A monthly newsletter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

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Wild Times July 2024

Thanks to specialty gear provided through Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s (TPWF) Gear Up for Game Wardens program, a Texas couple was rescued in June after they got lost on the Colorado River in Coleman County after a paddling trip went awry. The trip was supposed to end before nightfall, but after a 9-hour ordeal during which they ran out of water, the dehydrated couple realized they were lost and pulled their kayak ashore.

Fortunately, there was cell service, and the husband was able to call 9-1-1 at about 10:30 p.m. The Coleman County sheriff’s office turned to Texas Game Wardens for help.

“The couple did several things right, which allowed us to find them much quicker than we otherwise might have,” explained Runnels County Game Warden Cameron Ramsey, who is also the Unmanned Aerial System (drone) operator in Central Texas. “They stopped, they built a fire and they did not move after they made the 9-1-1 call.”

The couple’s approximate location was determined from the cell phone call, and wardens headed to one of the remotest areas of the county. That’s when Ramsey swung into action with the drone, which is outfitted with a heat-sensitive camera. As other wardens and a sheriff’s deputy assisted, Ramsey launched the drone and began searching the river. Within 14 minutes, the camera picked up a heat signal from the kayaker’s campfire.

"We could see them waving at the camera and we knew we had found them,” said Ramsey.

After capturing the GPS point, they drove as close as they could get and then hiked in to make the rescue.

“We appreciate having access to this equipment through the Gear Up for Game Wardens program, and this was the very first time we’ve used it for a night operation,” said Ramsey. “It was pretty exciting that the first time we put it to use, it was successful. Without this specialty gear, a search like this could have taken many, many hours in this remote area of the county.”

Ramsey also explained that the gear is only used by wardens for rescue operations, not routine patrols related to hunting and fishing violations.

A big thank you to all the generous supporters who are helping Texas Game Wardens get the gear they need to be safer and more effective in the field.



Story #2: Rambler Partners with TPWF

What could be better than a cool drink of sparkling water on a hot summer day? Knowing that along with quenching your thirst, you are also contributing to conserving the wild things and wild places of Texas!

That’s the idea between a partnership with Rambler and TPWF. Rambler is a sustainably-sourced water product made in Texas that raises awareness about water conservation issues and supports TPWF’s mission of protecting Texas’ unique and sensitive waterways.

"In the early stages of developing Rambler, we agreed that if we were going to get into the sparkling water business, it was important that we not just be another water on the shelf,” said Dave Mead, Rambler Sparkling Water Co-Founder and Marketing Director. “We needed to have a community effort and we needed to be a steward of the land. Choosing sustainable water sources and partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation just made sense.”

You can find Rambler at select HEB stores across Texas and at Central Market and Whole Foods.

Watch Video

Story #3: On a Recycling Roll

Our trailblazing Texas brand partner Karbach wants to make it as easy as possible for you to recycle. Karbach’s “Recycle Dammit” campaign is part of their environmental and sustainability initiative, and they are literally rolling out the next phase of the campaign in the form of a huge recycling truck. Aluminum cans will be collected at their brewery in Houston as well as events across the state. Once the huge truck is full, Karbach will sell the recycled aluminum for scrap metal and donate the proceeds from each load to a nonprofit.

“We want to make sure that we are being environmentally responsible,” said David Graham, Karbach Brand Manager. “We go to a ton of festivals and events where we see all of this aluminum going in the trash. We want to make it easy to recycle by providing a super large receptacle that event organizers don’t have to mess with. People can also bring their aluminum cans to us at the brewery in a garbage bag. We’re excited to donate the proceeds from the scrap to a different nonprofit each time we dump it!”

TPWF has been selected as the first nonprofit to benefit from the program. 

Thanks, Karbach!


Story #4: Spectrum Trail Racing Teams with We Will Not Be Tamed

Spectrum Trail Racing is teaming up with TPWF to bring a new trail race series to some one-of-a-kind locations in Texas. The new 3-race series, called We Will Not Be Tamed, will be held at a different state park or natural area that is not yet fully open to the public. The first race will be held Oct. 12 at the Albert and Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area between Boerne and Bandera in the Texas Hill Country. Register and find out more on their website. 

Learn More


Story #5: Your Donations are in Good Hands with TPWF


TPWF is proud to report that for the seventh consecutive year, we have obtained Charity Navigator’s 4-Star Rating. With a perfect score of 100, this is the highest possible rating that can be achieved.

 From the Charity Navigator website:

“The exceptional charities on this list execute their missions in a fiscally responsible way while adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities. Each has earned perfect scores for financial health, accountability and transparency. Those two scores then translate into a perfect 100-point overall score. Less than one percent of the thousands of charities rated by Charity Navigator have earned perfect scores. We applaud these charities for exceeding industry standards and outperforming other organizations performing similar work.”

Read more about our Charity Navigator rating.



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