CCSP Celebrates Archeology Month

A sneak peek at the Carol Campbell feature in this week’s Caprock Courier! 

Pictured are a group of visitors to Caprock Canyons State Park participating in the ethno-botany hike with naturalist Ellen Fowlkes, seated far right next to Park Interpreter Le’Ann Pigg.

Pictured are a group of visitors to Caprock Canyons State Park participating in the ethno-botany hike with naturalist Ellen Fowlkes, seated far right next to Park Interpreter Le’Ann Pigg.

 

“Where are the bison?” I asked the Ranger at the front desk in the Visitor Center at Caprock Canyons State Park.

“Anywhere they want to be,” she said.

Thirty-two bison, remnants of three million bison exterminated in this area in the 1800s were transplanted from their Panhandle prairie home in 1997 to the protection of the canyon lands. Now, 150 bison roam on 15,000 acres of caprock canyon breaks in the state park, and park officials say the acreage can support as many as 300.

According to Park Interpreter Le’Ann Pigg, the herd has unique genetic markers. The Texas state herd only contains Plains Bison, which have no cattle DNA. To solve an inbreeding problem, two Plains Bison bulls without cattle DNA were introduced to the herd, courtesy of Ted Turner, and now, this robust herd travel in the park feasting on natural grasses and flowers, drinking at the beautiful Theo Lake, and thrilling visitors and employees alike. “They travel in family groupings,” Pigg said. The Southern Plains State Bison herd is in your back yard!

While the “buffalo roam,” Ranger Le’Ann Pigg, who is in charge of educational programs at the park, planned numerous activities for Archeology Awareness Month. Programs included Canyon Walk and Talk; Fall Foliage Tours, presentations in the Interpretive Amphitheater on Protecting Resources and The Red River War; Bird Walks, and finally, on October 29, 2016, guests were treated to an Ethno-botany Hike and a program on the Comancheros by two Motley County residents.

To be continued…

Be sure and pick up a copy of the Caprock Courier this week (or click “subscribe” in the menu for a $20 online subscription!) to read the rest of this great story by Carol Campbell!

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