WEST TEXAS — In early October, a small group of Texas Brigades staff, volunteers, and students helped construct wildlife guzzlers in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. Participation in this project was part of an ongoing relationship with El Carmen Land & Conservation Company (ECLCC).
A team of nearly 50 total volunteers installed two “Nevada-style” wildlife guzzlers. These guzzlers provide a dependable source of water for wildlife in the region by capturing rainwater and storing it in large underground tanks. These tanks flow to a trough, which provides the region’s wildlife species access to the collected water. Funded primarily by Dallas Safari Club Foundation and CEMEX, this project was a collaborative effort by many of Texas’ key conservation organizations. Among the organizations represented were: Texas Brigades, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Sul Ross State University/Borderlands Research Institute, Texan by Nature, and many more.
Former Texas Brigades cadet and participant on the guzzler project, Joseph Richards, recalls:
“I enjoyed the opportunity to perform in a meaningful project that I am certain will provide valuable drinking water for many decades to come. Volunteer projects are the easiest way to gain hands-on experience and familiarization with the tools and equipment that will surely accompany a position in the wildlife career. I encourage anyone interested in the territory of wildlife management or conservation to volunteer at projects like these in order to network with professionals and get to know your future coworkers.”
Emily Vincik, another Texas Brigades alumnus, wrote about her experience at the project:
“There were many critical measurements that had to be taken to make this a success. I will be forever grateful for all the people I met and for everything I learned from them. This was truly a great experience that will not only benefit me in my future but one that I will always remember. I am honored to have represented the Texas Brigades on such a wonderful project.”
ECLCC’s mission is to restore native wildlife and birds to sustainable numbers through proactive land restoration, water developments (such as the guzzlers), habitat enhancement, and in the future use the area as a demonstration site located in a fragile lower desert ecosystem in the Trans-Pecos Ecoregion in western Texas.
Texas Brigades extends a huge thank you to Billy Pat & Bonnie McKinney, ECLCC’s wildlife managers, for inviting us to participate in such an impactful project. We look forward to our next trip!
Please enjoy the following video about this project from Dallas Safari Club:
Program Manager, Texas Brigades
With contributions from Texas Brigades Alumni: Joseph Richards & Emily Vincik