CFACT at Sam Houston State University in the suburbs of Houston Texas organized a 10-mile nature hike with the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter at Sam Houston National Forest in Huntsville Texas. This 163,000 acre site was established in 1936 and is spread across three counties in southeast Texas. The forest is organized under the federal “multiple use concept” and consists of forests, pastureland and waterways.
Additionally, this park is home to many forms of wildlife such as: white tailed deer, eastern gray squirrel, feral hogs, quail, dove, the endangered red cockaded woodpecker, and a variety of ducks. If you watch carefully, you may even sight one of the bald eagles who nest there.
Although the property is federally managed CFACT Driessen Fellow Johnny Uribe noted how on average, federally controlled lands generally aren’t sustained well as compared to privately controlled land. He expounded, “We simply do not need extra government to preserve what God gifted us, we just need a few patriots just doing the right thing.” Fortunately, unlike many national forests out west which suffer from catastrophic wildfires, this forest is vigorously watched by citizen conservationists like Johnny and is one of the forests maintained under private contract and benefits from sustainability designed planned timber harvesting which keeps forest fuel in check.
This outing is a wonderful representation of CFACT’s continued goal to have college students not only study nature from an academic perspective but to also go out and experience it. This chapter will continue to engage students and educate them through speakers and activism in the months and years to come.