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The Thundering Herd-March 2019

Well it’s officially the kickoff of our busy season here at Caprock Canyons State Park.  As I sit here and type this, temperatures are barely above freezing so it’s hard to believe that spring is just around the corner.  Maybe it’s waiting to make a stellar appearance.  Let’s hope so!

Here’s another official announcement…  Texas State Parks has a new reservation system!  What does that mean for you?  That means that you can now go online and make reservations for your favorite campsite.  You can also get your entrance permit in advance of your visit.  As with any new system, there are still some things that need to be worked out and Caprock is still learning.  So, please be patient with us in this new transition.  As always, we will do our very best to accommodate our visitors.

Caprock Canyons State Park is looking for a new member to add to our team and family.  If you have a love of the outdoors and experience in facility and maintenance work, then this opportunity may be for you!  The position is for a Maintenance Specialist III (Operations Ranger).  If you’d like to apply, please go online to https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/tpwd  We look forward to bringing in a new and valued member to our park family!

If a full-time position isn’t your cup of tea, let us season up your taste for the outdoors by giving you a full cup of volunteer opportunities!  Volunteers provide an extremely valuable service to us here at the park.  Caprock is always on the lookout for folks who love the outdoors and want to put their unique skills to use.  Our park host program offers volunteers the opportunity to work 24 hours a week with us in exchange for a full hookup campsite complete with water, electricity, and sewer.  You can provide a valuable service to us and then enjoy the park all at the same time!  Our volunteer program offers willing volunteers the chance to serve on an as needed basis.  You can apply to become a volunteer by going online to https://tpwd.texas.gov/volunteer/  We’d love to have you!

What to See & Do This Month:  Be on the lookout for the “early bloomers”

As spring draws near, Caprock comes to life with just that…  new life!  Look forward to seeing different colors of wildflowers and woody shrubs, lots of species of birds, as well as newborn members to the Texas State Bison Herd.  As with all things new to life, please be considerate when viewing the wildlife.  Young bison calves are definitely a must see, but please stay a good distance away since mother bison are very protective at this time.

Ranger Recommendation:

This month’s ranger recommendation comes to us from our very own Park Police Officer Dawson Enloe who states, “If you see something, say something!”  Many times unlawful behavior occurs in the park but doesn’t get reported until the next day.  This makes it very difficult for law enforcement to take action and perhaps rectify the situation.  Please call 911.  Reporting the tampering or removal of park resources is also very important.  If you see vandalism that has already occurred, please take a picture of it and mark it with GPS coordinates so proper authorities can locate it.  Our jobs are to protect the resources of Caprock and you can help by simply reporting any misuse of the resources you may see.  Help us conserve and protect these resources so that they can be here for future generations!

Programs/Events:

*Many of our park programs offered to visitors are tours in our park van.  Space is limited on these tours so don’t miss out!  Reserve your spot as soon as possible*

Friday, March 8:

  • “Caprock Critters”, 7:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Saturday, March 9:

  • “Canyon Walk & Talk”, 10:00 a.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trail
  • “Skins & Skulls”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion (program is designed for children 12 and under)
  • “The Texas State Bison Herd”, 7:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Tuesday, March 12:

  • “Trailway Tour”, 10:00 a.m., Reservations Required-Please call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot.  $10 per seat.
  • “Wildlife & Environmental Etiquette”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • “The Texas State Bison Herd”, 8:00 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Wednesday, March 13:

  • “Prairie Safari Hike”, 10:00 a.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms
  • “Goin’ Batty”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion (program is designed for children 12 and under)
  • “Nighttime Narratives”, 8:15 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Thursday, March 14:

  • “Caprock Van Tour”, 10:00 a.m., Reservations Required-Please call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot.
  • “Prairie Dogs:  Talk of the Town”, 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms
  • “Caprock Critters”, 8:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Friday, March 15:

  • “Trailway Tour”, 10:00 a.m., Reservations Required-Please call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot.  $10 per seat.
  • “Wildlife & Environmental Etiquette”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • “The Texas State Bison Herd”, 8:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Saturday, March 16:

  • “Canyon Walk & Talk”, 10:00 a.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trail
  • “Goin’ Batty”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion (program is designed for children 12 and under)
  • “Pioneer Women of the Southern Great Plains” a special guest presentation for Women’s History Month, 8:00 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Tuesday, March 19:

  • “Caprock Van Tour”, 10:00 a.m., Reservations Required-Please call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot.
  • “Prairie Dogs:  Talk of the Town”, 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms
  • “Nighttime Narratives”, 8:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Wednesday, March 20:

  • “Prairie Safari Hike”, 10:00 a.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms
  • “Wildlife & Environmental Etiquette”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • “The Texas State Bison Herd”, 8:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Thursday, March 21:

  • “Trailway Tour”, 10:00 a.m., Reservations Required-Please call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot.  $10 per seat.
  • “Goin’ Batty”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion (program is designed for children 12 and under)
  • “Full Moon Hike”, 8:30 p.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trail

Friday, March 22:

  • “Prairie Dogs:  Talk of the Town”, 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms
  • “The Texas State Bison Herd”, 8:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Saturday, March 23:

  • “Caprock Van Tour”, 10:00 a.m., Reservations Required-Please call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot.
  • “Skins & Skulls”, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion (program is designed for children 12 and under)
  • “Mary Ann Goodnight & the Texas State Bison Herd” a Women’s History Month Presentation, 8:30 p.m., Interpretive Amphitheater

Interpreter’s Corner:

With all the buzz in the news and on social media, do you know how to become the next big story?  I feel like many of us do, however, what many of us don’t know how to do is to simply not be one.  What I’m talking about is, how do we avoid becoming next week’s negative news headline or tomorrow’s controversial and viral post on social media regarding our behavior towards wildlife and the environment.  In order to avoid internet ridicule, here’s some simple steps you can take the next time you visit Caprock Canyons State Park or any other natural area:

  1. Live by the “Rule of Thumb”-  If you are observing wildlife but you don’t know if you’re too close, hold your thumb up with arms outstretched.  Now close one eye.  If you can’t cover the animal up with your thumb, you’re too close.
  2. Give wildlife some space-  Just like we do, wildlife need their space.  If your actions are making an animal stop what they are doing, give them a break and give them their space.
  3. Leave no trace-  Leave the area just like you found it.  We all want to come out to Caprock Canyons and other natural areas to experience nature.  If natural and cultural resources are disturbed, we can’t.  It’s up to you to pack out your trash or dispose of it properly, be conscious of your actions while interacting with nature, and be respectful of the resources and your fellow man!

We want you and the next visitor that comes after you to have a wonderful experience in Caprock Canyons.  Don’t be a part of the problem, become a part of the solution!  Spring Break is a busy time here at Caprock, so please do your part to help us keep the park a safe place for our visitors and its resources.  We’ll see you soon!

Le’Ann