In the Davis preserve, researchers with the Nature Conservancy and Texas A&M Forest Service are working to re-establish the area’s population of Ponderosa Pines. (Carlos Morales)
On tonight’s West Texas Talk, we revisit our 2017 conversation with Charlotte Reemts, a research and monitoring ecologist with the Nature Conservancy in Texas. She talks to us about the conservancy’s role in Texas, its collaboration with the Texas A&M Forest Service on “Operation Ponderosa”, and what makes the Davis Mountains so unique.
Part of what makes the region’s vegetation so unique, Reemts says, is that it’s considered a sky island, which is “a mountain regañe surrounded by desert. So the Davis mountains are surrounded by Chihuahuan desert. And what makes them so different is they got a lot of rainfall,” explains Reemts.
This means you get a lot of plants of animals that can survive in the higher, cooler areas of the mountains, like the Ponderosa Pine. The tree, Reemts says has been through hardships in the last several years due to wildfire and drought.
In this interview, Reemts explains the Ponderosa’s important role in the region and how the Nature Conservancy and the state are working to bring back this stately tree.