March 17 Letters to the Editor

Dear Neighbors: 

Hooyii (howdy). 

Thank you for supporting our fundraising campaign to build the protective rock wall around the Lipan Cemetery in Presidio. During the campaign, more than a hundred individuals would come together to help us raise over $41,000. Your personal donations — along with an additional $47,000 in support coming from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Summerlee Foundation, Amerigroup, First Presidio Bank, Fort Davis State Bank Presidio Branch, Cibolo Creek Ranch, Visit Presidio and Presidio Municipal Development District — helped us achieve 75 percent of our goal. 

Your support has helped us keep the project moving forward, while we await responses from grant applications we’ve made around the country. With these funds in hand, we can begin construction this summer. 

We’re elated by the support we received far and wide, especially from friends in West Texas. There are a few who went above and beyond the call. Thanks, Diana Wassef and Patrick Manian at Big Buddha Bakery, and Faith Gay and Hannah Gentiles at Cactus Liquors for hosting a heartfelt fundraiser in Presidio. To Sam Karas at The Big Bend Sentinel. Thanks also to local stores, Desert Rose Provisions, Ferguson Motors and Ocotillo Botanica, for supporting the project by raising funds from sales proceeds. 

Know that we’re very moved that you included us in your good wishes. Please say ‘hi’ if you see us. 

Kasteyo (thanks), 

Oscar Rodriguez 

Board Member 

Big Bend Conservation Alliance


Dear Editor,

I have some questions about the Judd Foundation and The Big Bend Conservation Alliance’s plan to open up the Judd property south of Chinati for walking tours of the desert grasslands there.

I have been a birdwatcher for many years here, and I am alarmed at the loss of species and number of birds compared to what I used to see just a few years ago. The loss of habitat to drought and global warming. The loss of food supply and water. This grassland prairie is so fragile and so important to us and all the species that live here that it seems opening more of it for public use is something to give serious thought to. For instance, will these be guided tours? Will there be people monitoring behavior when open? Like for not dumping trash and wandering onto adjacent private property? 

Donald Judd was very concerned about intervening in the landscape, and I would think conservation would be the operative word in the title Big Bend Conservation Alliance. I know everyone involved is very well intentioned in what they are doing. I just hope you think it through before you act.

Suzanne Dungan