Big Bend Conservancy
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Maybe it was just coincidence, but on 2 succesive trips to BB in 2003-4, I ran into collecters; the ones I talked to said they were from California. They all said they weren't collecting inside the national park but several told me that collecting was legal along the other roads, even in the State Park (I reported those guys).
After talking to a couple of people in the Study Butte area, I got the definite impression that there was a lot of collecting going on, most on private land.
We continued on and were soon stopped by two game wardens while walking the bottom of the cut. The questions and exchange of words between the wardens was brief. They wanted to make their presence known and for us to be aware that they were now enforcing the new law. They were very polite, not giving us any kind of warning and making it an overall nice situation. They said goodbye to us and then talked to Rob who was further down the cut. They were equally as nice to him. With that over with, we continued to comb the cut for most of the night. It wasn’t but an hour later when the warden showed up again. Again he was polite, asking the same questions as before but seemed real determined to catch us doing something that would violate the new law.He left and again we pressed on. A short time passed and Rob observed another large trans-pecos ratsnake (Bogertophis s. subocularis) crawling at the base of the cut. We took a few pictures and it went on its way. We walked the entire cut a few more times and then decided to head in for the night.
Black gap was busy that night, seeing 4 or 5 other cars in a single pass.
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