Texas is burning
April 25, 2011
I like to write about travel and fun things to do in the West, but it is impossible not to realize that drought conditions in Texas have resulted in what some weather forecasters are calling a “perfect storm.” As of Wednesday morning more than a million acres have burned in the Lone Star State. The wide-spread fires have destroyed homes and businesses, displaced people and livestock.
Last week, as fire swept around Fort Davis, Texas, I received notice from the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) that the situation was quite dire.
The WRCA announcement noted:
“As you have probably seen, and heard on the news, the fires in Jeff Davis County, around the Alpine and Fort Davis areas, have been severely affected by a massive wildfire. Each year in August, the WRCA, and Competing Ranches, look forward to going to Alpine for the ‘Big Bend of Texas Ranch Rodeo.’ When the weekend arrives the atmosphere in the community is one of family, friends, fellowship, and the good ol’ ranching way of life. The people of Jeff Davis County are hard working and are as tough as the country. The Working Ranch Cowboys Association and Foundation Directors and Staff are praying for the victims and the community of the Big Bend Area.”
WRCA then passed on a message from a member of the association, Shaun Strickland, who now lives in Oklahoma, but who was reared near Alpine, Texas. I subsequently talked with Shaun who asked me to spread the word of the situation facing ranch families in West Texas. He wrote:
“Cowboys and Cowgirls of the WRCA family. As you may know the Fort Davis area of Texas has gone through one of the hardest times know to a Rancher. FIRE has destroyed ranches, killed cattle and horses, and has scattered lost cattle for miles. I feel as a fellow cowboy and Christian it is our duty to lend a helping hand to these ranches … and cowboys during this time of need. I am looking for volunteers that know cattle and horses to go down to this country and help gather and sort or whatever may be needed to get these ranches back in order and back to somewhat of normal life. If you are interested in helping or donating to this cause please don’t hesitate to contact me.”
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That is the kind of appeal that I feel certain Fence Post readers will understand and identify with. Perhaps some of you can help, if not with your time and cowboy abilities, then perhaps with a financial donation. You can contact Shaun for more details by calling him at (918)277-9717 or sending an e-mail to him at ShaunStrickland33@yahoo.com.
There are other ways to help, too.
The Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association has started a “STAR Fund,” State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund. This fund was created to collect monetary contributions from private individuals and entities to assist farmers and ranchers in responding to and recovering from an emergency. The STAR Fund may be used to rebuild fences, restore operations, and to pay for other agricultural disaster relief. To learn more and donate to the “STAR Fund” please go to http://www.TSCRA.org or call (512)475-1615.
Donations can also be sent to the Jeff Davis County Relief Fund, c/o Fort Davis State Bank, P.O. Box 1809, Fort Davis, Texas, 79734, Acct.# 321028 (write on check).
If anyone would like to have his/her donation go to the rebuilding of fences, please note your check for fencing; for those with fencing materials to donate, call Kristen Cavness at (432)386-3402. If anyone has hay or cattle and horse feed, call Logan Boswell at (432)249-0265.
The Permian Basin Area Foundation also is accepting charitable donations from larger foundations, send to: Jeff Davis County Relief Fund, c/o Permian Basin Area Foundation, 200 N. Loraine, Suite #500, Midland, Texas, 79701.
As the folks down in Texas note, they are looking for people to donate. Even $10 here, or $10 there will certainly help.
For more information on details on everything from livestock losses to contact information, please go to http://www.TSCRA.org/wildfires.html.