Latest News from Sul Ross February 3, 2014


               by Steve Lang, News and Publications

               For the third time in four years, the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) relocated pronghorn from the Texas Panhandle to the Trans-Pecos.
               Last week, 102 pronghorn were captured on ranches near Pampa, then transported southeast of Marfa. The relocation process was coordinated by TPWD and the BRI to restore declining populations in the Trans-Pecos.
               To date, TPWD and BRI have translocated 425 pronghorn from the Panhandle to the Trans-Pecos, where their populations have declined at alarming rates.
               Pronghorn are captured by helicopter, using net guns. Upon capture, their ankles are hobbled and eyes covered. The captured animals are placed in large bags, then transported by helicopter to the capture processing site.
               At the capture site, workers take each animal's temperature to monitor stress, along with blood, tissue and feces samples for disease surveillance. The pronghorns also receive a mild sedative and other injections to minimize stress related to capture and transport. Ear tags are attached, and many of the captured pronghorn are fitted with radio collars to monitor survival and movements. The collars will provide one GPS location per hour.
               After processing, the pronghorn were placed in trailers and transported eight hours to their new location. Since 2011, pronghorn have been relocated to the Trans-Pecos, at sites west of Marfa (2011), in the Marathon Basin (2013) and now southeast of Marfa. No relocation was made in 2012 due to extreme drought conditions.
            “After conducting similar operations in two of the last three years, we have really improved the capture and transport process,” said Dr. Louis Harveson, Sul Ross professor of Natural Resource Management and BRI director.              
                “Each year, we have had better results in our operations and this year’s effort was very successful,” Harveson said. “Texas Parks and Wildlife has done an excellent job on not only coordinating the capture sites among the landowners surrounding Pampa (our source location this year), but also in preparing the release site near Marfa. We are estimating that over 100 miles of fence were modified so that pronghorn can freely move between pastures.”
               For more information, contact Harveson, (432) 837-8225 or

               The 28th annual Trappings of Texas Custom Cowboy Gear and Western Art Exhibit will feature a three-day opening fund-raising event for the Museum of the Big Bend on the Sul Ross State University campus.
               Trappings features some of the best cowboy gear and fine western art in the longest-running event of its kind in the country. Proceeds from Trappings of Texas -- the museum’s only fundraiser – support not only future Trappings events but also the museum’s many exhibits and educational programs throughout the year.
               The three-day celebration starts Thursday, Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m., at the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon, with an evening of cowboy poetry. Performers include Ross Knox, cowpuncher Boots O’Neal and Ed Ashurst, Southwest author of the newly-published book, “Real Cowboys – Grand Canyon to Mexico.”
               On Friday, Feb. 21, 5-8 p.m., the Museum of the Big Bend will host a preview party of the Trappings of Texas exhibit for sponsors. Sponsorships remain available for this longstanding Texas tradition.
               Following the preview party, sponsors are invited to join the artists at the Reata Restaurant in Alpine’s historic downtown.
               On Saturday, Feb. 22, the opening exhibition, sale and reception will be held at the Museum from 5-8 p.m.
               For tickets and sponsor information, contact Noemi Acosta, (432) 837-8143.


    Dr. Jim Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the Equine Initiative at Texas A&M University, will deliver the annual San Antonio Livestock Exposition (SALE) Leaders in Agriculture lecture Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Sul Ross State University.
    Heird will address "Current Issues in the Equine Industry" at 7 p.m. in the Espino Conference Center, Rooms A&B, Morgan University Center. There is no admission charge and the public is invited. This year’s lecture celebrates 25 years of excellence and support between SALE and Sul Ross.
    Prior to accepting his present position at Texas A&M in 2009, Heird was director of Teaching and Outreach for the Equine Sciences Program at Colorado State University. He graduated with a B.S. in Animal Husbandry and an M.S. in Animal Genetics from the University of Tennessee. His doctorate is in Animal Behavior from Texas Tech University.
    Heird has received numerous honors, including the USDA’s Honor Award and The Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Horse Judging Team Coaches Association. In 2009 he was named Horseman of The Year by the Colorado Horse Council. He has trained World Champion youth riders and shown World Champion horses.
    He has an international reputation in the field of Equine Sciences and has lectured on numerous topics nationally and internationally. Heird has been an American Quarter Horse Judge since 1976. In that capacity, he has judged 11 World Championship Shows for the AQHA, 15 national shows in many countries and has lectured in numerous national and international judges’ seminars. He is a Past Chairman of AQHA’s Judges Committee and is presently Chairman of the AQHA Show Committee.
    The Sul Ross-SALE association dates back to 1987, when Sul Ross was invited to submit a proposal to the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (now the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo) for funding consideration.  In March 1988, members of the SALE executive committee visited Sul Ross, toured the agricultural instruction and laboratory facilities, visited with faculty, students, and area ranchers, and culminated their visit with the presentation of a $75,000 gift to establish two endowments – the SALE Scholarship Endowment and the SALE Excellence Endowment.  
During the past 25 years, SALE endowments have exceeded $907,000.  With additional scholarship and fellowship commitments, the organization has contributed more than $1.5 million to Sul Ross, making it one of the largest single contributors to the university. The San Antonio Livestock Exposition Equine Center was named in its honor by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System.
    Scholarship awards are made to freshmen in agriculture and directly related areas who qualify for participation in the Sul Ross Freshman Leadership Program.  Criteria for selection include strong academic performance, as well as demonstrated leadership potential indicated by involvement in 4-H, FFA, interscholastic competition, and other activities.
    For more information, contact Dr. Rob Kinucan, (432) 837-8201 or

    “Hamlette,” written by Allison Williams and directed by Marjorie Scott, will open the Sul Ross State University spring theatre schedule.
    Performances will held Saturday-Monday, Feb. 15-17, in Marshall Auditorium. Curtain time is 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 15-16 and 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17.
              What if Hamlet was actually a young woman? This twisty-turny interpretation of the classic Danish tale is a clever look at Shakespeare’s greatest tragic story. In this lively comedy, Princess Hamlette struggles for equality and recognition as she tries to avenge her father’s death. Magic tricks and sword fighting make this a fun-filled show for the entire family.
    Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for senior citizens and children under 12 and can be purchased online via or by calling 432-837-8218. Sul Ross students, faculty and staff are admitted free with a current ID except for the special Children's Theatre Project performance held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17.  Cost for that performance is a canned food item for all patrons.
            Sul Ross Children’s Theatre Project performances will be held in collaboration with Region 18 area schools Friday-Tuesday, Feb. 14-18. All school children attending will each donate a canned food item to the Children’s Theatre Project food drive.  A special matinee performance will be held at 2  p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17. This special Children's Theatre Project performance will be open to the public, and the price of admission for all patrons in a canned food item.  All canned food will be donated to the Food Pantry of Alpine.
    For more information, contact the Department of Fine Arts and Communication by calling (432) 837-8218 or email

    A book review by Dr. Donald Callen Freed, Sul Ross State University professor of Voice, has been published in the February 2014 issue of Choral Journal.
    Freed reviewed “The Performing Voice: A Singer’s Guide to Survival,” by Sharon Mabry, published by Scarecrow Press.
    For more information, contact Freed, (432) 837-8216 or

    A 5K walk/run, scheduled Saturday, Feb. 15, will raise funds for the Alpine Food Pantry and Sul Ross State University scholarships for local students.
    Organized by the Sul Ross State University Alumni Association and the Food Pantry of Alpine, Inc.,  the “Love Your Community” 5K is a scenic walk/run starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 from the Sul Ross Residential Life Office and Community Room. The course will proceed off campus to Brown Street and Fighting Buck Avenue for a stroll or run past Kokernot Park. Participants will then travel the Loop Road/Path back to campus.
    There is no entry fee, but each participant is requested to raise or contribute at least $50 to benefit the Food Pantry of Alpine and/or the Sul Ross State University Local Student Scholarship Fund (for graduates of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties).
    An online fund raising page will be set up for each 5K participant to share with friends, ask for support and collect donations. Anyone wishing to sponsor a 5K participant may find his/her fund raising page at and make a secure donation.
    The event is open to casual and competitive walkers and runners of all ages. Walkers and runners will share the same course, with runners leading the pack at start time. Participants are welcome to carry babies and toddlers in strollers and child backpacks.
    Prizes will be given for fund raising at the $50, $100 and $150 levels. Persons raising $150 or more will be entered in a prize raffle drawing featuring gifts donated by local businesses and organizations. Additional awards will be presented to top runners.
    Major sponsors include: Big Bend Regional Medical Center, Tallent Roofing and Alpine Medical Center. Supporting sponsors include: West Texas National Bank, Porter’s Thriftway and Aramark. Raffle prize contributors include, to date:  Morrison True Value, The Holland Hotel, Maverick Inn, Hampton Inn, Subway and The Gage, with the list of contributors and prizes continuing to grow.
    Complete details for registering online may be found at
    For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs, (432) 837-8697 or 837-8443 or