Big Bend Conservancy
2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!
Big Bend National ParkDecember 2 at 5:00 PMRaymond Skiles RetiresBig Bend NP congratulates our long-time Wildlife Biologist on his retirement after 30+ years working for the National Park Service. He will be missed greatly, but has left a lasting legacy on this park and our visitors, often working behind the scenes to help manage this amazing place for people and wildlife.Raymond grew up on a small ranch on the banks of the Rio Grande in Langtry, TX. Starting his NPS career in 1980, Raymond experienced the NPS as a fee collector at COLM, interpretion ranger at COLM, BIBE and DEVA, and backcountry LE at DEVA and SHEN before landing a permanent job as a clerical worker in the Public Affairs and RD offices of the National Capital Region.He returned home to West Texas as BIBE’s resource management ranger in 1987, and soon after became the park’s wildlife biologist. Soon after beginning this position, black bears began naturally recolonizing areas of Big Bend, and he was at the forefront of proactive management, instituting programs to make BIBE an exemplary “bear park.” Other career highlights include establishing backcountry campsites in the Chisos Mountains, fostering international conservation across the Rio Grande, oversight of large mammal programs, and endangered species. Within the last few months, Raymond completed Big Bend management plans and EAs for invasive species removal (aoudad and feral hogs), vegetation management (African grasses), and trespass livestock, ensuring park managers have the administrative tools to protect the park for many years to come.Raymond will move from BIBE to his home in nearby Alpine, TX, and will pursue writing, travel, involvement with conservation NGO’s, Historical research and preservation, and land/resource management at the family property in Langtry. Happy trails, Raymond Skiles!!
All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.