Hueco Trip Report, TX

By Kristo Torgersen

In February 2007, the Access Fund traveled to Hueco Tanks for the annual Hueco Rock Rodeo to advocate the Access Funds position and strategy and meet with park staff regarding the current status of access and potential threats to climbing at Hueco Tanks.

News of a potential transfer of Hueco Tanks from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) surfaced in December 2006. In early February a letter from THC to the Access Fund stated that Hueco Tanks had been removed from the list for transfer. However, as the premiere cultural resource in the state, it is possible that this issue will resurface.

Additionally, there is a bill up for approval in the Texas Legislature which would provide a much needed increase of funding for Texas state and local parks (including Reimers Ranch).

During the visit to Hueco Tanks, the Access Fund met with Hueco Tanks Park Superintendent and Complex Manger to discuss strategy in support of TPWDs management and offer the resources of the Access Fund to achieve the common interests of the park and climbers. The Access Fund circulated a petition at the Hueco Rock Rodeo to educate climbers on the issue and gain signatures from Texan residents supporting the management of Hueco by TPWD and the allocation of additional funding to Texas State Parks.

During the third week of March the Access Fund was back in Texas to conduct an Austin-based lobbying initiative that included Texas climbers and other allied interest groups in meeting with Texas legislators and public land agency officials to preserve the financial security of Texas State Parks and Hueco Tanks in particular.