Coyne Gibson is a member and volunteer at BBCA ( Big Bend Conservation Alliance ). He has a background in electrical and control work for pipeline systems, compressor stations and natural gas facilities both in the United States and the Middle East. He currently is the observing support manager at the local observatory in Fort Davis, Texas.
‘It’s one pipeline today but it’s a half dozen pipelines or a dozen pipelines in the next two decades. And that ultimately we become a sacrificial route, if you will, to get that gas to Mexico for export.
Maybe the most important things I can convey – most of us are here, in this place, not because we have to be here, but because we want to be here. We are purposeful, in this place, in this time. There are many places we could all be, many things we could all be doing; we could choose a place with more convenience. We could choose a place with less isolation.
We could choose a place that pays more, with better access to many things, shopping, fine dining, cultural experiences, and so on. Speaking for myself, I choose to live, and to be here. I have this place, different every single day, a new vista, a new sky, a new experience. I have the cultural richness of living in a border community, with my friends and my neighbors from every walk of life. I have the darkest skies at night, I can read a book from the glow of the zodiacal light at the new Moon. I can see Andromeda, with my naked eye, no telescope required. I can see a hundred shooting stars on all but the cloudiest of nights. I can take in the scent of Pinyon, and Ponderosa pine, the fragrance of desert creosote bush. I can hear the “quiet,” like no where else. I can be at peace. Come back here, and look at the night sky with us. Use your eyes, and your mind, and your imagination to see back in time, and to look for hope into the future. That is what we have here.
Look at the desert during the monsoon, and see it come alive. Look at the mountain slopes, gold, yellow, green. See the cactus in bloom, pale yucca flowers, bright red on the prickly pear, yellow on the cholla. Observe the Aoudad, the cattle grazing peacefully, the deer and antelope herds fleeting against the dusk. Watch the sunset at the Mimms Ranch, see the sun rise near Alamito Creek. Get to know the people – ranchers, stewards of the land, the small business owners, who strive to make a living in thinly populated communities, feeding us, clothing us, and caring for us. Experience the real people who live here, some scientists, educators, engineers, some parents, grandparents, some who are activists, many who are artists and musicians. We are brown, white, black, indigenous, men, women, and children. We are liberal, conservative, deeply spiritual, agnostic. We all have one thing in common – this place, and the way we feel about it. I’ve come to understand that this place speaks to a person, and this place is “inside” a person, or it isn’t.
I hope this place speaks to you.