Dear Texas Outdoor Writers Association (TOWA) members,
Thank you for your confidence. It is the deepest honor and privilege that you, my friends, elected me to a position of leadership. I appreciate those who have faith in me and I appreciate those who have said they will stand by to help. It is my hope that expectations are met and disappointments are few. It is also my hope that TOWA will grow and be a positive force so that coming generations may enjoy the Texas outdoors in the same fashion as the generations before them.
Some folks may say that is impossible. Changing social winds, computerization, political correctness, and the human error associated with people living in ant hills disallow clinging to romantic ideals of the outdoors. However, those folks may have never felt the breeze and seen the sunrise on Matagorda Bay. They may have never heard speckled-bellies and snows coming into a spread near Eagle Lake. They never stopped breathing when a Muy Grande stepped out of the South Texas brush, never yelled when a lunker slammed their bait, and it’s a good bet they never left their jeans on a rock while skinny-dipping in a spring-fed Texas Hill Country creek. Those folks never felt the heartbeat of Texas.
The writings, broadcasts, photography, and online presence of TOWA members reflect that heartbeat. While this great state has transitioned from being a rural populace to an urban society, it is the conservation of air, water, soil, wildlife, and preservation of history that sustains our heritage. Fortunately, we’re the journalistic experts disseminating the news on these topics. Thank the Lord we have been branded an organization of “Gray Beards”. Cumulatively, we have thousands of years of knowledge and experience that defy scrutiny. Likewise, be grateful we’re known as the “Hook’n Bullet Crowd” – and let’s carry that forward.
The North American Model of Conservation has bolstered wildlife populations across Texas, the U.S., and the world. It has brought threatened and endangered species back from the brink of extinction, and maintained healthy populations in locales where they once suffered. It supplies the science of wildlife conservation, and it is funded by hunters and fishermen. It is people like us that have conserved wildlife up to this point.
Now, we must enlist, employ, and raise the next generation of outdoor journalists. We must forge to the front of mainstream media reporting the outdoor news. We must educate the urban millennial public, using every avenue of media, concerning the conservation of air, water, soil, and wildlife. Throughout these endeavors always remember we’re preserving our Texas heritage.
I appreciate your help.
Thank You for your confidence.
Herman W. Brune