Flora & Fauna

November 18, 2013

Sheriff Lucio and His Team Making an Impact among Visitors

Amazon Kingfisher by Sharon Stiteler - Birdchick -

A great Kudos to Sheriff Lucio, for it is obvious his team knows and appreciates the value of visitors to this area. And kudos to the organizers of the RGV Birding Festival for being so great that many folks come from all over the nation and the globe to admire our birds and wildlife.

Unfortunately throughout my career in tourism, public safety departments have not been as effective as this sheriff’s department. I choose not to write about those incidents, but rather enjoy reading about the positive results these public safety officials have generated, and how much they have contributed.

I will look into my tourism notes, and will share the amount of money a rare bird generates for a community – it is in the millions!

Because the Valley Morning Star does not always upload their letters to the editor, I am doing so today to share with my out of town friends.  The photo of the Amazon Kingfisher was taken by Sharon Stiteler during the birding festival.




Open Letter to Sheriff Omar Lucio

Published by the VMS on November 18, 2013

 At my desk in northern New Jersey, I woke to a dusting of snow this morning, but most certainly would prefer to be back in the Valley, at the Resaca on Highway 100, with your amazing officers watching my back as I bird watched.

 I cannot tell you how wonderful they were throughout all the mayhem and chaos. They managed to protect, guide and aid the birders, while yet encouraging intelligent maneuvers. (Birders do silly things, like fall over logs, walk into trees or water, all while staring intently through binoculars rather than watching where they’re going!)

My husband and I, like most, were in Harlingen for the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, and we were on our way back from SPI when we got “the call.” We spent two hours, watching and waiting, and were rewarded with distant views. My heart was in my throat when someone yelled, “The bird lew across the highway!” And the entire crowd picked up tripods and began running across that highway.

Your officers were amazing, and prevented any of the overly anxious and oblivious birders from becoming lunch from your ever-present vultures.

Before going to the airport on Sunday, we headed over for one last look, and though the crowd had thinned, they were still there. As we parked we were told by the officer, “Stay on the grass, don’t walk around parked cars in the road, but hurry, the bird is very close right now.” And sure enough, we got an amazing long look, close up this time.

As attendees of the birding festival, we were encouraged to let local businesses know we were there, bringing income to Harlingen and neighboring towns. We were even given cards to leave with meal checks, etc. We should have been given cards to hand to folks like you, saying, and “Sorry if we were a pain in the butt, but thanks for making this the most amazing birding day.”

 Robike W. Noll

Land Use Administrator

Old Tappan, New Jersey

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About the Author

Tapia - Gonzales
La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Life, art and culture, poetry, prayers, travel, and camping! yes, that's my new thing. I blame the heat and high humidity for the madness. Contributions and comments are always welcome .

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