BBCA Celebrates 5 Years

Five years ago, Big Bend Conservation Alliance was officially incorporated with the State of Texas. BBCA started as an entirely volunteer-led, grassroots organization centered around the Trans-Pecos Pipeline project that was constructed through the Big Bend region. While the pipeline was eventually installed, BBCA has endured to be the premiere conservation organization dedicated to protect the natural resources of the greater Big Bend region. 

In the short term, BBCA will continue to focus its efforts on advocacy, education, and strengthening our capacity to provide impactful programming and conservation outcomes throughout the region. Long-term, BBCA envisions thriving and resilient Big Bend built upon the region’s legacy of stewardship and sustained through meaningful alliances to preserve the unspoiled sense of place unique to Far West Texas. We believe that this can be accomplished with our ability to:   
*Be an honest voice and advocate for region
*Maintain a local community-based approach to reflect the values of the local residents
*Protect the pristine nature of the region, natural resources, and quality of life
*Be effective, pragmatic, and inclusive with high degree of integrity
*Build consensus on broad issues through relationships inside and outside of the region

Our night sky program is working with partners like the McDonald Observatory and the Tierra Grande Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists to protect the exceptional night skies of the Big Bend. We hope to achieve dark sky certifications throughout the region and provide education on the importance of night skies for the local economy, wildlife, and health of Big Bend residents. 

There are many on-going challenges to the region’s scarce water resources. BBCA is focused on increasing our knowledge and understanding of regional water issues so that we can make informed choices on how water is sustainably managed. BBCA’s water symposium last year highlighted the Rio Grande by bringing together experts from the US and Mexico to discuss challenges and solutions to increasing the health of the river. Also, we seek to deepen our understanding of the Balmorhea Spring System through research studies undertaken in conjunction with hydrologists from Southwest Research Institute – results of the next phase of our research will be released later this year. Lastly, BBCA is working on a water advocacy campaign for West Texas that will bring thought leaders from across the region to examine how we can manage water resources in light of regional development, industrial activities, and growth. 

We are so thankful for all of our donors, partners, supporters, and volunteers that have shown their commitment to BBCA and our mission over the past five years. Our work is more important than ever and BBCA will continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of the communities we serve. 

TRANS PECOS Film Premieres

Dear Friends.. 
We’re very proud to present the premiere of

The Story of Stolen Land and the
Loss of America’s Last Frontier

Sunday, February 23rd
at the Stateside Theater
in Austin, TX
*** Sold Out***
Doors @ 4:00 PM | Screening @ 5:00 PM
Panel discussion to include: 
Renea Hicks, Attorney
Coyne Gibson, Big Bend Conservation Alliance
Jessica Karlsruher, TREAD Coalition
Nicol Ragland, TRANS PECOS Director
Moderated by Jim Bradbury, eminent domain attorney

Tuesday, February 25th
at SRSU, Academic Computer Resources Building, Room 204
in Alpine, TX
Doors @ 5:30 pm | Screening @ 6:00 p.m
Panel discussion to include: 
Nicol Ragland, TRANS PECOS Director
J.D. Newsom, BBCA Executive Director
David Keller, Archeologist

Friday, February 28th
at the Crowley Theater
in Marfa, TX
Doors @ 5:00 PM | Screening @ 6:00 PM
Panel discussion to include: 
Nicol Ragland, TRANS PECOS Director
Coyne Gibson, Volunteer – Big Bend Conservation Alliance
Trey Gerfers, Former President – Big Bend Conservation Alliance 

This documentary sets out to uncover the truth of the controversial Trans Pecos Pipeline while creating a poetic portrait of Far West Texas and the American people whose lives and land the pipeline has affected. The story is woven of a diverse fabric of an insider, landowners, concerned citizens of different colors, classes and creeds – some of which come from the oil and gas industry itself.

TRANS PECOS is a story about the unexpected bipartisan alliances that occur when companies place private gain before public good.

The grassroots support behind TRANS PECOS attempts to find common ground in a way that strengthens citizen engagement and civic bridges. It is a story of how one natural gas pipeline in Far West Texas can act as a conduit of change between informed citizens and those in power as the future of natural resources and energy is decided.

Big Bend Climate Change Seminar

Climate change and its effects upon the Big Bend will be the subject of scientific presentations on January 18th from 3 to 6 pm, at Sul Ross State University’s Espino Conference Center. Sponsored by the Big Bend Chapter of the Native Plant Society, Big Bend Conservation Alliance, the Big Bend Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District, the speakers will discuss expected climate-change effects on temperature and water cycles, vegetation communities and wildland fire and strategies to influence, manage and adapt to those changes.

 “This is a great opportunity to examine expected climate change impacts on Big Bend forests, grasslands, and desert,” said Dallas Baxter, president of the Big Bend Chapter of the Native Plant Society. “These topics are important to area parks, ranches, farms, water planners, fire managers, conservationists, and natural resource professionals as well as state, county and city governments. No challenge in the coming years is more dire than climate change.”

Dr. John Nielson-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist and Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University, will present the latest climate models and their complications, with emphasis on Trans-Pecos water cycles.

Dr. Nick Smith, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University, will discuss response to climate change by Trans-Pecos plant communities and how land management decisions influence resilience to climate effects.

Dr. Dylan Schwilk, Professor of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech, will provide results of studies on how plant traits influence fire behavior, and effects of drought and fire on trees in Trans-Pecos mountain ranges.

The seminar will be in Room A, Espino Conference Center in the Morgan University Center at Sul Ross State University. Attendance is free; however, registration is requested. To register, e-mail

Rio Grande / Río Bravo Water Symposium

Big Bend Conservation Alliance, Audubon Texas, Rio Grande Joint Venture, and Pronatura Noreste have partnered to present Rio Grande / Río Bravo Water Symposium. Water experts from the U.S. and Mexico will discuss the Rio Grande, environmental flows, groundwater, and solutions for enhancing the health of the river. The free event will take place at 9:00 AM on July 18th at the USO Building in Marfa, TX. Lunch will be provided. Registration for the event can be found at:

July 18, 2019

9:00 AM – 5:30 PM

USO Building

Marfa, TX

Old Ore 10k & 50K Run – BBNP – November 3, 2019

Overland Racing returns to Big Bend National Park with the Old Ore 10K & 50K point-to-point run on November 3, 2019. Registration includes: screened long sleeve tech shirt, post race meal, and Off the Wheel Pottery finisher medals. BBCA will be the beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds – register today to support BBCA and experience running in the majestic Big Bend National Park! Registration link and additional details can be found here.

Montopolis CD Release Party: “The Legend of Big Bend” @ The North Door in Austin, TX – June 6, 2019

Montopolis turns west Texas tales into song in this concert inspired by Big Bend National Park. The performance weaves science, history, poetry and personal stories into music inspired by the land and the people that have walked upon it.  Submit your photo of Big Bend here:  and receive a discount code for 50% of the ticket price.  Photos will be projected during the concert on the North Door’s giant screen.    

Tickets are available via Eventbright.