My River POV: Brian Mast

Written by:

Posted on:

Categories:

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Get The Latest:

Join our print or digital newsletter to be informed about the agency’s many projects and other news.

Brian Mast kayaking along the San Antonio River.

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

The “My River POV” series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) staff and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of our creeks and rivers.

 

Brian S. Mast, JD, Government Affairs Manager

Born and raised in San Antonio, family vacations as a kid usually meant packing our van with a tent, air mattresses, sleeping bags, Coleman camp stove, and a lantern or two. We would travel to local state parks such as Garner State Park for a weekend retreat most of the time. Still, I considered the real vacations to be when we went camping in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Sometimes we would camp in designated campgrounds. At other times, we would find spots along the national forest access dirt roads. We’d camp, hike, and fish at reservoirs or along the mountain streams and rivers. These camping trips instilled in me a deep appreciation and respect for our natural resources and our shrinking remote “wild” spaces that allow for solitude and repose.  

Brian Mast Blog Image

A 2016 Mast family day hike in Mt. Ranier National Park

These early camping experiences eventually inspired me to work in Yellowstone National Park over four summers and one winter during my younger adulthood. Van camping trips quickly turned to multi-night backpacking trips. Spring in Yellowstone comes with 20-foot high snow bluffs lining the higher points of the mountain roads and frozen creeks covered by snow in the shadows of lodgepole pine forests. These icy mountain streams melt and come to life in early summer as they flow toward the larger mountain rivers, including the Firehole, Lamar, Madison, Snake, and Yellowstone rivers. The roaring mountain rivers of summer portend in-your-face tourist chaos.

Mountain View

 A vacation picture of Everest Base Camp from a neighboring hill

Because of my experiences in the outdoors, the phrases “Leave no trace,” “pack it in, pack it out,” and “leave only footprints” mean so much to me. On a remote hiking trail in Yellowstone, finding an energy bar wrapper is a jarring intrusion to the otherwise peacefulness of the surroundings. Like the waterways in Yellowstone, we in San Antonio, the 7th largest city in the United States, are stewards of a precious natural resource. The San Antonio River meanders through our downtown, our neighborhoods, and past the historic Spanish colonial missions. These days, our river is now all too frequently littered with trash such as fast food packaging, to-go cups, and plastic water bottles. In the 2021 Basin Report Card, we, the citizens of San Antonio, received an “F” rating for Public Trash in our waterways.

Trash accumulated along the San Antonio River

In 2020, The River Authority collected over 100,000 lbs of public trash from the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River.

In an old Peanuts comic strip, Pigpen says, “cleanliness is next to impossible.” However, I’d like to disagree with Pigpen. We can make an individual and collective difference through our actions, including joining the River Authority’s “Don’t Let Litter Trash Your River” trash initiative.  For my part, I pledge to pick up trash that I come across and properly dispose of it in the appropriate recycling or trash container. Please join me, my colleagues, River Warrior Volunteers, and others in helping keep our city, communities, and waterways free of litter.

River Warrior Volunteer

River Warrior volunteers pick up litter along the San Antonio River during an event.

Related Articles

Alerts

San Pedro Creek: Rains from the Heavens

The Rains from the Heavens water wall at San Pedro Creek will be shut off due to maintenance Tuesday, June 18th. There will also be some road closures that day, so please be mindful if you are in this area. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Acequia Trail Notice

The Acequia trail will have heavy traffic near MROC starting May 22nd until further notice. The SAWS Acequia project will be bringing in crews to work on the lift station site and across the street. There will have flaggers to stop traffic, please use caution. 

SASPAMCO Paddling Trail

The SASPAMCO paddling trail is open from River Crossing Park to Helton Nature Park.
*Please Note: Paddling Trail from Helton Nature Park to HWY 97 is still closed due to blockages. 

River Reach Newsletter and Blog Signup

River Reach is offered as a printed, physical mailing to your residence or business. The Blog is a weekly electronic email with news and updates in order to be more environmentally conscious. Please fill out the form below and indicate your preferred method of delivery.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing materials from: San Antonio River Authority, 100 East Guenther St., San Antonio, TX, 78204, US. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.