Mr. McKinney is a former wildlife technician who worked since the late 1960s with Texas Parks and Wildlife in the areas near Marathon, where he grew up in a ranching family. His chief work has involved reintroducing and managing the desert bighorn sheep to west Texas, which had been eliminated many years before by market hunters providing food for railroad crews working in the area. Mr. McKinney is also very experienced in tracking, capturing, radiocollaring, and monitoring mountain lions, and has extensive knowledge about their range, diet, and population dynamics (described in his book, A Field Guide to Texas Mountain Lions). In his work on both the desert bighorn sheep and mountain lion, Mr. McKinney has had an important role in maintaining good conservation cooperation with local private landowners. In more recent years, since our interview, Mr. McKinney has been managing the 136,000-acre CEMEX conservation area in the Sierra El Carmen, to the south of Big Bend National Park, in Mexico.
Interview InformationApril 5, 2001