I think we all had high hopes that 2021 would serve us better than last year, but the first part, at least, has been very challenging.
Last month’s “Polar Vortex” experience was one that I hope will not be repeated any time soon. It was devastating for so many people in more ways than one. The damage is severe and ongoing. There are State and local resources available if any of you are interested researching them…we will be putting the information on our website resource page.
In addition, we have been bombarded with landowner outreach because of the increased border security and immigration related occurrences on private property, of property damage and concerns for the health and safety of those living in areas where human and contraband smuggling has increased 10-fold in the last several months.
The current free-for-all is deeply troubling and financially burdensome for those experiencing the onslaught of traffic. There have been landowner meetings with local and federal law enforcement to look for ways of mitigating the issue, but Border Patrol’s hands are tied and they have had to pull agents from the checkpoint counties to the border to process the migration influx, leaving landowners highly vulnerable to frequent smuggling incursions.
We are currently working with the Brooks County Sherriff’s office on a pilot project that will test the usefulness of radio communication between the county law enforcement and the landowner to share notification from one to another when incursions occur.
This current migration influx is unsustainable and dangerous for the communities, landowners and the nation. We will be calling on other Texas Ag and property related associations to sign on in support of the STPRA call for changes to the Biden Administration’s current open border policy. This document has been shared with our Federal and State elected officials and the news media. We feel like it has made a difference in many of them speaking out with greater concern to the press and the Biden Administration.
On a more uplifting note, many of you know that the Board recently passed the Individual Lifetime Membership level. We challenged our directors, advisors, and members to become the first 21 lifetime members in 2021, and I’m pleased to say that the goal was met! Thank you to all who became the first 21!
Since this is an active Texas State legislative session, please take the time to review Robert Howard’s legislative update and let us know if there are any bills or issues that you want to bring to our attention.
And lastly, I’d like to announce that our 16th Annual Meeting & Fundraiser has been set for October 14th. We are hopeful that we can have an in-person event this year. The location and times will be announced in the near future.
Until next month,