American Black BearInterview Audio ExcerptSee Full Interview Transcript
Raymond Skiles worked at Big Bend National Park from 1979 through 2018, serving as a wildlife biologist and wilderness coordinator. Part of his duties included monitoring and supporting the recovery of the American black bear to the Park. While a breeding population has been seen in the Park since 1988, there was none when the Park was created in 1944. Mr. Skiles attributes this to the heavy sheep and goat ranching, and associated predator control, during the 1930s and '40s on lands slated for later Park protection.