The Texas Parks And Wildlife Unofficial Rehabilitators Blog Site
March 5, 2021
I cleaned of hay out of my martin houses this morning. Better late than never. The scouts have been around for a week. Another paperwork reminder came in from Austin today which got me to thinking, the martins certainly need a more transparent, pro-nature representation in Austin. Did you know that at the Aug 26, 2020 TPW Commissioner’s meeting in Austin Ms. Longoria reveled that of the 18 people who responded to her proposed changes only one agreed that they were good ideas? The vast majority of Texas wildlife rehabilitators were either too busy caring for the animals or, like me, unaware of what was about to happen:
Program Leader, Nongame and Rare Species Program, Wildlife Division
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Rd, Austin, TX 78744
I believe that your ill-conceived changes to TPW TEXAS ADMINISTRATIVE CODE CHAPTER 69 rule §69.46 establishing a select group of individuals, the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Council aka WRC to institute “approved” CE credits for TPW licensure will undoubtedly deplete the ranks of dedicated and skilled individuals willing to care for injured Texas wildlife without remuneration. Perhaps that was the actual impetus for these changes – an underhanded way of forcing the majority of small dedicated wildlife rehabilitators in Texas out of their profession and to rout power into the hand of a select group of large players. I pay for all the medications, food and supplies for the wildlife that TPW brings and routes to me out of my VA disability pension and my Social Security checks. I pay all the state and federal fees demanded out of my own pocket as well. There are many other permittees and future permittees in similar situations.
My best cottontail rabbit volunteer lives in a trailer park in Pharr, TX. My most successful volunteer in Sarasota, FL never finished high school. My most successful volunteer of pauraques and nighthawks lives in Edinburgh, TX and speaks only limited English. Why should people like them be locked out of a path to their own TPW licensure by bureaucrats in Austin and their cronies building personal fiefdoms or seeking enrichment?
Compassion for Texas wildlife is a gift that God distributes without regard to title, formal education or CE credits. You have no right to disenfranchise Texans based on their education level, unwillingness to fraternize with national organizations of any stripe, income, language skills, or disabilities. There is no need to place obstacles in the way of charity. I can pay you $25 tomorrow, go out and shoot a deer. TPW doesn’t require hunter safety CEs for that. Why should TPW subject me to pay-to-play non-government fellowships that know much less about wildlife than I do in order to aid a deer?
Ronald Hines DVM PhD
Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Rescue Center, Brownsville