by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Fort Davis

National Historic Site - Texas

Fort Davis National Historic Site is located in the unincorporated community of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis County, Texas. Located within the Davis Mountains of West Texas, the historic site was established in 1961 to protect one of the best remaining examples of a United States Army fort in the southwestern United States.

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Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/foda/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Davis_National_Historic_Site Fort Davis National Historic Site is located in the unincorporated community of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis County, Texas. Located within the Davis Mountains of West Texas, the historic site was established in 1961 to protect one of the best remaining examples of a United States Army fort in the southwestern United States. Fort Davis is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail. We are approximately 2.5 hours south of Midland/Odessa starting on I-20 to HWY 17, 3.5 hours North West of Del Rio starting on HWY 90 to HWY 118, 4 hours east of El Paso starting on I-10 to HWY 118 and 7 hours west of San Antonio starting on I-10 to HWY 17. Visitor Center Fort Davis National Historic Site has one Visitor Center where you can pay the entrance fee, receive orientation, grounds map, and watch the parks introductory video. We are located in the Big Bend region of Texas approximately 4 hours east of El Paso and 7 hours West of San Antonio. Big Bend National Park is 2 hours away. Parade Ground Garrison Flag flying over the post. Garrison flag flying over the post within the box canyon Fort Davis is located. Artillery Crew Artillery Crew stands at the ready The Artillery Crew stand ready for orders to post at their positions and fire the U.S. 3-inch Ordnance Rifle. Kitchen Two ladies working in the kitchen Special events bring back the smells of an 1800s Kitchen Cavalry Soldier mounted on his horse The U.S. Cavalry was utilized at Fort Davis for most of its existence. Here a soldier shows off the uniform and equipment of the 1800s. Fall Colors Building and trees at Fort Davis during the fall with yellow leaves. This sky island habitat is known for its dramatic season changes. Fall brings the end of our rainy season allowing the bright yellow Cottonwoods to shine. In spring /summer waving grasses and wildflowers show off their vivid colors once again. African Americans in the Frontier Army Following the Civil War, permanent African American regiments were constructed in the United States Army. Although segregated due to race, these regiments served with honor and distinction, and helped to tame the Wild West. Painting showing African American soldiers in New Mexico in the 1870s It’s Alive! Biological Soil Crusts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts It might come as a surprise to learn that in the sublime expanses of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, some of the most interesting life around can be found in the dirt right in front of your feet! Biological soil crusts form a living groundcover that is the foundation of desert plant life. Soil crust at White Sands National Monument The History of the Spring Enclosure Historical archeologists see if archeological remains verify what is written, or tell a different story. Verifying the written record unraveled and documented the stone masonry of the spring enclosure at Fort Davis. Was the existing spring enclosure actually a reconstruction built in the 1940s? If it was a reconstruction, was it built in the original location? If some portion of the original masonry was left, what was original and what was reconstructed? A portion of Fort Davis ca. 1888. Photograph courtesy of Fort Davis National Historic Site. The First African American Graduate of West Point In 1877 Henry O. Flipper became the first African American to ever graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point. However, his image was soured by events four years later when he was dismissed from the Army, and for 117 years his court martial tarnished his good name. Climate Change and the Chihuahuan Desert The Chihuahuan Desert Network is currently developing protocols to monitor several vital signs that may reflect current and future impacts of climate change. This brief offers a summary of how Chihuahuan Desert Network monitoring will detect future change. Smith Springs is one of many springs that serve as a water source for plants & animals in the CHDN. Fort Davis National Historic Site Reptile and Amphibian Inventory Fort Davis NHS is located in the highly diverse Davis Mountains and is small enough that the researchers and a park partner were able to survey most of the site. The majority of the search was focused on Hospital Canyon, the flats surrounding and north of the fort ruins, and the trail system. Big Bend tree lizard atop a lichen-covered boulder NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Fort Davis National Historic Site, Texas Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] agave plant and arid landscape Fort Davis Fern Inventory In the Trans-Pecos, ferns and their allies either flourish or become dormant in response to limited available moisture. If conditions are dry, many of the xeric (dry environment) ferns respond by curling up and going into a dormant stage, only to revive and actively grow again when water becomes available. Closeup of a windham cloak fern Air Quality in the Chihuahuan Desert Three park units in the Chihuahuan Desert Network, Big Bend National Park (NP), Carlsbad Caverns NP, and Guadalupe Mountains NP are designated as Class I air quality areas under the Clean Air Act. Class I areas receive the highest protection under the act, and degradation of air quality must be minimal. Air quality concerns include atmospheric deposition effects and visibility impairment from fine particle haze. Rugged landscape under a partly cloudy sky at Big Bend National Park Monitoring Upland Vegetation and Soils in the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert Networks Vegetation and soils are two of many natural resources monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Learning about vegetation dynamics helps us to better understand the integrity of ecological processes, productivity trends, and ecosystem interactions that can otherwise be difficult to monitor. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor vegetation and soils using the scientific protocol described here. Quadrat used for biological soil crust sampling The War and Westward Expansion With Federal resources focused on waging the war farther east, both native tribes and the Confederacy attempted to claim or reclaim lands west of the Mississippi. The Federal government responded with measures (Homestead Act, transcontinental railroad) and military campaigns designed to encourage settlement, solidify Union control of the trans-Mississippi West, and further marginalize the physical and cultural presence of tribes native to the West. Painting Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way showing settlers moving into the American west Exotic Plants Monitoring in the Southern Plains and Chihuahuan Desert National parks, like other publicly managed lands, are deluged by new exotic species arriving through predictable (e.g., road, trail, and riparian corridors), sudden (e.g., long distance dispersal through cargo containers and air freight), and unexpected anthropogenic pathways (e.g., weed seeds mixed in with restoration planting mixes). Landscape with a uniform, green foreground consisting of invasive kochia 10th Cavalry at Fort Larned Co. A of the 10th U.S. Cavalry was stationed at Fort Larned from April 1867 to January 1869. Although they served with dedication, their time at the fort was troubled by racial prejudice. Men on horseback in 19th century U.S. Army uniforms. Southern Basin and Range The Southern Basin and Range is an extension of the Basin and Range Province centered on Nevada and the Great Basin and extending from southern Oregon to western Texas, and into northwest Mexico. Mountains and Desert in Guadalupe Mountains National Park The Changing War Begun as a purely military effort with the limited political objectives of reunification (North) or independence (South), the Civil War transformed into a social, economic and political revolution with unforeseen consequences. As the war progressed, the Union war effort steadily transformed from a limited to a hard war; it targeted not just Southern armies, but the heart of the Confederacy's economy, morale, and social order-the institution of slavery. Woodcut of spectators watching a train station set fire by Sherman's troops Climate Monitoring in the Southern Plains, Sonoran Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert Climate is one of many ecological indicators monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Climate data help scientists to understand ecosystem processes and help to explain many of the patterns and trends observed in other natural-resource monitoring. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor climate using the scientific protocol described here. Kayaking across a fl ooded parking lot, Chickasaw NRA, July 2007. JROTC and NPS Collaboration – Expanding Our Stories Over the course of the 2018-19 academic years, the National Park Service’s Washington, DC Office of Interpretation, Education and Volunteers (WASO IEV), with support from Kutztown University, has overseen a series of pilot programs aimed to facilitate unique, place-based learning experiences in national parks for military youth throughout the United States. Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Chihuahuan Desert Network Reptile and Amphibian Inventories In 2003 and 2004, the University of Arizona conducted an inventory of reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna) in six National Park Service Chihuahuan Desert Network parks. Primary objectives of this inventory were to document reptile and amphibian species, map the distribution of all species found, and determine a rough relative abundance for each species. Trans-Pecos ratsnake Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Seasonal Inventory of Birds in Low Elevation Chihuahuan Desert Riparian Habitats In 2004, independent researchers began conducting a three-year inventory of birds in low-elevation riparian (stream-side) habitats in the National Park Service’s Chihuahuan Desert Network. The goals of this study were to (1) document the presence, richness, and abundance of bird species; (2) compare results to existing information about park birds and update park checklists; and (3) provide baseline data and site evaluations that may be used to develop bird monitoring programs in the Network. Bird survey site in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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