They shoot donkeys, don't they? Texas Parks pleads for goodwill (and donations)

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Just a few weeks after earning a fresh black eye with much of the public for its renewed policy of shooting donkeys inside Big Bend Ranch State Park, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is launching a full-court press to drum up support for the parks system. Parks, as you may have guessed, are suffering from the triple-whammy of record-breaking heat, drought, and wildfires of the past summer. It's a triune curse that has not only crippled the state's ecology but driven park visitation (and those associated revenues, roughly half of the department's $69 million operating budget) through the caliche floor. Press conferences were held at parks and locations across the state today.

“The bottom line is we have a $4.6 million gap in our 2012 park system operating budget. This is the amount we need to raise to help keep state parks open. We want to alert people now while there is still time to help,” said Parks Director Carter Smith. I don't hear much sympathy coming out of the Big Bend region (where no fundraising press confereences were held).

Not that we don't love our parks for so many reasons, but perhaps they should talk to Texans about things like these wanton (and senseless) killings ... you know, in the off-chance they need something from the people they serve in return. Those of you who want to donate no questions asked, can do so on their website. Others may want to network with these folks first.

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