Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
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Known as a place of stark beauty, dramatic geographic dimension, and challenging desert terrain, Big Bend National Park is located in West Texas on the north bank of the Rio Grande, adjacent to the Mexican states of Coahuila and Chihuahua. Although a place of natural grandeur, the unique location of this 118-mile long, 1.5 million-acre corridor has led to many challenges between the United States and Mexico, two nations who share one ecosystem but inhabit different political worlds. Big Bend National Park explores the cultural and diplomatic history of this transborder region that was designated a national park on the US side and the site of a long-hoped-for “international peace park” on the other. Michael Welsh demonstrates the challenges faced and lessons learned by both the US and Mexico as they struggled against political and environmental vicissitudes in their attempts to realize the creation of a shared frontier. Geopolitical and environmental conflicts such as Cold War fears, immigration, the war on drugs, international water rights, and more stringent American border security measures after 9/11 all hindered relations between the two countries. But more recently, renewed cooperation and ongoing diplomatic relations have led to new developments. Mexican park personnel began assisting American officials with efforts to re-wild the American side of the river with animal species that had been eliminated, and the Obama administration relaxed some post-9/11 restrictions, allowing American visitors to cross over to the Mexican park and its nearby towns. The ambition of developing a park for peace has yet to materialize, even as individuals and their governments continue to work toward an accord. Big Bend National Park provides a greater understanding of this complex borderland and hopes to help fulfill the aspiration of creating a shared ecosystem and the dream of a park for peace.
A breathtaking country of rugged mountain peaks, uninhabited desert, and spectacular river canyons, Big Bend is one of the United States' most remote national parks and among Texas' most popular tourist attractions. Located in the great bend of the Rio Grande that separates Texas and Mexico, the park comprises some 800,000 acres, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, and draws over 300,000 visitors each year. The Story of Big Bend National Park offers a comprehensive, highly readable history of the park from before its founding in 1944 up to the present. John Jameson opens with a fascinating look at the mighty efforts involved in persuading Washington officials and local landowners that such a park was needed. He details how money was raised and land acquired, as well as how the park was publicized and developed for visitors. Moving into the present, he discusses such issues as natural resource management, predator protection in the park, and challenges to land, water, and air. Along the way, he paints colorful portraits of many individuals, from area residents to park rangers to Lady Bird Johnson, whose 1966 float trip down the Rio Grande brought the park to national attention. This history will be required reading for all visitors and prospective visitors to Big Bend National Park. For everyone concerned about our national parks, it makes a persuasive case for continued funding and wise stewardship of the parks as they face the twin pressures of skyrocketing attendance and declining budgets.
This fascinating look at the eleven amphibian species that call Texas' Big Bend National Park home is designed to help visitors of all ages and levels of experience understand how amphibians use the park's environment and where each species is likely to be found. In words and pictures, the authors present the distinguishing features of each species so that visitors can identify the frogs and toads they see. Natural history and conservation information alerts readers to the special habits of these little creatures as well as to the changes in habitat brought on by grazing, introduced predators, and reduced water flow. Frogs and Toads of Big Bend National Park is highly recommended for amateur naturalists, herpetologists, and especially visitors and admirers of this fascinating region and its ecosystem.
With its combination of desert and mountain landscapes, the dramatic canyons of the Rio Grande, ancient pictographs, and remnants of pioneer ranch life, Big Bend National Park presents a wealth of subjects to the photographic eye. Add early morning and late evening sunlight, summer thunderstorms, and clear, star-spattered night skies, and the opportunities become irresistible. Professional nature photographer and frequent Big Bend traveler Kathy Adams Clark offers this handy and beautiful guide to maximizing the photographic experience of this visually stunning landscape. Photographing Big Bend National Park begins with a tutorial on the basics of light meters, shutter speeds, and f/stops, featuring practical, hands-on-camera exercises and answers to common questions. The chapters that follow take readers on six excursions to well-known locations within the park—the Basin, Panther Junction, Rio Grande Village, Ross Maxwell Drive, Santa Elena Canyon, and the Chisos Mountains among them. A primer on night photography (including “light-painting” and star trails) is also included. Within each chapter are instructions for photographing various subjects at the site using simple, intermediate, and advanced techniques; information on the best seasons to photograph; and tips designed to benefit the novice. Photographing Big Bend National Park not only provides practical information for photographers of all skill levels, it also offers a visual feast of striking images. Nature lovers, photographers, and anyone who loves this remarkable national park will treasure this latest book from veteran writer and photographer Kathy Adams Clark.
D. Gentry Steele chronicles the experiences he had while photographing Texas's Big Bend region and black-and-white photographs capture the beauty of the area.
Fully updated and revised, this comprehensive guide features forty-seven trails in Big Bend National Park.
When the cactuses bloom in Big Bend National Park, their vivid pinks and purples, reds and yellows bring an unforgettable beauty to the rugged Chihuahuan Desert landscape. In fact, many people visit the park just see the cactus blossoms and the wildflowers. If you're one of them, this book will increase your enjoyment by helping you identify the wonders at your feet. And if you've never been to Big Bend when the cactuses are blooming, you'll discover here what you've been missing. Douglas B. Evans describes twelve kinds of cactus—living rock, topflower, stout-spined, hedgehog, pineapple, button, barrel, fishhook, nipple, chollas and pricklypears, and Texas nipple—and their individual species known to occur in the park. Color photographs taken by Doris Evans and Ro Wauer accompany the species descriptions. As you hike or drive through the park, you can identify most of the cactuses you see simply by leafing through these splendid pictures and then checking the descriptions, which indicate the cactuses' characteristic features and habitat. To make the book even more useful, Evans also briefly defines the parts of a cactus, explains how scientific names work, and offers a quick introduction to the geography and ecology of Big Bend National Park and the Chihuahuan Desert. With this information, you'll enjoy not only seeing the cactuses of the Big Bend but also being able to tell one from another and knowing just what makes each one special.
To the wild and fabulous country where the Rio Grande makes its big bend, J. O. Langford came in 1909 with his wife and daughter in search of health and a home. High on a bluff overlooking the spot where Tornillo Creek pours its waters into the turbulent Rio Grande, the Langfords built their home, a rude structure of adobe blocks in a land reputed to be inhabited only by bandits and rattlesnakes. Big Bend is the story of the Langfords' life in the rugged and spectacularly beautiful country which they came to call their own. Langford's account is told with the help of Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller and Hound Dog Man.
Given in honor of District Governor Hugh Summers and Mrs. Ahnise Summers by the Rotary Club of Aggieland with matching support from the Sara and John H. Lindsey '44 Fund, Texas A & M University Press, 2004.
America’s national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the environmental classic Refuge and the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them. From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.
A celebration of the beauty, history, and culture of America's National Parks The USA's national parks truly are places of wonder: staggering landscapes of jaw-dropping dimensions and incredible diversity where you can stand on the very edge of civilization. They are the earth's breathing spaces; precious places to conserve nature and wildlife for future generations. And they are playgrounds filled with countless places to hike, camp, climb, swim, and paddle, where you and your family can create lifelong memories of freedom and wide-open spaces. USA National Parks: Lands of Wonder is a celebration of these magnificent parks - packed with beautiful photography and inspiring ideas for your next adventure, whether you want to be alone amid the vast and haunting wilderness of Alaska's Denali Park or get up close to the teeming tropical wildlife of Florida's Everglades. All 62 national parks are covered, showcasing what makes each one unique, with maps, facts and figures, things to do, and when and where to experience it at its best.
Photographer-naturalist Peter Koch first visited the new Big Bend National Park in February, 1945, on assignment to take promotional pictures for the National Park Service. He planned to spend a couple of weeks—and ended up staying for the rest of his life. Koch's magnificent photographs and documentary film-lectures Big Bend, Life in a Desert Wilderness and Desert Gold introduced the park to people across the United States, drawing thousands of visitors to the Big Bend. His photographs and films of the region remain among the best ever produced, and are an invaluable visual record of the first four decades of Big Bend National Park. In this highly readable book, Koch's daughter June Cooper Price draws on the newspaper columns her father wrote for the Alpine Avalanche, supplemented by his photographs, journal entries, and short pieces by other family members, to present Peter Koch's vision of the Big Bend. The book opens with his first "big adventure," a six-day photographic trip through Santa Elena Canyon on a raft made from agave flower stalks. From there, Koch takes readers hiking on mountain trails and driving the scenic loop around Fort Davis. He also describes "wax smuggling" and other ways of making a living on the Mexican border; ranching in the Big Bend; the prehistory and Native Americans of the region; collaborating with botanist Barton Warnock on books of Trans-Pecos wildflowers; and the history and beauty of Presidio County, the Rio Grande, and the Chihuahuan Desert. This fascinating blend of firsthand adventures, natural history, and personal musings on anthropology and history creates an unforgettable portrait of both Peter Koch and the Big Bend region he so loved.
The CRC Ethnobotany Desk Reference contains almost 30,000 concise ethnobotanical monographs of plant species characteristics and an inventory of claimed attributes and historical uses by cultures throughout the world-the most ambitious attempt to date to inventory plants on a global scale and match botanical information with historical and current uses.To obtain the same information about any species listed, you would have to thumb through hundreds of herbal guides, ethnobotanical manuals, and regional field guides. Sources for this index include the three largest U.S. Government ethnobotany databases, the U.S. National Park Service NPFlora plant inventory lists, and 18 leading works on the subject.
Something about Big Bend National Park draws visitors again and again. Maybe it's the spare beauty of the mountains and desert, the dawn chorus of birds, or the vivid stars in the velvet night. All of these things have made it Roland Wauer's favorite place. In this book, he shares his love of the Big Bend through journal entries that chronicle a year in the life of the park. Wauer worked as Chief Park Naturalist from 1966 to 1972 and has visited the park frequently ever since. His journal entries span these thirty years, providing not only a composite portrait of a typical year but also a clear sense of how the park's natural history has changed over three decades. He spices his account with anecdotes, often humorous, ranging from stumbling across a herd of javelinas to being trailed by a mountain lion in the dark to discovering new species of plants and animals. Few authors know the Big Bend as Roland Wauer does or have written about it in a more engaging way. This beautifully illustrated book is the perfect companion for a visit to the park, whether in person or by armchair.
Based on the 506-page full guide to the great American national parks, how to avoid the crowds, walking tours, facilities and how to get there, this edition focuses on the major parks of the Southwest: Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Utah & Nevada.
Before Terlingua achieved some notoriety as the site of the annual World Championship Chili Cookoff, the ghost town was the bustling center of the mercury mining industry in the United States. Quicksilver tells the story of the company town and its feudal lord, Chicago industrialist Howard E. Perry, who built a hilltop mansion overlooking the dry domain. Based on many primary sources, this solidly researched and historically sound book tells of profit, power, and loss; of U.S. Army protection from the effects of revolution south of the border; of Depression-era maneuverings and labor unrest; and of a region that holds growing fascination for thousands of visitors each year. Color and authenticity come from the author's interviews with such individuals as Robert Cartledge, who for nearly three decades worked as store clerk, purchasing agent, and finally general manager of the Chisos Mining Company in Terlingua.
The National Park Service, created in 1916 and now over one hundred years old, has become an immensely popular concept with visitation equal to the national population of the United States every year. Along the way, the Service has picked up a few issues and stresses that endanger the mission of the NPS. Its unique mission is to preserve and protect America's significant natural, cultural, and historical areas for future generations in an unencumbered condition. The areas that are America's Living National Treasures. Those issues need to be addressed to allow the National Park Service to uphold its mission and continue to protect our National Treasures for future generations. This book is dedicated to the identification of some of those issues and presents possible solutions, by capturing the author's experiences over his 35 year career, depicting what working for the Service entails and its challenges. Once the reader has a better feel for work of the National Park Service, there are specific sections dealing with the author's concerns for the future and the changes needed today to bring the Service back to its prime.
This field guide offers information on the 450 bird species of the Big Bend, including behavior notes, status reports, statistics, records, and much more.