Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge is a 6,440-acre wildlife refuge located about twenty miles south of Muleshoe, Texas on Texas State Highway 214. It is the oldest National Wildlife Refuge in the U. S. state of Texas, having been established as the Muleshoe Migratory Waterfowl Refuge by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1940 changing the name to the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge. In 1980, Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service; the refuge is a stop for migratory waterfowl flying between Mexico. The refuge includes several intermittent salt lakes, some of which have been modified to extend their wet periods. Paul's Lake, on the east side of Highway 214, is spring fed, hosts wildlife during times when the other lakes are dry. If sufficient water is present during the winter, the refuge hosts tens of thousands of sandhill cranes; the largest number of cranes recorded was 250,000, during February, 1981.
Other wildlife includes wood warblers, raptors, burrowing owls, blacktailed prairie dogs, cottontail rabbits and badgers. The prairie ecosystem includes plant life such as wildflowers, yucca and mesquite. Rangeland management techniques include controlled grazing. Northeast of White Lake is a small area of white gypsum dunes, similar to those found at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, though these are much less expansive. Grulla National Wildlife Refuge Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge Blackwater Draw Llano Estacado Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Official Site Handbook of Texas Online: Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Photos of the Llano Estacado
Chamizal National Memorial
Chamizal National Memorial, located in El Paso, along the United States–Mexico international border, is a National Park Service site commemorating the peaceful settlement of the Chamizal boundary dispute. The 54.90-acre memorial park serves as a cultural center and contains art galleries, a theater, an amphitheatre. A museum, which details the history of the U. S.–Mexico border, is located inside the visitor center. The park honors the peaceful resolution of the Chamizal Dispute, a more than 100-year border dispute between the United States and Mexico that resulted from the natural change of course of the Rio Grande between the cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; this national memorial was established on part of the disputed land, assigned to the United States according to the Chamizal Convention of 1963. The Chamizal Convention was negotiated by the International Boundary and Water Commission, established in 1889 to maintain the border, pursuant to treaties to allocate river waters between the two nations, provide for flood control and water sanitation.
The National Memorial was authorized on June 30, 1966. It was established as a National Park Service unit on February 4, 1974, was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same day. Fees and permits required to use the theater. Fees for picnic facilities for groups of 50 or more. Park grounds, 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Visitors center and galleries open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Administration office open 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. National Register of Historic Places listings in El Paso County, Texas Official NPS website: Chamizal National Memorial NPS image archive
A marsh is a wetland, dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, they are dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs; this form of vegetation is what differentiates marshes from other types of wetland such as swamps, which are dominated by trees, mires, which are wetlands that have accumulated deposits of acidic peat. Marshes provide a habitat for many species of plants and insects that have adapted to living in flooded conditions; the plants must be able to survive in wet mud with low oxygen levels. Many of these plants therefore have aerenchyma, channels within the stem that allow air to move from the leaves into the rooting zone. Marsh plants tend to have rhizomes for underground storage and reproduction. Familiar examples include cattails, sedges and sawgrass. Aquatic animals, from fish to salamanders, are able to live with a low amount of oxygen in the water.
Some can obtain oxygen from the air instead, while others can live indefinitely in conditions of low oxygen. Marshes provide habitats for many kinds of invertebrates, amphibians and aquatic mammals. Marshes have high levels of biological production, some of the highest in the world, therefore are important in supporting fisheries. Marshes improve water quality by acting as a sink to filter pollutants and sediment from the water that flows through them. Marshes are able to absorb water during periods of heavy rainfall and release it into waterways and therefore reduce the magnitude of flooding; the pH in marshes tends to be neutral to alkaline, as opposed to bogs, where peat accumulates under more acid conditions. Marshes differ depending on their location and salinity. Both of these factors influence the range and scope of animal and plant life that can survive and reproduce in these environments; the three main types of marsh are salt marshes, freshwater tidal marshes, freshwater marshes. These three can be found worldwide and each contains a different set of organisms.
Saltwater marshes are found around the world in mid to high latitudes, wherever there are sections of protected coastline. They are located close enough to the shoreline that the motion of the tides affects them, sporadically, they are covered with water, they flourish where the rate of sediment buildup is greater than the rate at which the land level is sinking. Salt marshes are dominated by specially adapted rooted vegetation salt-tolerant grasses. Salt marshes are most found in lagoons, on the sheltered side of shingle or sandspit; the currents there carry the fine particles around to the quiet side of the spit and sediment begins to build up. These locations allow the marshes to absorb the excess nutrients from the water running through them before they reach the oceans and estuaries; these marshes are declining. Coastal development and urban sprawl has caused significant loss of these essential habitats. Although considered a freshwater marsh, this form of marsh is affected by the ocean tides.
However, without the stresses of salinity at work in its saltwater counterpart, the diversity of the plants and animals that live in and use freshwater tidal marshes is much higher than in salt marshes. The most serious threats to this form of marsh are the increasing size and pollution of the cities surrounding them. Ranging in both size and geographic location, freshwater marshes make up the most common form of wetland in North America, they are the most diverse of the three types of marsh. Some examples of freshwater marsh types in North America are: Wet meadows occur in areas such as shallow lake basins, low-lying depressions, the land between shallow marshes and upland areas, they occur on the edges of large lakes and rivers. Wet meadows have high plant diversity and high densities of buried seeds, they are flooded but are dry in the summer. Vernal pools are a type of marsh found only seasonally in shallow depressions in the land, they can be covered in shallow water, but in the summer and fall, they can be dry.
In western North America, vernal pools tend to form in open grasslands, whereas in the east they occur in forested landscapes. Further south, vernal pools form in pine flatwoods. Many amphibian species depend upon vernal pools for spring breeding. An example is the endangered gopher frog. Similar temporary ponds occur in other world ecosystems. However, the term vernal pool can be applied to all such temporary pool ecosystems. Playa lakes are a form of shallow freshwater marsh that occurs in the southern high plains of the United States. Like vernal pools, they are only present at certain times of the year and have a circular shape; as the playa dries during the summer, conspicuous plant zonation develops along the shoreline. Prairie potholes are found in the northern parts of North America as the Prairie Pothole Region; these landscapes were once covered by glaciers, as a result shallow depressions were formed in great numbers. These depressions fill with water in the spring, they provide important breeding habitats for many species of waterfowl.
Some pools only occur seasonally. Many kinds of marsh occur along the fringes of large rivers; the different types are produced by factors such as water level, ice scour, waves. Large tracts of marshland have been embanked and ar
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is a U. S. National Monument in the State of Texas. For thousands of years, people came to the red bluffs above the Canadian River for flint, vital to their existence. Demand for the high quality, rainbow-hued flint is reflected in the distribution of Alibates Flint through the Great Plains and beyond. Indians of the Ice Age Clovis Culture used Alibates flint for spear points to hunt the Imperial Mammoth before the Great Lakes were formed; the flint lies just below the surface at ridge level in a layer up to six feet thick. The quarry pits were not large, between 5 and 25 feet wide and 4 to 7 feet deep. Many of these quarries were exploited by the Antelope Creek people, of the Panhandle culture, between 1200 and 1450; the stone-slabbed, multi-room houses built by the Antelope Creek people have long been of interest to the public and studied by archaeologists. Today this area is protected by the U. S. National Park Service and can only be viewed by ranger-led guided tours, which must be reserved in advance.
Alibates Flint Quarries was the only National Monument in the state of Texas until the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was created in 2013, is adjacent to and managed together with Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. The monument was authorized as Alibates Flint Quarries and Texas Panhandle Pueblo Culture National Monument on August 31, 1965, but the designation was shortened to the current name on November 10, 1978. National Register of Historic Places listings in Potter County, Texas List of National Monuments of the United States Media related to Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument at Wikimedia Commons National Park Service webpage of Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument Geology information on Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
Brazoria is a city in the U. S. state of Texas, in the Houston -- The Woodlands -- Sugar Land Brazoria County. As of the 2010 U. S. Census, the city population was 3,019. Brazoria is located southwest of the center of Brazoria County at 29°2′50″N 95°34′3″W; the northeast edge of the community, known as Old Brazoria, is located along the Brazos River. Texas State Highway 36 runs through the center of the city, leading southeast 16 miles to Freeport and northwest 41 miles to Rosenberg. According to the United States Census Bureau, Brazoria has a total area of 2.6 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,787 people, 1,063 households, 736 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,489.4 people per square mile. There were 1,166 housing units at an average density of 623.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 81.95% White, 10.30% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 5.38% from other races, 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.37% of the population.
There were 1,063 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.7% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.18. In the city, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.3 males. The median income for a household in the city was $36,058, the median income for a family was $41,563. Males had a median income of $35,000 versus $21,543 for females; the per capita income for the city was $16,666. About 10.8% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.6% of those under age 18 and 19.3% of those age 65 or over.
Brazoria was founded in 1828 on land granted by Stephen F. Austin to John Austin, who laid out the town; the town's name was selected by John Austin, "for the single reason that I know of none like it in the world". The first Masonic lodge in Texas was founded in 1835 when six men met under the Masonic Oak in Brazoria; the following year, the town was nearly deserted during the Runaway Scrape. H. M. Shaw opened a school in Brazoria in 1838 and a post office opened in 1846; the community's 1884 population was served by 12 general stores, five churches, three hotels, good schools, cotton gins, sugar mills. By 1890 the town had become the county seat. Two years the Velasco World weekly newspaper began publishing in the town. However, the railroad bypassed Brazoria and it lost the county seat to Angleton in 1897; the town went into decline. The Brazoria school boasted three teachers and 142 students in 1906; the Banner weekly news started publishing in 1914. The local discovery of oil and sulphur in 1939 and the construction of a bridge across the Brazos River helped restore the town's fortunes.
By 1987 Brazoria counted 50 businesses. Brazoria celebrates Frontier Days in March, the No Name Festival in June, the Santa Ana Ball in July; the city is served by the Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District. Two public elementary schools serve Brazoria—Barrow Elementary, located in the city limits, Wild Peach Elementary, located outside the city limits. West Brazos Junior High School is located in Brazoria and serves all junior high school students in the Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District. Students continue on to Columbia High School. Columbia High School is located the city of West Columbia; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Clemens Unit in an unincorporated area near Brazoria. The Brazoria Library is a part of the Brazoria County Library System. Brazoria is served by West Brazos EMS, operated by Sweeny Community Hospital. Although there is not a hospital within the city limits, Sweeny Community, Brazosport Regional, Matagorda Regional, UTMB Angleton-Danbury are all within a driving distance.
Eagle Air Park is the city airport. The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Brazoria has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. Sofie Herzog Brazoria Chamber of Commerce Brazoria Heritage Foundation Brazos Valley Railroad Society Handbook of Texas online
Brazoria County, Texas
Brazoria County is a county in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population of the county was 313,166; the county seat is Angleton. Brazoria County is included in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area, it is located in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. Regionally, parts of the county are within the extreme southernmost fringe of the regions locally known as Southeast Texas. Brazoria County is among a number of counties that are part of the region known as the Texas Coastal Bend, its county seat is Angleton, its largest city is Pearland. Brazoria County, like nearby Brazos County, takes its name from the Brazos River; the county includes what was once Velasco, the first capital of the Republic of Texas. It served as the first settlement area for Anglo-Texas, when the Old Three Hundred emigrated from the United States in 1821. Brazoria County, like Brazos County, takes its name from the Brazos River. Anglo-Texas began in Brazoria County when the first of Stephen F. Austin's authorized 300 American settlers arrived at the mouth of the Brazos River in 1821.
Many of the events leading to the Texas Revolution developed in Brazoria County. In 1832, Brazoria was organized as a separate municipal district by the Mexican government, so became one of Texas original counties at independence in 1836. An early resident of Brazoria County, Joel Walter Robison, fought in the Texas Revolution and represented Fayette County in the Texas House of Representatives. Stephen F. Austin's original burial place is located at a church cemetery, Gulf Prairie Cemetery, in the town of Jones Creek, on what was his brother-in-law's "Peach Point Plantation", his remains were brought to be reinterred at the state capital in Austin. The town of West Columbia served as the first capital of Texas, dating back to pre-revolutionary days. Temple Lea Houston, youngest son of Sam Houston, was c. 1880 the county attorney of Brazoria County. His life story is reflected in the 1963 film The Man from Galveston and the 26-episode 1963-1964 NBC western television series, Temple Houston. Lake Jackson is a community developed beginning in the early 1940s to provide housing to workers at a new Dow Chemical Company plant in nearby Freeport.
The county has elements of both rural and suburban communities, as it is part of the Greater Houston. On June 2, 2016, the flooding of the Brazos River required evacuations for portions of Brazoria County. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,609 square miles, of which 1,358 square miles is land and 251 square miles is water. Harris County Galveston County Matagorda County Wharton County Fort Bend County Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge As of the census of 2000, 241,767 people, 81,954 households, 63,104 families resided in the county; the population density was 174 people per square mile. There were 90,628 housing units at an average density of 65 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 77.09% White, 8.50% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.63% from other races, 2.22% from two or more races. About 22.78 % of the population were Latino of any race. About 12.1% were of German, 11.2% American and 7.2% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
About 79.0 % spoke only English at home. Of the 81,955 households, 40.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 23.00% were not families. About 19.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82, the average family size was 3.23. In the county, the population was distributed as 28.60% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 32.40% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, 8.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 107 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.4 males. The median income for a household in the county was $48,632, for a family was $55,282. Males had a median income of $42,193 versus $27,728 for females; the per capita income for the county was $20,021. About 8.1% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 313,166 people residing in the county. 70.1% were White, 12.1% Black or African American, 5.5% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 9.2% of some other race and 2.6% of more than one race. 27.7 % were Latino. The Brazoria County Jail is located at 3602 County Road 45 in unincorporated central Brazoria County, north of Angleton; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates six state prisons for men and its Region III office in unincorporated Brazoria County. As of 2007,1,495 full-time correctional job positions were in the county. In 1995, of the counties in Texas, Brazoria had the second-highest number of state prisons and jails, after Walker County. In 2003, a total of 2,572 employees were employed at the six TDCJ facilities; the TDCJ units are: Clemens Unit, near Brazoria Darrington Unit, near Rosharon - The Windham School District Region III office is within the unit. Wayne Scott Unit, near Angleton. Ramsey Unit - The unit is co-located with Stringfellow and Terrell.
The TDCJ Region III Maintenance Headquarters is within this unit. Stringfellow Unit, near Rosharon - The
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Balcones Canyonlands is a national wildlife refuge located in the Texas Hill Country to the northwest of Austin. The refuge was formed in 1992 to conserve habitat for two endangered songbirds including the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo and to preserve Texas Hill Country habitat for numerous other wildlife species; the refuge augments a named preserve in Austin called the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. The refuge is located within a dissected portion of the Edwards Plateau that contains many steep-banked streams and canyons; the canyons facing Austin are etched into the limestone of the Edwards Plateau by tributaries of the Colorado River. Beneath the surface of the Edwards Plateau lies an underground labyrinth of caves and springs. Various spiders and other creatures inhabit this below-ground world and are unique to this area of Texas. Deeper below the surface lies the Edwards Aquifer, which stores billions of gallons of water and supplies drinking water for one million people.
The aquifer is the source of many springs that feed Hill Country rivers, which flow into the marshes and bays along the Texas coast. The vegetation found in the Hill Country includes various oaks and Ashe juniper trees; the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo depend on different successional stages of this vegetation. Both of these birds nest in the Edwards Plateau, the warbler exclusively. USFWS.gov: Official Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge website USFWS.gov: Profile of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service