Big Bend Ranch State Park – Sauceda

By Karl Flocke

Karl Flocke  Ben Bend State Park

Every day is new and challenging when you are responsible for the protection and management of 311,000 acres of wild Chihuahuan Desert. The job title of Park Police Officer does not do justice to the complexity of duties to which I may be assigned.  My primary duty is to protect the natural and cultural resources of the park while simultaneously ensuring the safety and security of its visitors; however my actual responsibilities are much greater.  Any given day I may spend time educating visitors on the wonders of the park, helping to maintain park facilities, monitoring historical sites, and administering natural resource programs such as prescribed burning, grazing management, and controlling invasive species.

I chose a career in park law enforcement because I believe that it is important to provide safe places to recreate and enjoy nature.  I can thank my degree in Renewable Natural Resources for my fast placement in such a great career.  I decided on my major because it offered me the chance to diversify my experience and knowledge in Natural Resources while simultaneously focusing on topics that interested me.  Unlike a traditional degree in Range, Forestry, Recreation, or Wildlife, RENR gave me an understanding of overarching scientific and social contexts that drive all of these fields without narrowing my vision at the expense of other disciplines. 

I would recommend a career in park law enforcement to anyone with a love of the outdoors and interest in preserving natural and cultural resources for future generations.  Best of all, you won’t find fringe benefits like this anywhere else.

Big Bend Ranch State Park offers outdoor recreation for the truly adventurous in the largest state park in Texas. This remote park features rugged mountains, steep canyons, amazing views, unparalleled night skies, and solitude in a high desert setting. The park stretches along the Rio Grande in far west Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border. Great place to explore the great outdoors!

Karl graduated from Texas A&M University, Department of Ecosystem Science and Mangement.
For more information contact :  Karl.Flocke@tpwd.texas.gov