Saving the Big Thicket: From Exploration to Preservation, 1685-2003
The Big Thicket of East Texas, which at one time covered over two million acres, served as a barrier to civilizations throughout most of historic times. By the late nineteenth century, however, an assault on this wilderness by settlers, railroads, and timber companies began in earnest. By the 1920s, much of the wilderness had been destroyed. Spurred on by the continued destruction of the region, the Big Thicket Association (BTA) organized in 1964 to fight for its preservation. Arguing that the Big Thicket was a unique botanical region, the BTA and their supporters convinced President Gerald Ford to authorize an 84,550-acre Big Thicket National Preserve in 1974.
Saving the Big Thicket is a classic account of the region’s history and a play-by-play narrative of the prolonged fight for the Big Thicket Preserve. It is a clearly written case study of the conflict between economics and preservation, presenting each side with objectivity and fairness. Originally written by Cozine in 1976, it has been updated with a new afterword by Pete A. Y. Gunter.
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CHAPTER IX Urbanites and Intellectuals
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acreage acres Akokisa Austin Batson Beaumont began Bentsen Bible Big Thicket Association Big Thicket bill Big Thicket Morgue Big Thicket National Big Thicket region Big Thicket Reporter biological Bob Eckhardt Bulletin Cong Congressional Record Congressman conservationists Cory and Parks Crawford Creek Corridor Creek Unit Dempsie Henley East Texas empresario environmentalists established federal Gulf Hardin County hearing Houston Chronicle Ibid Indians Interview July Kirby Lumber Company Kirby Lumber Corporation land located logs longleaf pine Louisiana Maxine Johnston miles mill National Park Service National Preserve Headquarters Neches River November October Oil Fields Ollie Crawford Pete Gunter Pine Island Bayou plant Polk preservationists Price Daniel proposal purchase railroad Ralph Yarborough Saratoga Senate Sess settlers SFASU Silsbee Sour Lake Spanish survey Tejas Texas Forestry Thicket Morgue File Thicket National Preserve timber firms timber industry timber operators tract trees Trinity River Tyler County U.S. Congress Village Creek wilderness Wildlife Wilson workers
Page 8 - The study team also stated that "the forest contains elements common to the Florida Everglades, the Okefenokee Swamp, the Appalachian region, the Piedmont forests, and the open woodlands of the coastal plains.
Page 2 - It was real Thicket— a forest floor of fallen trees swamped with brush and briar, and understory of holly and dogwood and gum and oak and maple and hawthorn trailing vines and Spanish moss, and a soaring, pillared canopy of beech and magnolia and loblolly pine. There was no sky, no sun, no sense of direction. We climbed over logs and circled sloughs and ducked under hanging branches, and every log and every slough and every branch looked very much like the last. There were no landmarks. There were...