The East Foundation and The Witte Museum have joined forces to increase awareness of land stewardship principles and promote civil engagement in today’s youth by facilitating the Land Stewardship Ambassadors. Land Stewardship Ambassadors is a 10-session program for high school students from diverse backgrounds and locations that will promote a land ethic that can be applied in both urban and rural settings and will allow students to learn from and inspire one another to think critically about how we care for the land.
30 students total will be selected from Laredo and San Antonio to participate in 8 facilitated sessions in their hometown covering topics such as the social, economic and political aspects of land stewardship as well as the history of conservation. The remainder of the program will include two field investigations to the Witte Museum’s Land Stewardship Lab and the East Foundation’s historic San Antonio ranch. Activities will reinforce principles they have studied throughout the program. Each student will be required to present in a public setting about a topic related to land stewardship.
Applications must be submitted by November 1, 2018 with the first session starting on January 27, 2019.
Congratulations to Gilly Riojas, Ranch Manager, East Foundation Ranches, LLC for being selected as one of five new Directors of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association. He is joined by other new directors Cody Fry of Armstrong, D.A. “Day” Harral of Fort Stockton, James Oliver of Ozona, and Jessica Tate of Marfa.
Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Estela Avery, Tina Yturria Buford, Starr Corbin, Karen Harris, Amy Henderson, Karen Manning, Imelda Navarro, Rienke Radler, Jinous Rouhani, Catherine Susser, and Laura Koenig Young, and appointed Nathali Parker to the Governor's Commission for Women for terms set to expire on December 31, 2019. Additionally, Susser will continue to serve as chairman and Harris will continue to serve as vice chairman. Governor Abbott is charging this commission with developing a strategy and implementation plan to help make Texas the number one state for women-owned businesses, to help address the issue of human trafficking, and to help rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Harvey. Within the Texas Governor’s Economic Development Division, the commission specializes in outreach, education, research and referral services.
The East Foundation is looking for summer interns. Our internship program is a unique opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain hands-on experience in all facets of the Foundation’s operations—wildlife and vegetation surveys, facilities and infrastructure management, outreach and education, vegetation management, and all aspects of cattle production. The internship will be based primarily on the historic San Antonio Viejo Ranch; however, opportunities to work on and explore the diversity of the Foundation’s other ranches will abound.
Juniors, seniors, or recent graduates in Wildlife and Range Management, Natural Resources, Animal Science or related degree programs are encouraged to apply.
Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed George “Dave” Scott, III and appointed Gilbert “Gilly” Riojas to the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council for a terms set to expire on February 1, 2023. The Council’s duties are to advise and assist the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program (TFRLCP) with administration of the program and to select applicants to receive grants. The goal of the TFRLCP is a conservation of working lands with high values for water, fish and wildlife, and agricultural production.
Providing high-quality forage for cattle and large wildlife species can be challenging on some rangelands when vegetation becomes mature and too coarse to be eaten. This is a common problem in gulf cordgrass communities. Gulf cordgrass is a highly productive perennial grass native to the Texas Coastal Prairies. When young, gulf cordgrass can provide high quality forage for cattle. However, as it matures the leaf blades become stiff and spine-like with low nutritional value.
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Tina Yturria Buford and Carl Ray Polk, Jr. to the Soil and Water Conservation Board for terms set to expire on February 1, 2018 and February 1, 2019 respectively. The board administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law, and coordinates conservation and pollution abatement programs throughout the state.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation inducted Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg; East Foundation board member, and Dr. Fred C. Bryant; professional advisor to the East Foundation, into the Texas Conservation Hall of Fame. They were honored for their individual achievements and their work together at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.
East Foundation partner the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources has welcomed Dr. Jim Cathey as an associate director.
Antler characteristics can provide the hunter valuable insight on a bucks age. In this article, the Quality Deer Management Association highlights research conducted by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute on East Foundation lands. This research was used to highlight the relationship between, average mass at base, and age and how a hunter can use it to estimate a buck’s age.
Fred Bryant, East Foundation Professional Advisor, received the Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society for Range Management’s (SRM) 70th Annual Meeting held in St. George, Utah, January 29 – February 2, 2017. The Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Society to members for long-term contributions to the art and science of range management and to the Society for Range Management.
Photographer Wyman Meinzer explored the ranch for three years, in all seasons and weathers, to reveal its story in images from sweeping panoramas, to astonishing wildlife shots, to illuminating moments in the lives of working cowboys and their herds. Henry Chappell likewise weaves the ranch’s complex story with a historian’s attention to detail, a novelist’s flair, and an outdoorsman’s keen understanding of the natural world.
David Hewitt, East Foundation Research Partner and newly appointed Professional Advisor, has been selected as the new Leroy G. Denman, Jr. Endowed Director of Wildlife Research at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. David has been with the Institute since 1996 and most recently served as the Stuart W. Stedman Chair for White-tailed Deer Research where he focused on wildlife nutrition and ecology and management of large mammals.
Poncho Ortega, Ph.D.; East Foundation Wildlife and Research Manager, was a featured speaker at the recent U.S.-Mexico Cattle Fever Tick Summit held November 29-30, 2016, in Weslaco, Texas. The purpose of the meeting was for federal and state animal health regulatory officials, researchers, and industry representatives, from the U.S. and Mexico, to discuss monitoring, control, and eradication options and activities related to cattle fever tick (CFT) programs.
Masi Mejia, East Foundation Contract Educator, was recently featured in the Leopold Outlook, a publication of the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Her article focuses on diversifying the field of natural resources and her personal experiences.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has selected Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg; East Foundation board member, and Dr. Fred C. Bryant; professional advisor to the East Foundation, to be inducted in the 2017 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame. They are being honored for their individual achievements and their work together at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.
IDEA Public Schools is excited to announce its purchase of Camp RIO, located at the historic Camp Lula Sams, and renovations that will provide students in the Rio Grande Valley with a quality nature and ecology education and camp experience that will enhance classroom learning.
"The East Foundation is proud to help support IDEA Public Schools and the redevelopment of Camp Rio, and we are certain the grounds will provide an additional source of hands-on learning and development for students on the road to college,” said Tina Buford, Education Project Manager at East Foundation. “Students are spending less time outside, and more time being sedentary. Camp Rio provides an additional opportunity for students to be active and learn and interact with nature and the outdoors.”
In October, Fred C. Bryant, Ph.D. was honored as the 2016 Texas Outdoorsman of the Year. Bryant is the Director of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and serves as a Professional Advisor to the East Foundation. He is regarded as a giant in the conservation world and is a personal hero to countless outdoorsmen.
On October 26, IDEA Public Schools hosted a press conference and tour of their Camp Rio facilities located on approximately 85 acres of wildlife preserve on the north end of Brownsville, Texas. Each summer, Camp Rio provides a summer camp experience for IDEA students in the Rio Grande Valley. Tina Buford, the East Foundation Education Project Manager, was a featured speaker at the event.
More than 100 women and 45 men were in attendance at the Women in Agriculture Ranch Meeting and Luncheon held September 15th at the East Foundation’s San Antonio Viejo Ranch, south of Hebbronville. This was the largest adult event ever held at the East Foundation’s ranch.
The East Foundation welcomes Maria Florentina “Masi” Mejia as a contract educator for the Foundation. Masi will deliver natural resource education to the underserved communities of South Texas. She will deploy educational programs on East Foundation lands as well as take the proven L.A.N.D.S. (Learning Across New Dimensions in Science) curriculum of East Foundation partner, the Texas Wildlife Association, into schools in Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Duval, Webb, Dimmit, and La Salle counties.
In South Texas, rainfall is nearly worshiped by deer managers because a good rainfall year increases forage quality and quantity which in turn increases body mass and antler size. The positive relationship between rainfall and deer morphology brings up an interesting question. During wet years, can the increased forage quality and quantity overcome the negative influence of poor habitat? Could deer managers expect to produce large-antlered and fat bucks during wet years anywhere in South Texas?
For more than 100 years the cattle fever tick has been a force to be reckoned with, specifically in Texas.
Although preventative measures were taken to combat the spread of fever ticks – one being legislation that prohibited Texas-origin cattle from entering states such as Kansas, effectively ending the nostalgic Texas cattle drives of the late 1800s – recent changes in their environment and existing regulations on ranchers have triggered these problematic parasites to move north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The 2015-2016 quail hunting season will go down in the books as one of the best-ever on record for South Texas.
The big question I have been getting lately is: Will the boom last? Translation: Will we have another year of great quail hunting in 2016-2017? The answer: It depends. It depends mostly on El Niño.
A Harlingen woman is among 15 appointed to the Governor's Commissioner for Women by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today. Tina Yturria Buford of Harlingen is the education project manager for the East Foundation developing natural resource education programs for South Texas youth.
It is no secret to deer managers that deer body and antler size is determined by a combination of age, nutrition, and genetics. Recent research findings at the CKWRI may give insight into why nutritional deficiencies, not genetics, most likely cause the body weight and antler size differences seen in deer across South Texas.