Habitat managment is the cornerstone of willdife restoration, but an important component of managing habitat can be simply preserving it. This has never been more true when it comes to managing Texas’s bighorn sheep herd. Recently, Texas Bighorn Society members David and Theresa Wetzel of Irving have received the Wild Sheep Foundation’s prestigious Gordon Eastman Grass Roots Award.
The late Gordon Eastman of Eastman’s Outdoor World created the award to be presented at the Wild Sheep Foundation’s (WSF) national annual convention, held this year in Reno, Nev. Eastman’s intention was to honor the hard-working members of the various WSF chapters and affiliates who get almost no recognition for their unending efforts to further the existence of North American bighorn sheep.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Deparment’s Wildlife Division Region 2 Director Clay Brewer of Brownwood, who was on hand when the award was presented, says the Wetzels, who have been instrumental in raising more than $1 million for desert bighorn sheep restoration, had no idea they had even been nominated for the award.
As far as Brewer knows, the only other Texan to receive this award is Tommy Caruthers, founding father of the both the national and state organizations. This is a great honor for the Wetzel family, but more importantly all the important work they’ve done for wildlife habitat preservation. This has undoubted helped with habitat restoration and now record bighorn sheep population in Texas.