Just across the Rio Grande from West Texas in the state of Coahuila, Mexico, the mountain ranges of the Maderas del Carmen rise majestically. Often called magical or mystical, they have stirred imagination for centuries. Stories of bandits, Indians, ghosts, incredible flora and fauna, cool forests, waterfalls, and vast woodlands filter across the Rio Grande.Many people have dreamed of exploring this vast ecosystem, but few have made the trip. Bonnie McKinney is among the fortunate. In 2001 McKinney and her husband, Billy Pat McKinney, moved to the Carmens to manage the large conservation project spearheaded by CEMEX, the Monterrey-based cement and building materials conglomerate. Like those before her, she had been enthralled by the massive mountains with their cliffs of purple and gold in the sunset, and by horizon views of high forests. She, too, wondered what treasures the mountains held. Having lived and worked in the Carmens for nearly a decade, McKinney has never been disappointed by these mountains, which never fail to surprise her. In lavish photographs and loving words McKinney takes readers on a fascinating armchair journey, Introduction byducing them to the incredible biodiversity of this jewel of northern Mexico."
Bonnie Reynolds McKinney is the wildlife coordinator at the 400,000-acre El Carmen Conservation Project located in the Maderas del Carmen and just south of the Big Bend Region of western Texas. Prior to moving to Mexico in 2001 she was employed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in West Texas. She has published both scientific and general articles on wildlife in various journals, magazines and books.David H. Riskind, Director of Natural Resources for Texas State Parks, is the author of Backcountry Mexico: A Traveler s Guide and Phrase Book."
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