A New Year Brings New Hope
by Ro Wauer
What will the new year bring? Perhaps all our hopes and dreams will be fulfilled. Perhaps we will win the lottery or inherit a few million dollars from some long-lost ancestor. We can then do all of the wonderful things that we have wanted to do for so many years.
Don’t bet on it! The chance of becoming a multimillionaire overnight is so small that dwelling on such an occurrence would undoubtedly be counterproductive. It is best to stay with our day jobs, live a reasonable clean life, and save enough to guarantee a reasonably comfortable retirement.
But what about if? I suppose that I would do a little more traveling to some foreign countries or places in the United States where I can see and enjoy new sights and wildlife. Maybe I would update my stereo and computer equipment to the state of the art. Or maybe I could give great hunks of money to various conservation organizations earmarked for specific projects.
There is so much that needs to be done in our own backyard that I suspect that my donations would wear pretty thin before I considered anything outside of Texas. For instance, acquisition of land in West Texas, particularly in the Davis Mountains and alongside Big Bend National Park, would take a huge chunk, and dozens of projects along the Gulf Coast and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley needs our help.
I suppose that my first step would be to prioritize my project list. The acquisition and/or protection of uncontaminated wetlands, especially freshwater wetlands, must be of highest priority. These types of areas, especially those few remaining ones along the Gulf Coast, urgently need our help.
In the Rio Grande Valley, an area that is fast becoming one long row of concrete, a few sites still deserve our protection. The Lower Rio Grande Valley “Wildlife Corridor,” stretching from Falcon Dam to the Gulf, richly deserves our contributions.
Closer to home, maybe I would fund added road patrols to control roadside dumping and greater efforts to control feral house cats and dogs, and also establish an extensive environmental education program in our schools. After all, if our youngsters grow up with the same attitude as their parents, our natural resources will continue to decline. Come to think of it, maybe that should be step one.
I guess I need to rethink my entire list of priorities.