see for himself what transpires.

As of Sunday, no major counterprotest had been planned, and many anti-fascist groups encouraged their members to stay away from the rally.

Gun safety groups also canceled their annual MLK Day vigil at the Capitol, citing “ongoing, credible threats to public safety that have been promoted and encouraged by gun extremists.” The vigil, which has been hosted for the last 28 years, was supposed to begin after the gun rights rally.

Gabby Safley, a VCU student from Charlottesville
Gabby Safley, a VCU student from Charlottesville who studies history, fears Monday’s rally will be Charlottesville all over again.

While Richmond residents wait to see what happens Monday, Safley, the VCU student from Charlottesville, is stuck on the fact all this is happening on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“They really hit all the stops with this one,” she said, before referring to a phrase from the Second Amendment right to bear arms. “A ‘well-regulated militia’ doesn’t mean you get to go buck-wild.”

Credit to NBC News

Texas cattle ranchers face tough decision to cull or sell herds as drought deepens

A severe drought in 2011 decimated O.C. Fisher Lake in San Angelo, Texas. A new drought stretching across the state is showing some of the same characteristics.

AUSTIN, Texas – Sam Epperson, a fourth-generation rancher, studies the ground and sky each day from his vast ranch in south-central Texas. He’s hoping the skies open up soon and drop torrents of rain on his scorched land.

Lately, his cows, goats and ewes – about 5,400 animals total – haven’t had much to eat as the grass has shriveled and knotted. If conditions continue, he’ll be faced with the tough decision of whether to cull part of his herd.

“It is serious, but we’re in the dormant season,” Epperson, 65, said, meaning the grass still has a few months to grow in the spring. “Our real concern is what happens in a couple of months, and it does not look good.”

A deepening drought is afflicting a large swath of Texas, from the Rio Grande Valley to central and east Texas, once again putting Texas ranchers’ livelihoods in peril. Statistics released this week by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 37% of the state in moderate drought conditions and about 11% of the state in severe drought. More than half of the state is abnormally dry, and parts of seven counties are experiencing extreme drought, according to the stats.

The dry weather patterns began last summer, said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist. Usually, winter is when Texas absorbs most of its moisture, thanks to cooler temperatures and steady rainfall, he said. But that hasn’t happened this winter.

One of the worst droughts on record for Texas was in 2011, when only an average of 15 inches of rain fell on the state, leading ranchers to send thousands of heads of cattle to slaughter, sucking lakes and rivers dry, sparking wildfires and amounting to $8 billion in losses for the state.

So far, 2020 has some of the same fingerprints of 2011, Nielsen-Gammon said. “You can’t have a year like 2011 unless you start off dry,” he said. “So far, we’ve started out dry.”

A lack of rainfall, especially in the second half of last year, deepened the drought conditions. Austin saw about 24 inches of rain from January to June last year, said Keith White, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Austin/San Antonio office. But from July to December, only 4 inches fell on the state capital.

Drought in Texas is usually most acutely felt by ranchers, whose animals subsist on sprawling non-irrigated grassy lands. As the grass dries up, ranchers need to choose to either invest in bringing in hay from elsewhere or bring down their herd numbers, said Jeff Savell, an animal science professor at Texas A&M University. As those numbers go down, Texas beef prices go up across the country, he said. Texas is the country’s biggest producer of beef, providing around 15% of the nation’s beef needs.

Gerald Nobles Jr. breeds cows and sells the calves from his ranch in Brady, Texas, about 130 miles west of Austin. He has watched in dismay as the drought shriveled the grass on his ranch and as his 300 heads of cattle grazed it nearly down to dirt.

If the grass gets too low, it could take even longer to grow back, threatening the long-term prospects of the business, he said. In September, he made the decision to sell off about half of his herd. Some went to a cattle auction in nearby San Saba, while others were sold to individuals.

If it doesn’t rain in another two to three weeks, he’ll likely sell off the rest of the herd, he said.

“When do you say ‘uncle’ and say, ‘I can’t take this anymore?'” said Nobles, 68. “We’re at that decision-making time right now.”

He’s not alone. There’s a lot of concern among other ranchers over the worsening drought, though ranchers haven’t quite reached the panic of 2011, said Jeremy Fuchs, a spokesman with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. That drought led to the total number of head of cattle in the state to drop from 13.2 million to 11.9 million. It took several years for those numbers to rebound, he said.

“it’s certainly beginning to be a concern,” Fuchs said. “It’s something that’s being watched very closely.”

Epperson, the rancher, said the grass on his 25,000-acre ranch is “down to dirt” and his animals are running out of areas to feed. He has been baling hay from a small irrigated hay farm he bought years ago to feed his animals. The 2011 drought was so withering, even the irrigated hay farm wouldn’t grow hay, forcing him to sell off 200 cows, or about half his herd.

He hopes this drought doesn’t reach those extreme heights, he said. He’s not so sure.

“It’s really tough,” Epperson said. “We can’t have false expectations of positive things happening right now.”

 

Credit to USA Today

Puerto Rico fires two more officials after Hurricane Maria aid found unused amid current earthquake aftermath

The pallets of bedding, food and medical supplies sat wrapped in plastic and unused in a warehouse for more than two years while Puerto Ricans suffered through the aftermath of a devastating hurricane and, recently, an earthquake. Now their discovery has triggered a political firestorm.

On Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired two more officials in the most recent development since anger broke out over a viral video showing unused emergency supplies – allegedly left-over aid from Hurricane Maria – sitting in a warehouse in the southern coastal city of Ponce.

“There are thousands of people who made sacrifices to bring aid to the south and it’s unforgivable that resources have been kept in a warehouse,” the governor’s initial statement said.

In Ponce,  thousands remain in shelters since a 6.4 magnitude quake struck the island two weeks ago.

People break into a warehouse with supplies believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP) 

People break into a warehouse with supplies believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP)

Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar were dismissed Sunday. The previous day, Gov. Vázquez had fired Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, hours after a Facebook video showed residents breaking into the warehouse to distribute supplies.

The video, posted live by blogger Lorenzo Delgado, shows a warehouse filled with water bottles, cots, baby food and other basic supplies that had apparently been sitting there since Hurricane Maria battered the U.S. territory in September 2017.  A group of people is then seen breaking in and distributing the supplies.

A woman carries boxes of baby wipes she removed from a warehouse filled with supplies, including thousands of cases of water, believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP) 

A woman carries boxes of baby wipes she removed from a warehouse filled with supplies, including thousands of cases of water, believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island.

The firings come amid concerns over Puerto Rico’s credibility in Washington. The U.S. had temporarily retained some federal funds for Maria relief amid concerns of corruption and mismanagement. Last week, the Trump administration lifted on monthlong hold on $8.2 billion in congressionally approved disaster aid funding to help with earthquake relief efforts, Politico reported.

On Thursday, President Trump declared a major disaster in Puerto Rico, allocating federal funding for repairs, temporary housing and low-cost loans “to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House said.

A man pulls a pallet of gas canisters believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in a warehouse in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP)

A man pulls a pallet of gas canisters believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in a warehouse in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP)

Vázquez has ordered an investigation into the discovery of the supplies. In a press conference Sunday, she said no citizens will be prosecuted for breaking into the warehouse in order to obtain the relief.  She added that she chose to also fire Gil and Andújar after officials were unable to provide further information she requested about other collection and distribution centers in meetings with leaders of her administration that morning.

A girl cries next to her mother after police evacuated people breaking into a warehouse filled with supplies, believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP) 

A girl cries next to her mother after police evacuated people breaking into a warehouse filled with supplies, believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island.

Acevedo meanwhile has denied he mishandled the emergency supplies, saying in a statement that about 600 pallets of water were distributed when Hurricane Dorian, Hurricane Karen and drought all affected the island last year.

He added that the warehouse supplies were expired and no one had ordered for them to be removed or destroyed.

 

Virginia pro-gun rally reveals extremist tactics

On Thursday, the FBI arrested three men, Patrik J. Mathews, 27, Brian M. Lemley Jr., 33, and William G. Bilbrough IV, 19, with firearms charges, and they had plans, an official said, to attend a Virginia pro-gun rally. This followed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s declaration of a temporary state of emergency after authorities learned that extremists hoped to use the anti-gun control rally planned next Monday — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — to incite a violent clash.

Richmond is on high alert in anticipation of violence that may still occur. The rally is expected to draw thousands of armed activists from across the country. On Thursday, a circuit court judge upheld Northam’s temporary ban on firearms on the grounds of the Capitol under the state of emergency, in effect from Friday night until Tuesday.
These arrests add to mounting evidence that a decades-old and violent white-power movement is alive and well, perhaps even gaining strength. White power is a social movement that has united neo-Nazis, Klansmen, skinheads, and militiamen around a shared fear of racial annihilation and cultural change. Since 1983, when movement leaders declared war on the federal government, members of such groups have worked together to bring about a race war.
The Justice Department says the three men arrested had ties to the violent white supremacist paramilitary group The Base and according to the New York Times one also had military-level explosives expertise, two carried an assault rifle they built themselves. All of these are strategies that call back across decades. Targeting MLK Day, in particular, is an old gambit — white power activists opposed the creation of the holiday and have used it for decades as a day to mobilize disaffected fellow travelers and provoke violent clashes.
On GPS: What motivates white power activists? 02:20
But the events of this week also offer encouraging new developments. The silver lining is that Thursday’s arrests came before these alleged extremists could attend a rally where they or others with guns could commit a violent act.
While there are other examples of FBI agents intercepting these groups and individuals in time, I have found in my research that they are relatively rare. That the men were apprehended by the FBI in concert with official action from the governor of Virginia to declare a state of emergency, thereby shutting down the attempt of militia groups to storm the Capitol, shows that authorities have learned from the horrific August 2017 violence in Charlottesville and are taking this movement’s deadly threat to democracy seriously.
Further, a judge acted expeditiously to turn back a challenge from rally organizers to Northam’s temporary ban on firearms, which the Virginia Supreme Court upheld on Friday night. The white power movement has often capitalized on a lack of coordinated response from law enforcement, politicians, and courts, but this week, there is hope of all of these institutions working together to confront the threat.
Silver linings aside, it will take many, many more instances of coordinated response to stop a movement generations in the making. In more than a decade of studying the earlier white power movement, I have become familiar with the themes of underground activity that are today clearly drawing from the earlier movement. In the absence of decisive action across multiple institutions, a rich record of criminal activity and violence will continue to provide these activists with a playbook for further chaos.
Although some on social media have noted with surprise the presence of a Canadian citizen among those arrested, such transnational membership has long characterized white power organizing. The Order, a white power terrorist group that robbed armored cars and carried out assassinations in the US in the 1980s, had Canadian members, as did the major white US-based separatist organization Aryan Nations.
The homemade assault rifle authorities described may have been meant to circumvent gun regulations. In the 1980s, white-power activists made their own land mines and hand grenades and learned how to adapt semi- to fully-automatic weapons.
The Base, furthermore, is what experts call “accelerationist,” meaning that its members hope to provoke what they see as an inevitable race war. They have conducted paramilitary training in the Pacific Northwest. Both of these strategies date back to the 1980s, when the Order trained in those forests with hopes of provoking the same race war.
One of the men arrested Thursday was formerly a reservist in the Canadian Army, where he received training in explosives and demolition, according to the New York Times. This kind of preparation, too, is common among extremists like these. To take just a few representative examples, in the 1960s, Bobby Frank Cherry, a former Marine trained in demolition, helped fellow members of the United Klans of America to bomb the 16th Street Birmingham Baptist Church, killing four black girls.
An Army and Green Beret veteran, Frazier Glenn Miller, was in military service for 20 years before his dishonorable discharge. He then carried out a campaign to militarize the white-power movement and conducted paramilitary training in the woods of North Carolina. He declared war on the government, went underground and then reemerged in 2014, when, in Overland Park, Kansas, he shot and killed three people at a Jewish community center and an assisted living facility. In 2015, he was sentenced to death.
Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh, lauded as a hero by today’s paramilitary white-power groups, used his Army training to plan and carry out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing as part of the white power and militia movements. The attack, the deadliest domestic terror, killed 168 people.
Let me be clear: It’s extremely unusual for veterans to break their oaths of induction by seeking to become domestic terrorists and therefore enemies of the very democracy they swore to protect. But those who do take that path have operationalized an entire groundswell — across decades — by sharing tactics, training, munitions expertise, and more with other white power activists.
And this movement doesn’t see violence as the end goal of activism — mass violence is instead meant to awaken others to join the cause.
Continued and deliberate attempts at mass violence, wrought by a movement that plans more of the same, will not end on their own, or simply wane with inattention. This movement has benefited from decades of misunderstanding and half-measures, when more decisive arrests might have made a real difference in saving lives.
This news out of Virginia shows that there is a real social benefit when people direct their attention to these events — and sustain the public conversation about the presence of a renewed white-power movement and what it means for our society.
.
Credits to CNN

Norway says its new giant oil field is actually good for the environment. Critics call it climate hypocrisy

It’s not a boast you usually hear about an oil field: Norway says its huge new facility is great for the environment.

The oil-rich nation claims the Johan Sverdrup field, which was opened with pomp by the Prime Minister last week, is helping to “reduce emissions” because it is completely powered by renewable energy.
“Johan Sverdrup is now open. That’s good news for our investors, for Norway — and for emissions,” boasts the official website of Equinor, the Norwegian state company that operates the field.
Its critics, however, see Norway’s third-biggest oil field ever as a perfect symbol of the Scandinavian country’s climate hypocrisy.
The field, located around 87 miles off the Norwegian coast, is named after the country’s first prime minister. It has reserves of 2.7 billion barrels of oil, enough to last half a century and bring more than $100 billion into Norway’s pocket.
The operation is powered by energy brought from the shore, generated mainly from hydroelectric power — a rarity for offshore oil fields, most of which are powered by diesel generators.
It is a fitting example of Norway’s approach to climate change. The country was among the first to ratify the Paris Agreement and has pledged to become climate neutral by 2030. It offers its citizens generous subsidies for electric cars and has banned deforestation.
Yet Norway is also a major fossil fuel producer. It pumps out 2 million barrels of oil a day, according to the International Energy Agency, making it Europe’s second biggest producer after Russia. Its natural gas production also surpasses all other European countries.
“Norway has a schizophrenic relationship with climate and oil and gas,” Lars-Henrik Paarup Michelsen, CEO of the Norwegian Climate Foundation think tank, told CNN. “We are great at adopting ambitious emission targets, but at the same time we plan for oil and gas production for decades to come.”

Johan Sverdrup is the third largest oil field on the Norwegian continental shelf.

On top of its significant fossil fuel reserves, Norway also has abundant renewable energy resources, particularly in hydropower. It covers its domestic needs with clean energy and sells most of its oil and gas abroad.
Equinor, the Norwegian state company that operates the Johan Sverdrup field, is working hard to highlight the field’s efficiency. “Average CO2 emissions from international fields are 25 times higher, (with) 18 kg CO2 emitted per barrel produced versus 0.67 kg CO2 emitted per barrel produced from Sverdrup,” Equinor spokesman Morten Eek told CNN.
But Paarup Michelsen said this saving is not significant when considering the bigger picture, because emissions from production account for only 5% of total emissions from the global oil industry.
“The big problem is the combustion, in sectors like transport and industry,” he said.
As Mark van Baal, founder of climate pressure group Follow This, put it: “An oil company with targets for its own emissions, and not for its products is like a cigarette producer that promises that all employees will quit smoking, while increasing cigarette production.”

Who is responsible?

The Norwegian government can claim it is doing all it can to combat climate change, because current international rules place the responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions on the country where they occur.
For Norway, this means that it is not responsible for the emissions caused by the burning of its oil in other places around the world.
According to figures from Norway’s statistical office, the country’s annual domestic greenhouse gas emissions reached around 53 million tons in 2017. That comes to roughly 10 tons per person, which is roughly in line with the rest of Europe. Emissions in the US stood at 15 tons per person in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency.
The emissions generated by Norway’s exports, however, are of a very different magnitude.
According to the United Nations’ Emission Gap Report, emissions from the oil and gas Norway sold abroad reached roughly 470 million tons in 2017.
When the Norwegian government talks about reducing emissions, it means domestic emissions, not from its exports. But the Paris Agreement on climate is clear. To avoid catastrophic global warming, the world has to dramatically cut all carbon emissions.
Experts say that phasing out fossil fuels is essential if global warming is to stay below a rise of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, the goal set by the Paris agreement.
Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen acknowledged that his country will need to change its ways in the future.
“The world needs to reduce its use of fossil fuel as fast as possible, and of course this will affect both the Norwegian economy and petroleum sector,” he said in a statement emailed to CNN.
Yet despite its climate commitments, Norway’s government policy is also aimed at luring global oil giants to try to find and recover more oil in its territory. Under current laws, companies can deduct 78% of their exploration costs from their taxable income.
The strategy is working. According to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, activity in the oil and gas industry is rising rapidly.
In 2019, Norway awarded 83 production licenses, a new record, and started 57 new exploration wells.
The Norwegian government is not making any secret of the fact that it has long-term plans for the oil industry.
The Johan Sverdrup field operation is scheduled to run until 2070 — 20 years after global emissions must be zero, according to a pledge signed by Norway’s government.
Elvestuen said that while the new field might be active for a long time, two-thirds of the resources there are projected to be recovered before 2030. After that, production is expected to decline.
“An expression often used by the largest parties in Norway is that the person who will ‘switch the light off’ on (oil production on) the Norwegian shelf has not yet been born,” said Paarup Michelsen.
Credit to CNN

Texas family found alive 24 hours after going missing in national forest

They wrapped their shoes with plastic and began walking in the deep snow.

A Texas family was found alive — with no serious injuries — after going missing for 24 hours in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado, officials said.

A man, woman and their 12-year-old daughter were driving a rented truck from El Paso, Texas, to Norwood, Colorado, to deliver furniture when the truck got stuck in the snow Monday morning, said San Miguel County Sheriff’s officials.

A concerned relative called the authorities Monday night, launching a multi-county search, officials said.

Just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, San Miguel County Undersheriff Eric Berg spotted the truck from the air, authorities said.

A few minutes later the family was seen a couple of miles away from the truck, walking on a forest service road, authorities said.

The husband told the responders that the family had been relying on electronic GPS for the fastest route when the truck got stuck, authorities said.

When they couldn’t dig the truck out, they ran the engine overnight for heat, officials said.

Then early on the morning of Christmas Eve, the family wrapped their shoes with shipping plastic and started to walk to safety through the deep snow, officials said.

No one was seriously hurt, authorities said.

“The family is lucky to have had moderate temperatures and our ability to use aircraft to locate them,” San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said in a statement Tuesday. “But people need to remember that electronic GPS systems are not always the best guide. At this time of year especially, roads like these are not always passable.”

Masters also urged people to keep extra food, water and warm clothing in their cars for emergencies.

 

Credits to ABC News

Ousted Boeing CEO may walk away with $39M. The families of crash victims? $144K

Boeing’s recently ousted CEO could walk away with a multi-million dollar golden parachute that is about 270 times what the company is paying out to family members who lost a loved one in the Max 737 crashes.

CEO Dennis Muilenburg was fired on Monday but may still walk away with $39 million in cash and stock options as part of his severance package, a source told ABC News. Some reports put that figure even higher.

Meanwhile, those who lost a family member in one of the two deadly 737 Max crashes earlier this year could receive approximately $144,500 from a company fund of $50 million that will divided pro-rata between the 346 victims’ family members.

Michael Stumo, who lost his daughter, Samya Stumo, in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, called the deaths “preventable” in a statement reacting to news of Mulienburg’s departure.

“Now that it’s known what he and top Boeing officials knew, yet ignored, prior to the crashes, it has become clear how the company eroded in quality over the years,” Michael Stumo said. “Their focus on financial engineering led to the preventable deaths of my daughter, Samya Rose Stumo, and 345 other people in two tragic crashes.”

He added that “ignoring the risk assessment of 15 future crashes that they admitted is unforgivable.”

In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the ocean just outside of Indonesia shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board, including three children.

In March 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed just minutes after taking off from Ethiopia’s capital, killing all 157 people on board, including eight Americans.

The beleaguered fleet of jets has been grounded since March, and last week the company announced it was suspending production of the Max 737s starting in January.

In a statement announcing the opening of the victim’s fund, Mulienberg said the 737 Max tragedies “weigh heavily on all of us at Boeing, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of all those on board.”

In July, a man who lost his entire family in the Ethiopian Airlines crash testified before a congressional subcommittee, bringing with him photos of his wife, three children and mother-in-law who all died in the crash.

“I stay up nights thinking of the horror that they must have endured,” Paul Njoroge told lawmakers.

Boeing had announced the $100 million compensation fund in July just minutes before Njoroge’s testimony began, and the widower slammed the pledge at the time as “a press relations strategy to apologize to cameras.”

“Boeing has never reached out to families about the impossible sorrow and grief we will carry for our entire lives,” Njoroge said at the time.

 

Credits to ABC News

A mountain lion was killed as it approached feeder, Texas hunter says. Yes, it’s legal

 

Freer Mountain Lion 2

A hunter in Texas shot and killed a mountain lion on a ranch as it approached a feeder, media outlets report.

The 143-pound cougar was killed Saturday by a lease hunter on the ranch in Freer, Texas, a town about 120 miles south of San Antonio, KIII reported. The hunter stopped to show off the kill at Muy Grande, a convenience store and sporting goods resource that hosts a well-known deer hunting competition.

Muy Grande shared a picture of the mountain lion with business owner Kenneth Sharber on Facebook.

 

“This little kitty was taken outside of Freer (on Saturday),” according to the Facebook post. “A lease hunter popped him headed toward (a) feeder,” the post read.

It’s been 15 years since someone has brought in a mountain lion like that,” Sharber told KRIS.

Mountain lions are considered a “non-game species” in Texas, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. That means a hunting license is required to kill the animal, but there aren’t closed seasons or possession limits.

The elusive animal seems to be growing its territory in Texas, state wildlife officials say.

“Sighting and kill reports indicate that Mountain Lions now occur in more counties than they did 10 years ago and appear to be expanding their range into central Texas,” according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Last year, a hunter killed a 200-pound mountain lion in Palo Pinto County, just about 65 miles west of Fort Worth, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reported.

 

Credits to Fort Worth Star-Telegram

We have these auctions and many more ending this week!!!

Stock your trailers! It’s the easiest way to buy animals in the comfort of your own home!! No Hassle! Just log in and place your highest bid.

We have these and many more!!!!!

 

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Fishing Events

Oct 12

11:00a

Junior Ranger: Backyard Bass

Atlanta State Park
Backyard Bass is designed to teach the fundamentals of casting and retrieving with a standard rod and reel without the dangers of actual fish hooks.
Oct 13

1:00p

Angler Education Instructor Training Workshop – CANCELLED

Allen, TX – Greenville Oaks Church of Christ
This workshop has been CANCELLED
Oct 16

6:00p

Angler Education Instructor Training Two-Part Workshop

Austin, TX – Asian American Resource Center
Become a Texas Parks and Wildlife Certified Angler Education Instructor
Oct 19

1:00p

Fishing 101

Lockhart State Park
Join us for some fishing fun at Lockhart State Park!
Oct 19

6:00p

Spooky Science Fest

Estero Llano Grande State Park
Bring your friends and family of all ages, in costume if you like, to join what has been 1,000 to 2,000 others for our annual Fall Festival to learn a little science and perhaps to be frightened just the right amount!
Oct 20

9:00a

Fishing with a Ranger

Huntsville State Park
Come fish with a park ranger!
Oct 23

6:00p

Angler Education Instructor Training Two-Part Workshop

Austin, TX – Asian American Resource Center
Become a Texas Parks and Wildlife Certified Angler Education Instructor
Oct 24

6:00p

Halloween at the Hatchery 2019

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
Grab your costumes and trick-or-treating bags! Our annual Halloween at the Hatchery event returns for an evening of family-friendly fun.
Oct 26

9:00a

Go Fish – Learn to Fish Event!

McKinney Falls State Park
Join us at McKinney Falls State Park where youth and adults can learn the basics of fishing. Event start time is 9:00 A.M.
Oct 26

9:00a

Beginning Fly Fishing Workshop

Lewisville, TX, TX – Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
Learn basic fly fishing skills in a fun, free, hands-on workshop!
Oct 26

9:00a

Fishing with a Ranger

Mission Tejas State Park
Set your hook in Texas history and fish San Pedro Creek!
Oct 27

9:00a

Fishing with a Ranger

Huntsville State Park
Come fish with a park ranger!
Oct 27

1:00p

Sea Center Spooktacular

Sea Center Texas
Join Sea Center Texas for its annual Halloween Spooktacular!

November 2019

Nov 9

10:00a

Angler Education Instructor Training Workshop

Pearland, TX – Bass Pro Shops Pearland
Become a TPWD Certified Angler Education Instructor
Nov 16

9:00a

Go Fish – Learn to Fish Event!

McKinney Falls State Park
Join us at McKinney Falls State Park where youth and adults can learn the basics of fishing. Event start time is 9:00 A.M.
Nov 23

8:30a

First Catch Center Fishing Event

Humble, TX – Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center
Adults and youth (ages 8+) can learn the basics of fishing.

December 2019

Dec 7

1:00p

Christmas with the Fishes

Sea Center Texas
Santa is coming to Sea Center!
Dec 31

10:00a

Catching Rainbows – Family Trout Fishing

Tyler State Park
They’re just waiting to be caught!

January 2020

Jan 18

10:30a

Fishing Tournament

South Llano River State Park
You think you got the skills to get your fish on?! Well prove it by signing up!
 Credit to Texas Park & Wildlife

Chronic Wasting Disease in Texas

Sick white-tailed deer

Photo: Warden Micheal Hopper, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological disease in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family, known as “cervids.” The disease was first recognized in 1967 in captive mule deer in Colorado, and has since been documented in captive and free-ranging deer in states and two Canadian Provinces. The first case of CWD in Texas was discovered in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in an isolated area of far West Texas.

This disease presents numerous challenges for state wildlife agencies across North America. Of concern is the potential for decline within deer, elk, or other susceptible cervid populations. In addition, CWD could have indirect impacts on hunting, hunter participation, and economic benefits derived from big game hunting. In Texas, hunting is a $2.2 billion economic engine, supporting many rural towns across the state.

Because eradication is thought to be impossible once CWD becomes established in a population, it is imperative that a sound CWD management program is established to reduce the severity of implications resulting from the disease. Of course, disease prevention is the best approach to protect cervid populations and prevent social and economic repercussions. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) have developed a cooperative CWD management plan to guide both agencies in addressing risks, developing management strategies, and protecting big game resources from CWD in captive or free-ranging cervid populations.

CWD Management and Regulations for Hunters

Mandatory CWD Testing Requirements

Hunters who harvest mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, red deer, or other CWD susceptible species within the Trans-Pecos, Panhandle, and South-Central Texas CWD Containment and Surveillance Zones are REQUIRED to bring their animals to a TPWD check station within 48 hours of harvest. TPWD urges voluntary sampling of hunter harvested deer outside of the CWD zones. Hunters interested in providing voluntary samples can contact their local TPWD biologist or bring their animals to any of the check stations located around the state. If bringing a quartered animal and the associated head to a check station, be sure to remove the head from the carcass 2 to 3 vertebrae below the head to ensure that the appropriate tissues for CWD testing are not damaged. Hunters should keep heads cool but not frozen. Rules also impose restriction of permitted live-deer movements to and from CWD zones. The rules are part of the state’s comprehensive CWD management plan to contain the disease to the areas where it is known to exist.

Hunters are encouraged to report any “sick looking” deer, elk, or other CWD susceptible species while hunting in any CWD zone to TPWD. Contact information for the CWD zone check stations is found within the CWD section of the current Outdoor Annual and associated smart device application. To report a “sick looking” deer outside of a CWD zone, contact a TPWD wildlife biologist or Texas Game Warden.

Mandatory Carcass Movement Restrictions

Hunters cannot bring into Texas deer, elk, or other CWD susceptible species’ carcasses or parts of carcasses from another state or country known to have CWD or transport carcasses or parts of carcasses out of a CWD zone within Texas except under the following conditions:

  • cut quarters with all brain and spinal cord tissue removed;
  • boned meat — Texas regulations do not allow processing beyond quarters until reaching your final destination (home or processing facility);
  • cut and wrapped meat — Texas regulations do not allow processing beyond quarters until reaching your final destination (home or processing facility);
  • caped hides with skull not attached;
  • skull plate with antlers attached and cleaned of all soft tissue
  • finished taxidermy products;
  • the skinned or unskinned head of a susceptible species may be transported to a taxidermist, provide all brain material, soft tissue, spinal column and any unused portions of the head are disposed of in a landfill in Texas permitted by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. A Deer Head Waiver Form must be obtained from a TPWD CWD check station or the TPWD CWD website before transporting an intact head from CWD zone or state or country known to have CWD. The waiver should be completed and kept on your person or with the deer head until it reaches the taxidermist. Present the form to the taxidermist to ensure they are aware of the disposal requirements on non-useable parts from the head;

Carcass movement restrictions do not apply if the carcass will not be moved outside of a CWD zone. However, it is recommended to always properly dispose of unused carcass parts.

For a map of the current distribution of CWD in North America, see the U.S. Geological Survey’s Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease in North America Sept 2018 webpage.

Other states may have rules regarding CWD susceptible species carcasses entering their state. If you are from another state and hunting in Texas, be sure and check your home state’s CWD requirements. A map of states with CWD carcass entry restrictions is available on the CWD-INFO’s webpage Carcass Transportation Regulations in the United States and Canada.

The TPWD Outdoor Annual Chronic Wasting Disease webpage has detailed information on CWD including regulations, check station information, and carcass movement restrictions.

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) website has detailed information on their statewide mandatory testing requirements of exotic CWD susceptible species such as elk, red deer, sika, moose, reindeer, and any associated subspecies and hybrids.

CWD in Texas

The first case of CWD in Texas was discovered in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains of far West Texas. The disease has since been detected in free-ranging mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk in Dallam and Hartley counties, located in the northwest Panhandle.

The first case of CWD in Texas white-tailed deer was found in a Medina County deer-breeding facility in 2015 as a result of routine disease monitoring. Increased testing requirements resulted in the detection of CWD in 4 additional deer breeding facilities and two release sites adjacent to the CWD-positive deer breeding facilities. CWD was also detected in a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Medina County in 2017 — for details and chronology of CWD detections in Texas, see CWD Positives in Texas webpage.

With the discovery of CWD in a captive deer breeding facility in south-central Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Commission adopted comprehensive CWD Management Rules on June 20, 2016. Developed through a collaborative process that involved substantial stakeholder input, these rules address CWD management associated with permitting programs that authorize intensive deer management activities — for more information, read the Comprehensive CWD Management Rules PDF.

Additional rules regarding CWD monitoring zones and carcass movement restrictions were adopted by the TPW Commission on August 25, 2016. As new cases of CWD were discovered in additional captive deer breeding facilities as well as free-ranging deer and elk in 2016/2017, the TPW Commission adopted modifications to the rules pertaining to live-deer movements into, within, and out of CWD Containment Zones and Surveillance Zones. Both sets of rules are intended to reduce the chances of spreading CWD and increasing the chances of detecting and containing CWD in areas where it might be present.

TPWD CWD Management Plan

The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan PDF will serve to guide TPWD and TAHC in addressing risks, developing management strategies, and protecting big game resources from CWD in captive or free-ranging cervid populations. Both agencies recognize the need for full cooperation and partnership among government agencies, conservation organizations, private landowners, hunters, and the general public should CWD occur in Texas. CWD is a reportable disease and TAHC has authority for reporting and tracking this disease in alternative livestock, which includes elk, red deer and sika deer. TPWD has regulatory authority for free-ranging white-tailed deer and mule deer, and both agencies share regulatory authority over captive deer held under the authority of Deer Breeder Permits.

This management plan is intended to be dynamic; management strategies described within are likely to change as both the epidemiology and management of this disease become better understood through time. Specific response plans may be developed and incorporated into this plan following local or regional discoveries of CWD. Three major goals of this CWD management plan are:

  1. Minimize CWD risks to the wild and captive white-tailed deer, mule deer, and other susceptible species in Texas.
  2. Establish and maintain support for prudent CWD management with hunters, landowners, and other stakeholders.
  3. Minimize direct and indirect impacts of CWD to hunting, hunting related economies, and conservation in Texas.

Texas CWD Symposiums

CWD Symposium 2018

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Overview
  • Myths, Facts and Legends
  • CWD Drives Population Decline
  • Pre-Symptomatic Prion Detection
  • CWD Transmission
  • Sampling CWD
  • Advantages and Limitations
  • Diagnostics and Detection
  • CWD in Wyoming 30 plus Years Later
  • CWD Management and Response in Wisconsin
  • Missouri's Approach to CWD Surveillance
  • CWD Management in Texas
  • Report on Ante-Mortem Testing in Texas
  • Overview of CWD Positive Breeder Facilities
  • What We Have Learned After 21 Years
  • Hunter/Landowner Perspective
  • Panel Discussion: Challenges in Texas
Credit to Texas Parks & Wildlife

Colt says it’s going to stop selling AR-15 rifles to the public, but gun-control advocates shouldn’t celebrate

AR 15

When the Colt gun manufacturing corporation announced in September that it would stop producing its AR-15 semiautomatic rifle for sale to the general public — to focus on handguns and military production — some gun-control advocates declared victory, saying the move would help limit the availability of assault weapons in the US.

 The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence counted the news among “recent victories.” Celebrity gun-control activists Michael Moore and Debra Messing also trumpeted Colt’s move as progress toward eliminating the weapons from public circulation.In fact, the evidence indicates their celebrations are probably premature.

Colt has said that it didn’t act as a result of political or popular pressure, but rather because the company has so many contracts with military and police agencies that it doesn’t have capacity to make rifles for the civilian market. In addition, a number of other companies make rifles similar to AR-15s and are selling plenty of them to the public. An industry trade group estimates that more than 16 million of them are owned by US citizens.

The gunmaker’s move is, therefore, a tacit acknowledgment of how prevalent AR-15s and comparable weapons are in the US It’s not a response to concerns that too many of them are potentially available to would-be mass shooters.

A flooded marketplace

AR 15
AR-15 rifles on sale at a gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania, October 6, 2017. 
Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Assault weapons — AR-15s and others — have been used in some of the grisliest US gun massacres in recent years, including Aurora, Colorado and and Newtown, Connecticut in 2012; Orlando in 2016; Las Vegas in 2017; Parkland, Florida in 2018; and El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio in 2019.

Colt’s AR-15 is a close cousin of military rifles such as the M-16 and M-4. All are relatively lightweight, powerful and capable of accommodating large ammunition magazines, typically containing 30 rounds. The more ammunition, the more rounds a shooter can fire quickly before having to stop and reload.

Unlike the military variants, which can unleash short bursts or a stream of bullets with each trigger pull, AR-15s and other civilian large-capacity rifles fire only a single shot at a time. They are classified as semiautomatic because they automatically reload, but the shooter has to pull the trigger each time he wants the gun to fire.

Colt’s AR-15 patents expired decades ago, and today there are numerous imitations available. They’re often referred to generically as “AR-15-style” rifles or assault weapons. It’s also legal and relatively easy in more than 40 states to buy semiautomatic variants of other large-capacity military-style weapons, such as the AK-47, originally a Soviet design.

It’s possible that by suspending AR-15 sales, Colt hopes to distance itself from the carnage connected to the use of assault weapons.

More likely, though, the company is still recovering from its bankruptcy proceedings in 2015 and 2016, and wanted to drop an unprofitable product line, which it refers to as “modern sporting rifles.”

Not a matter of ideology

ar 15
A Connecticut State Police firearms officer with a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, January 28, 2013. 
AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File

The company’s announcement of the change made no reference to mass shootings and went out of its way to say Colt remains “committed to the Second Amendment,” which guarantees Americans’ right to bear arms.

Colt CEO Dennis Veilleux’s reasoning was clear in his statement that “the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity” and as a result, “there is adequate supply of modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

The National Rifle Association’s “Shooting Illustrated” blog said some gun owners assumed Colt’s “halt in civilian rifle production had anti-gun motives.” But the NRA said the problem was lack of consumer demand for Colt-made AR-15s, which were often hundreds of dollars more expensive than similar models from other companies. Colt noted that the company will continue to focus on civilian handguns and military rifles.

From the evidence, it appears Colt’s decision was different from other corporations’ actions, which clearly responded to concerns about mass shootings.

Walmart, for example, stopped selling military-style rifles in 2015. In August 2019, after a shooter with an AK-47-style rifle massacred 22 people at an El Paso Walmart, company CEO Doug McMillon urged Congress to consider restoring an assault-weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 through 2004.

Walmart isn’t the only major gun seller recently to limit sales of certain firearms. Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling military-style semiautomatic rifles and large-capacity magazines in 2018.

Colt’s retreat on the AR-15 should not be seen as a signal of a breakthrough in the gun debate or a change of heart within the firearm industry. Sales of new Colt-made AR-15s may come to an end, but there are plenty of assault weapons available to the public, among whom may be potential mass shooters.

 

Credit to Business Insider

Trump to meet with Chinese vice premier at White House: ‘Big day of negotiations with China’

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin greet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as he arrives for trade talks in Washington on Oct. 10, 2019.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin greet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as he arrives for trade talks in Washington on Oct. 10, 2019

Two Giuliani Associates Arrested for Campaign Finance Violations

 In this Aug. 1, 2018 file photo, Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, addresses a gathering during a campaign event.

The men were reportedly linked to Giuliani’s efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and Giuliani confirmed in May that they were his clients.(AP PHOTO/CHARLES KRUPA, FILE )

TWO MEN ASSOCIATED WITH Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, were arrested on campaign finance violations on Wednesday.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, soviet-born donors to pro-Trump fundraising efforts, were arrested on criminal charges for violating campaign finance laws, a spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office said.

People familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal that the men were linked to Giuliani’s efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Giuliani had confirmed in May that Parnas and Fruman were his clients, and according to the Journal, both men had dinner with the president and met with Donald Trump Jr. in May 2018.

The two bussinessmen have donated to Republican campaigns, including Trump’s, and gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump PAC the same month they met Trump for dinner, the Journal reported.

They donated the money through an LLC, prompting the Campaign Legal Center, a transparency advocacy group, to file a complaint with the FEC, urging the commission to investigate the men for potentially violating campaign finance laws.

They are expected to appear in federal court in Virginia later Thursday.

Credit to US News

Migrants Wanting to Request Asylum Camp on Bridge to Texas

BY ALFREDO PENA, Associated Press

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Migrants wanting to request asylum camped out Thursday on an international bridge leading from Mexico into Brownsville, Texas, causing a closure of the span.

Hundreds of migrants from Central America and elsewhere stretched out on the bridge before dawn, with some laying down on mats or their coats. The crowd including children and babies.

An employee at the Gateway International Bridge that connects downtown Matamoros, Mexico with Brownsville confirmed that the bridge remained closed as of about 10:00 a.m. local time Thursday.

A Mexican official who was not authorized to be named confirmed the blockage of the bridge.

The official said the migrants were tired of waiting to make their initial claims for asylum at a U.S. border crossing.

Under a policy know as metering, U.S. officials at many border bridges accept only a few asylum-seekers per day. The Associated Press found about 19,000 names on waiting lists in four border cities visited in late July.

Frustration with U.S. policies aimed at limiting asylum requests has sparked mass attempts to cross border entries before. However, Thursday’s camp-out on the Mexican side of the Matamoros bridge appeared to be more of a protest than an attempt to cross.

Nevertheless, U.S. officials closed gates on the U.S. side, apparently as a precautionary measure.

Cameron County, which operates the Gateway bridge, said it is “primarily used for local traffic, maquiladora employees, tourists and pedestrian traffic.”

It said the bridge handles about 80% of the Brownsville-Matamoros pedestrian traffic.

The blockage caused long lines to form at the other international bridges leading out of Matamoros.

 

Credit to Associated Press