September 8th, 2011
The Texas wildfire season is taking on historic proportions, and the recent fires in Central Texas have been particularly devastating.
The Texas League of Conservation Voters recognizes that there are many ways to give to support recovery and relief efforts in the impacted communities, but we feel this one hits especially close to home. Please consider joining us in support of the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Employee Relief Fund. Below is a letter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission member Ralph Duggins highlighting the devastating impact the fires have had on Bastrop State Park and our friends at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:
As you likely know, a large wildfire has destroyed Bastrop State Park. I understand that nearly all of the 6000 acres in the Park burned. Because of the conditions the experts are saying this was a once in 500 year fire. In addition to the damage to the Park itself, the Department lost 7 brand new pickup trucks, a new dump truck and several other vehicles. Although this will have a serious impact on the Department at a time when it is struggling to manage over $100 million in budget cuts, the fire has really hurt a number of employees who have lost everything in the fire.
For example, the Buescher Park Superintendent lost his home. That Park is adjacent to Bastrop. About ten other employees homes next to Bastrop Park were totally destroyed. This included the home of Brent Leisure who is the Director of our State Parks Division. These people are now looking for temporary housing and have only the clothes on their backs. The Department has a “Employees Relief Fund” set up to provide a small amount of immediate funds to the affected employees but that fund is very limited. Moreover, the Fund has been hit hard due to similar losses in other fires earlier this summer.
Therefore, I would like to ask you to consider making a donation to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation with the directive that your contribution be dedicated to the TPW Employees Relief Fund. That gives you a tax write off for your contribution and at the same time, ensures that your funds go directly to the employees whose homes burned. If you choose to help out please send your check to:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
1901 N. Akard
Dallas, Tx. 75201-2305
and, please note in your mailing or check that it is for the Employees Relief Fund.
These are some incredibly dedicated people who love what they do so I hope you can help them get back on their feet. Many many thanks. Ralph Duggins
Executive Director, Texas League of Conservation Voters