Resolution Asks to Preserve Texas Longhorns in Big Bend Ranch State Park

Resolution Asks to Preserve Texas Longhorns in Big Bend Ranch State Park

by Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

PRESIDIO/BREWSTER COUNTY - When you think of Texas, the image of the Texas Longhorn comes to mind. But the Longhorn could be facing some trouble at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Late last year, the Presidio City Council was handed a resolution to preserve the Texas Longhorn herd in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The resolution stated that Texas Parks and Wildlife began selling off drastic numbers of the Longhorn herd. One of the authors of the resolution, Representative Charles "Doc" Anderson, says while the animals are being removed, new bike and hike trails and four wheelers will come in.

"I actually went out there and over flew the ranch and counted the 33 [Longhorns] that are remaining. There is no way they are going to cause any harm to the actual fort there but I guarantee you the four wheelers will," Anderson said.

Anderson is concerned that the only ones left of the pure Texas Longhorn bloodline in the parks 311,000 acres are a few neutered display animals. Big Bend Ranch State Park says otherwise.

"40 animals on probably 15-20% of the park, there could be 80, 150, who knows. They're out there still reproducing," Barrett Durst, Superintendent of Big Bend Ranch State Park, said.

Durst says a re-fenced pasture housing steers and bulls has also been placed in the park as an exhibit. His main focus, however, is on the bigger picture. For example, conservation, such as conserving the natural water springs.

"There are still Longhorns on the park property. I have doubts that they will ever be completely gone from the park," Durst said.
The Presidio City Council met to discuss whether or not to pass this resolution but no move has been made yet.

"We must determine whether or not it is possible to maintain the cattle in the park, to provide appropriate management of those cattle, and to assure that they can be preserved in the park for future generations," Texas Senator, José Rodríguez, said.